Martyrs and Isolated Churches

The Bible in Your Language: https://www.twr360.org/

Support Christians under persecution: https://www.persecution.com/

– images from pixabay.com

2 Timothy 3:12 ESV / 153 helpful votes

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

Most dangerous places for Christians: North Korea, Afganistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Erithria, Yemen, Iran, India . . .Read:https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/stories/10-dangerous-places-christian-world-watch-list/

Acts 7:59 ESV (the first martyr)

And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

– images from pixabay.com

Yes there are Christians being martyred even today and Isolated Churches can have difficulties

“China Closes Megachurches Before Christmas “

Christian Martyr – A: see cite below *

“Sri Lanka: Attacks on minority faiths keep increasing in the majority-Buddhist island nation.”

“Church leaders and toddlers arrested after singing in public: Communist country proves it is serious about newest religious restrictions.”

These and more stories can be found in “Chistianity Today” https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/topics/a/asia/

*Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. “Christian martyr, in Madagascar in chains – receiving consolation.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-c940-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


SONG: Christian Martyrs Be prepared to CRY! YouTube by Lerryson Christyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDSMDt4oq6k


Christian Martyr Burned at the Stake – B: See Cite Below**

**Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “And last of all, they burned him to ashes at the stake. Thus came Faithful to his end.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/72adcec2-57de-558a-e040-e00a18062a3e

Mark 16:15 ESV

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

List of Some Isolated Churches

Note: please visit the links for photos and a narrative; i do not wish to violate copyright law by re-posting without clearance.

Grytviken Churchhttp://www.sght.org/grytviken-church/

Katskhi Pillar in Georgia https://georgianvoyage.com/katskhi-pillar/

Two Churches, Tristan da Cunha https://www.tristandc.com/churches.php\

Solovetsky Monastery, Russiahttps://orthodoxwiki.org/Solovetsky_Monastery

Svalbard Church, Norwayhttps://www.visitnorway.com/listings/svalbard-church/199335/

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland. https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g797798-d2435680-i77090546-Kap_Hope-Ittoqqortoormiit_Sermersooq_Municipality.html

Chapel of the Snows, McMurdo Station, Antarcticahttp://www.southpolestation.com/trivia/history/chapel.html

Source for some of these churches: https://www.urbanghostsmedia.com/2014/04/10-most-remote-churches-places-christian-worship/

Hidden Christian sites in Nagasaki and Amakusa region:https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2253.html

ALSO SEE “Open Doors” :https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/stories/7-reasons-why-hotbeds-of-persecution-are-growing-in-central-asia/

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Christ has Risen and Lives in Heaven – images from pixabay.com

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The Appeal of Modern Prophecy

Short Video of what Revelation may be like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyFEJ-Cptr4

Yes it may be a frightening time to be alive
Great Torment – images from pixabay.com

However we are curious: it is in our nature. We also have a tendency to gravitate toward drama. We may seek relief from our fears by knowing somethings others do not know. Or, it could just be entertainment for some people. Rest assure however our eternity is hinged on what we believe about GOD and Jesus. No doubt GOD has a plan; people may disagree on the details but what does scripture say? This blog cannot cover it all so I suggest a long term Bible study with good references and bona-fide teaching.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Lovers of Self – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 24:7 ESV

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Nation against Nation – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 24:14 ESV

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The Gospel Reached the Whole World– images from pixabay.com


Hillsong-This Kingdom (with lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUwNY7uEEc8


Kigdom of GOD on Earth – images from pixabay.com

What do I believe? I believe in the per-tribulation rapture: I with other Christians living and dead will be called up to meet Jesus when He returns I believe I will experience the 1000 year reign of GOD before the final judgement.

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Christ has Risen and Lives in Heaven – images from pixabay.com

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Sudden Calamity

No Warning – images from pixabay.com

How fast does change happen?

Unexpected Failure – images from pixabay.com

One minute you are riding happily in your car with your family when suddenly a vehicle from oncoming traffic slams into your car head on. In an instant flames erupt and everyone dies. Nothing humans can do can completely eliminate unexpected danger from destroying us, our family or our homes – the best we can do is to have a plan for a catastrophe and pray.


Lightning Strikes – images from pixabay.com

Unbelievable accident, happened within seconds


Firery Crash – images from pixabay.com

Christians have much more than an Earthly plan: we can look forward to an eternity in heaven with GOD because of the accomplishment of Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:23 ESV

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus paid the penalty for sin we just have to accept that and accept Him. We then become Christians with and eternal future with GOD. That is our major insurance policy for sudden calamity leading to death. Lesser events and challenges can be handled with prayer and use of our brain (intelligence) given by GOD.


Newsboys – Disaster (Lyric Video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai9QSPjeZJQ


Sudden Bombing – images from pixabay.com

Starting soon series on the end times and prophecy.

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Teacher Preacher – images from pixabay.com

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When the Excitement Fades

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The call is exhilarating; the field exotic

Fisherman – images from pixabay.com
Sea of Galilee – images from pixabay.com

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 ESV

Holy Spirit as a Dove – images from pixabay.com

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, …

When we become a Christian we seek advice from GOD concerning our gift(s); are eager to learn from The Bible; eager to witness; eager to serve ; maybe eager to go out as a missionary. We can clamor so much we miss the quiet whispers from GOD and grow restless – we are still human: we may think we were mistaken; newness may fade; routines may eventually become uninspired and dull. What shall we do? Pray, pray, pray. Seek help from the Holy Spirit and counsel from mentors to renew our energies and correct our course.

Seek GOD – images from pixabay.com

I was taught Christians are needed in every walk of life so that GOD’S Love and standards can be seen in many places.

Women at Work – images from pixabay.com
Older Worker – images from pixabay.com

Steven Curtis Chapman – For The Sake Of The Call [Official Music]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDkmbB8LWE8


Pray for a renewed spirit and renewed or new inspiration:


Psalm 51:10 ESV

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Donnie McClurkin: Create In Me A Clean Heart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bacXQPujfKI


Whatever works to help you rekindle your fire; loosing faith is a test more common then many Christians Realize

Daniel Comboni – images from pixabay.com

SEE: 1 Kings 19:4-20 ESV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+19%3A4-20&version=ESV

Even Prophets of old fell victim to doubt and disappointments. Christians I have known have sought counsel, fasted, prayed . . . whatever necessary in order to rekindle their spiritual fire. You will not loose your salvation but you can loose heavenly rewards when doubts discourage and weaken your effectiveness as a Christian.

John 10:28 ESV

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

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Teacher Preacher – images from pixabay.com

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When Each Day Becomes Precious

Lyrics – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 

 


Grand Farm – images from pixabay.com

Luke 12:16-21  (ESV)

New Barn – images from pixabay.com

16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to

Silos and Barn – images from pixabay.com

my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

When You face the Day of Reckoning

Justice – images from pixabay.com

I am old enough to share that most of my family, some of my friends and many peers succumbed to one of life’s ultimate realities: death.  Some suddenly others slowly; some in peace some in pain. This is our fate even as Christians unless, Jesus returns and spares us this transition. So, in the mean time if you experience a serious injury or illness and survive like almost everyone we learn just how precious life is and make some plan to change something about our life.


Near death experience inspires a new song with lyrics 2015  by Matt Norton

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAhgJ6T9_fY


New Born – images from pixabay.com

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …

Last Ride – images from pixabay.com

Maybe you have learned this the easy way . . .

 

Almost – images from pixabay.com

. . . you look to GOD for the way to live, treat others accordingly and prioritize your goals by GOD’s standards. That would be wonderful.  If not consider not waiting for calamity to push you to make that decision.

 

GOD will accept your repentance at the last  breath; just accept Jesus into your heart.

 

You still can be saved – images from pixabay.com

Some people are taken aback when they learn this: whether you accept Jesus as a small child or as an elderly person on your death-bed you are still saved for eternity.  There are heavenly rewards if you have a chance to earn them but salvation is a free gift from GOD because of the work of Jesus Christ.

 

1 John 1:9 ESV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Next Week: Misplaced Fear

ESV: English Standard Version – Crossway

Join a Church, Bible Study . . .  read the whole Bible in order to learn the full meaning of GOD’s Word.

Police States?

Lyrics – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 


The Roman Colosseum – images from pixabay.com

GOD Provides us with Governments to Serve the People not Themselves.

Matthew 20:28 ESV

Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Sinful humans abuse this power for selfish gain and power. The struggle initiates violent conflict, abuse of human rights and persecution. Jesus

Catacombs – images from pixabay.com

advocated peace, love and forgiveness. This philosophy left aggressive violent people with the impression Christians were meek and docile and easy prey: Persecution followed.  What these  perpetrators did not realize, long after they were to be gone Christianity would prevail.

Matthew 22:17-21 ESV

Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Roman Republic – images from pixabay.com


Slavic Christian Community- Famous Song about Persecution by Brandon Heath: Dmitri’s Song

Todd Smith (Video)  – “Dmitri’s Song (Jesus Is Alive)”

https://youtu.be/GD4EYlGXZkc

Recent News Indicated Persecution Still Occurs

Yes even today:

https://factsandtrends.net/2018/01/29/quarter-billion-christians-face-major-persecution-2018/

San-Sebastian – images from pixabay.com

Governments limit, forbid or attempt to annihilate Christians even today. The negative forces have the opposite affect. When Christians face these most dire conditions they go underground and there Faith grows stronger and their numbers increase.


Police States May Oppose and Control Humans of a  Race, Political View, Ideology, a Creed or Religion.


Though the USA is considered a police state by some that is hyperbole – having over a million law enforcement personnel may make it seem so, but our population is over 325 million .

These are the current police states in the world according to Business Insider magazine:

https://www.businessinsider.com/police-force-per-capita-2011-5


Icon – images from pixabay.com

 

THEY MAY HAVE BEGUN BECAUSE OF LAWLESSNESS – Crime, Corruption or violence.Then Absolute Power Corrupted the Good with Evil making matters worse.


2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ESV

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Next Week: The Value of Humans

ESV: English Standard Version – Crossway

Join a Church, Bible Study . . .  read the whole Bible in order to learn the full meaning of GOD’s Word.

Still, You Can Pray

Praise – images from pixabay.com

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Tranquil Waters – images from pixabay.com

Reality: One side wonderful the other dreadful.

When Storms Come – images from pixabay.com

Praying Hands – images from pixabay.com

Easy to count our blessings in good times and times of plenty but, in times of lacking, trials and painful destructive experience what can we do?  We may feel helpless and tired and impotent . . . what can we do? Pray. No matter what, we have, a GOD of Love to pray to, in The Name of Jesus Christ.  GOD hears and GOD answers according to GOD’s will. There is always an answer from GOD: No; Yes; Not Now. Remember GOD is not human and we are not gods.

Prayer Calms Us – images from pixabay.com

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

If an answer to our prayer is yes there is little room for doubt but if it is no:

SONG: Andrea Bocelli – The Lord’s Prayer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEplqV0scyo

Song: Unanswered Prayers – Garth Brooks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze4gFWuYh50

Psalm 66:18 ESV

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

When GOD says maybe (not now later) how do we respond?

Proverbs 3:5 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Like the soldier’s motto, “Ours is not to reason why; ours is just to do or die”. Leave it to GOD.

Jesus Pays for Sin – images from pixabay.com

Mark 14:36 ESV

And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Jesus paid the price for sin including ours and believing in Him achieves an eternity in Heaven. Yet until in the fullness of time the things of Revelation come to pass and Jesus returns, the world we live in remains flawed. Still, you can pray.

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do; demonstrate the Love of GOD teach others about Jesus and Salvation.

Next Week: Can You Escape from Reality?

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Who is Your Shepherd?

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String instrument – images from pixabay.com

Shepherd – images from pixabay.com

 

Secular Leaders – images from pixabay.com

 


Matthew 6:24 ESV

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Whom do you follow?

Seek God – images from pixabay.com

Will he or she lead you to good, evil, life or death? Do they appeal to this temporal life: pleasure, riches and luxury. Or, do they lead you to eternal life with GOD? There is much wisdom accumulated from the most ancient of times but not all pertains to your eternal welfare.  Maybe it is just good for a time ; the time of our lifetime.

SONG: Chris Tomlin – I Will Follow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ohvhmGSfxI

 

1 Corinthians 10:21 ESV

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

Pray for Guidance – images from pixabay.com

What seems good to a child will not seem good when you are an adult . . . we all live an learn.

1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

Sands of Time – images from pixabay.com

Why not avoid some of life’s painful lessons by giving your parents,  teachers, elders and religious mentors a listening to.  Why not closely pay attention to the wisdom of the Bible – GOD’s Word. Stories, parables, allegorical example and literal truth from thousands of years of experience but, more important, from GOD.

 

My first extensive reading of the Bible was Proverbs and followed by Ecclesiastes.

Bible Wisdom – images from pixabay.com

Proverbs 12:15 ESV

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 19:20 ESV

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

No, at first I did not understand it well nor did I get the messages however, when calamity overwhelmed me and GOD got my attention I accepted Jesus.  From that moment The Holy Spirit helped me to understand and change.  Christians seemed to appear from nowhere and they helped me is so many ways.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 ESV

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …

Facing the End – images from pixabay.com

New Life – images from pixabay.com

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do so, by demonstrating love and good to a troubled world.

Next Week: The Love of GOD vs. Human Love

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Have You Reached Your Last Straw?


Music” is a Link to Christian Music – images from pixabay.com

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Destruction – images from pixabay.com

Universal Suffering

Nothing Left – images from pixabay.com

Homeless, Jobless, Severe Injury or Illness, Addiction, Loss of a Loved One or Loved Ones?

Slave to Booze – images from pixabay.com

Even RX Drugs – images from pixabay.com

All of us have faced challenges or will in our lifetime, how will you cope with them?

Drug Addiction – images from pixabay.com

Christians are not immune to calamity, injury, loss, illness and death, why? How do Christians claim to be at peace in the most trying circumstances? How is it that some Christians are able to even face death without loosing their faith? (all Christians are saved even if they falter in their last hours.)

 

Jesus – images from pixabay.com

First: They (Christians) have eternity guaranteed by Jesus.

John 5:24 ESV

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

 

Wisdom

Second: God uses worldly challenges in order to demonstrate grace and faith to the unsaved; the power of Christians when tempted to yield has a limit.

2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me

 

Prostitution- image from pixabay.com

Last: All people are tempted to sin in the same way – this includes Christians denying Christ under threat – this is why everyone needs GOD and can see GOD in eternity when trusting in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

GOD is Good – images from pixabay.com

Having Christ sets you on a path to recovery now and for eternity. Life will not be perfect but it will be better.

Romans 8:28 ESV

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

We are Free – images from pixabay.com

 

 

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TO KNOW ABOUT GOD AND GOD’S WAYS THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Difficult Questions

(^^^ Click on Title to go to actual Article ^^^)

Should I use Violence to Defend

Use Martial-arts? – images from pixabay.com

One of the most difficult dilemmas you may be faced with is whether to use violence for defense.

Carry A Gun? – images from pixabay.com

Some of you may mumble, “that’s a no brainer; of course I would”. There may be a small minority who would choose death before causing harm to anyone for any reason.  Scanning my morning digests of articles in academic journals I spotted one that read: Modern civilization doesn’t diminish violence

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171027104843.htm

Another article read: Does population size affect rates of violence? The bottom line read:  . . . Ultimately, Falk and Hildebolt found that people living in small-scale societies are not inherently more violent that those living in “civilized” states, and that war deaths scale similarly with population sizes across all levels of human society.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171026164552.htm

Use Weapons? – images from pixabay.com

As a Christian these suggested findings point to the nature of humans truthfully described in the Bible.

Matthew 15:19 ESV

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

Protect a Loved One? – images from pixabay.com

Ignoring GOD’s explanation does not change things; scientific studies can attribute this part of our nature as evolving from our more precarious primitive state. There was, and there may still be, people who believe that given the right opportunity humans will allow their peaceful traits to prevail: where is the evidence for that? In affluent societies where there is ample supplies and opportunities to be successful even the privileged can fail to manifest the “good” we humans supposedly have at our core: The recent perpetrator who was wealthy, seemingly lacking for nothing committed the Las Vegas mass murder. See: Brother says Las Vegas gunman was a wealthy real-estate investor

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/10/03/gunman-who-killed-50-at-las-vegas-concert-was-retired/

The NIV Bible expresses our nature in a more stark way:

Isaiah 64:6-7 New International Version (NIV)

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on your name
    or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
    and have given us over to[a] our sins.

Isaiah is describing human attitude toward GOD.

 

 

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