The Servant of the LORD

KEY VERSE: “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth.” —Isaiah 42:1

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:5, 6; 53:4-6

AS MENTIONED in the previous study, the prophecy in Isaiah the forty-second chapter relates to Jesus. The first verse reads, in part, “I have put my Spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” In Isaiah 61:1,2 the Lord in prophecy tells of anointing Jesus with his Holy Spirit. 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 broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” This was the commission the Lord gave Jesus to perform at his first advent. The reality of the anointing of Jesus at the time of his baptism by John the Baptist, is recorded in Matthew 3:16. “Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he [John] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him [Jesus].”—John 1:32

The thought of the heavens being opened to Jesus is that of the spiritual heavens, the secrets of the Lord that had been previously hidden from past ages until the proper time. The mystery had to do with the development and implementation of the Gospel as promised to Abraham. (Gen. 22:15-18; Gal. 3:8,16) The Apostle Paul wrote of these things, “To me … was this favor given, to announce among the nations the glad tidings, of the boundless wealth of the Anointed one; even to enlighten all as to what the administration of that secret, which has been concealed from the ages, by that God who created all things; in order that now may be made known to the governments and the authorities in the heavenlies, through the congregation, the much diversified wisdom of God, according to a plan of the ages which he formed for the Anointed Jesus our Lord.”—Eph. 3:8-11, Diaglott

In order to carry out the important work of this commission, Jesus announced that the kingdom of God was at hand, in the sense that a work of preparation was beginning. This involved the opening of a new and living way, a heavenly calling, for those who were willing to follow in the footsteps of Jesus with the prospect, if faithful, of being associated with him in the kingdom, for the blessing of all the families of the earth. (II Tim. 1:9,10; 3:7-12) Because of the Lord’s love for the nation of Israel, the first opportunity for this privilege was given to them. But because of their blindness only a remnant accepted, and so the message was directed to the Gentiles.—Rom. 15:8,9; Acts 13:46

The Apostle Paul in II Corinthians the fifth and sixth chapters, describes the wonderful privilege of being called to the heavenly calling. In the second verse of the sixth chapter, he quotes part of the prophecy from Isaiah 49:8, saying, “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” By using this scripture in this particular context, he was showing that its application relates specifically to those called to the heavenly phase of the kingdom. The part of the prophecy recorded in Isaiah reads as follows, “Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.” Some of our Christian friends use this text to support their belief that now, during this present time, is the day of salvation for the world. But the Scriptures teach that the world’s salvation will be in the next age, the kingdom. Now is a day of salvation for the footstep followers of Jesus, and those who are faithful will have a spiritual reward and the privilege of helping to establish the earth. Part of the mystery of God revealed at our Lord’s first advent was that the Christ is not one; it is composed of many members, of which Jesus is the head and his footstep followers members of the body. “As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being man, are one body: so also is Christ.”—I Cor. 12:12

Dawn Bible Students Association
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