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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012



Isaiah Thirty-nine

Sermon of the Week – November 1, 2009

Isaiah the prophet was sent to King Hezekiah with a message. It was an electrifying message. He said to the king, “THUS SAITH THE LORD”. Whenever the Lord has something to say it ought to be enough to grab our attention. God speaks to us today, not by prophets and dreams, but now in these last days through His Son and through the Bible.

God’s message to Hezekiah was, “SET THINE HOUSE IN ORDER FOR THOU SHALT DIE AND NOT LIVE.” Isaiah did not have anything else to say. He delivered his message and left. The message was plain enough that it did not need to be explained. God Himself had made the diagnoses that the disease was terminal. Hezekiah did not say to Isaiah, “Are you sure that is a good translation? Isn’t God too good to say a thing like that?” Nor did he say to Isaiah, “You are a narrow-minded bigot.” He took the statement of God at face value. He accepted it as the truth.

Just as soon as Isaiah was gone, King Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed. He aimed his prayer at the wall. He prayed, and he prayed a hole in the wall. He reminded the Lord what a good servant he had been, how much he had done (which was considerable), and complained that he was being deprived of his old age. His prayer went right through the granite, the cement, the mortar, the insulation, and the bricks. That prayer made a perpendicular right-hand turn and went straight up to God; and before Isaiah, the prophet, could get off the premises, the Lord said, “Isaiah, go back and tell Hezekiah that I have changed My mind. I will let him live for fifteen more years. Tell him to put a lump of figs on that boil and he will be healed.”

Hezekiah recovered from a terminal disease by the power of prayer. This is one of many cases when we learn that we, as Christians, are justified in asking for deliverance in times of sickness, including terminal diseases. The power of prayer should never be minimized. We have a prayer chain in this ministry with over 3,000 names where they can all be alerted to the prayer needs of the servants of God. We truly believe that God Is Just A Prayer Away.

Jesus said in Mark 11:24, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye shall receive them, and ye shall have them.” Every prayer we pray should be prayed in faith that God hears and God will answer according to His will.

There is a bridge whereof the span is rooted in the heart of man.

It reaches without pile or rod unto the Great White Throne of God.

It’s traffic is in human sighs, fervently lifted to the skies.

It is the one pathway from despair, and it is called the bridge of prayer.

Now regarding that lump of figs in Second Kings 20:7 we are told, that Isaiah said, “Take a lump of figs and lay it on the boil,” and he recovered.  But that raises another question. Was Hezekiah healed before he laid the lump of figs on the boil, or did he lay the lump on the boil because he was already healed? This question has confounded the scholars for centuries, but actually almost any high school dropout ought to be able to figure it out.

Hear it again, “Set thine house in order for thou shalt die and not live.” A thousand voices proclaim that message to us every day. Graveyards, hospitals, funeral homes, diseases, pain, birthdays, calendars, these and many others remind us every day of our mortality. Set thine house in order for thou shalt die and not live.

If it could come to Hezekiah it could come to all of us. Remember the message that was sent to Jesus about Lazarus? “Lord, he whom thou lovest is sick.” Closeness to the Lord does not rule out the message, “Set thine house in order for thou shalt die and not live.”

In the prayer of Hezekiah he told the Lord that his old age was being cut off. He said that he was being deprived of his years. He said, “My old age is departed.” He knew that he would never know the joy of wearing bifocals or hearing aids. He would not live long enough to receive his Social Security checks all that money, down the drain for nothing. My old age is departed. All because of the decree of the Lord, “Set thine house in order for thou shalt die and not live.”

Hezekiah wanted some assurance that he would in truth be healed. He asked Isaiah, the prophet, “What sign will there be that I am healed?” Isaiah said, “Take your pick; shall the shadow on the sundial go forward or backward ten degrees?” Hezekiah said it would be a greater miracle for the shadow to go back ten degrees rather than forward. “Let’s set it back.” So Isaiah the prophet cried unto the Lord, and it was done. The shadow on the sundial of Ahaz went back ten degrees.

For the sundial to go back ten degrees would be five hours. If it was twelve midday and it went back to seven in the morning, then by the time it caught up again, that would mean that the day was ten hours longer.

I checked the time on a sundial one time. My watch said it was one o’clock. The sundial said it was twelve o’clock. I knew my watch could not be that far off and I wondered how the sundial could be that far off. It came to me in a flash—my watch was set for daylight saving time and evidently God had forgotten to run His celestial clock forward.

No matter how we fiddle with time, there is no way we can extend our time any more than it really is. God did in fact run the clock back for Hezekiah, but He is not in the habit of doing it for everybody; however, it is an interesting thought. I wish Almighty God would run my clock back about fifty years, there are a lot of things that I would do differently. Backward turn backward, time in thy flight, make me a child again just for tonight.

The saddest thing about this whole story is that we are told in Second Chronicles 32:25 that Hezekiah rendered not again according to his benefits. You might think that after so great a deliverance that he would be an even greater King than ever before. The sad part of the matter is HE RENDERED NOT ACCORDING TO THE BENEFITS THAT HE RECEIVED. This is the commentary of many a life today. Many in the Church have not rendered according to the benefits they received. Examine your attendance. Examine your witness to other people. Many live as though nothing ever happened. They render not according to the benefits they have received.

Remember, Isaiah said to King Hezekiah, “THUS SAITH THE LORD, SET THINE HOUSE IN ORDER FOR THOU SHALT DIE AND NOT LIVE.” The same prediction is for us, “Set thine house in order.” There are several houses that we need to set in order.


Set thy material house in order; the house you live in and all the worldly possessions thereof. A man came to Jesus one time and said, “Bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus said, “Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?” Then He told the story of the man with the full barns.

You remember very well the many times he used the personal pronouns, “What shall I do because I have no room to bestow all MY grain and MY fruits? And he said this will I do, I will pull down MY barns and build greater and there will I bestow all MY grain and MY goods. And I will say to MY soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine, eat, drink and be merry.” The Lord said, “Thou fool, this night is thy soul required of thee and the things which thou hast prepared, whose shall they be?”

Set thine house in order for thou shalt die and not live. Paul tells us, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” Money is not evil; it is the love of money. Money is evil when it becomes a god, and therein lays the problem. Covetousness is the one sin that nobody confesses. People will confess to God that they are guilty of immorality, abortion, murder, and a host of many other sins, but how many of us ever ask God to forgive us for being a stingy skinflint, and a tightwad? The reason, of course, is because people think they are telling the truth when they say, “I am giving all I can.” When the offering plate is passed, try to imagine that the one who passes the plate is the One with the nail-scared hands. If we can visualize that, I truly think we will stop saying, “I am giving all I can.” Remember the words of the Lord Himself how He said, “Seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Many write their will and usually preface it with the statement, “Being of sound mind...” With a sound mind they proceed to leave God out of the will. They cut Him off without a cent. On that day when they stand before God, no doubt they will say, “Lord, I must have been crazy to leave You out of my will.” The Lord will say, “No, you were not crazy; it says right here in your will that you said yourself that you wrote this will with a sound mind, and you cut Me off without a cent.”

Paul told Timothy to charge them that are rich not to be high-minded and have their hopes set on the uncertainty of riches, but on God who giveth us all things to enjoy, that they do good that they may be rich in good works, that they may be ready to distribute, laying up for themselves a good foundation against the time to come. Set thine house in order for thou shalt die and not live.


Set thine house in order for thou shalt die and not live. Another house that needs to be set in order is the House of God. Paul told Titus, “For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting.” Titus was to set the Church in order. One of the things that Paul mentioned was to ordain elders.

I saw one church paper that mentioned the names of three of its preachers and said these are the men that God had sent to run the Church. In one congregation I heard the preacher announce that if anyone has any problems this week please see one of the members of the staff. Paul was mistaken. He should have told Titus, “For this cause I left thee in Crete that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting and ordain a staff.” Of course, David did say, “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

There are a lot of areas that need to be set in order today. I believe one thing in particular is to set the message that is preached in order. One elder told me of a preacher they interviewed for the position of their preacher, and when they asked him how he preached doctrine, he asked them how did they want it preached?

That is a good description of the false prophet. You can tell a false prophet, as the one who’s teaching is always without controversy in doctrinal matters. He always makes you feel good about yourself. Self-esteem must be stressed. Repentance is rarely mentioned. You must always feel good about what he says or what he does not say.

A new twist has also been given to the verse in Acts chapter twenty, verse seven, “And upon the first day of the week when we gathered together to eat donuts, drink coffee, hot chocolate, play games, and have fun until midnight.” This is a sure-fire way to build a crowd, whether it builds a Church or not is yet to be seen.

Paul would have a hard time of it today. When he preached to Felix, he reasoned of righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, and Felix was terrified. When Peter preached, the people were pricked in their hearts, and cried out, “What must we do?” Today no one is terrified and no one cries out in anguish over his or her sins. When Stephen preached, they stopped their ears and rush upon him with one accord. Today such a message would cause them to stop their ears and rush out with one accord never to come back again.

Isaiah would be very unpopular today considering that he said, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice as a trumpet and tell My people of their transgressions and the house of Jacob of their transgressions.” Today when the trumpet sounds, we cannot tell whether the trumpet is playing taps or reveille; taps, because they are going to sleep, or reveille, because we’re trying to wake them up.

As time goes by there are some things that need to be changed to keep up with the times, but there are some things that never change. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today, yea and forever. His doctrines do not change with the whim and fancy for the sake of personal glory in building a bigger crowd. Remember the warning of Isaiah, “Set thine house in order for thou shalt die and not live.”


Set thine house in order for thou shalt die and not live. How about the house that Paul talked about in Second Corinthians chapter five, “We know if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved...” This body of ours is a house, and one of these days the landlord is going to give us an eviction notice. On that day we will have to move out. In the previous chapter, Paul had said that the outward man (the body) decayeth day by day but the inward man is renewed day by day. As far as the outward man is concerned, it rots a little day by day. I have gotten to the place in life where I am one of the rottenness people I know.

Someone saw my picture, as I looked forty years ago, and said it doesn’t look like the same person. It doesn’t because I have rotted. It is said that there are three stages in life: Youth, middle age, and you are looking good. How rotten are you? Perhaps you don’t know. I would suppose that your doctor would be able to give you a better assessment than anyone else. One thing for sure, the earthly house of our tabernacle will be dissolved. A song of yesteryear says, “This old house is going to crumble; this old house is going to fall.”

One of these days the message will come through loud and clear, “SET THINE HOUSE IN ORDER FOR THOU SHALT DIE AND NOT LIVE”. You are a walking, living, pile of dirt and the only thing that gives that pile of dirt cohesion is your soul, and/or spirit. When you move out that dirt pile will go back to dust until the day of the resurrection. The super critic of the Word of God may wonder how God will be able to identify all that dust from billions of people. Very simple! God can look at dust and identify you by looking at your DNA, a sure-fire method of identification. Remember the promise in Hebrews chapter nine, “It is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment.” Ladies and Gentlemen, the Judgment Day is coming—SET THINE HOUSE IN ORDER FOR THOU SHALT DIE AND NOT LIVE.