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Tuesday, August 2 2011
What Did Isaiah Know About Jesus Christ?
Isaiah, from the Hebrew name pronounced yesh-aw-yaw (notice how in English, and other languages, pronunciation of Biblical names are sometimes almost unrecognizable from their actual sound in Hebrew) meaning the LORD has saved, was a prominent prophet of the LORD, after The Division Of Israel, to the Kings of Judah - Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (see Kings of Israel and Judah). At that same time, The Northern Kingdom of "Israel" was being erased (see The Galilee Captivity).
Isaiah's prophecies involved much more than just the ancient people of Judah and Israel however. Isaiah knew, in great detail, that Jesus Christ was coming. When the ministry of Jesus Christ began (see also The Prophet Of Galilee), it was Isaiah that the Messiah first quoted to announce His arrival (the King James Version uses "Esaias" for Isaiah in the New Testament).
"4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day [see also What Did Jesus Do On The Sabbath?], and stood up for to read. 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
The verses of Isaiah that the Messiah quoted were Isaiah 61:1-2 - keeping in mind that the original scrolls had no chapters or verses (they were an invention of Europeans about 1,500 years later; see also Translation Of Translations). Jesus nevertheless found what He wanted very quickly because the Word of God knew the Word of God ("1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:1,14 KJV).
"61:1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn" (Isaiah 61:1-2 KJV)
But notice that Jesus abruptly stopped at those two verses. Why didn't He continue and read the next two verses from Isaiah?
"61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion [see also Anti-Zion Is Anti-Christ], to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. 61:4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations." (Isaiah 61:3-4 KJV)
"He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks"
The obvious reason why The Christ read only those two specific verses is because He is coming twice, as He well knew - once as a meek Lamb of God to be slaughtered by a world that did not recognize Him, and then a second time in which He will rule a world in which everyone will know, truly know, Him (see the Fact Finder question below). The prophet Isaiah was given to see (hence the reason that prophets were also known as "seers" i.e. "9:9 Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer" 1 Samuel 9:9 KJV) and describe in amazing detail, not only the first coming of Christ that hadn't yet happened in Isaiah's time, but also the second coming of Christ that hasn't happened yet in our time. Isaiah is as much a prophet to today's world that is awaiting Christ's second coming, as he was a prophet to the world of many centuries ago that was awaiting His first coming.
Consider the amazing detail that Isaiah wrote to describe the first coming of the Messiah - facts that could not apply to any other human e.g. "the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" and "he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
"53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah was also given highly-detailed information about the return of Jesus Christ. Notice as well from these verses how everyone on earth will then be observing the one and only true Christian Sabbath (see Why Observe The True Sabbath?). Also notice that the dietary laws of health (see Clean and Unclean) still exist in the future i.e. "eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together" - those who consume unclean things will themselves be consumed ("his rebuke with flames of fire"; see Hell Fire Of The Past And Future) for their unrepentant behaviour.
"66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 66:14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. 66:15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 66:16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many [see Moriah: Separating The Wheat From The Chaff]. 66:17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 66:13-17 KJV)
The famous "they shall beat their swords into plowshares" of Isaiah 2:4 (also given to the prophet Micah, in Micah 4:3) is one of the most precious prophecies of the entire Bible. A war-weary world will one day rest in peace, not in death as that term is used today, but rest alive for eternity (see Eternal Rest).
"2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
Fact Finder: (a) Did Jesus Christ base everything that He said, taught and lived-by on the Holy Scriptures alone? (b) Why was Jesus Christ feared and hated by the religious and political "leaders" of that time - and of our time?
This Day In History, August 2
338 BC: The Macedonian army under Philip II (the father of Alexander the Great; see Alexander The Great In Prophecy) defeated forces of Athens and Thebes in the Battle of Chaeronea, thereby establishing Macedonian hegemony ("the political and military domination of one country over its allies" e.g. "the leader of the free world") in Greece and the Aegean.
216 BC: Hannibal Barca won his greatest victory over the Romans at Cannae.
47 BC: Julius Caesar defeated Pharnaces at Zela in Syria and declared his famous "veni, vidi, vici" ("I came, I saw, I conquered").
1100: King William II of England, son of William the Conqueror, was killed by an arrow while hunting in the New Forest.
1492: Jews were expelled from Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (King Henry VIII of England became their son-in-law when he married their daughter, Catherine of Aragon; Henry's divorce from her triggered the split of England from the Church of Rome). Ironically, another Jew (through at least one of his parents) was just then making his first voyage of discovery to the New World, in the employ of that same king and queen. His name was Christopher Columbus.
1552: The Treaty of Passau revoked the Augsburg Interim of 1548 and gave religious freedom to Lutherans in Germany.
1589: During France's religious war, King Henry III of France was assassinated at St. Cloud by a monk who stabbed the king.
1610: While searching for a Northwest Passage, Henry Hudson sailed into the bay that is today named after him - Hudson Bay. Due to the vast size of the bay, Hudson at first thought that he had reached the Pacific Ocean as he was attempting to do.
1718: The Quadruple Alliance was formed by Britain, the Netherlands, France and the Holy Roman Empire against Spain.
1802: Napoleon was proclaimed "Consul for Life" by the French Senate after a plebiscite from the French people.
1832: Troops under General Henry Atkinson massacred Sauk Indian men, women and children who were followers of Black Hawk at the Bad Axe River in Wisconsin. To prevent further slaughter, Black Hawk himself surrendered 3 weeks later, bringing the Black Hawk War to an end.
1914: Germany invaded Luxembourg. German emperor Wilhelm II then delivered a 12-hour ultimatum to King Albert I of Belgium: German troops must be given free passage through Belgium on their way to invade France. King Albert refused, citing the 1839 Treaty of London where Britain, Austria, Prussia, France and Russia agreed that Belgium should form an independent and permanently neutral state. The next day, the Germans declared war on France and invaded Belgium (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1917: Royal Navy officer E.H. Dunning became the first pilot to land on the deck of a moving ship. He landed a Sopwith Pup on the HMS Furious.
1922: A typhoon struck Shantou, China; over 50,000 people were killed.
1934: Adolf Hitler declared himself Fuehrer ("Leader," according to the present world's idea of what "leading" means) of Germany upon the death of President Hindenberg (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1964: The Gulf of Tonkin incident. North Vietnamese gunboats allegedly fired on the U.S. destroyers Maddox and Turner Joy off the coast of Vietnam. Later eyewitness accounts claim that the incident never really happened, that the ships were merely in close proximity in Vietnamese territorial waters (which gave the Vietnamese ships every right to be there), but was either exaggerated or provoked by Lyndon Johnson as a pretext to escalate U.S. involvement in the Vietnam civil war (Vietnam had been divided into north and south by colonial France in the 1950s).
1958: King Hussein of Jordan dissolved the "Arab Union" between Jordan and Iraq which had been formed February 14 of that year.
1968: An earthquake struck Casiguran, Aurora, Philippines, killing more than 270 people.
1989: Trade restrictions between Britain and Argentina were lifted for the first time since the 1982 Falklands war.
1990: Iraq invaded Kuwait, leading to the "Gulf War" (not to be confused with the later invasion of Iraq by George W. Bush in his hunt for non-existent "weapons of mass destruction").