Ministers

Introduction

Though Isaiah 61 begins with what has traditionally interpreted as applying to The Messiah, the part that Jesus said was fulfilled by him happened before he completed his messianic assignment therefore it is not necessarily a Messianic prophecy. The view that the chapter is Messianic and the blessings mentioned are for the Jews, has left them with unfulfilled expectations which are discussed below.

I postulate that the first part is fulfilled whenever anyone teaches the Good News (including Jesus) and that the blessings spoken of will be fulfilled during his Second Coming beginning during the first stage when The Sign of Jesus’ Coming arrives.

What evidence is there to support this position?

1. The Sign of Jesus’ Coming will reveal the glory of God and His righteousness and it will increase. This is confirmed in v.11:

11 The Sovereign LORD will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere. (Isaiah 61:11 NLT)

2. The righteous will be “priests of God” which is a milllennial prophecy:

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. (Isaiah 61:6)

6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; (Revelation 1:6)

3. When the glory comes down at The Sign of Jesus’ Coming, our righteousness will shine forth and be known by everyone. This is confirmed in verse 10 and explained further down:

12 Then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

10 I greatly rejoice in Jehovah, Joy doth my soul in my God, For He clothed me with garments of salvation, With a robe of righteousness covereth Me, As a bridegroom prepareth ornaments, And as a bride putteth on her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10 YLT)

Each of these points and more are elaborated upon below.

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;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
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.
4 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.
5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
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.
7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61)

Jews

Why a negative impact upon the Jews? Because there are parts of the prophecy that went unfulfilled. Here are some examples:

  1. Liberty to the captives.
  2. Opening of the prisons.
  3. A day of vengeance.
  4. Strangers will do your work for you.
  5. Eat the riches of the Gentiles.

Thus the Jews are still looking for those and other prophecies to be fulfilled.

Expounded

Most of what is in the first part of the prophecy could have been, and currently is being fulfilled by Christians everywhere – they are preaching and healing. Jesus claimed fulfillment of the prophecy before he performed what was uniquely messianic – dying on the cross and breaking the bands of death and hell. Strictly speaking, it is not a messianic prophecy.

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me (1), because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor (2); he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted (3), to preach deliverance to the captives (4), and recovering of sight to the blind (5), to set at liberty them that are bruised (6),
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord (7).
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (Luke 4:17–21 KJV)

1. The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me

The Holy Spirit will come upon anyone who is preaching the Good News:

6 And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. (1 John 5:6)

2. Anointed Me to Preach the Gospel to the Poor

All believers have been commissioned to share the Good News with the whole world regardless of nationality or financial status; this was not something fulfilled just by Jesus.

15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. (Mark 16:15 NLT)

3. Heal the Broken Hearted

This is another commission believers are fulfilling on a regular basis. The parable of the Good Samaritan is one example as well as the parable of the sheep and the goats:

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:40)

4. Preach Deliverance to the Captives

What precisely was holding people captive? Religion:

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

5. Recovering of Sight to the Blind

Though Jesus did heal the physically blind and though his disciples were promised they could do the same (Mark 16:17), there is also a spiritual blindness that this could pertain to:

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:14–17)

He who believes they’re guaranteed salvation simply by following a religion is indeed blind.

21 If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians 2:21)

6. Set at Liberty Them That are Bruised

Other translations render this “the oppressed will be set free” (NIV) which is similar to #4 “deliverance to the captives.” Religion can be quite oppressive, Judaism has 613 commandments.

6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (Romans 7:6)

7. To Preach the Acceptable Year of the Lord

Also translated “and to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness.” (New Century) This is perhaps the strongest part that is messianic.

Conclusion

Jesus only claimed fulfillment of two of the eleven verses in Isaiah 61 yet many authors assume the entire chapter was messianic. My view is the chapter is mainly about his Second Coming and in particular beginning with The Sign of Jesus’ Coming. Which means the first two verses can be applied to The Sign of His Coming as well.

Translations

17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19 and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”
20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently.
21 Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:17-21 NIV)

17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19 and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”
20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently.
21 Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:17-21 NLT)

17 And there was handed to Him [the roll of] the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened (unrolled) the book and found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity],
19 To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound]. (Luke 4:17-21 AMP)

Christians

The bulk of Isaiah 61 applies to Christian ministers (includes everyone) and the role they will play during The Sign of Jesus’ Coming. The fact they do not know about this prophecy is a great loss for Christians.

Premise

The impetus of the whole chapter is that of preaching “good things” which confirms the premise of the Cut Short Version found here on this web site.

V.1-2

As pointed out above, verses 1-2 apply to any believer who is preaching the “Good News” and not just Jesus. It does not apply to people preaching doom and gloom or Long Version scenarios.

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

V. 3

The idea in verse three is to replace the “ashes” “mourning” and “heaviness” of the Long Version with “beauty” “joy” and “praise” of the Cut Short Version so that believers (Jew or Christian alike) may be motivated enough to become more righteous (i.e. right with God) and thereby glorify God.

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.

V. 4

In other words, the current righteous will honor the past righteous by building memorials to their honor, recovering their history (archaeological digs), and/or building new cities where the righteous once stood.

4 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.

V. 5

What we see in verse five is a sudden great admiration for believers, so much so that they will want to serve them. What is it about the believers that will cause such a thing to come about? Visible glory.

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

V. 6

The following prophecy is similar to the one in The Revelation of John (Rev. 1:6, Rev. 20:6) that says the faithful will become “kings and priests unto God.” But here it is a little different. It will be the people who will begin calling the righteous “ministers of our God.”

What will change and cause people to know who the righteous are? As I contend, each person’s righteousness will become visible and the righteous with the brightest glory will automatically be assumed by the people to be God’s ministers, which God will confirm with a covenant (see verse 8 below).

And why will the righteous be given the riches of the Gentiles? The unrighteous will feel unworthy of it and naturally will want to give it to those who clearly are. Recall Jesus said “he who is faithful over few things will be made ruler over many.” (Matthew 25:23)

And by “faithful,” the new measure of rule on earth will be God’s glory and what brightens or dims it.

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.

V. 7

Something will change on earth that will switch the dynamic between believers and non-believers. If each person’s glory becomes visible like I contend that it will, those with less glory will admire and release their wealth (and “rejoice” in what they have left knowing they don’t deserve it) to those more deserving.

7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

V. 8

The Lord will be rejoicing at this time as things self-correct after each person’s glory becomes known – “Then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor. 13:12) He will then direct the righteous as it says “That before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24).

8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

V. 9

Usually righteous families have righteous children and grandchildren, but not always. Those who start the Millennium in a righteous condition will perpetuate righteousness with their children.

9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.

V. 10-11

The righteous will be grateful at that time that the Lord allowed all hearts and glory to be revealed, which will literally be like a covering in that new environment:

10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61)

The way God will allow righteousness and praise to spring forth will be by The Sign of Jesus’ Coming!

Sum

In the coming days after The Sign of Jesus’ Coming appears, everyone’s true colors will begin to be known – literally, and we will all become “known as we are known” (1 Cor. 13:12). In other words, the aura, countenance, radiance, or glory that some people can see, and what the ancients could see, all will begin to be able to see.

Not only will our hearts and intentions be known, but also our thoughts. Lies and deceit will come to an end. People in positions of trust and leadership will be discovered for who they really are – either true to what they portrayed themselves as, or as hypocrites. The whole world will be turned upside down for the better.

The glory that will bathe the earth is of course God’s glory. Every person born has God’s light burning inside of them:

9 That was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:9)

How diligent a person has been in keeping the first commandment to love God “with all of their heart, mind, soul, and strength” (Mark 12:30) will also become known because if our eye is single to God then our whole body will be full of light:

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. (Matthew 6:22–23)

Those who have been worshipping the true God and “got it right” all this time will be confirmed as God’s true “ministers” (See Ministers page), and those whose religion “got it wrong” will likewise be known. Entire religions, personal theologies, and family traditions will stand or fall after the appearing of The Sign of Jesus’ Coming.

Life Flow

The future importance of the following verses cannot be overstated. Today, we call them “God winks,” synchronicitysynergy, and life flow:

28 And we have known that to those loving God all things do work together for good, to those who are called according to purpose; (Romans 8:28 YLT)

27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (Acts 17:27–31)

In the future when the glory saturates the earth at The Sign of Jesus’ Coming those already walking in the love and light of God will excel well. They will walk in the spirit and power of Elijah. Those who are not will feel as if they are stuck in mire. Because God is love, anyone wallking in His love will feel a strong connection

We are creatures of habit and those who have conducted their entire lives egocentrically and have hard-wired their thoughts, hearts, and intentions around themselves, which is contrary to God, His love, and the Holy Spirit, will fall to the lowest levels of success.

Conversely, those who have hard-wired their thoughts, hearts, and intentions through a life of selfless living, will flourish in their fields of endeavor. They’ll experience all types of “God winks,” synchronicities, and synergy, as “all things working together for good” i.e. love, God, His Holy Spirit and the new environment described by Joel 2 and Isaiah as a New Heaven and New Earth.

It’s for this simple reason of how we are hard-wired that will dictate who will perform splendidly right off the bat while everyone else is left to deal with their selfish hearts, thoughts, and intentions. Some people will need time to reverse old habits and attune themselves to the love of God, i.e. the mind of Christ.

3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:3–5)

If you have conducted your life as a true Christian and put others ahead of yourself on a regular basis, be prepared to excel in the new earth environment and placed in high positions of trust, leadership, business, development, etc.

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