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Sermon #1 Isaiah Series
“Salvation is of the Lord!”
Text: Isaiah 1:1-66:24
Date: Tuesday Evening — April 26, 2016
Readings: Mark Henson and Cody Henson
Do you sometimes find yourself confused by the prophecies of the Old Testament? Does it seem that you just can’t figure out what the prophecy is about? Let me help you with that problem. — When you read the prophetic messages of the Old Testament, always look for Christ in the prophet’s message. When you understand that the message of the Old Testament is exactly the same as that of the New Testament, “Jesus Christ and him crucified,” the Book of God will come to life for you.
Nowhere is that fact more evident than in the prophecy of Isaiah. Tonight, I want to begin a series of messages on the Book of Isaiah. In this first message, I will simply give you a survey of these sixty-six chapters, showing you that the message of Isaiah’s prophecy is “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” — Christ is “all the counsel of God.” Let’s begin with Isaiah 1:1.
(Isaiah 1:1) “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”
Isaiah’s name means ‘‘Salvation is of the Lord’’ or “the Lord will save.’’ His prophecy is prominently placed at the beginning of the prophetic books of the Old Testament. He is often called the prophet of redemption. Isaiah’s message might be summarized by the word of the Lord given in the fourth verse of chapter 42. After calling upon us to behold his Servant, the Lord God declares by the prophet, “He shall not fail!” — The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as Jehovah’s righteous Servant, shall not fail to fully and perfectly accomplish the work he came to perform. — He shall not fail to completely save all his people (Matthew 1:21).
The prophecies of Isaiah were delivered during the reigns of four kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. — But his prophecy concerns us. He spoke primarily to Judah prior to their exile. In this opening verse he stated that he was about to relate a vision he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem; that is to say, concerning the church and kingdom of God, represented by Judah and Jerusalem. Everything Isaiah wrote in these 66 chapters concerns God’s church in this world throughout this Gospel Age.
Isaiah was God’s prophet. A prophet is one who receives a message from God and delivers it. — In that sense, every God called preacher is a prophet. — His message, his prophecy, is God’s revelation of his purpose to his people. This prophet of God faithfully served his generation as God’s messenger to his people for at least fifty years, from the reign of Uzziah to that of Hezekiah. And he did so in the midst of the most discouraging circumstances and idolatrous practices imaginable (2 Kings 16:3-4). — The life and work of God’s prophets has never been easy, and never will be. The faithful servant of God must not allow himself to be discouraged by…
Š The Corruption of the World.
Š Opposition to His Message.
Š Abounding Heresy and Idolatry.
Š The Behavior of Those He Serves.
Having said all that, I have not come here merely to give you a survey of Isaiah’s words. — I have a message to deliver, a message that I trust will be blessed of God to your souls. My message is Isaiah’s message — “Salvation is of the Lord!” I want us to see Isaiah’s vision. I want you to see and know him of whom the prophet speaks throughout these 66 chapters — The Lord Jesus Christ, the sinner’s Substitute, our Redeemer and our Savior. The first picture Isaiah gives us of our Savior is found in chapter six.
(Isaiah 6:1-8) “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. (3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. (5) Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (6) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: (7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. (8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
With those words the prophet of God explains his own experience of grace and ours. When Christ is revealed in a sinner’s heart by the grace and power of God the Holy Ghost, the very first thing experienced is a deep sense and heartfelt confession of his own depravity, sin, and helplessness. Then the sin-atoning blood of Christ is effectually applied to the heart by the power and grace of the Spirit through the preaching of the gospel, assuring the trembling, believing soul that his iniquity is purged and his sin is taken away by the blood of Christ.
Throughout this prophecy, Isaiah speaks as a man who has seen Christ in all the fulness of his redemptive, saving glory and grace. — These 66 chapters are full of Christ. I cannot show you every picture of Christ in the book of Isaiah in the few minutes we have tonight, but I do want to show you enough to wet you appetite for more. Every time you read these pages in the future, I want you to see Christ leaping through every line. Keep your Bibles open on your lap. We are going to move rapidly through the book of Isaiah, starting with chapter 1 and moving through chapter 66.
The first four chapters are really introductory. They might be looked upon as the preface to the book.
Chapter 1 shows us our need of a Redeemer to make us holy and acceptable to God. Isaiah begins his prophecy with a declaration of our utter depravity and corruption, and the total impossibility of self-salvation (vv. 2-17).
(Isaiah 1:9) “Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.”
Š In verse 18 sinners are called to the obedience of faith in Christ.
(Isaiah 1:18) “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Š Then we are assured of the certainty and efficacy of Christ’s redeeming, saving work in verses 25-27.
(Isaiah 1:25-27) “And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: (26) And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. (27) Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.”
In chapter 2, Isaiah tells us that the church and kingdom of our God shall be established according to God’s decree and that the word of grace would go out of Zion into all the world, calling God’s elect out of every nation.
(Isaiah 2:1-5) “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. (2) And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (3) And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (4) And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (5) O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.”
Chapter 3 gives us this blessed word of promise and assurance. “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings” (v. 10).
Chapter 4 declares that the result of all this shall be the exaltation and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ and the everlasting perfection and righteousness of God’s elect.
(Isaiah 4:2-4) “In that day shall the Branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. (3) And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: (4) When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.”
Now, let’s look at some of the delightful, instructive pictures and descriptions of Christ which God the Holy Spirit gives us by the pen of his servant Isaiah.
1. The Beloved
The prophet calls our dear Savior, the Beloved, the Well-beloved.
(Isaiah 5:1) “Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill.”
What a suitable title for the Son of God. He is indeed our Beloved, our well-beloved! — “He is altogether lovely!” — “Accepted in the Beloved!”
2. On His Throne
Christ is the Lord, sitting upon his throne, high and lifted up (6:1; John 12:37-41). — He who is my Beloved is King of the universe!
(Isaiah 6:1) “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”
(John 12:37-41) “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: (38) That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? (39) Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, (40) He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. (41) These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.”
3. Incarnate God
In the 7th chapter, the prophet of God describes our Savior as the virgin born incarnate God.
(Isaiah 7:14) “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
(Isaiah 9:6-7) “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
4. Our Sanctuary
Chapter 8 — He who is our Sanctuary, the Sanctuary of salvation to all who believe, was long ago declared to be a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense to the self-righteous and unbelieving.
(Isaiah 8:14-15) “And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (15) And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.”
5. The Light
Isaiah (9:2) declared Christ to be the Light of the world. He is the Light that shines in darkness, the Light of life, the One who is the Light of the glory of God. The only light there is in this dark, dark world Christ.
(Isaiah 9:2) “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”
Listen to this…
(Isaiah 49:6) “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my Salvation unto the end of the earth.”
6. Our Banner
In chapter 11 our Lord Jesus Christ is portrayed as the Root and Branch of David, the Ensign (Banner) to whom chosen sinners must be gathered, and that One by whom we have both the Spirit of God and the glorious rest of faith and salvation. — Our Savior’s name is Jehovah-nissi, The Lord Our Banner!
(Isaiah 11:1-2) “And there shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: (2) And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”
(Isaiah 11:10) “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.”
(Isaiah 11:12) “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
7. Our God and Our Salvation
Then, in chapter 12, we read that the Lord Jesus Christ is both our God and our Salvation, the Holy One of Israel in the midst of us.
(Isaiah 12:2) “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.”
(Isaiah 12:6) “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”
As I said before I cannot possibly go over all the pictures of Christ given by Isaiah. In chapters 13 - 21 our Redeemer is set before us as…
Š The Breaker of Babylon.
Š The Lord of Lucifer.
Š The Master of Moab.
Š The Destroyer of Damascus.
Š The Executioner of Egypt.
Š The Watchman’s Judge.
But let’s move on to chapter 22. Still we can only pick up the highlights as we move along.
8. Sovereign King
Here the prophet of God describes Christ as the sovereign King of the universe. His rule and dominion, to those who know him, is as a nail in a sure place. Because he has earned and fully deserves it, he has all the glory of his Father’s house.
(Isaiah 22:22-24) “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. (23) And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. (24) And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.”
9. Crown of Glory
Chapter 28 — The Lord Jesus is the Crown of Glory and the Diadem Beauty of his people.
(Isaiah 28:5) “In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people.”
10. Foundation Stone
Again in chapter 28, the prophet declares that our Savior is the Foundation Stone laid in Zion.
(Isaiah 28:14-18) “Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. (15) Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: (16) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (17) Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. (18) And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.”
Christ is the only Foundation upon which to build. He alone is a Refuge for your soul!
Š A Tried Foundation
Š A Precious Foundation
Š A Sure Foundation
Š He that believes on Christ, he that is built upon this Foundation shall not make haste, be in confusion, be confounded, or be put to shame.
11. A Hiding Place
Chapter 32 — The Lord Jesus Christ is the only safe Refuge and sure Hiding Place for our souls.
(Isaiah 32:1-2) “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. (2) And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”
12. Grace Giver
Isaiah 35 — Christ is the giver of all grace. — He is that One in whom chosen, redeemed sinners are made to see and experience the glory and excellency of our God.
(Isaiah 35:4-7) “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. (5) Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. (6) Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. (7) And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.”
13. The Way
Chapter 35 — Jesus Christ is the Way, the only way to God.
(Isaiah 35:8-10) “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. (9) No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: (10) And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Š The Highway
Š The Low Way
Š The Straight and Narrow Way
Š The Holy Way
Š The Safe Way
Š The Way for the Redeemed
Š The Joyful Way
14. Good Shepherd
Isaiah 40 — Christ is the Good Shepherd who rules and disposes of the world for the salvation of his sheep.
(Isaiah 40:11) “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”
15. Great Redeemer
Isaiah 41 — The Son of God is our Great Redeemer.
(Isaiah 41:14) “Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
16. JEHOVAH’S SERVANT
Isaiah 42 — Our Redeemer is Jehovah’s Servant, chosen to be our Savior, a Servant who “shall not fail!”
(Isaiah 42:1-4) “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. (2) He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. (3) A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (4) He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.”
(Isaiah 50:5-7) “The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. (6) I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (7) For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”
17. EVER-PRESENT GOD and PROTECTOR
Chapter 43 — He who is Jehovah’s unfailing, successful Servant, our Redeemer, is also our ever-present Lord, God our Protector.
(Isaiah 43:1-5) “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. (5) Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west.”
18. Just God and Savior
Chapter 45 — The Lord Jesus Christ is the just God and our Savior, to whom alone we must look for salvation.
(Isaiah 45:21-22) “Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. (22) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
19. SIN-ATONING SUBSTITUTE
Isaiah 53 — The Son of God is our great sin-atoning Substitute, by whose stripes we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:4-11) “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. (9) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”
20. Makes All Things New
Chapter 65 — Our Lord Jesus is set before us that One who makes all things new!
(Isaiah 65:17-19) “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. (18) But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. (19) And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”
(Isaiah 43:18-21) “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. (19) Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (20) The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. (21) This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
(Revelation 21:1-7) “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (6) And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (7) He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
(2 Peter 3:9-14) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (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. (11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, (12) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (14) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
When God our Savior has made all things new, he shall present you faultless before the presence of his glory! — This shall be the consummation of God’s salvation. And, as Isaiah’s name declares, “Salvation is of the Lord!”
(Jude 1:24-25) “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”