Jesus-and-the-Pharisees 2.png

Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem. You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.  (Isaiah 28:14-15 NIV)

On the American political scene, a non-politician, Donald Trump, has succeeded in securing a record number of votes on his way to the Republican presidential nomination despite the harsh opposition of his party leaders. His popularity at the grassroots level stands in stark contrast to the acrimony emanating from the GOP establishment and the media. The “Trump Phenomenon” remains an unsolved mystery to the party’s hierarchy.  Leadership cannot grasp that their unpopularity is the reason for Trump’s rise.

Curiously, this is reminiscent of a Biblical pattern of which we need to be aware. The pattern is this: God always hides his imminent judgment from the religious establishment. Instead of the sophisticated, spiritual elite understanding future events, the Lord uses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31).

In the 8th Century B.C., Isaiah attempted to prophesy to his fellow Judahites, but they ridiculed his instruction (see above). While priests and prophets staggered from their wine and beer, they mocked Isaiah. His teaching was not intellectual enough for the pompous, learned leaders of Israel (cf. 28:7-10). 

Jesus faced similar resistance (cf. Matthew 11:13-19). Jewish rulers witnessed Christ’s popularity and listened to his message, yet they would have none of it. In response to the establishment’s determined opposition, Jesus said, “I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things [emphasis mine] from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (Matt. 11:25-26)

A veil covered the spiritual eyes of those Christ came to save. “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:41-44)

The same was true for Jesus’ apostles. Among the people, the uneducated disciples were held in high regard while simultaneously incurring the Jews’ wrath. The religious leadership fulfilled what Jesus promised in Matthew 23:33ff. There, the Lord directed his prophecy at them beginning with, “You snakes! You brood of vipers!”

So it will be tomorrow. Do not expect mainstream spiritual leaders, well-known Christian writers or TV evangelists to accurately portray future events. It is hidden from them. Judgment always begins with God’s household (1 Peter 4:17)–that is, those who come in God’s name. In fact, look for the prophets of God to stir hatred from Christian leaders.

Where will prophetic truth be found? Not from proud pulpits sorry to say, but in humble places where questions are answered from Scripture, not human-authored treatises created in ivy-covered halls of academia. Look for the direction of revelation to be from the bottom up, not top down. God is revealing his Sovereign end times’ plan to children, while hiding it from the wise and learned.

 

Advertisements