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These are brief sermons to be
taken for what they are worth.

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Volume 1, Sermon 24

Matthew  1:1  The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

    We shall go through Matthew's record of Israel's generation, from Abraham to Israel's Messiah, and then to Luke's account of Jesus' birth ... but to begin let us quickly consider Matthew the seventh (or eighth) disciple / apostle -

Mark 2:14  And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.
    In the Gospel of Matthew, we see also  that James had a father named Alphaesus and so the two may well have been brothers (as were James and John). Now 'Levi' was his given name (a Hebrew Name), but upon instantly following Jesus, Matthew took to himself a disciple-name of 'Matthew'.
Matthew  9:9  And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
    Matthew, when mentioning himself, referred to 'named Matthew'; that is, he 'named' himself. Meanwhile, in the Gospels, when mentioning the Twelve by name, we see that Luke and Mark referred to him as 'Levi'.
    Luke 5:27,28  And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.
5:29 And he left all, rose up, and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
5:30-32 But their
(i.e. Israel's) scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    The calling by Jesus of Levi / Matthew shows us the completeness of Matthew's immediate surrender. And within the immediate recognition of Jesus' Messiahship, this tax-collector turned disciple, also witnessed some of the initial questioning by Jewish leadership of Jesus' Messiahship.
    Indeed, Matthew heard Jesus' Messiahship-words, 'I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance' ... of which this very 'publican' was one. Rich and important Levi, in the same day, realized both the Messiahship and witnessed the rebellion against it. His previous training had been that of an accountant for the Roman government (which had well benefited him financially) and now turning from the world he would carefully keep account of his Lord's ministry ... ... and afterward he would delve into the Messiah's Biblical history ... from God's promise to Abraham unto 'Joseph, thou son of David' (Matthew 1:20).

Matthew  1:1  The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
    For the purpose of this Sermon, let me rephrase this verse ... 'The book of the age of generations of his nativity ... traced directly from David, directly from Abraham.'
    Please read Matthew's list down through verse 15.
1:16  And Jacob begat Joseph the husband (i.e. 'the man') of Mary (i.e. 'pertaining to' 'Mary'), of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
    Joseph was 'the man' pertaining to 'Mary' 'of whom was born Jesus'.
    Of the tribe of Judah, by the kingly line of David through Solomon, the Promised Messiah would arrive to Israel.
    Here the word 'born' is ('procreate', that is, 'regenerate' of a father's line ... and lesser to the mother). Note that 'Jacob begat Joseph'; however, Jesus was 'born of Mary'. The KJV translators made a distinction which was clear in their minds: though the words 'begat' and 'born' are the same Greek word, the translators wanted readers to realize the functional (and thus spiritual differences) between Joseph and Mary. Well before Christ's arrival to Israel, each was chosen of God in prophesy.
    Regarding the 'procreate, regenerate' connection in regards to Mary: A side note, typically the spiritual significance of special connections (as with Joseph and Mary) is worked from heaven regarding a chosen man and a chosen woman. Example: For a priest (of the lineage of Aaron) to be married, he must marry a woman of the lineage of Aaron. (Israel's priesthood had a great many people in many families that worked in differing duties of the temple.)
    God chose Joseph and Mary differently (but yet just as specially): Joseph was of the lineage of King David ... Mary was of the lineage of the Levi-priesthood. Mary was cousin to Elizabeth, Zachariah's wife. Thus, John the Baptist and Jesus were somewhat distant cousins. John was born of the priesthood; yet, in foregoing his childhood priest training (sanctioned by his father and mother), as an adult he became a man of Israel's wildernesses ... a distinctive calling as a prophet of Israel.
    In God's timing John the Baptist stepped out on the stage in Judah and Galilee as a great prophet ... to become famous ... so much so that many people wondered at the power in his words ... if perhaps he might be the Messiah.
    There had not been a prophet ... much less an outstanding prophet ... in the land for several hundred years ... such that the people had only to hear and listen to their leaders ... their priests, their religious-political class in Judaea, their scribes, and their teachers. In comparison, the words of this prophet literally rang and reverberated in the ears, hearts, and minds of all those who heard.
    (As children and as adults, who never knew each other, what was Jesus doing ... and what was John doing? I suggest that Jesus was not the typical man working as a carpenter.)
    (In the not so distant past, remember the Christian movements in Europe and America ... the Rev. Billy Graham being the last? Other smaller localized "revivals" appeared until the mid-1900s.)
    By the kingly line of David through Solomon, of the tribe of Judah, the Promised Messiah would arrive to Israel.
    Now let me more accurately write 'who is called Christ' .... actually it is 'the one (i.e. when conversing on this subject) referred to as Messiah'. For Matthew knew that his readers would understand properly about what he was speaking and so he informed us that this particular 'procreation' is all about the Messiah.
    Dear reader, Matthew emphasized to draw our attention to the heavenly fact that the Messiah, Jesus, arrived in both the lineage of priest (Mary betrothed to) and the lineage of David. The 'man' Joseph would be known in Israel as of David ... thus, he would be responsible to God for the safety and care of mother and child ... all according to prophecies in the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants.
    We, by much emphasizing Mary, miss too much about Joseph (son of David). Even more,  way too much we miss the Heavenly Stamp of God the Father ... also the Myriad of Angels under the Son, their Commander who yielded himself into the humiliating form of a human babe (i.e. embryo and and all that went with such a birth).
    Indeed, we too much humanize the Heavenly Event. Yes, IT was and is beautiful. Yes, IT is very significant to all humans. Ah, but we forget that Almighty God (Father and Son) in Proper Timing accomplished IT with only a few humans witnessing IT.
    As we read of IT, let us allow the Spirit of God to raise IT in our hearts and minds to Higher Importance.
1:20  But while he thought (and we think) on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, ...
    Matthew emphasized IT in verse 16, and now the angel's words emphasize IT: that by the means of 'Joseph, thou son of David' has arrived the Promise and, by the lineage of his family name, Jesus will be known to all Israelites.
... fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived (i.e. 'procreate, regenerate') in her is of (i.e. 'the point from which things begin') the Holy Ghost.
1:21  And she shall bring forth (i.e. 'produce') a son, and thou (Joseph) shalt call his name (i.e. 'a surname') JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins (indeed, compare with Luke 5:32 above).
1:19  Then Joseph her husband, being a just ('a' and 'man' are not in the original text) ...
    The word 'just' is (by implication 'innocent, holy, righteous'). Now we know that Mary was 'just' also, and (with Joseph) chosen for the arrival to Israel of their Messiah; and being so chosen, each was righteous
    Here I am showing that, to the tribe of Judah, Joseph the husband was more significant than Mary the mother; for all knew about the promised lineage of David, the most emphasized in Scripture and thus more significant to Israelites. Even so, Jesus' enemies purposefully ignored this fact; and except for the Messiah being born in Bethlehem, the religious leaders in Jerusalem intentionally ignored all other Prophesy. 
    Ah, but Mary, along with being chosen, was blessed to receive the Messiah.
    To my mind Joseph also was blessed to be the man of promise ... to care for the mother of the Messiah ... and not just for the early years, but for the Messiah's ongoing earthly family. This family was composed of many sons and daughters (the elder son, James, would become head or lead apostle in the Church of the Apostles in Jerusalem).
    To have such a family, Joseph also had to have been greatly blessed. Most likely his carpentry had grown into a construction business with his sons working and taking over upon his death. Later in the Gospels we read of Joseph's grown sons and daughters and their mother.
1:22,23  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled (i.e. 'fully furnished') which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin (i.e. 'unmarried daughter') shall be with (i.e. 'held' and 'fixed or positioned' within) child, and shall bring forth (i.e. 'produce') a son, and they shall call his name (i.e. 'surname') Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
1:24,25  Then Joseph being raised (i.e. 'fully awake') from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew (i.e. 'absolutely know') her not till she had brought forth (i.e. 'produce') her firstborn son: and he (Joseph, as the father of the family) called his name (i.e. 'surname') JESUS.

- Joseph, man of angelic dreams -
2:13-15  And when they (wise men of the east) were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child (i.e. 'infant') and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring (i.e. 'speak to') thee word: for Herod will seek the young child (i.e. 'infant') to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child (i.e. 'infant') and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled (i.e. 'fully furnished') which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
    Along with the prophecy in verse 15, according to Scripture prophesy also had to be worked out (i.e. come to pass) in Judea -
2:16  Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children (i.e. 'older than infant') that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
2:17,18  Then was fulfilled
(i.e. 'fully furnished') that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

    Another dream by an angel -
2:19-22  But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child
(i.e. 'infant') and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's (i.e. 'infant') life. And he arose, and took the young child (i.e. 'infant') and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

    Here is another dream (not mentioned as by an angel) mentioned as 'of God' -
Mat 2:23  And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled (i.e. 'fully furnished') which was spoken by the prophets, He (the Messiah) shall be called a Nazarene.
    Indeed, all dealings with Joseph, 'thou son of David', were according to specific prophecies. Angels by dreams spoke to Joseph and so did God.

1:1,2  Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they (i.e. apostles and many disciples) delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were (both) eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
1:3  It seemed good to me also, having had perfect (i.e. 'exact') understanding (i.e. 'tracing out') of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty (i.e. 'security') of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

    In the text of verses 4 and on follows the account of John the Baptist's parents (Zacharias and Elizabeth) leading up to the birth of John. In the text you will find that Mary was Elizabeth's cousin. Read those verses if you like. But we shall go on with -

1:26,27  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin (i.e. 'maiden, unmarried daughter') espoused (i.e. 'betrothed, token of agreement with Mary's family') to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
1:28  And the angel (i.e. 'messenger') came in (i.e. 'entered') unto (i.e. 'toward') her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured (i.e. 'graced with special honor'), the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among (i.e. 'spoken well of', 'positioned' before or with the Lord) women.
    That is, as the Lord looked down on earth (past, present, future), among women Mary was 'graced with honor' ... for was she not within prophesy chosen for this very purpose?
1:29  And when she saw him, she was troubled (i.e. 'wholly disturbed') at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
    Zacharias the priest, upon seeing the angel had been 'put in fear'.
1:30  And the angel said unto her, Fear (i.e. 'to be frightened') not, Mary: for thou hast found favour (i.e. 'graciousness', a state of) with God.
1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive (i.e. 'clasp, seize onto') in (i.e. 'positioned' in) thy womb, and bring forth (i.e. 'produce, as fruit') a son, and shalt call his name (i.e. 'refer to,  a surname') JESUS.
1:32  He shall be great (i.e. 'big, exceeding'), and shall be called the Son of the Highest (i.e. 'supreme', or 'of the heavens'): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
1:33  And he shall reign over the house (i.e. same word as used to describe Joseph) of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

1:34  Then said Mary unto
(i.e. 'toward') the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know (i.e. 'absolute know') not a man?
    Obviously, Mary was virgin.
1:35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy (i.e. 'awesome, sacred') Ghost (i.e. 'current of air, or breath') shall come (i.e. 'arrive to influence') upon (i.e. 'impose, over, rest on') thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee (i.e. 'cast a shade, i.e. a shelter', and 'envelop in a brilliant haze'): therefore also that holy (i.e. 'awesome, sacred') thing which shall be born (i.e. 'procreated, regenerated') of (i.e. 'point of origin', out from) thee shall be called the Son of God.
    In the phrase 'that holy thing', note that 'that' and 'thing' are not in the original text. It should be 'the awesome-sacred' which shall be born (i.e. 'procreated, regenerated') of (i.e. 'point of origin') thee'. In other words, the awesomeregenerated something existed nowhere on earth until it arrived by the Holy Ghost to exist in Mary's womb.
    And, at the moment of regeneration, Mary had a 'shelter of brilliant haze' cast over her by the Holy Ghost. By this phenomenon, then, Mary knew that what the angel had said had occurred.
    Therefore, also at the angel's command, Mary had the courage (in God) to travel by herself from far north Nazareth into the south hill country of Judah to visit Elizabeth. Moreover, upon arriving to Zachariah's house, Mary had the enthusiasm and energy to proclaim verses 46-55.

    Later Mary journeyed home, being pregnant about five and a half months; whereupon arriving home Joseph heard about (or even saw) Mary's condition.
    From Matthew above, we know that Joseph immediately rose and 'and took unto him his wife'.
    Thus, Joseph began his care of Mary. Probably he was greatly affect by the size of Mary and by the continued 'shelter' upon her of the Holy Ghost (even as Joseph provided shelter for her and from the gossip, etc., which surely mushroomed about them in Nazareth ... until it was time to head south for the city of David, Bethlehem).

2:1-3  And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own (i.e. 'own' by tribe and lineage of ancestor) city.
2:4  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

Matthew 1:17,18  So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away
(of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Simeon left in Judaea) into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ (including the return from Babylon to Judaea) are fourteen generations. ...
... Now the birth of Jesus
(the Messiah) Christ was on this wise (i.e. 'in this way'): When as his mother Mary was espoused (i.e. 'token' as engaged by contract), before they came together (i.e. 'convene', husband and wife), she was found with (i.e. 'to hold, positioned in, stomach') child of (i.e. 'point of origin',) the Holy Ghost.

2:5  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child (i.e. 'swelling').
2:6,7  And so it was, that, while they were there (in Bethlehem ... Jesus to be born in the city of David), the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth (i.e. 'produced') her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
    'There' is where Joseph would rent a house. For the 'awesome-sacred' on the eight day would be circumcised according to the Law of Moses at the local synagog, and would receive the surname JESUS as commanded by the angel.
    'There' the family would remain for over forty days ... mostly in seclusion (i.e. Mary's time of removal due to Moses' Law for birth of a son). During that time the Wise Men arrived. Upon ending of the forty days, they went into Jerusalem to the temple for JESUS to be dedicated unto the Lord (also by Moses' Law every first-born son had to be dedicated unto the Lord). Read the story of this in my book God's Hook.

Act 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they (apostles and disciples) were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled (i.e. 'furnished') all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon (i.e. 'impose, over, rest on') each of them.
Act 2:4  And they were all filled (i.e. 'furnished') with the Holy (i.e. 'awesome, sacred') Ghost (i.e. 'current of air, or breath'), and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit (i.e. 'current of air, or breath') gave them utterance.
    I include this passage to compare the visitation of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost to the visitation of Mary in Matthew 1:16-25.
    Where in Acts each person received (i.e. 'impose, over, rest on') a clove as of fire, in Matthew, Mary received (i.e. 'impose, over, rest on') a shelter of brilliant haze.
    I suggest that the experiences (and the influence of them) on (i.e. 'impose, over, rest on') each person and Mary were by ancient prophesy and which changed lives forever. This was not about a sexual act with Mary even as it was not about a sexual act at Pentecost ... and the many other times there was an encounter of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) with a person(s).
    In other words, the Holy Ghost (Spirit) accomplished similarly ... according to The Purpose.
    I might add that the KJV translators used 'Ghost' instead of 'Spirit' when in the text the Thing that was being accomplished was observed by witnesses. For instance, that which occurred between Elizabeth and the inner infant (John) and Mary was of (i.e. 'point of origin') the Holy Ghost and was witnessed by others.

8:31  And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
    We shall consider this verse, but first let us consider the rest of Mark 8.
8:32,33  And he spake that saying (verse 1) openly (to all listening). And Peter took him (privately), and began to rebuke him. But (then) when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, (before his disciples) he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
    With the Twelve and other disciples crowded nearest him, Jesus was speaking to all the people that could hear him; but when Peter took exception to verse 31 and began privately and quietly to rebuke Jesus, the Messiah took the opportunity not only to rebuke Peter, but also to make it into a dire warning to the Twelve and the rest of the disciples.
8:34,35  And (then) when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after (i.e. 'directly behind') me, let him deny (i.e. 'utterly deny')  himself, and take up (i.e. 'lift') his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will (i.e. 'to determine') save his life (i.e. one's 'breath', thus 'alive') shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life (i.e. 'breath') for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
8:36  For (indeed) what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (i.e. 'breath')? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul (i.e. 'breath')?
    This was said to soon-to-be apostles and disciples and the people following Jesus. Verse 34 is the invitation and verse 35 is the ultimate reason and condition for it. Yet, once the invitation is accepted, if the person decides to try to work it himself (as Peter was demonstrating toward his Savior and Israel's Messiah by instruction the Son of Man) then this 'breath' (i.e in the Spirit) with the person is entirely in jeopardy; for the One who initially gave 'breath' and this spirit (also 'breath') may reconsider that this included person should be removed.
    The apostles will be included 'directly behind' Jesus. Many of these disciples will accept the invitation and be included also. Of those interested enough to follow Jesus (i.e. the great great many 'saved by the blood'), most are busy following at a safe distance ... depending on the Son of Man to help them, heal them, etc. ... and many of these will be "witnessing" for him in this adulterous and sinful generation (surely our generation). Ah, but many following at a safe distance do "witness" among their fellow Christians but are ashamed (perhaps out of fear) outside their comfort zone.
8:38  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
    Who is this 'Son of man'? At times Christ Jesus used this term to specify that his purpose on earth was for his creation of man (in Adam and following) within his assignment as Son of God from before the Beginning. A study of the term 'son of man' in of the Old Testament down to the book of Ezekiel reveals that it is a term for important men among and working for others ... a man probably used of God among and for others.
    Yet, in the book of Ezekiel the term 'son of man' occurs in 93 verses applied to Ezekiel by the Lord and once in Daniel applied to Daniel by the Lord. The prophet Ezekiel was used of the Lord regarding Temples ... both later on earth and in heaven. That is, the Lord our High Priest of the heavenly temple used Ezekiel in his sacred prophetic work ... which is all about men and their salvation and worship to God.
    The term applied to Daniel by the Lord is in Daniel 8:17 regarding his part in final prophesy about things of heaven tying up (i.e. finalizing) things of earth ... as connected to the book of Revelation of Jesus Christ.
    And regarding Jesus Christ, here is Daniel 7: 13,14 -
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
    This of course, this 'Son of man', is Christ Jesus when he comes again as King of his Earthly Kingdom.
    This Sermon shall end with a comment regarding 'fully furnished' as compared to 'furnished' in the verses above ... a distinction of essential importance.

Now let us consider some other passages -
8:1,2  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ (surnamed) Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me (i.e. Paul) free from the law of sin and death.
    The word 'of' is not in the original. It is 'the law sin and death', which refers to the Mosaic Law about those very things.
8:3  For what the law could not do (when worked by Paul), in that it was weak through the (i.e. my) flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness (i.e. 'form, resemblance') of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned (i.e. 'judgment against') sin in the flesh:
 8:4  That the righteousness of the (Mosaic) law might be fulfilled (i.e. 'fully furnished') in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    This should read 'That the righteous (Mosaic) law might be fulfilled (i.e. 'fully furnished') in us'. It is not the righteousness that is contained in the law ... but the righteous law, for the Mosaic Law was of God unto His people Israel and fulfillment of it by an Israelite did make him accounted righteous before God ... which was worked within faith ... as Paul said, Israelites as a whole did not do by faith. God's Faith worked by God in a child of God has always existed ... from Adam and Eve it has been the Grace of God's Salvation. Yes, I assert that Christ-in-the-Father's-future-Plan saved all who are saved ... within the for-the-ages-Plan and within-IT-worked-out 'law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus' ... indeed, from Adam and down through the Ages of Mankind.
    Such is God's Plan of the Ages.

52:7  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that (which) publisheth salvation; that (which) saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
52:8-10  (And) Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. ...
... (And also) Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. ...
(For) The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God (worked out for the scattered Israelites).
52:11,12  Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels (i.e. the entire family of Aaron) of the LORD. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward (i.e. 'rearward', or 'the One to assemble you').
52:13  Behold, my servant (the Messiah) shall deal (with you) prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
    Dear reader, by Heaven, in his first coming, the Messiah was in fact 'exalted and extolled and very high'. I am convinced that these Sermons on The Whole Christ over several years is about this very thing ... and though, self-limited in 'form', Jesus Christ was by Heaven all of this ... and that Jesus' sheep could hear and respond to his voice ... while others could not hear ... and yet the leaders and protectors of Judaism simply had to destroy what they thought would destroy their life's work.
    I pray that we Christians will one day see The Whole Christ in a bright and clearer Light ... beyond the man-made glory of the entire Church (Catholicism and all others) that have built up multiple "doctrines" in which so very many Christians almost blindly follow. Only by the Lord have I been encouraged to loosen my grip of the "doctrines" dear to me.
52:14  As many were astonied at thee (i.e. the Servant); his visage (i.e. 'shape') (at the time) was so marred more than any man, and his form (i.e. 'outline, appearance') more than the sons of men:
    For indeed, Christ, the Son of God came as the 'Son of man' (Daniel 7:13,14).
52:15  So shall he sprinkle many nations (i.e. as the Lord commended Moses to do to the people with sacrificial blood); the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
    Yes, the Son of God, Son of man, reigned ... and reigns ... in heaven and shall reign on earth!!! Dear reader, this verse is eternally connected to this Isaiah text; that is, we Gentiles are connected to the next verse and we should be eagerly awaiting Israel's Salvation.
53:5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace (i.e. 'safety') was upon him; and (in this) with his stripes we are healed.
53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
53:7  He (the Servant) was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
    Yes, 'the lamb slain from the foundation of the world'.  Revelation 13:8
53:8  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and (indeed) who shall declare (i.e. 'ponder, think upon') his generation? (in that) for he (their Messiah) was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my (i.e. Isaiah's) people (Israel) was he stricken.
53:9  And he made (i.e. 'gave') his grave (i.e. 'sepulchre') with (i.e. 'near unto') the wicked, and with (i.e. 'near unto') the rich in his death; because (i.e. 'upon' God's true judgment) he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
    Christ 'gave' (i.e. arranged) that his sepulchre (from which he would arise) be near both the wicked and the rich ... in that truly he was not guilty of any violence or deceit in ministering to the people in and for the Father.
53:10  Yet it pleased the LORD (within God's Plan of the Ages) to bruise him; he (i.e. God the Father) hath put him to grief: (and) when thou (Father) shalt make his soul (i.e. 'breath, alive') an offering for sin, he (the Father) shall see his (Son's) seed (i.e. all the children gathered to the Father by the Son), he (the Father) shall prolong (i.e. 'make long') his (Son's) days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his (Son's) hand.
53:11  He (God the Father) shall see of the travail of his (Son's) soul (i.e. just before the Son dismissed his Spirit in death), and shall be satisfied: by his (Son's) knowledge (i.e. of the Father's ways) shall my righteous servant (the Son) justify (i.e. 'make right') many; for he (the Son) shall bear their iniquities.
53:12  Therefore will I (the Father) divide him a portion with the great (i.e. 'exceeding abundant'), and he shall divide the spoil (taken from the enemy) with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul (i.e. 'breath') unto death: and he was numbered (by his people Israel) with the transgressors; and he bare the sin (i.e. 'guilt') of many, and made intercession for the (all of us) transgressors.

    Also consider -
53:1  Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
53:2  For he shall grow up before him (the Father) as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
    Who, through the ages until the Messiah arrived, believed Isaiah's report? Who now?
    To whom was the Arm of the Lord revealed when he came? Who now?
    Why??? Within his form and unattractive appearance Jesus grew as a tender plant ... but also as a root out dry ground (i.e. a tender wild plant not planted by mankind). As such, then, he had no form or comeliness that would attract or appeal to mankind. (I.e. much like John the Baptist?) Therefore, when Israelites dedicated to the doctrines of the Law saw him, there was no beauty that they should desire him. Moreover, the leadership of the doctrines of the Law concluded that Jesus was not the Messiah and they must kill him.
    In this, then, he has 'no form or comeliness' that mankind of this age should desire him. The Church through the ages has tried its best to make Jesus Christ beautiful to men; and also today. But only the Father could make His Lovely Son appear Lovely to those with opened eyes, having received the Spirit of Life.
    Ah, but too many of us still try our best to make Jesus lovely to eyes that simply cannot "see it". We should simply stand in awe of Jesus and not try to make him what he is not. It is up to him to draw all who will come unto the Father.
    Some in the world will laugh at us, some will scratch their heads about us, and some will condemn us ... as we stand far more in him than in the world trying to convince the world to love him.
    Even Isaiah said to God's people Israel, 'Who will believe our report?' Surely, it is only those 'to whom the arm of the Lord is revealed'. And who is the Revealer? Too much the Church thinks it is the Revealer ... and we work so hard at it. Should we not 'Love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and soul and our neighbors as ourselves ... and leave it to Him to work His Word'?

    I promised a distinction between 'fully furnished' as compared to 'furnished' in the verses down to Romans and Isaiah.
    You will have to go back in this Sermon and do a "text search" to find the passages having 'fully furnished' and then compare them to the verses having 'furnished'.
    In doing this you will find the former to be about various parts or aspects of God's Plan of the Ages and how they would be worked out.
    In doing the latter you will find that it is about men and women chosen of the Lord to labor within the former. In other words, the former is about God having already provided full or all of the furniture needed for and within God's Plan of the Agesthe latter, however is about those individuals willing to be within the Plan ... for they, too, shall be 'used upfurnished' as needed for God's work.

Sincerely, Ron

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