How to Hope: Lessons from the Israelites and Their Messianic Expectation, Part 46 (Second Coming Chapel Sermon #261)

TEXT: Isaiah 11:1-9

1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.

9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

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George Sweeting said, “The word hope in Scripture is a term of certainty. To say that we hope for the return of the Lord is not to say that we are uncertain about His coming. His coming for His own is certain.”

Steven Cole has an illustration regarding the practical impact that the imminency of Christ's appearing should have in our lives - If your focus is set on the hope of Christ’s return, you will purify your life from every known sin. During his time in the White House, President Carter did something that no other President (that I know of) has done: on several occasions, he stayed in the homes of common Americans. I don’t know how he picked them, but he wanted to convey that he was in tune with the needs of average Americans. If you got a call this week from the White House, announcing that the President would like to stay in your home sometime next month (meaning that your living room and kitchen would be on national television), I predict that you would do some housecleaning! Your home would sparkle because you knew that the President was coming. Someone far greater than the President is coming! Paul calls Him, “our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”

In our last message in this series we looked at what this passage tells us about the lineage of the Messiah.

Second, look at the character of the Messiah. Isaiah 11:2-5 says, “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” Isaiah lists seven spirits that the Messiah has resting on Him. The first spirit that shows us the character of the Messiah is the spirit of the Lord God that is resting on him. The Messiah has all the divine attributes of God bestowed upon Him. Second, the Messiah has a spirit of wisdom and understanding, no doubt far greater than the finite understanding of man. Wisdom here does not mean mere knowledge, but wisdom from God. In 1 Kings we read that Solomon was given wisdom by God, not that he learned it. In Colossians 1:9 Paul prays that the Christians would be filled with wisdom from God. This wisdom is not something attainable by man without God’s help. The word translated “understanding” means “revelation,” showing us that the Messiah has an understanding of God’s will revealed to him by God. Third, the Messiah has a spirit of counsel and might. Not only does he have great strength, but he knows when and how to use it wisely. There are many examples throughout history of countries that were of great strength, but they were brought to destruction by leaders who did not have wise counsel in using that strength. The Messiah will be His own advisor and councillor, bringing his mighty strength to bear against the workers of iniquity. Lastly, the Messiah has the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 1:7 tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The Messiah has the spirit of divine knowledge from God, a knowledge far greater than that of the most intelligent people on earth. Matthew Henry said, “He will judge righteous judgment: Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins. He shall be righteous in the administration of his government, and his righteousness shall be his girdle; it shall constantly compass him and cleave to him, shall be his ornament and honour; he shall gird himself for every action, shall gird on his sword for war in righteousness; his righteousness shall be his strength, and shall make him expeditious in his undertakings, as a man with his loins girt. He shall in righteousness plead for the people that are poor and oppressed; he will be their protector: With righteousness shall he judge the poor; he shall judge in favour and defence of those that have right on their side, though they are poor in the world, and because they are poor in spirit. He shall debate with evenness for the meek of the earth, or of the land; those that bear the injuries done them with meekness and patience are in a special manner entitled to the divine care and protection. He shall in righteousness plead against his enemies that are proud and oppressors: But he shall smite the earth, the man of the earth, that doth oppress, the men of the world, that mind earthly things only; these he shall smite with the rod of his mouth, the word of his mouth, speaking terror and ruin to them; his threatenings shall take hold of them, and be executed upon them. With the breath of his lips, by the operation of his Spirit, according to his word, and working with and by it, he shall slay the wicked and in the other world everlasting tribulation will be recompensed to those that trouble his poor people.” The Messiah will not judge the world with earthly knowledge. The Bible tells us that men look on the outside but God looks on the heart. Even the most impartial human judges are subject to their biases regarding someone’s appearance. But the Messiah will judge the world with righteousness, knowing the hearts and thoughts of man. The Messiah will destroy the wicked in His righteousness, bringing justice to the earth. The character of the Messiah should give us hope in the Second Coming, so that the poor and meek will be treated with righteousness and equity and the wicked will face their judgment.

Third, look at the reign of the Messiah. Isaiah 11:4-9 says, “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” John Piper said, “This is a picture of something radically new. The summary of the point is given in verse 9, first negatively, then positively. “They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain.” Hurting forces and destructive forces that touch animals and children will be gone. How? Amazingly, Isaiah gives this reason (and it really is a ground clause in Hebrew) in verse 9b: “because the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” So it is a global kingdom. And in it is an earthly kingdom with animals. And the animals will behave according to the knowledge of God. Where the earth is filled with the knowledge of God, and no longer suppressed, changes even in nature are profound and pervasive. The spirit of the king — the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord — is so present and powerful that it fills the earth with the knowledge of God, and changes everything.”

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Now, if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, I urge you to trust in Him because He is coming again and you do not want to be left behind. Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and the consequences of sin.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God's law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death…"

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

Now that is bad news, but here's the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read "What To Do After You Enter Through the Door." Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.