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Sermon #20 — Isaiah Series

 

Title:                           What did Isaiah see?

                                                      

Text:                            Isaiah 6:1-13

Subject:                     The Glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Date:                          Sunday Evening — March 5, 2017

Readings:     Mark Daniel and Merle Hart

Introduction:

 

The wise man said, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Without a vision there is no purpose in life, no driving force, no inspiration, no motivation. — “Where there is no vision the people perish!” — We need a vision.

 

We need a vision of Christ’s glory.

Š      If ever God saves you by His grace, He will do so by revealing His great mercy, love, and grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot be saved, except God make you to see and know Christ’s glory (Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus Road Acts 9).

Š      If ever the Lord God calls you to serve Him, to preach the Gospel of His grace, He will do so by the revelation of Christ’s glory (Moses in the Mount).

Š      If you are truly inspired to devotion, consecration to Christ, motivated to live for Him, His honor, and His glory, the only thing that can give that inspiration and sustain it is the revelation of the glory of God in the face of His dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, our crucified Savior.

Š      If ever the Lord God sends revival to His Church, it will be by the revelation of Christ’s glory.

 

That is what Abraham saw. That is what Moses and Daniel saw. That is what Ezekiel saw. That is what Paul saw in Acts 9 and John saw in Revelation 4. That’s what Peter, James, and John saw in the Mount of Transfiguration. And that is what Isaiah tells us he saw in Isaiah 6.

 

Turn with me to that blessed portion of Holy Scripture and look at Isaiah’s divinely inspired account of the Lord’s revelation of Himself to His prophet. My subject is What did IsaIAH SEE? god the Holy Ghost tells us in John 12:41, — “These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.” So, that which Isaiah saw here was the glory of our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. But what does that mean? What is Christ’s glory? What did Isaiah see when he saw the Savior’s glory? That is my subject: — What did IsaIAH SEE?

 

We do not really know much about Isaiah, except that he was a prophet of God. We do know that he was a prophet of God who prophesied in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, who were each kings of Judah.

  • Isaiah lived almost 120 years and he prophesied 85 of those 120 years.
  • He lived about 700 years before the Lord Jesus Christ into this world, God in our nature.

 

But did you know that the writings of the prophet Isaiah are quoted more frequently in the New Testament that all the other books of the Old Testament books, except the Psalms? The book of Psalms is quoted more in New Testament than any other book in the Bible; and Isaiah is quoted more than any book except the Psalms.

 

John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, began his ministry quoting Isaiah; he said, — “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord.”

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ went down to Nazareth where He was brought up and, as His custom was, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath Day and He stood up to read. Our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, selected a passage of Scripture from Isaiah 61, read it, and preached from it. — “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. Then the Lord Jesus expounded Isaiah’s words, saying, “I am the One of whom Isaiah spoke!”

 

It was Isaiah that the Ethiopian Eunuch was reading when he was returning from Jerusalem to Ethiopia in the chariot. As he reading the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, God sent Phillip down to preach Christ to him.

 

Alright, let’s look at Isaiah 6. God revealed Himself to Isaiah as He is pleased to reveal Himself to all whom He saves by His great grace.

 

Proposition: God saves His elect by the revelation of Christ’s glory; and God feeds, strengthens, motivates, governs, edifies, comforts, rejoices, reproves, and revives our souls in His grace by that same revelation of Christ’s glory.

 

Divisions: But what is that? What did Isaiah see, when he saw Christ’s glory? That is the question I want to answer. Here are five things I want to show you in these thirteen verses of Isaiah 6. Isaiah saw…

1.      God in His true character, as He really is, in His glorious sovereignty and infinite holiness (vv. 1-4).

2.      Himself as a guilty, helpless, doomed, damned, lost sinner before the holy Lord God (v. 5).

3.      The complete depravity of all Adam’s fallen race (v. 5).

4.      The complete forgiveness of sin by blood atonement (vv. 6-7)

5.      The purpose of God fulfilled by Christ, Jehovah’s righteous Servant (vv. 8-13)

            

God’s True Character

 

First, Isaiah saw God in His true character, as He really is, in His glorious sovereignty and infinite holiness (vv. 1-4).

 

Notice how the chapter begins: — “In the year that King Uzziah died.” Uzziah was a great king. He reigned in Jerusalem for 52 years. In all those years, he did that which was right in the sight of God (2 Chronicles 26:1-5).

Š      He was Isaiah’s cousin, as well as his king.

Š      Isaiah loved him to the point of idolizing him.

     

But Uzziah died under the curse of God. This great man suffered a great fall (2 Chronicles 26:15-21). He did many great and notable things, but Uzziah became proud and presumptuous. His pride led him to the temple to offer incense to God, not through God’s priest but by his own hand. Uzziah’s proud presumption was a denial of the holiness of God and the work of Christ, our great High Priest. Christ is God’s Priest (typified by the Old Testament priesthood), and not even a king can come to God except through him (John 14:6). God judged Uzziah, and he died a leper.

 

Isaiah was devastated! But this was the gracious hand of God. God destroyed a king that Isaiah might see the King. God took away his earthly comfort, strength, and help, so that Isaiah might know him and find his comfort, strength, and help in him.

 

Verse 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.”

Š      Lord” — Adonay — The Triune God in the Incarnate, Crucified, Exalted, Enthroned Christ! — (John 1:14-18; Colossians 2:9-10)

Š      Sitting” — Ease and Serenity of Total Sovereignty.

Š      Upon a Throne” — Mercy-Seat, Throne of the Universe, Throne of Grace

Š      High and Lifted Up” — Exalted as Our Redeemer (Revelation 5)

Š      His Train Filled the Temple” — Tokens of His Regal Authority, His Back Parts

 

Verse 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.”

Š      Seraphims Only found Here

Š      Plural, not Singular

Š      These are God’s preachers, His messengers to His people (Revelation 4:1-11).

 

Revelation 4

 

“1 ¶ After this I looked, and, behold, a door [was] opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard [was] as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and [one] sat on the throne. 3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and [there was] a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. 4 And round about the throne [were] four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. 5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and [there were] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 And before the throne [there was] a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, [were] four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7 And the first beast [was] like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast [was] like a flying eagle. 8 ¶ And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:1-11)

 

Verses 3-4 — “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.”

  • The Thrice Holy God
  • He is the Lord of Hosts!
  • The whole earth is full of His glory!” — His Wisdom and Power as Our Creator — His Gospel
  • And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried.” — When Christ came, when He fulfilled the law, when He fulfilled all the types, when He satisfied justice by the sacrifice of Himself, He broke the pillars of the Old Testament, ceremonial law (The Posts of the Door of Temple), and put an end to it forever.
  • When Christ comes in saving mercy to chosen, redeemed sinners, He breaks the posts of our hearts and takes up residence in His house!

 

Himself a Sinner

 

Second, Isaiah saw himself as a guilty, helpless, doomed, damned, lost sinner before the holy Lord God (v. 5).

             

Verse 5 — “Then said I, Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips,”

  • Woe is me!” — Cursed, Doomed, Damned
  • Undone” — Reduced to Nothing, Cut Off, Useless, Silent, Helpless, Dumb
  • Unclean Lips!

 

(Job 42:5-6) “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6 Wherefore I abhor [myself], and repent in dust and ashes.”

 

(Daniel 10:5-9) “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins [were] girded with fine gold of Uphaz: 6 His body also [was] like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.”

 

Universal Depravity

 

Third, this man Isaiah saw the complete depravity of all Adam’s fallen race (v. 5).

 

Verse 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.” — The whole race is ruined!

 

Verse 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.

 

Forgiveness by Blood

 

Fourth, by the goodness and grace of God, Isaiah saw and experienced the complete forgiveness of sin by blood atonement (vv. 6-7).

 

(Isaiah 6:6-7) “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.”

 

Then” — “I saw,” — “I heard,” — “Then!

Š      The Seraphim — A Gospel Preacher

Š      The Altar of Sacrifice — Christ Our Passover

Š      The Live Coal — This live coal is the Gospel of Christ, the message of redemption accomplished, forgiveness by blood atonement.

Š      Guilt Removed! — Iniquity Taken Away! — Sin Purged!

 

Christ Our Surety

 

Then, fifth, this man Isaiah, when he saw the Lord’s glory, saw the purpose of God perfectly fulfilled by Christ, Jehovah’s righteous Servant (vv. 8-13).

 

(Isaiah 6:8-13) — “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. 9 ¶ And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. 11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, 12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and [there be] a great forsaking in the midst of the land. 13 But yet in it [shall be] a tenth, and [it] shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance [is] in them, when they cast [their leaves: so] the holy seed [shall be] the substance thereof.”

                       

These verses may have reference to Isaiah and his calling as God’s prophet.

Š      God’s servants are all volunteers (v. 8).

Š      God’s servants are all sent (v. 9).

Š      God’s servants are to some a savor of death unto death (vv. 10-12).

Š      God’s servants are to others a savor of life unto life (v. 13).

 

“Also I Heard”

 

But look at these verses again. Notice the 8th verse begins with the words, “Also I heard,” as if to indicate a change. I think this last section of the chapter refers not to God’s servants (Gospel Preachers), but to God’s righteous Servant, our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

“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.” (Isaiah 6:8)

 

In the first seven verses of the chapter Isaiah tells us what he had seen and heard in a special relation to himself. Here he tells us what he was witness to regarding the accomplishment of our blessed Savior as the Surety of the covenant and the fulfilment of God’s everlasting purpose of grace in Him.

                

Robert Hawker urges us to

 

“Consult those Scriptures, where a consultation is as it were set forth between the persons of the Godhead, and then may the Lord enable him to determine for himself, (for far be it from me to determine for him) whether this be not a similar instance. Thus at creation, Genesis 1:26. So again at the destruction of Babel, Genesis 11:5-7. And why may we not suppose that this vision which the prophet Isaiah was favoured with, was a representation given to the Church, through him, of the conference at redemption? And if this be the case, it is Jesus, and not Isaiah who gives the answer, here am I, send me, see Psalm 40:7-10.”

 

(Psalm 40:7-10) “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book [it is] written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.”

 

(Isaiah 42:1-8) “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. 5 ¶ Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8 I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”

 

(Isaiah 50:6-9) “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. 8 [He is] near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who [is] mine adversary? let him come near to me. 9 Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who [is] he [that] shall condemn me? Lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.”

 

Question and Answer

 

Here, in verses 9-12, Isaiah, as if struck with what he had seen and heard, raises a question: “How long shall it be that the enemy of souls shall triumph, and fallen man remain under the ruins of his apostasy?” Hear what the Lord’s answer is in verse 13.

 

“But yet in it [shall be] a tenth, and [it] shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance [is] in them, when they cast [their leaves: so] the holy seed [shall be] the substance thereof.”

 

Oh, for grace to bless the eternal Spirit for such a revelation! Now, Lord we see why it is, that sinners are preserved amidst all their undeservings. There is one that stands by and looks on, and while to our eye there is nothing to be seen, but, like the withered blighted branch of the vine, everything is unpromising, and dead, and lifeless. Yet there is in it a tenth; yea, Jesus is in it; “Destroy it not,” he says, “for a blessing is in it.” So, says the Lord Jehovah, in His rich mercy and free grace, “so will I do for My servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all” (Isaiah 65:8; See 2 Peter 3:9).

 

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

 

Blessed be God, there is a remnant according to the election of Grace — “The Holy Seed.” These are God’s portion!

 

Note: The teil tree and the oak, when they cast their leaves in the winter look as though they are dead and withered, but the substance of life is in them!

 

The purpose of God shall be accomplished. Christ will save His people (Romans 8:28-30). That is what Isaiah saw, when he saw Christ’s glory.

 

1.    God in His true character, as He really is, in His glorious sovereignty and infinite holiness (vv. 1-4).

2.    Himself as a guilty, helpless, doomed, damned, lost sinner before the holy Lord God (v. 5).

3.    The complete depravity of all Adam’s fallen race (v. 5).

4.    The complete forgiveness of sin by blood atonement (vv. 6-7)

5.    The purpose of God fulfilled by Christ, Jehovah’s righteous Servant (vv. 8-13)

 

Have you seen His glory?

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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