The Spirit of the Lord
at Work in the Messianic Kingdom
...as Foreseen 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 God’s heavenly Kingdom. There was much in Isaiah’s prophetic Word touching upon events that were current with him. It would be helpful to know the history of Isaiah’s 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 10:27—And 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 God’s 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, I’ve 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. Isaiah’s 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 enemy’s 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 Spirit’s 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 Christ’s Kingdom in themselves. Romans 5:17 tells of this. Those who receive the rich supply of God's grace will rule with Christ in His Kingdom.NIRV
Much of Isaiah’s 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.
Some of Isaiah’s most important words reach forward into the Kingdom that he said would last forever. But, let’s 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 secure—whether in a people or in a person—oppression will end.
How might 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 this—Isaiah 9:6,7.KJV
The 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 Gomorrah—Isaiah 1:9.
In other 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.
But before we see this, let us consider another interpretation of Isaiah 9:6,7 from the New International Reader’s Version. It is an accurate translation, but with simpler words. We’ve 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.
•A 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 all—Isaiah 9:6,7NIRV
It 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 11:15—The kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.KJV
Even now, while we live in this present age, the Spirit of the Lord is drawing us into Christ’s Kingdom and bringing its qualities and eternal power to the fore in our everyday lives.
Isaiah 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 Christ’s 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 stall—Malachi 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
Isaiah 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 burned—Isaiah 9:5.NLT
The extent of Christ’s 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 Him.
In Isaiah 11 the Prophet revealed from whence the Messiah would come. As Prophets were prone to do, Isaiah took the setting of Israel’s 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 David’s 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 passage 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. …And there shall come forth a rod (a slender twig) out of the stem of Jesse (a stump, what is left of David’s 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…—Isaiah 11:1,2.
After he 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 Kingdom—and by which we shall live and rule as children of the Kingdom. Points 2 and 3 in the above passage tell of the quickening His—and our—intellectual capacities. Points 4 and 5 are for the enabling required for His—and our—administrative roles. Points 6 and 7 lead to the maintenance of His—and our—spiritual beings.
There is 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 hear—from Acts 2:30-33.
That to 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.
The initial 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.
In 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.
Both the wisdom and understanding born of God’s 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 12:8.
In Daniel 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.
The Apostle 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 understanding—Colossians 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 lives.
The New 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, also—to 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 Christ‘s Kingdom!
As we go on with our “prayer starters” accompanying this article, we will open ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit.
We must 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.
This is the reason we continue with the discipline of intercession that we learn from Paul in his Prison Epistles. We’re 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 revelation—Ephesians 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.
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