#33- With Christ—Out of Death to Life

Isaiah 25:6. The Lord of hosts will make a feast. Here the prophet is speaking of the abundance of the Gospel. This is Martin Luther’s thought: In that time when the Gospel will be preached, God will prepare a feast of fat things; that is, Jerusalem, fat with great and many people, will be laid waste, and God will prepare this feast, namely, of the rich and powerful Jews. For all peoples, for the Romans and others. A feast of lees, not of grapes. He says that it will be a fat feast. All the fat animals will be devoured, and all the wine must be drawn out down to the lees. This means that this people of Judea is to be altogether exhausted and destroyed.

A feast of fat things full of marrow. He repeats what he has already said above. The inner and choicest part of the barley is called marrow; it is also called fat. He has fed them with the fat of the grain. Thus among this people He has oppressed princes, kings, and nobles, not just the common people.

Wine on the lees well refined for “grapes squeezed out.” This means that everything is devoured and drained to the last dregs and remnants. Thus by this comparison he most aptly pictures the total reduction of Judea.

  1. And He will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all the peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He wants to say: “This will be the fruit of the Gospel, that He will remove from us every appearance of chains. And we rise with Christ. ‘We have passed out of death into life’ ” (1 John 3:14). But he speaks of death and the things that pertain to death figuratively.

The appearance of coverings, which means that all nations are wrapped up in death. From this appearance of death and from death itself and from all evils we are set free by faith in the Word and through the Spirit. “The appearance of the covering” refers to death and all its evils. However, he calls it “the appearance of the covering” and shows that its appearance and bonds have easily been made subject to Christ” (Luther’s Works, v. 16, p. 196-197).

#32- The Gospel Offered Free of Charge

Isaiah 55:1. Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money.

This is an exhortation for Christians in the midst of their trials, lest disgust take control of all of them. This is a most destructive pestilence in the church. We must be acutely on guard and alert, although we dwell in the sluggish flesh, and be militant in the exercise of the Word. No matter how  much the secure flesh sleeps, as in the case of those who are seized by the pestilence, we must nevertheless persevere against this temptation and overcome it. Let no one seem to himself to have accomplished much in Scripture and to have heard many things, since in spite of that he loses the knowledge of the Word in forgetfulness day by day. From there let the mind be restored and recleansed as from a fog of ignorance, so that the heat and fervor in the Word may increase against the gates of death. Where people have been especially trained in the Word, there they are most negligent. This is a common complaint of preachers. Such exhortation is therefore especially necessary, lest they fall into contempt and loathing of the Word.

Everyone who thirsts, etc. The church is the assembly that clings to the Word, an assembly that is in need, in hunger and thirst. Therefore it attracts those who seek and love the Word and deals with them, lest they be slothful or give up. It is as if he were saying: “Embrace this holy teaching which is applied and offered to you free of charge.” Since it is a free gift, it is not to be acquired by one’s own payment, something that only the godly souls understand. The ungodly world wants to be deceived. It does not receive things offered free of charge but spurns them as worthless. Yet it embraces the precious papistic things and does so even at a high price. Formerly the pope gnawed so much wealth away from Germany, and yet the Germans most vehemently strove to obtain his wares. At length so much was expended and set forth for those magnificent cloisters, and they were therefore regarded with the highest reverence. All things that are free are accounted worthless. Thus the Gospel, offered to the world free of charge, is not accepted. Only the simple and unlettered pay attention to it, receive it, and embrace it zealously, something that we scarcely achieve by supreme vigils, frequent readings, and sermons”  (Luther’s Works, v. 17, p. 249).

#31- The Sprinkling with Blood Denotes Preaching

Isaiah 52:15. So shall He startle many nations. Here the glory appears again. The prophet proceeds with two members. He says that this Servant is wise and glorious, but there follows another member. He will be without glory and despised. Then follows that His glory will nevertheless be such that He will startle the nations, and the kings will shut their mouths. That is to say, all kings will become ashamed and will know that this King is supreme, and hence they will shut their mouths. They will all humble themselves. Reconcile9 this contradiction, that all kings regarded themselves as servants with relation to Him. And yet He will be despised and without glory. Therefore Christ’s kingdom is indeed spiritual and ultimately beyond death.

Sprinkle. This is a Hebraism for “it will be preached.” Sprinkling in the Law denotes preaching, as if to say: “After Christ will have suffered, He will be proclaimed not only among the Jews but also among the Gentiles as water is thrown at and sprinkled on people.” So Peter speaks of “sprinkling with His blood” (1 Peter 1:2) to denote preaching about the blood of Christ. So then we must preach that Christ is both glorious and despised. So Paul preaches Christ alone as misshapen and as crucified. And so He must always be preached, but He shall nonetheless be received even by kings. This is a powerful text against the Jews. They can refer this preaching to no king but Christ.

For that which has not been told them. Paul alludes to this passage when he says that he has not come to Rome because he was kept from it by his preaching in a new place (cf. Rom. 15:22). That place deals with the propagation of the Word, so that His Word might be heard everywhere by kings who shut their mouths. Thus Christ is pictured as being preached even among the Gentiles. Here you clearly see a spiritual kingdom described, one that does not move forward with weapons but with word and recital. So this kingdom of Christ’s suffering and resurrection was promoted in the church by preaching alone. ”  (Luther’s Works, v. 17, p. 217-218).

#30- The Form of Christ’s Glorification

Isaiah 52:14. As many as were astonished at Him. The prophet describes the person. But this is the way it will be. The ministry and glorification of Christ will assume such a form that the whole world will be offended because of Him. This glorious King will be in such a form that many will be astonished at Him. I read it thus: Many are offended at Him. The Hebrew שָׁמַם means to be startled, distorted. The word describes the posture of one about to vomit and of one full of revulsion, because His appearance will be so vile that many will be sick and offended. At Him. Why this?

Because His appearance was marred beyond human semblance. He looks repulsive by comparison with other people. Here you see the glorious King described as a man of the most hideous appearance in opposition to the Jews, who look for Him in a glorious form. It follows therefore that the Messiah is not to be looked for as coming with a physical kingdom, since His appearance is so extremely marred. He is numbered with the transgressors, crucified as a rebel, killed by His own people in supreme disgrace, and the most abandoned of men. His public appearance as of one doing nothing has magnificence. Note, then, that this Servant will be more disgraceful in the eyes of men than all other men. For that reason the Jews should receive Him, and yet for that reason many are offended because of Him, since His appearance will be so offensive.

And His form beyond that of the sons of men. This repeats what was said above, that His form is more contemptible than that of other sons of men. No one is despised as much as He”  (Luther’s Works, v. 17, p. 216-217).

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 5: The Bible’s Purpose

The purpose of the Bible is the salvation of man. The law reveals a knowledge of sin and eternal damnation.  The Gospel reveals the person and work of Jesus Christ.  The Word of God not only presents the foundational content, but also creates the faith which trusts in the free salvation earned by Jesus Christ.

The Bible is able to accomplish this purpose!  Divine Authority-The Word of God is entitled to the same faith and obedience that is due God.  Divine Efficacy-the Word of God produces contrition, faith and good works.  Sufficiency(Perfection)-The Scripture presents everything a man must know to obtain salvation without the need for an outside source.  Perspicuity-The Scripture is clear in its teaching of salvation. An outside interpreter is not needed.

Handout 1: Gospel-Reset-Class-Four-April-7-2019.pdf

#29- The Servant Jesus Christ Delivered From Death

Isaiah 52:13. Behold, 7 My Servant shall prosper, He shall be exalted and lifted up. We have understood this chapter to show the manner in which that king would set us free. Behold, My Servant shall prosper. Here we begin chapter 53. Until now you have heard Christ’s kingdom depicted in the cross and that it is carried forward by faith and the Word alone. Yet that leading of faith, the Word, and the cross is not without deliverance and protection. In this chapter the prophet speaks primarily of the Head of the Kingdom as he treats of the person of the King and the manner of His deliverance. This is the foremost passage on the suffering and resurrection of Christ, and there is hardly another like it. Therefore we must memorize this passage, for it certainly drives out the stubbornness of the Jews. The Jews cannot deny that this passage speaks of Christ. They indeed grant the glories of Christ in this chapter, but they are unwilling to grant His cross and sufferings. Yet this is what the text says: This King will be glorious, but after His death. This indicates that this King is different from an ordinary one, since He will begin His reign after death. Behold, My Servant shall prosper. He calls Him Servant as He did above (42:1 f.): “He will not cry or lift up His voice, or make it heard in the street.” There He is not just called Servant, as the monastics think, but He is a servant, that is, a minister of the Word, an apostle and an ambassador. What will this Servant do? He shall prosper. The Hebrew word יַשְׂכִּיל8 means to act wisely, to be able to deal circumspectly with a matter. They are said to act wisely who carry an important and extremely dangerous matter through to its conclusion in such a way that they nowhere do violence to it. The political ruler needs this wisdom to take note of all dangers, beware of all snares, and bring everything to a successful conclusion. So Matt. 10:16 reads: “Be wise as serpents.” Now, the serpent is a shrewd animal, involving itself in violence and craftiness. Summary: It is incumbent upon the wise man not to rule by violence, not to ram his head through, but in the midst of an even desperate situation to see it through gently and bring everything to an orderly conclusion. Thus Christ will find an exceedingly involved situation. This affair will be imposed on Him in a way to make His task seem entirely impossible, and yet He will handle the matter so successfully that He will dispose of it without force and without danger. He has accomplished it wisely and without noise. This is the meaning of My Servant shall prosper. Before this no such person was found, although David is called a שֵׂכֶל, that is, a man wise in the Scriptures (1 Chron. 22:12). Summary: “My Servant will not be turbulent, as you hitherto acted under the Law with violence, but His ministry is supremely pleasant and joyful, and He handles everything in the gentlest manner, offending and hurting no one. Such sagacity is the very opposite of every kind of force and tyranny on the part of authorities. Then, when His first office and ministry have been accomplished, He will be in glory. He will bring it about that even in this life He will arrive at glory after many people have been gathered to Him.” But I understand it simply in this way: Here, in the time of his earthly life, He will be Servant. After death He will be Lord. In His life He will be the most prudent Servant”  (Luther’s Works, v. 17, p. 215-216).

#28- Christians Continue to Pray for God’s Help

“Isaiah 63:9. In His love He carried them. Here belong all the stories of Exodus, the Judges, etc., where because of His mercy God carried them and consoled them in every difficulty.

  1. They, however, provoked Him to wrath. The most ungrateful men have always embittered Him in response to His great blessings. Thus they murmured at the Red Sea, they murmured that they did not have food and water, they were always ungrateful to God. Thus the flesh does nothing good unless it is compelled. Therefore evil conditions of slavery are necessary in the world, and for that reason He always harassed them through the Amorites, etc. Yet always He remembered the days of old, the days of Abraham, Moses, and David, to whom He had given the promise that they should not perish but have peace and a perpetual kingdom. Thence He is moved not so much by our cries as by our reminders of His covenant and His promises. Therefore what He demanded of us is in place, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble” (Ps. 50:15). Hence Scripture always says “for My sake,” in order to exclude boasting. He comes to our aid because of His promise in order to crush our pride.

Since, however, He has heard so many times before, however much they were sinners and embittered Him, yet He always pardons and hears, if only they will acknowledge themselves sinners against their conscience. Then He consoles us that He will come also to our rescue in afflictions, and when we are oppressed, we must cry. But this calls for Christians who must continue to pray for God’s help beyond their sins by which they have angered God. Therefore He urges and places His person in the midst of the Babylonian captivity, where because of their distress people may cry to the Lord for help. But sin contradicts and tries to stop the mouth. However, one must break through beyond the consciousness of sin to implore God for His help, though the Holy Spirit is not with us or, if He is, He is present in secret. So much skill it takes to approach the Lord”  (Luther’s Works, v. 17, p. 358).

#27- With Christ, We Shall Persevere

Isaiah 50:7. I have set My face like a flint. A Christian might be thus influenced that he has a very hard face, since he will have to hear insults and even see openly that everything, however good, right, and true it may be, is given the worst possible interpretation. Let not then Christians despair when they hear such great blasphemies from the fanatics as even human nature cannot bear, unless the Word and the Spirit of God harden our face against the despisers of the Word.

  1. Who will contend with Me? Let us stand up together. “No one will dare to go into judgment with Me,” says Christ, for “God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom. 8:31). He brings it about that we consider it of no consequence, even though the whole world contends against us. The rule of the church is not located in pomp and appearance but in the Word, even in the spoken Word, on which we may stand firm against all insults. For “if God is for us, who is against us?”

Come, let us be judged. There is nothing evil in the whole world which they themselves commit and do not shove off on us, so as to have a cause against us because of the Gospel. Nevertheless, we can innocently say with Samuel (1 Sam. 12:3): “Whose ox have I taken? Or whose ass have I taken?” Yet they persecute us for the sake of their own tyrants. But we shall persevere.

  1. Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment, that is, they will perish little by little through constant use rather than all of a sudden, but room will be given them for repentance. In another place we read3: “My face is indeed weakened like a garment chewed up by worms.” Thus also our enemies will perish but “the word of our God will stand forever” (Is. 40:8)” (Luther’s Works, v. 17, p. 195).

#26- Afflictions-As With Christ, So For All Christians

Isaiah 50:5. I was not rebellious. “It is the Lord who opens My ears.” So it is for Christ and so it is for all Christians, even if because of weakness and denseness they feel that all things are contradictions and hindrances and faults in sins, anxiety, poverty, blasphemy, etc. Nevertheless, to hear the Word in earnest and to bear all things for the sake of the Word, this is ultimately very difficult.

I turned not backward, that is, “I do not turn back to Egypt and become unbelieving, but I confess the Word with the mouth as well as in deed. I sing the praises of the power and might of that seemingly powerless and foolish Word.”

  1. I gave My back to the smiters, etc. Christ is the first to undergo a host of afflictions because of the Word, and thus it is for us disciples the supreme usefulness, strength, wisdom, and power which enables us to bear all things, however difficult, for its sake. This is a theme in the Book of Job. The wisdom of the world cannot be put to shame except through foolishness and weakness.

I hid not My face from shame and spitting. What does that spitting accomplish except extolling the wisdom of the world? Thus our face toward the world, if anyone will look at it with spiritual eyes, is so spit upon, so polluted by endless disgraces, that no profession is less imposing in the world than that of those who profess the Gospel. But for one disgrace a hundred glorious rays will one day appear, because the Lord Himself is present as our Helper. He strengthens, preserves, and liberates the hearers”  (Luther’s Works, v. 17, p. 194-195).

20A Creation: Zonkeys

“Zonkeys (from a male zebra bred with a female donkey) zorses (male zebra and female horse), and heras (male horse and female zebra) are all examples of hybrid animals.  …donkeys, zebras, and horses all belong to the horse kind…

After the flood natural selection, mutation, and other mechanisms allowed speciation within the kinds to occur…  This is especially well illustrated in the dog kind in which current members (e.g. coyotes, dingoes, and domestic dogs) are confirmed to be descended from an ancestral type of wolf” (The New Answers, Book 3 by Ken Ham, p.40-41).

“All of these animals’ ancestors that we have discussed above—horses, donkey, zebras, tigers, lions, whales, and dolphins—were created with genetic diversity within their various kinds (or by the older definition species). Through time, the processes of natural selection, mutation, and other mechanisms have altered that original information (decreased or degenerated) to give us even more various within a kind…. Great variety can be observed in the offspring of animal of the same kind, just as the same cake recipe can be used to make many different cakes with various flavors and colors…. What an amazing diversity of life God has created for us to enjoy!” (The New Answers, Book 3 by Ken Ham, p.46).