Vol. 34, No. 3 March, 2010
“WITH HIS STRIPES”
By Dr. George Mills
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isa. 53:5).
Please take a few moments and read the entire fifty third chapter of Isaiah.. This is one of the greatest texts in the entire Bible. If I had many years to search out all of the glories of this chapter, I would only begin, for only eternity will reveal the depths and heights recorded here.
Please allow me to share with you at least four great facts, or truths from this text…
1. Of whom is the Prophet speaking?
2. Of what is the Prophet speaking?
3. What does the Prophet mean?
4. To whom is the Prophet speaking?
1. OF WHOM IS THE PROPHET SPEAKING? There are over 40 pronouns in this chapter, so it is obvious that he is speaking about a person. I believe the entire text is very clear on who the Prophet is speaking about. But for an answer let us go into the New Testament Book of Acts, Ch. 8:26-39).
The question was asked, “Of whom speaketh the Prophet?” (Acts 8:34). Phillip the Evangelist was in Samaria preaching Jesus Christ. Many were coming to Christ through the preaching of Phillip. God told Phillip to leave that revival meeting because he knew about an Ethiopian eunuch who was returning to his country. God wanted Phillip to witness to this eunuch. This eunuch had attended services in Jerusalem and was returning home. He went to Jerusalem a lost sinner, and he was returning home a lost sinner. I believe this scene is repeated millions of times every Sunday across this land. That is, people attend a religious service of some king, and leave that service in the same condition as they were when they came. Some take a bible or some kind of a religious publication with them and leave just like they came; unsaved! This eunuch knew that something was missing. Religion had not satisfied him. Religion never satisfies the deep inner need of man. The eunuch had in his possession a copy of the Book of Isaiah. He was reading Chapter 53. He did not understand what he was reading, or who he was reading about. Phillip joined the man in his chariot and asked him if he understood what he read. His answer; “How can I understand except some man should guide me?”(v31). The Bible says that “Phillip opened his mouth and began at the same scripture and preached unto him Jesus.” (v35). It is very clear that the Prophet Isaiah was writing about our Lord Jesus.
There are many lessons in the Book of Isaiah. Lessons about Israel, about captivity, banishment, re-gathering, the millennial kingdom. But who is this particular chapter about?
“Who hath believed our report?” (v1).
WHAT REPORT? The entire Book! The report about the Virgin Birth, (Ch 7:14).
The report about the Child who is to be,
The Wonderful Counselor,
The Mighty God,
The Everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace. (Ch 9:6-7).
“To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” (v1). The Arm of the Lord speaks of Power and Authority. This One comes in the Power and Authority of The Holy Spirit. “The Spirit of the lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, He hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Lk 4:18).
“As a tender plant.” Not a large tree, but a frail plant. “And as a root out of dry ground.” What could possibly grow from a root in a desert place?
“When we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men.” (v2-3). He was not born in a king’s palace, but in a stable, and raised in despised Nazareth. “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?”(Jn 1:46). Despised, unwanted, rejected of men. He is writing about our Lord Jesus.
2. OF WHAT IS THE PROPHET SPEAKING?
As I have stated, the Book of Isaiah covers many subjects. In our text, he is speaking about…
(A) SIN. The Prophet uses two words to describe the condition of man. He uses the inclusive word; “ALL.”
(a) TRANSGRESSION. (v5). “He was wounded for our transgressions.” What does he mean when he says, ‘transgression?’ The Bible says in 1John 3:4, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the Law for sin is the transgression of the Law.” When we sin, we break, or, transgress the Law. He says “ALL have sinned.” “ALL we like sheep have gone astray.”
(b) INIQUITY. The second word he uses to describe the condition of man is the word INIQUITY. TRANSGRESSION has to do with our relationship with God. INIQUITY has to do with our relationship with man.
King David used these two words in Psalm 51. In that text, David is facing his sin. This is a heart rending scene as David confesses his sin. “Blot out my TRANSGRESSIONS, and wash me thoroughly from my INIQUITY.” (Ps. 51:1-2). David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. David had Bathsheba’s husband killed in battle. He has offended the Law of God in at least two ways, Murder, and adultery. Against God, and against his neighbor.
Today, much of the preaching is about surface hurts, frustrations, addictions, weaknesses. But the problem of man is much deeper…SIN…All of our sin was placed upon Jesus on His cross. “Shall my righteous servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.” (v11).
(B) SACRIFICE. “He is brought as a LAMB to the slaughter,”(v7). That speaks of sacrifice. Jesus Christ is that Sacrificial Lamb. As John the Baptist said, “Behold the LAMB of God which taketh away THE SIN of the world.” (Jn 1:29). Peter said of Him, “But with the precious blood of Christ as of a LAMB without blemish and without spot.” (1Pet. 1:18-19).
(C) SUBSTITUTE. Here is one dying in our place. Here is one taking our sin upon Himself. “ALL we like sheep have gone astray, (we are sinners by birth) we have turned everyone to his own way, (we are sinners by choice) and the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us ALL.” (v6).
(D) SAVIOUR. “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree that we being dead to sins should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1Pet. 2:24). The Lord Jesus Christ, on the cross bore ALL of our sin, past, present, future. The Just of the Holy God was satisfied with the vicarious death of Christ. So satisfied was He that He raised him from the dead to be our Living Saviour.
HALLELEUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOUR!!!!
3. WHAT DOES THE PROPHET MEAN, “With His stripes we are healed?”
Does he mean physical healing? Some take that route and go off on “healing campaigns.”
Let me say this…
Jesus Christ did not have to suffer the pain and agony of the cross in order to heal anyone. He healed BEFORE He went to the cross.
Jesus Christ did not have to suffer the pain and agony of the cross in order to open blinded eyes. He did that BEFORE He went to the cross.
Jesus Christ did not have to suffer the pain and agony of the cross in order to open the ears of the deaf. He did that BEFORE He went to the cross.
Jesus Christ did not have to suffer the pain and agony of the cross in order to make the lame walk. He did that BEFORE He went to the cross.
Jesus Christ did not have to suffer the pain and agony of the cross in order to raise the dead. He did that BEFORE He went to the cross. He is the same on both sides of the cross, before and after.
But Jesus Christ did have to go to the cross, to suffer the pain and agony there in order to heal the hurt, to bridge the gap between God and man. “With His stripes we are healed” goes deeper. It goes to the enmity, to the barrier between God and man. By His finished work of redemption, Jesus Christ healed everything between God and man, and between man and man. (Eph 2:14-18).
Is physical healing in the atonement? A far greater healing than physical healing is there. We all live in a body that is dying and will die in due time. We live in a fallen world. This earth is cursed and man with it. Read Genesis 3.
Now, do I believe in Divine healing? Yes of course I do. All healing is Divine healing. I do have trouble with these “divine healers.” I believe that the Prayer of faith can save the sick, (James 5:14-15). I am living proof of that fact.
We most certainly believe in and practice praying for the sick. We have a prayer list we pray for. I have seen some go home from the hospital to enjoy good health after they were prayed for. I have seen others go to their eternal home after being prayed for. It is our duty to pray for the sick. We receive prayer requests from various parts of the country and we join with these in prayer.
But a greater healing than that of the body is in our text. The relationship between God and man is healed through the Sacrificial death and Resurrection of Christ.
4. TO WHOM IS THE PROPHET SPEAKING?
Verse six of our text begins with ALL, and ends with ALL.
ALL have sinned, and Christ bore the sin of us ALL. There is a Crufixion, (v1-8) a Burial, v9, and a Resurrection, v10-12 in this Chapter.
“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.” (Ro 10:9-10). God demands that we believe the message of the gospel, (1Cor 15:1-4).
Whoever you are, wherever you are, and however you are, God’s invitation is for YOU! Ask Christ into your heart just now. He did for you what you can never do. He paid your debt of sin. He is there where you are in the person of the Holy Spirit. Tell Him in your own words that you believe the message, and that you receive Him as your Saviour.
Begin TODAY to live FOREVER!
ONLY BEAUTY THERE
By Pastor George Mills
(Adapted from Isaiah 53)
Who would believe of such report,
Of bleeding and of pain,
Of One whose visage is so marred,
And suffers for our gain?
Who would believe of such report?
No beauty in that place,
Rejected by the sons of men,
And dying in disgrace.
Who would believe of such report?
There is no beauty there.
Despised by men He came to save,
Our iniquities to bear.
Wounded side and bleeding hands,
Bruised more than other men,
Stripes like furrows on His back,
While sorrows pierced within.
Just like a Lamb in silence there,
He uttered not a word,
In low humility He bowed,
And not a sound was heard.
Such burden placed upon His back,
Such sorrows pierced His soul,
For the sake of man He suffered there,
That man may now be whole.
Yes, I believe of such report,
Of my sin, that Christ did bear,
For when I bowed beneath His cross,
I saw ONLY BEAUTY THERE.
THINK ABOUT IT…His silence as the Sacrificial Lamb, silenced every mouth. “That every mouth may be stopped, (silenced) and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Ro. 3:19).
LEAVE THE CORNERS
By Dr. George Mills
“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard; neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard. Thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger. I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 19:9-10).
Ruth gleaned in the field of Boaz.
I have enjoyed the study of the Book of Ruth here at our Church. There are many lessons. Today, let me share just one.
There are so many who believe that God demands too much from His children, while they seem to forget that Satan is an awful taskmaster.
Here we can see just a part of God’s Poverty Program. He provides for the needy. His program worked then and will work today. God made no provision for the lazy, for those who will not work. But He remembers the poor. His method was that the people would not wholly harvest their crop, but leave some for the poor.
1. God did not ask for the entire Harvest, He only asked for a part. “When thou cutest down thy harvest in thy field and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow, that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.”
2. God did not ask for the whole week, He only asked for one day. He asked for only a part. “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. Six days shall thou labor and do all thy work.” (Ex 20:8-9).
3. God did not ask for the whole worth of the harvest, He only asked for a tenth part. The tithe. “The tithe is the Lord’s.”
Let’s bring this to our time in history. God is not asking for everything, He only asks for a part.
1. He does not ask us for the whole day, He asks us for a part of every day. He knows that we have our job, our family, our business to take care of every day, but He wants to be included. Begin every day with God. David said, “Thou art my God. Early will I seek Thee.” Before the noise and cares of the world begin to invade our lives, we are to seek His blessings and guidance for the day. He only asks for a part.
2. He does not ask for the whole week, but He does ask for one day. He asks for only a part. Under the Law, Israel kept the Sabbath Day, (Saturday). Under Grace the Church met (meets)“Upon the first day of the week,” (Sunday). Sunday, a day set aside to Worship, to pray, to rest. My how God blessed this nation when Sunday was set aside for the Lord. Government closed, business closed. People rested. God knows our bodies and the rest we need, so He asks for a day. Today, Sunday is the busiest day of the week. Sunday is a time of play, sports, shopping. No rest. We have to take pills to get us started on Monday.
3. He does not ask for the whole pay check, but He does ask for a part. Under the Law, he asked for the tithe. Under Grace He asks for “As God has prospered you.” (1Cor 16:1-2). Has God prospered you, blessed you, and kept you healthy? Has He kept you out of the hospital? Kept food on your table? The children are fine and healthy. The refrigerator is full, food in the cabinets, and the gas tank is full, and the rent is paid. If this is true, then you are a millionaire compared to the rest of the world. You show God your appreciation in your giving. Is your giving in proportion with your blessings? Remember, He only asks for a part, and not the whole paycheck. It is not possible to out give God.
So you see…God is not too demanding. He only wants a part, but then again, He does want our heart. When He has our heart, He has everything we have. When I think of His Lovingkindness to me, what else can I do except say, “Lord, it all belongs to you.”
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS…It is no friend to the Christian. The prince of this world demands everything…100%. God is not the hard taskmaster as some try to picture Him…but Satan sure is.
THINK ABOUT IT…Do you know Jesus Christ as your Saviour? If not, why not today ask Him into your heart, to forgive your sin, and to make you a new creation in Christ. Christ is there, where you are. He has been there all of your life, waiting, bidding entrance. He will never knock down the barriers in your heart and come in unbidden, but He will come in if you ask Him in faith believing. “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man will hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with me.” I cannot tell you words to say, you just tell Him in your own words that you receive Him. Do that today!
Sometime ago I was called to conduct the funeral of an infant, just a few months old. This is never easy. “What will I say? What can I say?” This young Mother had been raised up in our Church. I had known her through the years of growing up. Now she is married and her young child has been called home to be with our Lord. At the funeral service a young lady sang the beautiful hymn AMAZING GRACE..
Amazing Grace how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see.
When the young singer reached the last verse of the hymn, I heard another voice softly singing with her. When I finally located the source of the second voice, I saw that this was the young Mother of this child. She sang…
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing His praise,
Than when we first begun.”
Somehow, when I heard her singing, I knew that everything was OK. I did not have to worry about what to say. God had already said everything to her heart.
Paul found that God’s Grace is “Sufficient Grace.”(2Cor. 12:9)
Peter called it “Manifold Grace.” (1Peter 4:10)
That day, and this day I call it…
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
HAPPINESS IS THE LORD
“Yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord.” (Ps. 144:15).
I know that happiness is within, but it certainly should show on our face. I often wonder how a person that has been forgiven from sin could have such a sad countenance about them. We have a Heavenly Father who loves and cares for us in every situation and He has promised to be with us always. Now that should put a smile on our face.
A smile, a pleasant look or a kind word or deed and we are sharing our happiness that comes from knowing Jesus. Let the Beauty of Jesus be seen in you. “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.” (Pr. 15:13).
I saw the following article in a Doctor’s office and would like to share it with you…
THE VALUE OF A SMILE
It costs nothing, but creates much.
It enriches those who receive, without
impoverishing those who give.
It happens in a flash, and the memory
of it sometimes lasts forever.
None are so rich that they can get along
without it, and none so poor but are
richer for it’s benefits.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters
goodwill in a business, and is the
countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the
discouraged, sunshine to the sad,
and nature’s antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged
borrowed or stolen, for it is something
that is no earthly good until it is
And if, in the hurly-burly bustle of
today’s business world, some of the
people you meet should be too tired to
give you a smile, may we ask you to
leave one of yours.
For nobody needs a smile so much as
those who have none left to give.
Answers to questions…
An inmate in Georgia writes…
1. “When do I know the Holy Ghost is talking to me?”
Ans…In your letter you said, “I have such a hunger for Jesus Christ.” That in itself is your best answer. A hunger to know Christ did not come from the world, flesh or the devil.
2. “How do I know I have the Holy Ghost?”
Ans…According to the Bible, Ephesians 1:13 says the Holy Spirit came into your life the very moment you received Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Now that is a matter of FACT and not of FEELINGS.
A matter of FACT because the Bible says so.
3. “What about tongues? What does the Bible say?”
Ans. “Tongues in the Bible mean a “language.” An unknown tongue is simply a language that I am not familiar with. A language that I do not know. There were over a dozen different tongues or languages on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. The miracle then was in the HEARING. Every word was clearly understood. And so it is every time the Church assembles. Every word is to be clearly understood by all.
“Gibberish utterances” understood by no one in many of today’s movements can in no way be compared to what happened at Pentecost.
4. “How can I forgive myself for all the wrongs I’ve done to myself and to others?”
Ans…When we receive Christ as our Personal Saviour, God forgives. He forgives ALL sin. “Who forgiveth ALL mine iniquities.” Now accept that. Many Christians fail because they simply cannot forgive themselves. They carry a guilt complex with them. This is an awful burden to carry. In Christ, ALL is forgiven. Hold your head up high. The past is past. In fact, the Christian does not have a past. He has a glorious future. Enjoy your trip
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS…It is no friend to the Christian. The world seeks to rob our joy and peace. God moves in wondrous ways to show us who and where our Real Friend is. Jesus Christ is that Unfailing Friend.
No Christ, no peace. Know Christ, know peace!