A Nation In Trouble

“United We Stand”

Isaiah 1-5… The word “united” means “to bring together so as to form a whole, to combine (people) in attitude or action, to be built or combined into a unit, to join and act together in a common purpose or endeavor, to be fused together, or to be of one mind.” Listening to news commentators and interviewers I find that the nation seems to be more divided than ever. I do not believe that America is doomed and marked for immediate destruction, but I do see fearful times facing our nation. Yes, the seeds of destruction have been sown and there will be a reaping. The Old Testament prophets do describe corrupt societies, and what faces them when there is no repentance. The prophets also tell how God appeals to nations so that they will return to Him. There are solutions. Godly principles founded America and made it a great nation. There must be a return. The first five chapters of Isaiah tell of a nation in trouble and rebellion. These five chapters talk about Judah, but it is also a picture of what is going on in America. Judah in Isaiah’s time period was in rebellion against God. It was a pleasure-seeking and a materialistic society. It was idolatrous and morally corrupt. Let’s look at the signs of a nation in trouble.

Isaiah 1:1-10… A nation in trouble and rebellion… Notice v. 4 especially, “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward” (KJV).

Isaiah 1:11-15… A nation filled with empty religion… Note v. 15, “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”

Isaiah 1:16-20… A nation that needs to repent… Notice v. 18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah 1:21-23… A nation with a corrupt seat of government… Note v. 21, “How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

Isaiah 1:24-2:5… A nation that can be restored… Note v. 26, “And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.

Isaiah 2:6… A nation filled with eastern religion… “Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.

Isaiah 2:7… A nation with materialistic designs and militarism… “Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.

Isaiah 2:10-22… A nation with strange philosophies (political correctness)… Note v. 12, “For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.

Isaiah 3:1-12… A nation with blind and vain (proud, perverted, and those who condone wide-open sin) leadership… Note v. 8, “For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.

Isaiah 3:13-15… A nation that abuses the poor… Note v. 14, The “LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.” (Note also James 5:1-6.)

Isaiah 3:16-4:1… A nation with self-oriented women… Note v. 16, “Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet.

Isaiah 4:2-6… A nation who can find hope in the house of the Lord… There, in the house of the Lord, the nation will rise up with faith, a nation cleansed by the Spirit. The true church will emerge with anointing and with the presence of the Lord. The flaming fire of the Holy Spirit is a nation’s defense. At the present time, our nation has developed a system of worship that the Holy Spirit can’t break into. It will soon change.

Isaiah 5:1-7… A nation that will get God’s warning… Note vv. 5-7… “And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” In parable form, God tells of the start of the nation and how they failed to preserve it. God will lay it waste.

Isaiah 5:8-10… A nation whose mentality is that of greed… Note vv. 9-10… “In mine ears said the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant. Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah.” In other words, a financial disaster is coming.

Isaiah 5:11-12… A nation who seeks to “party” without any regard for God.

Isaiah 5:13-17… A nation who will see the results of their rebellion… People who will be made captives to debt, to habits, to lying, to pride, to immoral sins. They would learn from all of this that (v. 16), “But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.

Isaiah 5:18-23… A nation whose thinking has been corrupted… Note v. 20, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 5:24-30… A nation whose judgment is coming, and with it sorrow. Our nation has begun to experience some sorrow.

Isaiah, after seeing all of this, goes into the temple and sees God and His holiness. Isaiah repents and is cleansed, and he comes out with a message of healing. Our church leaders need to see the holiness of God once again. When the leaders are cleansed by God, their message will reflect God’s will and glory.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Lord, Come Down, Your People Need You

Isaiah 64:1-2… “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!” (KJV) This is the thinking of many believers today. The world is a mess, including our nation. Most people think that they can go about their business without the need of God. Isaiah looks ahead and sees them sitting in the wreckage of their own making. Sooner or later they will come to realize that God is not optional, but essential. I read recently of a bumper sticker that said, “There is too much apathy in this nation, but who cares?” Our nation is not trembling today; however, the day is coming when God’s adversaries will know His name. You know, saints… you just can’t push buttons to produce spiritual results. Polish and “methods” do not produce the power of God’s presence in the church, nor in the nation. God can do more in one minute when He is present than we can do in a lifetime.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

The Cravings Of Your Spirit

2 Chronicles 15:2… “The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of him, craving Him as your soul’s first necessity], He will be found by you, but if you [become indifferent and] forsake Him, He will forsake you” (Amplified).

I was impressed with the phrase “craving Him as your soul’s first necessity.” A good question would be, do you want to be refreshed in the Lord?  Do you want a revival in your church? What are you craving at this moment? Is Jesus your first desire? What is the first necessity of your soul?

Isaiah 64:1-2… Isaiah prayed, “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!” (KJV).

There are two things seen here. Unless God comes down and manifests His presence and power, mountains will not flow and sinners will not tremble. The mountains refer to many things, such as the things that rise up and hinder your progress. With all the crowded churches today in the land, communities are untouched. Why? The kingdom of God is not going to advance by filling our churches with men and women, but rather by men and women filled with God in our churches. In 2 Chronicles 15:3-4, God was answering their prayer requests, but the nation was “without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law” (KJV). God’s presence was missing. The Word was not flowing as fresh running water, nor was it reaching the heart with conviction. There was moral laxity in the rules of conduct God had laid down. When God becomes the craving of our soul and our first necessity, His authority will be in our lives and He will melt our mountains. God delights in you (Proverbs 8:31). He takes great delight in you (Zephaniah 3:17). This should be a revelation in your hearts. Let Him  be your delight also.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Theology Doesn’t Work When God Shows Up

Theology doesn’t work when God shows up… but repentance does. My heart has been asking questions about the need for repentance. Some of the genuine revivals around the world are happening because Christians are repenting of their sins. The greater the presence of the Lord, the greater the conviction by the Holy Spirit. The word “repentance” basically refers to a change of mind so as to produce remorse on account of sin. Repentance also refers to a change of heart, mind, and purpose after the knowledge of sin was known. It is to a repentant heart that remission of sin is promised. True repentance consists of one’s own guilt and sinfulness, and a reliance on God’s mercy and grace. True repentance produces a hatred for sin within your own heart and it causes you to turn from it, so much so that holiness living, with great joy, is the by-product of it.

In Revelation 18:4-5, the Christians were commanded to come out of a system that has defiled the whole earth. The sins listed in that chapter are listed by Jesus in Mark 7:20-23, “It is the thought-life that pollutes. For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts of lust, theft, murder, adultery, wanting what belongs to others, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride, and all other folly. All these vile things come from within; they are what pollute you and make you unfit for God” (TLB). This is why the Holy Spirit is seeking repentant hearts. He wants to purify your thought life. A good example of this is seen in Isaiah 6:1-10. Jesus referred to this passage of Scripture when He said in John 12:41, “These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him” (KJV).

Isaiah 6:1-4… King Uzziah had died. It was a blow to the nation. Isaiah the prophet comes into the temple to inquire certain things of God. He sees God’s glory. King Uzziah brought the nation into prosperity. The people were more concerned with their own belly being full than with the need for God in their lives. They saw themselves only. They saw only the things that concerned them, their importance, their own fullness. Isaiah comes into the temple and he sees God’s fullness. He sees God’s glory and angels crying “Holy, holy, holy.” The angels saw nothing but the nature of God. Today, people come to church and want to see blessing, healing, and prosperity. God calls for repentance because He wants the people to see Him. God calls for repentance so that His people can get a revelation of Him. God calls for repentance so that His people can get a revelation of their own sinful religious hearts. Without the Holy Spirit’s revelation of God, you will never be convinced that you need to repent.

In the temple, Isaiah saw the Lord. The word Lord here is Adonay, a word that describes God’s sovereignty, headship, authority, and ownership. Christians must see that it is the Lord who must be the authority in their lives. In the temple Isaiah saw that the Lord was ruling and reigning. He saw that God was in control. Have we forgotten that the Lord is in control of His church? The Lord calls for repentance because he wants the people to see His authority in their lives and in the life of the church. In the temple Isaiah saw the Lord worshipped “high and lifted up” (v. 1). Not only must we see the Lord worshipped, but we must also worship. In Revelation 5:12 we see a seven-fold praise for Jesus… “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (KJV). In the temple we must see what the seraphim saw. They saw purity and holiness. So glorious was it that they covered their faces and their bodies. This is why the Spirit calls for repentance. Jesus must increase and we must decrease.

Repentance is needed because without His presence, we have a tendency to show our own glory. The nature of man wants to be seen. “Look, Lord, look at me, look at my gifts, my talents, my achievements, my successes, my status.” In the temple we must see Jesus as the Lord of Hosts. This is His warfare name. It tells us that the battle is the Lord’s. He deals with the things we have been struggling with. His presence can handle any devil, any sickness, and any sin that traps us into its net. In the temple we must see that His glory is for the whole earth. Repentance is needed because we do things without the Lord. Repentance is needed because most people just see their own assembly. We need to repent because we see too much of what the devil is doing and not enough of what God is doing. Many preachers boast of the increase of people in their church, but the pastor down the street cries out to God, “Lord, that church just took fifty of our members.” This is why repentance is needed. Pride boasts. In God’s eyes, pride stinks (Proverbs 16:5). A Christian is never the same after seeing the Lord. I know… I’ve seen Him at different times, talked with Him, touched Him, was caught up in the atmosphere, saw the conditions of churches and pastors… It changed me… quieted me… separated me.

Isaiah 6:5-10… When Isaiah saw the Lord, he was convicted in his spirit. He was undone, not by a fiery sermon, but by the Holy Spirit. We need “undoing” once in a while. When Job saw the Lord, he abhorred himself (Job 42:5-6). When Peter saw Jesus, he said, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8, KJV). When the apostle John saw Jesus, he fell down “as dead” (Revelation 1:17). Conviction produces repentance. Isaiah said, “I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). Did his thought-life produce a dirty mouth, swearing, or off-color humor? Was he a liar? Was he full of anger and criticism? We do not know. Isaiah received a fiery cleansing directly from heaven. A seraphim touched him; no man laid hands on him. God demands cleanness of heart and life. We need to look to see if we’re slobs on the inside. It’s the thought-life that pollutes.

After the repentance and the cleansing, the Spirit points us to the harvest. “Whom shall I send?” (Isaiah 6:8) I heard that call in January 1947. I had been home from WWII a little over a year. What a vision, what a call… It’s still alive in me. The call produced training and a ministry. Isaiah became a prophet; I became a pastor-teacher. You may be called to some other ministry suited just for you–there are thousands of needs. The Spirit has a work for every believer. With the call and the obedience to the call, the Spirit will give you a message. “Go and tell this people.” Too many want to go overseas right away; however, the need may be right next door. The man or the woman God commissions, He anoints and sends.

Jesus said, “These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him” (John 12:41, KJV). Theology doesn’t work when God shows up, but repentance does.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

The Victorious Church, Pt. 2

(Part 2 of 3)

The character and makeup of the men who built the tabernacle…

God has people who pursue His work with excellence. How are such people made? There are principles for excellence. In Exodus 31 and 35-36, we see wise-hearted men and women. Note especially the two men who had charge and oversight (Exodus 31:1-6), Bezalel and Oholiab. For our purposes, we will go to chapter 31. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:1, “We then, [are] workers together with him” (KJV); i.e., “cooperators with God.” God chose the workers (Exodus 31:1-6; note also Luke 6:13 and John 15:16). God wants men who will follow His will. He does not change. Every detail of the tabernacle came from the mouth of God. Do you think that the Lord will leave the ministry of the New Testament church to uncalled men?

a) Exodus 31:2… Bezalel means “in the shadow of God.” Four names are connected with this man. Each speaks of an important characteristic for people who make up the church. The first key in doing anything is seen in the meaning of the name Bezaleel, “in the shadow of God.” Are we under God’s shadow or under man’s shadow? “Shadow” speaks of a covering, shade, or defense. Psalm 91:1 says, “He that dwelleth in the secret of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (KJV). The word “secret,” as used here, refers to being “clothed by the Spirit” or “covered by the Spirit.” Bezalel was under such a covering. Please note how the word “shadow” is used in the following verses and what it does…

1) Song of Solomon 2:3… “I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” (KJV). The idea is that there is communication and personal fellowship. There, under the covering of His glory, a relationship was established.

2) Psalm 17:8… “Hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” The place of protection…

3) Psalm 36:7… “The children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.” The place of confidence…

4) Psalm 57:1… “In the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge.” The place of refuge and safety…

5)  Psalm 63:7… “In the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.” The place of rejoicing…

6) Isaiah 4:6…Shadow in the day time from the heat.” The place of shade…

7) Isaiah 32:2… “The shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” The place of rest…

8) Isaiah 49:2… “In the shadow of his hand hath he hid me.” The place of security…

9) Isaiah 51:16… “I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand.” The place of provision and supply…

Every man and woman in the Kingdom should realize the importance of sitting under this covering.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

The Power Of Redemption, Pt. 3

7) Isaiah 48:17… Redemption offers escape from poverty… “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go” (KJV). The spirit of poverty has a grip on many saints. The economy of the kingdom of God has been made available for us through the blood of Christ. The Holy Spirit wants to teach us to profit. There is nothing wrong in asking the Lord, “Teach me the ways of prosperity.” Many spiritual problems stem from financial problems. It was God who said, “I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit.” The Holy Spirit doesn’t like it when God’s people struggle from payday to payday.

8) Isaiah 54:4-5… Redemption releases us from shame… “Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called” (KJV). Have you ever been ashamed or embarrassed by something in your past? In the Old Testament there was a shame connected with widowhood or aloneness, but redemption means that we are never alone. The Holy Spirit is saying, “Don’t let the past rob you of your faith.” Turn all your shame to the Lord. He will put it all under the blood. Satan just loves to bring feelings of shame from some past doings. Renounce all those feelings. They are under the blood of Christ. Let all your past be at peace.

9) Isaiah 59:19-20… Redemption brings deliverance from the devil… “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD” (KJV). There are days when we are in danger of being overwhelmed. Floods can come quickly. But God lifts up a barrier against all floods that were originated by the devil. Floods interfere in our lives. The Redeemer comes to the people of Zion. Those who have turned from transgression have a promise. Interferences are blocked. The blood of Christ guarantees it.

10) Isaiah 60:15-16… Redemption opens up the way to excellence… “Whereas thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob” (KJV). Have you ever felt forsaken and hated, and people avoided you? God has a high calling for your life, a life of eternal excellency. Isaiah, in this chapter, talks about God’s light rising upon you, so that the sinner sees it and comes to your light. When you are without the light and without the anointing, you are spurned by sinners. We need to pray, “Lord, bring your excellency into every area of my life, I want to be a joy for many generations.” Isaiah 35:1-10 talks of this great excellency and joy.

11) Isaiah 63:1-4… Redemption makes it possible to see our Redeemer in action… “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I, that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come” (KJV).

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

The Power Of Redemption, Pt. 2

(Part 2 of 3)

The value of Christ’s blood was more precious than gold. The blood did what silver and gold could not. (In the Old Testament, one needed silver for redemption, twenty shekels.) A verse or two earlier Peter exhorted on holiness, as long as we sojourn on this earth and have reason to call upon God, we need to have a healthy fear (respect) for God. Why? Because of the great price that was paid to redeem us.

3) Isaiah 43:1… Redemption brings release from fear… “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine” (KJV). Isaiah saw our redemption from afar off. He used the words “redeem” and “Redeemer” twenty-four times in the book of Isaiah. Jacob (later named Israel by God) admitted that fear had held him. He was filled with the painful memories of his past captivities and the failure of his trust and faith in God. The Holy Spirit had to remind him that he is a redeemed soul and is called by name. “Jacob, you belong to Me.” Redemption has set us free as well. We can walk in bold freedom without fear. There are many things in life that could alarm us. The Holy Spirit says, “Fear not.” We do not know what the future holds but we know who holds the future.

4) Isaiah 41:14… Redemption opens up the way for us to have strength… “Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel” (KJV). There are times we are helpless like the worm.  However, the worm as used here refers to the tola’ath worm, a worm that as it dies, secrets a crimson dye over its young. From this worm people made a red dye (crimson garments of Christ). The Lord was encouraging Jacob by the use of the tola’ath worm. “Jacob, you are a tola-ath worm, especially raised to show forth God’s glory.” The redeeming blood opens up the way to receive strength. The Lord makes us strong. Our weakness is exchanged for His strength. In the place of my fear there comes confidence. The redemptive blood releases us from our weaknesses.

5) Isaiah 43:14-19… Redemption opens up the way for help in times of difficulty… “Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel . . . I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and path in the mighty waters; Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (KJV). We all have our difficult times. God can open up the way for refreshing when we are in dry periods. God can turn troubles around. Isaiah 35 talks about believers going through dry places. Devils like to hang around in dry places. But when the refreshing water of the Spirit rises, they are the ones who must move out of the way. Demons do not like the redeeming blood of Christ. Believers are first in line to receive help when hard times come. The Holy Spirit encourages us not to dwell on the difficulties but on the provisions of redemption.

6) Isaiah 44:22-25… Redemption brings release from occult oppression… “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee . . . Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish” (KJV). The occult is very active in America. Our nation is oppressed by lies and by occult curses. Lies frustrate people but the blood of Christ frustrates those lying divinations. They are powerless against the believers. Isaiah starts out by saying that the Lord pours out water upon those who are thirsty. Water refers to the Word and to knowledge. People’s thirst for knowledge often drives them to seek help from the occult. Why receive satanic knowledge when the knowledge of God is available to believers (Jeremiah 33:3, Colossians 1:10)? Satan knows that his time is short. He is doing all he can to frustrate God’s purposes on this earth. Redemption delivers us from the power of the occult.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved