Isaiah 61 - Notes

Isaiah 61 - Notes

Isaiah 61 - Notes

Isaiah 61 - Notes

Jesus is the Head of His Church

Chapter 60 was about the kingdom of Christ and the rule of His church.  Chapter 61 is about the head of His church and His kingdom who is Christ Himself.  This text is the text of Christ’s first sermon which is recorded in Luke 4:18.  This text is fulfilled at that time.  It answers: Who is the Christ?  What are His tasks?  The Romans teach Christ as a stern judge.  The Evangelicals teach Christ as a kind friend.


1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,

Christ is not flesh whereas all people are flesh (Genesis 6:3 - My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh).  The Holy Spirit is upon Christ.  Christ does not come because He wills it, but He is sent by the Father.


because the LORD has anointed me

From anointed we get the Hebrew word Messiah and the Greek word Christ.  Both Messiah and Christ mean anointed.  Jesus is anointed by someone before He comes to us.  This is a spiritual anointing by the Father with the Holy Spirit.  It is not physical.  Jesus will not come armed or wealthy.


to bring good news

Who is Christ?  He is a servant, messenger, an apostle (which means Sent). The Preacher.  The Evangelist.  He is the One who is the bringer of God’s Word.


to the poor;

The afflicted ones.  In the Scriptures, the poor/afflicted are the poor and distress.  The Hopeless.  Matthew 11:5, the poor have good news preached to them.


he has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
This is what Christ does…He is not a judge or a teacher of the Law, but He does the opposite: He heals, He consoles, He frees us from these evils (1 Corinthians 15:56 depicts the three wounds - Law, sin, and death).  Luther - The deliverance from these afflictions, I say, is ours through Christ, but in this respect, there is a deficiency, that we cannot believe these words. We think heaven is filled with our sins, with the Law and death. Therefore these words must be carefully weighed. In them, we should see life, salvation, and deliverance. This will not come to pass in this life. By faith, we shall only see that the matter has been begun, not that it is completed.


2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;

Luther - The LORD calls the New Testament the year of the Lord’s favor and a year of the Lord’s will.  On the contrary, the day of vengeance of God is called terrible. It is a great art rightly to divide the Word, to proclaim a hard message to the hard and a soft and gentle one to the afflicted.


3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.

Let us be content with Christ crucified as St. Paul and many others preach.  Let us not speculate on the glory of God (what can be seen) like the pope, mega-church leaders, and Mohammed do.  We speculate when we want answers to questions like: Why does the Lord let so many Muslims live and Christians die?  Or, Why me?  Let us start thinking about Christ while He is crying in the manger and then work our way to His passion rather than the other way around.  Then we will know He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

4 They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.
The ancient ruins are referring to the synagogues and places of worship throughout Israel.  They will have come to spiritual ruin.  Therefore the cities will not have God’s Word proclaimed and taught.  No opportunity to believe if the office of the Word is devastated.

5 Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;

The Lord will place Gentiles into the Office of the Word.  They shall raise up a new flock and tend to it.


6 but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast.
Those in the Office of the Word are not priests in the way we understand a priest as one who offers sacrifices to the Lord.  Rather, they sacrifice their own will for the benefit of the people with God’s Word.  Minister means servant.  The wealth of nations here is the Word of God that the Lord is giving by placing His office in all the devastated towns.  The glory is the return - people convert to the Lord, even kings, and leaders.


7 Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;  they shall have everlasting joy.
The double portion is double the glory.  The lots are the cities and the churches, as Our Savior Lutheran Church is one lot in the city of Muscatine.  The other lot is under the tyranny of powerful people.  Yet, the glory is that even some of them will repent and believe.  Then they will say things like, “I was such a fool.  I can’t believe I ever did that to you.”  Like St. Paul after his conversion on the road to Damascus.


8 For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

Since the Lord loves justice there is no need to become a justice warrior.  He will accomplish everlasting justice.  Today there is a big push for social justice.  Here He says, live your life to better your neighbor, but justice and vengeance are His.  He will faithfully accomplish it.  The rest is pure promises and words for comfort.


9 Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed.
This offspring is the church whom the Lord blesses and the nations recognize.

10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Again the double portion.  Temporal within the church (and maybe outside at times) and Eternal.

11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.
To believe in Jesus is to sprout righteousness.  Speaking is to build the church and convert people.  This is the double glory.  The Word is the seed and it produces fruit.

Isaiah Study Notes - Chapter 60

Isaiah Study Notes - Chapter 60

Isaiah Study Notes - Chapter 60

Isaiah Study Notes - Chapter 60

Verses 15-22

December 20, 2017

15 Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.

Forsaken - Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34.  My God, My God why have you forsaken Me.

Hated - John 15:18.  The world hated Me before it hated you.

Isaiah is describing the church during the time he worked with the Word.  The church was forsaken by God.  The name Christian was hated or whatever name the faithful went by such as Israel or Hebrew.

so that no man went through thee - This word picture of a ruined city also describes the church.

I will make thee an eternal excellency - The church struggles and looks like it is crushed but it will not be destroyed.  The gates of hell...

a joy of many generations - Everyone in this city will have joy even though there be martyrs.  A time will come when people will say, I wish I could have listened to Isaiah.  At the time, no one wanted to hear Isaiah.  Note: joy is a gift from God.  You start with no joy.  You receive a little bit of joy at a time.  This joy never goes away.  Happiness is different.  You start with a lot of happiness.  This happiness is slowly lost.  Eventually it is gone.

16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

This is not worldly wealth that the kings will give the church.  It is food and clothing.  Some kings will be moved by the plight of the Christians and provide some care for their basic needs.  Paul says (Rom. 8:36), “We are being killed all the day long,” and (1 Cor. 4:9), “God has exhibited us apostles as last of all.”  As the Word spread and the Christians were dispersed throughout the New Testament, the kings were also humbled.  They could not stop the spread of Christianity.  The emphasis is the description of the LORD as Savior and Redeemer.

17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.

This is a general saying.  The Lord will change sadness into joy.  He will make good things more precious.  It is like a political candidate promising to make things better during a campaign.  This is the LORD speaking.  thy officers (bishops/pastors) peace (KJV).  your overseers peace (ESV).   Luther: Visitation means episcopate. Thus the word ἐπισκοπεῖν is used in the psalm concerning Judas, “May another take his episcopate” (cf. Ps. 109:8). A bishop is an overseer, a caretaker of his office. Thus Peter says that a bishop must not be a busybody in other men’s affairs (1 Peter 4:15), that is, be hindered by alien cares and tasks. But his own office is to look around and to visit with the Word and sacraments...Your visitation, that is, “your episcopate.” I (the Lord) will furnish the pastors.

18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.

Luther: “I want to take care that there shall be no injury, devastation, and destruction where this Word has been.” Just as above, every calamity will cease when the Word is present. For the godly, instructed in the Word, have peace with God, and they will also have peace with the brother and will harm no one. They will live peaceably with all (Rom. 12:18). Hearts will not be torn and disquieted, but all will be in peace. Injury and disturbance of the peace will be reduced internally and externally.

19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.   20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.  21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.  22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time. (Isa. 60:15-22 KJV)

Battle of the Gods

June 21, 2017

Wednesday Bible Study

Isaiah 41:1-7

Title: Battle of the Gods - The Lord recalls the history of Abraham to put forth why He Himself alone is God.

Opening Prayer

Intro: The Lord continues to both rebuke and comfort His people.  However, He is agitated.

1. Listen to me in silence, Two cannot talk at one time.  Stop talking with each other and listen to Me for a change.   O coastlands; these are the people.  The Israelites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea (also known as the Great Sea).  let the peoples renew their strength The imagery is changing from one set of clothing to another.  Put on strength.  Let us together draw near for judgment.  Let us have a contest.  Put forth your argument and I will put forth Mine.\


2. Who stirred up from the east  This is speaking about Abraham who came from the Babylonian area to Judea.  A righteous man Abraham was previously wicked and an idolater/pagan.  He called him to travel from his homeland through dangerous territory, trusting God alone.  (Psalm 105:13)  Abraham is the only one called out from the Babylonian worship of Hur (which means fire - they worshipped god before the fire).  Abraham’s parents did not give up the worship of Hur.  This is the first miracle.  Abraham actually left his homeland.  Many friends and family would certainly argue against such a thing.  But, his wife and many servants/helpers willingly follow.  At every step.  God led Abraham every step.  This is a Hebrew idiom understood as every dangerous step.  Abraham then had many enemies.  He gives up nations before him.  This is the second miracle.  Abraham was never harmed.  Genesis 14.  Four kings pursue five kings during which Lot is captured.  Abraham allies with three kings to make four kings.  Lot is rescued.  The five mightier kings/emperors are defeated.  No harm to Abraham or Lot.  Luther, thinking according to the flesh, calls Abraham a simpleton.  But look at God does and what Abraham receives by faith.  He tramples kings under foot  Luther says: “See how exceedingly powerful his faith and word were and made the opposing kings afraid. This is so because faith consoles the godly and terrifies the ungodly to such an extent that they think they are surrounded by enemies on all sides.”


4. I am the God of the first and the last. Luther: “Noah was the first in relation to those who came after him but the last in relation to Adam. So we are the last in view of our ancestors and the first in the view of our descendants. This God has established the limits of kingdoms and rulers for all, as Acts 17:28 says, “In Him we have our being.” Just as all kingdoms have their boundaries, they will not go one thread beyond them.”


5.  They are afraid  They are not afraid of God but they are afraid of being defeated.


6. Each one helps his neighbor.  The enemies gather together and support each other against the truth and against changing their ways.  Take courage!  Stand strong against the Creator and those who speak His word faithfully.


7. The craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil.  They work hard to make idols and then hammer Scripture to fit their understanding of their own gods.  Saying of the soldering: It is good.  and then hammer Scripture to fit it to their understanding of their gods rather than follow God.  Even Christian false teachers do this such as Enthusiasts (those who separate the Holy Spirit from Holy Scripture and therefore think of God’s Word needs to be defended and made effective by God’s people) or Anabaptists (those who place reason above Scripture and therefore reject of the power of God - ie. good confession of a person before baptism, Holy Communion as a Christian gathering but without the forgiveness of sins)  He has fastened it with nails  Luther; “he has tacked it down, because that wretched god is so impotent that he must be nailed down so that he may appear to stand.”  For us, God’s Word stands on its own; God’s Word endures forever on its own.  God has promises.  Let us trust Him by being faithful to His strong and enduring Word.


Some Questions:


  1. How was Abraham made righteous?  Genesis 15:6

  2. Was this before or after the war?

  3. How are the faithful warred against today in our setting?

  4. What protects the Word of God from being destroyed?

  5. What promises has God given in the Book of Isaiah that are important?  Is. 7:14; 40:31;...

  6. What is the key to Abraham’s righteousness and your righteousness?

The Word of the Lord Endures Forever

                                               The Word of the Lord Endures Forever

                                               The Word of the Lord Endures Forever

Wednesday Bible Study

Isaiah 40:3ff

3The voice of one crying in the wilderness:  “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

 The voice of one crying: In the wilderness preach, etc. This is how we punctuate the text. Luke (3:4) joins in the wilderness with the preacher, John, working in the wilderness. The Jews to the Gentiles.  The voice doesn’t come by sitting quietly and waiting for it.  First, you can’t empty yourself of speculations.  Second, because your flesh has not yet been killed.  When you hear the Word the Lord will empty your soul and kill your flesh.  It happens no other way.  This is the power of the Word.  And again note, the Word and the Holy Spirit work together and never separately.  The beginning of spiritual knowledge begins with the voice of one crying/preaching as St. Paul says in Romans 10:14, “How are they to believe….without a preacher?”

 4Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; 5The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 6The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?”  “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.  7The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.  8The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

 Flesh is the whole man.  It includes reason at the top.  In the military and politics and training children, reason can be helpful among us.  But God doesn’t see it that way.  Reason wars against God.  

 The Word of our God stands forever!

“The ungodly may say of their own word, which they regard as the word of God, that it will abide forever. But they think that the genuine Word of God, which they do not know, will not last one hour. Nevertheless, it stands against all their triumphs while its adversaries perish. Therefore this statement might well be formed in large words and engraved on the sleeves” (Martin Luther).

VDMA, standing for the Latin motto Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum. This symbol was inscribed on swords, cannons and armor used by the Smalcaldic League which was formed to be a mutual defense organization, against the Catholic princes trying to overthrow the Reformation in the various territories of Germany that had embraced it. This is the motto of the Lutheran Reformation.  The motto is based on Isaiah 40:6-8 quoted by 1 Peter 1:24-25. It first appeared in the court of Frederick the Wise in 1522. He had it sewn onto the right sleeve of the court’s official clothing, which was worn by prince and servant alike. It was used by Frederick’s successors, his brother John the Steadfast, and his nephew John Frederick the Magnanimous. It became the official motto of the Smalcaldic League and was used on flags, banners, swords, and uniforms as a symbol of the unity of the Lutheran laity who struggled to defend their beliefs, communities, families and lives against those who were intent on destroying them.  The Smalcaldic War lasted from July 10, 1546 to May 23, 1547 (Martin Luther died February 15, 1546).  

Although the Imperial (Roman Catholic) forces were victorious over the Protestant forces of the Smalcald League, crushing the heretics for the Pope in Rome, the ideas of Martin Luther had spread over the Empire such that they could not be suppressed with physical force. However, on 15 May 1548 Charles V, feeling at the height of his power, dictated the Augsburg Interim to prepare the reintegration of the Protestants into the Catholic Church. The edict provoked another revolt by the Protestant princes in 1552, this time led by Elector Maurice of Saxony and backed by King Henry II of France. Charles V had to flee from the superior Lutheran forces and to cancel the Interim with the Peace of Passau (1552 & Augsburg Interim ended), whereby John Frederick I of Saxony and Philip I of Hesse were released. An official settlement acknowledging the Protestant religion arrived three years later in the form of the Peace of Augsburg. The next year Charles V voluntarily abdicated in favor of his brother Ferdinand I.

The Peace of Augsburg in 1555 settled the conflict by allowing the 224 German rulers to declare their territories either Roman or Lutheran.  The people in the territorial minority were able to retain their land and practice their faith at certain times in public and always in their home.  Calvinists were not included until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 after the Thirty Years War.