LESSON TWO * PART 3
PRAYER: PROPHECY: OLD TESTAMENT
Now we will drop back in where we left off in our last lesson, concerning that God was going to use the Nation of Israel, after the King and the Kingdom were established to bring salvation and knowledge of their Jehovah to the Gentiles. Now I always emphasize that this was the prophetic program. Which of course, we know that Israel rejected. But I want all my students to understand that everything is moving along through time, according to the prophetic program. So now in Isaiah Chapter 42, we're going to continue with this theme that Israel, once her Messiah was in place and was her King, would have had the opportunity to bring the Gentile to a knowledge of her God. Always remember that God is dealing with the Jew only at this point and time.
"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: (these are pronouns, so who are we talking about? We're talking about Christ, the Messiah.) he shall bring forth judgment (the word judgment here does not mean like we think of a judge handing down a sentence or punishment, but it's rather, rule. To whom?) to the Gentiles."
He would bring forth rule or government to the Gentiles. Now back up in Isaiah to Chapter 9. Every time you hear Handel's Messiah, especially the Hallelujah Chorus, I want you to be reminded that this is where it comes from.
"For unto us (who's the us? The nation of Israel. Unto the nation of Israel) a child is born, unto us a son is given:..."
Do you know what I love about this Book? You never exhaust it. Now I always have to be so careful so that I'm not misunderstood. I've tried to explain to people over the years, that the text, John 3:16 makes no mention of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We put it in there because we now know that this is part and parcel of it. But when Jesus said it, He hadn't yet gone to the Cross. He hadn't yet died and then raised from the dead. So I've sort of struggled in trying to explain to people what was meant by, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son," and then the other night when I was reading this verse here in Isaiah, the light came on and I said to myself, "Why didn't I see this before?" Now you'll see it. I know you will.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is (what's the next word?) given:..."
Isn't that plain? What did God do? He gave them the Son. He gave them the Messiah. They didn't work for it. They didn't deserve it. It was all part of their Covenant promises that He would come and be their Messiah. "For unto us a son is given." Tie that into John 3:16 and you're in perfect accord with Scripture. Alright, read on:
"...and the government shall be upon his shoulder (and when that comes to pass, He is on His throne in Jerusalem and the Kingdom is set up, what will be His titles? Now can't you hear Handel's Messiah? Oh, it just rings in my ears.): and his name shall be called Wonderful, (the) Counsellor, The (what?) mighty God (and then some of these liberal theologians tell us that Christ was never God. Never claimed to be God. The Scriptures scream that He's God. The mighty God.), The (what?) everlasting father,..."
Now do you remember what He told Philip in John 14?
"Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." (what was Jesus' answer?) Jesus saith unto him, `Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the (Who?) Father;..."
Now here it is in the Old Testament. The Son that was given to the Nation of Israel is the same One Who's name shall be called (when He sets up His Kingdom, even though we know from our aspect that these names are already valid); He is the:
"...Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
"Of the increase of his (what?) government (what's government for? To rule. To maintain law and order is the way we look at it) and peace there shall be no end (and not from heaven, but from where?), upon the throne of David (be logical. Be sensible. Where was David's throne? On earth or in heaven? On earth, of course it was. And that's the same throne that Jesus is going to assume in Jerusalem.), and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment (or rule) and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
In other words, because He's the Sovereign God. Let's go to Chapter 49. These things are so thrilling if we just let the Bible say what it means and mean what it says, and not twist it out of shape.
"And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob (that is, the nation of Israel) again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength."
" And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel (to restore them to the place that they're going to have the kingdom): I will also (that's an important word. Israel is going to be there. But along with Israel I will:) give thee for a light to (whom?) the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth."
So when I say that all the way from Abraham into the New Testament that God was looking at the Jew only, with those exceptions, yes He was. But had He lost sight of this Gentile river of humanity? No! He had the whole program laid out that Israel could have just evangelized those nations of Gentiles and brought them to a knowledge of Jehovah. They could have been a nation and a kingdom of priests. I say, "Could have" every time, because they didn't. But they could have. Hypothetically, this is the way it could have all happened, as I have the timeline on the board. Let's go over to another one. Isaiah Chapter 59. I try to keep this in order just to facilitate your finding these scriptures.
"And the Redeemer shall come to Zion (where's Zion? Jerusalem), and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord."
In other words, what would have to be the spiritual climate in Israel? Every one of them had to be a believer. Now we'll see that when we get to Acts 3:26, where Peter said, "Every one of you", not 90%. It had to be 100%. Now let's read on:
"As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord (where does that Covenant go back to? Abraham. Now there were other Covenants that came under the Abrahamic Covenant. God made the Covenant of law with Moses. He made the Covenant of a royal family with David. But they're all wrapped up in that Abrahamic Covenant.); My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy 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. Now go right on into Chapter 60:
"Arise, shine; for thy light is come,..."
What did Jesus tell the nation of Israel in His earthly ministry? "I am the light of the world." See, in fulfillment of this, your light is come "...and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."
"For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth (what kind of a darkness? Spiritual! Oh, you want to remember, as I've said over and over, the whole world in the time of Christ was steeped in idolatry and paganism and mythology, with the exception of the Jews which should have had a knowledge of the One, true God. But they were in a spiritual darkness.), and gross darkness the people (even Israel was in a spiritual darkness); but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee."
See, this is why Matthew 15:24, and also Paul in Romans 15:8 tell us the same thing. He came to the children of Israel in the Gospels, not to the Church as some claim to reveal Himself of who He was, and what He was and why He had come. They should have had their eyes opened. They should have known. I've told my class a thousand times, if I told them once, Israel should have known Who He was. The Old Testament was full of it. Israel could have known Who He was if they had just studied the Book. But Israel did not know. We are getting to the same place in America. There is not a man, woman, boy or girl in America that could not know the plan of salvation. They should know that we are in the last days, but they don't. Why not? Because they don't want to. They will not listen, they will not learn because they don't want to know better. That was Israel's plight as well. Then verse 3:
"And the (who?) Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
Do you remember the verse that we read in Isaiah on the last program, Isaiah 2:2? "And the Gentiles shall flow unto it." Well, it's the same picture here. If only Israel could have believed it. Now let's go all the way into your New Testament. Let's just follow this same premise. As we come into the New Testament, I'm going to stop with Matthew 1:1 for just a second, because it's not going to be too long until we'll be coming into the New Testament during our weekly study. But just to whet your appetite for just a little bit; stop at verse 1 of Chapter 1 where it says:
"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."
Why stop at Abraham? When you get to the next genealogy in Luke Chapter 3, where does it go? All the way back to Adam. But Matthew is presenting Christ as the King. And since He's being presented as the King, the Scripture only goes back to that part of Scripture that promises a King. And what part is it? The Abrahamic Covenant. So the first verse stops then, "...the son of David, the son of Abraham." Period. It's out of that Covenant with that man Abraham that the King is coming on the scene.
Let's go on into Luke's gospel for just a moment. Chapter 1. Following this same format now, the prophetic program given to Israel within a time frame of 490 years. They could have had their King and their Kingdom and they could have evangelized the world. Now Luke Chapter 1. I always like to explain the setting a little bit. You have the birth of John the Baptist just around the corner. And what we are dealing with is the parents. You need to remember that Zacharias and Elizabeth were well along in years, much like Abraham and Sarah were.
And so John the Baptist's birth was actually miraculous in itself. And you'll remember that during her whole pregnancy, Zacharias was stricken dumb. He was a priest but he couldn't speak. And so as the child was about to be born, others asked Elisabeth what she was going to name him. And she said, "John," of course, inspired. And they said, "Nobody in your family had been named that before, we better go check with the father." So they go to the Temple and look up old Zacharias and they ask him, "What's the child's name?" And he asked for a writing tablet because he couldn't speak. And so what did he write on the tablet? Well let's back up there in verse 63:
"And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all." The biggest marvel was that as soon as he wrote the word John, he got his speech back!
"And his mouth was opened immediately,..."
Oh, this is all in tune with, now, what God had programmed. Elizabeth agreed and Zacharias agreed that his name was to be John, and he got his voice back. And now come down to verse 67:
"And his father (John the Baptist's father) Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost,..."
Many people think that the Holy Spirit wasn't on the scene before Pentecost, but they just don't know their Bible if they say that. Because here it is. Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit. I emphasize this is to show that Zacharias is not merely mouthing the desires of an average Jew, or even a priest of the Jews. Wishful thinking. But what Zacharias is saying in these following verses is the mind of God being spoken through this man. Oh, this shocks people every time I read it. Verse 68. He starts out saying:
"Blessed be the Lord God of (the world? No. You see how it confines everything to Jew only? Blessed be the Lord God of) Israel;..."
God isn't being picky here. God isn't being unfair. He dealt with the whole human race for 2,000 years. From Adam until Abraham. And what did they do with all His offers of salvation? They walked it underfoot. So He turns His back on the Gentile river of humanity and He goes to the Jew. And here it is. The God of Israel:
"...for he hath visited and redeemed his people."
Now you see, Zacharias understood the prophetic plan that once his little son would announce the coming of the King, the King would come. And Israel would have her Kingdom. Let's read on.
"And has raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (is that confining? Sure it is. It doesn't include the Gentiles. This is Jew only,); for us in the house of his servant David."
"As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets (what's he referring to? The Old Testament. The prophetic program as we have been reading it.), which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our (sins? It doesn't say that. From our what?) enemies (now who were Israel's enemies at the time of Luke? The same ones that they've got today. The Syrian, the Egyptians, and the Persian, and you name it. Everyone who lived around them. The Romans, and you know how they hated the Romans), and from the hand of all that hate us;"
"To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;" The next verse tells you which Covenant:
"The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,"
See how all this goes back to Abraham. Matthew 1 went back to Abraham. Luke 1 goes back to Abraham. Everything that Jesus does in His earthly ministry goes back to that Covenant. And oh, if people could just see that. That just answers all the controversies, all the misunderstanding, when you realize that everything He is doing is under the Covenant promises that He made with Abraham. And that was Jew only. Now you all know the verse in John 1:11 "He came unto His own (And who were His own? The Jew.), and His own received Him not." Read on:
"That he (God) would grant unto us (the Nation of Israel), that we being delivered out of the hand our enemies (mortal enemies. Physical enemies. Next door enemies.) might serve him (that is, the God of Abraham) without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. "And thou, child (speaking of John the Baptist), shalt be called the prophet (or the forerunner) of the Highest (who's that? The Christ. The One we just finished reading about in Isaiah 9. The Mighty God. The everlasting Father. The Prince of Peace): for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways (and that's what John did. He announced the coming of the King);"To give knowledge of (what?) salvation..."
Now we come to the spiritual part of it. First you've got the introduction of the physical, literal, political aspect of the Kingdom, granting peace and safety to the Jewish people. Also you have to have the spiritual side, because what did Jesus tell Nicodemus in John 3:3? ...Except a man be born again (or experience salvation) he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven." The two have to come together. I think in one of our previous programs, I put the two lines on the board. Do you remember it? I said all the way up through the Old Testament, you have two parallel thoughts: The King and the Kingdom. And a suffering Savior. And do you remember I emphasized that every Jew wanted the King and the Kingdom, but they did not want to deal with the Savior. And that was their problem. But here it is. They were to be saved from their physical enemies. They were to have a physical Kingdom. They were to have physical peace and prosperity. They also had to have a spiritual salvation.
"To give knowledge of salvation unto the people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God;..."
Now then, verse 79. This is the verse I wanted to lead to. As they would come to this place of spiritual, as well as, a political and a physical fulfillment, what is the next step of Israel?
"To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,..."
And who were they? The Gentiles! This was to be their lot. They now had the light of the world and they were going to take it out to the Gentiles. Well, let's move on to the Book of Acts, Chapter 1. And I always like for people to see how all of this moves right through the Old Testament. Beginning with Genesis Chapter 12, Jew only. All the way through the prophetic books. Through that time period that Daniel prophesied, The Messiah came. He was rejected. He was crucified. He ascended. But you move right into the New Testament from the Old on all these things. And now when you come into the Book of Acts, which is after His crucifixion and after His resurrection, pick it up in Acts Chapter 1 verse 4. There hasn't been a single word yet about going to the Gentiles with the Gospel of Grace, but a lot of people like to put it in there. Not a word. Everything is based on this Abrahamic Covenant dealing with Israel first and then to the Gentiles.
"And, being assembled together with them (Christ in His resurrected body with the eleven), commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me."
And then verse 5. And this is going to be a separate lesson someday. Now in our week-night classes it comes up periodically. Here on television it's not quite as easy in thirty minutes. But as a rule in our class, when we have two hours and we have feedback, we can permit people to interrupt me. They'll ask me a question and we'll cover these things. But in thirty minutes, we just can't do it.
"For John truly baptized with water; but (now all through Scripture whenever I've shown you that word "But," what have I always told you? It's the flip side. John baptized with water, but) ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence (when did that begin or when did it happen? At Pentecost).
"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
What's on their heart? The Kingdom Come back to Matthew Chapter 19. Remember why I came back here? What were they looking for? The Kingdom. Will you at this time restore the Kingdom. That's all that's filling their mind.
"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? Now they've got their salvation.
"And Jesus said unto them, `Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory (when will that happen? When He sets up His kingdom. Now He says, "When I set up My Kingdom"), ye also (He is speaking to the twelve. Judas is left out) shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging (or ruling who?) the twelve tribes of Israel.'" And from where? Jerusalem.