Priests of the Lord

Isaiah 61:6.
“But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.”

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Israel’s unique relationship with God will be recognized by all the peoples of the earth during the Millennial Kingdom. They will be named the Priest of the Lord, the Ministers of God.

Enmity between Israel and all other nations will be over. There will be peace, and Israel will admire the wealth, splendor, works, and talents of Gentiles the world over.

“In their glory shall ye boast yourselves” simply means that Israel will be free to admire and enjoy the riches of the Gentiles. There will be no more comparison/competition/jealousy among the Gentile nations against Israel, and Israel will no longer have to face the possibility of being attacked on all sides.

Peace and Help

Isaiah 61: 4-5.

And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

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Once the time of Tribulation has passed and Satan is bound, no longer able to stir up trouble, Israel will begin the process of rebuilding. Cities that have been desolate for generations will be rebuilt and re-inhabited. Help will come from nations around the world. Gentiles will travel to Jerusalem and throughout Israel. They will tend flock, dress the vineyards, plough the fields for planting.

It is difficult to imagine the excitement and joy that will exist in Israel, after all the centuries of being the target of hatred. I’m reminded of the old song Peace in the Valley.

Oil of Joy

Isaiah 61:3.
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.

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To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion: To appoint is to place, or set, as a permanent thing.

Beauty for ashes: This is a very specific embellishment. It refers to a fancy headdress; beautiful diadem; tiara; that all who mourn will be given a beautiful nuptial tiara instead of the ashes thrown on the head while in mourning.

The oil of joy for mourning: The oil of joy denotes that which expresses joy and happiness. Oil was employed on occasions of festivity and gladness but was done away in time of public calamity or grief.

The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness: A garment expressing praise and gratitude instead of mourning and a spirit of heaviness, or a burdened spirit. The original word for “spirit of heaviness” usually meant “faint, feeble, weak.” It is used of a lamp going out, and eyes becoming dim. Here it refers to one who is depressed and faint.

Trees of righteousness: This refers to oaks or cedars by rivers of water.

Beauty for Ashes

Isaiah 61:2.

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

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The acceptable year of the Lord: 

The present time is the age of the acceptable year of the Lord, as proven by the fact that Christ claimed this was fulfilled in Him (Luke 4:16-19). NOW is the accepted time and the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).

The day of the vengeance of our God: This part was not quoted by Christ, as in Luke 4:16-19, showing clearly how He rightly divided the Word of Truth. There has been already a period of 1900+ years between the beginning of the acceptable year of the Lord and the future day of vengeance of God which will be the Tribulation judgment of the seals, trumpets, vials, etc. of God’s wrath as in Rev. 6-19.

To comfort all that mourn:  All who mourn will be comforted not only in Zion, but in any other place where men are burdened for the lost, for world conditions, for the kingdom of God to come on earth to rule as it rules in heaven, and for the deliverance of all creation.

It was my intention to include v. 3 today, but I can see it will make this an unusually long post. So–verse 3 is tomorrow.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Why Doesn’t God Answer my Prayers, part 3

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Praying in God’s Way

Sometimes, I find myself praying as if I were reciting a grocery list. ” Dear Lord, please do this, and give us that, and oh, yeah, I forgot we’re out of milk so could You please remind me to put that on the list? And a good night’s sleep tonight would be nice. Okay, that’s all for now. Good talk!”

No, I don’t think that’s exactly what He had in mind. There are some things God needs. Yes, needs. He needs our communication with Him to be from the heart, not from the list in our heads. He needs to know that WE know how much we need Him.

Isaiah 44:3 says, “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.” God cannot bless us if our cup is already full. Years ago I used to sing. Creaky old voice won’t let me do that any more, but one of my favorites, and most-requested, was called Treasures:


Submitted By: lplsnt

One by one He took them from me,
All the things I valued most,
Until I was empty-handed;
Every glittering toy was lost.

And I walked earth’s highways, grieving.
In my rags and poverty.
Till I heard His voice inviting,
“Lift your empty hands to Me!”

So I held my hands toward heaven,
And He filled them with a store
Of His own transcendent riches,
Till they could contain no more.

And at last I comprehended
With my stupid mind and dull,
That God COULD not pour His riches
Into hands already full!

Author: Martha Snell Nicholson

Praying with a Right heart

Sometimes we have secret sins tucked into a corner of our hearts, thinking that no one else can see. Proverbs 20:27. “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” He see, He knows. And our “secret” sins block the moving of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

He cannot answer our prayers if we have sins in our lives that are unconfessed or if we are hanging on to cherished sins. Also, if we refuse to forgive others who have wronged us, God cannot hear us. (See Matthew 6:12 and Ephesians 4:32).

I’m not saying we can earn God’s favor by doing 40 spiritual push-ups or jumping jacks. But we do have to be making an effort, in our constant (Pray without ceasing) conversation with God, to make sure we’re at least trying to clear out the spiritual cobwebs.

Okay, that’s enough for now. Two more weeks, I think, and I’ll be done with this topic for now. Have a wonderful Sunday 🙂

First Advent

Isaiah 61:1.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; “

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This is the 74th prophecy in the book of Isaiah. Verses 1-2a have been fulfilled by the First Advent on Christ. You can see this passage quoted by Jesus in Luke 4:18-19.

The Holy Spirit came down from heaven upon Jesus Christ (Matt. 3:16) and in full measure, without measure (John 3:34). He was anointed to preach the gospel to the meek; to bring healing to the brokenhearted; to preach liberty to the captives; and to open the prisons of those who are bound.

The meek: Meekness is necessary to the hearing and obeying of the gospel. Meekness should be sought after.It should characterize ministers; it is a fruit of the Spirit ; it is to be deliberately put on; it should be used in dealing with all opposition by others. So what is meekness?

You’ll have to pardon the misspelling in this meme. It should be “meek.”

To be brokenhearted is to be deeply distressed in trouble of any kind.

Liberty is the essence of the gospel. God did not give laws commanding slavery, but He did give a few regulating it as a custom tolerated by Him and practiced universally by mankind. If man was going to insist on have slaves, then God insisted they be treated well, as valued servants; not as animals who have no soul. If true Christianity were practiced, there would be no slaves anywhere.

Opening the prisons:

refers to the liberation of the righteous souls from paradise beneath the earth who were held captive by the devil against their will (Heb. 2:14-15). Christ took them captive to heaven when He ascended on high (Matt. 12:40; Eph. 4:8-10).

The study of paradise, sheol, and hades is fascinating. I strongly urge you to dig into that.

The Glory of God

Isaiah 60: 19-22.

19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in His time.

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In vv. 19-20, the truth is revealed regarding the glory of God over Israel–it will outshine the light of the sun and the moon: and since the light of the sun will be increased seven-fold in all the earth, and the light of the moon be made equal to the present light of the sun (Is. 30:26), one can have some idea of how bright and light God’s glory will be in Israel.

The photo above captured my attention. It made me think of times that I’ve been driving against the sun, putting down my visor and wearing sunglasses because of the intensity of the light. The light of the sun will be seven times brighter during the Millennium. Think of it!The sun and moon will not be noticed as rising and setting , in Jerusalem, due to the fact that God’s glory will be the light of this city both day and night, and this will be brighter than the light of the sun and moon.

God will be not only the Millennial light, but eternal light for Jerusalem.

The people shall all be righteous: God’s people, Israel, will finally have turned away from the idolatry they practiced for so long. Because of their righteousness, the sins, sicknesses, diseases, calamities, wars, and other aspects of the curse that cause mourning will be past for Israel and all other nations when Christ reigns eternally on earth. For Israel, all this will stop in the Millennium because they will all turn to God and be saved, as explained in v. 21; but among Gentiles there could be individual mourning over death to rebels who break the law during this time (Is. 65:20). In the new earth, however, all this will be done away for all people (Rev. 21:3-7; 22:3).

The idea in vv. 21-22 is that of great increase in families and nations when no one will die in the Millenium except rebels who break the law during this period, or take part with Satan in the revolt at the close of this age Rev.20:7-10). There will be no death at all in the new and eternal earth (I Cor. 15:4-28; Rev. 21:3-7).

Millennial Blessings

Isaiah 60: 17-18.

17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.

18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.

Verse 17 expresses the idea that in the Millennium there will be an abundance of gold, enough to be used where brass is now used. There will be enough silver to use where iron is generally used, enough brass to use where wood is used, and enough iron to use where stones are now used.

The rulers of Israel will be officers of peace, and the tax collectors will be honest and righteous.

There will be no more violence, wasting, or destruction in all the land of Israel; there will be universal prosperity and peace. Even walls will be called Salvation and the gates Peace because of such perfect conditions.

Keep in mind that we’re not talking about heaven here. This is the Millennial Reign of Jesus on earth. There will be detractors, but they will be shut down quickly. Before heaven comes Armageddon, after which Satan will be forever banned and condemned to the Lake of Fire. But during the Millennium, there will be peace, and Israel will thrive as never before.

Gentile Homage

Isaiah 60: 14-16.

14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee; The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

15 Whereas thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.

16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

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These verses, as in all of Chapter 60, predict a time when Jerusalem is finally acknowledged as the capitol of the world. All the nations who hated and persecuted Israel before will come to their aid during the Millennium, and will serve the nation and help with the rebuilding. Jerusalem will become beautiful again, as will all of Israel. The city, and the people, will be nourished by the presence and the presents of the Gentile leaders, and all peoples will finally recognize that God is Savior, Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Sunday Night: Catching Up

Well, this day certainly didn’t go as planned. First, we were getting dire weather reports of a cataclysmic snow storm overnight. It actually yielded about half-an-inch of snow. The temperature stayed right a freezing, and there was some rain. Dangerous driving conditions. So there was no Sunday school, only a morning service, which when I went to bed last night I fully expected to attend.

Best laid plans and all that.

I always know it’s going to be bad in the morning when I wake up several time in the night because I moved, and it hurt. So I wasn’t surprised at all to get up only to plop right back down on the side of the bed. Had to wait for my lower back and legs to wake up. Once I was mobile, I exchanged my cane for my walker. No church for me today.

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In the meantime, Terry was out there industriously clearing the driveway and the sidewalk, and clearing icy gunk off the windows of the car. He came in, ate breakfast, changed clothes. Left the house in plenty of time to get to church.

I don’t think it was five minutes before he came back. Radiator was leaking. (This was in our old Volvo, which I didn’t even know was drivable. Don’t know why he was using it.) He dealt with that, and journeyed off again. He’d be a little late, but not too bad.

Except he came back home again, and I honestly don’t remember what the problem was this time. In any event, we had a quiet day at home. I watched Ravi Zacharias on TV–he’s a great favorite of mine. Then I figured it was time to do my Sunday Morning Coffee post, but even though the spirit was willing, the flesh was weak. I just couldn’t work up the energy, and I feel really bad about that. I will pick up on the series I started two Sundays ago on why sometimes it feels God doesn’t hear our prayers, so if you’ve been following along with me on that, I will do the next part in a week.

It is becoming more and more of a reality to me that my body is not going to let me return to my normal self, able to take care of shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc. Those days are over, and I admit I’m struggling with accepting that as my new reality. I still do what I can, but what I used to do in a couple of hours now takes me all day, because I need to stop and rest.

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I understand this picture in a whole new way these days!

Terry has moved into the position of chief cook and bottle washer, and while I am so, so thankful that he is willing to do “my” work, I hate it that he has to. However, if I mention that it distresses me that he’s become a house husband, he just reminds me that I took care of him through various difficulties; took care of four kids, kept the house and all that goes with it, while working full time. “For better or worse, Linda, in sickness and in health.”

The “one-flesh”principle in the Bible becomes more of a reality to me all the time. I am blessed beyond anything to have a husband who willingly steps into whatever task needs doing. We’re going on 50 years in June. I can still hardly believe its been so long.