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An Offering Unto the Lord Isaiah 66

Posted by adventbiblestudy on April 5, 2010


KJV Isaiah 66:20
20. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.

This parable contains a dual meaning. Not only is it a prophecy about Jesus, His ability to heal and the reaction of those around Him, it is also a prophecy about His second coming. Just as the tabernacle symbolized the life of Christ, His life contains symbols of the second coming. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. KJV Revelation 21:22.

“And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord.” In another parable Jesus was asked, “who is my neighbor?” This parable uses the word brethren, or brother. Who is our brother? One day Jesus was told, His mother and brothers were outside waiting to see Him. Jesus was well known for answering with a question. He did this to indicate a lesson is about to be taught and to shift the mind into a thinking mode. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. KJV Mark 3:33-35.

Jesus pointed out, His family went beyond the usual perception of an immediate family. It may be that Jesus opened His statement with a question in the hopes His listeners would look beyond the answer provided. In the third chapter of Mark, Jesus heals, casts out demons and teaches. Not only does Jesus’ family extends beyond our comprehension, His powers of healing and teaching follow the same principle.

Christ instructs us to, “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” KJV Matthew 3:8. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:23. While leading others to Christ, we are not to neglect our own spiritual well being. We have to be aware, our own lives are often the first impression we leave upon others.

When we become Christians we become followers of Christ. Some think this is an easy process requiring little attention and work on their part. Some claim any change in their life could be considered works. They use this excuse to go about their lives as if nothing matters. It is as if they consider sin a key to Heaven. They give little thought how their actions effect the lives of others. Many claim to find peace when they begin to follow Christ. They tend to look at only the end and not the means. To many the process of following Christ consists only of following Him into Heaven. They never find real peace because they fail to recognize the reason for the trials facing them. They fail to study and understand the path Christ traveled while on earth. Christ had many trials and missions on earth, leading a sinless life was not the only one. Christ also came to teach others about God and make disciples. During the early morning hours He often spent long hours in prayer and in the word of God, preparing for the work and trials He faced during the day. As a disciple of Christ we choose to walk along His path. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. KJV Matthew 7:20-21.

How do we bring others to Christ? Can we advance at our natural pace, doing our part on our own terms? Is there an equal balance between our faith and the ability we are given to lead others to Christ? If we followed Christ more closely, would our lives reflect that choice?

When we become disciples we become followers of Christ. The best results are found by studying the source. How did Christ tell others about God? What methods did He use, and what were the results?

And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. KJV Matthew 13:2-3, Matthew 13:34-35.

Why did Christ use parables to teach? His followers obviously understood what He was teaching, otherwise they would not have been following Him for any length of time. Would you follow someone you did not understand? Would you follow someone speaking a foreign language, or talking about astrophysics, nanotechnology or any subject you had little interest in, or did not understand? It stands to reason, Jesus’ followers knew exactly what he was talking about. They saw beyond the physical meaning lying on the surface.

But what about His closest followers, the twelve apostles? It seems there are many instances in which they had no clue to what He was talking about. They were apostles because they asked questions.

And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? KJV Mark 4:10-13.

A question is now before us, how do we ask Jesus to explain the parables to us? The Holy Spirit did not leave out a single detail when He influenced the gospels. Not only do they show us exactly what Jesus taught and the results, they also show us what we need to ask and how to ask. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. KJV Matthew 7:7-8, Matthew 21:22.

How can anyone effectively lead others to Christ when they do not understand the parables? They cannot. They may be productive to a point, but to be successful, you must know the parables of Jesus and have the ability to explain them. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; KJV Matthew 25:15. How successful were the apostles before they received the Holy Spirit and gained the ability to understand? Of course they had Christ teaching them for forty days before they went out to spread the gospel. When they became properly equipped, they baptized thousands. Will teaching the parables bring the same results? Has anyone tried it? How deep do modern day preachers dig into a parable to understand, share, and teach the spiritual meaning? To a large extent the method of sharing the gospel taught within the scriptures has been replaced by modern provisions.

How do we become properly equipped? By learning how Jesus cared for others. Jesus took the time to meet people. He healed them on a continual basis, even on the Sabbath. Jesus also taught from the word of God. What did Jesus teach? Let’s compare what Jesus taught to what is taught today. Did Jesus teach doctrine? No. As a matter of fact Jesus often found Himself in constant competition with those teaching doctrine. Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. KJV Matthew 15:3, 9. Modern preachers are repeating the same mistakes made by the teachers in Jesus’ time.

Despite the clear and concise plan detailed within the gospels, it seems the only issues taught in churches these days is doctrine and prophecy, when we should be teaching others about the parables and how to understand them. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10. This is a plea repeated by God. This is the same offer given to the Israelites soon after leaving Egypt. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. KJV Exodus 19:6.

Israel turned down God’s offer. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. KJV Exodus 20:19. They turned down a personal relationship with God in favor of their own plan. They thought it would be easier if Moses went up, talked to God, and told them what God had to say. The Israelites went from the chosen nation of God to pew sitters.

In the eyes of God, His followers are known as a holy nation. Does that mean we are to work hard within the church, entertaining one another until the second coming? The Lord makes it clear, we are to bring Him an offering unto the Lord out of all nations. This illustrates two points. Christ died for this world. Not just the nation or church you belong to, the text says, “all nations.” This also points out the prejudice God knew the churches would exhibit. Jesus warned us about this problem. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:” KJV Matthew 12:25. How can Christ’s churches stand for Him while they remain divided? The two issues most effectively dividing the churches, doctrine and prophecy, are the main subjects they choose to preach. By doing this they are not teaching people to become Christ’s disciples, they are teaching them to be disciples of a church. They are teaching division.

What does God mean by every nation? Is His definition the same as ours? To find the answer we need to study God’s word to discover His definition of a nation. Pay particular attention to the word, “nation,” and how it is used in the following texts.

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. KJV Revelation 12:5, Revelation 14:6, Revelation 5:9-10, Revelation 10:10-11, Revelation 7:9-10, Revelation 21:23-25.

It is not a coincidence the word nation reveals a detailed sequence of God’s plan of salvation in the book of Revelation.

God also tells us we are to bring them to His holy mountain Jerusalem. The two words, mountain and Jerusalem also provide a great deal of insight into God’s plan.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. KJV Isaiah 2:2-3, Isaiah 11:9, Isaiah 25:7

People come to God’s mountain to learn and teach others. These texts explain the spiritual meaning of another parable. And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. KJV Matthew 17:20. A mountain can represent what a person has learned, their understanding and beliefs. At times it seems it is easier to move a mountain than to change a person’s view on a subject, especially one concerning religion. This is why the scriptures put such an important emphasis on teaching. Understanding can only be changed when people learn to study the Bible on their own, and rely upon the Holy Spirit.

When God reveals His plan, He gives us the security and confidence to continue the work. He tells us not only how but who, when, where and why. He provides us with information only God can provide. He tells us the outcome, because He is God.

Those who do not know how God will save are illustrated in the parable of the sower. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. KJV Matthew 13:22. People who do not understand who God will save do not believe God can save every soul. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. KJV John 3:17. Those who do not know when or where to act lack the confidence to share the gospel. This is often the fault of those charged with the responsibility to equip His disciples. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord. KJV Jeremiah 23:4.

God’s people have been misled in many ways. If they are not being equipped to serve God, what are they being trained for? My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace. All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the Lord, the habitation of justice, even the Lord, the hope of their fathers. KJV Jeremiah 50:6-7.

But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. 9. O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. KJV Micah 4:1-2, KJV Isaiah 40:3-5, Isaiah 40:9-11.

We can see there will be good teachers and bad teachers within the churches. Some will mislead God’s people. Others will teach God’s way because they will know and understand His plan. An indication of knowing God’s plan is knowing the outcome and teaching in love.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. KJV 1 John 4:7, Romans 5:8, John 3:16, John 15:9, 1 John 3:1, 1 John 2:5, 1 John 3:11, 1 John 4:8

We are only able to show God’s love when we know God. Loving God is the first step to being born again, which is only the beginning of the learning process. Learning about God and His love begins with understanding why Jesus died for our sins. It continues by studying the life of Jesus and applying this knowledge to your own life. The word love provides additional information about following God.

My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. If ye love me, keep my commandments. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. KJV Psalms 119:167, Psalms 119:165, John 14:21, John 14:15, John 13:34

Much of the above texts talks about loving God by keeping His law and commandments. Some people argue this is a form of working your way into Heaven. Is it really? Do they really think Heaven will be a place with no law present? Think of that for a moment. How can Heaven be compared to a lawless land? It would not be Heaven at all. How can we love one another here on earth if we do not keep God’s commandments? What image of Christ are we portraying if we steal from our neighbor, lie to them, or commit adultery with their spouse? Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. KJV Isaiah 5:20, Leviticus 19:34.

One of the most important ways in which God displays His love toward us is to remind us of our future with Him. It’s important to know how all this will end. This is a crucial part of God’s promise. It’s easy to get caught up in life and forget the larger picture. We become discouraged when we forget Christ has already secured the victory. This is a point we should never loose sight of. Satan can take advantage of any doubt. Just as a shepherd strengthens his flock by making certain it is properly fed and watered, a pastor strengthens his church by supplying the bread of life, the word of God. Does this make a pastor a baker? Is the pastor responsible for preparing every morsel of bread to feed his church? This is not leadership, this is control. A pastor is responsible for teaching others to feed themselves and others, to study the word of God on their own. Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. KJV Deuteronomy 4:9, Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

Knowing the outcome will provide encouragement and confidence. Teaching the outcome will provide joy and a sense of accomplishment along life’s journey.

O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.

KJV Isaiah 40:9-11, Zechariah 8:3,

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. KJV Revelation 3:12, Revelation 21:10, Revelation 21:2

Knowing God’s plan of salvation, the beginning, middle and end, not only provides confidence and the ability to teach other, it also has a transforming effect upon the student of the word. As the disciple learns more about Christ and His life, he becomes more like Him. They become an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.

A vessel not only represents a person, I am like a broken vessel, Psalms 31:12, it also represents the change within a person when they become a disciple of Christ.

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. Jeremiah 18:4-6

At times people can be remolded. Others need to be broken before they are changed. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Psalms 2:9. In either case, we should never forget just how precious we are in the eyes of God. Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. Proverbs 25:4. In the eyes of God we are all viewed as precious. Silver is never thrown away or discarded. It is refined. When the impurities are removed, it is made into a useful vessel. This vessel is made to serve a purpose.

But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. KJV Acts 9:15, 2 Corinthians 4:6-7.

Learning how to study is an important part of Christian growth. So we will cover the study methods used here in the hope you will apply these principles to study the Bible on your own, and teach others.

Look at the text and identify the key points. In this example they are underlined.

KJV Isaiah 66:20

20. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.

This study focused the following details.
bring all your brethren
offering unto the Lord
out of all nations
to my holy mountain
Jerusalem
offering in a clean vessel

If you have read through the Bible a number of times you may already have texts in mind that are either similar to or related to the texts we are studying. This is why I suggest you read the Bible through at least twice. Reading through the first time will not yield a large amount of additional insight. While reading through the second time, pay particular attention to details which seem to jump out, are questionable, or do not seem to fit within the surrounding text. These are usually details which raise questions such as:

Who is my brother. Notice the texts say, “all”.

What is an offering to the Lord?

What does all nations mean? Nations is often a key word.

Jerusalem is also a key word.

Why does God use the word vessel when the rest of the text is talking about brethren and nations?

Learn to key in on questions within the text. While you are reading through the Bible pay attention to the key words. If you are like me and have a lot of trouble remembering book, chapter and verse, try a different method of filing texts within you memory.

We have at our disposal a number of study aids. To locate texts you will either need a Concordance or a Bible program with search capabilities. There are a number of programs available for free on the Internet. You can use these programs either online or download the program to you computer.

Searching becomes much easier when remembering more than one detail about the texts you are looking for. If you remember a single key word and the book it is located, it will be easier to find the text. You may also want to divide the books of the Bible into sets or series. You can save yourself a lot of time searching if you have a single key word and you know it is in the four gospels. Other book series may be, the books of Moses, books of knowledge, Psalms, etc., major prophets, minor prophets, and so on. This process works great when attempting to locate a text you know will help explain the subject.

Often times you may want to look at a number of texts on the same subject. Look at the examples in this lesson on the texts for mountain, Jerusalem and love. You can see the effect the Spirit has on the mind when a number of supporting texts are supplied. No one has the ability to explain Biblical concepts like the word of God.

Combining an inductive style of study with a simple word study can drastically increase the amount of information gathered in a study. In this study, the Bible text linked the method of bringing all the brethren to the life of Jesus. Studying the methods Jesus used lead to a short studies on parables, love and other subjects related to reaching people. This may seem much like common sense, but the fact of the matter is, we all have the ability to gather this information, but one out of a million people have the ability to explain how to study. Looking for related texts is known as inductive thinking. When you are using the Bible to explain God’s word you remain within the word. Using this method combined with prayer for guidance from the Holy Spirit will lead you on paths to truth you had never imagined. Linking the term, “bring all your brethren,” to the texts which Jesus explains who He views as His brothers and sisters is an example of an inductive study.

Inductive study is quite different from the more common deductive study. A deductive study, although more popular, reveals only a portion of what an inductive study is capable of providing. A deductive study is often used to prove a predetermined thought or idea. In a deductive study you search for texts to prove your concept of a subject. To perform a deductive study on redemption, you would search for texts supporting your beliefs. You can see how this type of study is limited, all but eliminating any guidance from the Holy Spirit. It eliminates the possibility of leading to related subjects, as seen in the example here, where bringing people to God lead to teaching, prayer and loving God.

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