“All Day Long”

The Gathhandsering: Isaiah Series/ Study 17 (Conclusion of Series) Pastor Barry Bruce

 All Day Long Isaiah 65:1-16, Romans 10:9-13, 16-21, 11:11, 18-20, 23, 26

Here in Chapter 65 of Isaiah, the prophet speaks to the Jews about the gentiles that will one day be saved through Jesus Christ.  God speaks through the prophet in the first chapter and says:

“I revealed myself to those (gentiles) who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name…” 

The Apostle, Paul would later write of this and say:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Romans 10:9-13

 As Paul continued in Romans 10:16-21 and 11:1-27, he explained this very prophecy.  “All day long” (throughout history) God had held out His hands to the obstinate Jews as they “pursued their own imaginations”. As a result of their idol worship and rebellion— and    ultimately their rejection of Jesus Christ, God rejected the Jews and took His salvation to the gentiles, but God did not ultimately reject His people (Romans 11:1), “He will bring forth descendants from Jacob…for His  people who seek Him.” (Isaiah 65:8c-10)  Sharon and Achor (areas once wastelands) will become a blessing to those who seek God.  As Paul says: “And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” (Romans 11:23).  We gentiles are told by Paul not to consider ourselves superior to the Jews but to watch out least we also fall into disbelief (Romans 11:18).  “All of Israel will eventually be saved” (Romans 11:26).  “All of Israel” meaning those who are truly believers and have come to Christ (not all of the nation) . “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. And yes…God has been reaching out to all of us “all day long!”

  New Heaven and New Earth  Isaiah 65:17-25

These passages speak of the 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth where His throne will be set up in “Jerusalem”.  The Millennium (also known as the Millennial Kingdom) is this 1,000-year reign of Jesus after the Tribulation and before all the people of the world are judged.  We know this because of verse 20.  People will live a long time but they will still die. Jesus will reign as king over Israel as well as all the nations of the world (Isaiah 2:4; 42:1). The world will live in peace (Isaiah 11:6–9; 32:18), Satan will be bound (Revelation 20:1–3), and, at the beginning, everyone will worship God (Isaiah 2:2–3). The purpose of the 1,000-year reign is to fulfill promises God made to the world that cannot be fulfilled while Satan is free and humans have political authority. When this time period ends God’s final judgments will be made and Heaven will be our permanent home (Revelation 21:-5).

Tremble at His Word   Isaiah 66:1-24

Verse 1-2:  The final prophecies in the book of Isaiah are summed up in the first two verses:  In short God is saying that He is above all and that only those who fear and    respect Him will be shown His favor. 

Verses 3-6:  God rebukes the Jews for offering sacrifices to Him for their sin.  Verse 4b is a reference to Christ…”When I called, no one answered, when I spoke no one listened” The Jew’s sacrifices were meant to turn their hearts towards the true sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Only His sacrifice is acceptable for our sin.  Any other sacrifice is an insult to God.

Verses 7-9:  Is actually a prophecy that tells the Jews two major things that will come   because of God’s promise to them:  1.) the birth of  Jesus the savior  2.) the birth of the country (in 1948 Israel became a nation literally in one day).  In verse 9 God poetically asks Israel : do I not deliver what I promise?  Did I (close up the womb) keep the second birth from you because you rejected the first?  Although the Jews rejected Christ God still birthed their nation as He had promised.

Verses 10-16:  God tells the Jews to rejoice in both of these kindnesses towards their  nation. He also promises to one day extend peace to Israel like a river (referring to the third promise of Christ’s millennial reign.)  When God’s servants will be dandled (affectionately bounced) upon the knees of that nation under the rule of Jesus; however, “His fury will be shown to his foes”.

 Verses 17-24: Finally, God proclaims a terrible end for those who follow after their own appetite and glory for those who seek to fear and respect Him. A Hellish eternity  is described in verse 24 for any who will not bow to Christ.

How Beautiful…those who bring good news  Romans 10:11-15

In conclusion… what should be a servant’s response to a God who has held out His hands   “All day long” for an obstinate people who have pursued their own worthless imaginations?  Gentiles and Jews alike have this in common:

 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

 As the Apostle, Paul said: “Everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.”  But how will they be saved unless someone brings them this good news?  How beautiful are the feet to God is that servant who brings such news.  How tragic is the fact that few will bring it.  How long should the grateful servant of such a merciful God bring this news to those pursuing their own imaginations (sin).  How long?  “All day long” I would think.  How about you? 

“Vengeance Is Mine”/ 9.11.2016

armegeddon

The Gathering: Isaiah Series/ Study 16: Isaiah 63-64 by Pastor Barry Bruce

 Mighty To Save Isaiah 63:1-6, Revelation19:11-21

What is the context of this violent paragraph by Isaiah?  In the preceding chapter (Isaiah 62) describes the fact that Israel will shine with God’s millennial glory (1000 years of Christ’s earthly reign). The question might well be asked, “How can the triumph of Israel come about when it is beset by surrounding enemies?” The Biblical answer is that Yahweh (God) Himself will defeat Israel’s enemies! That is what is happening in Isaiah 63:1-6 and it isn’t pretty.

The prophet actually sees Jesus as a mighty warrior coming towards Jerusalem from Edom and Bozrah (Mount Seir: between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqabah near Petra) in the aftermath of the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16) where the Antichrist will assemble all the armies of the world to wipe out God’s people.  In Revelation 19:14 John tells us that the armies of Heaven will join Him, but according to Isaiah that army doesn’t do anything but watch in raiment’s “white and clean”.  Jesus tramples the enemies in His anger alone.  He alone proclaims victory and is “mighty to save”. Isaiah 63:5 says: “I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm achieved salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.”  According to John’s vision in Revelation a sharp sword comes from the mouth of Jesus and strikes down the nations assembled for war.  (likely this is a metaphor for a yell or command that slays the multitudes at once. We know that God simply spoke and set creation into motion [Genesis 1:3], how much more can the word from His mouth bring forth a slaughter?)   John also saw Jesus’ eyes like a blazing fire. Fire in scripture always illustrates judgment.  Isaiah says he “trampled them down in his wrath.” 

Whatever the case may be, Armageddon is a bloody mess that spatters the garments of Jesus and leaves them stained.  Revelation 14:20 says that the nations were trampled in the winepress outside the city (Jerusalem), and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridals for a distance of 1,600 stadia (180 miles). The slaughter is likened to a wine press which would crush grapes to make wine.  There are about six quarts of blood in an adult body.  Numerous God hating people will be crushed in the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Jesus came the first time as a LAMB (Revelation 5:12) to shed his blood as our sacrifice. He will come the second time as a LION (Revelation 5:5)  to crush and devour those that dare war against Him and His people.  No one could help Him with His first mission.  He alone became the perfect blood sacrifice to redeem a sinful race.  No one will help Him in His second mission either.  He alone will vanquish His enemies.  And so God said:

It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”  Deuteronomy 32:35

He alone is “mighty to save”.  He is our King of kings and Lord of lords and He has called us His Bride (Beulah) and His delight (Hephzibah: See  previous lesson).  It is He who fights for us!  Jesus promises that He is coming and He will give to each person according to what they have done (Revelation 22:12). We simply make Him our King and He delivers us from this evil and wages war in our defense.  Have you made Jesus Lord?

The Kindness of the Lord to those who fear Him  Isaiah 63:7-16

We can not only see the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world and ignore the Lion that will come in judgment.  He is a jealous God with our best interest in mind.  There are consequences when we draw close to God and consequences when we rebel.

To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom… Proverbs 9:10

Isaiah 63:7-19 tells the story of Israel’s choices and the consequences that followed. Yes my friends, be afraid…be very, very afraid of what can happen to you should you rebel against the one true God.

 “Come Down!”  Isaiah 64:1-4, 8,12, Revelation 22: 12-13, 16-17, 20-21

 On that tragic day of September 11, 2001— I wonder how many cried out to the Lord before those planes went down or before those buildings collapsed.  How many cried out in such a way as Isaiah did in 64:1? “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains would tremble before you!” 

 The promise unfolds in verse 4 to any who call upon His name:

“there is no God besides you who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him”.

 Of course there were many Christians who cried out like that to God and yet perished at the hands of evil doers that day. Terrible things can and do happen to God’s people, but there is a promise for those who make Jesus Lord:

“We are the clay, He is the potter…we are the work of His hand.”

He will come down!  The potter will remold the clay.  He will not hold Himself back.  He will not keep silent and punish us beyond measure.  He is coming soon and His reward is with Him…!  He has the last word…He is the beginning and the end.  His bride says “come” and He is coming soon. He alone is mighty to save.  And it is a fearful thing to fall into his hands!

For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.                   Hebrews 10:30-31

“Basket of Deplorables?”

basket

Hillary Clinton revealed her own prejudices and elitism when she labeled “half” of Donald Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables” both in an interview with Israeli television and at her fundraising speech in New York on September 9. Obviously, this was a planned statement and not just a slip of the tongue since she used it twice.  It is apparent that Clinton thought that it was a clever and accurate description of a large segment of the American population.  Just for clarification, the word deplorable in definition is: disgraceful, shameful, dishonorable, unworthy, inexcusable, unpardonable, unforgivable; reprehensible, despicable, abominable, contemptible, execrable, heinous, shockingly bad in quality. lamentable, regrettable, unfortunate, wretched, atrocious, awful, terrible, dreadful and diabolical. In that one word is a mouthful of hate. It appears to me that as Donald Trump moves towards a more presidential demeanor Hillary Clinton slips into slop.  The very thing that Mrs. Clinton has often accused her opponent of has now become her tactic as well.

“Deplorable” is the definition that I have for the policies and procedures that have been implemented in the last two terms of our country’s presidential office.  “Deplorable” is the fact that our nation will abort a child for the convenience of his or her mother up to nine months. “Deplorable” is the fact that Planned Parenthood remains fully funded by taxpayers even after mounds of evidence proved that they were selling aborted baby parts for profit.  “Deplorable” is the diminishment of our military, respect for our flag and country, honor for veterans, and praise for the God on whose principals this country was founded.  “Deplorable” is the constant rhetoric concerning what is or is not politically correct, and the ever increasing rule of government over our citizens. “Deplorable” is the giving away of our jobs and resources to those who have not even attempted to gain legal citizenship and filling our prisons with people that should have never been admitted to this country in the first place. “Deplorable” is the irresponsible way that this country conducts trade, befriends ruthless dictators and rouge nations, and justifies sin.  “Deplorable” is standing down in Benghazi, the 150 billion dollar nuclear deal with Iran, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, the release of many known terrorists, and the open door policy to thousands of unvetted refuges. Deplorable is compromising unlimited amounts of classified information and then passing it off as no big deal.  Deplorable is a department of Justice and a Federal Bureau of Investigation that yields to big money donors and media pressure. The list of “deplorables” goes on and on and Hillary Clinton has had an active part in all of these activities.  You might even say that she holds the basket.

Americans are angry that their choice for the “leader of the free world” is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but any right minded voter understands that a choice for anyone else will not even be worth going to the polls for and that staying home is no choice at all. The fact of the matter is that we are choosing between a millionaire and a billionaire. A political Tycoon and a business tycoon.  One thing is sure… neither is indicative of the average American citizen. Gone are the days of Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman (the poorest presidents in American history).  Donald Trump made his money from investments, construction and legal business deals.  Hillary Clinton made her money in politics. In 2014, she claimed that her family was “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2000.  Fortune reported that the Clinton’s combined net worth is now estimated at $110 million. Not a bad profit to turn for a woman who went from rags to riches at the cost of American tax payers.

“Deplorable”?  I think so…  And here is one final “deplorable” truth.  We will certainly elect one of these two candidates as president of the United States of America on November 8, 2016.  One of them will be driving the vehicle that transports everyone and everything that I love into the future.  Fortunately, there is one that I love even above all else and that one is Jesus Christ.  It is He who has my ultimate vote of confidence and He who has promised to secure my hope and eternal future.  I seek to make Him known to everyone and especially to those I hold most dear.  He alone holds a basket of truth and promise and that is the basket that I am in.  How about you?

9/11 Football Protest

The NFL said it will be commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States during games tomorrow, the same day when some players plan to protest during t911footballhe U.S. national anthem. Four players have so far opted to kneel during the anthem in a protest against social injustice, a controversial gesture that started during the preseason and one that many consider to be a sign of disrespect to the American flag. San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protests when he refused to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” and others have since followed suit.

Maybe American patriots should protest football!  You know, stop going to or watching professional football games, or at least boycott teams that have members that choose to do the “Kaepernick thing.”  After all, it is our legal American right to protest.  There is so much wrong with the NFL anyway.  Gross overpay to elitist players and their brokers, oppressive ticket prices, abusive parking prices at stadiums and even raping food charges!

Personally, I think Kaepernick and his parade of followers got it wrong.  The American flag does not represent any one wrong thing in America or a myriad of them for that matter.  It represents 240 years of blood, sweat and tears that make freedom and liberty possible in a world of oppression.  This is not to say that many Americans, even in high places, have not been oppressive, prejudiced, hateful, greedy, or even diabolical. It is to say that despite these despicable realities “we the people” have utilized our rights and freedoms to break through these chains in triumph and remain the greatest democracy on earth.

When I salute the flag or stand for the national anthem I am honoring those who truly lived and died to secure such freedoms.  It doesn’t mean that I support or even respect all of the leaders or policies that are currently in place.  Frankly, there are many of both that undermine the very foundations of America and threaten to destroy it. What it does mean is that I honor the ideal of the American constitution and those that have and continue to labor to keep it alive.

Football is a game that Americans pay way too much for.  Kaepernick and his parade are overpaid players who are much too spoiled and famous to even appreciate what it means to be an American, let alone to salute those who have given them the privilege to be one.  So, protest football you patriots, or at least stop recognizing the overpaid gladiators on the field. Tell the camera man to swing his frame towards the masses standing in the audience with their hands on their hearts.  After all, they’re the ones paying for all of this in the first place!

Beulah Land!

sunrise

The Gathering/ Isaiah Series  (Study 15)  Isaiah 60-62            Pastor Barry Bruce

 Israel’s Promised Light Isaiah 60:1-22 (selected), Ezekiel 38:8b-39:6

Chapter 60 of Isaiah is God’s promise, to the nation of Israel, that He will rescue her from “the darkness that will cover the earth” in the last days.  This darkness will include a large scale military attack upon Israel that will utterly fail because of God’s intervention.  This invasion is prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39.  The modern names of  the aggressors and potential allies are listed below:

               Aggressors:

Gog = Russia, Magog = Central Asia/ Afghanistan, Meshek/ Tubal/ Gomer and Beth Togarmah = Turkey,          Persia = Iran, Ethiopia/ Cush = Sudan, Put = Libya

     Allies:  (appear to do nothing but are not part of the attack)

               Sheba/ Dedan = Saudi Arabia, Tarsish = far off land across the ocean/ possibly Western Europe (America?)

Ezekiel’s battle of Gog and Magog occurs in the tribulation period, more specifically in the first 3 1/2 years. The strongest evidence for this view is that the attack will come when Israel is at peace (Ezekiel 38:8, 11). The description from Ezekiel is that of a nation that has security and has laid down its defenses. Israel is definitely not at peace now, and it is    inconceivable that the nation would lay down its defenses apart from some major event. When Israel’s covenant with the Beast/Antichrist is in effect at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week (also known as the 7-year tribulation, Daniel 9:27a), Israel will be at peace. Possibly the battle will occur just before the midpoint of the seven-year period. According to Ezekiel, Gog will be defeated by God Himself on the mountains of Israel. The slaughter will be so great it will take seven months to bury all of the dead (Ezekiel 39:11-12).

God promises through Isaiah  that after this event Israel will be lifted up: “nations will come to her light and kings to the brightness of her dawn.” (Isaiah 60:3)  “All will assemble and come to her.” (vs 4b)  and “the wealth of the seas will be brought to her” (vs 5).  “Midian and Ephah and all from Sheba (Saudi Arabia) will come, bearing gold and incense” (vs6b).  “All Kedar’s flocks (Islam) will be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you.” (vs 7a). Kedar and Nebaioth are Arabic tribes from which the founder of Islam, Mohammed, traced his direct descendents from.   In the lead of this good will to Israel are the ships of Tarshish (vs9a /ships from the West).  Could this be  America?   Even “Foreigners will  rebuild her walls”(vs 10) and “the nation or kingdom that will not serve her will perish; it will be utterly ruined”.  We know through prophecy, of course, that the Antichrist will attempt to harm God’s people and bring nations against Christ in the battle of Armageddon.   The word “Armageddon” only occurs in Revelation 16:16,  At Armageddon “the cup filled with the wine of the fury of [God’s] wrath” (Revelation 16:19) will be delivered, and the Antichrist and his followers will indeed be “utterly ruined!”

Jesus, Messiah Isaiah 61:1-2a, 8b, 10, Luke 4:16-21

In Chapter 61 the prophet confirms the Messiah, Jesus will bring both the promise of God to the Gentiles (non-Jews) and to Israel (the Jews).  His first and second coming are proclaimed in these passages.  Jesus Himself stood and read Isaiah 61:1-2a at the onset of His earthly ministry and concluded by saying “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”  His second coming is revealed in the remainder of the passage that He did not read that day because it would be fulfilled when He returned!

            …and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for    those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…. In My faithfulness I will reward My people and make an everlasting covenant with them.             Isaiah 61:2b-3a, 8b

The chapter concludes with the promise of being “clothed with garments of salvation” and being “arrayed in a robe of righteousness”.  Jesus our “bridegroom” is also our high priest (who offers the blood sacrifice for our sins) and we are His bride made ready for that   awesome day where we will be joined forever with our Lord (Isaiah 61:10).

Beulah land! Isaiah 62:1-5,8a, 11-12, Revelation 22:12a, 20-21

Americans take names for granted.  So many name their kids what sounds nice, looks good in handwriting or is popular.  God on the other hand is big on names.  They always mean something and often times He has renamed His servants for the purpose of His plan. And of names, there is no other named but Jesus by which we must be saved:

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”  Acts  4:12

Our promise as believers is that “Our Savior” will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s name sake.  He will not remain quiet and “the nations will see His vindication… Israel will be called by a new name and so will God’s people:

We will be called Hephzibah = “my delight is in her” (lit. Hebrew)

Our land will be called Beulah = “Married/ claimed as a wife” (lit. Hebrew)

 This new name for us is the Bride of Christ!  The Lord has sworn this to us “by His right hand (Jesus is at the right hand of God: Acts 7:55-56, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20) and by His own mighty arm”.

 “See”…(do you see?) “your Savior comes!  “See”…(do you see?) “His reward is with Him” (Isaiah 62:11b)  The last book and the last passages in the Bible read the same as these last words in this verse.  Look, I am coming soon!  My reward is with Me… He who testifies to these things says, Yes, I am coming soon.”  Amen. (lit. “let it be”) Come ,Lord Jesus.  (Revelation 22:12a,20)  Are you ready Hephzibah, for Beulah Land?

The Long Arm of the Lord

HelpingHand

The Gathering/ Isaiah Series (Study 14)          Isaiah 56-59  Pastor Barry Bruce

Jesus, Our Sabbath Rest  Isaiah 56:1-8,    Ephesians 2:11-19

These chapters of Isaiah are all about the salvation that is to come through Jesus Christ, as is stated in the first verse of chapter 56:

“This is what the Lord says…for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness is soon to be revealed.”

Jesus Christ is the Lord’s salvation and the true expression of his righteousness.  All the Old Testament shadows pointed to Christ. They were predictions, fore views, of the coming of the One who would fulfill all of God’s remarkable promises. Every lamb that was brought as an offering was a shadow of the work of Christ. Every burnt offering, every bit of incense that was offered, was a picture of the fragrance of Jesus Christ. The tabernacle was a shadow of him. The high priest, in his garments and his office, was a shadow of Christ as our High Priest. Read the book of Hebrews and you will see how beautifully all this is brought out. These Old Testament shadows were looking forward to the coming of the One who would reveal God’s righteousness and bring salvation. 

As we read on we find an instruction on how to be “blessed” (which is to receive the salvation that is close at hand in this new covenant).  Our instruction is to:

“Hold it fast (His salvation and righteousness), Keep the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keep our hands from doing any evil.”

This “blessing” of salvation is extended beyond the Jews and even to “foreigners who are bound to the Lord” and also to “the eunuchs who keep the Lord’s Sabbaths, and who choose what pleases the Lord and hold fast to his covenant”.  Both “foreigners” (Gentiles: non-Jews) and “eunuchs”(those castrated or defected men who could not accomplish the command to perpetuate the race) were previously excluded from God’s covenant with the Jewish people, however, this new covenant that Isaiah prophesies about will now include anyone who “keeps the Sabbath and hold fast to his covenant”.  Ephesians 2:11-19

 

Note on Eunuchs:

Some teach that the inclusion of eunuchs in this passage is a reference to the change of heart that God has toward the sin of same sex intercourse; however, this is incorrect. The Hebrew or Greek word for eunuch is never the same Hebrew or Greek word used for those who practice same sex intercourse or alter their gender.  A eunuch, in the biblical definition, was a male who was castrated as an infant or as an adult for the purpose of servitude (slavery) most often in pagan royal courts.  Some eunuchs were made as captives of war (emasculated and forced to serve their captors), and others willfully became eunuchs to serve pagan kings or gods. A eunuch could also refer to one who was born with a genital defect that rendered him impotent.  In the new    testament Jesus speaks to three types of eunuchs: 1.) those who were born that way; 2.) others who were made that way by men; and 3.) who live like eunuchs  (live in celibacy) for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (i.e. priests).

 It is important to note that God does not change his mind about any sin or the stated consequences of sin, but that he will forgive any sin that is confessed (1 John 1:9) and given over to the Lordship of Christ (Luke 6:46).

Throughout scripture, The Sabbath symbolized the coming of the Messiah, who would provide a permanent rest for His people. The fourth commandment to honor the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11) was to make man stop and rest in order to find the peace of God. With the establishment of the Old Testament Law, the Jews were constantly “laboring” to make themselves acceptable to God. Their labors included trying to obey a myriad of dos and don’ts of the ceremonial law, the Temple law, the civil law, etc. Of course they couldn’t  possibly keep all those laws, so God provided an array of sin offerings and sacrifices so they could come to Him for forgiveness and restore fellowship with Him, but this was only temporary. Just as they began their physical labors after a one-day rest, so, too, they were required to continue to offer sacrifices. Hebrews 10:1 tells us that the law “can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.” But these sacrifices were offered in anticipation of the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross, who “after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right of God(Hebrews 10:12).  Just as He rested after performing the ultimate sacrifice, He sat down and rested—ceased from His labor of atonement because there was nothing more to be done, ever. Because of what Jesus did, we no longer have to “labor” in law-keeping in order to be justified in the sight of God. Jesus was sent so that we might rest in God and in what He has provided. For those of us who have made Jesus Lord, He has become our Sabbath rest!  To keep the Sabbath is to cling to Christ as Lord.  To desecrate the Sabbath is to reject what He has done to secure our salvation and to continue to live in sin where there is no rest.

The Long Arm of the Lord  Isaiah 56:9-12, 57, 58 (selections), 59:1-2, 16, 20 –21 and  Matthew 14:22-33

The remains of chapter 56 through 58 is an indictment to those who think that God will not punish sin.  He even declares that the righteous die so that they will have peace as the wicked are judged (Isaiah 57:1-2). The Long Arm of the Lord will bring about judgment.  Sinners will not escape His law, but in Chapter 59 verse 1 He also proclaims that His arm is not too short to save!  Forgiveness is available to all through Jesus—our Sabbath Rest. 

In Isaiah 59:16 the prophet reminds us that God saw no one to intervene on behalf of man (our fate of eternal judgment was sealed in our sin) so God achieved salvation for us by his own arm.  The promise is extended through the Redeemer who will come to Zion (Jesus who will come to Jerusalem).  Just as Peter looked up to the Lord as he sank beneath the waves, reached for His mighty arm and was saved , so are we saved by Jesus as we repent of our sins and walk in his Spirit who is upon all who believe.  “Hold it fast!”