The Book of Isaiah

I recently was reading and meditating on the book of Isaiah. I decided to write a 1 sentence (or so) summary of each chapter to help me think through the book (by the way, I highly recommend this for those who want to better understand what you are reading).

Additionally, I wrote a summary and how I can obey this (also recommended).

So I thought others might be interested in this as well. Here you go:

Isaiah by chapter:

  1. Israel must be refined
  2. though eventually Israel will be exalted, first a great humbling is coming
  3. humbling of Judah is expounded
  4. after God seems to reject Israel, then he will show special favor to the remnant
  5. Israel is like God’s vineyard, but keeps giving him bad fruit. God will judge all of Israel, and leave only a remnant. He will do this through other nations.
  6. Isaiah is commissioned by God. His message is judgment until only the remnant remains.
  7. Northern kingdom will be destroyed within 65 years… Before the virgin son is of age
  8. ch 7 in more detail
  9. the afflicted will see deliverance through Messiah, starting with the origin of the evil: Galilee / Northern Israel.
  10. God will use Assyria to punish Israel, then He will punish Assyria for their arrogance and idolatry. Remnant in Israel will remain.
  11. Messiah will restore Israels remnant
  12. Israel will praise God for his deliverance. Shares language with Ex 15…just as 11 refers to Red Sea crossing as metaphor for this new deliverance to come.
  13. The deliverance of Israel will happen by Medes destroying Babylon
  14. Babylon, Assyria, Philistia will be judged by God and destroyed later
  15. Moab to be destroyed/judged
  16. More details on Moab’s destruction / Israel to provide refuge for remnant of Moab
  17. Syria will be judged / destroyed
  18. Cush will be conquered. Some of Cush will migrate to Israel.
  19. Egypt judged, though it will result in some turning to God
  20. Egypt taken captive by Assyria (for 3 years, I believe)
  21. Babylon and surrounding territories will fall
  22. Jerusalem will be judged; chief steward replaced
  23. Tyre judged (by Babylon?)
  24. Perhaps a summary of all the lands prophesied for judgment; the earth will be thoroughly and horribly judged
  25. God will protect and elevate His remnant.
  26. God will be a refuge for His remnant, while He destroyed the surrounding oppressors
  27. God to purge then restore Israel.
  28. God to thoroughly (but not permanently) judge Israel, because of their self-serving ways.
  29. Jerusalem’s judgment will be deserved and bad, but only temporary. Afterward, it will be restored for the oppressed remnant.
  30. Because Israel trusted in Egypt over God, they will have thorough judgment, yet God will also give glorious restoration to them after.
  31. Look to God, not Egypt, for help.
  32. A righteous ruler is needed to restore. God will judge Israel (to overturn false securities and oppressors), then restore.
  33. After some hostility nations show toward Jerusalem, God will be aroused and will reestablish Judah and destroy the enemies.
  34. God will avenge Israel against her enemies: Edom specifically here.
  35. Israel will be beautifully restored.
  36. Assyria’s general warns Judah and their generals that Assyria will overpower them.
  37. Hezekiah looked to God, Assyrian king looked to self: Assyrian king defeated.
  38. Hezekiah looked to God in illness: restored.
  39. Hezekiah showed off treasury to Babylon: Babylon will later take them to their land. Warning for us: don’t be too quick to reveal and share things, even if the other gives kind gesture.
  40. God will bless Israel after their judgment. He and His word alone stand the test of time.
  41. No one is all-powerful and all-knowing except God.
  42. God will give a new grace to Israel. Though they were blind, they will now see and lead others out of blindness.
  43. Israel deserves to be punished but will actually be redeemed for Gods glory
  44. God alone–for His glory and purposes alone–will reinstate Judah and the temple.
  45. God is over all world affairs. He causes godless rulers (like Cyrus) to work out His purposes, largely for His people.
  46. The God of Israel, not Babylon, is the one true God – He will triumph over Babylon for His glory in His people.
  47. Babylon surprised by and unprepared for coming disaster
  48. Israel to be delivered from Babylon. Not because they deserve it, but for Gods sake alone.
  49. God’s servant (temporally Isaiah, but ultimately Christ) calls Israel back from exile – God will accomplish this.
  50. Israel is wrong. God’s servant speaks truthfully.
  51. Israel persists in rebellion and fears man over God. Nevertheless, God will still protect and deliver them.
  52. Get ready…God will restore Israel. Messiah will be exalted.
  53. Messiah will unjustly suffer to atone for Israel and restore them.
  54. Israel made righteous by Messiahs death: Gods favor and life now on them instead of wrath and death.
  55. Gods word will be the ultimate decree: Israel will be restored.
  56. God also welcomes foreigners (Gentiles) to join Israel through Messiah alone.
  57. unrighteousness will cease to flourish in Israel due to Gods goodness.
  58. God wants heart obedience over outward “devotion”
  59. Though Israel is wicked, God will avenge them.
  60. God will make Israel glorious to and through the nations.
  61. God’s Messiah brings message of blessing where there was judgment: to Israel amidst the nations.
  62. God will–through prayer–redeem and beautify Israel again.
  63. God alone is worthy – only He can redeem/change Israel.
  64. Isaiah prays according to truth of ch. 63
  65. God will glorify the faithful remnant of His people
  66. God will give great glory to the worldwide remnant who humbly follows Him from the heart (not merely by outward religious actions), but will terribly judge the rest.

Summary of Isaiah

No one can stand against God. All are guilty and will be judged as such. However God will use Messiah to magnificently glorify a remnant of people that seek Him/Messiah from the heart.

For Brian to Obey

  1. Place no trust in my “religious” actions, but all trust in Christ.

Dr. Peter Williams on Job, Suffering, Hell, Jesus

Could you give a convincing teaching that:

  • shows some of the wonders and power of the Scripture?
  • establishes the historical trustworthiness of Job?
  • examines the entire book of Job with profound insights?
  • speaks to God’s purposes in suffering?
  • counsels people on how to suffer well?
  • answers whether God causes or allows suffering?
  • answers whether God predestines everything, some things, or nothing?
  • answers whether God is sovereign over everything or only some things?
  • and explains whether hell is a real place of conscious, eternal judgment?

Now how about doing all this in under 50 minutes?

Me neither.

But…good news! God raised up Dr. Peter Williams to do such a thing. And it’s my pleasure to share that teaching with all of you:

Enjoy!

Brian

Christ, The Bible, & Transgender Issues

There are a lot of opinions freely available on transgender issues. For instance, as of 9/19/18, Google yielded 168 million results for transgender. And that number more than doubled within 1 month.

So, you may be happy to hear that I’m not going to add my opinion to that list.

Instead, I want us to pursue the only opinion that matters: Christ’s opinion.

It is His word that judges our thoughts and intents (Heb. 4:12). It is His word that we must stand before when we pass on from this life (Rev. 19:15). Not pastors, not professors. Jesus alone*.

*note that all Scripture = Jesus’ words (not just the “red letter” portions).

What does Jesus think about transgender issues?

  1. Jesus esteems the transgender person (and all people) higher than anyone else does.

    • He created male and female uniquely in His image (Gen. 1:27), and thus sees inherent dignity within all humans.
    • Further, while we all rebelled against Him in incalculable ways, He loved us enough to die for us (Rom. 5:8). He paid the high cost of shedding His blood, satisfying God’s wrath, and offering forgiveness and redemption for the transgender person (and all people). You can search the world and never find a love like this.
  2. Jesus is displeased with transgenderism.

    • First, let me say that transgenderism is not a sin I struggle with. Sadly, I do struggle with my own share of sins, and thus can write this as a fellow sinner and sin-struggler. But there is part of me that feels bad to offer this teaching without truly empathizing. However, I have been thankful that people have loved me enough to patiently teach what God has to say concerning my own sins as well as the hope that Christ can offer. I pray I can do the same here.
    • Routinely we see that, “God made them male and female,” (Gen. 1:27; 5:2; Mark 10:6).
      • And this isn’t just the first 2 humans.
      • David says, “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” (Psalm 139:13-14a). And, “Your works are wonderful,” (Psalm 139:14b).
      • There is a clear and intimate process of creation for each individual.
        • God makes all of us, “male and female.”
      • Thus, to claim your gender/identity contradicts your biology offends your Creator who intentionally purposed and made you male or female. Along these lines, He says…
          • A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.

            Deut. 22:5, ESV
    • Further, it seems to me that a large topic related to transgenderism is the weight we should give to feelings/desires. In brief, the Bible clearly acknowledges the real struggle of personal feelings, yet still places God’s law/command higher than our personal feelings. See, for instance, Deut. 21:15-17 where a man is told that regardless of how much love he feels toward someone else, he must not violate God’s law and intent (note that God permitted, but did not desire, multiple wives in the Old Testament – compare Matt. 19:8-9).
  3. Jesus offers the transgender person hope.

    • Finally, Jesus does not come to bring bad news to the transgender person, but good news. The truth is, we have all sinned in unthinkable ways. Yet, Christ shows His goodness in:
      1. Telling us where our behavior is destructive and leads to death/judgment (e.g. James 5:20).
      2. Taking our penalty for sin (1 Cor. 15:3).
      3. Offering reconciliation to God through repentance and faith in Jesus’ death/resurrection for our sins (Romans 5:9-11).
    • See TranZformed (documentary) for 15 firsthand testimonies of the hope in Jesus found by many transgender individuals.
  4. Jesus commands Christians to reach out to the marginalized (including transgender people) while speaking the truth in love.

    • In John 5:1-17 and 7:53-8:11, for instance, Jesus:
      1. enters the situation of sinful, marginalized people (a sick man and an adulterous woman)
      2. offers mercy, forgiveness, hope, and healing to them
      3. tells them to stop sinning–not lessening the seriousness of their sin (cf. John 5:14; 8:11)
    • Also, Paul writes: “Being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us,” (1 Thes. 2:8). Thus, Paul shares more than words. He also gave of his very life to those he ministered to.
    • And these examples are not for Jesus and Paul alone. No. Jesus commands us to follow His commands and imitate His ways (see Matt. 28:18-20). And Paul, likewise, says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ,” (1 Cor. 11:1). Thus, we are called to follow these examples.
      • But do not miss this: when we go in obedience to Christ, to follow His example, we go with his Holy Spirit to overcome our deficiencies (see Matt. 28:20). Did you catch that? You are not walking alone in being Jesus’ hands, feet, and mouth to lovingly minister to the transgender person (or anyone else)! We have God’s Spirit with us.

I sincerely hope and pray we hear what Christ is saying on this issue. I humbly submit this, hoping others would love me enough to point out if I may have missed the mark here as well.

Brian

The New Testament Church: A Blank Slate

OK. You only get a Bible. Don’t look elsewhere (as hard as it may be). Now imagine there is a completely blank slate. You have a people group with 0 Christians. Using only the Bible, how would that people group be reached, start a church, and grow that church?

For now, let’s just focus on the methods used in the N.T. to do this. I know that’s dangerous (truly) – because outside of a work of the Holy Spirit nothing can happen. I hope we see that. But I also think the Holy Spirit wrote down various principles and methods in the Scripture for a reason. And, as Derek Prince said, “You can’t get New Testament results without New Testament methods.”

So…what would New Testament methods look like in starting this church from start to finish?

Here’s my answer, as best I can tell. I’m counting on you (any of you) to help point out where I might be erring:

N.T. Church Model: Blank Slate

 

-Brian