Isaiah 59-61, 2 Thessalonians 3

Isaiah 59:1

1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.

There isn’t a person who is so lost that the Lord cannot save them. The only thing that can prevent the Lord from saving is a hardened heart that refuses to be saved. It is hard to comprehend how any one could be so hard. But such were some of us. Thank God, His love prevailed.

Isaiah 59:2
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.

I confessed sin hinders our prayers. Psalms 66:18 says, If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. This is why repentance must be a regular part of our daily prayer.

Isaiah 59:15-16
15 So truth fails, And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him That there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.

What a beautiful picture of God’s heart as He looked down upon His beloved creation. Because of a his great an unfailing love, He gave us Jesus. I never get tired of thinking about it.

Isaiah 60:3
The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

Jesus came for all peoples. Jews and Gentiles alike…Praise the Lord!

Isaiah 61:1
1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

What a great chapter, speaking of our wonderful Savior who did all of these things Isaiah describes and all the more.

Isaiah 61:10
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Oh the joy that fills my heart as I read this verse. I was so filthy in my sin, until Jesus clothed me with the ‘robe of righteousness’!

2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.

This is an example of a great prayer to pray for one another. Oh that we might first read, meditate and study on the sword of God. Then that the Lord would run swiftly and be glorified. In so doing, we are delivered from unreasonable and wicked people.

2 Thessalonians 3:10
For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

This says a lot about people who would rather beg for food than work for food. I am not talking about the desolate who truly can’t eat because they cannot work, but it does apply to those who are just looking for a free meal.

2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother
.

The church by and large wants to ignore the whole issue of church discipline. However, it is clear in a number of places in Scripture, this being one of them. The others would be, Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 5:9-13.

Isaiah 56-58, 2 Thessalonians 2

Isaiah 56:1

1 Thus says the Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come, And My righteousness to be revealed.

The Lord is coming back! This is great and glorious news. However, there is still much to be done while we await His return. Two of those things are mentioned here. Keeping justice and doing righteousness.

Isaiah 56:10
His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

This chapter speaks to the leadership of Israel. Those who should have known better. I see many parallels to the church today. Many church leaders who turn a blinds eye to the things that are going on around them and in fact becoming a part of the world rather than seeking to understand what it means to be separate from the world.

Isaiah 57:13
When you cry out, Let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry them all away,
A breath will take them. But he who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land, And shall inherit My holy mountain.”

We recently studied in Daniel 5, Belshazzar, king of Babylon defiling the vessels of gold and silver which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple. It says that they drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone. Daniel told Belshazzar, “You praised these God’s which do not see or hear or know.” So many people put their trust in God’s who can do nothing for them. They do this rather than trust the One true God who holds our breath in His hand and owns all our ways.

Isaiah 57:21
“ There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked.”

Any peace that a wicked person may be feeling is a pseudo peace. That is to say a peace that is false, a peace that at best is temporary. The only peace that lasts is the lasting peace that God brings through His son Jesus.

Isaiah 58:6
“ Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?

There are fasts that are for the glory of God and to seek His purpose in our lives, and there are fasts for our own glory and benefit. Fasting is a time of seeking the Lord. By denying ourselves the satisfaction of food or other things, we are more attune to the Holy Spirit and as a result more sensitive to the things the Lord wants to speak to us.

Isaiah 58:11
The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

This is such a comforting verse. The Lord will guide us continually, if we allow Him to. The key, is staying out of His way, especially when we don’t fully understand or agree with what He is doing.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Paul is talking about the second coming of Jesus. We mustn’t confuse this with the first coming, which was the incarnation, His birth. Nor we mustn’t confuse it with the rapture. The rapture, when Jesus comes for His church, is in a sense, the beginning of a His second coming. What I mean by that is that it sets in motion a series of events which include the Antichrist defiling the temple half way into the great tribulation period. It is three and a half years after that event, that the Lord will return, riding on a white horse accompanied by His saints (Revelation 19:14).

2 Thessalonians 2:7
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

Many believe, myself included, that the ‘He’ here is speaking of the Holy Spirit working within the church. It is the Holy Spirit working through the church that is restraining lawlessness. However, when the church is taken away (raptured), then literally ‘all hell is going to break loose’. This is when lawlessness will abound like never before, until the return of the Lord.

Isaiah 53-55, 2 Thessalonians 1

Isaiah 53:2

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

This is another great Messianic chapter in Isaiah. We read here that there was nothing overly attractive about the Lord’s outward appearance. What made Him so incredibly attractive was His heart and love for people. So much so that He would die for them.

Isaiah 53:6
All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

How beautifully this verse describes what Jesus did for us. We were like wandering sheep, doing our own thing and God saved us by laying the sin of the world, every sin we ever committed, upon Jesus. This is why He cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me!” For a brief moment, the only time in all of eternity, God had to turn away, while Jesus took the sin of the world upon Himself.

Isaiah 54:4
“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.

One of the wonderful things about coming to faith in Christ is the elimination of shame. Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. What a wonderful truth this is.

Isaiah 54:5
For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

This is a great verse for singles who desire to be married. The Lord is our husband. When we understand this, our love and adoration are towards Him. Then the Lord is able to bring us a mate, in His timing rather than ours.

Isaiah 54:10
For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

No matter what is going on around us, the kindness of the Lord shall never depart and His peace never removed. This brings us great comfort and encouragement.

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

The sooner we accept that the Lord’s ways and thoughts are far beyond ours, the sooner we will enter into an understanding of how immense and glorious He is.

Isaiah 55:11
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

This verse contains a great promise about God’s word. We don’t have to worry about what happens when we share God’s word with others. It will accomplish the purpose for which is was sent. All we must do is be faithful to speak it.

2 Thessalonians 1:2
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the ways we identify Paul’s letter is by his greetings. Grace always preceding peace. Why? Because without God’s grace, a person will never know peace.

2 Thessalonians 1:6
since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,

This is a powerful verse. God is love and God is righteous, but because He is righteous, He is also just. He is obligated by His word to punish the unrighteousness. Why? Because He has established righteousness as His standard.

Isaiah 50-52, 1 Thessalonians 5

Isaiah 50:6

I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

A prophecy of Jesus the Messiah. A perfect description of what took place before the crucifixion of Jesus. When you read through the Gospels, you see that this is precisely what happened.

Isaiah 51:6
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, And look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, The earth will grow old like a garment, And those who dwell in it will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever, And My righteousness will not be abolished.

I praise God that He is eternal. We mustn’t cling onto the things of the world. All will vanish away, but the salvation of the Lord will be forever.

Isaiah 52:6
Therefore My people shall know My name; Therefore they shall know in that day That I am He who speaks: ‘Behold, it is I. ’”

God has put eternity into our hearts that we might know His name. The Holy Spirit directs our hearts towards God. Wisely, we surrender to Him and as a result understand who He is.

Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

I had someone in the church approach me one time and tell me I had beautiful feet. I wasn’t sure what they meant by that, since i was pretty sure he had never seen my feet. As I was obviously surprised, they then directed me to this verse. As it turned out, it was a great compliment. They were telling me that because I preached the Gospel, my feet were beautifully carrying God’s word to others. I will never forget that.

Isaiah 52:14
Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;

Jesus was beaten beyond recognition, more than any man. Hard to comprehend…isn’t it? Oh what great love He had for us.

1 Thessalonians 5:9
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

This is such a great verse which speaks of the church being removed before the great Tribulation period. The Great Tribulation period will be a time of great wrath. In every instance of the Bible where God brought His wrath upon the earth (Noah and his family, Abraham and Lot-Sodom and Gomorrah) God provided a way for them to be removed. And so it will be with us, His bride.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17
Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing,

How do we pray without ceasing? Do we have to fold our hands and close our eyes? Of course not. This kind of prayer is meditating upon the Lord, thinking upon Him day and night.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

We must guard ourselves from every form of evil, lest we find ourselves in trouble. We must test all things and hold fast only to that which is good and edifying.

Isaiah 47-49, 1 Thessalonians 4

Isaiah 47:3

Your nakedness shall be uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, And I will not arbitrate with a man.”

No one can hide their sin from the Lord. He knows all. And His judgment will come. People think they can arbitrate with the Lord. Not so. He is sovereign and supreme. He will have His way. We must never forget that we surrendered our lives to Him because we were tired of having our way.

Isaiah 47:9
But these two things shall come to you In a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness Because of the multitude of your sorceries, For the great abundance of your enchantments.

This is speaking of God’s judgment of Babylon by the Assyrians.

Isaiah 48:1
1 “Hear this, O house of Jacob, Who are called by the name of Israel, And have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah; Who swear by the name of the Lord, And make mention of the God of Israel, But not in truth or in righteousness;

The Lord now directs His attention to Israel.

Isaiah 48:11
For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; For how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another.

God is sovereign in all things. We must never forget this. He is over all things, for He created all things. He will not give His glory to another. When anyone else tries to steal His glory, there will be great consequences.

Isaiah 48:21
And they did not thirst When He led them through the deserts; He caused the waters to flow from the rock for them; He also split the rock, and the waters gushed out.

I love how, at various times throughout the Old Testament, the writers will speak of how God cared for the Israelites in their wandering through the wilderness.

Isaiah 48:22
“ There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

Any peace that the wicked may be experiencing, is only temporary. I heard someone recently say, that anyone who has gone to hell is no closer to the end, two years into eternity, than when they began. This is a sobering truth about the reality of eternity in hell, absolutely no peace. Thanks be to God that the opposite is also true. There is no end to othe peace we will experience with Christ, for those who have professed faith in His name.

Isaiah 49:2
And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, And made Me a polished shaft; In His quiver He has hidden Me.”

This is a reference to Jesus. His mouth is like a sharp sword. Revelation 1:16, He (Jesus) had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two- edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. Revelation 19:15, Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Isaiah 49:6
Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth. ’”

A prophetic reference that Jesus came for the Gentiles, the ‘non-Jews’ as well.

Isaiah 49:16
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.

We belong to the Lord. His nail imprinted hands remind us of this glorious truth.

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8
For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

We mustn’t neglect our personal call to holiness. When we do, we in essence, reject God. How can we say this. Because the Lord has personally called us to holiness, in both the old and new testaments. Leviticus 11:44, For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 1 Peter 1:15, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct. 1 Peter 1:15-16, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” Hebrews 12:14, Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

The church at Thessolonica was getting concerned that their friends and family who had died, would not experience the return of the Lord. Paul assured them that their will be a day coming, when we will all be joined together with Christ.

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Paul is speaking of the ‘rapture’ here. That great event which will take place in an instant. When Jesus will come to take His church, those who have professed a faith in Christ, to be with Him. We are to be greatly comforted by these words.

Isaiah 45-46, 1 Thessalonians 3

Isaiah 45:3
I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.

So many of the things the Lord does, He does that we might know that He is The Lord. Even difficult things He allows in our lives, He allows for the purpose that we would know He is the Lord.

Isaiah 45:12
I have made the earth, And created man on it. I—My hands—stretched out the heavens, And all their host I have commanded.

It is preposterous to think that anything less than an intelligent designer created the universe, the earth, and all that is in it. Of course we know that intelligent designer as the God over the whole earth. Only a fool doesn’t believe this. Psalms 14:1, The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”

Isaiah 45:17
But Israel shall be saved by the Lord With an everlasting salvation; You shall not be ashamed or disgraced Forever and ever.

Here we see yet another proof text which dispels the idea that the Lord is done with the Jews. We have looked at this theology (replacement theology) before. We must take God at His word and never read more or less into it.

Isaiah 46:9
Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,

How many more ways can the Lord say it? He is God, there is no other, there is none like Him!

Isaiah 46:13
I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.

Jesus!

1 Thessalonians 3:5
For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.

You see the heart of Paul for the church in Thessolonica here. He couldn’t stand not knowing how they were doing. He sends Timothy to find out. Why? He loved them so much. This is a picture of the love and care we are to have for the church, the love and care we are to have for one another.

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

The prayers of Paul are absolutely amazing. So beautiful is his love, his trust, and his passion for the Lord. As he prays for the church He was so committed to. And all because of what the Lord had done for him.

Isaiah 43-44, 1 Thessalonians 2

Isaiah 43:1
1 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.

Although Isaiah is speaking of the children of Israel here, we can all,y the principal to us as we’ll. Jesus has redeemed us, and as a result, we belong to the Lord. He is jealous for us and when anything or anyone threatens to interfere with our relationship with Him He declares, “He is Mine!” Praise God!

Isaiah 43:10-11
“You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no savior.

God has always been and will always be. He is eternal. He was never formed. In fact, He formed everything. In Him and Him alone are we saved. He has provided a way to salvation through Jesus. What a great comfort this is!

Isaiah 43:19
Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.

Every time we look in the mirror we should think of this verse. We were once dead in our sin and He made us new. All through faith in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Isaiah 43:21
This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.

God formed us for Himself. Why? That our lives might declare His praise and His glory.

Isaiah 43:25
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

It is a wonderful thing that the Lord doesn’t remember our sins. This doesn’t mean that He isn’t aware of them, but that He doesn’t remember them in a way that holds them against us. It is the ultimate forgiveness.

Isaiah 44:2
Thus says the Lord who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you: ‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant; And you, Jerusalem, whom I have chosen.

This whole idea of viewing abortion as ‘pro choice’ is an abomination to God. God makes every person and forms us in His womb. God have mercy on anyone who does not recognize this as divine truth.

Isaiah 44:9-10
9 Those who make an image, all of them are useless, And their precious things shall not profit;
They are their own witnesses; They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed. 10 Who would form a god or mold an image That profits him nothing?

When I think of idol worship, I immediately think of the many things we have in our lives that we worship. Entertainment of all sorts, careers, families and even ministry can be an idol. We must guard ourselves from such idol worship. It will rob us of God’s best.

Isaiah 44:28
Who says of Cyrus, ‘ He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” ’

Cyrus appears on the scene some two hundred years after this prophecy. He is called God’s shepherd, not because He was good, but because he was the tool God used to bring judgment upon Babylon.

1 Thessalonians 2:4
But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts
.

It cannot be over emphasized how important it is that we speak the truths of God without reservation. We must, at every level, fight the temptation to be man pleasers rather than God pleasers.

1 Thessalonians 2:13
13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

One of the great joys of receiving God’s word, is that it is God’s word. If we are truly born again, we will always welcome it as such, as the very words of God. As a result, it will effectively work in us.

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

These two verses are so beautiful. The thought of Christians being in the presence of the Lord at His coming brought Paul great joy. And so it should be with those whom we know, who have been born again. In fact, our joy in this should be so great, that we long for the opportunity to tell others.