Filthy Rags

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Psa 132:16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh. (Rom. 13:14)



“Why will you hold onto filthy rags, when the Lord offers a pure robe of his righteousness?”
(The Holy Ghost whispered this to my heart on the way to Sunday School this morning, and it broke me up, and reduced me to tears, )

Oh, God, help me, I didn't mean to, I didn't really understand..... Help me understand.

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (KJV)

Nov. 6, 2005                                           Filthy Rags

Unclean here means according to Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: foul, defiled, polluted.


1. Dirty; foul; unclean; nasty.

2. Polluted; defiled by sinful practices; morally impure.

He that is filthy, let him be filthy still. Rev 22.

3. Obtained by base and dishonest means; as filthy lucre. Titus 1.

Filthy rags: menstruous cloth, soiling, filthy, A menstruous cloth does not stay clean for long, but is regularly soiled.

Check out a few of these various translations:


Isa 64:6 We're all sin-infected, sin-contaminated. Our best efforts are grease-stained rags. We dry up like autumn leaves-- sin-dried, we're blown off by the wind.


Isa 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like a menstruation cloth. And we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Holman Christian Standard BBL:
Isa 64:6
All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.

God's Word:

Isa 64:6 We've all become unclean, and all our righteous acts are like permanently stained rags. All of us shrivel like leaves, and our sins carry us away like the wind.


Isa 64:6 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.

Now, consider this: If in our own striving to please God or live the Christian life, "as best as we know how or can" ----

Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

I read something a friend sent me once and it was about the Salvation of God. I read what this man said "IF we are still striving in our flesh then everything we do is sin." And I thought, we can never on our best day at the best of times with the best of intentions, and efforts measure up to the requirements of God. If we could, Jesus would not have had to suffer and die on the cross. And seeing as how he did have to endure that shame, despising it as he did, it is an affront to a Holy God, an insult to the Almighty, who sent his Son to endure shame, torture, degradation, humiliation, on the behalf of fallen mankind, so we might be saved who believe, if we do not accept the righteousness of the Perfect and Sinless Son of God offered up on our behalf, and instead go about in our own strength, trying to live for God our way, by our thoughts and efforts instead of seeking him for the direction and power and wisdom to know how to walk in his way. Power to do so, by the Holy Ghost. How many times did David say Lord, teach me thy way? in the Psalms? And in Ps. 32:8, he said he would do so. He said "I will teach thee and instruct thee in the way thou shalt go, and mine eye shall guide thee." It rejoices this typist's soul that he said "the way that thou SHALT go, not maybe, or might, or should. But Shall go!! (That's the right way!)  

Isa 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

Isa 30:2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!

Isa 30:3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.

Rebellious means: to turn away, morally. Backslide, revolt, slide back, be stubborn, withdraw. Cover means in the Strong's Hebrew: To pour out, to melt, offer, set up. Anoint a king. In other words, people who seek people's advice and instruction, rather than the Lord's. Covering is defined as a fusion of metal, especially a cast image, molten image, vail, coverlet, as if poured out. A league. So in other words, these people backslid, and sought instruction from other leaders or people, or other sources of information, rather than God. As a result, they got an image fused into their thinking, their mind, poured into their thoughts from the source of their counsel. This is sin to God. When his people turn from him to someone else for instruction or advice, he considers it sin. If he says it is, it is. Rebellion is a sin, and so is a false covering. Basically, these are folks who are trusting in their own ideas, their own flesh, or someone else's, rather than the Spirit of God. Pharaoh means "that disperses or spoils." Egypt means "that troubles or oppresses; anguish."

Zec 3:1 And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

From Strong's Hebrew Definitions:

Priest: One officiating, chief ruler, principal officer, prince.

Standing: abide behind, appoint, confirm, continue, dwell, endure, establish, ordain, remain, stand fast, firm, still, tarry.

to resist him: to attack, or accuse, adversary.

Rebuke (Zech 3:2) to chide, corrupt, rebuke, reprove.

(Webster's 1828): To check or restrain. To chasten; to punish; to afflict for correction. The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan. Zec 3. Isa 17.

to silence. To restrain; to calm.

He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea. Mat 8.

The word "plucked" in Zec. 3:2 means to snatch away, in a good or bad sense, defend, deliver, escape, preserve, rescue or recover, save, spoil, strip surely, take out.

Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and Satan was standing there as his adversary, to accuse, and attack him. Generally, when you go on the attack, you are seeking to kill or maim something or someone, to render it dead or useless. BUT in this case, the Lord out of sheer mercy and grace, not even asked for, the Lord himself defends his servant. Nowhere does it say Joshua or one of his friends was praying for him, to the Lord. It just said Joshua was in a dangerous position, with filthy garments in the Lord's presence. The Lord restrained Satan, he intervened of his own will, and directed the Angel to make sure Joshua was given clean garments. Joshua was in the wrong, for whatever reason, he was unclean. But God, out of love and mercy, defended him, delivered him from the accusations and attacks of the enemy.

Then the Lord says something totally remarkable: He says:

Take away the filthy garments, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee and I will clothe thee with a a change of raiment. Here iniquity is defined as "perversity, moral evil, fault, mischief, sin."

He says I will clothe thee, defined here, that means, "wrap around, put on a garment, come upon, wear, a mantle, change of clothes or apparel."

Scripture only specifies that Satan, Joshua and the Angel of the Lord stood before him, along with some unnamed others, who, it doesn't say. Fellows. But God said he caused his iniquity to pass from him. And he covered him with a change of raiment. The only adequate change would have been to cover him in the righteousness of Christ, imputed to the believer, by faith, because our own is filthy rags in the sight of God. That is our covering, the blood and righteousness of Christ.

In verse 5, "a fair mitre" means pure, clean, head dress, diadem, hood. (Covering for the head) and this takes you in an entirely different direction: for the word "head" as used here, means " beginning, captain, chief, excellent, first, forefront, high priest, principal ruler. Top."

Again, V. 6, the word protested as used here, according to Strong's Hebrew definitions: To repeat, testify, restore, admonish, charge earnestly, lift up, protest, call to record, relieve, give warning or witness.

In V. 7, Joshua's warned if he will walk in God's ways, keep (hedge about, guard, protect, attend, take heed to himself, beware, observe, preserve, save, wait and watch) (by implication the sheep of God's pasture), those around and under him, and keep his charge, (watch, custody, sentry, post, observance, duty, keep, to be kept, office, ordinance, safeguard, ward, watch.). Then, he would judge the Lord's House, and he would have places to walk among those that stood by. (Including the Angel of the Lord and Satan), and those who endured unto the end, standing fast in the truth.

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