The Spirit of the Lord
at Work in the Messianic Kingdom
by the Prophet Isaiah
In this article we re-emphasize
some of the understanding we gained in the last one. We are laying
the foundation for New Covenant Truth we will soon explore. We cannot
emphasize too much what we are discovering about the Spirit
of the Lord revealed under the Old Covenant.
The Prophets, especially Isaiah, told about the Holy Spirit. What
he saw projects us on into the New Testament with a revelation that
is becoming a major force in our lives today.
About eight hundred years
before the promised Messiah appeared, the Prophet Isaiah saw how the
Spirit of the Lord would use Christ Jesus to bring forth in the earth the work of Gods
heavenly Kingdom. There was much in Isaiahs prophetic Word touching
upon events that were current with him. It would be helpful to know
the history of Isaiahs time to fully understand the full impact
of all his prophecies. But even without the full history, in studying
what he received from the Lord for his day we receive principles of
truth that apply today.
For instance, in his telling
of the oppressive scourge brought upon Israel by the Assyrians, Isaiah
told how it would come to an end. We see this in Isaiah 10:27And
it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away
from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke
shall be destroyed because of the anointing. Many
of the modern interpretations of the Scriptures apply the meaning of
being fat to the word that is here, in the King James Version, translated
anointing. I believe this virtually robs the passage of its meaning.
Seeing the verse in its context, we discover its reference is to the
anointing of Gods Spirit resting upon the Messiah in His Kingdom.
The word Messiah
occurs seldom in the King James Version. It means one who has
been anointed with oil. This was a practice employed under the
Old Covenant in the initiation of Priests, Kings, and on an occasion
of a Prophet. All three roles become one in Jesus the Messiah. Messiah,
a term drawn from the Old Covenant, has the same meaning as that of
Christ, used countless times in the New Testament. He is the Anointed
One Whom we know as Christ Jesus.
The yoke in
the above reference from Isaiah 10 had reference to the bondage
placed on the necks of conquered people as they were marched to slavery.
The context of Isaiah 11, as it follows on from the
statement about the anointing, proceeds to speak of the
Messianic Kingdom and the Spirit of the Lord by which Messiah will rule in it. The power
and work of the Spirit by which Christ would reign in His Kingdom would
be so great as to destroy the bondages of all kinds of slavery.
For years, Ive heard
the latter part of Isaiah 10:27 quoted, using the term anointing
as though its application were only for us today. But, it is more than
that. It is an everlasting principle of truth. It comes from
the Prophet who spoke the Word to a people who were under oppression.
Their only hope was that the Spirit of the Lord would become manifest
in their midst. Isaiahs prophetic Word has kept its power through
the ages, even though many have lived in ignorance of it and have failed
to call for its release in their lives. It reaches on to the end of
this age when the enemys assaults will increase. Important for
us today, its power is available now in whatever oppressive scourge
may be upon any one of us.
The anointing, about which we will
learn as we go on in Isaiah, has reference also to the Holy Spirits
work within a person, or in a company of people. This is a people who
welcome His presence and who know the authority and power of Christs
Kingdom in themselves. Romans 5:17 tells of this. Those
who receive the rich supply of God's grace will rule with Christ in
Isaiahs Word embraced the first coming of Christ. He even revealed
some details about the Lord
Jesus that exceed what we find in the New Testament. Another for
instance: Isaiah 53 gives insight into His suffering for
our redemption that goes beyond the revelation of the New Testament.
Isaiahs most important words reach forward into the Kingdom that
he said would last forever. But, lets go back a little into the
context of the prophetic Word of Isaiah 9. This tells about the
Son of David, the expected Messiah, Who would bring light
wherever His Kingdom would be known. As this Kingdom becomes securewhether
in a people or in a personoppression will end.
this come about? The following two verses declare it. For
unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given (This is the
Lord Jesus Christ): and the Government shall be upon His shoulder:
and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, 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 (the zealous passion of the Lord for
His people) will perform thisIsaiah 9:6,7.KJV
word Hosts in the above passage is interesting and
revealing. Its reference here is to the armies of Israel,
whether of men or angels. In the beginning of his prophetic Word, Isaiah
said, Except the Lord of
Hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been
as Sodom, and we should have been like unto GomorrahIsaiah
words, unless the Lord had preserved a small company, Israel, with all
God had promised it, and would have been destroyed. We see this reflected
in the prophecy about the rod out of the stem of Jesse that
shall come up as the Branch that grows out of his
roots (Isaiah 11:1). The prophetic picture is that of
a tree with little left but a stump that becomes the Son of David,
who will reign as the Messiah.
we see this, let us consider another interpretation of Isaiah 9:6,7
from the New International Readers Version. It is an accurate
translation, but with simpler words. Weve placed the bullets to
emphasize its short, but important, statements as it explains why and
how the darkness and oppression spread over the land would be displaced.
child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He
will rule over us. And He will be called Wonderful Adviser and
Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever and
Prince Who Brings Peace. The authority of His Rule will continue
to grow. The peace He brings will never end. He will rule
on David's throne and over his Kingdom. He will make the Kingdom
strong and secure. His Rule will be based on what is fair and
right. It will last forever. The Lord's great love will
make sure that happens. He rules over allIsaiah
was in His Covenant with David that God promised the Messianic
Kingdom. Prophets described it. The Lord Jesus secured it by the Spirit
of Holiness and in His death and resurrection. The Church received its
power when the Holy Spirit came upon the believers at Pentecost. The
Kingdom continues now in the lives of us who are opening ourselves to
the Lordship of its King. The Word bringing it to a completion will
come as the seventh Angel sounds. See this in Revelations 11:15The
kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of
His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.KJV
while we live in this present age, the Spirit of the Lord is drawing us into Christs Kingdom and bringing its
qualities and eternal power to the fore in our everyday lives.
9 begins with what has been called an illustrious prophecy
of the Messiah. He is represented under the glorious figure of
the sun rising on a dark world. He releases joy and gladness wherever
His beams are shed. The last writing Prophet of the Old Testament drew
on this same figure of speech in describing Christs wondrous work. But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of righteousness
arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up
as calves of the stallMalachi 4:2.KJV Or, it might read: "But here is
what will happen for you who have respect for me. The sun that brings
life will rise. Its rays will bring healing to my people. You will go
out and leap like calves that have just been let out of the barn.NIRV
saw that the conquests of the Messiah would be astonishing and miraculous
and the peace He would bring with His rule would be permanent. He also
declared that under His rule all the implements of war would be destroyed.
How wonderful! Not just the weapons of mass destruction!
In that day of peace, battle gear will no longer be issued. Never again
will uniforms be bloodstained by war. All such equipment will be burnedIsaiah
of Christs Kingdom will be universal, and its duration will be
eternal. Just think. He has redeemed us to share with Him in this! This
is the Messianic Kingdom, the one in which Christ rules, and we with
11 the Prophet revealed from whence
the Messiah would come. As Prophets were prone to do, Isaiah
took the setting of Israels conflict with an overbearing heathen
nation to tell more of his Prophecy about the coming King. We see Him
growing up like the slender twig shooting from the root of the old withered
stem of what remained of Davids dynasty. Isaiah saw Him coming
on the scene as a weak babe, but One Who would become fruitful and mighty
by the Spirit of the Lord.
When we look at this
carefully, we see
seven features of the Holy Spirit by which Isaiah said the Anointed
One would rule. These are the same aspects of the Holy Spirit that will
energize the host of His Kingdom, even us, in this present age.
there shall come forth a rod (a slender twig) out of the
stem of Jesse (a stump, what is left of Davids family),
and a Branch (a sprout) shall grow out of his roots:
and 1the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, 2the
spirit of wisdom 3and understanding, 4the spirit
of counsel 5and might, 6the spirit of knowledge
7and of the fear of the LORD
declared it was the Spirit of the Lord
that would come upon Him, six more features of the Holy Spirit came
to the light, to make seven points. To say it again: they described
the Spirit by which Christ would rule in the Kingdomand by which
we shall live and rule as children of the Kingdom. Points
2 and 3 in the above passage tell of the quickening Hisand
ourintellectual capacities. Points 4 and 5 are for
the enabling required for Hisand ouradministrative roles.
Points 6 and 7 lead to the maintenance of Hisand
much to say about David, but we are limited except to say that the Lord God had made a Covenant, that is,
an oath, with him concerning his Seed. Peter, on the Day of Pentecost
in Jerusalem, in describing what had just taken place when the Holy
Spirit came upon the believers in the Upper Room, spoke of this. Therefore
being a Prophet (this is David), and knowing that God
had sworn with an Oath (a covenantal promise) to him,
that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise
up Christ to sit on his Throne; he (that is, David) seeing this before
(having the foresight of a Prophet) spoke of the resurrection
of Christ ÉTherefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having
received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He (the
exalted Lord Jesus Christ) hath shed forth (distributed in a large
measure) this, which ye now see and hearfrom Acts 2:30-33.
which Peter had reference was to the Holy Spirit Who had just come upon
the believers gathered in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. For ten days
they had been there waiting after the Lord
Jesus was taken up from them into the heavens.
manifestation of this happening was the fire that swept across
the heads of them all. We took note of this in the previous article.
Ezekiel had seen the fire accompanying the work of the Spirit
in the heavens. It was apparently the force behind the ongoing work
of all creation. Now, on that Pentecostal gathering, He began His work
in the Church as the Energetic Force of the new creation.
the last article, and in its accompanying prayer starters,
we told how the Spirit of the Lord
was also the Spirit of wisdom. In Isaiah 11:2 we
see wisdom joined with understanding. They are both powerful.
They work together as complements one to the other. Now, let us remember
something. When the first awareness of the Holy Spirit came upon the
Church, it was like a fire descending upon each person there. John the
Baptist had told this about Jesus:
He shall baptize you
with the Holy Ghost and with fire: (Luke 3:16). From
the Original, we learn that
the Preposition translated with in this passage is from
the Greek en, meaning quite simply in. Thus,
as Luke wrote in Acts, it could read, He shall baptize
you in the Holy Spirit and in fire. This tells us the elements
into which the disciples would be immersed on that awesome day.
It would be the beginning of a new kind of day with a new kind of Spirit
bringing a new kind of energy upon them.
wisdom and understanding born of Gods
Spirit are energetic forces. While they work in our minds to quicken
our intelligence, they are also creative. The Lord God by wisdom created
the world. He spoke and it came into being. All forces of nature had
their beginning in His wisdom and understanding. Now, that wisdom and
understanding that would come upon Christ would also rest upon the disciples.
It would retain its energy and its creativity.
We became acquainted
with this word understanding and the Hebrew word biynah
from which it comes when presenting the articles several years ago on
the prophetic visions of Daniel. Biynah speaks
of a kind of understanding that is not generally gained through natural
means. It comes from the Lord
as a gift of His Spirit. This is very similar to the gift of the Spirit
that Paul called the word of knowledge in I Corinthians
10:14 the Angel Michael
said to Daniel,
I am come to make thee understand.
This word understand is from the same Hebrew root word
that Isaiah used when he told of the Spirit of understanding
that would rest upon the Messiah. It is an understanding from the heavens,
apparently released from within the powerful force of the Holy Spirit
that Ezekiel saw moving in the heavens. When this Holy Spirit came upon
the Church, the same administration of the Government that rested upon
Jesus began its work in the human vessels upon whom it descended in
that Pentecostal gathering.
Paul, realizing our need for the work of the Spirit in the ordering
of our lives, properly admonishes us to pray this: For this cause
we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and
to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in
all wisdom and spiritual understandingColossians 1:19.
The New Living Translation interprets this: We ask God
to give you a complete understanding of what He wants to do in your
Testament Greek word translated understanding in this
passage is interesting and gives an unusual insight. It is sunesis, which presents the picture of putting two matters together. Thus, we
are learning that the Holy Spirit enabled the Messiah, and will
enable us, alsoto bring matters together that do not seem to fit.
Oh, how we need this as we live out our lives in a world that does not
offer us a great deal that fits into Christs Kingdom!
As we go
on with our prayer starters accompanying this article, we
will open ourselves to the work of
the Holy Spirit.
add this, however: As we consider the kind of understanding being released
in us as believers, we stand in danger of intrusion from the enemy.
A mind not on guard against his work may become his target for deception.
Thus, we need the wisdom and the understanding
brought upon the Church by the Spirit of the Lord
to remain at work in us. Remember: they come as a force of divine energy.
the reason we continue with the discipline of intercession that
we learn from Paul in his Prison Epistles. Were starting this
anew right away with a new edition of The Discipline of Intercession.
Our prayer for the beginning has to do with the Spirit of wisdom
and revelationEphesians 1:17.
Follow on with us as we go into the continuing
series on the Holy Spirit, moving into the revelation coming to us from
the New Testament.
Holy Spirit in the Kingdom of Christ
Continue to Part 7:
Jesus Taught about the Holy Spirit through Paul
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