This is Chapter Seven of a New Study I developed at Faith Baptist Church on Wednesday Nights. I’d love to hear what you think.
Session Seven: In the Major Prophets
Well … through the beginnings, through the Law, through the History books, Through the Poetry and Wisdom … Jesus. Jesus has always been there. He is the Image of the invisible God. He is God with us, God to us, God for us.
So we turn to the Major Prophets. They are not major because they are better, but because they are bigger.
Isaiah, the son of Amoz wrote the book of Isaiah to Judah and Jerusalem, during the reign of the kings, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Those bookend of Kings would have both been heroes for Israel and for Isaiah.
His prophesy begins by saying “Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the Lord has spoken ‘I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows his master, the donkey his owners manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.’ Ah sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord: They have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.”
So … the people had been unfaithful … they had forsaken God … Jesus told the Pharisees once that they search the scripture thinking that by their knowledge they would have life, but they refuse to come to HIM … the One the scriptures testify about … to HAVE Life.
So, when Isaiah was called by God, Uzziah was King. Uzziah was a king for 52 years. Mostly he was a good King. He was faithful to God. But one day he got out of order, tried to do the work of a priest. He was corrected but did it anyway. He went into the temple and tried to offer incense. Remember to obey is better than sacrifice. So he was struck with leprosy. Most commentators say that Isaiah was related as a nephew or cousin to Uzziah. He was the country’s hero, but he was a special hero to Isaiah. He died in the separation and shame and shame of leprosy. And in that year when he died, no longer having glory, no longer having rule, no longer having majesty, Isaiah saw The Lord
Who did Isaiah see? The Lord – Adonai – Remember we have said that 1 Timothy 6:16 says no one has or can see God. So who did he see?
John says about Isaiah, John 12:41 “… he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.”
Isaiah saw JESUS …
How did he See the Lord?
On a Throne …
Psalm 146:3–4 (NIV84) Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Psalm 146:10 (NIV84) The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord.
Uzziah no longer sat on a throne, he was already buried in the place where every King goes … the ground. But there was Jesus … ON the THRONE …
High and Lifted Up – this was not the essence of God – that is Father, but the dominion of God, his authority given to the son. John’s connection of Jesus to this vision is clearly the proclamation of his divinity, his eternity, and his superiority.
Train filled the temple – interestingly, Isaiah doesn’t have a description of Jesus’ appearance because this was a vision to show his Immensity, his Expanse, his Glory, which is beyond description. All he really saw was the hem of his garment … oh but the power of that hem. Do you remember the woman with the “issue of blood” in her stomach? She had sought doctors for years, she had spent all she had, but she saw Jesus was coming through town. She pushed her way through the crowd, and threw herself at his feet touching the HEM of his garment. She was like the Canaanite woman that asked Jesus for crumbs from the table. Isaiah saw Jesus, filling the universe and his robe hem came down and filled the temple. Similarly, there is a very mysterious encounter between Aaron and the Elders of Israel on Mt. Sinai. Before Moses received the law from God’s hand they had been consecrated and God gave them a little taste …
Exodus 24:9–10 (NIV84) Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.
They “saw the God of Israel” … but the only thing they “saw” was the pavement under his feet. It was sapphire … clear as the sky … What was it fully? Don’t know but it sounds like God’s Glory was shining out everything else, and all then could see was what was under his feet. Oh it was beautiful … but it was all they could see …
What was Around Him?
PRAISE – Don’t get a small picture here. Everything about this vision is HUGE. So don’t just see two seraphs. It just says “… seraphs, each with six wings: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another …” If your mind is too focused you might only see a pair of angels. But I see innumerable pairs of angels calling to each other … surrounding our Jesus with Words of Praise … calling to one another … Oh I believe when we get to heaven we will be in awe and there will be a lot of this going on … “Do you see him, Do you see Him? He is amazing, he is wonderful, he is majestic, he is like no other, like no other, mighty, mighty, mighty, the whole earth is just FULL of his GLORY.”
And so these Angels cried …
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is full of his glory”
And the doorposts shook at their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke …
Smoke comes from the prayers of the Altar of Incense …
Smoke comes from the fires of the Altar of Sacrifice …
Jesus is the Answer to our prayers
Jesus is the Answer to our sin
He is the Deliverance we seek
He is the Forgiveness Provider for our Sin
Oh Holy, Holy, Holy, like no other, is our God. Who else so wronged by rejection, stubbornness, so just, so righteous, and so able to judge; would himself become our Way-maker? Who would himself become the vehicle for grace?
What did he do?
He saw himself as he was.
Oh when Peter realized it was Jesus he said “Lord I am sinful”. Another time he realized it was Jesus on the shore and he covered himself up. Why? Because Jesus in front of us shows us how we are. Just like Uzziah was leprous, when he thought he was an untouchable King, so Isaiah saw himself as he was … “WOE to ME!” – owy – woe, alas … oh he said “I am a dead man” … I am ruined (NIV) I am undone (KJV) I am lost (ESV) = damah = destroyed
Remember when Samson’s Father realized he had seen God and he said “we are going to die”?
I am a sinner not just in the general, universal situation, I am a sinner in a specific fashion. When we see God, see Jesus, there is no more pretending, beating around the bush, we come clean. “I am unclean … in my lips” … specifics don’t matter, but he knew and God knew.
Why did he know he was unclean? Because he saw the Lord of Hosts – Jehovah Tsaba – the Commander of the Hosts of Heaven … Oh that’s who Joshua saw overlooking Jericho
What did God do?
He did NOT leave him that way
“A seraph flew to me with a live coal … from the altar … touched my mouth … SEE … your guilt is taken away and you sin atoned for”
Oh hallelujah … God didn’t look the other way. He didn’t just clean him up but leave him with the guilt. He didn’t reform him, he pardoned him. But Pardon is not without a price. Your sin is atoned for – kaphar = purged, atoned for, annulled, blotted out, forgiven – those are the words used in the English by different translations to translate this beautiful action of God. Oh my sin is so great that one word cannot even describe all that God has done to take it away. I have been purged, removed of the root, I have been atoned for, paid in full, annulled and blotted out, like it was never there, that’s justification. I am forgiven, as he has borne the weight of my sin.
What God Said
Whom shall I send, who will go for US – who is the US? Father, Son, and Spirit. This is not simply the hosts of Heaven. Because the hosts of Heaven serve God, they are not part of God’s dominion. God always has a mission. He always has a plan. As he reconciles us to himself, he then gives us the ministry of reconciliation. You have been saved to tell, saved to share, saved to minister him to others. 1 Corinthians 1 says that we comfort others with the comfort we have received. 2 Corinthians 5 says we have that same ministry of reconciliation that came to us. You were always called to call. We will never fail to hear the voice of God to go, if we hear the voice of God to come.
How Isaiah Responded
HERE I AM – Literally BEHOLD or SEE ME … he was there with hand raised, voice lifted, “Lord pick me, pick me, I’ll go, send me!”
Have you seen him? Have you worshiped him? Have you been Cleansed? Have you gone for him? If answer to question #4 is NO … then you better go back to #1-3 because you missed something.
Prophesies in Isaiah
Isaiah 7:10 “Ask the Lord for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights”
Now this is God speaking to an ungodly king. And offering to him an opportunity to prove himself. Listen, when God says “Tell me what you want and I will do it” … you should take him up on the offer. It is rude not to, but more than that you miss a chance to see God’s Glory right in front of you. And Ahaz says I will not put the Lord to the test … that sounds spiritual, and that’s a scripture answer, but if God offers a test take it. But he didn’t want a test because he didn’t want to be accountable to the proof. If the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, we have to taste to have the proof. Once we taste then we have to be willing to consume it if it proves good. Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. But we often say
“NO, I don’t want to taste, I don’t want to be accountable to the taste.”
7:14 – the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel
The Promised One, The Christ, had been promised since Genesis 3:15 … and Isaiah affirms that he WILL come … but just to make sure you understand and do not confuse him with any other … he will be born of a virgin. He will be born Supernaturally.
He will be called Immanuel – His name would not be Immanuel, but his call, his duty, his purpose will be to be God with Us …
Matthew 1:21–25 (NIV84) She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
But Israel was experiencing gloom and defeat because of people that followed the way of Ahaz … what was God’s word for them?
We like to go straight for verse 6 and then only at Christmas – FOR … to us
FOR … ki = because, as, surely, verily, indeed – For what?
Isaiah 9:1–7 (NIV84) Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan— 2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. 4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. 5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
To Us … To those who will see him and know him … The Angel in Luke 2 said this was good news of great joy for ALL people
A child is born … he is LIKE us … a child, and born of us, in our condition
A son is given … a son has the authority of his Father, a son has the blessing of his Father, a son has the inheritance of his Father … and his Authority, Blessing, and Inheritance is GIVEN to us …
Government upon his shoulders – Oh rule is his because he is the only one good enough, mighty enough, loving enough, to bear the weight of rule.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor – Wonderful – pele’ = Oh do you remember that God told Samson’s parents that his name was too wonderful to say? That is this same word. Counselor – yoes – counselor, advisor … where are you looking for the plan? He has it
Mighty God – Gibbor – Manly, vigorous, hero, CHAMPION – Oh stick with a winner
Everlasting Father – Abi = chief, father, ancestor, progenitor – oh he is the beginner of all things … In the Beginning God … He started, the First, and he will finish, the Last …
Prince of Peace – shalom = peace, prosperity, success, welfare, state of health, friendliness, deliverance, salvation – Yes Please … I need it all, I need health, I need peace from my war with God, I need a friend of God, I need deliverance from this judgment of death … Save me Prince … Save me
Of the Increase … there will be no end … His Rule, His Peace is without end. Listen, God made us to live for eternity. Eternity is the destiny of ALL … the question is what address will we take up? If we let him rule us … he will rule us in peace and we will know that peace for eternity. If we choose to be at war with him, reject him, his government will still never end, but we will place ourselves outside the borders of Peace.
On the throne of David to establish and uphold it
Psalm 89:4 (NIV84) ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’ ” Selah
With Justice and Righteousness … again … there are two sides to his glory, compassion and judgment … which side we are on depends on our obedience to the call … Exodus 34:6-7
Oh but how can we pull this off? You don’t have to …
The Zeal of the Lord of Hosts will DO THIS …
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesus … Olive trees grow in a funny way. They go down into the ground and come up and come up and come up. So they have these funny looking trunks when they grow a long time. But also if you cut a tree down, if the roots still have nutrients, the shoot will go underground and come up another place, another time.
So … remember Rahab, she believed the word of God. She feared the Lord, she obeyed the instruction of God, and God saved her through a scarlet cord out of her window in Jericho. And she became part of God’s people. And she married Salmon and they had a son named Boaz. Boaz, took in another woman from outside Israel who was committed “your people my people, your God my God” … and They had a son, Obed. And he had a son Jesse, and he had a son David. David had a son Solomon, but Solomon’s son Rehoboam splintered the Kingdom. Eventually Judah lost their Rule over their own land, but God keeps his promise. It would seem that the tree of Jesse, was cut down … but God was still at work …
From his roots a Branch will bear fruit
What is the picture of Jesus? One indwelt by the Spirit of God … v2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him …
Here is a picture of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit really? Yes the Holy Spirit living in and dwelling, working, empowering Jesus
When Jesus was baptized, God gave a visual of it. The Holy Spirit descended like a dove and landed on him.
So, this is the Holy Spirit? Certainly
Revelation 1:4–5 (NIV84)
4 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
John sees this vision and writes to the 7 churches of Asia … and who is this Message from? God.
V4 God the Father – Him who is, and who was, and who is to come
V5 God the Son – from Jesus Christ … faithful witness, firstborn from the dead, ruler … who loves and has freed us from our sins by his blood
So … where’s the Holy Spirit
V4 God the Holy Spirit is – from the seven spirits before the throne
Revelation 4 … God the Father is seen on the Throne … God the Son will appear taking the scroll, a Lamb who was slain … but there also is the Holy Spirit
Revelation 4:5 (NIV84) From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.
So back to Isaiah 11:2
Isaiah 11:2 (NIV84) The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—
Did you count them? The Spirit of …
1… of the Lord
Jesus will delight in the fear of the Lord
John 17:4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do
V3 `He will not judge by what he sees … or decide by what he hears …
V4 but with righteousness he will judge
V5 righteousness his belt … faithfulness the sash … sounds sort of like the Armor of God we are to take up … Ephesians 6
V10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious
V12 he will raise a banner for this nations and gather exiles …
Isaiah 12:1–2 (NIV84)
1 In that day you will say: “I will praise you, O Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. 2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”
Ok … we need to move on …
Isaiah 53 – Suffering Savior
Psalm 98:1 (NIV84) Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
Isaiah 59:16 (NIV84) He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.
Isaiah 63:5 (NIV84) I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.
So this arm is seen not as a Mighty Arm, but as an outstretched arm on a cross
Isaiah 52:10 (NIV84) The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.
Isaiah 52:13 begins the discourse
Isaiah 52:13–15 (NIV84) See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him— his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness— 15 so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.
Jesus was lifted up … it was appalling … after beating, spat upon, beard plucked, crown of thorns, blood stained face … grotesquely forced onto a cross … and like the blood of the sacrifice sprinkled on the altar and on the mercy seat … so he will sprinkle many nations … and kings will shut their mouths … Whether they close their mouths in disbelief or in repentance, there was nothing else to say.
Peter boldly proclaimed Christ at Pentecost and before the priests in Acts 2 and 4 … but they could not make any statement against the truth he proclaimed … that Jesus was this one …
Who has believed our message?
V2 a tender shoot … (Isaiah 11:1, 10)
V2 no beauty, majesty, to attract – Moses was described as “no ordinary child” – he must have been a beautiful baby to catch the heart of the Pharaoh’s daughter (Acts 7:20, Hebrews 11:23). David was a handsome young man, obviously a leader to come when he was anointed. 1 Samuel 16:12 … but Jesus was ordinary, nothing to attract us to him. We draw these beautiful pictures … but he was simply ordinary.
V3 he was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering, like one from whom men hide their faces … What a powerful image of Jesus. I think we think Jesus had a great, easy, carefree life … even ministry, and then a rough final few months, a terrible last week, and then death, then resurrection. “Oh I could do that, we might dare to think.” NO … it was a life of misery with joys scattered within. But he was never focused on personal happiness but in the joy that is fulfilling the plan of God, joy that comes from setting captives free. So like a Hero, who lays down his life to set captives free and is bruised, bloodied, destroyed in his efforts, so Jesus was … the only beauty is the beauty of the task completed.
V4 Surely he took up our infirmities
The God who made everything with his word, the God who had all power, laid that down. Oh he may have walked on water, and healed sickness, but he lived in the confines of our fallen world in its fullness. He took it up … borne … nasa – to carry, to lift, to raise, to take away …
He carried our sorrows – Yet we just thought he was hated by God … “what bad luck this guy has, how misguided he is he must be sinful to be afflicted such by God …”
But he was Pierced for our transgressions
He was Crushed for our iniquities
The Punishment that brought US peace … was upon him …
Atonement … Break that word apart … we are separated from God by our sin …but the death of Christ in our place has brought … At ONE ment – between us and God. Jesus came because we were already condemned and enables us to be at one with God again.
We … like Sheep … have gone astray … like stupid, wandering, meandering sheep …
We have turned to our own way … And the wages of sin is death
V6 and the Lord has LAID on him the iniquity of us all. So what is our sickness?
Transgressions – the actions of the flesh
Iniquity – actions of the heart
And v5 by his wounds … we are healed … not of physical but of sin and iniquity.
This is NOT a verse to use talking about any physical healing … because it is Not the nature or purpose of the prophesy.
He was oppressed and afflicted
Yet he did not open his mouth
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter – And as sheep before the shearers is silent So he did not open his mouth
He was cut off from the land of the living …
For the transgression of my people he was stricken
He was assigned a grave with the wicked … with the rich …
And they buried him in Joseph’s Tomb … and New Tomb
YET … Oh I live the contractions of Scripture
But God … here … Yet …
It was the Lord’s will to crush him … to suffer … make his life a guilt offering …
V11 after the suffering of his soul … he will see the light of life and be satisfied
Oh on the cross the light at the end of the tunnel was LIFE Eternal for you and for me
He will justify many
He will bear their iniquities
V12 THEREFORE … I will give him a portion among the great … because he poured out his life unto death … for he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors …
Tonight we must stop there … Read the Rabbi’s Dilemma on Jews for Jesus website
No time for Isaiah 37:36; 2 Kings 19:35 where The Angel of the Lord strikes their enemies from Assyria
Jeremiah 7:11; Matthew 21:13
Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:8-12
Jeremiah 31:31–35 (NIV84) “The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” 35 This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the Lord Almighty is his name:
Oh Daniel is also full of Jesus
From the 4th man in the Fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo … one who Nebuchadnezzar said looks like the Son of God
Daniel 3:35 – a Rock that became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth … v45 a rock cut not by human hands … that will endure v44
Daniel 7:13; Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62
Daniel 7:9,13; Revelation 1:13-14 – thrones set in place and the Ancient of Days took his seat, clothed in White, hair like what wool, flaming fire, wheels ablaze – thousands upon thousands, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him … books opened …
Daniel 9:26 accurately predicts when he will come and when he will be cut off
Daniel 12 – The Ancient of Days, is the Man Dressed in Linen, righteousness telling Daniel that the mystery yet unfolding is too wonderful for him to see.
Jesus is there open your eyes and see him come alive
One more chapter next week.