“Who has believed our report and to whom is the arm of Yehovah revealed?”
The seasons of the year have once again come to the time of the new moon of the spring and the time of the celebration of the Passover is upon us. Many throughout the world will observe some form of ritual in commemoration of the event. Some will attempt to keep the form and others the spirit of the day in various and sundry manners yet in all the pageantry there is no acknowledgment of the truth. Though there be great throngs of people in somber processions of mirth on one day and joyous adulations on another there still remains the question of the prophet, “Who has believed our report?”
The report is a message that had been received by the prophet “for the prophecy came not in old times by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Pt. 1:21). These men were given the Word of God and commanded to preach what they had received. They were not to be concerned with whether or not the people would hear them and repent; they were inspired by revelation, instructed by commandment and empowered by the will of God to give the message for doctrine, instruction and reproof. This was not an attempt to actuate the arm of Adam into charitable acts and moral living. It was not an offer of blessings in exchange for obedience and it was not a conglomeration of cunningly devised fables formulated to take advantage of the ignorance and superstitions of man. God spoke His Word by His prophets. He caused them to go to a particular location wherein a particular people with specific needs dwelt and many time under less than ideal conditions, they gave the report.
Isaiah’s report was about seven hundred years before the advent of Messiah upon the earth. It was a time when the judgment of God was made manifest against the ten northern tribes as they were defeated by the Assyrians and taken into captivity. His ministry began in the reign of Jotham the son of Uzziah who did that which was right in the eyes of Yehovah. After him, God raised up Ahaz who was an evil man who reigned sixteen years and did not do that which was right in the sight of Yehovah like David his father (II Kings 16:2). The days of this prophet and his prophesy were concluded under the reign of Hezekiah (the strength of Yah). He did that which was right in the sight of Yehovah according to all that David his father did. In this setting the Word of the Lord came to Isaiah to cry out, “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion...” This was a declaration about the true city of God, that New Jerusalem that came down from heaven adorned as a bride for her husband. Isaiah saw the ‘strength of Yehovah’ upon the throne which is the gospel of Jesus Christ (Rms. 1:16) and this was in contrast to the weak and corrupt nation of Israel.
In the nation of Israel, there was corruption in office, idolatry and spiritual fornications in high places and although there was religious form and ceremony, yet there was no truth. The people were sold for nothing and the name of Yehovah was ‘continually, every day, blasphemed’ (52:5). The promise of the Lord God was that His people would know His name and that they would know, on the day He spoke, that it was He that spoke and not another. His people were given ears to hear and when the voice of the Master, that sure sound of that certain trumpet, was sounded, His sheep follow His voice.
“Verily, verily I say unto you, the hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25).
These who were given the ears to hear were also they who had been redeemed without money by the power of God. They were delivered into the bondage of one mightier than they and were without strength, yet the comfort of His people is that they have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God who stood as He had been slain from the foundation of the world. This word came not from the imaginations of man or through the craftiness of flattering words. This Word of God came by the one who, upon the mountain of God, brought good tidings and published peace. He brought good tidings of good and published salvation to the inhabitants of Zion when He said, “Thy God reigneth” (52:7). This One made bare His holy arm, the strength and power of His might, and all the nations of the world saw the salvation of our God seven hundred years before the Anointed Servant of God walked upon the earth. The redeemed of Yehovah, the city of our God and the victory of the blood of the Lamb was seen and known before it was made manifest in the types and foreshadows of the ceremonies of the law, in the words of the prophets of God and in the hearts of his people, because all these works were finished from the foundation of the world (Heb. 4:3). Jerusalem was comforted and they which bear the vessel of Yehovah were made clean and washed their garments in the blood of the Lamb “for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean” (Is. 52:1), “and there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither works abomination nor makes a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:27).
Isaiah saw a finished work and it was the same as what John saw in the revelation of Jesus Christ. There is nothing new under the sun. The redeemed of the Lord are sealed with their Father’s name in their foreheads; their names are engraved in the palm of the hands of the King and eternally written in the book of life of the Lamb. Nothing can separate them from this love and when in the fullness of time, it pleases the Father to reveal Himself in them, they; “break forth into joy, sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem, for Yehovah has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem” (52:9)
“Behold My servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high” (52:13).
The testimony of the report of the prophet of God was not only about the deliverance but more importantly about the deliverer. The elect servant of God must be pure and righteous in order for Him to be acceptable before the throne of God. He cannot stand in His own corruption to plead the case for another and He cannot properly represent those whom He does not know completely. He made Himself of no reputation and was fashioned in the likeness of sinful man. He experienced all the emotions and feelings of the infirmities of man as he endured the contradiction of sin against Himself. He was not of the desire of Adam as was Saul, son of Kish, who stood head and shoulders above all others (I Sam. 9:2) and the people of the land do not desire Him to be king. Before He was born of a woman and made under the law, He was the “wonderful counsellor, the mighty God, the Price of peace and the everlasting Father” and the government of His kingdom was already upon His shoulders (Is. 9:6). Yet many were astonished by Him and at the sight of Him with His visage so marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of man, “we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised and we esteemed Him not” (53:3).
The Anointed Servant of God was a man of sorrows who was made perfect in all that he suffered. He experienced the grief of the inability of Adam to hit the mark of perfection and measure up to the standard of the Holiness of God. He who knew no sin, since it is impossible for God not to measure up to the standard of His own Holiness, as the Son of Man, became the sin of His people. He bore the cumulative grief of His people corporately and the burden of His house was laid upon Him. Yet for all this, the natural man who bears the vessel of God, cannot and does not appreciate Him or acknowledge His work. Rather he esteems the perfect sacrifice for sin as being ‘stricken, smitten of God and afflicted”. The natural man cannot receive the beauty of the offering for sin or the magnitude of His endurance.
This man was profaned, defied and polluted, crushed, pressed and broken for the depravity of His people in Adam. He endured the contradiction of sin against Himself and the punishment for the inability of His people was enacted upon Him in the wounding and blows of the fierceness of the wrath of God so that His elect might be healed and have peace with God. He was publicly humiliated, shamefully treated, despised and rejected of all men as even His disciples fled and abandoned him, “yet He opened not His mouth; He is brought as a lamb top the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth”(7).
This was pleasing to Yehovah. It was in complete accord with His determinate counsel and foreknowledge of His perfect will that His servant be taken and by wicked hands slain in the flesh. It was His plan and the desire of His soul that this One be the sacrifice for sin and an atonement for the house of the Israel of our God. He saw the travail of His soul and He was satisfied as the Righteous Servant justified many, for He shall bear their guilt (11). He was delivered up for the offenses and raised again for the justification of a specific group of people and therefore being justified by His faith they have peace with God (Rms. 5:1). The Prince of Peace through the power of His own will has made peace with God by the works of His hands and who has believed our report?
“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant and as a root out of a dry ground. He has no form nor comeliness and when we shall see Him there is no beauty that we should desire Him” (53:2).
Although God sent forth His Son in the fullness of time, yet it was not in the time when man was seeking God or following after His righteousness. The land was dry because of a severe drought, not of water, but a famine not of bread nor a thirst of water but of hearing the Word of God (Amos 8:11). This was a time of much confusion as the imaginations of man were enraged to decipher the law of God to find a way that man could keep the commandments and walk after the statutes so as to be blameless before God. The servant of Yehovah came forth out of this confusion (Zerub-babel) carrying the headstone of His house, not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit saith Yehovah of Hosts. He came forth crying; “grace, grace” unto the headstone (Zech. 4:6) and He was despised and rejected of Adam. He healed the sick, raised the dead and fed the multitudes yet He was hated of all men and discarded as worthless.
He grew up out of these conditions as the root and tender branch of the vine of His people (John15:1) and the eyes of the natural man could not see Him. All the mighty works that He did and all the wondrous signs that He gave were not so that man would come unto Him, for He blinded the eyes of man and made their ears heavy, that hearing with the ear they should not hear and seeing with the eye they should not see and understand and be converted and He must needs heal them (John12:40). He did not come to put on a show, he did not come to be seen and praised of man yet all the nation and all the ends of the earth saw the salvation of Yehovah and as many as were ordained to eternal life believe.
Even so in the pageantry and exhibitions of the celebrations of the season, He is not being preached to the masses. His name is blasphemed and His work rejected. He is crucified afresh, His blood is called common and trampled underfoot.
“...and to whom is the arm of Yehovah revealed?”
The preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation. The good news of great joy, which is unto every kindred, nation, tribe and tongue is the declaration of this power of God. It is the fact that God has redeemed His people by His Spirit and by the strength of His arm and not by any will of Adam, He has brought salvation unto Himself. Adam is not seeking after the righteousness of God; he is still in the garden fashioning aprons of fig leaves. He is a very religious person who strives daily to find his worth and desires the approval of God.
Those who have been chosen in Him from before the foundation of the world are the same which have been born from above by the Spirit of God. These are the children of light to whom in time it is revealed have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of His dear Son. These are the same that are born of the incorruptible seed and that during the time of their habitation in the body of this death, are strengthened with all mighty according to the glorious power of His will, that they may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:10f). They have the Spirit of the Most High who causes them to walk according to all the statutes of God and they keep His commandments (Ez. 36:27). They have the testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will and they walk in the light of the Lamb (Rev. 21:24). These are the only ones who have the ability and therefore can believe the report of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for unto them it is given to believe. This belief is because of the faith of the Son of God for all men have not faith. This faith is the fruit or evidence of the indwelling Spirit and it cannot be discerned, discovered or investigated by the mind of Adam; “for by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).
The mystery of the gospel, which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints, to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the nations; which is Christ in you the hope of glory is again declared for all nations have seen the salvation of the Lord. It is not the responsibility of man or any of his inventions to make sure that the gospel is preached in all the world. The messenger with the everlasting gospel has manifestly declared and continues to declare the glad tidings of great joy unto all men in Christ Jesus. It was given to Him for He is that Word and he has gone forth and has not returned void but has accomplished all that which is given unto Him. He preaches the truth “unto them that dwell upon the earth and to every nation, and kindred and tongue and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment has come and worship Him that made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of waters” (Rev. 14:6). His people hear His voice and they follow Him as they walk in the footsteps of the flock unto the tent of the Shepherd.
“Who shall declare His generation?”
The generation of Jesus Christ is a singular generation. It is the general assembly and ‘called out assembly’ of the firstborn, which are written in heaven (Heb. 12:23). It is the seed which is One in Him as He is One. It is the members in particular and the body in general. It is all the children which the Father gave unto Him, of which He has lost none, save the son of perdition who was a devil from the beginning. These have been with Him from the beginning. They are one with Him in His death, burial and they have been raised up together with Him in the first resurrection where they are all now seated together with Him in the heavenlies. When the Father saw the travail of His soul and was satisfied with the sacrifice for sin, He saw His seed. He declared the end of the world and has said unto the daughters of Zion, “Behold thy salvation comes, behold His reward is with Him and His work before Him” (Is. 62:11). The reward is the joy that was set before Him wherein He “endured the cross despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). He came in the end of the world to manifest that He is victorious over sin and that his people have overcome the world by their faith.
He has come forth being manifestly “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”(Rms. 1:4) and is seated in the throne of God where He rules over all flesh. He is the Master of the Universe and all things exist and consist by the power of His will. He brought forth good tidings and He has published peace. He has brought forth good tidings of good and has made the proclamation of salvation to the Israel of our God. He has said to His people, be ye comforted together because “thy God reigneth”
Who but the chosen of the Lord, the election according to grace unto whom the power of God unto salvation has been revealed, can trust and have confidence in this doctrine?
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
April 6, 2014