The Prophetic Vision of Christ: Isaiah, The Prophet of the Messiah

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters eight through eleven of this Old Testament book. “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. 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. And one cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: The whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of Him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 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. 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: 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. 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. And He said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 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. 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, and the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, who’s substance is in them, when they cast their lives: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof” (Isaiah 6:1-13).

“Moreover, the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; Ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. And He said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorest shall be forsaken of both her kings” (Isaiah 7:10-16).

“For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the ways of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy. To all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the LORD of hosts Himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken” (Isaiah 8:11-15).

“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. And when they shall ay unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: Should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to this word, It is because there is no light in them. And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall e hungry, they shall ret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall e driven to darkness” (Isaiah 8:16-22).

“Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 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. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midianites. For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. 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, Counseller, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 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 for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:1-7).

“The LORD sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, the bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together; The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall evoke Israel with open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still” (Isaiah 9:8-12).

A TALE OF TWO SONS! THE SON OF THE PROPHET! THE SON OF GOD! A VISION OF THE GLORY OF THE LORD SEATED ON THE THRONE HIGH AND LIFTED UP! THE CHILD BORN UNTO THE VIRGIN! UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, UNTO US A CHILD US GIVEN! THE ROD OF ASSYRIA IN THE HAND OF THE LORD! THE BRANCH THAT WILL COME FORTH FROM JESSE! When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will encounter two distinct realities which are found within these verses—the first, which is the rod of Assyria which would be used as an instrument in the hand of the LORD to chastise and punish Samaria and the northern kingdom of Israel, and the second which is the prophetic declaration of the Messiah who would enter into the earth at the appointed time. THE ROD AND THE ROOT! Even as I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about and consider the absolutely wonderful and tremendous reality that there is a strong comparison found within these chapters concerning the rod of Assyria which would be used in the hand of the LORD to judge His people, and the root of Jesse and of David who will enter into the world to restore, to bring salvation, to bring deliverance, and to manifest the divine nature and character of the living God in the midst of the earth. In fact, if you read chapters seven, nine and eleven you will find that within these three chapters are distinct Messianic prophecies which foretell of the manifestation of the Messiah who would appear at the appointed time within the earth. If there is one thing I find absolutely astonishing and breathtaking about the prophetic book of Isaiah it’s that not only did the prophet Isaiah have a vision of the divine glory and presence of the living and eternal God as He was high and lifted up seated upon His throne, but the prophet was also that one prophet and one Old Testament figure who saw and prophesied more concerning the coming Messiah than any other prophet or saint mentioned within the Old Testament. If and as you read the words which are found within the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah you will find that within the first eleven chapters—not only will you find a vision of glory in the year king Uzziah died, but you will also find distinct visions of the coming Messiah who would emerge and be manifested in the midst of the earth. We dare not, we cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this reality, for the prophetic book of Isaiah gives us a vision of the glory of the LORD, a vision of the coming Messiah, as well as a vision of the tremendous and wonderful ministry of the Messiah as found in the four New Testament gospels written by the Gospel writers.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the reality that before we even exit the first eleven chapters of the prophetic book of Isaiah we see a vision of the glory of God as manifested in the scene in heaven, as well as a vision of the Messiah who would come and be manifested in the midst of the earth. How absolutely remarkable and astonishing it is to think about and consider the fact that the prophet Isaiah was perhaps the one Old Testament figure who saw and prophesied more concerning the Messiah—from His birth, to His crucifixion, to His public ministry upon the earth, and so much more. It is actually quite intriguing that as you read the natural progression and flow of this Old Testament prophetic book you will find that in the year king Uzziah died—the first king during whose days the prophet Isaiah began to prophesy—he saw a vision of the LORD seated on the throne high and lifted up, and His train filled the Temple. In all reality, I am convinced that we cannot truly see and understand that which the Spirit would seek to show and reveal unto us within this Old Testament book without first coming face to face with the image of the LORD of heaven and earth seated on the throne in heaven. What’s more, is that the prophet Isaiah was one of a select few individuals who saw a vision of the throne in heaven, and saw one seated on that throne. If and as you study Scripture you will find that you can probably count on one hand the number of individuals who were given a vision of the throne in heaven, and of the One who was seated upon that throne. In the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel you will find in the first chapter how Ezekiel not only saw a vision of the glory of God, but Ezekiel also saw a vision of the throne of heaven and of the One who was seated upon the throne. In the prophetic book of Daniel you will find that Daniel the beloved was also another one who saw a vision of the throne in heaven, and of the One who was seated upon that throne. In the New Testament you might very well say that Stephen himself saw a vision of the throne of God in heaven—although that which Stephen saw more than anything else was a vision of Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of God. In the final New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you will find the apostle John seeing a vision of the throne in heaven—and not only a vision of the throne in heaven, but the One who was seated on that throne, the four living creatures before the throne, the four and twenty elders which were round about the throne, and the myriads of angels, cherubims and seraphims which were round about the throne.

I think about and consider the words which are found within the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, and I can’t help but come face to face with the truth that perhaps one of the single greatest needs we have within this life is to see and to catch a vision of the glory of God, and perhaps even of the throne in heaven. I fully realize and recognize that only a select few individuals within Scripture actually saw a vision of the glory of God, and of the throne in heaven, and yet with that being said I am absolutely convinced that there is a great need within our hearts and lives to experience a vision of the glory of God—and even a vision of the throne in heaven upon which the living and eternal God is seated. What so amazes me about the prophet Isaiah is that the vision which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, which were kings of Judah was more than simply a vision concerning this ancient city and the land of the people of God. The vision which Isaiah the son of Amoz would see during the reigns of these four kings would have intrinsically linked and connected to them a vision of the divine glory of God and the throne upon which He is seated, as well as a vision of the coming Messiah who would be manifested in the midst of the earth. In other words, it might very well be said that the vision which the prophet saw concerning Jerusalem and Judah would be incomplete with also a vision concerning the coming Messiah, for the Messiah would not only come forth from the seed of David, but the Messiah would have direct ties and connections to the city of Jerusalem. The prophet Isaiah prophesied during the reign of four earthly kings, and yet in the midst of the reigns of those kings the prophet would see a vision of the eternal King which is seated upon His throne in heaven, and the King of kings which would come in the form of a servant. We dare not, we cannot, we must not miss and lose sight of this truly awesome and spectacular reality, for to do so would be to miss the awesome importance of a vision of the throne of God in heaven, as well as a vision of the Messiah who would be manifested in the earth.

In all reality, I am becoming increasingly convinced that the prophetic book of Isaiah is a book that is centered upon the Messianic promise and the Messianic reality as it directly relates and is linked together with the narrative of Jerusalem and Judah. If we want to truly understand the four gospel narratives which are found in the New Testament it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we understand the language which is found within this Old Testament prophetic book. What’s more, is that the prophet Isaiah was indeed the first Old Testament Hebrew prophet to see a vision of the throne of God in heaven, and a vision of the LORD seated upon the throne. I am absolutely and completely convinced that the prophetic book of Isaiah is essentially the key to unlock all the other prophetic books which are found in the Old Testament, as well as the key to the four New Testament gospel narratives which were written concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. The prophetic book of Isaiah is essentially laid out the same as the whole of Scripture, for the first thirty-nine chapters of this prophetic book can most readily be described as “The Old Testament” portion of the book with a tremendous emphasis on the sins of the nation and the response of God to those sins through judgment, through chastisement and punishment. The final twenty-seven chapters of this prophetic book can most readily be described as “The New Testament” of the book, for these chapters detail, outline and describe the suffering servant which would be manifested within and upon the earth. The prophetic book of Isaiah is a book that contains a tremendous vision of the divine glory, the divine authority and the government of God in heaven, while also at the same time presenting us with and painting a picture of the coming Messiah who would redeem the people of God from their sins. The declaration which John the Baptist made concerning Jesus and His being “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” would be wonderfully, beautifully and powerfully seen in this Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah. It is this Old Testament book where we truly catch a wonderful glimpse of the Messiah who is to come—the Messiah who would not only suffer according to the divine will of the Father, but who would also rule and reign as king.

The more you read and consider the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah the more you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome and tremendous reality that the vision of the divine glory of the eternal God, and the throne room in heaven was the catalyst that thrust and propelled him into the prophetic ministry which the LORD had called him to. In order to understand the prophetic ministry of Isaiah the son of Amoz it is absolutely necessary to understand it from and through the lens of this vision of the throne in heaven and the LORD seated upon the throne high and lifted up. It is this throne room scene and vision which the prophet Isaiah saw that would form the foundation for the prophetic ministry the LORD would give unto him during his generation—during the days of four distinct kings who would sit upon the throne of David and govern the nation and kingdom of Judah. What’s more, is that this vision of the divine glory of the living God would ultimately prepare Isaiah—not only to speak as an oracle and mouthpiece of God, but also to behold the Servant of the LORD who would be manifested within and upon the earth. The vision of the LORD seated upon the throne, high and lifted up, with His train filling the Temple would be the very foundation upon which the revelation of the Messiah would emerge and be manifested within the life and ministry of Isaiah. How absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that Isaiah would have prophesied concerning the coming Messiah who would fulfill and accomplish the word, the work and the will of the LORD within and upon the earth. In order to truly understand the visions which the prophet Isaiah would see concerning the Messiah, it is absolutely necessary that we not only consider the vision which Isaiah saw concerning the throne in heaven, but also consider that vision in light of the visions which Daniel, Ezekiel and the apostle John saw concerning the same throne. Oh how wonderful and powerful it is consider the fact that the LORD was seated on the throne in heaven during the days of Isaiah, the LORD was still seated on the throne in heaven during the days of Daniel and Ezekiel, and in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ we find the LORD seated on that throne still and forevermore. Consider if you will the following narratives concerning the vision of the throne in heaven and the One who was and still is seated upon that throne:

“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. 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. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: The whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 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. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongues from off the altar: 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. 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. And He said, Go, and tell this people” (Isaiah 6:1-9).

“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake” (Ezekiel 1:26-28).

“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:9-14).

“After this I 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. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 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, 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).

Three ancient Hebrew prophets and one New Testament apostle all saw a vision of the throne of God which was in heaven, and yet what makes the vision which the prophet Isaiah saw so unique is when you think about and consider that in the year king Uzziah died he saw the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filling the Temple. I have to admit that I am absolutely astonished and amazed at the vision which the prophet Isaiah saw concerning the throne in heaven, for this vision came in the year king Uzziah died. In the year the earthly throne was vacated the prophet saw the throne in heaven which not only had not been vacated, but also has never been vacated. I don’t feel it is necessary to spend too much time speaking about this vision of the throne in heaven, however, I do feel it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the fact that despite the fact that Isaiah watched as four different kings sat upon the throne of David in the city of Jerusalem, there would always only ever be one King who would sit upon the throne in heaven. This is absolutely necessary and imperative to recognize and understand, for when we think about the vision which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw, it’s necessary to realize and understand that there was one throne which was above the throne of David which stood in the midst of Jerusalem, and there was one King who absolutely ruled over each king that would sit upon that throne. Scripture is unclear why Isaiah the son of Amoz saw and received the vision of the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filling the temple, however, suffice it to say that the prophet would see a vision of a throne in heaven which the LORD of hosts would always sit upon. It is truly something unique and marvelous to consider the fact that Isaiah saw the throne in heaven—and not only saw the throne in heaven, but also saw the throne occupied with One sitting upon it. In fact, if you read and study each of the four visions of the throne in heaven you will find that they all have one common theme and one common denominator—namely, that there was One who was seated on the throne. Although the visions of the throne which the prophets Ezekiel and Daniel, and the apostle John saw seemed to be very much similar in nature, the vision which the prophet Isaiah saw would be unique in its very nature. The vision of the throne which Isaiah saw would most certainly feature the LORD sitting upon the throne, but the vision would also include a vision of seraphims, it would also include hearing the words which the seraphim cried out one to another, and would included a personal response to the throne—namely, Isaiah’s humility in being a man of unclean lips, and one of the seraphim taking a live coal from off the altar and touching the coal to his lips to cleanse him.

What I so absolutely love about the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah is that within it there is a wonderful and beautiful picture of the glory and throne of the LORD and His sitting upon that throne, as well as the vision the prophet saw concerning the Messiah who would be manifested within and upon the earth. You cannot read the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah without encountering the Messiah in its Old Testament pages, and I am convinced that it is possible to come face to face with, encounter, and truly come to love and appreciate the Messiah—even within the Old Testament pages. The four gospel narratives written by two apostles, a physician, and a companion of Paul and Barnabas would reveal that One whom the ancient Hebrew prophets wrote and spoke about, however, what we must realize and recognize is that much of what took place within those four gospels was prophesied and foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophets. In fact, time and time again—particularly and especially in the New Testament gospel of Matthew—you will find reference and mention to certain events within the life and ministry of Jesus being a direct fulfillment of that which was prophesied and foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophets. There is perhaps no other Old Testament who saw as much concerning Christ and the coming Messiah than did the ancient Hebrew prophet Isaiah—a reality that is based on sheer content and volume that is found and contained within the book. The more you read the words which are found in the vision which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw the more you will quickly discover that he was a prophet for whom the curtain was pulled back, and he was allowed to see a wonderful and powerful vision of the Messiah who would be manifested in the midst of the earth. The prophetic book of Isaiah is perhaps the single greatest testament and prophetic word concerning the coming Messiah and Christ, and paints a powerful picture of His birth, of His suffering, of His reign and government, and even of His life and ministry upon the earth. You cannot read the prophetic book of Isaiah without encountering and coming face to face with the Messiah—a truly wonderful and beautiful reality when you take the time to think about it. What makes this so unbelievably awesome is when you consider the fact that you can read the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah and already learn so much about Jesus the Christ without even turning to a single page within the four gospels.

ISAIAH: THE PROPHET OF CHRIST! It is true that all of the apostles were essentially apostles of Christ, and yet the apostle Paul is most commonly and widely viewed as the apostle of Christ. The apostle Paul preached Christ and Christ crucified, buried, and risen from the dead unto the Gentiles, and single-handily took the gospel of Jesus Christ unto more in Asia than any other apostle. With that being said, however, I would dare say that when looking at the prophet Isaiah we can conclude that he was truly and indeed the prophet of Christ. I firmly believe that when you read the words which are found within the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah you are encountering more than simply a prophet who was speaking directly to the times in which he was living, but a prophet who was prophesying and essentially preaching Christ. How absolutely captivating it is to think about and consider the fact that within the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah you will find the prophet preaching Jesus unto the city of Jerusalem, and unto the land of Judah during the reigns of four kings. Stop for a moment and think about the fact that during the reign of four kings the prophet Isaiah stood firm as a pillar for the living and eternal God and preached Jesus unto a people who didn’t even know who He was, or who He would be. What’s more, is that this Old Testament Hebrew prophet would preach Christ born of a virgin, Christ who would suffer according to the divine will of the Father, and even Christ crucified. You cannot read the words found within the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah and not encounter the awesome reality that this Old Testament prophet stood in the midst of the people of God and centuries and generations before Christ would actually be born of a virgin in Bethlehem, and generations before Christ would actually engage Himself in the public ministry for which He was sent would preach Jesus the Christ. Of course the prophet Isaiah had absolutely no idea he was actually preaching Jesus, and one can’t help but wonder if during the time of his prophesying he ever saw in his spirit and within his mind’s eye who and what Christ would be. Is it possible that when you read the words which are found in this prophetic book that Isaiah the son of Amoz actually saw the Messiah born of the virgin, and actually saw Him being born of Mary in the town of Bethlehem? Is it possible that the prophet Isaiah would see the suffering of Christ exactly as it would happen at the hands of sinful men and at the hands of cruel Roman soldiers? Is it possible that the prophet Isaiah looked upon the suffering Servant and truly saw a picture of the suffering He would experience within this life upon the earth?

As you read the words which are found within the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah you will encounter the awesome and wonderful reality that this Old Testament Hebrew prophet not only saw Christ, but also preached Christ unto the city of Jerusalem, as well as the kingdom of Judah. You cannot read the words found within this Old Testament prophetic book and not find in the midst of it a powerful proclamation and declaration of Jesus the Christ. In fact, I would dare say that Christ the Messiah is at the very heart and center of the prophetic message of Isaiah, and you cannot truly understand the spirit of the message he preached and proclaimed without also understanding the person of Christ contained within it. Isaiah the son of Amoz could most definitely be described and defined as “the prophet of Christ,” for Jesus the Christ was at the very heart of everything he prophesied, everything he declared, and everything he proclaimed. Here again—we cannot say with absolute certainty that Isaiah knew of whom he was prophesying and speaking of, and actually saw an image of Jesus the Christ, however, we can be absolutely certain that the prophet was very much aware of a coming Messiah who would be manifested in the midst of his people. The prophet did not know the time when the Messiah would come, but suffice it to say he knew without a doubt that the day would come when the Messiah would be manifested in the midst of the earth. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this reality, for the whole of the prophetic book of Isaiah hinges on the nature, the character, the image, and the person of Jesus the Christ. What makes this even more astounding is when you consider the fact that Isaiah never knew the name that would be given unto the Messiah, for it would only be when the angel Gabriel appeared unto both Mary and Joseph that the actual name of Jesus would be given. The prophet Isaiah would speak of the Messiah, and would speak of One that was to come, however, he never even knew the name of that one who would be manifested in the midst of the earth. How do you speak about One whose name you would never know and who you would never meet? The prophet Isaiah would speak and prophesy concerning the coming Messiah, and although he would not physically know the name of Jesus, he would in all reality catch a glimpse of His divine nature. The prophet would prophesy and speak concerning the coming Messiah, and although he would not know the actual name of the Messiah, he would catch a glimpse of His nature and character through the names which were given unto him.

One of the most remarkable truths surrounding the prophetic declaration of Isaiah concerning the Messiah is when you think about and consider the fact that although Isaiah the son of Amoz would never know the physical name of Jesus as the disciples would, as Mary and Joseph would, as the scribes, the chief priests, the elders, the Pharisees and others would, he would nonetheless catch a glimpse of what His name would mean. Isaiah might not have ever known the name of Jesus—at least not as the physical name is concerned, however, what we must realize and recognize is that the names which he did see concerning the Messiah are all manifestations of the actual name of Jesus. In other words, when you say and speak the name of Jesus you must recognize the fact that the name of Jesus carries with it the full weight and meaning of the names which the prophet Isaiah saw. Isaiah the son of Amoz might never have seen or known the name “Jesus,” but the names which he did see not only revealed unto him the divine nature and character of Jesus, but also those names which would be wrapped up and bound within the name of Jesus. Permit me to ask you what comes to mind when you say and when you think about the name of Jesus. When you say the name of Jesus—what does that name mean to you? When you speak the name of Jesus in prayer—what does that name mean within your heart and spirit? When you think about the name of Jesus and it’s meaning within your heart and life—what does that name invoke within your heart and spirit? One of the things I absolutely love about the prophetic book of Isaiah is that although he would never physically know the name of Jesus, he would know other names that were all wrapped up, bound in and pointed to that name. Isaiah would never hear the name “Jesus” in his generation, but he would hear names that were synonymous with “Jesus,” and names which are intrinsically linked and connected to that name. In fact, I would like to invite you to consider the words which are found in the seventh, ninth and eleventh chapters of the prophetic book of Isaiah, and then consider the words which the angel Gabriel spoke unto Mary and Joseph, as well as the words which Simeon and Anna spoke concerning this Jesus:

“Therefore the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorest shall be forsaken of both her kings” (Isaiah 7:14-16).

“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, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 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 for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 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 the knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; and shall make a him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolve also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the yong lion and fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their yong ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 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 11:1-10).

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the LORD had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS” (Matthew 1:18-25).

“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city in Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the LORD is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salvation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found FAVOUR with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall e great, and shall e called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall e no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall e born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the LORD; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her” Luke 1:26-38).

“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb” (Luke 2:21).

“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before He had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the Temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took He him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:25-32).

“And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about four score and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and speak of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him” (Luke 2:36-40).

As you read these words which are found in the New Testament gospel narratives which were written by the beloved physician Luke, as well as the apostle Matthew, you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome reality of the name of JESUS—a name which was given unto Mary and Joseph before He was even conceived in the womb of Mary. Within these passages you will find that the angel Gabriel not only appeared unto Mary announcing and proclaiming the birth of JESUS, but you will also find the angel Gabriel appearing unto Joseph when it could no longer be hidden that Mary was pregnant and with child. The angel Gabriel would be sent and dispatched to both Mary and Joseph in order that he might proclaim and announce the name of JESUS—a reality which is actually quite remarkable when you consider it in light of the passages which are found in chapters seven, nine and eleven of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah. Although Isaiah the son of Amoz did not and would not know the name of JESUS—that name which was announced on two separate occasions by Gabriel unto both Mary and Joseph—he would know the foundation and fundamental principles and truths concerning that name. In fact, it would be words which were found in both the seventh chapter of this prophetic book, as well as the words which are found in the ninth chapter that would form the basis—not only of the name of JESUS, but also what that name would mean for the children of Israel, and in all reality for all mankind. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for the apostle Matthew would quote from the prophet Isaiah on more than one occasion in the gospel narrative he wrote concerning the life and ministry of Jesus. More often than not within the gospel narrative which was written by the apostle Matthew we find the basis of what he wrote concerning Jesus the Christ being rooted and grounded in that which was prophesied and spoken concerning Him by the ancient Hebrew prophets.

If you turn and direct your attention to the first and opening chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew you will find the angel Gabriel appearing unto Joseph by dream during the night that he might comfort and assure him that the thing which was conceived within the womb of Mary was of the Holy Ghost, and that he need not fear, nor be afraid of taking Mary as his wife. What’s more, is that it would unto Joseph the angel Gabriel would also proclaim the name of JESUS, which would be only the second time this name would be proclaimed and heard in the earth. This name JESUS would first be proclaimed and announced unto Mary before He would even be conceived within her womb, and it would be announced a second time unto Joseph in a dream by night before on the eighth day after He was born they would actually call His name JESUS, and would give Him the name men and women would not from that time on. Even more than this, you will find within the New Testament gospel of Matthew the apostle writing how all this which had been done was to fulfill that which was prophesied by the prophet who generations earlier had proclaimed “Behold, a virgin shall e with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel.” In order to further confirm the prophetic destiny and nature of the birth of JESUS the apostle Matthew would quote and reference the words which the prophet Isaiah would proclaim centuries earlier—words which we find in the seventh chapter of this Old Testament book. What makes it truly interesting is that in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah we do in fact read that a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, an d that his name would be called Immanuel, however, the apostle Matthew adds something entirely and altogether different which Isaiah the son of Amoz had not revealed. Within the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah we find the prophet speaking and revealing that the name of this child which would be born would be Immanuel, however, the apostle Matthew would go on to reveal how that name would literally mean “God with us.” It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we do not miss and lose sight of this absolutely wonderful and remarkable truth and reality, for what we find within this declaration and proclamation of Matthew is something that was at the very nature and foundation of the presence of Jesus within our life—namely, that through this child which would be born unto us God would literally be present among us within the earth. Consider if you will the words which the apostle John wrote in the first and opening chapter of the gospel narrative which he wrote concerning the life of Jesus the Christ:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 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 bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This is He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me. And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him’ (John 1:1-18).

Within this opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find and understand that not only was Jesus in the beginning as the Word, and only was Jesus with God in the beginning as the Word, but so also was Jesus as the Word God Himself. Furthermore, we find and understand through these words that this Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this truly awesome and remarkable reality, for to do so would be to understand the very nature of Jesus in the midst of the earth—namely, that Jesus came and dwelt among us as the literal and physical embodiment of the divine presence of the living God. Jesus came and dwelt among us as the actual physical person and presence of the eternal God, and it would be through His presence in the earth we would encounter and experience the divine presence of the living God. When the ancient Hebrew prophet Isaiah prophesied concerning the virgin conceiving and bringing forth a son, and that his name would be called Immanuel, he would proclaim and declare that this child would be the divine presence of God among us in the earth. In other words, this child would be born among us that the divine presence of the eternal God might be manifested among us. It’s actually worth noting that for thirty-three years the divine presence of the living and eternal God would be manifested and present among us through the person of Jesus, and yet upon and after His ascension unto the right hand of the Father we continue to find the divine presence of the eternal God manifested among us, however, through the person of the Holy Spirit. How absolutely remarkable it is to think about and consider that from the time of Jesus’ birth all the way through the present day there has only been a total of ten days when the divine presence of the living God was not manifested within the earth. Scripture reveals that for forty days after His resurrection Jesus appeared unto His disciples and certain of His followers as He showed Himself very much alive having been raised from the dead. After forty days, however, Jesus would ascend unto the right hand of the Father, and it would be ten days later when the Day of Pentecost would come—that day when Jesus would send the Promise of the Father, which would be the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. Pause and think about that reality for just a moment, for more than two thousand years the divine presence of the eternal God would be present and manifested in the earth—first through the person of Jesus the Christ, and secondly through the person and presence of the Holy Spirit.

It’s worth noting and paying close attention to the words which the prophet Isaiah prophesied and spoke concerning this child which would be born in the midst of the earth, for when you come to the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you will find something spoken by the angel Gabriel which would be reminiscent of the words which Isaiah the son of Amoz spoke centuries and generations earlier. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke you will find the angel Gabriel speaking unto Mary, and while speaking unto her concerning this child which would be conceived within her womb we find him going on to declare concerning Jesus that He shall be great, that He shall be called the Son of the Highest, and that the Lord God would give unto him the throne of his father David. What’s more, is that the angel Gabriel would also go on to declare that this JESUS would reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Please do not miss and lose sight of these words, for while in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find him writing of the fulfillment of the prophetic word which was written concerning the virgin conceiving and bringing forth a son whose name would be called Immanuel, we find in the gospel of Luke the prophetic word which Isaiah the son of Amoz prophesied concerning the government of Jesus within the earth. In all reality—even as I sit here this morning—I can’t help but think about and consider the truly awesome reality that Jesus the Christ is the divine fulfillment of two distinct realities and manifestations within the Old Testament. If you read the Old Testament historical books—specifically the books of Second Samuel, First Kings, and First and Second Chronicles—you will find that the throne of David was a manifestation of the government of the living God in the midst of the earth, while the Temple which Solomon built would be the manifestation of the glory of God within and upon the earth. This is something truly remarkable and astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider it, you will find that within and through the person of Jesus the Christ we find the perfect fulfillment of the glory and government of the living God.

As you turn and direct your attention to the prophetic words which are found in the book of Isaiah the son of Amoz you will find him initially prophesying and speaking of the virgin conceiving, and bringing forth a son, and how the name of that child would be called Immanuel. That name Immanuel—according to the apostle Matthew—would literally mean “God with us,” thus revealing the awesome reality that through the person and presence of Jesus the divine glory of God would be present and manifested among us. Although the physical Jewish Temple would stand in the midst of Jerusalem during the days and times of Jesus the Christ—and would continue to stand for another thirty-seven years after His ascension unto the Father—it would be Jesus the Christ who would be the manifestation of the glory of God within the earth. The glory of the LORD would not fill that second Jewish Temple as it had the Temple which Solomon built, and the fire of God would not come out from before the LORD and consume the sacrifice upon the altar as it would take place during the days of Solomon, however, the glory of God would repeatedly come unto and be manifested within and at the Temple. What’s more, is that this glory and presence of the living God would be manifested in the midst of the Temple from the time Jesus was eight days old. Stop and think about the fact that as early as eight days after He was born the glory of the living God would be manifested within the Temple—a glory that would not be manifested again until Jesus was twelve years old (this at least according to Scripture). It is possible that Mary and Joseph brought Jesus unto the Temple once a year during the first twelve years of His life, however, Scripture points to the fact that Jesus was brought to the Temple for the first time when He was eight days old, and would again be manifested at the Temple when He was twelve. At least according to Scripture Jesus would not again be manifested in the Temple until He was fully grown and dwelt among us as a man, for He would come unto the Temple and would overturn the tables of money, and would drive out the money changers. What we must recognize and understand, however, is that despite the fact that Jesus might not have spent all His time at the Temple which stood in Jerusalem, He was the physical embodiment of the divine glory of the living God. This would mean that His dwelling among us would be the divine manifestation of the glory and presence of the living God within the earth. It would be through the person of Jesus we would find the glory of God being manifested within the earth—a manifestation of glory that would continue through the person of the Holy Spirit just ten days after Jesus would ascend from the heaven and send the Promise of the Father.

As I bring this writing to a close I feel it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the wonderful reality that not only was Jesus the physical embodiment of the glory of God in the earth, and the fulfillment of the Temple which stood in the midst of Jerusalem, but Jesus was also the physical embodiment of the government of God—a government which was manifested and would surround the throne of David. I have long believed that the throne of David was a symbol—not so much of an earthly government in the midst of the earth, but rather of the government of heaven. It would through the person of Jesus that we would see the divine government of the living God being manifested within the earth, for the angel Gabriel would declare unto Mary that Jesus would be given the throne of his father David, and that of the increase of His government there would be no end. Moreover, the angel Gabriel would also go on to declare concerning Jesus that He would rule over Jacob as David his father had done, and even as the kings which sat upon the throne of David would do there after. This reality of the government of God was prophesied and foretold by the prophet Isaiah when He declared that unto us a child was born, and unto us a son was given. It’s worth noting that immediately after those words the prophet Isaiah would begin speaking of His government, for he would declare that the government would be upon His shoulder. Moreover, the prophet Isaiah would declare that of the increase of his government and peace there would be no end. What’s more, the prophet Isaiah would declare that upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom would this Son rule and reign that He might order it, and establish it with judgment and justice. Oh, it is truly absolutely wonderful and astounding to think about and consider these words, for what we find within this section of the prophetic book of Isaiah is not only a declaration of the government of heaven, and the government of God which would be manifested within and through the person of Jesus, but we also find the names of this Son who would be born and given unto us—namely, Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. Oh, as this writing concludes I invite you step and enter into the truly wonderful and awesome reality concerning Jesus who was born of a virgin and brought forth into the earth, for this Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of the divine glory of the living God, as well as the government of heaven in the earth—first through His authority and dominion in the spiritual realm over unclean spirits and demons, as well as in the physical realm through His authority over all manner of disease, sickness and infirmity. What would be manifested in authority over unclean spirits, demons, sickness, infirmity and disease would ultimately be manifested in true and ultimate authority and dominion over everything in that day when Jesus sits upon the throne of David and rules and reigns among us within and upon the earth for one-thousand years. OH that would allow ourselves to be truly caught up and captured by this awesome reality and manifestation of this Jesus who is the physical embodiment of the glory and government of the living God, and that our hearts would be completely and utterly captivated by this Jesus the Christ.

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