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Book of Isaiah
Chapters 49-57 give us God’s gracious provision of redemption. This second section (chapters 49-57) points to an effective cure for their (and our) real problems. On the outside, their exile would seem to be the bad guy ruining their lives. If from section one they can understand that their judgment is because of their sin, then they will look for relief not only in a return to their homeland but in the healing of their sins, and ONLY God alone can provide this healing.
Although they are comforted about their return to Palestine, it is just a small part of the complete worldwide plan of healing that Almighty God will provide through His gracious and Humble Servant. The Servant serves as the Center of Hope in these chapters. Because of this awesome Servant, Israel can be assured that God has not forsaken them. In reality, the Servant will lead ALL nations to serve God. Slowly this Majestic Servant is introduced. His work is not easy, but He finds strength in the LORD God.
Through the multitude of verses describing the Suffering Servant, the Israelites (and we as well), should begin to realize the cost of salvation. It is easy enough to arrange for their passage back to Judah as the first section emphasized using Cyrus the Persian emperor as His servant. But, this Suffering Servant, brings God’s people back through sufferings which climax with His death on the cross, and in this way He has become their Saviour (and ours). He died for their sins. What should have been OUR sufferings, became His sufferings. Do you honestly realize just what Jesus did for us? For you and for me? And because He faithfully did and does His work, He prospers and leads all those who are made righteous (justified) by Him (Rom.3:24; 5:1, 9).
God ever so patiently taught the Jews that His plan was to incorporate people all around the world. The many was to include people from all around the world . . . Jews AND Gentiles! The every one in chapter 55:1 is all-encompassing. Chapter 56 deliberately assures these strangers (Gentiles) not to feel inferior or unimportant. Consider the following:
#1. Man looks for political freedom; God provides spiritual freedom in the kingdom of God.
#2.Man thinks only of his own race. God helps people from every tongue and race.
How great and immeasurable is God’s grace! Chapter 57 brings us back to the operating table. God spreads out our wickedness right before our eyes, and IF you sincerely want salvation of your soul, and long for hope of everlasting life, you must be willing to hear what the LORD has to say to you. Are you listening???
Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (KJV)
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (KJV) . . . This is very important, because Jesus says it again!
Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (KJV)
Ch.40-48: Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.49-57: Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.58-66: Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (KJV)
All three of these last sections end with the same idea . . . there shall be no peace, to the wicked. The Messiah brings peace, but any and all who reject Him will NEVER know peace. Turning TO idols is turning AWAY from the Messiah. As we have seen, this section has majored in a condemnation and rebuke of idolatry. Idolatry is a road that leads to Babylon. The LORD, in the Book of Isaiah, is traveling the lonely road to Calvary. BEWARE!!! ALL idolatry and witchcraft are an abomination to the LORD: (Deut.27:15; 1 Ki.11:7; 23:13; Isa.44:19; Jer.32:35; Eze.18:12; Dan.12:11; Mal.2:11; Rev.21:27)
ISAIAH 55 parallels with 2 TIMOTHY. In Isaiah 55:11 the emphasis is upon God's Word. In 2 Timothy Paul gives instructions concerning the Word. Isaiah 55:11 So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 2 Tim 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim. 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 3:15-16 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Since the two previous chapters are prophecies of Christ and His church, this speaks of His Word and Ordinances, and the nature, method and effectiveness of them. It begins with an invitation to thirsty souls (vs.1), a strong disapproval and a discouraging them for taking wrong methods (vs.2), and which is followed with an encouragement to listen to the Word of Christ, and pay attention to His ordinances; with which they are encouraged with Promises of life and covenant blessings (vs.3). Christ is prophesied of in His offices; and the conversion of the Gentiles to Him is foretold (vs.4). Men are called upon to seek the LORD, where and while He might be found; and the wicked and unrighteous persons, forsaking their ways and thoughts, are encouraged to turn to the LORD, in hopes of pardon, and in consideration of His ways and thoughts not being like theirs (vs.6), the nature and effectiveness of the Holy Word of God are expressed and illustrated by the symbols of rain and snow (vs.10), and the conversion of the LORD'S people, because of the Word being made effective, is predicted, the issue of which is the glory of God (vs.12).
Theme: Invitation to the world; the ways of God; institution of the Word of God.
The work of the Suffering Servant in Chapter 53 makes it possible for Salvation to be offered in this Chapter. In Chapter 54 the invitation was confined to Israel, while in Chapter 55 the invitation is extended to the entire world . . . Jews and Gentiles. The Gospel went first to Israel and then to the Gentiles. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (KJV) . . . I do not think that this means that the Jew has the highest importance in today’s world, but they should not be at the bottom of importance either . . . they should be on the same level as everyone else. The Jew did receive the Gospel first in the Old Testament times (Rom.1:16; 2:9-10). On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached to an all-Jewish congregation, it seems there were no Gentiles there . . . but now the invitation goes out to the entire world, or it certainly should. This is important because there have been some religious leaders who do not have an over-all view. The work of the Suffering Servant in Chapter 53 makes it possible now for the offer of salvation to a lost world.
God's invitation has yet to find its total fulfillment in Israel . . . but this invitation is not an automatic offer . . . it rests upon the free will of each person who hears it. He is urged, in fact he is commanded to seek the LORD (Isa.45:22; Jer.29:13; 42:3; 50:4; Lam.3:25-26; Mat.5:6; 6:33; 7:7-12; Lk.6:21; 11:9-13; 13:24; Rom.10:13; Heb.11:6).
Invitation to the World (55:1-5)
Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (KJV)
Ho, every one . . . these are the words of the LORD, not the prophet, and are directed to the Gentiles; and does here invite all people to come to Christ and to His church. That thirsteth for the grace of God, and the blessings of the Gospel. This kind of thirst implies an active, intense and restless desire for the amazing grace of God, and will not to be satisfied with anything short of that. Come ye to the waters, which are mentioned, either, #1. As the place where they were to buy the following supplies, it being usual to convey provisions to cities' by rivers. Or rather, #2. As the product to be bought, the graces and comforts of God's Spirit, which are frequently compared to waters (Isa.12:3; 35:6-7; Jn.7:37-38), and which are designed by all these symbolic expressions of waters, wine, milk, and bread.
And he that hath no money . . . not in a natural, but in a spiritual sense, for unconverted persons have nothing with which to support themselves or pay their debts with . . . even though they think that they are rich, and stand in need of nothing (Rev.3:17). But sensible souls know they have none, and that they are indeed poor and needy; yet these are invited to come where provisions are to be had, since they are to be had at free cost (Rev.3:18-22).
Come ye, buy and eat . . . come to the decrees, partake of them freely, and feed upon the provisions therein made. Buy, obtain or receive that which is freely offered to you, if you will just come for it, and are willing to take it. Buying is used in (Pro.23:23. Rev.3:18). This cannot be understood of literally buying, because here is no price paid. This is spiritual buying.
Yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price . . . wine and milk mean the Gospel and its doctrines, compared to good old wine, and for it being of a reviving and refreshing nature. Milk is symbolic of its purity and sweetness, and for its cooling and nourishing nature, and because it is easy to digest. These are to be bought, and not to be sold (Pro.23:23), but not in a literal sense, for there is absolutely NO valuable consideration that can be given for the things of the Gospel, for these things are of much more worth than multitudes of gold and silver. Nor has anyone, anything to give to God for them! The blessings of God’s grace that is conveyed by them is something that cannot be purchase by mankind with worldly money. Wine and milk are put here for all sorts of provisions; which are to be understood of spiritual and Gospel blessings.
*****The chapter opens with the heart cry of Almighty God to everyone to stop and seriously consider His salvation. Ho is like a startled cry for help in the middle of the night. The LORD wants every tattered and weak soul to see His mighty bared arm of salvation.
The invitation is nondenominational. I do not believe in the so-called ecumenical movement that people talk about today, but I do believe that God's invitation of the Gospel is to go out to the world. The invitation is limited to one class: Ho, every one that thirsteth . . . and this invitation is to EVERY man, woman and child in the world! It means every person of every station in life, in all sections of society, from every race, tribe, tongue, condition and color! ALL are included. The invitation is Ho, every one!
But we must consider one thing . . . it is limited ONLY to certain people . . . every one (those) that thirsteth! Dear one,you must truly thirst for the righteousness of Christ (Isa.54:17; 1 Cor. 1:30), for it is the ONLY thing that can bring eternal salvation to you. The invitation of the LORD is to drink deep and long of the eternal springs. SO . . . who are the guests here invited? All who thirst! But sad to say, the world today thirst for WRONG things! They desperately try to quench their thirst at man-made cisterns and bars of this Earth. They do NOT have any desire for what the LORD has to offer in this invitation. A person must really WANT what is offered.
Are you dissatisfied with yourself? Then you thirst! Are you displeased with what the world offers, and of which you have tasted? Then you thirst! Is your spirit disappointed with all the formal ritualism of religion? Then you thirst . . . and this is a holy thirst that is the only requirement that can lead you to a peaceful joy!
This is the invitation: Ho, everyone that thirsteth. If you are thoughtless enough to say that you are not interested, that you are not thirsty, that you are happy with way you are living, then the Word of God says that you are foolish (Deut.32:21; Ps.5:5; Pro.14:3; Tit.3:3; 1 Pet.2:15); and if you are foolish, then you are not thirsty for the blessings of the LORD!
It is as though, at the crossroads of our life, the LORD God has put up a sign: THIRSTY? Ho, every one that is thirsty. It is as though He is saying: Are you tired of this world? Have you finally found out that it cannot satisfy? Don’t you crave for something better? Here He tells us, I have something for you. Then He mentions some things and tells us that we can buy these things without money. What God offers is without money. WHY? Because in Isaiah 53, the LORD Jesus paid the price for it on the Cross. That is God's invitation to you, come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price! Not only drink, but He offers the bread of life (Jn.6:33; 6:35, 48, 51) too!
See that there are three types of drink offered:
#1. Waters . . . the plural form is used. In the Hebrew the plural expresses an unmatched degree. This water is too wonderful to be expressed by the singular form. Waters also speaks of abundance, of quantity and quality. This is spiritual water for the soul. This is the kind of water that the Lord Jesus offered. John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (KJV) . . . Dear one, now we know where the Fountain is . . . and that awesome Fountain is Christ Jesus! He and only He is the Water of Life and our precious Saviour.
#2. Wine is the second type of drink offered, and this is a symbol for joy (Pro.31:6). Joy is what you have when Christ is not only your Saviour but when He becomes the LORD and Master of your life. When you come to know Him, you have joy. 1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. (KJV)
#3. Milk is the third type of drink offered. Milk is very important for growth and development, especially for babies (babes in Christ). We must consider the milk of the Word of God is essential for spiritual growth (Deut.8:3; Mat.4:4; Lk.4:4; 1 Pet.2:2). So, anyone who teaches the Word of God, is a milkman, giving out the milk of the Word. A child of God should earnestly desire the milk (food and strength) of the Word of God. If you profess to be a believer, there is something wrong with you if you do not like to read and study the Word of God. Dear one, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you should really want more of the sincere milk of the Word of God.
Isaiah 55:2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (KJV)
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? . . . wasting time, opportunities and strength in reading and listening to false doctrine (2 Cor.11:4; Gal.1:6-7), which is NOT bread, but hopeless and of no value. NO false doctrine (damnable heresy 2 Pet.2:1) is wholesome, it cannot nourish, but is harmful and destructive; eating away at you like a cancer, instead of feeding and refreshing you. Vain or foolish things can never nourish or satisfy you; things such as worldly goods or possessions, or superstitions and idolatries.
And your labour for that which satisfieth not? . . . struggling for happiness in worldly things, which is not to be had; or trying to obtain righteousness by keeping the Law, which cannot be achieved in that way . . . all such labor is in vain, because no satisfaction is enjoyed, nor any peace and comfort is to be had, nor any food to strengthen . . . only the husks which swine eat (Lk.15:16).
Hearken diligently unto me . . . not the prophet speaking, but the LORD Himself. Hearken means listen to My doctrine and counsel.
And eat ye that which is good . . . not the Law, as the Jewish commentators say; but the Good and Holy Word of God, the Gospel, which is found and spiritually eaten by faith, or mixed with faith by them that hear it, and then digested, and is the joy and rejoicing of the heart. Eat ye that which is truly and eternally good, not things which although they may be called good and seem to be good, yet really are evil, and most damaging to mankind.
And let your soul delight itself in fatness . . . in the goodness and fatness of the LORD'S house, being present in the Word and ordinances with spiritual pleasure and delight; and which is the way to become fat and flourishing in spiritual things. Psalm 36:8-9 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. 9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (KJV) . . . The Gospel is indeed the most pleasant food and enjoyment.
*****Many people today, even Christians, spend money in vain to so-called Christian organizations that do NOT feed anyone. The pleasures of this world are not only very expensive, but they NEVER satisfy. They are like the husks which swine eat (Lk.15:16), that can never satisfy the eternal soul, because your body will die but your soul continues on in just one of two places, Heaven or Hell. http://www.hisservants.org/death_then_what_1.1.htm
So, WHERE does a person find happiness in today’s world? NOT in money, NOT in wealth, NOT in holdings or possessions! You also will NOT find eternal happiness in pleasure either. Isaiah 55:1-2 tells us: we are wise when we come to the LORD’S table where we can get water, wine, milk and bread that satisfies. Have you accepted the LORD’S invitation?
Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. (KJV)
Incline your ear, and come unto me . . . the urgings are repeated, to show the importance of them. How welcome these persons were to the LORD, and to His house, and His earnest and tender care and concern for them.
Hear, and your soul shall live . . . listen attentively and obediently to the LORD’S counsel; hearing is often put for obeying (Deut.18:15; 1 Sam.15:22-23; ps.95:7). Your soul shall live, meaning comfortably and happily; which only is worthy of eternal life (Mat.25:46; Mk.10:30; Jn.3:15; 6:54, 68; 10:28; 17:2-3; Rom.6:23; Tit.1:2; 3:7; 1 Jn.5:11, 13, 20; Jude 1:21). There must be life before a person can hear. They must be made alive (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8), before they can come to Christ spiritually, or hear His Word so as to have a spiritual understanding of it, or sincerely believe it.
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you . . . this is not of the covenant of works, not the covenant of circumcision, not the Sinai covenant; but of the covenant of grace (Rom.6:14-15) which is an everlasting covenant (Heb.13:20); it is from everlasting, being founded in the everlasting love of God, and is according to His eternal purposes. Christ is the Mediator of it, for He was set up from everlasting, and the Promises and blessings of it were very early put into His Hands; and it will continue to everlasting, sure, firm, unalterable and immovable. This covenant was made with Christ from the beginning of time, and His people in Him, and is made clear to them at conversion.
Even the sure mercies of David . . . that covenant which was made first with Abraham (Gen.12:1-3), and then with David (2 Chron.13:5; 21:7), concerning the exhibition of those glorious and sure mercies or blessings which God hath promised to His people, one and the chief of which mercies was the giving of Christ to die for their sins, and to rise again for their justification. The blessings of the covenant are called mercies, because they come from the mercy of God, as redemption, pardon of sin, regeneration, salvation and eternal life; and they are the mercies of David (or of Christ), for the Promises of them were made to Him, and the blessed things themselves put into His Holy Hands, and are approved and confirmed by His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19), and through Him, to come to His people. These mercies are sure, firm and steadfast, because of the love, faithfulness and holiness of God, who has given them to Christ . . . through the covenant.
*****God was merciful to David, and He will be merciful to people today. WHY did God choose a man like David? I think it was so that you and I would have the courage to come to Him. If God would take David, after the sin in his life (2 Sam.11:2-27; 12:1-14), He might take you and me . . . IF we truly repented as David did (Ps.6; 32; 38; 39; 40; 51). The sure mercies of David . . . how wonderful they are, and how loving and merciful the LORD is!
Isaiah 55:4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. (KJV)
Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people . . . I have already appointed, and will in due time actually give him the David last mentioned, meaning Christ, the Son and Successor of David, as is plain and certain from the titles and works ascribed to Him in this and the following verse. See verse 3. This is in regards to an act done in eternity, in God's eternal purposes and decrees, when He appointed Christ to the office of Mediator; and this was an act of His grace, a free gift from Him, flowing from His love to His people, both Jews and Gentiles (Gal.3:26-29), meaning all His elect, to whom Christ is a Witness, both of His Father and of Himself . . . of His Father’s good will to men, in forming the plan of their salvation; of His love to sinners, in His mission and of His justice and holiness, which appear in His being the propitiation for sin; of His Truth in His Promises; of His whole mind and will, with respect to doctrine and worship. He is a Witness of Himself; of His deity and His perfections; of His divine and eternal Son-ship; of His existence before His incarnation (Jn.1:1-3, 14); of His Messiahship (Dan.9:25-26; Jn.1:41), of His coming into the world (Lk.2:1-7); of His sufferings (Ps.69:20; Isa.50:6; 53:5, 10; Mat.27:26, 29, 46), His death (Dan.9:26; Lk.23:26; Jn.19:17; Phil.2:8; Heb.12:2), and His resurrection (Mat.27:66; Lk.24:39-40; Jn.20:20; Acts 1:3; 1 Cor.15:6), of His Second Coming (Zec.14:1-10; Rev.19:11-21); and of the several offices He holds, Prophet (Deut.18:15, 18; Acts 3:22-23), http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_acts_ch3.htm and Priest (Heb.Ch.7), http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_hebrews_ch7.htm and King (Rev.15:3; 17:14; 19:16) . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/rev_ch19.htm
For: Jesus' Major Names and Titles
The Messiah (Christ) is a Witness of the Covenant itself (Jn.18:37; Rom.15:8), as well as the Surety (Heb.7:22), Mediator (1 Tim.2:5; Heb.8:6; 9:15; 12:24), and of Truth in general; to which He bears witness by His Word and doctrines; by His works and miracles; by His sufferings and death; by the Scriptures of Truth; by His Gospel, and the ministers of it; and by His Spirit . . . and a Faithful Witness He is!
A leader and commander to the people . . . He is a Leader (Ps.106:9; 136:16; 139:9-10; Jn.10:4), just as He is a Teacher of His people (Mat.7:29; 11:1,29; Jn.7:14; 8:2, 20; 18:20), who teaches and leads them in the way they should go; as a Shepherd leads His flock to good pastures (Ps.23; Jn.10:11, 14, 27-30); as a Guide to those that do not know the way; and as one that goes before others by way of Example. The LORD Jesus leads His people OUT of their own sinful ways INTO His righteous ways; and He leads them in the one and only right way to eternal life in Heaven (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12). He is a Commander; a sovereign Prince to give them laws, who demands and obtains their obedience, and to give them protection and rewards for that obedience.
Isaiah 55:5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. (KJV)
Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not . . . Thou O Messiah, of whom Isaiah now speaks (vs.4), and to whom he suddenly turns his speech, as is very common with the prophets. Shalt call a nation unto Himself, and to the knowledge of Himself, and into a fellowship with the LORD. That thou knowest not the special knowledge which indicates a good opinion, tender care and affection, as words of knowledge are most frequently used in Scripture. The Gentiles, to whom in former times, God did not make known His Law and Covenant, nor the way of salvation (Acts 14:16; 17:30).
And nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee . . . nations refers to Gentiles that had very little knowledge of God, and no knowledge of the Messiah. Shall run unto thee upon His call, they shall quickly and willingly come to the LORD, to receive instructions from Him, and to follow Him where ever He shall lead them.
Because of the LORD thy God . . . because the LORD shall by many obvious and undeniable signs present Himself to be their God, and the LORD to be His only begotten Son (Jn.3:16) and Faithful Servant (Isa.49:7; Jn.15:18-19; 1 Jn.5:1-3), because of the love of God, with which they are drawn; and because of His power, which is put forth upon them; because of His grace, and the announcements of it in Christ, and the declaration of His will, that whoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life (Jn.3:15-16, 36).
For the Holy One of Israel . . . meaning Christ, who is absolutely Holy in His characteristics and offices, and the Sanctifier of His people . . . to Him shall they run to be spiritually cleansed of their filthy souls in the Fountain of His Blood (1 Pet.1:18-21), and for the payment of their sin and guilt, by His atoning Sacrifice. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, because we had a debt we could not pay! (Isa.3:11; Jn.8:24; Rev.21:8).
For he hath glorified thee . . . because the God of Israel, who is the ONLY TRUE GOD, will highly honor Christ, by His remarkable Presence with them, by His almighty power that accompanies His Word, thus making it perfectly effective in the conversion of an uncountable company, both of Jews and Gentiles (Gal.3:26-29), and by confirming His Word with illustrious signs and miracles, and mainly by His resurrection and glorious ascension (Mk.16:19; Lk.24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11).
*****Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not . . . in Isaiah’s time, Isaiah did not know about the United States of America, but I think we are included in his prophecy.
The Ways of God (55:6-9)
Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (KJV)
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found . . . having discussed the office and work of Christ, and showed that He would call people and nations to Himself, and to God, He now tries to persuade the people to listen to his call, and to seek the Lord. To seek and to labor is to get knowledge of God's will, and to obtain His grace and favor. These things could be done only in and through Christ. This invitation or encouragement is general, like that verse 1, and reaches to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles (Gal.3:26-29), indicating that both groups had lost Him and His favor, and were gone astray from Him. Seek Him, ye Gentiles, whom Isaiah now invites them to do, and the Jews seeing that the Gentiles seeking Him earnestly, provoked the Jews to imitate them, taking heed that they do not reject Him, whom the Gentiles receive and own. Dear friend, the LORD should be sought at all times, and we should call upon Him, not only in times of trouble, but in times of peace and joy with thankfulness and praise. It is the opinion of this humble servant that we all neglect to thank and praise Him for what He does for us.
Call ye upon him while he is near . . . this is the same thing as above, just different words. To seek and call mean not only prayer, but the entirety of our personal and public worship. While he is near in this day of grace, while He offers mercy, pardon and reconciliation to you; which He will not always do (Pro.1:24-30; Lk.19:43-44; 2 Cor.6:2). While he is near . . . near to you by His gracious Presence and offers in His ordinances, being ready and eager to receive His love, grace and mercy. Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (KJV) . . . No matter how difficult your problem, seek Him, call upon Him . . . and claim this Promise as yours!
*****God’s way and man’s way have always conflicted and opposed each other. One big objection today is that Gospel does not ask for us to seek God, but instead it is God seeking man. This is true, but dear one, this call, this invitation IS for today. Our responsibility is NOT cast away by the sovereign purposes and election of God. So consider: John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (KJV) . . . My thoughts on election: I truly believe that God elects (chooses) everyone. And I believe that He gives each of us enough faith that we can choose to accept Jesus OR we can cast away that faith and reject Jesus. It is NOT God’s desire that any should perish.
Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (KJV)
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (KJV)
You can sit on the sidelines and argue that you are not one of the elect; but dear one . . . the very moment you come to Him . . . you ARE a member of the elect. And the coming is up to you. See John 6:37 in Special Comments at the end of this chapter for more on election and free will.
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (KJV)
Let the wicked forsake his way . . . any wicked man, Jew or Gentile, must forsake his evil or wicked way (Jer.18:11; 25:5). The wicked way of mankind has always opposed God's good way. Let him cease to do evil (Isa.1:16), meaning that seeking and calling upon God will do no good without repentance and reformation of their lives. The word wicked means restless, malicious, spiteful and ungodly, and expresses the pollution and guilt of the sin all people are under. Some are extremely wicked, and all men are wicked in the book of God (Dan.7:10; Rev.20:12), without the righteousness of Christ (1 Cor.1:30), although they think differently of themselves. But only when they are awakened and convinced of their sin, and of the evil of their ways, are they empowered to forsake them. NO one can save their soul themselves, only when the works of righteousness that Christ has done, is applied to you, do you have salvation:
And the unrighteous man his thoughts . . . not natural thoughts, but hateful, sinful, wicked ones; wrong thoughts of religion, righteousness and salvation; especially thoughts of being justified by their own righteousness by keeping the Law. Unrighteous thoughts are to be forsaken, for they oppose God's way of justifying sinners; and as all men are unrighteous, are destitute of righteousness, and are full of unrighteousness. A self-righteous person must cast away all thoughts of their own righteousness, and acknowledge themselves as unrighteous in the eyes of God; only then can they receive forgiveness, mercy, righteousness and salvation, at the Hands of the LORD.
And let him return unto the LORD . . . it seems to me that all people are given enough light to realize that there is indeed a God (Rom.1:19-22), and IF we would stay true to Him, we would not have to return to Him. A wise man stands bold and firm in his worship of the LORD.
And he will have mercy upon him . . . when a sinner returns to God, it is God’s mercy to receive him. Mercy is here mentioned as the reason to return, of which there is an abundance of it and grace with the LORD. He has determined and promised to show it, and He takes great delight in it, and many are the instances of it (Gen.19:19; Ex.34:6; Num.14:18; Ps.103:11; Eze.18:23; 2 Cor.1:3).
And to our God, for he will abundantly pardon . . . the Promise of pardon is absolute and unconditional, and is here seen as the reason to forsake sin. God does and will pardon a repentant sinner, and no one but He can do this. The Lord does abundantly pardon . . . He pardons all kinds of sinners, and all kinds of sins; original sin, actual sins and transgressions; all backslidings and rebellions; all sins EXCEPT the sin against the Holy Ghost (Mat.12:31; Mk.3:29; Lk.12:10).
*****People today have only one problem . . . and that is the one thing that keeps them from God and His awesome and unique blessings that only He can offer . . . and that is SIN in their life that they refuse to give up! Let the wicked forsake his way, and when you do, then you will be ready to turn to Him and He shall warmly receive you.
Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (KJV)
James 4:8-10 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (KJV) . . . We must do things God’s way!
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (KJV)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts . . . in some things there may be a slight similarity between the thoughts of God and the thoughts of men, as to the nature of them. Thoughts are natural and necessary to both the LORD and man. Thoughts are within, and are internal acts, and thoughts are not known to others, until they are made known. The thoughts of men are finite and limited, while the thoughts of the LORD are infinite and unlimited . . . men's thoughts have a beginning, but the LORD'S thoughts have no beginning. The thoughts of men are evil, as their every imagination is (Gen.6:5), but the thoughts of God are holy, as proven by His purposes and covenant, and all His acts of grace, in redemption, calling and arranging His people for glory. The thoughts of men, as to the reason of them, are vain and worthless; their thoughts and sentiments of things are extremely different and oppose the thoughts of the LORD'S, concerning Christ, sin, the Truths of the Gospel, the people of God, TRUE religion, holiness and a future state that one day is to come. Man’s thoughts about salvation are wrong, for NO one can save themselves; for NO amount of rites, rituals nor works of righteousness are sufficient to justify them. The thoughts of God oppose this; mainly with respect to pardoning mercy. Dear one, God abundantly pardons all returning sinners; including great and aggravated crimes . . . He is ready, willing and well able to forgive, even those of the most serious circumstances. Hosea 14:9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein. (KJV)
Walking after the imagination of their own heart: (Gen.6:5; 8:21; Jer.3:17; 7:24; 9:14; 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 23:17).
Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord . . . the ways which God prescribes and directs men to walk in are different from theirs; His ways are holy, theirs unholy; His ways are straight, theirs crooked; His are ways are in the light, theirs are in darkness; His ways are pleasure, theirs misery and sorrow; His ways lead to eternal life, theirs to eternal death . . . therefore there is good reason why they should leave their evil ways, and walk in His ways!
*****The ways of the LORD are different from man's way. The Gospel is God's way. The Gospel is Biblical! Religious heresies are man-made and have NO power to save you!
Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (KJV) . . . BEWARE!!! NO man could ever have invent a plan to keep you from an eternal Hell! BEWARWE!!! Millions worldwide go to churches teaching damnable heresies (2 Pet.2:1). Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can save your soul! The Gospel came down from Heaven. It is the LORD’S Gospel, and only it can save your soul from Hell. http://www.godcannotlie.org/truth_about_salvation.htm
For: Jesus' Major Names and Titles
Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (KJV)
For as the heavens, are higher than the earth. . . there cannot be considered a greater distance than this (Job 22:12; Ps.36:5; 57:10; 89:2; 103:11; Job 22:12).
So are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts . . . which may mean the heavenly ways and thoughts of God, the eternity and unsearchableness of them, and their superiority and preciousness; as well as the tremendous distance between His ways and His thoughts and men's ways and thoughts, which this is intended to illustrate.
*****The Gospel could come only by a revelation from Almighty God, because man's reasoning never follows the redemption route. For as the heavens are higher than the earth . . . cannot be expressed because there is a substantial distance between the Earth and the Highest Heaven where the LORD’S Home is . . . and this distance cannot be measured by any man on the Earth.
Institution of the Word of God (55:10-13)
When the Gospel is given out, the emphasis must be placed on the Biblical accuracy and the reliability and the importance of the Holy Word of God.
Isaiah 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: (KJV)
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither . . . rain and snow come down from the clouds in the heavens, and do not return there, for they are sent to do what they are sent to do. And the snow, which in its season, also contributes to the fruitfulness of the Earth just as the rain does. The symbol of rain and snow would have been especially understandable for people familiar with desert conditions. The people knew how important rain and snow were to transform dry land into conditions able to sustain the vegetation necessary for human survival. Rain and snow confirmed food for the next year as well as the seed that would secure following crops. Rain and snow meant the difference between life and death, thus serving as an proper description of the ability of God's Holy Word to have a transforming effect on the lives of the exiles.
But watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud . . . or, soaks into the Earth, and reaches the seed that is sown in it, and causes the seed to spring up, and produce.
That it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater . . . producing sufficient food both for man and beast, and enough for seed to sow in the ground the following year.
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (KJV)
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth . . . this may either be understood of Christ, the Eternal Word, who is called the Word of God (Jn.1:1-2), and may be said to go forth out of His Mouth, when being spoken of by all His holy prophets, since the world began, whose coming was like the rain or snow (Hos.6:3). He came down from Heaven, from His Father there (Jn.3:13, 41-42, 51, 58), and as a free gift of the Father (Jn.3:16), and as a result of a decree, as the rain does; the manner of His Coming (Jn.1:14), like that, was suddenly, gratefully, and with great efficacy, watering His people with His grace, through the ministry of the Word, and making them fruitful; and though He returned to Heaven again (Mk.16:19; Lk.22:69; Acts 5:31; 7:55-56; Rom.8:34; Col.3:1; Heb.10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet.3:22), yet not empty, for He produced a large harvest of souls, and attained all blessings of grace for them, and accomplished the will and pleasure of God, in effecting the salvation of His people; and the pleasure of the LORD prospered in His Hand.
It shall not return to me void . . . it is accompanied with a divine energy; it is the power of God to salvation. The magnitude of the conflict depends the greatness and glory of its victory.
But it shall accomplish that which I please . . . in the conversion of sinners, and the comforting of saints.
And it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it . . . whether it leads to the savor of life unto life, or the savor of death unto death; whether for the quickening of sinners, and reviving of saints; or to harden men, and leave them without excuse to perish in their sins, both in the Jewish and Gentile world. This leads to the free will of man . . . a person can either believe God and accept His Way of salvation (Jn.14:6), OR reject God’s Way and perish in an eternal Hell.
The wicked shall perish: (Ps.37:20; 68:2; Pro,.19:9; Isa.41:11; 60:12; Lk.13:3, 5; 2 Pet.2:12; 3:9).
See Election and Free Will in Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
*****In this closing section, Isaiah stresses great importance on the Word of God. The only place where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found is in the Holy Word of God. Salvation is a revelation from Almighty God, where God’s Word is compared to the rain that comes down from heaven. Dear one, the Gospel does not ask you, nor command you to do something. The Gospel is NOT something that man has dreamed up. Man does not, CANNOT work his way up to God by some Tower of Babel struggle. Man must receive God's revelation which comes down from heaven like rain. Just as the rain causes the Earth to become fruitful, so too the Word of God is also like seed (Mat.13:18-23); and, when the rain and seed get together in the human heart, there will be fruit. The seeds germinate and bring forth fruit abundantly.
Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (KJV)
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace . . . although these words may literally respect the Jews' return from captivity to their own land, which were attended with joy and peace; yet I believe this may be spiritually applied to the conversion of men, as a result of the Gospel being made effective, of which the deliverance from the Babylon captivity was a type. When men go out of a state of bondage to sin, Satan and the law; out of a state of darkness and ignorance; out of their own sinful ways, they go out being led by the Spirit of God, who takes them and leads them to Christ, His Person, His Sacrifice and His righteousness; and to the ordinances of His Gospel; and from one degree of grace to another, until He brings them to glory, all which is attended with joy and peace.
The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing . . . one commentator thinks that mountains and hills may mean the kings of the nations.
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands . . . all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (or clap with their branches). The trees of the field may be the people rejoicing at the deliverance of the Jews. Some interpret this of the apostles and ministers of the Gospel going out into the Gentile world, attended with joy in themselves, and among the converts there.
*****The rain causes the Earth to respond with a beautiful green blanket of praise to God. During the Millennium the Earth will respond with a note of praise to the Creator and Redeemer. Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (KJV)
Isaiah 55:13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. (KJV)
Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree . . . whereas their land was filled with thorns and briers, as was foretold (Isa.7:24), they shall be rooted out, and it shall be planted with fir trees and myrtle trees, and such other trees which are useful either for fruit or for pleasure. There shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn, but instead of them shall be such trees as shall yield shade and refreshment. The meaning is that the church shall be delivered from malicious, wicked men and replenished with sincere and serious believers, and with all kinds of Divine graces and blessings.
And it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off . . . that is, these persons, who are to become like fir and myrtle trees, shall be called by the Name of the LORD, shall bear His Name, support His Gospel and be for His praise and to the glory of His grace, who has done such great and wonderful things for them.
*****This looks forward to the Millennium when the Earth will be redeemed from the curse of sin. The curse of sin is expressed by the thorns and briers. When Christ died, He not only redeemed sinners, He also redeemed a sin-cursed earth, which shall be totally fulfilled in the last days.
Both election and free will, are found in John 6:37. All that the father giveth me shall come to me states a Truth, and that is election. But . . . consider: And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out is also True, and him that cometh to me is free will.
How can we reconcile them? BOTH are true! The Father gives men to Christ (Jn.10:29) BUT we have to come to Him . . . and the ones that come are the ones, in reality, whom the Father gives to Him. NO human knows how the LORD God runs that process of election, but I do know that He has given to all of us a free will and we must exercise it in coming to Jesus of we will never see Him Face to face in the bliss of Heaven one day. Jesus says, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out! Dear one, you can argue about election, but you can come . . . and if you come, He will NOT cast you out . . . and IF you come, you are one of the elect. How wonderful this is!
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (KJV)
All that the Father giveth me . . . those who come to Christ, and who will be saved, are given to Christ by God.
- #1. God promised Him that He would see of the travail of His soul and would be satisfied (Isa.53:11).
- #2. All people are sinners, no one has any claim to mercy. God may give salvation to whom He pleases.
- #3. All people, of themselves, are inclined to reject the Gospel (Jn.5:40).
- #4. God enables those who DO believe to accept it. He draws them to Him by His Word and Spirit. He opens their hearts to understand the Scriptures (Acts 16:14); and He grants to them repentance (Acts 11:18; 2 Tim.2:25).
- #5. All those who become God's children (Jn.1:12-13), may therefore be said to be given to Jesus as the reward of His sufferings, because His death was the price by which they were redeemed. Paul tells us that, "he hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will" (Eph.1:4-5).
Shall come unto me . . . this means that they would believe on Him. "To come to someone" means that we need their help. We place our confidence and trust in that person, knowing he can help us. The sinner comes to Jesus feeling that he is poor, needy and wretched, and casts himself on His mercy, believing that He alone can save him. This also proves that men are not obligated to believe on Christ. Although they who believe are given to Christ, and although His Spirit works in them faith and repentance, NO man is forced to go to Heaven against his will, and NO man is forced to go to Hell against his will. The Spirit of God influences the will of a person, BUT . . . he/she comes freely of their own will. The other, those who refuse to believe, choose the way to eternal death (Hell). Even though God is continually using ways to save him, these people prefer the path that leads to woe (Mat.7:13-14). Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (KJV) . . . ALL those who are given to Christ in the everlasting covenant of grace, shall, and do in time, come to Christ, and believe in Him to save their souls. This is NOT to be attributed to any power and will in them, but to the power and grace of God. It is NOT said here, that these who are given to Christ have a "power" to come to Him, or "may" come if they will, but that they "shall come to Him"!
And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out . . . all those who humbly come to Christ in a spiritual manner, and really and truly believe in Him, He not only receives kindly, but keeps and preserves them by His power, and will NOT cast them out, ever . . . or thrust them away from Him into perdition (condemnation and damnation of Hell). Christ will NEVER cast them out of His affections or out of the family of God! NO condemnation: (Jn.5:24; Rom.8:1)
The invitation is wide open and free to "whosoever." It shows the abundant and limitless mercy of God; and too, it shows that the reason, and the only reason, that people are not saved, and that is . . . they will NOT come to Christ. IF a sinner is willing to "come to Christ" . . . he/she CAN come and be saved. It all rests with the individual! IF a person chooses NOT to come to Christ, he CANNOT blame God because God saves ALL who are willing, making them partakers of everlasting life.
Where do you stand on the doctrines of election and free will? There are some people who are totally for free will, while others are completely for election. I will not try to reconcile the two because I don’t think that’s possible.
Election and free will are both in the above verse. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me” is stating an absolute truth; and that is election. But wait a minute! “And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” is also true, and “him that cometh to me” is free will. Both these statements are true. God the Father gives us to Christ, BUT we have to come! As I see it, the ones that come to Christ are the ones whom the Father gives to Him. I don’t know how God has election figured, but I do know that He has given you and me a free will and we must use it.
Since we do not know who has been elected, I think we must preach the Gospel to every person, so that ‘whosoever will may come.’ Jesus clearly tells us, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” You can argue about election all you want to, but if you want to be saved, you must “come to Jesus.” And if you come to Jesus, He will not cast you out. You are safe and secure in His everlasting Arms! You may ask: “If I’m not the elect can I still come?” IF you come, you are the elect. Jesus came from Heaven to do the Father’s will; and it is the Father’s will that you be born again. BUT . . . you will have to come to Him . . . that is the only way. You must come to Jesus by faith.
Whosoever: (Isa.45:22; Jn.1:12; 3:15-16,36; 6:40,47; 11:25; 12:44-46; 20:31; Mk.16:16; Acts 8:37; 16:30-31; Rom.5:1-2; 10:9-14; Gal.2:16,20; Heb.7:25; 10:39; 1 Jn.5:1,11-13).
For: Jesus' Major Names and Titles
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