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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, November 15 2023

Contributor: Dolapo Williams

In the last bible study, we looked at “Falsehood, Hypocrisy and Sins” and concluded that God never cast away His beloved. His plan of redemption remains valid, if only the backslider will look back and repent like the prodigal son. God is a jealous God. We must be sensitive as to what we worship secretly in this end time. Spiritual adultery is not of old. It is all around us.
This week, we will look at Isiah 60-61. Isaiah 60-62 has years of materials if you understand prophetic language in these 3 chapters. We will see in chapter 61 where the Spirit of God comes upon Jesus to do the impossible – it is chapter 61 that makes 60 and 62 work. It’s the same combination of chapters, they fuel each other and make it possible. WE the CHURCH need to start to see our place in the scripture. I see it’s not an easy road, but when you see God’s intentions then you know how to pray. There are 2 things we will see as we study today:

  1. The world as God intends for it to be, and
  2. God’s people as God intends us to be.

Isaiah 60 Verses 1-5:
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4 “Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. 5 Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come."

Remember when Jesus told the disciples to lift up their eyes (in John 4) – Lift up your eyes look into the fields….

Let’s go to verse 5 again – one of the translations says, “you will tremble” There is a connection between the trembling of the fear of the Lord and extreme joy.
You have to understand prophetic terminology to really get these chapters. It starts by saying "ARISE shine", so here we are waiting for something to happen, and God says arise, Shine. I mean, I know how to get up, but I don’t know how to shine! Take your place and shine because your light has come. John 1 says Jesus is the Light that enlightens every person that comes into the world! Shine because your light has come – Jesus is the light there is no other light coming….

When you arise, in the glory that God has placed in your life, it attracts the glory of the Lord, it would actually be seen over you. In the same way that water attracts water, money attracts money, favour attracts favour, mercy attracts mercy, so Glory attracts GLORY! That’s why in the gospel of Mark, Jesus taught: Guide your ears because whatever standard you set, it will be given to you. So, if you have a standard for testimony guess what? – it attracts Testimonies.

It is all about the manifestation of the Glory of God in the earth! That is, the target from Day one that the Glory, the manifestation of Jesus will be seen, realised, visibly recognised all over the earth! Everything is building to this ONE plan! And the crowning moment of humanity is when the Glory of God becomes manifested and, in these verses, he is saying, whenever you take your place, and you shine it attracts the Glory and His Glory will be seen upon you! – we need to become fully who God has designed us to be, that the Nation of the earth celebrates who God has made the Church to be! We would be people that take our rightful place not in ruling – in servicing, in yielding to the presence of God. As a result, they will gather to you, they will come to you.

The Old Testament terminology for ZION often time in prophecy is Old Testament terms that point to a new reality that is THE CHURCH! – A new name would be given to her.
Your success am not talking money (however, it is included in a minor way), your success in knowing how to reign in life is what the nations ache for. They ache for why they are alive and how to do it well, they ache for fulfilment on why they are alive, for some its business, for some its raising family, for others it’s in art the list is endless but there is ache in the heart for fulfilment by stepping into God’s design for Life. And we (the Church – the body of Christ) have access to what nobody else has access to: Something in the Lord!

A City (our Church once light up) cannot be hidden – recognised when dark and people will look to that direction because they are in darkness and they need nourishment they need safety, they need refuge, they need community, they need all the things that the City on a hill speaks of – and they are attracted in darkness to that place in hope that they will find what they were born for. We were sent to the Nations of the world – World Mission!

We are to be a watchman – it’s an area of responsibility, a watchman is not a gossip who gathers information to spread a watchman is a person who looks for activities even outside the walls of the city and when seen, they sound the alarm (pray for the people – partner with God). You have been given sight so that what you see will cause you to pray, we have not been given sight so that we can gather information (ain ’t nobody doing studies of the city here) – we need to see so as to take it to Him in prayer.

Isaiah 60 Verses 6-9:
6Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the LORD. 7 All Kedar’s flocks will be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you; they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple. 8“Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests? 9 Surely the islands look to me; in the lead are the ships of Tarshish, bringing your children from afar, with their silver and gold, to the honor of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.

Wealth of the seas, Riches of the Nations, Camel from Midian, Gold and Incense from Sheba, Flocks from Kedar, Rams from Nebaioth, the ships of Tarshish with their silver and gold! All these nations that are named are enemies of Isaiah and this is saying they are to bring everything that they have TO Isaiah – Interesting!

Isaiah 60 Verses 10-14:
10 “Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you. Though in anger I struck you, in favor I will show you compassion. 11 Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so that people may bring you the wealth of the nations—their kings led in triumphal procession. 12For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined. 13 “The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the fir and the cypress together, to adorn my sanctuary; and I will glorify the place for my feet. 14 The children of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Vs.14 summarises this scene very well. All life in this new earth is going to be focused on a City – A City called Zion (the Church). The only light in this world is going to be focused on this City and this people and everyone around the world will bring their best to this City. The City is to be like a cultural centre where the best of human beings who have worked with their hands will be on display and FOR the use of everyone present. So, unlike a world where depression and hurting seems to rule, this world is to be a world of robot sharing.

Isaiah paints a picture of a world where the people of God don’t gain by going out and taking, they gain by invitation. That is, the people of the world see what the people of God have (the Presence of God), and they bring everything that they have to that space. This is the world where the overwhelming centre of existence is not greed, but God! Not man, and money and profits but YAWEH!

Isaiah 60 Verses 15-22:
15 “Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations. 16 You will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. 17 Instead of bronze I will bring you gold, and silver in place of iron. Instead of wood I will bring you bronze, and iron in place of stones. I will make peace your governor and well-being your ruler. 18No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. 19 The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. 20 Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will
be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. 21 Then all your people will be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. 22 The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.”

The Lord is telling these people through Isaiah that not only is the world going to be different when he works his final redemption, but the people are going to be different too. Go back to vs 17-18. Picture this restoration – so these people have lost their land, their temple and their King and what God is saying here is that they are going to get it all back. The land is going to be restored and its not going to be a nation, it’s going to be a City – ZION. They will also get a King back – they will get the King they were always meant to have – God himself.

A future where the community is different, a community full of Joy, Peace, Prosperity where the world is to be different. We don’t think about that future very often, it is very easy for us to get cut up in the day-day and forget how much our future are meant to shape our present. In Christ, we have the fulfilment of every single promise of God which means there is something about Jesus that fulfils the promise of Isaiah 60.

The restoration of the world has already begun, and the church is supposed to be an actual physical place where those things are actually present – the Church is suppose to be the place where the Spirit redeems people from the consequences of sin – this Church is suppose to be the space where the Spirit morally transforms us and equip us to put to death the deeds of the flesh and teach us to work according to the Spirit. The Church is supposed to be the place where one rejoices, all rejoice, where we fight the injustice of the world by eliminating them in the Church. The Church is to be the place where because we are all on same page about Jesus been our Lord and no one else, if we can actually become a community of peace, of love, free of poverty and oppression. The most regular way God works through the world is through the Church – so that when the world tells us turning from sin is impossible, we respond with a vision of a world where all things are made new. You can go to school with the assumption that your fellow students are not your competitors to be crushed, but rather people to be loved.

Isaiah 61 Verses 1-3:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

These verses speak about Christ, before Christ but which would end up been fulfilled by Christ. Jesus read these same verses in Luke 4 vs 17-20. Isaiah here mentions, and Jesus confirms by reading this in in Luke 4, four things about the ministry of Jesus:

1. To preach the good news to the poor: now when the word poor is used here, it doesn’t mean materially of financially, it means spiritually poor.
2. To bind up the broken-hearted: There are a lot of broken-hearted people in this world, people have experienced tremendous loss and heart ache – people dealing with medical issues, bankruptcy, there is no shortage of pain in this world. But you will never find more compassion and hope for the broken hearted than with Jesus.
3. To proclaim freedom for the captives: As the word implies, captive means that we are in bondage to something and people can be in bondage to a lot of things (drugs, alcohol, anger, unforgiveness etc). By nature, we are all captive to sin BUT the good news is there is freedom in Christ and therefore we can never be master again by sin in the way that we were before we came to know God.
4. To release the prisoners from darkness: Before we came to Christ, we lived in darkness – spiritually blind – prisoners of that darkness. And when you come to know Christ, you step into LIGHT and
begin to see things as you had never seen them before – you begin to understand things like you never understood before.
In vs 3 he summarises by saying in addition to all these, he has come to give a crown of beauty instead of ashes, oil of gladness instead of mourning, and garment of praise instead of spirit of despair. In other words, it is telling us here that God takes spiritually bankrupt, broken-hearted lives that are captive to sin and spiritually blind and he brings beauty out of them.

Isaiah 61 Verses 4-11:
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. 8 “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” 10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

Promise of restoration – God announces a new time for his people. A time of renewal, a time of encouragement. These 5 verses show a powerful show of what God can do for his children when they face extremely painful/dangerous situations. Note the verbs used in these passages: Rebuild, Restore, Renew, Rejoice, Inherit: Wonderful promises. These promises must be seen as God’s words in announcing good news of redemption even today.

Vs 5 says he is going to send strangers (believers that you don’t know) to bless us! Some people won’t even know why they are blessing you – it’s called the anointing, some will even tell you “I don’t know why am been nice to you, I don’t know why am doing so much for you” – that’s God’s anointing. Foreigners (unbelievers that you don’t know). It doesn’t have to be a saved person that blesses, an unsaved person can bless you as well – God decides.

God will change your name! You are a royal priesthood. When God called us out of darkness into light, you have to understand that you now have royalty. When you are over in the light, you need to remember each day that where you are going is better than where you are. Whatever God gives you he gives you knowing your need. God said you will now be called priest of the Lord not only that, you will be well spoke of!
And the remaining vs promises reward and blessing and even your children’s children will be blessed – you don’t have to earn it. He said: Am giving it to you – you shall possess it.

Isaiah 60 paints a powerful picture of God's faithfulness to His promises and His ability to restore and transform. It encourages us to remember that no matter how miserable the situation, the light of God's glory can break forth, bringing restoration, transformation, and elevation and Isaiah 61 powerfully reminds us of God's profound love and concern for the oppressed and broken-hearted, His divine plan of restoration and renewal, and the joy and celebration that follow redemption. Amid life's ruins and desolation, we can be assured of God's favour, justice, and the hope of His eternal covenant. Isaiah's message continues to inspire us to seek, recognize, and rejoice in God's transformative work in our lives and the world around us.

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