Over 20 years ago, the Lord gave me Isaiah 28 to read. It was troubling then, but I now know that was a warning to hopefully jolt the Israel(Church) to get their houses in order, and was relative to what is going on now with the coronavirus pandemic.
"Isaiah 28:1-4 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up."
Woe represents a Warning, of impending danger.
To the Crown of Pride
The crown represents the prideful in general. Even those in spiritual pride, who believe they are good, are self righteous, but have a false security that is not rooted in the lordship of Jesus Christ.
To the drunkards of Ephraim
Drunkards of Ephraim, prophetically represents an overabundance of wealth regarding the things of God.
Let me first explain Ephraimites - Ephraim, was one of Joseph’s son who was born in Egypt, which received the blessing from Jacob (Israel) over his first born brother Manassah. Joseph was sold by his brothers and eventually ended up in Egypt, wherein he was able to save his Israelite family during the famine. Joseph would later become second in command in Egypt, and married an Egyptian wife, of which were born to him two sons. They are a mixed nation - half Egyptian, half Israelite that did not come to the battle to wage war. These are they who have an over abundance of spiritual wealth, but haven’t been taught to war. We have allowed for backsliding, and carnality, and rejected them that are spiritually minded as being judgmental, critical, or too religious.
Psalm 78:9-11 "The Ephraimites, armed with the bow, turned back on the day of battle. 10 They did not keep God’s covenant, but refused to walk according to his law. They forgot his works and the wonders that he had shown them. The Lord had blessed and prospered them richly.” But because they did not keep God’s covenant…Psalm 78:67-72 tells us that, He (God) rejected the tent of Joseph; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loves. He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever. He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance. With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand."
We are at war, and many aren’t fighting against the unseen enemy, but are instead succumbing and contributing to the AntiChrist and are stealing, killing, and destroying and being destroyed. Spiritual Ephraim (carnal) are being rejected, and also spiritually those that are ignorant that we are at war, are consumed with their carnality.
Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower
The glorious beauty from the believers perspective will be one’s relationship with Christ. One’s loss of their relationship with Christ, as becoming dull, and unable to see nor hear his voice.
Which are on the head
This represents those that are in leadership.
of the fat valleys
From an agrarian perspective, its fertile, rich land. From a prophetic perspective it reflects wealthy both naturally and spiritually - wealthy leadership.
of them that are overcome with wine!
Spiritually, the church is continually called to be sober, or straightforward and serious. However, many have become intoxicated with their deception. Many are not minding the things of God, but instead have become those that mind earthly things more than focusing on Jesus. They are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose God is their belly, and whose pride is in their shame - headed to destruction. Many have rejected the things of the spirit of God, like apostolic and prophetic ministry, and have sought to silence the very mouthpieces of God that speak contrary to the masses “groupthink.” The message of the cross is not being shared, most do not possess the stamina nor wherewithal to fight the good fight of faith, and most are looking for man’s approval, instead of God’s.
The body of Christ must rest in Jesus. We must not judge based on what a believer or person does, has done, or is doing, but who a person is in Christ or not- discernment is key. Our identity has to be rooted and grounded in Christ alone and his finished work on the cross. For by grace are we saved, through faith. It is not by works lest any man should boast. Otherwise, we will not be able to rightfully discern and judge one another’s fruit, nor endure the persecution that will come. The enemy’s intent is to isolate the brethren from one another, to reduce our strength together. You see this in that churches were closed, and many socially distanced, as a measure to obey the laws of the land. NO more greeting with a holy kiss, no more forsaking not the assembling of ourselves together, no more elders laying on of hands to heal the sick, no more prophetic voices revealing the truth at work. Moreover, if your life is inconvenienced because of your association with a persecuted person, you may begin to disassociate yourself from them so that you can live a more free life, causing further persecution to the persecuted person, and weakening the church. Remember, the art of war is to destroy from within. However, God requires us to minister to one another. Iron sharpens iron. Will you share in the burden of your brother? Will you endure til the end? It is important to note that the church will be persecuted, and the spirit of the antichrist is now persecuting those that belong to the true remnant, and are not ignorant of his devices. God is using this as a training ground for some, in preparation for what they will have to fight soon.
Isaiah 28 "Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand."
Prophetically, I believe the Lord will use his five-fold ministry as Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt. Just as Moses was instructed by God to use his hand to separate the sea for the children of Israel to walk through, and ultimately to cause the waters to overtake Egypt, in the same way, God will use the hand to destroy what the enemy is doing. In scripture, the hand prophetically represents the five-fold ministry of apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, and evangelist. I believe that God is revealing to his leadership, who are true and pure, what is actually at play here. This is one of the reasons why the prophetic has been under attack, and the church scattered. Churches, once resistant to the moves of the spirit, should recall Mark 16:17-18, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” During this pandemic, we should be recovering, and recovering all. The church should be getting in order, rising up now, in the midst of this crisis, and showing forth to the world that Christ is the answer! The five fold leadership should activate to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. We should not take our strategies from the playbook of the world, and blindly follow it, but we should rise up and do what thus saith the Lord! Being keen to understand the times we are in, and what the Lord would have us to do and when. Why are we following the world, and allowing the media to narrate for us what is going on, and what to do? We have seers, prophets who we should look to. Apostles, who should set things in order. However, the enemy has glorified the fake, persecuted the real, and has tried to cause distrust in the office. We should rely on the spirit of God to lead us, and not be lulled to sleep. When we do this, the world will see that Christ is the answer, and a great harvest of souls will come in.
The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.
In summation, the glorious beauty, that is representative of freedom in Christ, on the head of the fat valley has shifted to a specific person. It denotes that this person is a fading flower, or older person. It denotes church leadership that is so drunk with the wine of the world, that they cannot accept spiritual things. They do not want to hear the prophetic, and believe many of the spiritual gifts are not in operation today. In fact, they have talked against them in their churches. Have sought to silence the activation of gifts in the assembly, and have demonized those whom God has called. This is liken to what happened with Jesus, so we should not be alarmed. The Lord said in his word that we are blessed, who are persecuted for righteousness sake.
Isaiah 28:5 "In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, 6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate."
The Lord will come through for his people, using his five-fold ministry gifts in operation. For believers, we should look forward to the Lord showing forth his glory and coming through for his remnant. While he is utilizing his gifts, he will also be purifying and cleansing his people through the spirit of judgment. The spirit of judgment is highlighted in Isaiah 4:4 wherein it states,
“when the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning . . .
Therefore the spirit of judgment acts as a purifier of the Lord’s people toward righteousness, and to bring strength to those that have been interceding and fighting the good fight of faith. Those that have been warring on behalf of the will of God, and operating in their gifts, without succumbing to the world’s order. Those that have not turned away from the battle and simply succumbed to all that is happening, but are enduring til the end.
"Out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. 9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."
The Bible says in Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. In the New Living Translation, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
I believe strong drink here is two fold, it not only represents ones that are raging, but some translations refer to this literally as beer or strong drink. Here the Lord is stating that his people and the leaders of His church are also out of the way, and are in error. I think this error is in the handling of the house of God during coronavirus, because instead of encouraging people to enter into God’s rest, they are silent, they are consumed by the things of this world and have become mockers and brawlers during this time. They are given to brawling and mocking, (i.e . latest Presidential election, divisive racial issues such as white supremacy, effects of slavery, racial profiling and police brutality, not publicly speaking against homosexuality, and regarding whether to continue to have church services in person during the pandemic). They are neither exhibiting nor teaching identity in Christ nor resting in him for the totality of a believer’s life. Doctrinally there are gaps wherein many are not teaching the whole counsel of God, the diversities of the gifts of the spirit, the administrations, and the operations, which is necessary during this time, to bring clarity to the body of Messiah. Additionally, many teach and believe the erroneous “once saved, always saved” ideology, instead of teaching persons to endure til the end, which will become increasingly necessary to know in the coming time. The bible says those that endureth to the end shall be saved, and then goes on to say, this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached, and then the end will come. The church must be about teaching precept upon precept, line upon line, and not doctrines of men and what is seeker friendly. They must begin to walk according to Mark 16:17-18..17 "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” The Lord will teach children the truth, and those who come unto him as little children, knowing nothing and believing nothing in and of themselves. These are they who have humbled themselves and will allow God to work in their lives, as they rest in Christ. They will endure persecution and hardship, and will not be easily scattered. Those that will not humble themselves, find his rest, and learn, will fall backward and be overcome by the enemy. Those that learn, will be caught up together in the Lord, liken to Enoch and Elijah - taken.
14 "Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. 15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. 19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. 20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it."
This represents the agreement of national leadership, likely in Jerusalem. They partake and operate in occultic and demonic activities (necromancy), and are mockers of God and his people. They believe they are all powerful and unable to be touched. However, the Lord will judge them, and expose who they are, and will ensure that they are destroyed, with their agreement with death not being able to stand, and there recompense being hell. As scoffers, they don’t want the things of God, they will become fearful when they realize what God is going to do. False beliefs will be exposed, as well as hypocrites. The proud will be humbled. It is important that Jesus be one’s firm foundation, otherwise you will be consumed. Repentance is key in order to not be consumed.
For church leadership, this denotes a deception in that their salvation is secured, even though they have agreed with the agenda of the Antichrist. They do not listen to God, nor do they receive the gifts of the apostle or prophet. In essence, they do not hear what the spirit of the Lord is saying. Unless they repent, they will become apostate, unable to endure to the end.
21 "For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. 22 Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth. 23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech."
Mt Perazim, stands for multiple breaches and multiple breakthroughs. The Lord worked miracles at both Mt. Perazim and Gibeon. Though there have been multiple breaches, the Lord will bring about multiple breakthroughs, He will fight for his remnant. The Lord will prevail, using his five fold ministry gifts, which he is stirring up now. He will be angry and perform miraculous miracles through them on behalf of his remnant. He will be the God of the breakthrough for his people. He will make it such that he fights for his people. But for the scornful, there is a dreadful day coming upon the whole earth. He warns to take heed, and know of a surety that the time is coming. Get your house in order now!!
24 "Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground 25 When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place? 26 For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. 27 For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. 28 Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. 29 This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working."
Though it may seem like it is taking forever for the Lord to do his miraculous works, He likens his work to what happens in agriculture. Here the Lord is instructing how he teaches and instructs. There is preparation first, then a process beginning with sowing. In the same way, there is preparation time given. When plants grow they take time, and requires the farmer to follow instructions. Here we see what true ministers of the gospel should be doing in anticipation for the harvest. Ultimately, God is in control, and is using the time to instruct, teach and counsel his remnant. He reserves the timing to himself. Additionally, the reference to rod and staff reminds me of how Jesus is the great shepherd! God is desiring us all to be found in faith, so he is long suffering, but he warns here that it will not be for always! Moreover, this is also I believe a nod to the importance of planting for the harvest of food as well. Not to mention, it may well be a good idea to begin preparing for what’s to come, and to begin farming food for necessity.
In closing, repent, and submit to Jesus now. Let him fill you with his Holy Spirit, who will guide you into all truth. Repent and turn your hearts to the firm foundation, the only one that can save, the only one that can deliver, the only righteous one, Jesus the Christ. Do not trust in your own righteousness, but receive the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, by faith. Do not allow your identity in Christ to be stolen. His name is above every name, and beside him is no other. He alone is the sure foundation, all other is not proven. He is coming back for a church without spot nor wrinkle. Will he find faith on the earth?