Arise! Shine! For your light has come!

Arise Shine

Wednesday 06/22/22 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message: Arise! Shine! For your light has come!

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Arise! Shine! For your light has come!

As the prophecies of Isaiah continue, they become more and more dual referenced, only as we approach the end of the book of his prophecies they are actually more focused upon the future covenant cut and ratified in the blood of Messiah, the light of the gospel, the permanence of that deliverance and the bringing in of the Gentiles than it is about their temporal deliverances from earthly enemies.

Isaiah 51:1-23,

“(1) The godly perish, but no one cares. Honest people disappear, when no one minds that the godly disappear because of evil.

(2) Those who live uprightly enter a place of peace; they rest on their beds. (3) But approach, you sons of omen readers, you offspring of adulteresses and prostitutes! (4) At whom are you laughing? At whom are you opening your mouth and sticking out your tongue?

You are the children of rebels, the offspring of liars, (5) you who inflame your lusts among the oaks and under every green tree, who slaughter children near the streams under the rocky overhangs. (6) Among the smooth stones of the stream are the idols you love; they, they are the object of your devotion.

You pour out liquid offerings to them, you make an offering. Because of these things how can I relent from judgment?

(7) On every high, elevated hill you prepare your bed; you go up there to offer sacrifices. (8) Behind the door and doorpost you put your symbols. Indeed, you depart from Me and go up and invite them into bed with you.

You purchase favors from them, you love their bed, and gaze longingly on their naked bodies.

(9) You take olive oil as tribute to your king, along with many perfumes. You send your messengers to a distant place; you go all the way to Sheol.

(10) Because of the long distance you must travel, you get tired, but you do not say, ‘I give up.’ You get renewed energy, so you don’t collapse. (11)

Whom are you worried about? Whom do you fear, that you would act so deceitfully and not remember Me or think about Me? Because I have been silent for so long, you are not afraid of Me. (12) I will denounce your so-called righteousness and your deeds, but they will not help you.

(13) When you cry out for help, let your idols help you!

The wind blows them all away, a breeze carries them away. But the one who looks to Me for help will inherit the land and will have access to My holy mountain.”

(14) He says, “Build it! Build it! Clear a way! Remove all the obstacles out of the way of My people!” (15) For this is what the high and exalted One says, the One Who rules forever, Whose name is Holy:

“I dwell in an exalted and holy place, but also with the discouraged and humiliated, in order to cheer up the humiliated and to encourage the discouraged. (16) For I will not be hostile forever or perpetually angry, for then man’s spirit would grow faint before Me, the life-giving breath I created.

(17) I was angry because of their sinful greed; I attacked them and angrily rejected them, yet they remained disobedient and stubborn.

(18) I have seen their behavior, but I will heal them. I will lead them, and I will provide comfort to them and those who mourn with them.

(19) I am the One Who gives them reason to celebrate. Complete prosperity is available both to those who are far away and those who are nearby,” says the LORD, “and I will heal them.

(20) But the wicked are like a surging sea that is unable to be quiet; its waves toss up mud and sand. (21) There will be no prosperity,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

Now we just recently went over this chapter when we were looking at Saul and Barnabus’ call to ministry work in Antioch, because the Christian leaders there were ‘ministering to the Lord and FASTING’ when the Holy Spirit spoke.

Isaiah 58:1-14,

“(1) Shout loudly! Don’t be quiet! Yell as loud as a trumpet! Confront My people with their rebellious deeds; confront Jacob’s family with their sin!
(2) They seek Me day after day;
they want to know My requirements, like a nation that does what is right and does not reject the law of their God.
They ask Me for just decrees; they want to be near God.
(3) They lament, ‘Why don’t You notice when we fast? Why don’t You pay attention when we humble ourselves?’
Look, at the same time you fast, you satisfy your selfish desires, you oppress your workers.
(4) Look, your fasting is accompanied by arguments, brawls, and fistfights.
Do not fast as you do today, trying to make your voice heard in heaven.
(5) Is this really the kind of fasting I want?
Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves, bowing their heads like a reed and stretching out on sackcloth and ashes?
Is this really what you call a fast, a day that is pleasing to the LORD?”
So here, without saying it directly, God calls fasting pleasing to the Lord.
“(6) No, this is the kind of fast I want.
I want you to remove the sinful chains, to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke, to set free the oppressed, and to break every burdensome yoke.
(7) I want you to share your food with the hungry and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people.
When you see someone naked, clothe him!
Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood!
(8) Then your light will shine like the sunrise; your restoration will quickly arrive; your godly behavior will go before you, and the LORD’s splendor will be your rear guard.
(9) Then you will call out, and the LORD will respond; you will cry out, and He will reply, ‘Here I am.’
You must remove the burdensome yoke from among you and stop pointing fingers and speaking sinfully.
(10) You must actively help the hungry and feed the oppressed.
Then your light will dispel the darkness, and your darkness will be transformed into noonday.
(11) The LORD will continually lead you; He will feed you even in parched regions.”
What were the prophets and teachers doing when the Spirit led them to separate Saul and Barnabus? Fasting!
“He will give you renewed strength, and you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring that continually produces water.
(12) Your perpetual ruins will be rebuilt; you will reestablish the ancient foundations. You will be called, ‘The one who repairs broken walls, the one who makes the streets inhabitable again.’
(13) You must observe the Sabbath rather than doing anything you please on My holy day.
You must look forward to the Sabbath and treat the LORD’s holy day with respect.
You must treat it with respect by refraining from your normal activities, and by refraining from your selfish pursuits and from making business deals.
(14) Then you will find joy in your relationship to the LORD, and I will give you great prosperity, and cause crops to grow on the land I gave to your ancestor Jacob.”Know for certain that the LORD has spoken.”

To highlight what all this said, fasting is for…

  • Seeking God
  • Knowing what He desires
  • Drawing Near Him
  • To be heard by Him
  • To please Him

Isaiah 59:1-21,

“(1) Look, the LORD’s hand is not too weak to deliver you; His ear is not too deaf to hear you. (2) But your sinful acts have alienated you from your God; your sins have caused Him to reject you and not listen to your prayers.

(3) For your hands are stained with blood and your fingers with sin; your lips speak lies, your tongue utters malicious words. (4) No one is concerned about justice; no one sets forth his case truthfully.

They depend on false words and tell lies; they conceive of oppression and give birth to sin.

(5) They hatch the eggs of a poisonous snake and spin a spider’s web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, a poisonous snake is hatched.

(6) Their webs cannot be used for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are sinful; they commit violent crimes.

(7) They are eager to do evil, quick to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are sinful; they crush and destroy. (8) They are unfamiliar with peace; their deeds are unjust. They use deceitful methods, and whoever deals with them is unfamiliar with peace.

(9) For this reason deliverance is far from us and salvation does not reach us.

We wait for light, but see only darkness; we wait for a bright light, but live in deep darkness. (10) We grope along the wall like the blind, we grope like those who cannot see; we stumble at noontime as if it were evening. Though others are strong, we are like dead men.

(11) We all growl like bears, we coo mournfully like doves; we wait for deliverance, but there is none, for salvation, but it is far from us.

(12) For You are aware of our many rebellious deeds, and our sins testify against us; indeed, we are aware of our rebellious deeds; we know our sins all too well.
(13) We have rebelled and tried to deceive the LORD; we turned back from following our God. We stir up oppression and rebellion; we tell lies we concocted in our minds.

(14) Justice is driven back; godliness stands far off. Indeed, honesty stumbles in the city square and morality is not even able to enter.

(15) Honesty has disappeared; the one who tries to avoid evil is robbed.

The LORD watches and is displeased, for there is no justice. (16) He sees there is no advocate; He is shocked that no one intervenes.

Due to the rampant sin mentioned in this chapter, there are none who fast as they should as mentioned in the previous chapter. The fast He had encouraged was one of intercession for others, but since He could find no intercessor, He intervened Himself.

So He takes matters into His Own hands; His desire for justice drives Him on. (17) He wears His desire for justice like body armor, and His desire to deliver is like a helmet on His head. He puts on the garments of vengeance and wears zeal like a robe.

(18) He repays them for what they have done, dispensing angry judgment to His adversaries and punishing His enemies.
He repays the coastlands.

(19) In the west, people respect the LORD’s reputation; in the east they recognize His splendor. For He comes like a rushing stream driven on by wind sent from the LORD.

(20) “A protector comes to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their rebellious deeds,” says the LORD.

(21) “As for Me, this is My promise to them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, Who is upon you, and My words, which I have placed in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth or from the mouths of your children and descendants from this time forward,” says the LORD.

Announcement of the coming of the Lord

Isaiah 60:1-22,

“(1) Arise! Shine! For your light arrives! The splendor of the LORD shines on you!
(2) For, look, darkness covers the earth and deep darkness covers the nations, but the LORD shines on you; His splendor appears over you.

(3) Nations come to your light, kings to your bright light.

(4) Look all around you! They all gather and come to you – your sons come from far away and your daughters are escorted by guardians.

(5) Then you will look and smile, you will be excited and your heart will swell with pride. For the riches of distant lands will belong to you and the wealth of nations will come to you.

(6) Camel caravans will cover your roads, young camels from Midian and Ephah. All the merchants of Sheba will come, bringing gold and incense and singing praises to the LORD.

(7) All the sheep of Kedar will be gathered to you; the rams of Nebaioth will be available to you as sacrifices. They will go up on My altar acceptably, and I will bestow honor on My majestic temple.

(8) Who are these who float along like a cloud, who fly like doves to their shelters? (9) Indeed, the coastlands look eagerly for Me, the large ships are in the lead, bringing your sons from far away, along with their silver and gold, to honor the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for He has bestowed honor on you.

(10) Foreigners will rebuild your walls; their kings will serve you. Even though I struck you down in My anger, I will restore My favor and have compassion on you.

(11) Your gates will remain open at all times; they will not be shut during the day or at night, so that the wealth of nations may be delivered, with their kings leading the way.

(12) Indeed, nations or kingdoms that do not serve you will perish; such nations will definitely be destroyed.

(13) The splendor of Lebanon will come to you, its evergreens, firs, and cypresses together, to beautify my palace; I will bestow honor on My throne room.

(14) The children of your oppressors will come bowing to you; all who treated you with disrespect will bow down at your feet. They will call you, ‘The City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.’

(15) You were once abandoned and despised, with no one passing through, but I will make you a permanent source of pride and joy to coming generations. (16) You will drink the milk of nations; you will nurse at the breasts of kings. Then you will recognize that I, the LORD, am your deliverer, your protector, the Powerful One of Jacob.

(17) Instead of bronze, I will bring you gold, instead of iron, I will bring you silver, instead of wood, I will bring you bronze, instead of stones, I will bring you iron. I will make prosperity your overseer, and vindication your Sovereign Ruler.

(18) Sounds of violence will no longer be heard in your land, or the sounds of destruction and devastation within your borders.

You will name your walls, ‘Deliverance,’ and your gates, ‘Praise.’

(19) The sun will no longer supply light for you by day, nor will the moon’s brightness shine on you; the LORD will be your permanent source of light – the splendor of your God will shine upon you.

(20) Your sun will no longer set; your moon will not disappear; the LORD will be your permanent source of light; your time of sorrow will be over.

(21) All of your people will be godly; they will possess the land permanently.

I will plant them like a shoot; they will be the product of My labor, through whom I reveal My splendor. (22) The least of you will multiply into a thousand; the smallest of you will become a large nation. When the right time comes, I the LORD will quickly do this!”

The ultimate fulfillment of this will be when Jesus establishes His earthly kingdom, ruling from Jerusalem, but it also happens progressively. I agree with David Guzik’s words on this…

“Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise: What a glorious transformation! From the violence and unrestrained bloodshed of Isaiah 59:6-8, to walls called Salvation and gates called Praise!

The ultimate fulfillment of these things waits, because the Millennial Kingdom is not yet here. But the King of that Kingdom is here, and wants to do some of that work on a different level. For example, a home can see a beautiful transformation right now. It can be said of a Christian home, violence shall no longer be heard in your home, neither wasting nor destruction within your walls; but you shall call your walls Salvation and your doors Praise.”

Isaiah 61:1-11,

“(1) The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon Me, because the LORD has chosen Me. He has commissioned Me to encourage the poor, to help the brokenhearted, to decree the release of captives, and the freeing of prisoners, (2) to announce the year when the LORD will show His favor, the day when our God will seek vengeance, to console all who mourn, (3) to strengthen those who mourn in Zion, by giving them a turban, instead of ashes, oil symbolizing joy, instead of mourning, a garment symbolizing praise, instead of discouragement. They will be called oaks of righteousness, trees planted by the LORD to reveal His splendor.”

You may remember that Jesus affirmed that this prophecy was regarding Himself. It is recorded in Luke 4:14-21,

“(14) Then Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and news about Him spread throughout the surrounding countryside. (15) He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by all.

(16) Now Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was His custom. He stood up to read, (17) and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, (18) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, (19) to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

(20) Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. (21) Then He began to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.”

Now He tells of those who are so affected by Jesus’ life and ministry in salvation (including the Gentiles)

“(4) They will rebuild the perpetual ruins and restore the places that were desolate; they will reestablish the ruined cities, the places that have been desolate since ancient times.

(5) “Foreigners will take care of your sheep; foreigners will work in your fields and vineyards. (6) You will be called, ‘the LORD’s priests, servants of our God.’
You will enjoy the wealth of nations and boast about the riches you receive from them.

(7) Instead of shame, you will get a double portion; instead of humiliation, they will rejoice over the land they receive. Yes, they will possess a double portion in their land and experience lasting joy.

(8) For I, the LORD, love justice and hate robbery and sin. I will repay them because of My faithfulness; I will make a permanent covenant with them.

(9) Their descendants will be known among the nations, their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will recognize that the LORD has blessed them.”

(10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; I will be overjoyed because of my God. For He clothes me in garments of deliverance; He puts on me a robe symbolizing vindication.

I look like a bridegroom when he wears a turban as a priest would; I look like a bride when she puts on her jewelry.

(11) For just as the ground produces its crops and a garden yields its produce, so the Sovereign LORD will cause deliverance to grow, and give His people reason to praise Him in the sight of all the nations.”

Isaiah 62:1-12,

“(1) For the sake of Zion I will not be silent; for the sake of Jerusalem I will not be quiet, until her vindication shines brightly and her deliverance burns like a torch.”

(2) Nations will see your vindication, and all kings your splendor. You will be called by a new name that the LORD Himself will give you.
(3) You will be a majestic crown in the hand of the LORD, a royal turban in the hand of your God.

(4) You will no longer be called, “Abandoned,” and your land will no longer be called “Desolate.”

Indeed, you will be called “My Delight is in Her,” and your land “Married.”

For the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married to Him.”

Motyer says, “With such economy of words and beauty of imagery Isaiah depicts the loving unanimity that characterizes Zion and her intimate union with the Lord – which Rev. 19:7 foresees as the marriage of the Lamb.”

“(5) As a young man marries a young woman, so your sons will marry you. As a bridegroom rejoices over a bride, so your God will rejoice over you.

(6) I post watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they should keep praying all day and all night. You who pray to the LORD, don’t be silent! (7) Don’t allow Him to rest until He reestablishes Jerusalem, until He makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.

(8) The LORD swears an oath by His right hand, by His strong arm:
“I will never again give your grain to your enemies as food, and foreigners will not drink your wine, which you worked hard to produce. (9) But those who harvest the grain will eat it, and will praise the LORD. Those who pick the grapes will drink the wine in the courts of My holy sanctuary.”

(10) Come through! Come through the gates! Prepare the way for the people! Build it! Build the roadway! Remove the stones! Lift a signal flag for the nations!

(11) Look, the LORD announces to the entire earth:
“Say to Daughter Zion, ‘Look, your deliverer comes! Look, His reward is with Him and His reward goes before Him!’”
(12) They will be called, “The Holy People, the Ones Protected by the LORD.”

You will be called, “Sought After, City Not Abandoned.”

Guzik says,
“Behold, His reward is with Him”: When the Messiah comes to Zion, His reward is with Him.

Rev. 22:12 is a quotation from this verse: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”

Paul continues this idea in 1Cor. 3:8-14, saying how when we appear before the Lord, we will be judged according to our work for and with Him.

On that day, each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor – 1Cor. 3:8.

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!