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The Redeemer Describes Himself

Sunday, September 21, 1986

Isaiah 50: 1-11

Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.  (2)  Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.(3)  I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.  (4)  The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. (5)  The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.  (6)  I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.  (7) For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (8)  He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me.  (9)  Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. (10)  Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.(11)  Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.


I’m turning, for my message today, to the Book of Isaiah.  I would like very much for you to take your Bible, (if you are in a convenient place, like your table or in your living room or den); take your Bible and open it to Isaiah Chapter 50.  This is my subject today:  “THE REDEEMER DESCRIBES HIMSELF.” 


You might say, “Preacher, are you going to talk about Jesus Christ our Redeemer?”  Yes I am.  “You are going to tell how that He describes Himself?”  Yes I am.  “Why don’t you turn to the New Testament, the book of John, Matthew or one of those books?” 


I would rather turn to the Old Testament.  Some people say that the book of Isaiah is the Gospel of the Old Testament.  The book of Isaiah is quoted many, many, times in the New Testament.  For example:  In John 12:41, it says; “When Isaiah saw His glory, (the glory of Christ), he spake of Him.”


In Isaiah 6, when Isaiah saw the Lord, “High and lifted up on a throne, His train filled the temple.”  The seraphim cried, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  Did you know that is Christ? 


Every Old Testament revelation of God is Jesus Christ.  When the angel of the Lord appeared to Abraham and others, that was Christ.  These men had a pre-incarnation view of Jesus Christ.  “Isaiah saw His glory and spake of Him.”


In Matthew, 1:21, when the angel told Joseph that Mary was with child and would bring forth a son, he said; “You call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.  All this was done, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet Isaiah who said; a virgin shall be with child and thou shalt call His name Emmanuel, God with us.”  That is Isaiah Chapter 7:14.


In Luke, the 4th Chapter, when our Lord Jesus Christ came to the town of Nazareth, where He was brought up, “As His custom was, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath Day and stood up to read, and  they delivered unto Him the Scriptures.” Now, that is the Old Testament that contains 39 books from Genesis through Malachi.  They delivered the Old Testament for the Lord Jesus Christ to read.  It was all of the recorded Scriptures that they had at the time.  This was before the cross, before our Lord died.


Where did He turn in the Bible to read?  Here He is, the Messiah, who has come home.  The whole synagogue was filled with unbelieving religious people.  They were questioning Him and so forth.  What did He read? 


He read Isaiah 61, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me.  He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor, deliverance to the captive, to set at liberty, them that are bruised, to give sight to the blind and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”  When He spoke, concerning His Messianic work; He turned to the book of Isaiah.  Why shouldn’t I turn to the same book? 


In the 8th Chapter of Acts, there was an Ethiopian Eunuch who was a powerful, influential, man with the Ethiopian government, under the queen of Ethiopia.  When he went into Jerusalem to worship, on his way home, he was sitting in his chariot having received nothing from those feasts and Pharisees in Jerusalem.


On his way home, he was sitting in his chariot reading the Scriptures.  God sent a preacher by the name of Phillip to him and where do you suppose he was reading?  He was reading from the book of Isaiah, Chapter 53. 


The Scripture says, “He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, as a root out of a dry ground.  Yet, He hath no form, no comeliness.  When we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.  He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows acquainted with grief.” 


“We hid as it were our faces from Him.  He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.  By His stripes we are healed.”


What an important lesson that I need to learn and everyone needs to learn.  It is so difficult to learn.  You will hear people calling themselves; the “New Testament Christians.”  Does that mean that you don’t read the Old Testament or that you don’t believe the Old Testament?”  All Scripture is revealed and declares and point to Christ, from Genesis to Revelation. 


Acts 10:43 says this, “To Him, to Christ, give all the prophets witness.”  In the New Testament, when you read the word Scriptures, “That the Scriptures might be fulfilled, that He died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that He rose according to the Scriptures,” that is the Old Testament that they are talking about. 


When the Pharisees said, “Well; we have Moses,” He said; “Moses wrote of me.  If you would have believed Moses you would have believed me.  He wrote of me.” 


They said, “Abraham is our father.”  Christ said, “If you were the children of Abraham, you would do the works of Abraham.  Abraham saw my day.  He rejoiced to see it and was glad.”  Abraham looked to Christ.


In John 5:39, when our Lord was speaking to the religious rulers, He said; “You search the Scriptures.”  That is the Old Testament.  You search Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and the Psalms.  “You search the Scriptures; in them you think you have life, but they are they which testify, witness, of me.”


When He opened the understanding of the apostles and taught them the Scriptures, He said; “All things which are written in Moses, in the prophets, in the Psalms, concerning me, must be fulfilled.”


Christ is the key of knowledge.  He is the key to and of the Old Testament Scriptures.  I’m going to give you a candid illustration of that; turn with me to Isaiah 50.  Here we have the Redeemer describing Himself.


I know that Isaiah 50 is talking about the Lord Jesus Christ.  If you read it, you will see Christ set forth all the way through Isaiah 50 in His person, in His deity, in His glory, in His success, in His sufferings and in His work, all the way through this chapter.


But, to show you that the chapter is talking about Christ, I am going back to chapter 49 and read the last verse.  Did you know that when the Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek, it wasn’t divided into chapters and verses?  That was done later by the translator.  The Bible in its original language was written as the books are, as a book, or as a letter with paragraphs.


So, the last sentence in chapter 49 before we move into chapter 50, says this; “I the Lord am thy Saviour.  I am thy Redeemer.  I Jehovah, the Lord, am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”


Who is He talking about?  That is Christ.  We only have one Redeemer.  We only have one Saviour and that is Christ.  He says, “That is who I am.”


In verse 6 of chapter 50, He says; “I gave My back to the scourge.”  Pilate delivered Him to be scourged and delivered Him to the Soldiers.   “I gave My cheeks to them that plucked out the hair.  I hid not My face from their shame and spitting.”  


In verse 7; read that in the light of Luke chapter 9; “He set His face like a flint to go to Jerusalem.”  He said, “The Son of man must go to Jerusalem.  He must be crucified; He must be lifted up and He must be buried and rise again. Our Lord died for our sins, according to the Scriptures.” 


My friends, I take the Old Testament Scriptures and preach Christ, in order that you may take the other Scriptures throughout the Old Testament and find Christ.  That is why I am doing this.  I want you to see how that Christ is that Rock, and Christ is that Brazen Serpent lifted up. 


I want you to see that Christ is that Tabernacle, Christ is our Passover, and Christ is that Ark which Noah made that delivered the people from the wrath and judgment of God.  Christ is that Great High Priest who goes into that Holy of Holies and makes atonement.  All the way through the Old Testament, there is Christ on every page. 


Here, in chapter 50, take your Bible and sit comfortably with it and let’s look at the first two verses.  Here our Lord says, “Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away?”


These first two verses, our Lord is dealing with and talking about His rejection.  “He is despised and rejected of men.”  Anybody who was anybody turned thumbs-down on Him.  “He was in the world and the world knew Him not.  He came unto His own people and they received Him not.”


This is what He is saying as He is facing these religious people, “Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement whom I put away?”  What is He talking about?  Well, when a man divorces his wife, he must give her a paper declaring that he has forsaken her.  This bill is called “The Bill of Divorcement.”  Our Lord referred to it over in the New Testament.


What our Lord is saying here, to these religious people, is You have no such bill; you have no such bill at all to declare that I forsook you.  I didn’t forsake you; you forsook Me;” that is what the Lord is saying.


He says in the next line, “To which of My creditors have I sold you?”  What does that refer to pastor?  Well, when a man back in the Old Testament got so heavily in debt that he could not pay his bills, they could sell their children into servitude or slavery and discharge their debt.


What our Lord is saying to these religious people is, I don’t have any creditors; I own the cattle on a thousand hills, the gold and silver is mine.  I owe no man; I owe know one.” 


Here is the truth of the matter, He says; “For your sins, you have sold yourself.  For your transgressions are you put away.”  “I didn’t put you away; you turned your back on Me,” that is what He is saying. 


Man’s ruin lies at his own door.  This is an important point that I am trying to make.  This is what the Lord Jesus is saying, concerning His rejection.  This concerns the fact that men despise Him and reject Him.  He is saying, “Your ruin lies at your own door.”


This is what few people will acknowledge.  They won’t acknowledge that we are guilty.  Look at verse 2, He says; “I came and no man answered; no man believed.”  He said, “I called and no man answered; He was in the world and the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not.”  I called; I came; no one believed and no one answered.”


Sinners are to be blamed.  My friends; our ruin and our condemnation are our own fault.  God is not to be blamed for our condemnation.  God is not to be blamed for our condition.  This is a proper setting for seeking the Lord.


Here is where seeking the Lord begins.  Here is a proper attitude for seeking the Lord.  It is the only basis or foundation on which a man can truly seek the Lord.  You have to admit that your guilt is your own responsibility.    He has to realize that his sin lies at his own door.  He has to realize that God is not obligated in any shape, form, or fashion.


You see; that is what David said in Psalm 51; “My sins are ever before me.  Against Thee and Thee only have I sinned and done this evil in Thy sight, that Thou mightest be Justified when Thou speakest and clear when Thou judgest.” 


You see; the Canaanite woman, who found mercy with the Lord, came to Him and said; “Lord, have mercy on me.”  He answered not a word at first.  She said, “Have mercy on me.”  Christ said, “I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”


She still did not leave, but said, “Have mercy on me.”  He said, “It is not right to give the children’s bread to dogs.”  She made this statement; “That is true Lord, but dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their Master’s table.” 


That is what our Lord is pointing out right here; “You don’t have a bill of divorcement.  I don’t have any creditors to which I am so obligated that I had to desert you.  I called and you didn’t answer.  I came and you didn’t believe.  Your ruin, condemnation, and condition, is your own fault.” 


If you receive any help it will be by God’s mercy and God’s grace.  God’ mercy and grace is not by merit, not because you deserve it or earn it; that is where we start.  We have to be stripped, broken, smitten and slain, at the back door of mercy as a beggar seeking the mercy of God.


Now, in verses 2 and 3, our Lord declares His Deity and power.  He says, “Is My hand shortened that it cannot redeem?  Have I no power to deliver?”  In other words, does the unbelief of man alter the power and purpose of God?  “Is anything too hard for me,” He said? 


Preachers today describe man.  They make man to be more than he is.  Did you know that?  When preachers today describe God, they make Him to be less than He is.  I want, when I preach, to make man exactly what he is, a willful, guilty, sinner. 


I want to preach God as He describes Himself.  He says, “Is My hand shortened that it cannot redeem?  Have I no power to deliver?”  When the Lord God describes Himself, He declares His Majesty, His Power, and His Sovereignty. 


He said to Moses, “Moses; I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.  I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious.”  So, “It is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”  The Scripture says, “Hath not the potter power over the clay?  Can I not do with my own what I will?”  


In verse 3, He says; “I dried up the Red Sea.”  When we talk about God, why don’t we talk about Him as He is?  Why do people keep talking about God wanting to do this and God wants to do that and God is trying to show you this and trying to show you that.  Why do people keep telling you that God will be happy if you do this or that?  He said, “I dried up the Red Sea.”


He said, “I dried up the Red Sea and My people walk through on dry land.  I closed the doors of the Sea and drowned the whole army.”  He said, “I make the rivers into a wilderness.  I clothed the heaven with blackness.  I covered the sun with sackcloth.  Is My hand shortened that I can’t redeem?  If I can dry up a sea can I not redeem a sinner?  If I can turn a river into a wilderness can I not put away a man’s guilt?”


When the Redeemer describes Himself, He does not speak as men speak of Him.  He declares, “I can redeem; I can deliver; I have spoken; I will bring it to pass.  I have purposed it; I will do it.  My council shall stand.  I will do all my pleasure.”


My friends; the Bible knows nothing of a doormat named “jesus.”  The Bible knows nothing of a pitiful, sad, frustrated, defeated, Reformer.  He is not a fire escape from hell whose name is Jesus that wants you to do this, that, and the other.  The Bible knows nothing of Him having no power to influence you at all. 


Whoa!  That is not our God!  That is not the way He describes Himself.  He said, “I came and you didn’t believe.  I called and you didn’t answer.  My hand is not shortened that it cannot save.”  “Because you didn’t answer, because you didn’t believe and your condemnation lies at your door, that doesn’t mean that My purpose is defeated; I can deliver.”


“I dried up that sea and I can deliver, just like I turned that river into a wilderness.  I can deliver just like when I turned that sun off and made the heavens black.  I can deliver and cover a man’s sin just like I covered the sun with sackcloth.  I can do it!”


Then, in verse 4, the Lord Jesus describes His Prophetic Office.  He says in verse 4, “The Lord hath given me the tongue of the learned.  No man spake like this man spake.”  The reason is because He is God; “That I should know how to speak a Word in season to him that is weary.  Come unto Me all that labor and are heavy laden; I will give you rest.”


He has a Word for the weary.  He has a message of grace for the miserable.  He has good news for the guilty.


 Are you familiar with the Scripture which teaches the three-fold office of Christ?  Are you familiar with Christ’s office?  In the Old Testament we have a prophet, priest, and king.  No Old Testament believer ever held all three of those offices. 


David was a king, Aaron was a priest, and Moses was a prophet.  No man ever held all three of those offices; they are all types of Christ.  You see; our Lord’s offices are the three-fold.  He is King, typified by David, He is Priest, (better typified by Melchisedec), a Priest forever, better then Aaron.


“He is that Prophet like Moses.”  God said through Moses, “I will raise up a prophet from among the brethren, like unto you; Him shall ye hear.”  All that hear Him will be delivered.


So, watch this now; this is the three-fold office:  As King, our Lord Jesus reigns by decree, by design and by death.  “God hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name.”  By His death He died, “That He might be Lord of the dead and the living.”  This is both by design, decree, and death.


As Priest, He redeems His elect.  The Scripture says, “By one offering, He has perfected forever, them that are sanctified.  Our Lord Jesus entered not the Holy place made with hands but heaven itself, to appear in the presence of God for us” (to offer an atonement).


This is what He is calling Himself in verse 4 of Isaiah 50, “I am a Prophet.  The Father hath given Me the tongue of the Prophet, the tongue of the learned.”  As a Prophet, He reveals God.  Watch this; “No man knoweth the Father save the Son and ye to whom the Son will reveal Him.”


There are a lot of religions on this earth; yes that is right!  There are a lot of cults, sects, denominations and divisions in religion.  They all claim to worship God, “Allah, the supreme being.”  Some call Him the “man upstairs.” 


No human being on this earth, knows anything about the God of Heaven, the Living God, the Eternal Creator, except those who know Jesus Christ and believe Him and have heard him; that is exactly what I am saying and this is what this Bible says.


You see, He is that Prophet.  “No man knoweth the Father save the Son and He to whom the Son will reveal Him.  He that heareth me heareth My Father.  The Words that I speak are not the words of a mere man but the Words of God.  I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No man cometh to the Father but by Me.”


Now, man can have an idea of God.  He can have a false conception of God.  He can have a drawing or an idol or a statue or a thought of Him in his mind what he thinks God is like.  “Your thoughts are not God’s thoughts.  Your ways are not God’s ways.”


There is no way for a man to know God.  Eternal Life is to know God.  There is no way for any human being to know God or to commune with God, come to God or worship God except as he knows, hears, worships, loves and believes the Lord Jesus Christ.  Do you have that?  That is what the Word of God is saying.


Throw your Bible out the door if you don’t believe that.  I am being honest, now.  Don’t just take what you want to take.  You have to take all of what Christ says, or nothing. 


Look at John 5:24, “Verily, I say unto you; he that heareth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me, shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death unto life.  He that hears me; He that seeth the Son and believeth on Him hath life.  He that believeth not on the Son will never see life.”


He will never be resurrected in glory and he will never be in heaven.  That is just so!  Christ is the way; “Other foundation can no man lay that is laid.”  When He appeared on this earth, the Father spoke and said, “This is my Son; hear Him.”


“And God, who at sundry times and in diver’s manners spake to our fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us only in His Son,” only by His Son.  That is what He said.  You can hear all the voices you want to hear.  If you don’t hear Christ you don’t hear God.  That is so my friend!


Look at verses 5 through 7, the Redeemer declares His submission to the Father’s will and His suffering for sin.  I am telling you what the Scripture says and you know what I am telling you the Scripture says because you are familiar with these Scriptures.  


“How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation which was spoken to us first by our Lord and then confirmed unto us by them that heard Him, God bearing them witness by miracles, signs and wonders?” That is the apostles who brought His message after He ascended back to the Father.


“The Lord God hath bored my ear;” that is what the prophet said.  He said, “I was not rebellious; I didn’t turn back.  Lo, I come to do Thy will O God.”  This boring of the ear is what they did to a bond-slave.  When a man had served his seven years, in the Old Testament, he could go free.


But, if he would say; “I love my master; I love my master’s house; I don’t want to go free, I want to be a slave,” then they bored his ear and he became a bond-slave, a willing, loving servant.  He was there because he wanted to be there.  That is what our Lord says here; “My Father bored my ear.  I gave my back to the smiters and my cheeks to those who pluck out the hair of my face to those that spit.”


He willingly took our sin:


“There is a fountain filled with blood

Drawn from Emanuel’s veins,

Sinners plunged beneath that flood

Lose all their guilty stain.”


“I set my face like a flint.  I shall not be ashamed; I shall not fail.  The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”  The Redeemer declares His success.  He said, “He is near that justified me.  Behold, the Lord God will help me.  Who is my adversary?  Can any stay My hand?  Oh, how great is our Redeemer and how great is our Lord.


In the closing two verses He said, for these two classes of people, “Who is it among you that fears God; that obeys the voice of God servant who walks in darkness and has no light?  Trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon your God.”


In the other class of people He said, “All ye that kindle your own fire; walk in the light of your own fire, your own righteousness; you will lie down in sorrow.”  Hear Him and live!”