Let’s turn now in our Bibles to Isaiah sixty. Now the men who made the chapter and verse separations in the Bible were much smarter than I. But I do wonder why they did separate certain chapters where they did. This is one case where I sort of question the separation of the chapters at the point they did it. Had I been on the committee, I would have voted to make the chapter separation at the end of verse nineteen, in the previous chapter. I would’ve started chapter sixty with verse twenty of the previous chapter. Because we are now moving into an interesting aspect of the prophecy of the future glory that will come to Israel when the Messiah comes.
Now Paul the apostle in Romans, as he is talking about the sovereignty of God, in salvation, and of God setting aside the Jewish nation for a time, that the gospel might come to the Gentiles. Paul said, “For blindness has happened in part to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles are come in. But then”, that is when the fullness of the Gentiles have come in, “all Israel shall be saved. For there shall come a Redeemer out of Zion to turn the hearts of the children unto the fathers.”
So Paul is picking up this prophecy of Isaiah, speaking about that day when the Redeemer would come to Zion. Thus in verse twenty of the previous chapter, “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord”, and the Lord established His covenant, “As for me this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord. My Spirit is upon thee, my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.”
So the Lord is going to be reunited with Israel. This is the thrust of prophecy, the prophecy concerning the nation. There is going to be a final restoration of this nation unto God. Where God will again take them, and will be their God. The prophet Hosea, his life was a classic kind of a illustration of God’s unfailing love for His unfaithful wife, Israel. The prophet was told by God to go and take this woman as his wife, she bore a child. When the second child was born he said, “It’s not mine”. So she left him, she went into the life of a prostitute. She finally ended up as a slave. So the Lord said, “Now go and purchase her, redeem her from her slavery, and restore her again as your wife.”
Then the Lord took off of that as an illustration of Israel, who was unfaithful unto God and went into slavery, but, how God was going to take her back again, and claim her, as His. So this is the prophecy of that day when the Redeemer would come to Zion. The day of restoration. The things that will then transpire are given to us in chapter sixty. The things that will take place when the Redeemer comes.
Arise, and shine; for thy light is come, [Jesus the light of the world!] and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee (60:1).
What beautiful verses to the nation! “Your Lord is come! Arise, and shine! The light has come!” The glory of the Lord again upon Israel. “Risen upon thee.”
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee (60:2).
When the church is taken out of the earth, and the earth goes through that period of worshiping the Antichrist, and that great tribulation period, the earth outside of Israel will be covered with darkness. God will again begin to work with Israel.
There were seventy sevens that God had determined upon the nation of Israel to accomplish His full purposes, and to complete the whole prophetic picture. From the time the commandment would go forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, to the Messiah, would be sixty nine sevens. But then the Messiah was to be cut off. The nation was to be dispersed. But God said in the latter days He would bring them back again into the land. We have seen that fulfillment. We have seen the Jews returning to the land of Israel.
Now we are coming in that prophetic picture, to the point where the church is about to be taken out of this earth. As you look around at the conditions of the world, you have to say, “None too soon! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!”
They’ve tried to put a lid upon the reports of the prevalence of the AIDS virus. You haven’t read much about it of late. About the only thing they print is the hopes that they have of maybe some new vaccine, is promising that perhaps in the future they’re gonna be able to find some answer. But in the meantime, the incidents of the AIDS is increasing rapidly. It is now estimated by the World Health Organization that there are ten million people in the world infected with AIDS! Right now it’s begun to hit in Asia, and they feel that that is just going to explode like a bomb in Asia. “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!”
Now when the church is taken out, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world”, and when the church is taken out of the world, the whole world will be plunged into a darkness unparalleled in history. The only light will be in Israel, where God will once again be dealing with the nation of Israel, anointing those, or, sealing the hundred and forty four thousand, who will be as evangelists. But the rest of the world will be dark. Dark indeed without the message of the gospel, and without the light of the gospel.
So, “Behold the darkness shall cover the earth, the gross darkness, the people. But the Lord shall arise upon thee”, upon Israel, “and His glory will be seen upon thee.” So there in Israel, it will stand as the light in this dark world, as God will once again be working amongst the nation and the people of Israel, and thus…
The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and the kings to the brightness of thy rising (60:3).
Those souls throughout the earth that are sort of sick of the evil, are just repulsed by the horrible, gross darkness that the world plunges into, once the Christian influence is, is removed. Right now the Christian influence is the only thing that is holding back this great flood of evil! The Bible says, “Evil days shall wax worse and worse.”
If it were not for the Christian influence, as weak as it is, as Jesus said to the church of Philadelphia, His true church in the last days, “You have a little strength”. Not much, as weak as the influence of the church is, when that is removed, imagine how the world will just suddenly be inundated with every kind of, of filth, immorality, the whole thing is just gonna go quickly, just right down into the pit. But there will be those who will come longing after the light that they see, as God is working again in Israel. So, “The Gentiles shall come to thy light, the kings to the brightness of thy rising.”
Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all of they gather themselves together, they come to thee: your sons shall come from far, your daughters shall be nursed at thy side. [So the people of Israel returning back, because they hear that God is working there.] And then you will see, you’ll flow together, your heart will fear, and be enlarged; because of the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, and the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. [Then He speaks of those that will be coming from the area of Saudi Arabia.] The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian, Ephah, and all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord. All of the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: and they shall come up with acceptance on my altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. [So the temple rebuilt and the people gathering together.] Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to cover the windows? Surely the coast lands shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and unto the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee (60:5-9).
So this massive movement of the Jews back to Israel. Bringing back to Israel their wealth. The other nations round about seeing the hand of God and the glory of God being poured out, also coming and offering unto God.
The sons of the strangers shall build up thy walls, thy kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they’ll not be shut by night nor by day; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that the kings may be brought. For the nation and the kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. And the glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious (60:10-13).
So again the reference to the sanctuary of God to be built. The, the glorious beauty of the sanctuary, the trees that will be planted around it that will add to it’s beauty. The landscaping and all.
The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion the Holy One of Israel (60:14).
Now these are the prophesies that the Jew thinks of when he thinks of the Messiah. When Jesus came, these were the prophesies that the disciples were thinking about. These were the things that they were anticipating the Messiah to do, the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. “He is here!”
So they felt that the next major event is going to be this glory coming upon Israel, and all of the nations coming and bringing to them their wealth. Recognizing God’s presence and power upon the nation. They were anticipating this to happen with the Messiah. This is what was paramount in, this is what the disciples were arguing about. “When He sets up His kingdom now, I’m gonna be prime minister, you’ll probably be treasurer or something, but you know surely He’s chosen me!” They were arguing about who was gonna be the greater when He set up His kingdom. That is why the thought of the cross was so repulsive and devastating to them.
When Jesus first received the acknowledgment from Peter that He was the Messiah, and then He told them that He was gonna be crucified, Peter said, “Lord! Be that far from thee!”, and Jesus rebuked him. You remember that even after Jesus rose from the dead, He said to His disciples as He appeared to them, “Now wait in Jerusalem until you receive the promise of the Father which I have told you about. For John baptized you with water, but you’re gonna be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.” The disciples said, “Lord will you set up your kingdom then? You know, let’s get on with this thing!” They were anxious that the kingdom be set up, because they were still thinking in the terms of Isaiah sixty, sixty one, of this glorious, glorious blessing of God that would be upon the nation of Israel, upon the city of Jerusalem. It would be the glory of the world, the Gentiles coming to it, to acknowledge that God is, is truly there working in the midst of His people. Thus, “the cross”, Paul said, “to the Jew was a stumbling block”. To think that the Messiah would be crucified that, that stumbled them!
What had happened, they knew Isaiah fifty three, they knew Psalm twenty two, and they knew these other prophesies concerning the Messiah being cut off, being despised and rejected, being put to death, but what they did is spiritualize those scriptures. They said, “Well you see, that really is not to be taken literally.” And, they began to make spiritual allegories out of the scriptures, and thus explaining them away. Because they could not reconcile these seemingly contradictory prophesies. Contradictory because on one hand, Jerusalem the glory of the nations, all the nations pouring into it, the light of God rising upon it, the glory of the Lord upon it, the Messiah there reigning. Yet, He is to be despised and rejected, a man of sorrows acquainted with grief, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. So because they were seemingly contradictory, they, they just spiritualized.
Now that is a common danger. When we do not understand the plain teaching of the scripture, it doesn’t seem to fit with our particular theology, so often you will hear people saying, “Well, now God really didn’t mean that, what God meant was…”, and they find themselves in, in the position of spiritualizing the scriptures, and in an essence, negating what the scriptures say.
I do believe that the plain and the obvious understanding of the scripture, is the correct understanding. I don’t think that God tried to hide the truth. I think that God said what He meant, and He meant what He said. When anybody says, “Well that’s not really what God meant, what God really meant was…”, and they begin to give some kind of a spiritual interpretation, I always back away.
Now I may not understand what God meant, but I’m willing to wait and see what He meant, rather than trying to you know, pass it off as, as something that was just a spiritual allegory, and has to be interpreted this way. Jesus said no man would know the day or the hour when He would come. “No man knows the day or the hour when the Son of man cometh.” That’s what Jesus said. Very plain. Don’t you find that pretty clear? What do you think He meant by that?
So whenever a person begins his book and in the first chapter he tells you that Jesus didn’t really mean that, because the book is gonna reveal to you the day or the hour that He’s coming. You know, “October the eleventh”, and whatever, the new date that they have set. But the first thing that they have to do in writing those kind of book is tell you why Jesus didn’t really mean what He said. So whenever you have to start a book by saying, “Jesus really didn’t mean what He said”, then I don’t go any further! Ha, ha!
I think it’s folly to try to pass off our lack of understanding perhaps, of the scripture, by saying, “Well that’s not really what He meant. In the Greek…”, you know. Oh how they snow us with that, “In the Greek”, business! Some of the greatest scholars in the world were those that translated the Greek into English. You can trust your Bible. Jesus said what He meant, and He meant what He said. None of us know the day or the hour that the Son of man is coming. It’ll be in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, but just when, we don’t know. And, no man can tell you! There’s gonna be another flurry of books like there were a couple of years ago, “Eighty eight reasons why Jesus is coming in 1988″, you know. Written by a guy named, Wisenut, it turned out that the last part of his name was correct. But he’s the one that said, “Oh I miscalculated”, he’s coming out with a new book now, and “it’s gonna be October the eleventh in 1992″, I think. So, according to the latest calculations. But that, in face of the fact that Jesus said, “No man knows the day or the hour…”.
So the Jews were guilty of much the same thing. Prophesies of this glorious day. Israel, the glory of the nation, the light of the world, the Gentiles pouring into it to see the glory that was there. Yet, the Messiah despised, cut off, numbered with the transgressors in His death. They made that fatal mistake of spiritualizing the one, holding to the other. Even the disciples were guilty. So it goes on to say the glory that shall be, verse fifteen, the nation of Israel…
Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. [The Jews have been hated, they’ve been forsaken, and yet God is going to restore them to a place of prominence, and blessing.] You shall also suck the milk of the Gentiles, suck the breast of kings: thou shalt know that I the Lord am your Saviour and your Redeemer, and the mighty One of Jacob (60:15-16).
Notice the names that the Lord said. “I am your Saviour, I am your Redeemer, I am the mighty One of Jacob”.
For copper [They really didn’t have brass in those days, it’s a bad translation, “for copper”] I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood I will bring the copper, and for the stones iron: I also will make your officers peace, and your exactors righteousness (60:17).
“Your judges will be righteous, your officers will be peace”, truly peace officers! During the reign of Solomon, when Israel came to the apex of its glory and power, it said that, “Solomon made silver as common as rocks in Jerusalem”. So in this declaration that God would make their rocks as copper and all, it’s, it’s again saying that God’s glory and blessing will once again be upon the nation, and upon the land as in the glory of Solomon’s reign.
And there will be no more violence heard in the land (60:18),
Can you imagine living in a land in which there is no violence? Wouldn’t that be glorious? I, I, when I read the papers, read the things that are happening and all, in my heart I find myself yearning to find an island someplace where we could all move! Start over again, you know again just seeking God, and following the Lord, and following the law of God. Where we wouldn’t have any jails, and no need for them. Where we would all live together according to the biblical Christian principles, of loving one another, sharing with one another, and just that living together in accordance to God’s plan, God’s will. No violence. This will come. The day will come when violence shall no more be heard in the land.
nor wasting or destruction within your borders; but you will call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise (60:18).
Oh my what beauty it would be to live in a community like that! The city limits, it has a sign, “Salvation”, and all the way in the valley instead of speed limit signs, “Praise the Lord”! “Let God be Magnified!” You know! The billboards would all be exhorting you to just praise God, and to give glory to His wonderful name. The day is coming! That day of God’s reign over the earth.
Now in this day, and in the book of Revelation, as it talks about the New Jerusalem, and parallel prophesies here. In this time, both here and in Revelations, they have no need of the sun for light. There will be an irradiated glory of God. The presence of God lightening the place!
The sun will no more be your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. The sun will no more go down; neither will the moon withdraw itself: for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. [God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.] And thy people also shall be all righteous: [Everyone righteous, oh bless God, how glorious!] they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands that I may be glorified (60:19-21).
Now this is the theme that we find reoccurring, “that I may be glorified”. As Paul talks to us of the marvelous grace of God, and those blessings of grace, as he tells us about this marvelous gift of God to us, the spiritual blessings that God has bestowed upon us in Christ, in heavenly places. As he begins to enumerate these spiritual blessings, the things that God has done for you, “He has chosen you, and He has called you, and He has adopted you, and He has redeemed you, and He’s done all of these marvelous things for you! The oft repeated phrase is, he’s again talking about God’s wonderful things for you, he, he uses the phrase over and over, “that we might be to the praise of the glory of His grace”.
Then in chapter two, he becomes so bold as to say, “Now by grace are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, and not of works, lest any man should boast”. Salvation is God’s gift to you. It’s not of your works, lest we should boast, and we would then be glorying in ourselves. “Well now I led ten people to the Lord, I read fifty chapters of the Bible, and I memorized two passages. You know, and thus here I am!” I would be boasting in what I had done. But because salvation is of the Lord, and He has called me, and He has chosen me, and He has washed me and cleansed me, and provided my redemption through Jesus Christ, all I can say is, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin that’s done is dirty work, but He made me white as snow!” Praise the Lord! When we stand around the throne of God, we’ll just be still saying, “Jesus did it all! I owe it all to Him. He washed me, He called me, He cleansed me!” The praise will be to God, that God may be glorified! So in talking about these glorious days of the future, it’s to bring glory to God from the people as they see the marvelous hand, and work of God.
A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: [That is, just a little one will be as strong as a thousand, and a small one will be as strong as a nation.] for I the Lord will hasten it in his time (60:22).
In God’s perfect time, He will bring it to pass. Now, I’m impatient. I, with John say, “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus! Quickly Lord!” The more I see of the conditions of the world in which we live, the more I see our land being polluted, the more I see evil raising its ugly scepter over the land, the more desperately my heart cries, “Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!” I’m not really so concerned for myself. I’ve lived my life. God has been good to me. My concern is really for my grandchildren. Looking at the last thirty years, and how far we have fallen in the last thirty years, and thinking of that kind of declension will continue over the next thirty years, I wonder what the next thirty years will bring. I don’t think that, that the nation can survive! I wonder about my grandchildren. I look at them, I love them, I, they’re my life! I wonder what kind of a world am I leaving them. I wonder what can I do. Really, all I can do is say, “Lord come quickly! Don’t let them have to face a world that is so rotten and filled with pollution!”
Chapter sixty one he goes on, but now at the beginning, in talking of the Messiah, he gives us aspects of the first coming of Jesus. So we have read in Isaiah chapter eleven, “the Messiah, the Spirit of the Lord will be upon Him. The root out of Jesse”, and here we read…
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (61:1-2),
Now when Jesus began His public ministry, He was baptized first of all by John in the Jordan river, the Spirit of God descended upon Him, and He began His ministry at that time. First of all, into the wilderness, fasting and praying for forty days, then tempted by the devil. Then, He returned to Nazareth, His home town. It was on the Sabbath day, He came into the synagogue, and the chief of the synagogue handed Him the scriptures to read. He turned in the Isaiah scroll, to this verse, where it is written, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good tidings to the meek; sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, the opening of the prison to those that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord”, and He closed the scroll. He didn’t read any further. He didn’t talk about…
the day of the vengeance of our God (61:2);
That’s yet future, the day of the Lord’s vengeance is coming, the great tribulation, that’s yet future, but He closed the scroll, and He turned to those and He said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your eyes.” He was saying to them, “I am the one who the prophet was talking about.” The Holy Spirit had descended upon Him. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and has anointed me to preach the gospel to the meek; to heal, or to bind up the broken hearted”, which is, is the process of healing. They would bind up the wound tightly with the cloth, in order to aid and abet the healing process. “To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison of those that are bound, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” This is the year, or the day of God’s salvation. The day in which God is offering His salvation to the people, “the acceptable year of the Lord”. “Now is the accepted time”, the scripture said. We’re living now in the accepted, this is the time that you can accept Jesus. This is the accepted time.
Now the, “proclaiming liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those that are bound”, it is my belief, and I really haven’t found this in the commentaries. I hesitate to say that the Lord has given me a revelation that no one else has had. I would be afraid of that. But yet, I can see a tie with this scripture, “the opening of the prisons to those that were bound”. We, we look at it in a spiritual sense, and we say, “Yes a person is bound by sin, and Jesus releases them from that prison”. That’s true. But there were also others who were in a prison, bound, who were waiting for the Messiah. That was the saints of the Old Testament.
You see it was impossible that the blood of bulls or goats could put away their sins. All they could do was cover their sins. It was only the blood of Jesus Christ that could actually put away sin. The blood of the bulls and goats were all looking forward to the blood of Christ, the complete sacrifice to put away sins. So that those who died in the Old Testament, believing in the promises of God, died by faith, but they didn’t receive the promise.
In Hebrews chapter eleven as it tells us of the Old Testament patriarch saints and all, it said, “These all died in faith, not having seen the promise, but”, or, “not having received the promise, but seeing it afar off”, that is, looking down to Christ, “they embraced it”, they held onto it. They said, “We’re just strangers and pilgrims here, we’re looking for the city which hath foundation, whose maker and builder is God.” Then the author of Hebrews goes on, in that same chapter, and gives us again many more in their exploits of faith, but he closes the chapter by once again repeating, “These all died in faith not having received the promise, God having reserved some better thing for us that they, without us, could not be perfected.”
Now in Luke’s gospel, chapter sixteen, Jesus told, tells us that, “There was a certain rich man, who fared sumptuously every day. And there was a poor man that was brought daily at his gate, covered with sores. The dogs came and licked his sores, and he survived by eating the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table.”
“In the process of time, the poor man died, and was borne by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. Moreover the rich man also died, and in hell he lifted up his eyes, because he was in torment. He saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus was there being comforted in Abraham’s bosom. He said, ‘Father Abraham, I pray that you’ll send Lazarus to me, that he may take and dip his finger in water and touch my tongue, I’m tormented in this heat’, and Abraham answered and said, ‘Son in your lifetime you had the good things and Lazarus the evil, and now he is comforted, while you’re tormented but, beside that, there’s this gulf that is fixed between us so that those that are there, cannot come over there, neither can those that are there, come over here.’ So he responded, ‘Then I pray you if he cannot come to comfort me, please send him back to warn my brothers so that they don’t come to this fearful place!’, and Abraham said, ‘They have the law and the prophets, and if they do not believe the law and the prophets, neither would they believe even if one should come back from the dead’.” Interesting story as Jesus describes for us the conditions of hell prior to His death.
Now we are told that when Jesus died, He went into hell, not as these foolish false prophets say today that, “He had to go down there and suffer for sins”, and all, “and there He was born again and arose”. That, that well, that’s just ridiculous! He went down there a victor. He had triumphed in His death! Paul tells us in Colossians chapter two that, “through His death upon the cross, He spoiled the principalities and powers that were against us. Having triumphed over them and through the cross, He made an open display of His victory”. It was at the cross that Satan was defeated. “That, through death He might destroy him who has the power of death, even, the devil.”
But down there in this one compartment of Hades, that Jesus describes in Luke sixteen, there were the Old Testament saints who were being comforted by Abraham, the man of faith. What is he saying? “God will keep His word, don’t worry. God’s gonna come through! The Messiah will deliver us! Don’t worry!” The man of faith was comforting them with the promises of God. One day, Jesus came on the scene and it was a glorious day! So Paul tells us that, “He who has ascended into heaven, is the same one who first of all descended into the lower parts of the earth, and when He ascended, He led the captives from their captivity.” Abraham, and those that had been waiting were freed. He opened the prison to those that were bound.
Now Matthew tells us that after His resurrection, the graves of many of the saints were open, and they are actually seen walking, some of them, in the streets of Jerusalem, after His resurrection from the dead! Peter tells us that, “Jesus of Nazareth proved that He was of God by the signs and the wonders which He did, and yet they, according to God’s predeterminant council and foreknowledge, crucified and killed Him, but He rose from the dead, because it was not possible that He could be held by death.” For the promise of God to David prophetically was, You will not leave my soul in hell, neither will you allow the Holy One to see corruption. Peter said, “We testify to you God did not leave His soul in hell, but this same Jesus rose from the dead, received the Spirit, ascended unto the Father, received the Spirit, which He has now shed forth, which you now see.”
When they asked Jesus for a sign, as they were prone to do, He said, “A wicked and an adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but there will no sign be given to it, except for the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so shall the Son of man be three days, and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Peter tells us that, “Jesus went and preached to those souls that were in prison.” When He died, He went and preached to those souls that were in prison. But then when He rose, He led them out of the prison.
So I believe that this prophecy, “opening the prison doors to those that are bound”, is a reference to that work that Jesus did, in freeing from Hades, those saints of the Old Testament, that they might go with Him on into the presence of God, in the glory of heaven. So that, that one compartment is shut down. Now, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” So I believe that that is encompassed in this, “opening of the prison to those that were bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord”. This is God’s accepted time for man to be saved.
But, the day is coming when the opportunity of salvation will no longer exist. Even as Noah preached while he was building the ark for a hundred years. But the day finally came when Noah gathered together his family, he went into the ark, and God shut the door, and that was the end of the acceptable time. Their opportunity of salvation was now over, and there remained only that fearful looking forward to the fiery indignation of God’s judgment that was to flood the earth.
So in our day, we are living in the acceptable day, but there is coming a day, and only God knows, no man knows the day or the hour, except the Father, and there’s coming a day when you will not have the opportunity to sit in a service, hear the gospel, and receive Jesus Christ. It’ll be too late. The door will be shut. Thus, the acceptable day of God’s salvation. So when that is over, then comes the vengeance of God, then comes the great tribulation. As the writer of Hebrews said, “If we sin”, another one, the one he, he speaks about uh, “only the fearful looking forward to the fiery indignation of God’s wrath which will devour His adversaries. If we neglect this great salvation…”. So…
God is going to appoint to them that mourn in Zion; And he will give them beauty for their ashes, [And of course the previous chapter dealt with, with that.] the oil of joy for their mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (61:3);
Now “beauty for ashes”, in reality the, the ashes were what they put on their head when they were in great grief and sorrow. They’d cover their head with ashes, and you remember the term, “they would repent with sackcloth and ashes”? So this is sort of the sign of great consternation, great sorrow, great grief, hopelessness, you just cover yourself with ashes, you go around with ashes. “God will give you beauty for the ashes. And, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
that they might be called the trees of righteousness, the plaining of the Lord, [And again] that he might be glorified (61:3).
God’s work. God’s redeeming work that in, and through it He might be glorified.
And they shall build up the old wastes, [He’s talking about the nation of Israel, the old wastes, they will build them up.] they will raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, and the desolations of many generations (61:4).
Now interestingly enough, this has already begun. They’ve already begun to build up the old wastes, to raise up the former desolations, and to repair those cities that were ruins. They built so many new cities in Israel, right beside the Tels of the old cities that were once there, that are covered with a desolation of the generations.
And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, the sons of the alien will be your plowmen and your vinedressers. [They, they will hire the help from the, the nations.] You will be named the Priests of the Lord: and men shall call you Ministers of our God (61:5-6):
Now in the book of Revelation, as He is introducing Jesus in the first chapter of, of the book of Revelation, and Jesus Christ, he speaks about Jesus Christ who has loved us, and given Himself for us, and has made us a kingdom of Priests unto our God. So this will be the position of the church in the, in the millennial age, as a kingdom of Priests. Here, also Israel will share in this same capacity. But we, as unnatural branches, were grafted in that we might partake of the covenant, and of the blessings of God’s promises to Israel. Paul talks about this in Romans eleven. “God cut off the natural branch, that He might graft in this unnatural branch, the Gentile believers, that we might partake of the, of the fatness from the roots and so forth of, of Judaism.
Here we are partaking and becoming a part of the covenant, so, though it speaks of Israel here, nationally becoming a kingdom of priests, that is also spoken of, of the church in Revelation, chapter one, and then in chapter five, as Jesus takes the scroll out of the right hand of the Father, sitting upon the throne, there in chapter five, we sing, “Worthy is the Lamb to take the scroll and loose the seals! For He has redeemed us unto our God out of every nation, tongue, tribe, and people. And we shall”, uh, “we shall reign with Him upon the earth…”. It speaks there also of the kingdom of Priests. “Made us unto our God kings and priests”, and literally it is a kingdom of Priests.
So, “you will be named the Priests of the Lord: men will call you the Ministers of our God:”, and the word “Ministers” is servant. Don’t forget that. You know, you think, “Well I’m a Minister, I don’t get a ten percent discount. You know you ought to carry my suitcase!” No, no, no! “I’m a minister, let me carry your suitcase. I’m to serve you! Jesus came not to, He came to minister, and not to be ministered unto. Somehow we’ve really botched up that word in our definition, and understanding of it! Because it actually means, “I’m a servant”. When you realize that, you don’t say it with the same kind of haughtiness! “Well I’m the minister!” It’s like saying, “Well I’m the servant! You know, what do you mean! I’m the servant here!” So…
you shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall you boast yourselves. And for your shame you will have double; [That is, double blessings for the shame that you’ve gone through.] for the confusion they shall rejoice in their portion, and therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them (61:6-7).
“Everlasting joy”, the prophet said earlier, “shall be upon their heads”.
For I the Lord love judgment, [Excuse me! Thank you!] and I hate robbery (61:8),
Now what does the Lord love? Judgment. What does He hate? Robbery.
for the burnt offering [Now the burnt offering was the offering of consecration unto God, “I hate robbery for burnt offering”.] I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. [The eternal covenant, everlasting] And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, their off spring among the people: and all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord has blessed. [Though it is to Israel, it also applies to the church, having partaken of the fatness, and the gracious, and, and the strength of the root.] I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness (61:8-10),
Isn’t this beautiful? “Greatly rejoice in the Lord!” You that have experienced that power of God’s Spirit, and you that have experienced salvation, how greatly we rejoice in the Lord! How joyful our soul is in God, because He has clothed me with His garments of salvation! Paul the apostle talked about his background as a Jew. As a Jew, he had done everything in, in a kosher way. He was a Pharisee of the Pharisee’s. He was a, of the tribe of Benjamin, and he had all of these credits, and honors, and distinctions of the Jew, as a keeper of the law. But he said, “Those things which were gain to me, I counted loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, for whom I suffered the loss of all these things, but I count them as refuse, that I may know Him, and be found in Him, not clothed with my own righteousness, which is of the law. But to be clothed with the righteousness of God, which is of faith.” So, “He has clothed me with the garments of salvation”. I stand in Christ, complete. The righteousness that I have is acceptable to God because it is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that God has accounted unto me, because of faith. “He has covered me with the robe of righteousness”. Oh glory to God!
and as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels (61:10).
So here we are, getting ready for the wedding. Adorning ourselves, and robed in His righteousness. Now in Revelation chapter nineteen, it talks about, “Let us be glad and rejoice”, and here he’s just talking about, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will be joyful. Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife”, or bride, “has made herself ready, and to her was granted that she should be clothed in fine linen, clean and white. For the clean linen is the righteousness of the saints.” So the same idea. Here we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, standing there before the Lord in His eternal glory!
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causes 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 (61:11).
God will triumph! Jesus shall reign! Even as the garden causes the seeds that are planted there to just spring forth and bud, so one day, God’s glorious righteousness will spring forth on the earth, and we will be there, and we will see the glory of our Lord, and we will share in God’s blessing and kingdom for ever, and ever!
So glorious, glorious days ahead for the people of God! As we see the plan of God, coming to fruition!
Now may the Lord be with you, and watch over you, and keep you in His love, as you, by faith, enter into the blessings of God that He wants to bestow upon you this week, because He loves you so much! May you just experience the touch of God’s love, and the touch of God’s Spirit in your life, in Jesus’ name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7271