Isaiah 37 Versus Isaiah 4:1-4 -- Do They Contradict?

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"The Bible Prophets Wrote for Our Time.--Never are we absent from the mind of God. God is our joy and our salvation. Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own tme than fo ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us. 'Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come' (! Cor. 10:11). 'Not unto themselves, but unto us they didminister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels dessire to look into' (1 Peter 1:12).'" E.G. White, Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 338.

All Bible commentarians agree that Isaiah chapters 1-4 are end-time in context. Years ago, I prayed literally in my closet to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for a proper understanding of Isaiah 4:1-4, with special emphasis on verse 1, as follows:

"And in that day SEVEN WOMEN shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." Isa. 4:1.

I remained on my knees in my closet until I received an answer, and the answer I received was as follows:

1. "In that day" refers to the end-time.
2. "Seven Women" is indicative first of God's perfect all-inclusive number seven, which refers directly to all formally organized churches at the end of time.
3. "Women" is a term applied to the church many times in Scripture. So in taking the admonition of "a little here and a little there..." line upon line and precept upon precept...," along with the weight of evidence formula which directs us to interpret ALL THE EVIDENCE so than nothing contradicts, the Lord showed me the correct interpretation of women, as meaning "all formally organized churches."
4. The one man the churches take hold of is Jesus Christ. They want to be called by his name, "Christian" to take away their reproach.
5. What is their reproach? They are all eating their own bread, their own interpretation of doctrines and commandments of men, in lieu of God's clear directives in such areas. They are all "wearing their own apparel..." or their own garments of self-righteousness based on keeping some of the commandments and some of the doctrines, while omitting the weightier of these matters.
6. Conclusion: For these reasons, there will be a calling out of all formally organized churches. No denominational name has any power to bring us into favor with God. We are saved as individuals before Christ Jesus:

"We are not saved as a sect (eg. Catholic or SDA); no denominational name has ANY VIRTUE to bring us into favor with God. We are saved individually as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ." E.G. White, Review and Herald, Vol. 2, p. 464.

"God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people of God who love God and keep His commandments. 'Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them' (Matt. 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ's church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who in inhabititeth eternity can alone constitute a church. Where two or three are present who love and obey the commandments of God, Jesus there presides, let it be in the desolate place of the earth, in the wilderness, in the city enclosed in prison walls." E.G. White, The Upward Look, 315.

The express purpose for church organization was to forward the gospel commission. To whatever degree a church betrays that commission, it renders its organization as worthless! God can then take 1 to put 10,000 to flight! He then takes the reins into His own hands, and who can say that the people he personally leads are not "organized?" Who dares to say such? I do not! God used 12 disciples and the seventy to take the gospel to the then known world, and He can take a literal 144,000 Generals, and lead His army of Joel 2, to victory. He can raise people from their graves at the end-time to take the gospel to the world, as He did at the time of His resurrection. For any denomination or organized church to assume or presume that God needs them, is the heighth of utopian self-righteousness and folly! The Catholic and SDA churches have made that great mistake, as to all formally organized churches.

"The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life. He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the work of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But, if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action, if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach.God is not 'worshipped with men's hands, as tough he needed any thing' (Acts 17:25). E. G. White, The Upward Look, 131.

The Catholic as well as the SDA church both believe that they are totally indispensable to the finishing of God's work on earth, and both are alike totally wrong!

Additional Corroboration From Clarence Settle

The Issue

ON ISAIAH 4: 3

There are some today, in positions of influence, who are using Isaiah 4:3 as a justification for remaining within the apostate SDA structure rather than separating from it. Is that what that verse is really telling us? Let us look at it. "And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem." Isaiah 4: 3.

It must be admitted that at first look it does seem to support the belief that one must remain in Jerusalem rather than separating, but does it truly state that? Before we examine this verse more closely, let us not forget that God never contradicts Himself, and that it is a principle of good hermeneutics that you never use a difficult text to explain a simple one, but always use the simple one to explain the difficult one.

Let us now look at the previous verse (verse 2) which seems to directly contradict the implied meaning of verse 3. This last day prophecy states: "in that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of lsrael." Isaiah 4:2. A look at the meaning of the word "escaped" in Strong's Concordance (6413) defines it as "escaped portion, remnant" This same word is used in certain other verses such as Ezra 9: 15, Nehemiah 1: 2, and Isaiah 37: 32 which we shall now look at, in fact, we shall look at verses 31 and 32 to get a clearer picture. "And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward: For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this." Isaiah 37: 31. 32. These verses (Isaiah 4: 2; 37: 31, 32) are certainly in agreement that a separation from the apostasy is called for and necessary, in these last days, for those who are to be counted among the remnant. So let us go back again to Isaiah 4: 3.

A look at the word "remaineth" in Strong's (3498) defines that word as "a remnant residue." On the other hand let us look at another verse that uses the very same word "remaineth" but which has a totally different meaning. In Jeremiah 38: 2 we read:

"Thus saith the Lord, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by pestilence..."

In this instance the word "remaineth" means "to dwell, inhabit, to remain, to tarry." (Strong's 3427). So here we see that Isaiah 4: 3 is erroneously being used to mean "dwell. inhabit, remain, tarry" when it does not mean that at all! What it does refer to is the remnant, God's true church who are separated from the apostasy; those who are "written among the living" and not part of the ALL of 5T: 211 ("men, maidens, and little children") who will be slain because they refuse to separate. In addition, the word "left" in "left in,Zion," also refers to "remnant" (Strong's 7604).

This verse (Isaiah 4:3) is used by the SOP in 4 places, GC: 485, PK 592, 5T: 476, and GC: 37. We will look at the latter for it is here where it is best illustrated. But first let us determine the setting in which this verse is used by going to page 26 which reads: "When the idolatrous standards of the Romans should be set up in the holy ground, which extended some furlongs outside the city walls, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight. When the warning sign should be seen, then those who would escape must make no delay. . . They must not hesitate a moment, lest they be involved in the general destruction." GC: 26. "Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given His disciples warning, and all who believed His words watched for the promised sign... The promised sign had been given to the waiting Christians, and now an opportunity was offered all who would, to obey the Saviour's warning. Events were overruled that neither Jews nor Romans should hinder the flight of the Christians.. .Without delay they fled to a place of safety–the city of Pella, in the land of Perea, beyond Jordan." Ibid.: 30, 31. And finally we read: "The Saviour's prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law...But in that day, as in the time of Jerusalem's destruction, God's people will be delivered, everyone that shall be written among the living. Isaiah 4: 3." Ibid.: 7.

The question we must ask is, did those Christians remain in Jerusalem until the last moment, until the Romans began actually destroying the city. No, of course not! History records that they heeded the words of Christ and fled 3 1/2 years before the city was finally attacked. They would have been annihilated with all the other disobedient Jews had they not separated from that apostate SDA structure at that time. They would not have been "written among the living." But looking at another reference where this verse is used, we read: "These are they that stand upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, having the Father's name written in their foreheads. They sing the new song before the throne, that song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. `These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto Cod and the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.' Now is reached the complete fulfillment of those words of the Angel; `Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy follows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at for, behold, I will bring forth My servant the Branch.' Christ is revealed as the Redeemer and Deliverer of His people. Now indeed are the remnant `men wondered at,' as the tears and humiliation of their pilgrimage give place to joy and honor in the presence of God and the Lamb. `!n that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shaft be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem." 5T: 475-6.

No, God does not contradict Himself. These verses apply to the 144,000 who follow the Lamb. They are virgins, not defiled by association with an apostate harlot church, which, though many continue the forms of religion, is totally bereft of God's presence (5T: 210; 8T: 250). They have separated, not from the faith, but from all sin and apostasy, wherever it may be found. When they witness to their Catholic or Baptist or Pentecostal neighbors, they give the true 3 Angel's message, not the false one that says, come out of your apostasy and into my apostasy; leave your whore and join with my harlot!"

"I saw that God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches. But the light will shine, and all who are honest will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant" Early Writings: 261.

CLARENCE SETTLE