Daily Archives: February 26, 2020

This Age and the Age to Come

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from…

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Cessationism in a Nutshell — The Aquila Report

The term cessationism is typically used in theology with reference to the belief that the practice of miraculous spiritual gifts ceased at the end of the time of the apostles. In contrast, the term continuationism is used with reference to the belief that the practice of miraculous spiritual gifts continue to be practiced today.

 

Of all the posts that I’ve put on this website, my past series on the cessation of apostles has received more comments than anything else. My posts are typically generated out of my weekly sermon study for my church, and we are presently going through Acts, a book full of miracles. So, that being said, my goal is not to poke anyone in the eye but to simply post what I believe to be true from Scripture, recognizing that fellow Christians disagree over this particular issue. At the same time, this particular issue is not insignificant, which is why it provokes so much debate. What follows is what I believe to be a strong argument for cessationism among a number of arguments that could be offered.

The term cessationism is typically used in theology with reference to the belief that the practice of miraculous spiritual gifts ceased at the end of the time of the apostles. In contrast, the term continuationism is used with reference to the belief that the practice of miraculous spiritual gifts continue to be practiced today.

Some gifts are miraculous because they involve the reception of God’s direct revelation—prophecy (receiving and giving this revelation), discerning of spirits (confirming that the Spirit gave revelation to another), wisdom (revelation giving wisdom), knowledge (revelation giving knowledge), tongues (revelation involving a known human language previously unknown to the speaker), and their interpretation (supernaturally interpreting a known human language previously unknown to the interpreter). See 1 Corinthians 12:8–10.

Other gifts are miraculous because, like the gifts above, they only take place by the supernatural work of God. These gifts include faith (the kind of faith granted for miracles; something beyond faith for salvation, it seems; cf. Matthew 17:20), miracles in general, and healings in particular. Again, see 1 Corinthians 12:8–10.

Read More

via Cessationism in a Nutshell — The Aquila Report

The Gospel Is The Power Of God For Salvation Conforming the Hearts of Believers To Christ — The Aquila Report

The operative pattern for the Christian is to understand that corruption still exists but that we are now united to Christ. We have died with Christ and risen again in new life. The flesh still operates and entices us but we need to be on-guard and hate it. We need to be killing it. It is ever with us. The world, the flesh, and the devil. These are the enemies of God.

 

I forgot to share this a couple of weeks ago but the Nate Collins tweet reminded me of this podcast episode. https://www.premierchristianradio.com/…/Unbelievable-God-Ga…

IT’s a “Side A” vs “Side B” debate. What is consistent between them both is their status as “gay people”.

I really want to stress and underline this point. While I am happy to hear about people resisting the urge to sin by profaning marriage or engaging in unnatural activity, it is incredibly sad that the therapeutic has convinced us that our desires define us.

When Nate Collins or Greg Johnson (or this person) talk about their status they speak as if it is integral to who they are. Call it identity if you like but the point is that the desire itself has been elevated to an integral part of what defines them.

When the Apostle Paul (or even James) talks about our desires then the divide between flesh and Spirit is operative for the Christian. Before Christ, we were dead in sins and trespasses. Yes, we are all fallen (not “broken” but fallen) and outside of Christ we are enslaved to our flesh. It is a realm of sin and death and we are, by nature, children of wrath. Lust is parallel to idolatry in Paul’s thinking. Whatever lust it is, it is attributed to the fleshly ream of sin and death and we are in Adam and subject to the principalities and powers which enslave us.

The Gospel is the power of God for salvation. Christ not only propitiates the wrath of God in our justification but He has shattered the power of sin and death to enslave us. It is not utterly banished. We still have corruption (flesh) as we are united to Christ but we are no longer in the “realm” of the flesh but we are united to Christ by the Spirit. Even N.T. Wright gets this right whatever other problems he creates.

Thus, the operative pattern for the Christian is to understand that corruption still exists but that we are now united to Christ. We have died with Christ and risen again in new life. The flesh still operates and entices us but we need to be on-guard and hate it. We need to be killing it. It is ever with us. The world, the flesh, and the devil. These are the enemies of God.

Thus, please heed Brothers. Some of you keep missing this point when you praise Nate Collins for affirming marriage. I’m glad he does that but he’s essentially saying this: “The ‘flesh’ still so defines me. That which I desire repeatedly is so operative a part of me that I need to tell you that this is a central part of me.” Greg does the same thing. He repeatedly wants to keep underlining the idea that reparative therapies were 100% unsuccessful. What is he trying to say? I’m not sure but I keep reading this: “The flesh, from which my desires arise, is so defining that I’m not being ‘me’ unless I tell you that this attraction is fully operative within my life.”

What does the Apostle Paul say of his flesh? What does James say? They are consistent. They treat our flesh as an invasive power that we are to resist and flee. I’m a man who must mortify my flesh every day. I’m being a “real” Christian not by telling you that I’m a lustful, angry, judgmental Christian. At times all those fleshly desires would lead me to lust, lash out, hate, etc. Yet, they are flesh. They are my enemies. The “flesh” desires things that “I” do not desire. The “flesh” would have me do things that “I” do not want to do. “I” am a Christian. “I” am not my flesh. I used to live in the realm of the flesh but I owe that realm nothing more.

Brothers – for the sake of your sanctification and for the sake of your flock’s sanctification you have got to start *pitying* this impoverished view of sanctification and stop applauding it. Applaud celibacy for the unmarried but not because a Roman Catholic Priest has promised Mary that he’ll live that life for her. Applaud celibacy for the unmarried not because they are “incapable” of being married but because they are not married at the moment. Yes, be glad that people are upholding marriage. Atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Cults uphold marriage and marital fidelity. Praise God that this aspect of Creation is upheld. But, Brother, desire MUCH MORE for those who are in Christ. It should break your heart that a brother in Christ is still speaking of his flesh as if it is who he is.

The author is a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

via The Gospel Is The Power Of God For Salvation Conforming the Hearts of Believers To Christ — The Aquila Report

The Coronavirus Outbreak: What You Can Do to Prevent and Prepare — Faithwire

The coronavirus outbreak has been capturing headlines for weeks, and now the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is warning Americans to prepare for it to eventually spread to the US.

The CDC offers guidance on how to prevent the spread of illnesses and what measures to take for protection.

Regular hand washing, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze, and when you’re sick, stay home from work or school and drink lots of fluids.

The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and properly disinfect areas that may have been exposed to the virus.

Also, the CDC explained that wearing a surgical mask is not necessary if you are well.

Typical surgical masks block the droplets coming out of a sick person from getting into the air, but they will not prevent what’s already in the air from getting in.

Everyone should have a plan in place if the outbreak does enter the US. Consider how it will impact work, school and living standards.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus but the CDC strongly recommends practicing prevention.

via The Coronavirus Outbreak: What You Can Do to Prevent and Prepare — Faithwire 

The Mentality of an Abuser — The Reformed Reader

Many of us know people that are manipulative, abusive, and unstable yet put on a good façade and trick many people (even in the church).  Good questions arise: what is the mentality of an abusive person?  How can we spot him?  What type of thinking, speaking, and acting do abusers display?  Jeff Crippen and Anna Wood give us some help in answering these questions (which I’ve summarized/edited for length):

1) The abuser often uses unbelievable exaggerations but makes them believable with remarkable certainty.  For example, in his efforts to convinces us that his wife/victim is to blame and that he is the victim, he may invent ‘facts’ that are simply bizarre.  However, his ability to do so with such conscienceless conviction makes us conclude that it all must be true.  …The way he presents the claim is so convincing.”

2) He distorts reality and rewrites history for his own purposes.  He tells some story and claims it took place, yet you have no recollection of the event; he’s so certain and confident that you doubt your own memory.

3) He is not bothered by inconsistencies in his statements.  Abusers will, without hesitation, present contradictory facts and do so quite convincingly.  Their stories evolve as necessary and if they meet some objecting in us to the logic of what they are saying, they can simply change the storyline.  Again, they speak with such certainty we may be tempted to believe the evolving story.

4) Abusers often act like experts on the subjects they speak about.  When they are questioned further, it becomes evident that their knowledge is actually quite superficial, though they still will not admit it.

5) The abuser uses our own conscience against us.  When he is confronted with the facts about what he did to a victim, he skillfully manipulates what we are saying so that we find ourselves feeling that perhaps we have been too harsh or judgmental of him.  We wonder if we owe him an apology.

6) The abuser plays by double standards.  He will condemn his victim for something, and then, even in the very next sentence, reveal that he does the very same thing (Rom. 2.1).  For example, the abuser sees his wife as a horrible, selfish spendthrift because she spent $50 at the grocery store on food, but his purchase of coke, candy, alcohol, cigarettes, and lottery tickets is quite alright.

7) Abusers are typically immature.  Like a baby, the abuser often screams when his wants are not met, or throws a tantrum when confronted, or displays rank selfishness.

A few others Crippen and Wood list are these: abusers are often into pornography, rarely understand or consider another person’s point of view, rarely show shame, often demand forgiveness while seeking pity, display charm at times, and are able to violate rules and laws without any pain of conscience.  In my own experience, these points are very true (and also can apply to those denying addictions).  This list is worth reading a few times!

As I said earlier, if you’re a pastor, elder, or if you are dealing with an abuser, I recommend this resource: A Cry For Justice by Jeff Crippen and Anna Wood.

(This is a re-post from January 2015)

Shane Lems
Hammond, WI, 54015

via The Mentality of an Abuser — The Reformed Reader

“The Goal of Socialism is Communism” ~Vladimir Lenin – ‘FEAR’ The Bern! And Learn About His Perversions — Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Did you get that?  Is that clear enough for everyone?  This was said by the father of Communism in Russia, Vladimir Lenin.

Did you know that between Lenin and Stalin, over 100 million (100 MILLION) People were slaughters for being dissenters?

If you didn’t know this – you KNOW IT NOW.

And if your grown children are “Feeling the Bern” as in Bernie Sanders; maybe it’s time to educated them about these Communist monsters throughout the history of the USSR.

See what Chairman Mao Zedong said:

And when Chairman Mao said “Enemy” he meant anyone who is a dissenter and not loyal to the Communist State.

Fidel Castro on Communism

“Even now we feel that Stalin was devoted to Communism, he was a Marxist, this cannot and should not be denied.”  ***(Stalin killed over 100 million people)

Kennedy on Communism

“Communism has never come to power in a country that was not disrupted by war or CORRUPTION, or both.”  (emphasis added)

Karl Marx on Communism

“The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.”

Nikita Khrushchev on Communism

“There is not Communism or Marxism, but representative democracy and SOCIAL JUSTICE in a well-planned economy.” (emphasis added)

Dan Pena on Communism

“It took me 8 years to graduate from undergraduate school because I kept ‘communism from your door steps’ for 3 1/2 years in between while serving in the U.S. Army.”

Watch Ben Shapiro reveal Bernie Sanders RADICAL Ideas:

Bernie IS a Communist

I have said this until my face turns blue. I do hope and pray that SOMEONE is listening!

Bernie is perverted – wrote on Women wanting to be raped

Yep, I said PERVERTED. READ ON……..

From nypost.com

A top adviser to Mike Bloomberg said the former mayor would focus his attacks during Tuesday night’s debate on Bernie Sanders — including his bizarre writings from 1972 about women’s rape fantasies and kids fondling each other’s genitals.

“Bernie has loopy stuff in his background saying women get cancer from having too many orgasms or toddlers should run around naked and touch each other’s genitals to insulate themselves from porn?” Tim O’Brien told CNN’s “New Day,” prompting an incredulous anchor Alisyn Camerota to exclaim, “I’m sorry — what?”

“He has written about women’s rape fantasies, that hasn’t been surfaced. That’s the loony side of Bernie,” O’Brien replied.

The existence of the essay in the alternative newspaper the Vermont Freeman was first revealed by Mother Jones in 2015, when Sanders was making his first presidential run.

The Vermont senator, 78, was a regular contributor to the paper in the late 1960s and early 1970s and frequently wrote about sexual and cultural topics.

But it was the one essay from 1972 that caused the most controversy, despite Sanders’ later repudiation of his own words.

“Now, if children go around naked, they are liable to see each others sexual organs, and maybe even touch them. Terrible thing! If we [raise] children up like this it will probably ruin the whole pornography business, not to mention the large segment of the general economy which makes its money by playing on people’s sexual frustrations,” Sanders wrote.  (emphasis)

He also shared his bizarre view of what goes on in people’s heads when they were having sex.

“A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy. A woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused. A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously,” he wrote.  (emphasis added)

“Have you ever looked at the Stag, Man, Hero, Tough magazines on the shelf of your local bookstore? Do you know why the newspaper with the articles like ‘Girl 12 raped by 14 men’ sell so well? To what in us are they appealing?” he asked.  (emphasis added)

Sanders’ camp in 2015 dismissed the essay as something “stupid” Sanders wrote as a younger man and that didn’t reflect his views.

Campaign spokesman Michael Briggs called the essay a “dumb attempt at dark satire in an alternative publication” in an interview with CNN, saying it “in no way reflects his views or record on women.”

Briggs added: “It was intended to attack gender stereotypes of the ‘70s, but it looks as stupid today as it was then.”

Sanders will likely have a huge target on his back for the debate in South Carolina since emerging as the clear front-runner in most polls and winning the New Hampshire primary and Nevada caucuses.   source

PLEASE share this article with the mindless and brainwashed Bernie Bros!

Let’s change the saying “Feeling the Bern” to

“FEARING THE BERN!!”

That, brethren, is exactly what people should be doing!

How Can I Be Saved?

Shalom b’Yeshua

MARANATHA!!

via “The Goal of Socialism is Communism” ~Vladimir Lenin – ‘FEAR’ The Bern! And Learn About His Perversions — Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Today Starts The First Day Of Lent, Created By The Roman Catholic Church And Taken From The Babylonian Practice Of Weeping For Tammuz — Now The End Begins

The Roman Catholic Church would have you to believe that Lent is taken from the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, but is really the pagan rite of Weeping for Tammuz which God hates.

Today begins the first day of Lent, observed primarily by Roman Catholics, but we also see Lenten observances popping up in many Protestant churches, some Baptist churches and in the Church of England. The Roman Catholic Church advertises this is a time of great ‘fasting and repentance’ before the Lord, but did you know that Lent was taken directly from ancient pagan Babylon? The time you know as Lent began as ‘Weeping For Tammuz’, one of the many false gods of pagan antiquity.

“He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which wastoward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.” Ezekiel 8:13-15 (KJB)

The Roman Catholic Church would have you to believe that Lent is taken from the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, but as you will see, that is not the case. No where in the Bible do we see any command to the believer to observe a 40-day ‘period of fasting’ prior to the feast of the Passover. Please note the following 40-day periods in the bible.

  • It rained 40 days and nights: Genesis 7:4, 12.
  • Forty days after sighting the tops of the mountains, Noah set forth a raven and a dove: Genesis 8:6-7.
  • Joseph mourned the death of his father Jacob for a period of 40 days: Genesis 49:33 – Genesis 50:3.
  • Moses on Sinai for 40 days: Exodus 24:18, 34:28, Deuteronomy 9:9-11.
  • Moses pleads for Israel 40 days on Sinai: Deuteronomy 9:18-25, 10:10.
  • Canaan spied on for 40 days: Numbers 13:25, 14:34.
  • Goliath taunted Israel for 40 days: 1 Samuel 17:16.
  • Elijah fasted and journeyed to Horeb for 40 days: 1 Kings 19:8.
  • Ezekiel bore the iniquity of Judah for 40 days: Ezekiel 4:6.
  • Jonah warned Nineveh of judgment in 40 days: Jonah 3:4.
  • Jesus fasted in the wilderness for 40 days: Matthew 4:2, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2.
  • Jesus was seen for 40 days after His crucifixion: Acts 1:3.

As you can see, no where does the Bible establish a 40-day period of fasting for the believer in either Testament, so just where does the 40-day period of Lent come from? It comes from the exact same place where Rome got the ideas for a confessional box, for robed priests, for a religious ruling class, it came from pagan Babylon! This is why in Revelation 17 and 18, we clearly see the Roman Catholic Church and its Vatican superstructure presented to us as MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, and THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS. The apostle John was shown the Church that Jesus shed His blood for, taken over and swallowed up by the counterfeit Roman church which was presented to him as Babylon! No wonder that all he could do in response was to stand there with his jaw hanging down, speechless.

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”Revelation 17:3-6 (KJB)

Mystery Babylon is not America, it’s not Islam, its not the New World Order. It’s exactly who the Bible says it is. It’s the Roman Catholic Church system. Now you know. Tell a friend.

Lent and the Weeping For Tammuz

In his monumental work on exposing the roots of the Roman Catholic Church, called “The Two Babylons” by Alexander Hislop, he tells us this about the Babylonian weeping for Tammuz and its connection to the Roman Catholic Lent.

“Whence, then, came this observance? The forty days abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess [Astarte / Ishtar]. Such a Lent of forty days, ‘in the spring of the year,’ is still observed by the Yezidis or Pagan Devil-worshippers of Koordistan, who have inherited it from their early masters, the Babylonians.

“Such a Lent of forty days was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans, for thus we read in Humboldt, where he gives account of Mexican observances: ‘Three days after the vernal equinox …. began a solemn fast of forty days in the honour of the sun.’

“Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt, as may be seen on consulting Wilkinson’s Egyptians.

“Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing, and which, in many countries, was considerably later than the Christian festival, being observed in Palestine and Assyria in June, therefore called the ‘month of Tammuz;’ in Egypt, about the middle of May, and in Britain, some time in April. To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skillful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity — now far sunk in idolatry — in this as in so many other things, to shake hands.

“Originally, even in Rome, Lent, with the preceding revelries of the Carnival, was entirely unknown; and even when fasting before the Christian Pasch was held to be necessary, it was by slow steps that, in this respect, it came to conform with the ritual of Paganism. What may have been the period of fasting in the Roman Church before the sitting of the Nicene Council does not very clearly appear, but for a considerable period after that Council, we have distinct evidence that it did not exceed three weeks. The words of Socrates, writing on this very subject, about A.D. 450, are these: ‘Those who inhabit the princely city of Rome fast together before Easter three weeks, excepting the Saturday and Lord’s day.’ But at last, when the worship of Astarte was rising into the ascendant, steps were taken to get the whole Chaldean Lent of six weeks, or forty days, made imperative on all within the Roman empire of the West. The way was prepared for this by a Council held at Aurelia in the time of Hormisdas, Bishop of Rome [514-523], about the year 519, which decreed that Lent should be solemnly kept before Easter. It was with the view, no doubt, of carrying out this decree that the calendar was, a few days after, readjusted by Dionysius.”

Source: The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop, second American edition, 1959, published in America by Loizeaux Brothers, pages 106, 107.

The Bible Warns Against Weeping For Tammuz

The false god Tammuz is mentioned in the book of Ezekiel. The prophet describes a vision he had, saying the Lord “brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD, and I saw women sitting there, mourning the god Tammuz” (Ezekiel 8:14). God calls the idolatrous practice of weeping for Tammuz a “detestable” thing, made even worse in that it was happening at the temple in Jerusalem. source

“He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which wastoward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.” Ezekiel 8:13-18 (KJB)

So while the Roman Catholic observance of Lent is not in the Bible, the false gods connected with Lent that Jehovah hated are certainly mentioned. God hates Tammuz, hates Ashtoreth, and hates anything connected to the sun worship observed by pagan religions. God hates them because they infected His chosen people, the Jews, who then worshipped these false gods in the groves. Baal, Tammuz, Ashtoreth, Astarte and Ishtar are all connected with pagan sun worship. Note that Lent is a movable observance, connected to and preceding the festival of Easter. Easter is celebrated on a day specified only by the Roman Catholic Church, and not the Bible, and is fixed based on the sun and the Spring or Vernal equinox.

As most of you know, I was a Roman Catholic for the first 29 years of my life, right up to the day when I met the Living Saviour Jesus Christ, and become wonderfully born again. If you are a Roman Catholic, I invite you to learn the truth about Jesus Christ, and what you must do to be saved.

The Origin Of The Pagan Practices Of  Lent And Ash Wednesday As Found In The Roman Catholic Church

According to the cult of Ishtar, Tammuz was conceived by a sunbeam, a counterfeit version of Jesus’ virgin birth. Tammuz corresponded to Baal in Phoenicia, Osiris in Egypt, Eros in Greece, and Cupid in Rome. In every case, the worship of those gods and goddesses was associated with sexual immorality. The celebration of Lent has no basis in Scripture, but rather developed from the pagan celebration of Semiramis’s mourning for forty days over the death of Tammuz (cf. Ezek. 8:14) before his alleged resurrection—another of Satan’s mythical counterfeits.

via Today Starts The First Day Of Lent, Created By The Roman Catholic Church And Taken From The Babylonian Practice Of Weeping For Tammuz — Now The End Begins

Canadian Donors File Class-Action Lawsuit, Accusing Gospel for Asia of $100M Fraud — Julie Roys

After settling a lawsuit in the U.S. with a $37 million payout, Gospel for Asia(GFA) is now facing a similar class-action lawsuit in Canada seeking damages for the “misuse of donor funds in excess of $100 million.”

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the plaintiff—Greg Zentner of Woodburn, Nova Scotia—alleges that the charity “civilly conspired to misrepresent the nature of donations collected.” He further charges that instead of GFA donations going to things like farm animals, drinking wells, and child and missionary sponsorships, funds are sitting in foreign bank accounts and reserve funds. 

Zentner, who’s given thousands to GFA over the years, told CBC News that he learned of the alleged financial misconduct from his pastor, Bruce Morrison.

Morrison and 28 former GFA staff and board members participated in a recent CBC News investigation alleging rampant misuse of funds by GFA.

Morrison found that between 2007 and 2014, GFA reported to the Canada Revenue Agency that it had sent nearly $94 million to India. Yet financial records submitted to the Indian government reveal that GFA received no funds from Canada during those years.

“I suppose the . . .  greatest thing that has impacted me is the denial that comes from Gospel for Asia that ‘we’ve done nothing wrong,’ when there is so much evidence to the contrary,” Morrison told CBC News.

via Canadian Donors File Class-Action Lawsuit, Accusing Gospel for Asia of $100M Fraud — Julie Roys

How Not to be Annoyed with People — Wretched

Episode 2635-

How Not to be Annoyed with People

Segment 1 (00:18) Everyone has a story. Chick-fil-a creates a video reminding their managers that everyone has a story. As Christians, we are to be tenderhearted toward people, remembering that they have a story just like we do. We should forgive others the same way God forgives us.

Segment 2 (09:47) Clip of Todd interviewing Blake on campus. Todd asks Blake about his tattoos. One is Psalm 23:4, this is because Blake says he is a Christian, and a good person. Todd leads him through the law. Blake says that he will ask for forgiveness from God. Todd tells him that God is the just judge.

Segment 3 (17:51) Blake answers correctly that Jesus died for our sins. Todd asks: how do we lay hold of that? Blake says accept him into your heart. Todd leads him through a crashing plane analogy. Blake realizes he must act on his faith. Blake says he has placed his faith in Jesus Christ every single day. Todd clears up the trinity with him because he is confused. Blake says he is very sure he has placed his trust in Jesus and he is going to Heaven.

Wretched Surprise! (26:09) Todd talks about his off-camera discussion with Blake, hearing the deeper parts of Blake’s story. Todd encourages churches near university campuses to organize visits to the campus to be part of the stories of the students.

via How Not to be Annoyed with People — Wretched

February 26 Life-Changing Moments With God

Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord.

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and heart. You desire truth in my inward parts, and in my hidden part You will make me know wisdom. I thought about my ways, and turned my feet to Your testimonies. I made haste, and did not delay to keep Your commandments. I will examine myself, and so let me eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

If I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I have an Advocate with You, Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He Himself is the propitiation for my sins. Therefore I have boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for me, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over Your house, Father God, let me draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having my heart sprinkled from an evil conscience and my body washed with pure water.

Father God, please help me to like sin less—and to love You more.

Lamentations 3:40; Psalm 26:2; Psalm 51:6; Psalm 119:59–60; 1 Corinthians 11:28; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:1–2; Hebrews 10:19–22[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 67). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

February—26 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

Who is she that looketh forth as the morning; fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?—Song 6:10.

By whomsoever this question is asked, there can be no question of whom it is said; for the Church of Jesus, made comely by the comeliness which her Lord hath put upon her, is all this, and more in every eye that can admire true loveliness; and will be a perfection of beauty, in the upper and brighter world, for ever, the first openings of grace upon the soul, after a dark night of the fall, may be compared to the beauty of the morning. But though fair as the moon, it is but a borrowed light, as the moon, and subject to changes in its increasings, and its wanings also. As long as the sun’s influences are upon this planet, its shinings will be fair. But when objects intervene from the earth, and the sun shines not, there will be an eclipse of all its borrowed lustre. Just so the Church; and oh! how often on my soul. While Jesus, the sun of righteousness, shines upon me, all is fair and lovely; but if he withdraws, the night immediately follows. But oh! my soul, when grace is perfected in glory; when as John in a vision saw that wonder of wonders in heaven, “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet,” (Rev. 12:1.) then shall the whole Church of God shine forth “as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father.” Precious Jesus! give me to see my clear interest in thee, from my union with thee! And do thou, dear Lord, so make me strong in thy strength, that during the whole period of my present warfare, I may be “terrible as an army with banners,” to all that would oppose my way to thee, and in thee. Yea, Lord! let sin, and Satan, and the world, be ever so united against me, yet do thou put on me the whole armour of my God, that I may “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life, and be made more than conqueror through Him that loveth me.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 62). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

February 26, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

The Angelic Messengers

While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” (24:4–7)

The women were standing in or just outside the tomb, shocked and perplexed because the body of Jesus was gone. Suddenly, they went from being puzzled to being terrified. As they stood there in the light of dawn trying to figure out what could have happened to the corpse, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing. Matthew (28:2) and John (20:12) identify them as angels, appearing in human form (cf. Gen. 18:2; 19:1–5; Dan. 10:16). Although there were two of them (perhaps as witnesses; cf. Deut. 19:15), only one spoke. Similarly, although there were two demon-possessed men at Gerasa (Matt. 8:28), only one spoke (Mark 5:2, 7; Luke 8:27–28), and while there were two blind men healed on the road near Jericho (Matt. 20:30), Mark (10:46) and Luke (18:35) mention only the one who spoke. Their dazzling clothing (cf. Matt. 17:2; Acts 1:10; Rev. 19:14) identified them as divine messengers. Understandably, the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground (cf. Luke 1:12; 2:9; Dan. 8:15–18; 10:9; Matt. 28:2–4; Acts 10:3–4; Rev. 22:8).

In a mild rebuke the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One, the one who is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25), the one over whom death no longer is master (Rom. 6:9), the one who was dead, but now is alive forevermore (Rev. 1:18) among the dead?” This angelic question is the first announcement that Jesus was alive. The angels went on to say, “He is not here, but He has risen” (lit., “been raised”; the Greek verb is in the passive voice [cf. Acts 2:24, 32; 3:15, 26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33, 34, 37; Rom. 4:24–25; 6:4, 9; 7:4; 8:11, 34; 10:9; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:4, 12–20; 2 Cor. 4:14; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12; 1 Thess. 1:10; 1 Peter 1:21]). “Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” (Matt. 16:21; 17:22–23; 20:17–19; 26:2; 27:63). Since Jesus had predicted His resurrection, they should have been expecting it. But they obviously did not, since they brought spices with which to anoint His dead body.[1]


4–7 The designation of Jesus as Lord in v 3 is available to Luke’s audience, but not to the women, who then are lacking in interpretive resources. Expecting a corpse to anoint, they can only respond to its absence with bewilderment. Resolution for the puzzle with which they are faced comes in the form of an angelophany, to which they respond, typically, with fear and reverence.4 The angels address the women as though the latter were persons on a quest—though, in comparison with other quest stories in the Third Gospel, this one is unusual. In such stories generally, persons approach Jesus in the hope of human restoration (e.g., 5:17–26; 7:1–10; 17:12–19; 19:1–10). These women come looking for Jesus, but they want to minister to him, and, as they quickly discover, because they lack understanding, they are looking in the wrong place. The angels first admonish them, employing language that is reminiscent of Jesus’ rejoinder to the Sadducees in 20:38: God is not the God of the dead but of the living! That is, in spite of their devout intentions in coming to anoint Jesus’ body, these women have failed to grasp Jesus’ message about the resurrection and, thus, have not taken with appropriate gravity the power of God.

The antidote for this miscalculation is remembrance. The women are addressed as persons who had themselves received Jesus’ teaching in Galilee, and the angel’s message fuses Jesus’ predictions during the Galilean phase of his ministry (9:22, 44). Thus they are reminded that the career of the Son of Man blends the two motifs of suffering and vindication, and that in doing so he fulfills the divine will. Two innovations in this Son of Man saying indicate the different narrative placements of the Galilean sayings and of this one. First, the term “crucified” is used, rather than “killed,” reflecting the actual form of execution. Second, those responsible for Jesus’ death are labeled as “sinners”; from the heavenly perspective, the repudiation and killing of Jesus was an evil act. Importantly, the women are given no commission, but are themselves treated as recipients of Jesus’ words and summoned simply to authentic understanding. Their reception of the resurrection message “… confirms their discipleship and the instruction they have received as disciples.”8[2]


24:5 Why do you look for the living among the dead? Up to this point the women have had no indication that Jesus’s death was not final. This challenge therefore completely subverts their natural assumptions and moves the narrative from death to new life. It is a rebuke of their failure, as disciples, to see beyond Jesus’s death.

24:6 He is not here; he has risen! The implications of the previous rhetorical question are spelled out in terms that rule out any idea of merely spiritual survival. Jesus’s body has gone, and he is again one of “the living.” “He has risen” could be more literally translated “he has been raised,” and the passive form occurs frequently in the New Testament in describing Jesus’s resurrection. But it would be pedantic to insist that the passive form makes Jesus purely the object of God’s action; compare 24:46, where an active verb is used for Jesus himself “rising.” The same two verbs have been used as parallels in 9:22 (“be raised”) and 18:33 (“rise”).[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2014). Luke 18–24 (pp. 410–411). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Green, J. B. (1997). The Gospel of Luke (pp. 837–838). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[3] France, R. T. (2013). Luke. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (p. 376). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

February 26 Streams in the Desert

My grace is sufficient for thee.” (2 Cor. 12:9.)

THE other evening I was riding home after a heavy day’s work. I felt very wearied, and sore depressed, when swiftly, and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text came to me, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” reached home and looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way, “MY grace is sufficient for thee”; and I said, “I should think it is, Lord,” and burst out laughing. I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was until then. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd. It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and Father Thames said, “Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee.” Or, it seemed after the seven years of plenty, a mouse feared it might die of famine; and Joseph might say, “Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee.” Again, I imagined a man away up yonder, in a lofty mountain, saying to himself, “I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year, I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere,” but the earth might say, “Breathe away, O man, and fill the lungs ever, my atmosphere is sufficient for thee.” Oh, brethren, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to Heaven, but great faith will bring Heaven to your souls.

C. H. Spurgeon.

His grace is great enough to meet the great things—

The crashing waves that overwhelm the soul,

The roaring winds that leave us stunned and breathless,

The sudden storms beyond our life’s control.

His grace is great enough to meet the small things—

The little pin-prick troubles that annoy,

The insect worries, buzzing and persistent,

The squeaking wheels that grate upon our joy.

Annie Johnson Flint.

There is always a large balance to our credit in the bank of Heaven waiting for our exercise of faith in drawing it. Draw heavily upon His resources.[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (p. 64). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

February 26 – Resh: Look, consider, and act — Reformed Perspective

“Look on my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law. Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!” – Psalm 119:153, 154

Scripture reading: Psalm 119:153-160

The Psalmist requests God to look upon him and to see his affliction. He pleads with the LORD to observe his desire to live according to God’s will as well as to obey His law. He asks his heavenly Father to consider how he stands up for His holy Name.

There is more to such asking. We do not only ask God to look on us and see what we are doing, to see what is transpiring in our lives. We also ask God to look because our desire, our goal, is that God will also respond and act. “Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to Your promise!” (154). God will see that we are afflicted, God will observe that we trust in Him, God will take note of our faith and desire to live for Him and hear us! He will respond!

God having looked upon mankind has resulted in our redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ. God saw that man had sinned. God saw the effects of that fall upon His chosen ones. Therefore, God sent a Saviour to us. How comforting it is to know that God looks upon us in love and compassion! (156). Will you, in turn, look to God for His help and care? When you do, be assured, He will look upon you according to His grace and steadfast love and provide you with what you need!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray to God that He looks upon you in all your circumstances and considers your needs and acts upon them. Just as He has acted in sending His Son, ask Him also to act today by fill you with His Spirit.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. James Slaa is pastor of the Smithers Canadian Reformed Church in British Columbia, Canada.

via February 26 – Resh: Look, consider, and act — Reformed Perspective

February 26th The D. L. Moody Year Book

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.—Acts 20:35.

WHAT makes the Dead Sea dead? Because it is all the time receiving, but never giving out anything. Why is it that many Christians are cold? Because they are all the time receiving, never giving out.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 45). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

The Coronavirus Outbreak: What You Can Do to Prevent and Prepare | CBN News

The coronavirus outbreak has been capturing headlines for weeks, and now the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is warning Americans to prepare for it to eventually spread to the US. 

Learning from Lent — Denison Forum

Like most lifelong Baptists, I grew up with no understanding of Lent. I saw Ash Wednesday on my calendar but didn’t know why. “Marti Gras” made the news and was anything but religious.

For liturgically challenged people like me, let’s begin with some facts.

“Lent” comes from the old Anglo-Saxon or Teutonic word Lencten, which simply means “spring.” By the end of the second century AD, it designated a period of spiritual preparation for Easter. The season begins on Ash Wednesday (February 26 this year), always the seventh Wednesday before Easter Sunday. Ashes are placed on worshippers’ foreheads as symbols of humility and gratitude for Jesus’ death.

The three days before Ash Wednesday are known historically as Shrovetide, from the Old English word for “repent.” These days were originally used as spiritual preparation for Lent and closed with a Tuesday feast before the fast which began on Ash Wednesday. That Tuesday was sometimes called “Fat Tuesday” (Marti Gras in French). The ancient Christians who first observed the day would scarcely recognize it today.

The first observers of Lent fasted for a day, or a few days, or forty hours. The Council of Nicea (AD 325) designated Lent as forty days, with only one daily meal permitted and meat, fish, eggs, and milk products forbidden. By the fifteenth century, these food restrictions were dropped in the Western Church (they are still upheld in the Eastern Church today), and only breakfast was forbidden. In 1966, the Roman Catholic Church restricted the obligation of fasting to Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

How can Lent help you prepare for Easter?

As you follow Christ to his cross and resurrection, be public with your faith. If you don’t wear ash on your forehead, what will you do to tell others you worship the risen Christ?

Be penitent, remembering Jesus’ crucified sacrifice for you with humble gratitude.

And be sacrificial. Skip a meal and spend the time in prayer. Fast from television for Bible study, or from your cell phone for solitude with God.

The cross cost Jesus everything—what will it cost you this year?

Learning from Lent can make Easter far more memorable. May its lessons draw us all closer to our crucified, risen Lord.

NOTE: Pastor Mark Turman read Empowered: Experiencing the Holy Spirit and asked to record its forty-seven chapters as daily readings for his church.

When I heard about this, I asked if we could release these recordings as bonus episodes of The Daily Article Podcast every day from Ash Wednesday to Easter. So we have done that.

Here’s Day 1:

You may subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast app. You can also ask Alexa or Google to “Play The Daily Article Podcast.”

We hope the biblical content in these podcast episodes will encourage you each day.

via Learning from Lent — Denison Forum

February 26, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

4  Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5  But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
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.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 53:4–6). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.


5 Most commentators—even those who deny the presence of penal substitution elsewhere in the OT—agree that it is the meaning of this passage, though some argue against this (see, e.g., Whybray, in loc.).[1]


5 Again, as in v. 4, the independent pronoun preceded by a disjunctive waw, But, emphasizes the contrast between him and us. We had thought God was punishing this man for his own sins and failures, but in fact he was pierced through as a result of our rebellion; he was crushed on account of our twistedness. The images have now shifted from illness to injury and have become more severe. While “pierced through” is not always specifically said to result in death, it is typically used in contexts with death (22:2; 51:9; 66:16; Ps. 69:27 [Eng. 26]). Delitzsch goes so far as to say that it is the strongest term for violent and excruciating death in the language. Similarly, “crushed” is stronger than that which Eng. “bruised” implies. It suggests at least breaking into pieces and in some cases even pulverizing (19:10; Job 22:9; Jer. 44:10; Ps. 90:3 [dakkāʾ, “dust,” a noun form of medukkāʾ, “crushed,” here]).

This effect in the Servant is the measure of how seriously God takes our rebellion and crookedness. We typically wish to make light of our “shortcomings,” to explain away our “mistakes.” But God will have none of it. The refusal of humanity to bow to the Creator’s rule, and our insistence on drawing up our own moral codes that pander to our lusts, are not shortcomings or mistakes. They are the stuff of death and corruption, and unless someone can be found to stand in our place, they will see us impaled on the swords of our own making and broken on the racks of our own design. But someone has been found. Someone has taken on himself the results of our rebelliousness, and we have been given the keys of the kingdom (2 Cor. 5:21; 8:9; 1 Pet. 2:24).

The metaphors of vv. 4–5 are precisely those of 1:5–6. As a result of its rebellion, the nation is desperately ill, a mass of open sores and unbandaged wounds. What is to be done? Not more hypocritical worship (1:10–15)! No, what is needed is just and righteous living (1:16–20). But can that atone for the past, cleanse the wounds, destroy the infection? No, writing new words over the old ones will not blot out the old ones. Someone must come to wipe the slate clean (4:4). Someone must take the disease and give back health, must bear the blows and give back wealth (in its original sense of “well-being”).

That this is precisely the intention of the first bicolon is shown by the second. If the first is taken alone, one could argue again that substitution is not being talked about, but only sharing in results. But the second bicolon will not permit that interpretation. What the Servant does in bearing the undeserved results of his people’s sin brings about positive results for the people. He is not merely participating in their suffering, he is bearing it away for them so that they may not labor under its effects anymore. He took the punishment that made it possible for us to have well-being, and he has taken the infected welts so that ours could be healed. No Judean prophet did that for sick, broken Israel; and sick, broken Israel did not do that for either itself or the world.

While mûsar does not always imply “punishment,” it frequently does (cf. Job 5:17; Prov. 22:15; 23:13; and the verb yāsar in Ps. 6:2 [Eng. 1]). It is the discipline of a child by a parent up to and including punishment. Here the context demands this understanding. The child has rebelled against the parent; not only has the relationship been disrupted, but justice is offended. There is no šālôm, well-being, because things are out of order, unbalanced. Until punishment has been meted out, all the good intentions in the world cannot restore that broken order. But when the parent’s authority has been recognized, when justice has been done, then both sides of the equation are balanced again, which is what shalom is all about. This is what the Servant has done for us. This is not a matter of a raging tyrant who demands violence on someone to satisfy his fury. It is a God who wants a whole relationship with his people, but is prevented from having it until incomplete justice is satisfied. In the Servant he has found a way to gratify his love and satisfy his justice.

The same point is made by the last colon. The back of the rebel is covered with the bloody welts of the lash. Yet his behavior seems only to ask for more (1:6). How can his back ever be healed? Only if someone takes those welts in his place. The elliptical language only intensifies the point; it is literally: “in his welts it is healed to us.” What can this mean but what it says? The Servant is not suffering with his people—he is suffering for them, procuring for them through his suffering what they cannot procure for themselves. This requires that the Servant does not deserve any welts of his own. Because he does not he can take those of his people and give them healing in return. Can any human do this?[2]


A substitutionary Servant (53:4–6)

Isaiah next helps us to grasp that this ‘man of sorrows’ (53:3) is a substitutionary Servant. That is something the people (Isaiah’s people, hence the ‘we’ in 53:4) couldn’t see. They would see the suffering and draw the orthodox theological conclusion that it must be a judgement from God.

An artist by the name of Steinberg once asked an uneducated gypsy girl to sit for him. At the time he was working on another painting, Christ on the Cross, and the girl saw him working on it. She observed about Christ, ‘He must have been a very wicked man to be nailed to a cross like that.’ Steinberg quickly corrected her: ‘No, on the contrary, he was a very good man, the best man that ever lived. He died for others.’ That is what Isaiah is saying here, four times in two verses: ‘… our griefs … our sorrows … our transgressions … our iniquities’ (53:4–5, emphasis added). The Servant is not being punished for anything he has done; he is there in the place of others. He is a substitute. The gypsy girl’s response to Steinberg’s explanation that the man on the cross had died for others was to ask him a question: ‘Did he die for you?’ It unsettled Steinberg, because he didn’t feel comfortable answering yes. It is said that he carried on thinking about it until he knew in this heart, and could say with confidence, that Jesus had died for him.

This Servant is the substitute we all need, because we have all ‘gone astray’ (53:6). The following story is told about D. L. Moody, the nineteenth-century American evangelist, after he had been speaking at a mission service. He was hurrying away to catch a train when a man from the meeting caught up with him to ask for help, having realized that he needed to be saved. Moody was in danger of missing his train so he kept his words to a minimum: ‘Look up Isaiah 53:6. Go in at the first “all” and go out at the last “all”. Good night.’ The man went home to see if he could work out what Moody was talking about. He saw the first ‘all’—‘All we like sheep have gone astray’—and readily accepted that he was included in that. Then he saw that he could also be included in the last ‘all’—‘the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all’; his iniquities could be laid on Christ. That is what enables someone to say with confidence, ‘Yes, Christ died for me.’[3]


53:4–6 / The third incorrect assumption is that this servant was suffering as a consequence of his sin. On the contrary, he was experiencing other people’s suffering when he did not need to. Infirmities and sorrows could suggest illness and the language here could imply that he was stricken by the kind of skin disease that Leviticus 13–14 discusses. But elsewhere (e.g., v. 7) the vision suggests that the servant’s suffering came from the attacks of other human beings, and more likely this is also so here. The servant was maltreated and injured, wounded and crushed, attacked and violated. We assumed that this was God’s punishment of him, but we have come to realize that this was not so.

One aspect of this is that he was sharing in our experience of being wounded and crushed for our wrongdoing—the kind of experience that Jerusalem’s fall and the deportation to Babylon had brought. The implication is that there was no reason for him to do that—he did not deserve it. This in itself does not require that the servant suffered instead of the people. They also suffered, but they deserved it.

But verses 4–6 imply more than an undeserved sharing of the suffering that came to people in general. They imply an undeserved experience of suffering that other people did not experience. For there was another sense in which he suffered because of their rebellion. Their resistance to Yahweh made them attack Yahweh’s messenger, whose message they believed to be false. He thus experienced punishment for the role he had to fulfill. The word “punishment” (musar) is not a legal one but suggests the chastisement of a child or a student by a parent or a teacher in order to teach a lesson. He gets beaten like a child or a student so that other people may learn from it.

The supreme significance of his going through what they went through as well as what they did not go through is thus that this brought us peace and healing (v. 5). We do not yet know how this happens, though the implication may be that watching him go through that somehow brings about a breakthrough of insight and thus a breakthrough of transformation. With the word shalom the prophet takes up the unresolved problem with which 48:22 closed. The speakers know their own transgression and iniquity (or at least the prophet knows it on their behalf). They know that their history up to the state’s fall demonstrates an inclination to go their own way rather than to follow the direction Yahweh lays before them. They know that they are the kind of people for whom there is therefore no shalom, no peace or well-being or wholeness. They (or the prophet) now affirm that this servant is the key to their becoming that sort of people, and that this has come about through his being afflicted just as they were, but without deserving it.[4]


53:4–6. Israel states that He was punished for His own sin. The despised Servant bore our griefs (better translated “suffering”; see comments on 53:1–3) and carried our sorrows. The words may contain the idea of sickness, leading some to believe that faith in the Servant guarantees immediate healing of all diseases. However, this does not mean that all sicknesses will immediately be cured because of the Servant’s vicarious suffering. Rather it is promising that the Servant’s death would ultimately provide deliverance and healing for all who believe in Him. The Servant did indeed take the punishment for sin and therefore would provide immediate forgiveness to someone who trusts in Him. However, removing the penalty for sin will not remove the presence of sin in a believer’s life until after the resurrection. In the same way, the forgiveness of the sins that cause sickness does not guarantee healing from diseases until the presence of sin is removed at the resurrection at the end of days.

Israel now confesses that upon viewing the Servant’s suffering, the nation had concluded that the Servant was undergoing divine punishment. He was stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted (v. 4), all terms that indicate punishment for sin. The word stricken, meaning “to smite with disease for sin,” was used when both Miriam (Nm 12:9–10) and Uzziah (2Kg 15:5) were stricken with leprosy for sin.

Penitent Israel now recognizes that while the Servant was indeed being punished for sin, it was not for His sins but theirs. The Servant’s suffering included being pierced through for our transgressions (v. 5). The Hebrew word translated pierced (mekholal) means “wounded to death” and conveys a violent and painful death (Dt 21:1; Is 51:9). The Servant was crushed for our iniquities. Although the word crushed means “broken” or “shattered to pieces,” it is not generally used in a literal way but with a metaphorical sense, as in a “contrite [lit., “crushed”] spirit” (Is 57:15) or “contrite heart” (Ps 51:17). Israel now understood that the Servant took the punishment (chastening) they deserved, that He was flogged (by His scourging) in order to bring their spiritual healing. The substitution of the Servant for the people certainly foretells the sacrifice of the Messiah Jesus as a sacrifice for the sickness of sin (1Pt 2:24).[5]


5–6. It is most blessed and delightful, everlastingly to view Jesus, in all he did and wrought, as the sinner’s surety. Christ is never to be looked at, or regarded as a private person, but as the public head of his redeemed; and to endear this view of Christ still more, it is blessed to trace the hand of God the Father in all that concerns redemption. Did Jesus bear my sins in his own body on the tree? Then he did it, that I might be made the righteousness of God in him. And it was God the Father, not himself, who laid those iniquities upon him. Reader! I know not whether you enter into a rich enjoyment of those precious things; but to see the hand of God the Father in all, is what gives stability and confidence to our trust, and demonstrates that our faith is not found in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God; 1 Cor. 2:5.[6]


Healed by his wounds (53:4–6)

How right, and yet at the same time how terribly wrong, they had been! In this third stanza, the witnesses testify to the completely new understanding of the Servant’s death that they have now arrived at. Yes, it was God, ultimately, who crushed him, but it was not because he deserved it. The original Hebrew is very emphatic in verse 4: ‘Surely, it was our infirmities he took up, our sorrows he bore.’ And it is clear from the context that it is not sickness or sorrow in general that is being referred to. They are the same sufferings and sorrows that have just been referred to in the previous verse. They are the sufferings which were deliberately inflicted on the Servant and which culminated in his death. The witnesses realize that they themselves deserved those sufferings and that death, but that the Servant took their place. Substitution was not a new thought to the Israelites; it was enshrined in the law of Moses. Ever since that law had been given to Israel, lambs and other animals had been sacrificed in the place of sinners. But now the witnesses see that this same principle is at work in the suffering and death of the Servant. Their peace with God, the healing of their broken relationship with him, was secured by the Servant’s death (5). He was pierced for their transgressions and crushed for their iniquities. The comfort they have received, the good news of their pardon, has been provided at tremendous cost.[7]


5. The pronoun he is again emphatic, so as to bring the Servant sharply before us—‘He (and no other)’. Pierced: as in 51:9; when they called on the Arm of the Lord who dealt the monster Rahab a death blow, they did not know they were calling the Arm to his own death. Crushed: used of cruel agonies ending in death (Lam. 3:34). For … for: the preposition min means ‘from’, hence it is used of one thing arising from another, a relationship of cause and effect. Our transgressions were the cause, his suffering to death the effect. Like verse 4, this verse cannot be understood without the idea of substitution to which, here, the adjective ‘penal’ must be attached. Transgressions (peša’), wilful rebellions (1:2, 28; 43:25; 44:22; 46:8; 50:1); iniquities (‘āwōn), the pervertedness, ‘bentness’, of fallen human nature (1:4; 5:18; 6:7; 40:2; 43:24; 50:1). Punishment (mûsār): ‘correction’ by word or act, ‘chastisement’. Just as ‘covenant of peace’ (54:10) means ‘covenant which pledges and secures peace’ so (lit.) ‘punishment of our peace’ means punishment which secured peace with God for us. This peace was lost (48:18) by disobedience, and, since it cannot be enjoyed by the wicked (48:22), the Servant stepped forward (49:1) to bring us back to God (49:6). This is what he achieved by his substitutionary, penal sufferings. Upon: the same preposition as used in Leviticus 16:21–22. By: the particle of price, ‘at the cost of’. Wounds (ḥabbûrâ): used in 1:6 of open, untreated lacerations, hence the actuality of blows inflicted and experienced. Healed: (lit.) ‘there is healing for us’, the accomplished reality of restored wholeness.[8]


5 This verse expresses over and over again the truth that the servant not merely shares our griefs but actually suffers in our place as sinners. Four times the contrast between ‘he/him’ and ‘we/us’ appears.

He is pierced … our transgressions.

He is crushed … our iniquities.

The chastisement of our peace … upon him.

His wounds … we are healed.

On account of our transgressions he is ‘pierced through’ (i.e. mortally wounded), while for our iniquities he suffers under incalculable emotional and spiritual pressures (cf. the use of the verb dâkâ’ in Ps. 51:17, ‘a broken and a crushed heart’). Moreover, ‘the chastisement that makes us whole’ (RSV) is part of the redemptive judgment that he vicariously bears, while our healing is at the cost of his wounds. In this context ‘wounds’ implies death. The healing effected is spiritual, for the Messiah’s death brings believers into a new relationship with God. The verb ‘to heal’ (Heb. râfâ’) is used here as in 6:10; 19:22; and 30:26, since diseases and sorrows ultimately flow from sin. All these references probably go back to the promise, ‘I the Lord am your healer’ (Heb. anî yhwh rof’ekâ, Exod. 15:26). The servant is to suffer not simply as a consequence of sin but as an efficacious remedy for guilt.[9]


Vers. 5. But He was wounded for our transgressions.—The sufferings of Christ:—

Three things suggest themselves as requiring explanation to one who seriously contemplates the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ.

  1. 1. An innocent man suffers.
  2. 2. The death of Jesus is the apparent defeat and destruction of one who possessed extraordinary and supernatural powers.
  3. 3. This apparent defeat and ruin, instead of hindering the progress of His work, became at once, and in all the history of the progress of His doctrine has been emphatically, the instrument whereby a world is conquered. The death of Jesus has not been mourned by His followers, has never been concealed, but rather exulted in and prominently set forth as that to which all men must chiefly look if they would regard Christ and His mission right. The shame and the failure issue in glory and completest success. What is the philosophy of this? Has any ever been given which approaches the Divinely revealed meaning supplied by our text? “He was wounded for our transgressions, etc. We learn here—
  4. I. The sufferings of Jesus Christ resulted from our sins.
  5. II. The sufferings of Jesus were related to the Divine law.

III. The sufferings of Jesus became remedial of human sinfulness. (L. D. Bevan, D.D.)

A short catechism:—

  1. 1. What is man’s condition by nature?

(1) Under transgression.

(2) Under iniquities.

(3) At feud with God.

(4) Under wounds and most loathsome diseases of a sinful nature.

  1. 2. How are folks freed from this sinful and miserable condition?

(1) In general, before the quarrel can be taken away, and their peace can be made, there must be a satisfaction.

(2) More particularly there must be a satisfaction, because there is the justice of God that hath a claim by a standing law; the holiness of God, that must be vindicated; the faith of God, that must cause to come to pass what it hath pledged itself to, as well in reference to threatening as to promise.

  1. 3. Who maketh this satisfaction? The text says, “He” and “Him.” The Messiah.
  2. 4. How does He satisfy justice?

(1) He enters Himself in our room.

(2) Christ’s performance and payment of the debt according to His undertaking, implies a covenant and transaction on which the application is founded.

(3) Our Lord Jesus, in fulfilling the bargain, and satisfying justice, paid a dear price: He was wounded, bruised, suffered stripes and punishment.

  1. 5. What are the benefits that come by these sufferings?

(1) The benefits are such that if He had not suffered for us, we should have suffered all that He suffered ourselves.

(2) More particularly we have peace and pardon. Healing.

  1. 6. To whom hath Christ procured all these good things?

(1) The elect;

(2) who are guilty of heinous sins.

  1. 7. How are these benefits derived from Christ to the sinner?

(1) Justly and in a legal way;

(2) freely. (J. Durham.)

Sin:—

Verses 5 and 6 are remarkable for the numerous and diversified references to sin which they make. Within the short compass of two verses that sad fact is referred to no less than six times, and on each occasion a different figure is used to describe it. It is transgression—the crossing of a boundary and trespassing upon forbidden land. It is iniquity—the want of equity: the absence of just dealing. It is the opposite of peace—the root of discord and enmity between us and God. It is a disease of the spirit—difficult to heal. It is a foolish and wilful wandering, like that of a stray sheep. And it is a heavy burden, which crushes him on whom it lies. So many and serious are the aspects of sin. (B. J. Gibbon.)

The sufferings of Christ:—

  1. I. Attend to the sufferings of the Son of God, as described in the text. The sufferings of the Saviour are described in the Scriptures with simplicity and grandeur combined. Nothing can add to the solemnity and force of the exhibition.
  2. 1. The prophet tells us that the Son of God was “wounded.” The Hebrew word here translated “wounded,” signifies to run through with a sword or some sharp weapon, and, as here used, seems to refer to those painful wounds which our Lord received at the time of His crucifixion.
  3. 2. The prophet tells us that the Son of God was “bruised.” This expression seems to have a reference to the labours, afflictions, and sorrows which our blessed Lord sustained, especially in the last scenes of His life.
  4. 3. The prophet tells us that the Son of God bore chastisements and stripes.
  5. II. Consider the procuring cause of the sufferings of the Son of God. “Our transgressions.” “Our iniquities.”

III. Attend to the gracious design and happy effects of the sufferings of the Son of God. “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.”

  1. 1. One gracious design and blessed effect of the sufferings of the Son of God was to procure for us reconciliation with God.
  2. 2. The renovating of our nature. ( Dickson, D.D.)

Substitution:—

There is no more remarkable language than this in the whole of the Word of God. It is so clear a statement of the doctrine of the substitution of the innocent for the guilty, that we do not hesitate to say, no words could teach it if it be not taught here. We are distinctly told—

  1. I. That there belongs to us a sad and grievous weight of sin. There are three terms expressive of what belong to us: “our transgressions,” “our iniquities,” “gone astray.” These three phrases have indeed a common feature; they all indicate what is wrong—even sin, though they represent the wrong in different aspects.
  2. 1. “Transgressions.” The word thus translated indicates sin in one or other of three forms—either that of missing the mark through aimlessness, or carelessness, or a wrong aim; or of coming short, when, though the work may be right in its direction, it does not come up to the standard; or of crossing a boundary and going over to the wrong side of a line altogether. In all these forms our sins have violated the holy law of God.
  3. 2. “Iniquities.” This word also has reference to moral law as the standard of duty. The Hebrew word is from a root which signifies “to bend,” “to twist,” and refers to the tortuous, crooked, winding ways of men when they conform to no standard at all save that suggested by their own fancies or conceits, and so walk “according to the course of this world.”
  4. 3. The third phrase has reference rather to the God of Law, than to the law of God, and to Him in His relation to us of Lord, Leader, Shepherd, and Guide. There is not only the infringement of the great law of right, but also universal neglect and abandonment of Divine leadership and love; and as the result of this, grievous mischief is sure to follow. “Like the sheep,” they find their way out easily enough; they go wandering over “the dark mountains,” each one to “his own way,” but of themselves they can never find the way home again. And so far does this wandering propensity increase in force, that men come to think there is no home for them; the loving concern of God for the wanderers is disbelieved, and the Supreme Being is regarded in the light of a terrible Judge eager to inflict retribution. And all this is a pressure on God. He misses the wanderers. And through the prophet, the Spirit of God would let men know that the wanderings of earth are the care of Heaven. Nor let us fail to note that in these verses there is an entirely different aspect of human nature and action from that presented in the verse preceding. There, the expressions were “our griefs,” “our sorrows.” Here, they are “our transgressions,” etc. Griefs and sorrows are not in themselves violations of moral law, though they may be the results of them, and though every violation of moral law may lead to sorrow. Still they must not be confounded, though inseparably connected. Grief may solicit pity: wrong incurs penalty. And the sin is ours. The evil is wide as the race. Each one’s sin is a personal one: “Every one to his own way.” Sin is thus at once collective and individual. No one can charge the guilt of his own sin on any one else. On whom or on what will he cast the blame? On influences? But it was for him to resist and not to yield. On temptation? But temptation cannot force. In the judgment of God each one’s sin is his own.
  5. II. This Servant of God being laden with our sins, shares our heritage of woe. How remarkable is the antithesis here—Transgressions; iniquities; wanderings, are ours. Wounds; bruises; chastisements; stripes, are His. There is also a word indicating the connection between the two sides of the antithesis, “wounded for our transgressions”—on account of them; but if this were all the explanation given, it might mean no more than that the Messiah would feel so grieved at them that they would bruise or wound Him. But there is a far fuller and clearer expression: “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” This expression fixes the sense in which the Messiah was wounded and bruised on our account. In pondering over this, let us work our way step by step.
  6. 1. The inflexibility of the moral law and the absolute righteousness and equity of the Lawgiver in dealing with sin are thoughts underlying the whole of this chapter. The most high God is indeed higher than law; and though He never violates law, He may, out of the exuberance of His own love, do more than law requires, and may even cease to make law the rule of His action. But even when that is the case, and He acts χωρὶς νόμου (“apart from law,” Rom. 3:21), while He manifests the infinite freedom of a God to do whatsoever He pleaseth, He will also show to the world that His law must be honoured in the penalties inflicted for its violation. This is indicated in the words, “The Lord hath laid on Him,” etc. Nor ought any one for a moment to think of this as “exaction.” Exactness is not exactingness; it would not be called so, nor would the expression be tolerated if applied to a judge who forbade the dishonouring of a national law, or to a father who would not suffer the rules of his house to be broken with impunity.
  7. 2. It is revealed to us that in the mission of this servant of Jehovah, the Most High would act on the principle of substitution. When a devout Hebrew read the words we are now expounding, the image of the scapegoat would at once present itself to him.
  8. 3. The Messiah was altogether spotless; He fulfilled the ideal typified by the precept that the sacrificial lamb was to be without blemish. Being the absolutely sinless One, He was fitted to stand in a relation to sin and sinners which no being who was tainted with sin could possibly have occupied.
  9. 4. The twofold nature of the Messiah—He being at once the Son of God and Son of man, qualified Him to stand in a double relation;—as the Son of God, to be Heaven’s representative on earth—as the Son of man, to be earth’s representative to Heaven. Thus, His offering of Himself was God’s own sacrifice (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10; Rom. 5:8; 2 Cor. 5:19), and yet, in another sense, it was man’s own sacrifice (2 Cor. 5:14, 21; Gal. 3:13).
  10. 5. By His incarnation, Christ came and stood in such alliance with our race, that what belonged to the race belonged to Him, as inserted into it, and representative of it. We need not use any such expression as this—“Christ was punished for our sin.” That would be wrong. But sin was condemned in and through Christ, through His taking on Himself the liabilities of a world, as their one representative Man who would stand in their stead; and by the self-abandonment of an unparalleled love, would let the anguish of sin’s burden fall on His devoted head. Paul, in his Epistle to Philemon pleads for Onesimus thus, “If he hath wronged thee or oweth thee ought, put that to my account.” So the Son of God has accepted our liabilities. Only thus can we explain either the strong language of the prophecy, or the mysterious sorrow of Christ depicted in the Gospel history. On whatever grounds sin’s punishment was necessary had there been no atonement, on precisely those grounds was an atonement necessary to free the sinner from deserved punishment. This gracious work was in accord with the appointment of the Father and with the will of the Son.
  11. 6. Though the law is honoured in this substitution of another for us, yet the substitution itself does not belong to law, but to love! Grace reigns; law is not trifled with; it is not infringed on: nay, it is “established.”

III. Christ having accepted our heritage of woe, we receive through Him a heritage of peace. (C. Clemance, D.D.)

Vicarious suffering:—

In a large family of evil-doers, where the father and mother are drunkards, the sons jail-birds and the daughters steeped in shame, there may be one, a daughter, pure, sensible, sensitive, living in the home of sin like a lily among thorns. And she makes all the sin of the family her own. The others do not mind it; the shame of their sin is nothing to them; it is the talk of the town, but they do not care. Only in her heart their crimes and disgrace meet like a sheaf of spears, piercing and mangling. The one innocent member of the family bears the guilt of all the rest. Even their cruelty to herself she hides, as if all the shame of it were her own. Such a position did Christ hold in the human family. He entered it voluntarily, becoming bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh; He identified Himself with it; He was the sensitive centre of the whole. He gathered into His heart the shame and guilt of all the sin He saw. The perpetrators did not feel it, but He felt it. It crushed Him; it broke His heart. (J. Stalker, D.D.)

With His stripes we are healed.—The disease of sin:—

  1. I. It is a wasting disease; it bringeth the soul into a languishing condition, and wasteth the strength of it (Rom. 5:6). Sin hath weakened the soul in all the faculties of it, which all may discern and observe in themselves.
  2. II. It is a painful disease, it woundeth the spirit (Prov. 18:14). Greatness of mind may support us under a wounded body, but when there is a breach made upon the conscience, what can relieve us then? But you will say, They that are most infected with sin feel little of this; how is it then so painful a disease?
  3. 1. If they feel it not, the greater is their danger; for stupid diseases are the worst, and usually most mortal.
  4. 2. The soul of a sinner never sits so easy but that he has his qualms and pangs of conscience, and that sometimes in the midst of jollity; as was the case of Belshazzar, while carousing in the cups of the temple.
  5. 3. Though they feel not the diseases now, they shall hereafter.

III. It is a loathsome disease.

  1. IV. It is an infectious disease. Sin cometh into the world by propagation rather than imitation: yet imitation and example hath a great force upon the soul.
  2. V. It is a mortal disease, if we continue in it without repentance. ( Manton, D.D.)

Recovery by Christ’s stripes:—

  1. 1. None but Christ can cure us, for He is the Physician of souls.
  2. 2. Christ cureth us not by doctrine and example only, but by merit and suffering. We are healed by “His stripes.”
  3. 3. Christ’s merit and sufferings do effect our cure, as they purchased the Spirit for us, who reneweth and healeth our sick souls (Titus 3:5, 6). ()

Healed by Christ’s stripes:—

“With His stripes we are healed.” We are healed—of our inattention and unconcern about Divine things. Of our ignorance and unbelief respecting these things. Of the disease of self-righteousness and self-confidence. Of our love to sin, and commission of it. Of our love to the riches, honours and pleasures of this world. Of our self-indulgence and self-seeking. Of our lukewarmness and sloth. Of our cowardice and fear of suffering (1 Pet. 4:1). Of our diffidence and distrust, with respect to the mercy of God, and His pardoning and accepting the penitent. Of an accusing conscience, and slavish fear of God, and of death and hell. Of our general depravity and corruption of nature. Of our weakness and inability; His sufferings having purchased for us “the Spirit of might.” Of our distresses and misery, both present and future. (J. Benson, D.D.)

His stripes:—

This chapter is not mainly an indictment. It is a Gospel. It declares in glad while solemn language that, terrible as sin is, it has been dealt with. The prophet dwells purposely upon the varied manifestations of the evil in order to emphasize the varied forms and absolute completeness of its conquest. He prolongs the agony that he may prolong the rapture.

  1. I. Our need of healing. There is no figure which more aptly represents the serious nature and terrible consequences of sin than this one of bodily sickness. We know how it prostrates us, takes the brightness out of life, and, unless attended to, cuts life short. Sickness in its acutest form is a type in the body of sin in the soul. Sin is a mortal disease of the spirit. A common Scriptural emblem for it, found in both Old and New Testaments, is leprosy—the most frightful disease imaginable, loathsome to the observer and intolerably painful to the sufferer, attacking successively and rotting every limb of the body, and issuing slowly but certainly in death.
  2. 1. It is complicated. It affects every part of the moral being. It is blindness to holiness, and deafness to the appeals of God. There is a malady known as ossification of the heart, by which the living and beating heart is slowly turned to a substance like bone. It is a type of the complaint of the sinner. His heart is hard and impenitent. He suffers, too, from the fever of unhallowed desire. The lethargy of spiritual indifference is one of his symptoms; a depraved appetite, by which he tries to feed his immortal soul on husks, is another; while his whole condition is one of extreme debility—absence of strength to do right. In another part of the book our prophet diagnoses more thoroughly the disease of which he here speaks (chap. 1:5, 6). No hospital contains a spectacle so sickening and saddening as the unregenerate human heart.
  3. 2. The disease is universal. “There is none righteous; no, not one.” What the Bible declares, experience confirms. The ancient world, speaking through a noble literature that has come down to us, confesses many times the condition expressed by Ovid, “I see and approve the better things, while I follow those which are worse.” Christendom finds its mouthpiece in the apostle Paul, who, speaking of himself apart from the help of Christ, mournfully says, “When I would do good, evil is present with me.” And modern culture reveals its deepest consciousness in the words of Lowell, the ambassador-poet, “In my own heart I find the worst man’s mate.” It is a feature of the malady that the patient is often insensible to it. But from every lip there is at least occasional confession of some of its symptoms. There is discomfort in the conscience; there is dissatisfaction at the heart; and there is dread in the face of death and the unknown beyond. The Scriptures are the Röntgen rays of God, and their searching light reveals behind an uneasy conscience, behind a dissatisfied heart, behind the fear of death, behind all the sorrows and evils of life, that which is their primary cause—the malady of sin.
  4. 3. This disease is incurable—that is, apart from the healing described in the text. “The end of these things is death”—spiritual death; insensibility to God, and absence of the life of fellowship with Him which is life indeed—physical death, in so far as that natural process is more than mere bodily dissolution, and is a fearful and hopeless leap into the dark; for “the sting of death is sin”—and eternal death. Men are great at quack remedies, and the world is equally flooded with nostrums for the disease of sin. And what is the result of these loudly-hawked specifics? They are as useless as the charms which our grandmothers used to scare away diseases. The Physician is He who gave His back to the smiters; the balm is the blood which flowed from “His stripes.”
  5. II. Our means of healing. “With His stripes.” “Stripes” does not mean the lashes that fell on His back, but the weals which they left. We remember how He “suffered under Pontius Pilate” before He “was crucified, dead and buried.” His back was bared, His hands were tied to a low post, and a coarse, muscular giant flourished a whip above Him. It was a diabolical instrument, that Roman whip—made of leather with many thongs, and in the end of each of them a piece of iron, or bone, or stone. Every stroke fetched blood and ripped open the quivering flesh. The Jewish law forbade more than forty stripes being given, but Christ was scourged by Romans, who recognized no such merciful limit. But as we know that Pilate intended the scourging to be a substitute for crucifixion, and hoped that its severity would so melt the Jews to pity that they would not press for the worse punishment—which end, however, was not reached—we may infer that He was scourged until He could bear no more, until He could not stand, until He fell mangled and fainting at His torturer’s feet. Nearly two thousand years have passed since that awful affliction, but its significance is eternal. But how can the sufferings of one alleviate the sufferings of another?
  6. 1. Because the sight of them moves us to sorrow. There are certain maladies of the mind and heart for which there is hope if the emotions can be stirred and the patient made to laugh or cry. There is hope for the sinner when the thought of his sin melts his heart to sorrow and his eyes to tears. Sorrow for sin—repentance of wrong-doing—is the first stage in recovery. And there is nothing that will cause penitence like a sight of the Saviour’s wounds.
  7. 2. The sight of them relieves our consciences. For as we look at those livid weals we know He did not deserve them. We know that we did merit punishment direr far. And we know that He endured them, and more mysterious agonies of which they were the outward sign, in our stead. Then, gradually, we draw the inference. If He suffered for us, we are free. If our load was laid on Him, it is no longer upon us. Conscience accepts that logic.
  8. 3. The sight of them prevents further outbreaks. This cure is radical. It not only heals, it also strengthens. It gradually raises the system above its tendency to sin. For the more we gaze upon those livid stripes, the more intolerable and hateful sin, which caused them, appears, and the more difficult it becomes for us to indulge in it. Our medicine is also a strong tonic, which invigorates the spiritual nature and fortifies its weaknesses. Stanley, in one of his books on African travel, tells of the crime of Uledi, his native coxswain, and what came of it. Uledi was deservedly popular for his ability and courage, but having robbed his master, a jury of his fellows condemned him to receive “a terrible flogging.” Then uprose his brother, Shumari, who said, “Uledi has done very wrong; but no one can accuse me of wrong-doing. Now, mates, let me take half the whipping. I will cheerfully endure it for the sake of my brother.” Scarcely had he finished when another arose, and said, “Uledi has been the father of the boat boys. He has many times risked his life to save others; and he is my cousin; and yet he ought to be punished. Shumari says he will take half the punishment; and now let me take the other half, and let Uledi go free.” Surely the heart of the guilty man must have been touched, and the willing submission by others to the punishment he had merited must have restrained him from further outbreaks as the strict infliction of the original penalty never could. By those stripes he would be healed. Even so, the stripes of our Lord deliver us from the very tendency to sin. For the disease to be healed the medicine must be taken. Our very words “recipe” and “receipt” remind us of this. They are related, and signify “to take.” The selfsame word describes the means of cure, and commands that it be used. Look upon His wounds! And let those of us who have looked for our cure, still look for our strengthening. We should not have so many touches of the old complaint if we thought oftener of the stripes by which we are healed. Look all through life, and you will grow stronger and holier. ( J. Gibbon.)

The universal remedy:—

Not merely His bleeding wounds, but even those blue bruises of His flesh help to heal us. There are none quite free from spiritual diseases. One may be saying, “Mine is a weak faith;” another may confess, “Mine is distracted thoughts;” another may exclaim, “Mine is coldness of love;” and a fourth may have to lament his powerlessness in prayer. One remedy in natural things will not suffice for all diseases; but there is a catholicon, a universal remedy, provided in the Word of God for all spiritual sicknesses, and that is contained in the few words—“With His stripes we are healed.”

  1. I. The medicine itself which is here prescribed—the stripes of our Saviour. By the term “stripes,” no doubt the prophet understood here, first, literally, those stripes which fell upon our Lord’s shoulders when He was beaten of the Jews, and afterwards scourged of the Roman soldiery. But the words intend far more than this. No doubt with his prophetic eye Isaiah saw the stripes from that unseen scourge held in the Father’s hand which fell upon His nobler inner nature when His soul was scourged for sin. It is by these that our souls are healed. “But why?” First, then, because our Lord, as a sufferer, was not a private person, but suffered as a public individual, and an appointed representative. Our Lord was not merely man, or else His sufferings could not have availed for the multitude who now are healed thereby. He was God as well as man. Our Saviour’s sufferings heal us of the curse by being presented before God as a substitute for what we owe to His Divine law. But healing is a work that is carried on within, and the text rather leads me to speak of the effect of the stripes of Christ upon our characters and natures than upon the result produced in our position before God.
  2. II. The matchless cures wrought by this remarkable medicine. Look at two pictures. Look at man without the stricken Saviour; and then behold man with the Saviour, healed by His stripes.

III. The maladies which this wondrous medicine removes.

  1. 1. The mania of despair.
  2. 2. The stony heart.
  3. 3. The paralysis of doubt.
  4. 4. A stiffness of the knee-joint of prayer.
  5. 5. Numbness of soul.
  6. 6. The fever of pride.
  7. 7. The leprosy of selfishness.
  8. 8. Anger.
  9. 9. The fretting consumption of worldliness.
  10. 10. The cancer of covetousness.
  11. IV. The curative properties of the medicine.
  12. 1. It arrests spiritual disorder.
  13. 2. It quickens all the powers of the spiritual man to resist the disease.
  14. 3. It restores to the man that which he lost in strength by sin.
  15. 4. It soothes the agony of conviction.
  16. 5. It has an eradicating power as to sin.
  17. V. The modes of the working of this medicine. The sinner hearing of the death of the incarnate God is led by the force of truth and the power of the Holy Spirit to believe in the incarnate God. The cure is already begun. After faith come gratitude, love, obedience.
  18. VI. Its remarkably easy application.

VII. Since the medicine is so efficacious, since it is already prepared and freely presented, I do beseech you take it. Take it, you who have known its power in years gone by. Let not backslidings continue, but come to His stripes afresh. Take it, ye doubters, lest ye sink into despair; come to His stripes anew. Take it, ye who are beginning to be self-confident and proud. And, O ye who have never believed in Him, come and trust in Him, and you shall live. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

A simple remedy:—

  1. I. These are sad words. They are part of a mournful piece of music, which might be called “the requiem of the Messiah.”
  2. 1. These are sad words because they imply disease.
  3. 2. There is a second sorrow in the verse, and that is sorrow for the suffering by which we are healed. There was a cruel process in the English navy, in which men were made to run the gauntlet all along the ship, with sailors on each side, each man being bound to give a stroke to the poor victim as he ran along. Our Saviour’s life was a running of the gauntlet between His enemies and His friends, who all struck Him, one here and another there. Satan, too, struck at him.
  4. II. These are glad words.
  5. 1. Because they speak of healing.
  6. 2. There is another joy in the text—joy in the honour which it brings to Christ.

III. These are suggestive words. Whenever a man is healed through the stripes of Jesus, the instincts of his nature should make him say, “I will spend the strength I have, as a healed man, for Him who healed me.” (Ibid.)

Christopathy:—

  1. I. God here treats sin as a disease. Sin is a disease—
  2. 1. Because it is not an essential part of man as he was created. It is something abnormal.
  3. 2. Because it puts all the faculties out of gear.
  4. 3. Because it weakens the moral energy, just as many diseases weaken the sick person’s body.
  5. 4. Because it either causes great pain, or deadens all sensibility, as the case may be.
  6. 5. Because it frequently produces a manifest pollution.
  7. 6. Because it tends to increase in the man, and will one day prove fatal to him.
  8. II. God here declares the remedy which He has provided.
  9. 1. Behold the heavenly medicine.
  10. 2. Remember that the sufferings of Christ were vicarious.
  11. 3. Accept this atonement and you are saved by it.
  12. 4. Let nothing of your own interfere with the Divine remedy. Prayer does not heal, but it asks for the remedy. It is not trust that heals; that is man’s application of the remedy. Repentance is not what cures, it is a part of the cure, one of the first tokens that the blessed medicine has begun to work in the soul. The healing of a sinner does not lie in himself, nor in what he is, nor in what he feels, nor in what he does, nor in what he vows, nor in what he promises. It is in His stripes that the healing lies.

III. The remedy is immediately effective. How are we healed?

  1. 1. Our conscience is healed of every smart.
  2. 2. Our heart is healed of its love of sin.
  3. 3. Our life is healed of its rebellion.
  4. 4. Our consciousness assures us that we are healed. If you are healed by His stripes you should go and live like healthy men. (Ibid.)

Healed by Christ’s stripes:—

Mr. Mackay, of Hull, told of a person who was under very deep concern of soul. Taking the Bible into his hand, he said to himself, “Eternal life is to be found somewhere in this Word of God; and, if it be here, I will find it, for I will read the Book right through, praying to God over every page of it, if perchance it may contain some saving message for me.” The earnest seeker read on through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and so on; and though Christ is there very evidently, he could not find Him in the types and symbols. Neither did the holy histories yield him comfort, nor the Book of Job. He passed through the Psalms, but did not find his Saviour there; and the same was the case with the other books till he reached Isaiah. In this prophet he read on till near the end, and then in the fifty-third chapter, these words arrested his delighted attention, “With His stripes we are healed.” “Now I have found it,” says he. “Here is the healing that I need for my sin-sick soul, and I see how it comes to me through the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be His name, I am healed!” (Ibid.)

Self-sufficiency prevents healing:—

I saw a pedlar one day, as I was walking out; he was selling walkingsticks. He followed me, and offered me one of the sticks. I showed him mine—a far better one than any he had to sell—and he withdrew at once. He could see that I was not likely to be a purchaser. I have often thought of that when I have been preaching: I show men the righteousness of the Lord Jesus, but they show me their own, and all hope of dealing with them is gone. Unless I can prove that their righteousness is worthless, they will not seek the righteousness which is of God by faith. Oh, that the Lord would show you your disease, and then you would desire the remedy! (Ibid.)

Sin deadens sensibility:—

It frequently happens that, the more sinful a man is, the less he is conscious of it. It was remarked of a certain notorious criminal that many thought him innocent because, when he was charged with murder, he did not betray the least emotion. In that wretched self-possession there was to my mind presumptive proof of his great familiarity with crime; if an innocent person is charged with a great offence, the mere charge horrifies him. (Ibid.)[10]


[1] Grogan, G. W. (2008). Isaiah. In T. Longman III, Garland David E. (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs–Isaiah (Revised Edition) (Vol. 6, p. 804). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Oswalt, J. N. (1998). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (pp. 387–389). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[3] Thomson, A. (2012). Opening Up Isaiah (pp. 133–134). Leominster: Day One.

[4] Goldingay, J. (2012). Isaiah. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 304–305). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Rydelnik, M. A., & Spencer, J. (2014). Isaiah. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (pp. 1088–1089). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Proverbs–Lamentations (Vol. 5, p. 460). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] Webb, B. (1996). The Message of Isaiah: On Eagles’ Wings. (J. A. Motyer & D. Tidball, Eds.) (pp. 211–212). England: Inter-Varsity Press.

[8] Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 378). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Harman, A. (2005). Isaiah: A Covenant to Be Kept for the Sake of the Church (p. 365). Scotland: Christian Focus Publications.

[10] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). Isaiah (Vol. 3, pp. 112–118). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.