HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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Book of Isaiah
Chapter 58-66 give God’s gracious Promises of hope. Isaiah’s powerful message of hope shines out so clearly from the reminders to the wicked. Almighty God demands contrite hearts, renewed lives and personal faith in Him from those who sincerely want salvation. If anyone is easily turned away from the LORD by His continual reminders to put away sin, then that person most likely will never be able to continue to read on to the hope that is so beautifully revealed to us in the later Passages. In the last section of Isaiah (chapters 58-66), reform and repentance is mentioned far less, while the idea of hope in God's salvation seems to throb in our heart.
This section has another interruption (or detour). In the middle of chapters 58-66 lies (Isa.63:7 to Isa.64:12) describing an Israelite’s personal confession and pleading. Before and after this, God speaks through the prophet Isaiah in different prophecies. But, this sincere pleading of a godly Israelite’s pleading is placed here, in the middle, and is like the smell of sweet incense drifting up to God in the middle of a sacrifice to Him, which can be seen as a sense of balance between God’s sovereignty and man’s will, for as God predicts the future, man pleads with the LORD to fulfill the mighty acts of redemption. It is a wonderful song of praise, cry of hope and humble confession all rolled together . . . and stands as a tribute day and night, pleading to God for help. The Israelites deserve to be abandoned, just as we do. Their sin (and ours) totally fits like a glove for God’s judgment. They are far worse than their enemies because they betray the One and Only TRUE God. These two chapters become a firm monument calling the godly ones to hope in this faithful God and to remind God there are a few who really care.
The Hope of the Contrite
Chapter 58, exposes religious sins and extolls righteousness.
Chapter 59, convinces us of His desire to help us, even when it cost Him dearly.
Chapter 60, God gives the people a tremendous vision of the future.
Chapter 61, God calls the Servant to insure the peoples’ righteousness.
Chapter 62, God explains the participation of the people in realizing the vision.
Chapter 63:1-6, God uses the Servant to bring salvation to His people.
Chapter 63:7-64, helps us understand our sin and His grace.
Chapter 65, discovering the riches of His grace.
Chapter 66, confirming and expanding their (and our) hope.
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 61 parallels with 2 PETER. Isaiah 61:2 refers to the day of vengeance. The day of vengeance of our God. 2 Peter 3 speaks of Christ coming in judgment as a thief in the night. 2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. . . . Isaiah 61:3-11 speaks of millennial peace and blessing. 2 Peter 3:13 is a warning. 2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
In this chapter both Christ and the church are introduced speaking, in their turns. It begins with the Words of Christ, describing His work and office; His qualifications for it; the several parts and branches of it; and the ends to be answered by it (vs.1), the restoration of the church; the feeding it by strangers; its being a holy priesthood; its enjoying the riches of the Gentiles; its having honor and joy, instead of shame and confusion; its prosperity in the work of the LORD, and the continuance of its spiritual offspring among the Gentiles, are prophesied of (vs.4), and then the church is represented as rejoicing in the LORD, because of her being clothed with His righteousness, so ornamental to he (vs.10), and the chapter is concluded with a Promise of her righteousness and glory appearing before all the nations of the world (vs.11), and of which Chapter 62 is a memorable prophecy.
Theme: Distinction between the First and Second Comings of Christ; delights of the Millennium.
This chapter is of special interest in view of the fact that the LORD Jesus opened His public ministry in Nazareth by quoting from it (Lk.4:18-19). This chapter continues with the full blessings of the Millennium with Israel as the center of all earthly benefits. The last section takes us into the total benefits of the Millennium.
Distinction between the First and Second Comings of Christ (61:1-9)
In the first three verses, we have one of the most remarkable Passages of Scripture, for it helps us to correctly interpret the Bible.
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (KJV)
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me . . . according to some, these are the words of the prophet about himself . . . and it cannot be denied that the words could be applied in a lesser sense to the office of the prophet, but in a much higher sense I think it refers to the Messiah, and received an entire completion only as applied to Him and to His work. In my humble opinion, this refers to the Messiah is abundantly proven by the fact that the LORD Jesus expressly applied it to Himself. Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (KJV) Luke 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (KJV)
Because the Lord hath anointed me . . . hath anointed, is that from which the word Messiah is derived (Isa.45:1). Prophets and kings were set apart for their high office, by the ceremony of pouring oil on their heads; and the idea here is that God had set apart the Messiah for the office which He was to bear, and had abundantly endowed Him with the graces of which the anointing oil was a symbol. The same language is used in reference to the Messiah in (Ps.45:7; Lk.3:22; Jn.3:34; Heb.1:9).
To preach good tidings . . . to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Good News (Isa.52:7).
Unto the meek . . . meek properly means the afflicted, the distressed, the needy; it means those who are patient in the reception of injuries, and is opposite of revengeful and hot-tempered. It seems to refer here to those who had endured calamity in any form, and would especially apply to those who had been suffering a long captivity in Babylon, and the idea is, that the Redeemer came to bring a message of joy to those who were oppressed and had tolerated the evils of poverty and calamity (Mat.11:5).
To bind up the broken-hearted . . . (Isa.1:6). The broken-hearted are those who are deeply afflicted and distressed on any account. It may be either because of their sins, or of captivity and oppression, or of the loss of relations and friends. The Redeemer came that He might apply the oil of comfort to all such hearts, and give them joy and peace. A similar expression occurs in: Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. (KJV)
To proclaim liberty to the captives . . . liberty from the tyranny of sin, and terror of Hell. This, Christ does, as a King with great power (Jn.8:32, 34, 36; Rom.6:17-18; Col.1:13; 2 Tim.2:26).
This must be interpreted spiritually, as John the Baptist (Mat.4:12; 14:3, 10) had to learn, because there is no record of Jesus' having obtained the release of anyone from an actual prison.
And the opening of the prison to them that are bound . . . to such who were captives to sin, Satan and the law, and as it were prisoners to them, shut up and held fast there. But Christ is the Author of liberty; obtaining it for His people, and makes them free with it . . . so He proclaims it in the Gospel; a liberty from sin, from the damning and governing power of sin; a freedom from the curse and condemnation of the law; a deliverance from the devil and all his children (1 Jn.3:10), or as of prisoners from a prison house.
*****The Gospel does not, all at once, and by a mere exertion of power, open prison doors, and restore captives to liberty. But it does accomplish a similar effect to this, for it releases the mind that is captive under sin; and it will finally open all prison doors. Preventing crime (immorality, wickedness, violence, sin) will prevent the need for prisons, and will remove all the sufferings which are now endured when confined in prison as the consequence of crime. It may be further stated, that liberty is a word which properly applies to the year of Jubilee, when all were permitted to go free (Lev.25:10). Also in Ezekiel 46:17, it is applied to the year in which the slave was by law restored to liberty. So properly, liberty has reference to the freedom of those who are held in bondage, or to servitude; and it may be implied that it was to be a part of the purpose of the Messiah to proclaim eventually universal freedom, and to restore all people to their just rights.
Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (KJV)
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD . . . not an exact year, but a time in general, for I think they are wrong, who from this verse determine that Christ's public ministry lasted just a year, since it is certain, by the Passovers He kept, that it must be at least three according to Scriptures (Mat.26:17-20; Lk.22:15; Jn.2:13, 23; 6:4; Ch.13), and then the Passover of His crucifixion in John 11:55–57. John alone recorded the three separate Passover celebrations. John mentions the first in John 2, the second Passover in 6:4 and the third one in 11:55; 12:1; 13:1; 18:28, 39; and 19:14. The third Passover was the one that occurred on the night before Jesus died, and it is the one recorded by all four Gospel writers in conjunction with the Last Supper and the death of Jesus (Mat.26:19; Mk.14:16; Lk.22:15; Jn.13:1; 19:14). The entire time that Christ was on Earth was an acceptable time. Acceptable year was the year of jubilee on which liberty was proclaimed to the captives (Isa.49:9; 61:1; 2 Cor.6:2). Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (KJV) . . . Acceptable year of the Lord . . . as you can see, Jesus stopped reading this Passage of Isaiah in the synagogue at Nazareth, at the comma in the middle of Isaiah 61:2. So, His First Coming opened the day of grace, the acceptable year of the LORD, but does NOT fulfil the day of vengeance. The day of vengeance will take place when the Messiah Returns (2 Thes.1:7-10; Isa.34:8; 35:4-10). Acceptable year of the Lord is the new and true jubilee or year of releasement. This year is now (2 Cor.6:2), but the present now must be embraced and improved, because the LORD is only for a while with men in the opportunities of grace; which opportunities are abrupt, and once past, are irrecoverable.
And the day of vengeance of our God . . . there shall be great tribulation (Mat.24:21) to them that trouble His people (2 Thes.1:6-10). Gog and Magog shall be put down in that day, as fire shall come down from God out of heaven, and devour them (Rev.20:7-9); and all enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me (Lk.19:27). It shall indeed be a day of vengeance! When Jesus closed the book (Lk.4:20) before the clause; and the day of vengeance of our God . . . this means Jesus’ First Coming is the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance will not happen until He comes again (Ps.21:8-9; 50:2-6; Dan.7:10; Mat.25:41, 46; 2 Thes.1:1-10; Heb.10:27; 12:29; 2 Pet.3:7, 10-12; Rev.20:10, 14-15. 21:8). What the Bible states about His Second Coming: (Zec.14:1-5; Rev.19:11-21).
To comfort all that mourn . . . this Christ did, both by word and deed, and this is what all His ministers do: Comfort the feebleminded (1 Thes.5:14), not burdening men’s consciences with human traditions, commandments of men (Mat.15:9) and importance of works (Rom.3:20-28; 4:2-5; Phil.3:9). Works is a doctrine of extreme anxiety, it is a damnable heresy (2 Pet.2:1). The day of vengeance will not begin until the Great Tribulation has ended, when the LORD shall return as the Great Judge of ALL mankind (Zec.14:1-5; Isa.34:8; 35:4; Mic.5:15; Rev.19:11-21).
*****Verses 1 and 2 in reality, give us a system of Biblical interpretation. If we read Isaiah 61 without knowing the New Testament, we would not know about Whom Isaiah is speaking. Who is it who says, "The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me"? And IF it is the LORD Jesus, does it refer to His First or His Second coming? In the New Testament, we have God's interpretation. When the LORD Jesus went into the synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth, He read this section: Luke 4:16-19 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (KJV)
Let’s look again at: Isaiah 61:1-2 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (KJV) . . . As we compare the two Passages . . . WHY did Jesus stop reading in the middle of the second verse of Isaiah? Because the rest of the sentence is and the day of vengeance of our God . . . why didn't Jesus preach that to the people that day?
Consider: Luke 4:20-21 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (KJV) . . . Jesus closed the Book! Isaiah's prophecy up to that point was fulfilled by Christ's First Coming. Isaiah had NOT made the division between the First and Second Comings of Christ . . . but the LORD Jesus quite clearly made the distinction. In Isaiah's prophecy, the little word and separates the First and Second Comings of Christ. The prophets of the LORD clearly wrote about the First and Second Comings of Christ. They quite clearly SAW these two majestic events, but they did NOT know the length of time that was between them. The apostle Peter confirms this:
1 Peter 1:10-11 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. (KJV) . . . Peter tells us that the prophets spoke of the sufferings of Christ and the glory of Christ, and we see this in both the first and second sections of Isaiah. The prophets saw the salvation of Christ, only at a distance and dimly. But securing the salvation of the soul, would be revealed. The prophets did not fully understand this salvation which would be perfected when Christ (Messiah) came and gave Himself a Sacrifice for our sins. It was only then that the grace of God became evident. Grace had always been there in the Old Testament, but they saw it only thru a mirror dimly (1 Cor.13:12). It was with Messiah's appearing, suffering, death and resurrection, that the prophets and all the righteous men of old were made perfect by their faith (Heb.11:39-40).
Old Testament saints only saw salvation through their Messiah from a distance. NO one was fully certain or secure until Christ came. They trusted in hope, looking ahead for a freedom from sin, looking to the Promise of a new covenant with a new heart and a new Spirit dwelling within them. New Testsment saints can go directly into God’s Presence (Rom.5:2; Eph.3:12; Heb.10:19). This grace revealed in the Gospel, the prophets foretold, but in dark way; for the Sun of Righteousness had not yet risen, the shadows were not gone, and the light was obscure.
Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. (KJV)
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion . . . to place happiness before them; to give them joy and comfort. That mourn in Zion (Isa.1:8). The mourners in Zion mean those who lived in Jerusalem; all who are connected with the church of God, His poor and afflicted people. By His Spirit (Rom.8:9), Christ puts comfort into the hearts of them, but, who through their unbelief refuse to be comforted. He has a set time when He will arise and have mercy on Zion, and bring her into a better state than she is now in, when there will be none of these causes of complaint and mourning.
To give unto them beauty for ashes . . . in the Hebrew there is here a beautiful phrase which cannot be interpreted to our language. The word beauty properly means a head-dress, turban, tiara, or diadem; and the idea is, that the Redeemer would impart to His mourning people such an ornament instead of the ashes, which in their grief they used on their heads. It was common among the Orientals to use dust and ashes on their heads in time of mourning, and to express their grief (Isa.47:1; 52:2; Lam.2:10).
The oil of joy for mourning . . . the oil of joy was a symbol or expression of joy. Oil or ointment was used on occasions of festivity and joy (Isa.57:9); but its use was not used in times of public calamity or grief (2 Sam.14:2). The grace of the Spirit without measure, with which Christ was anointed, is called the oil of gladness (Ps.45:7), and of the same nature, although not of the same measure, is the grace which saints have from Christ and the effect of which is joy and gladness, even joy unspeakable, and full of glory (1 Pet.1:8); which is gotten by faith in Christ, and a hope of eternal life by Him (Tit.1:2). This oil of joy is a gift from Christ, and cannot be bought with money; this holy unction comes only from Him (1 Jn.2:20); this oil is transferred from Him, through the Word and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It is extremely valuable, of great price (Mat.13:46; 1 Pet.3:4), and to be desired; and once being had, CANNOT ever be lost (Jn.14:16; 2 Jn.1:2), for the anointing abides for ever.
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness . . . praise and gratitude shall replace the spirit of heaviness . . . instead of a heavy, burdened and oppressed spirit . . . their spirits would soar as they praised the LORD, because the oil of joy excites praise in all on whom it is put; and these also shall have the praise of God, and they shall be received into His glorious Kingdom.
That they might be called trees of righteousness . . . that is, that the mourners in Zion, having all these things done for them, and bestowed on them, might be called, or appear to be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Ps.1:3).
The planting of the LORD . . . those whom the LORD had truly planted; those who were under His care and culture (vs.21). The same symbol is used by the Saviour. Matthew 15:13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. (KJV) . . . It is not uncommon in the Bible to represent people by trees (Isa.1:29-30; Ps.92:12-14).
That he might be glorified . . . by their fruitfulness and good works (Jn.15:8), that He might glorify Himself, or get Himself glory by them.
*****I believe that the Bible is its own best Commentator, and I believe that the LORD Jesus is the best Expositor (Explainer) of Scripture. There is no doubt, that the best exposition (explanation) of these verses, comes from our LORD Jesus Himself, who read Isaiah 61:1-3 in the synagogue at Nazareth and applied it entirely to Himself, saying, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (Lk.4:17-21); and the gracious words which proceeded out of His Mouth, in the opening of this text, were admired by all that heard them. Just as Isaiah was authorized and directed to proclaim liberty to the Jews in Babylon, so too was Christ, God's Messenger, to publish a more joyful Message to a lost world.
And we are told, how He was fitted and qualified for this work: The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me (vs.1). God’s prophets also had the Spirit of God (Gen.41:38; Ex.31:3; 35:31; Num.24:2; Eze.11:24) which moved them at times, both instructing them what to say and stimulating them to say it. Christ Jesus always had the Spirit of God resting on Him without measure (Jn.3:34), He had a Spirit of counsel and a Spirit of might,the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD (Isa.11:1-4). When Christ entered upon the carrying out of His prophetical office, the Spirit, as a dove, descended upon Him (Mat.3:16; Mk.1:10; Lk.3:22; Jn.1:32).
The service to which God the Father called Him to, He furnished Him for; giving Him His Spirit, because He had by a sacred and solemn unction (1 Jn.2:20) set Him apart for this great office, as the kings and priests of old were destined to their offices by anointing. The Redeemer was called the Messiah, the Christ, because He was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows. The LORD Jesus did not go unsent; He had a commission from the Father, Who is the Fountain of power . . . the Father sent Him and gave Him a command to go! This should be a great satisfaction to us, because whatever Christ said or did, He had authorization from Heaven for. His doctrine was not His, but the Father that sent Him.
Isaiah 61:4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. (KJV)
And they shall build the old wastes . . . they are the captives set at liberty (vs.1), who are called trees of righteousness and the planting of the LORD (vs.3). They are righteous and good men, who shall be employed in the spiritual building of the church in Gospel times, and especially in the last days; for here begins a story of the benefits and blessings that the TRUE church of Christ would partake of, especially at the time of the calling and conversion of the Jews. After having described the work and office of the Messiah, and His fitness for it, Isaiah returns to the same subject of the preceding chapter, and which is continued on into the next Chapter. What is here said was literally true, for when the Jews returned from Babylon, they built their ruined houses and cities; or at least, there is a reference to it . . . but here it seems to mean either, #1. setting up the interest of Christ, and forming churches in the Gentile world, where nothing but blindness and ignorance reigned; and of raising churches to the honor of the great Redeemer, or #2. it respects the building up of the tabernacle of David, that is fallen down, or the church of God among the Jews, which will be in the last days, when they are turned to the LORD (Amos 9:11).
They shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations . . . this shows the deserted state and condition of the Jews, and their long continuance in it, age after age; and looks forward to their recovery and restoration, when they shall become a flourishing people again, both in civil and spiritual things.
*****The land of Israel has not as yet received this facelift, which will literally restore her to the beauty of Eden. Since the Jews had been out of their land for 2500 years, and is now back in their land is wonderful. But, we must be careful not to call it the fulfillment of this prophecy. The so-called facelift that this verse talks about will take place at the beginning of the Millennium, and we are not yet at that place in time. The Bible does speak of the blessing and restoration of Israel in many places: (Isa.1:25-27; 2:1-5; 4:2-6; 11:11-13; Ch.25; 26:1-2, 12-19; 27:13; 29:18-24; 30:18-26; 32:15-20; 33:13-24; Ch.35; 37:31-32; 40:2, 9; 41:27; 49:13-23; Ch.51; 52:1-12; Ch.60; 61:4-9; Ch.62; 66:5-22; Jer.3:14-18; 4:3-18; 12:14-16; 23:3; 24:1-7; 29:1-14; 30:3-22; 32:36-44; Ch.33; 44:28; Eze14:22-23; 16:60-63; 20:40-41; 36:1-38; 37:12, 21; Dan.11:30-45; 12:1; Joel Ch.3; Amos 9:9-15; Ob.1:17-21; Mic.2:12-13; 5:3; Zep.2:7; Zec.1:14-21; Ch.2; Ch.8; 10:5-12; 12:1-14; Ch.13; 14:3-21; Mal.3:4; Rom.Ch.11; 2 Cor.3:16; Rev.7:5).
Isaiah 61:5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. (KJV)
And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks . . . and strangers shall stand (Isa.14:1-2, 60:10).
The many assemblies of Christ, shall be compared to flocks of sheep (1 Chron.21:17; Ps.74:1; Jer.13:20; 50:17; Eze.Ch.34; Mat.10:16; 26:31; Mk.1:27; Jn.10:1-16), as they often are in the Scriptures; and which shall be fed with knowledge and understanding, with the words of faith and right, sound doctrine, by Gentile pastors, who shall be raised up by Christ, and shall faithfully, freely and persistently perform the office for which they are called (Acts 20:28).
And the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers . . . the sons of Gentiles, who were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of Promise (Eph.2:12), shall be converted and brought to the knowledge of Christ, and being gifted by Him, will be of great service in His church; which is God's husbandry (1 Cor.3:9), and shall be filled and nurtured by them. The fallow ground of men's hearts (Jer.4:3; Hos.10:12), shall be plowed up by them, with the plow of the Gospel the LORD Jesus Christ, as they shall succeed in their labor; and the Seed of the Word sown in them, which, by the blessing of God, shall take root, spring up and bring forth fruit (Mat.13:23). The TRUE church of God is compared to a vineyard, and churches of Christ to vines (Jn.15:1-2). Such men as are called by grace from among the Gentiles, and have received gifts from Christ, and shall be the keepers and dressers of these vines, by planting, pruning and watering them, doing everything necessary to support them.
Isaiah 61:6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. (KJV)
But ye shall be named the priests of the LORD . . . the idea here is literally, there will be no need of the Jews working in agriculture, for all that will be done by others; and they, as ministers of God, shall work entirely in the duties of religion. They Jews shall not only be released out of their captivity, but shall be highly preferred and honorably employed. While the Gentiles keep their flocks, they shall be in charge of the sanctuary; instead of being slaves to task-masters, they shall be the priests of the LORD, which is a high and holy calling.
Men shall call you the Ministers of our God . . . Christians shall acknowledge the Jews to be the servants of Christ, of Immanuel (Isa.7:13; 8:8; Mat.1:23), which means God with us, for they have professed faith in Him, and submitted to His ordinances. This speaks of the last days (Rev.7), for this is not so today. You shall be the Ministers of our God, as the Levites were. Dear one, those whom God sets at liberty, He puts to work; delivering them out of the hands of their enemies that they may serve Him (Lk.1:74-75. Ps.116:16-19). When God brought Israel out of Egypt, He took them to be to Him a kingdom of priests (Ex.19:6), and the Gospel church is a royal priesthood (1 Pet.2:9). All TRUE believers (Jews and Gentiles) are made to our God kings and priests; and they should conduct themselves as such in their devotions and in their entire lifestyle, with holiness to the LORD (Ex.28:36; 39:30; Isa.23:18), written upon their foreheads, that men may call them the priests of the LORD.
Ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles . . . converted Gentiles, who shall join themselves with Jewish converts in the TRUE Gospel church; who shall bring their wealth with them, and with it support the interest of Christ (vs.5); or this may be understood of their spiritual riches, the unsearchable riches of Christ revealed in the Gospel (Rom.11:33; Eph.3:8), which the Gentiles have long possessed, but now the Jews shall have a share with them. What a wonderful day this will be! The wealth and honor of the Gentile converts shall contribute greatly to the benefit and credit of the Gospel church. The Gentiles shall be brought into the TRUE church. Those that were strangers shall become fellow-citizens with the saints; and when the Gentiles come, they shall bring all they have (Isa.60:5-9), to be devoted to the glory of God and used in His service. The priests, the LORD'S Ministers, shall have the advantage of it. It will be a time of great strengthening and accelerating, as well as a comfort and encouragement to all TRUE Christians, to see the Gentiles serving the interests in the Kingdom of God.
And in their glory shall you boast yourselves . . . not boasting as being the seed of Abraham, as they did before; in birth privileges, in customary rites and ceremonies, such as circumcision and others; but in what is the Glory of the Gentiles, Christ Jesus Himself, who alone is their Glory, and in Whom they glory; and also His Gospel, and the ordinances of it, which indeed are the glory of every nation possessed of them.
*****Men shall in that day call the Jews Ministers of our God. Israel is going to be a priesthood of TRUE believers during the Millennium (Rev.7). It was God's original intention that the entire nation would be priests, but they denied Christ as their Messiah, rejecting Him completely!
Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (KJV) . . . Because of their sin of unbelief, this was never accomplished as the LORD desired, but it shall be accomplished in the Millennial Kingdom in the last days!
Isaiah 61:7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
For your shame you shall have double . . . for your shame; instead of being a reproach, ridicule, mockery and a curse, as the Jews now are everywhere . . . when they finally see the Truth and are converted, they will have double honor, in things both civil and religious, and have great respect of Christ, and all His people. For your shame, instead of the reproach and humiliation, you will have joy. You shall have double a double portion or reward (Job 42:10-12). Their shame: (Ps.4:2; 44:15; Isa.30:3; 40:2; Jer.3:25; 13:26; 23:40; 46:12; 51:51; Eze.7:18; 16:54; 16:63; 39:26; 44:13; Dan.12:2; Hos.4:7, 18; 9:10; Mic.7:10; Nah.3:5)
And for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion . . . confusion here means the same as a flush of shame, and refers to the scenes of humiliation and sorrow which the nation had passed through on account of its sins. Instead of the confusion and reproach Israel has long been under; or of that when they shall be thrown into, when first awakened and convinced of their sin of unbelief and rejection of the Messiah . . . they shall rejoice in Christ their portion, and in all those spiritual blessings they will see themselves blessed with in Him. They will now have the double portion of the firstborn (Deut.21:17), they once were, and to which there may be a reference, as some think; or, as others who think this refers to the double portion of the Spirit of Elijah on Elisha (2 Ki.2:9); they shall now have the Spirit of grace and of supplications (Zec.12:10)poured upon them, and all the gifts and graces of the Spirit bestowed on them, all of which will be cause of great joy and rejoicing to them.
Therefore in their land they shall possess the double . . . therefore in their land this is to be considered as addressed to the exiles in Babylon, and the Promise is, that the people of God would be restored again to their own land, and they shall possess the double, to more than their former privileges and blessings were before. This is to be applied to the times of the Messiah in the last days, and Isaiah no doubt means that the privileges of the friends of God would be far greater than had been enjoyed even in the most favored times under the former dispensation.
Everlasting joy shall be unto them . . . in the last days, they shall no more be carried captive, or be dispossessed of either their civil or religious privileges (Ps.16:11; Isa.35:10; 60:19; Mat.25:46; 2 Thes.2:16).
Isaiah 61:8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. (KJV)
For I the LORD love judgment . . . the LORD delights in rendering to His people what is good and upright, and it is right that they should enjoy His protection, and be favored with the tokens of His lovingkindness. Because He loves justice and right, He as a result, shall confer on them the privileges and blessings which they should enjoy, and which will be a public expression of His approval and love. Isaiah not only confirms what he promised in the Name of the LORD, but also urges the Jews to repent, and shows what they should expect of salvation, and what and how great the Judge is with whom we have to deal.
I hate robbery for burnt offering . . . that which is stolen, even though it be converted into a burnt offering, is hated by the LORD! All dishonesty, immorality and wickedness, are hated for they cannot be rewarded when offered as ceremonial sacrifices. Burnt offering, or any other offering by the sacrifices of the law, that are being offered up without faith in Christ . . . Who was the Great Sacrifice, is displeasing and hateful to Him (Isa.1:11-15).
And I will direct their work in truth . . . assign them work and service of a spiritual nature, directing and enabling them to perform it in spirit and in truth, in opposition to the carnal and veiled ordinances of the ceremonial law (Jn.4:23-24).
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them . . . meaning to renew the everlasting covenant of grace with them, make it clear to them; applying the grace and bestowing the blessings of it to and on them (Rom.11:25-27).
Isaiah 61:9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed. (KJV)
And their seed . . . the symbol here is taken from the feelings of a parent who desires his children to be respected and valued, and who regards it as an honor that they become so distinguished that their fame extends to distant lands.
Shall be known among the Gentiles . . . shall be distinguished or honored. For this use of the word known, see: (Ps.67:2; 76:1; 79:10)
And their offspring among the people . . . the people of distant lands. Not only the Jews will be converted as a body in the last days, but there will be a succession of converts among them in last days, that will be known among Christian Gentiles by their faith and love, good works and holy lifestyle; and will be taken notice of and acknowledged by them as brethren, and will be famous among them for holiness.
All that see them shall acknowledge them . . . the time shall come when the TRUE friends of the Redeemer will be universally honored. They shall be regarded as the favored of the LORD; and instead of being persecuted and despised, the nations of the Earth will regard them as worthy of their confidence and esteem.
That they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed . . . that they are the spiritual seed of Abraham, as well as his carnal seed, and are blessed with him; blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ, with faith in him, and with every other grace (Isai.48:19). The sense is, that the TRUE friends of the church shall be honored everywhere. Distant lands shall be acquainted with them, and shall be willing to show them great respect.
*****In the last days, anti-Semitism will finally come to an end, and pro-Semitism will begin because they are in fact, genuine witnesses for God. In today’s world, neither Israel nor the church is fulfilling what God intended for His people. He warned us in His Word that the day would come when we would have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. It is here, upon us now! 2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (KJV) . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/2_tim_ch3.htm
Delights of the Millennium (61:10-11)
Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (KJV)
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD . . . I do not think that these are the words of Isaiah rejoicing in the goodness of the LORD to His people and countrymen; nor are these words of Christ. It seems these may quite possibly be the words of the Jews now converted, and brought into the Church of Christ, along with the Gentiles made fellow heirs of the blessings of the new covenant, expressing her joy for benefits received, as stated in the preceding verses.
My soul shall be joyful in my God . . . the nature of this joy can be clearly seen from the text itself . . . joy is NOT a carnal, physical joy . . . nor is this the joy of a carnal man in bodily things . . . this joy is spiritual; nor a pharisaical (hypocritical) joy, not a man rejoicing in a man's efforts, in his own works of righteousness, for the joy spoken of here is in the LORD; not an external only, hypocritical one. A soul can rejoice only in the joy of faith, a joy of knowing they are in the LORD. This is a very great joy indeed, a joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Pet.1:8); and this joy is continual. Anytime we trust in our own works or goodness for salvation instead of the grace of God and the Blood of Jesus, we are like the Pharisees (pharisaical). The fact is, that a pharisaical believer, even those in the professing churches of Christ, is one thing and a TRUE Christian is another. May God help us not to be Pharisees! Souls can be joyful only if they are in Christ (1 Thes.4:16). CHRIST JESUS IS GOD! The Holy Word of God says so!
For he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation . . . meaning Jerusalem or the church. She is not clothed with her own garment, for our works of righteousness is as filthy rags (Isa.64:6), in the eyes of God the Father! There no covering, no garment, except the righteousness of Christ, that will be accepted by God. Righteousness of Christ: (Rom.3:22; 5:1-2, 17-18; 8:10; 10:6; 1 Cor.1:30; Gal.2:21; Phil.1:11; 3:9; 1 Pet.17-19; 2 Pet.1:1). Garments of salvation (Mat.22:2-14) are definitely required to enter in to the Kingdom of Heaven, and the fact is, that God does furnish all that is needed for our entrance into Heaven . . . IF we are wise enough to believe Him! See our commentary on Matthew Chapter 22 for more on the wedding garment. http://www.godcannotlie.org/matthew_ch22.htm
As a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments . . . or, adorns himself in a princely or priestly manner with ornaments. The reference here is to the dress of the Jewish high priest when he discharged the functions of his office, and mainly the mitre and the crown of gold (Ex.29:6). It is difficult to give full meaning to the symbol the prophet uses in another language, for much is lost in the translation. The sense is that the church should be adorned with the highest ornament and beauty; not for the mere purpose of decoration, but as if it were a priest engaged in offering continually the sacrifice of prayer and praise (Heb.13:15).
And as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels . . . and as a bride (Isa.49:18). Jewels here does not of necessity mean only jewels. It properly means a device, implement, utensil or container; and then dress, ornaments of any kind; and would be better to say here, bridal ornaments. In other words, a bride makes herself as presentable as she can, to recommend herself to her spouse and her friends. So too, thus richly and magnificently arrayed is the TRUE Gospel church of Christ, and every believer, being clothed with His righteousness. Thus, the bridegroom and the bride are clothed alike with the garment down to the feet; and both are righteous as Christ is righteous (1 Cor.1:30); and both are as a bride adorned and made ready for her husband. How can a man be a bride? The Bible gives us the answer: Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (KJV) There shall be NO marriage in Heaven! We shall be as the angels of God in heaven . . . as the angels, no male nor female, NOT we shall be angels. Nowhere in the Bible does God tell us we shall become angels! Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. (KJV) Read Matthew 22:23-33.
*****I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God. These may be the words of the Jews now converted, and brought into the Gospel Church of Christ, and with the Gentiles made fellow heirs of the blessings of the new covenant.
I will rejoice in the LORD, means that the joy would arise from the view of the faithfulness and perfections of Almighty God, shown in the redemption of His people. A similar expression of joy is found in the song of Mary (Lk.1:46-47).
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God . . . can you even begin to imagine the joy that will be known in those days? I truly wish people enjoyed the study of the Bible more in these days. There is so much comfort there for us! But I suppose one of the main reasons people do not study more is, the Bible does warn of the consequences of disobedience. People do NOT want to hear that they are sinners, and unless they repent they are doomed to the lake of fire (Rev.20:15).
The problem in our day is that many ‘Christians’ cannot rejoice in the LORD because they are out of fellowship with Him. They have sin in their lives, they are way out of the will of God, as they continue on in their self-will, in sins they know are wrong, on the way to the condemnation of their soul (Jn.3:18, 36; 8:24; 14:6; Acts 4:12).
Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (KJV)
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud . . . this symbol is used several times by Isaiah (45:8; 55:10-11; 58:11). The idea is a beautiful one, which, on the Coming of the Messiah, Truth and righteousness would spring up and abound like grass and fruits in the vegetable garden when the Earth is blessed with rain. Her bud, the word bud we usually apply to the small bunch or swelling on the branches of a plant, containing the beginnings of the future leaf or flower. The Hebrew word bud, however, means the germ, shoot, or the young and tender plant as it comes up from the Earth . . . that which first appears from the planted seed.
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations . . .
(Isa.43:9; 44:4; 45:8; 55:10; 58:11; 60:18; 62:7; Ps.1:3; 72:3; 85:11), meaning, the righteousness and salvation of His people through Christ, by which they shall be justified (Rom.3:24; 5:1) and saved; and because of which they shall praise the LORD, and shall be to honor and praise themselves, being interested in those blessings in the sight of all the Christian nations around them. I think this is in regard to the conversion of the Jews, their justification and salvation, and the suddenness of it, and the large numbers of them converted, who should rise up at once like the buds of grass out of the Earth; and means the flourishing condition in which they shall be, like a garden abounding everywhere; and suggests how full of joy, thankfulness and praise to God they would be, and how honorable in the sight of men. All of this will be the LORD'S doing, and owing to His amazing grace.
*****Verses 10 an 11 also must be identified with the New Covenant in Christ. Only in Christ is there salvation. The only true righteousness this world ever knew, or ever will know is in Christ; and those who wish to share in it must do so in the One and only Way God has chosen, that being His only begotten Son (Jn.3:16; 14:6; Acts 4:12). For anyone who has hope to be clothed with the garments of righteousness mentioned here, there is ONLY ONE WAY for it to happen: Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (KJV) . . . Putting on Christ is equivalent to putting on the righteousness of Christ.
Prophecies about the Rapture: (Ps.27:5; Isa.26:20-21; Zep.2:3; Mat.3:2-3; 24:36-42; 25:1-13; Lk.12:40, 17:26-30, 35-36; Jn.14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 1 Cor.15:51-52; 1 Thes.4:13-18; 5:1-6; Col.1:12-15; 2 Pet.3:3-4, 9; Rev.3:10-11; 22:12-14)
Prophecies about the Millennial Kingdom: (Isa. 2:1-4; 4:1-6; 16:5; 35:1-10; 60:2-6, 12-15, 18-22; 66:18-19; Eze.34:11-31; 36:33-38; Hos.1:10-11; 2:17-23; 3:5; Amos 9:8; Mic.4:3-5, 12; 5:3-4; Zep.3:9:17; Zec.12:2-14; 13:8-9; 14:16-21; Mat.25:31-33; Rev.20).
The Prophecy in Chapter 61:
Predictions, that have been fulfilled:
#1. The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me (the Messiah, Isa.61:1; Lk.4:16-19.
#2. He has anointed Me (Messiah) to preach good tidings unto the meek (vs.1).
#3. To bind up the broken-hearted (vs.1).
#4. To proclaim liberty to captives (vs.1).
#5. To open the prison to them that are bound (vs.1).
#6. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (vs.2).
#7. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD (vs.10).
#8. My soul will be joyful in God (vs.10).
#9. He has clothed me (church) with the garments of salvation (vs.10).
#10. He has covered me with the robe of righteousness like a bride and groom decking themselves with ornaments and jewels (10).
Predictions, not yet fulfilled:
#1. He has sent me to proclaim the day of vengeance of our God (vs.2).
#2. To comfort all that mourn (vs.2).
#3. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion (vs.3).
#4. To give unto them beauty for ashes (vs.3).
#5. Oil of joy for mourning (vs.3).
#6. Garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness (vs.3).
#7. Men will be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified (vs.3).
#8. They will build the old wastes (vs.4).
#9. They will raise up the former desolations (vs.4).
#10. They will repair the waste cities (vs.4).
#11. They will repair the desolations of many generations (vs.4).
#12. Strangers will feed your flocks (vs.5).
#13. Aliens will be your plowmen and your vinedressers (vs.5).
#14. You will be Priests of the LORD (vs.6).
#15. People will call you Ministers of God (vs.6).
#16. You will eat the riches of the Gentiles (vs.6).
#17. You will boast yourselves in their glory, power, and riches (vs.6).
#18. For your shame you will receive double your former possessions (vs.7).
#19. Instead of confusion you will rejoice in their portion [the portion of the Gentiles] (vs.7).
#20. You will possess double their land.
#21. You will have everlasting joy (vs.7).
#22. I will direct their work (Israel's) in truth (vs.8).
#23. I will make an everlasting covenant with them (Isa.61:8; 42:6; 49:8; 55:3; 57:8; 59:21; Jer.31:31; Heb.10:16).
#24. Your seed will be known among the Gentiles (vs.9).
#25. All that see them will acknowledge them to be the seed God has blessed (vs.9).
#26. The Lord will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all nations (vs.11).
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page
JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
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Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page