Biblical Translation Copyright disclaimers
Explaining how the ‘overwhelming scourge’ phenomenon mentioned in Isaiah 28:16, 28:18 is deeply linked with the ‘…evil I do not want is what I keep on doing…. it is sin living in me that does it…’ of Romans 7:19-20 ESV – in that it is those worldly people who wield spiritual wickedness of Ephesians 6:12, that are sinning and not a believer.
Dear believer, you will now be introduced to your enemy – whom Ephesians 6:12 states are the rulers and authorities of this earth, ‘worldly…’ [people], who wield ‘spiritual wickedness’;
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12 NASB
In context, a believer had the deeds of the flesh put to death by the power of the Spirit (Rom 8:13), and thus the opening of the above verse might read better as;
‘For we wrestle not against [our own] flesh and blood…’
(Ephesians 6:12 KJV Amended)
These worldly people (unbelievers / not born again) spoken of in Ephesians 6:12, are sadly generally blinded (for the most part) of the need to believe in Christ (Messiah), repent to G-d, be baptized, and uphold the Law of Moses – as they typically serve the created god of this world, known as the devil/Satan (ref. Isaiah 14:12 KJV, Revelation 20:10), or moreso now, the ideals he represents;
‘…the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers…’
(2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV)
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
(Revelation 20:10 NIV)
‘…eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’
(Matthew 25:41 NIV).
When Ephesians 6:12 is explained with the other Scriptures, worldly people here wield/control the wicked spiritual ‘force’ as spoken of in the verse.
This same spiritual wickedness is also referenced in Isaiah 28 as the ‘overwhelming scourge’;
‘…‘Whoever believes… when the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be beaten down by it.‘
(Isaiah 28:16, 28:18 ESV)
This ‘overwhelming scourge’ spoken of in Isaiah 28:18 is the same thing that is spoken of in Romans 7, it essentially makes a believer sin (Romans 7:20, 7:23), by forcing their members (body) to do sinful things (Romans 7:19). The body is thus deemed a body of death (Romans 7:24), and seperate to the inner being of a believer (Romans 7:22) – it beats them down (Isaiah 28:18).
It is a spiritual force of wickedness (Eph 6:12), something new in a in a believer’s life.
In Romans 7, we will see that as the Apostle Paul is born again and is no longer a slave to sin (ref. Rom 8:13) – this ‘another law’ (phenomenon) then emerges and makes itself apparent/known in his walk (Rom 7:23);
‘…the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
For I delight in the law of God…
but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?’
(Romans 7:19-24 ESV)
One will find that this spiritual force is used by those mentioned in Ephesians 6:12 today, and that it hits believers, as believers are not of this world (i.e. they do not live in sin or evoke the name of the devil to use this wickedness) (John 17:16).
It is accessed by devil worship, and as there is spiritual communication (weilding) with this spritual force of wickedness, it could also be seen as participating in spiritism – both practices being forbidden by Torah Law.
Isaiah makes it clear that this is spiritual tribulation that continually beats down a believer (Isaiah 28:18).
It is generally not punishment from God (1 Thessalonians 5:9), but it is people of the world tormenting the faithful – as the faithful are spiritually born from above (born again) and thus believers not of the world – who;
‘…understand the message.’
Isaiah 28:19 ESV (i.e. message = ‘gospel’)
This phenomenon can thus be seen as part of the conforming process of a person believing in Messiah (Christ) (Romans 8:29), the forging (Isaiah 48:10), in the form of trials which ultimately promote steadfast faith and character (Romans 5:3-4). On the Sovereign level, it is loving disciple (Proverbs 3:7, Hebrews 12:5-8) for the faithful.
Disclaimer: Not To Twist
This explanation and matter is quite delicate, in that a ‘snake’ might desire to twist it to their advantage.
With regard to the spiritual wickedness (Eph 6:12) which is the unrelenting scourge (Isa 28:18), and how doses of this phenomenon ‘beat down’ (Isaiah 28:18) and ultimately make a believer sin (i.e. a bad deed done in a spiritually induced fit of rage, or depression etc.) – Holy Scripture defines this as the affected believer not sinning, but it is the other side of the equation (those weilding the wickedness in Eph 6:12) who are sinning instead, by inducing and provoking such;
‘…it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.’
(Romans 7:20-21 ESV)
As there are sadly many (non-born again people) who twist and break Scripture, this may be the case in the future, should this deeper doctrinal matter become better understood;
‘…There are some things… that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.’
(2 Peter 3:16-17 ESV);
Some may thus abuse this spiritual truth which is the reality of a born again believer’s walk – confusing it as an excuse and a free licence to sin (heaven forbid).
Such isn’t the heart of a faithful, observant believer though, as they yearn to overcome this tribulation and be;
‘…one who conquers…’
(Revelation 21:7 ESV)
In the same line of thought though, as a believer in Christ (Messiah) is no longer a slave to their own fleshly (sinful) desires (Galatians 5:19-21), a believer has thus now ideally put the sinful deeds of the flesh to death (Rom 8:13).
This means they are no longer willfully sinning (Hebrews 10:26) – however – it does not mean that they are infallible, or do not slip (against their intended will) – heaven forbid;
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:8 ESV.
‘Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own…’
(Philippians 3:12 ESV)
‘…But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’
(1 John 2:1 ESV)
How To Treat Enemies
With regard to how a believer is instructed to approach their enemies – being the people spoken of in Ephesians 6:12, those of this fallen world;
‘…Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;’
(Matthew 5:44 KJV)
‘Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt…’
(Colossians 4:6 KJV).
Hoping it is fruitful.
May the Holy G-d bless you beyond maximum, believing in His risen Son the Lord Jesus Christ (Adonai Yehoshua/Yeshua HaMoshiach). Amen.