Welcome to the Book of Isaiah. This is the Book that Jesus trusted, believed, quoted, used, and offers to us as an example of how we should TRUST the Bible God’s Word. Do you really believe the Bible? I hope so. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Jesus shows us how we can know God’s plan for the future, for our life, and for all those we know and love. Jesus believed the OT Book of Isaiah was true—DO YOU?
Welcome to the book of Isaiah. This is the book that Jesus trusted, that Jesus believed, that Jesus quoted and used in His ministry. This book offers us an example of how each of us as believers should trust the Bible, God’s word. Do you really believe the Bible? I hope so. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Jesus shows us how we can know God’s plan for us, for our life, for the future and how we can help all those we know and love to understand Him better. Jesus believed the Old Testament book of Isaiah was true, do you? It’s such a joy that you’re joining us in this course, going through the book of Isaiah. John Barnett here, down in our virtual classroom, primarily teaching this class. Those of you that are tuning in on YouTube or something this class is actually being beamed into a Bible Institute in East Asia, where there’s a whole classroom of young people preparing as, Asians to reach Asia with the gospel of Jesus Christ, but all of us are coming along with them.
I hope that you’ll join us by taking your Bible and open with me, we’re going to start. This was Jesus’ favorite book in the gospel by John. So, look in the gospel by John chapter 12 and verse 41. The emphasis that I just want to repeat and repeat and repeat, and I pray that each of you will grab a hold, and lay hold, and understand this truth is that Jesus believed Isaiah. Every word, every doctrine, every amazing historical fact He believed they were true, but do you?
Look what John, the gospel by John records about Jesus. It says in verse 41, “these things Isaiah said,” Now, Jesus is quoting Isaiah chapter 6 and it’s one of the key chapters we’re going to see in just a moment of the whole book. Jesus quotes from Isaiah 6 and then look what it says in verse 41, “These things Isaiah said when he saw His,” that’s Jesus’, “glory and spoke of Him.” That’s Jesus. Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus Christ. So, in Isaiah 6 the high and lifted up One and the throne is the pre-incarnate Christ. Jesus knew Isaiah, Isaiah saw Christ in His pre-incarnate glory, Jesus believed the book of the Bible, we call Isaiah. By the way, He believed all the rest of the Bible. That’s the number one reason why I believe the Bible, because Jesus believed every book of the Old Testament. Jesus picked the apostles and the associates of the apostles that recorded the New Testament. Jesus said that His word was true, so we can believe the Bible too.
As you look at your slide, the picture is actually of the synagogue in Nazareth.
- This hour, we’re looking at the trustworthiness of the scripture.
- The next hour at when a society abandons God.
- Then how God reaches an ungodly culture.
- The person, the Messiah, who fulfills all of God’s promises.
- Then we get a preview of Revelation in the fifth hour about the wrath of God, and when God pours it on the Earth.
- Then we see one of the furthest back into history reaching events, and that’s how Lucifer became Satan.
- Our seventh hour, we’re going to look at justice and sin in the world and how God responds and why He takes so long, sometimes, to respond.
- Then hour eight is just a fascinating study of Hezekiah, the nation of Assyria, and one of those angelic monsters, the destroyer from the pit.
- In the next slide, we’re going to look at the nature of inspiration, how we can trust the Bible and the effect of the word of God.
- Hour 10, theology, and the character of God.
- Prophecy, the purpose of prophecy and the map God left.
- Hour 12, the most important chapter in the Bible, most likely, Isaiah 53 and salvation.
- Then the compassion of God we see in hour 13.
- We’re going to get a glimpse into paradise as the Creator returns, rules and restores in that section of Isaiah.
- Then finally, we’re going to really step back and look at how God wants us to listen to Him every day in His word.
That page you see next on the slides is what my Bible looks like. I’d like to just read to you from the scriptures. You see in verse 3, I underlined, it says the ox knows its master. The donkey knows its master’s crib, but Israel does not know and consider me. This is just what my Bible looks like right now but I’m encouraging you to do, as you take this course, is to have a Bible, a paper Bible. It’s great to use an electronic Bible, you see I’m using electronics all over the place, but a paper Bible uniquely captures, as we’re reading, the moment as we read it. You notice there’s all different color ink. I can see four different colors of ink just on this page, right there. Each time I read the Bible; I interact with it. I asked God to open my eyes and to illumine my heart, to His word. Then I asked Him to teach me. Then I always pause and ask Him to apply into my life what I learned. By the way, that’s what is in class zero, this is class one. Class zero, if you haven’t yet done that class, that’s actually the first class of this course. It talks about how you should consider journaling. This is my journal, in that class I share how to find truths, how to record them in your study, and then how to write a prayer of application. As you are going through this class, I hope you’ll mark your Bible.
Back down at the slides. This is an outline of the book. For those of you taking this course for credit, this outline will be a part of your final exam and your quizzes. What you need to know is the two parts of Isaiah. The first 39 chapters are about our mighty God chastening His people. Then from chapter 40 on is, our merciful God comforting His people. So, those two elements, just the reality that God has a two-part message in Isaiah. The first 39 chapters are much like the Old Testament. 39 books about judgment. Then the next 27 chapters of Isaiah, remember Isaiah has 66 chapters and 39 in the first half and 27 in the second half, but much like the New Testament the promise of restoration and salvation, and then all the blessings of the future. That outline for those of you that are enrolled, that’s in your class notes. Those of you that are watching this online, you can just take a screenshot and you’ll have that outline of the book.
Looking back at the slides, these are the key chapters and we’re going to be covering each of them in this course.
- The throne of God chapter 6 with Isaiah’s cleansing.
- The incarnation of Christ.
- The fascinating chapter about Lucifer’s origin.
- Then God’s preview of the tribulation in 24 to 27.
- The greatest prophetic chapter in the Bible, that’s chapter 45 and the letter to Cyrus and the implications of that.
- The greatest chapter, not a prophecy, but in all the Bible. That’s Isaiah 53 about the substitutionary work of Christ.
- Then, on the seventh of the key chapters are Isaiah 63 to 66, are all about the second coming and the millennium.
So, I hope those chapters will become a part of your study.
The next slide tells us about the magnitude of Isaiah in the word of God. I’d like to just go over a few statistics.
- Isaiah is a fifth longest book in the Bible.
- As I already said, it has 66 chapters.
- 1,292 versus
- 37,000 words.
- Look at this, it’s quoted to, or alluded to 472 times. In 23 of the 27 books of the New Testament. Let me repeat that, 472 times in 23 of the 27.
So, Isaiah figures prominently into God’s word.
The next slide is just a reminder that the book of Isaiah and all of its doctrines were believed and trusted by Jesus, Paul, John, Luke, Peter and the early church. Look up from your slides for a second, can I say that if Jesus and Paul and Peter and Luke and John, and all the early church thought that the book of Isaiah was exactly what it says it is, in your hand, do you? Do you know the doctrines that are in this book? Just the book of Isaiah contains so many of the doctrines that are not currently held closely to, by the modern Christendom churches. Isaiah teaches divine inspiration. It teaches literal six-day, solar day creationism. It teaches the origin of demons and fallen angels and Satan’s realm. It teaches that God is going to bring the world to a climax in a second coming judgment, that has been preceded by this horrific tribulation time. Then it says, God is finally going to do what? Right now, during this COVID, a lockdown is so much in the news. Did you notice that when people are locked down, they’re not driving as much, flying as much. Businesses aren’t going and so scientists are saying, wow the environment is getting better during our lockdown. That seems to be a fixation of humans these days. We’re always talking about climate change and how to fix the Earth. Good news, Isaiah 65 and 66 is all about God fixing the Earth. Only He fixes all of it once and for all, completely. That’s called His return, His restoration and His fulfillment of all of His promises to Israel and to us. That’s the book of Isaiah. As you look at that slide, all of its doctrine was believed and trusted by Jesus, Paul, John, Luke, Peter, and the early church.
In the next slide. I want to go through the 10 key doctrines that we find. I want you to think of what this study can do for you. Since Jesus completely trusted this book of Isaiah, so can we. That means we can believe and understand the vast amount of authoritative doctrines. That are contained in Isaiah. You say, what are those authoritative doctrines?
Number one, you see on the slide, Isaiah is an example of how the Bible quotes itself and affirms itself. So, if you look up, I’m going to keep these over here on this side panel and keep referring to them. Why is Isaiah so vital? Because it was widely quoted. Now, the first reason why I believe the Bible is, Jesus believed it.
The second reason I believe it is because, the writers of the scripture totally believed that they were preaching and declaring and recording the word of God. So, Isaiah is the most widely utilized book of the Old Testament in the New Testament, which is a constant reminder of the inspiration of scripture. So, Isaiah affirms for us inspiration. Remember inspiration is the bedrock doctrine. It says in Romans, that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If you don’t believe the Bible, how can you know that you have salvation? Salvation is based on, as James said, receiving the implanted word of God. What’s the word of God? The word of God is what Jesus believed. That’s what you hold in your hand and what the prophets wrote, and the apostles quoted as they wrote the scriptures.
The next slide, number two of the top 10 key reasons why Isaiah is so important to study. It’s the salvation book of the Old testament. Now, as you think about that, what do I mean salvation book of the Old Testament? Statistically, if you study Isaiah, it contains more references to the doctrine of salvation than any other Old Testament book. Now the word, the actual word salvation, that word occurs 33 times in the writing of the prophets, but of these 26 of the 33 are in Isaiah. So, not only inspiration, but salvation. When salvation is described 26 of the 33 times, that it’s by name described in the Bible, all in one place, you’ve hit the goldmine, the motherload, you’ve found the rich vein of doctrine about salvation. There are so many incredible verses about salvation.
If you want to just look in Isaiah with me, look at Isaiah 1. Isaiah 1, most of these of course I have all marked and highlighted in my Bible, but it says in Isaiah, it talks about how we are, in verse 3 we don’t know our master. We aren’t following Him, but the solution is in verse 18. “Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD.” Haven’t you often heard this verse over the years as you’ve studied the Bible been in church, heard about salvation? Verse 18, ” ‘though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” See, salvation? God’s desire to make us cleansed, and forgiven, and right with Him, and secure. It’s so beautifully described in Isaiah.
Keep going to chapter 12 in your Bibles. Isaiah 12 and it says, verse 2, “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid, ‘For Yah, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ “ Now, look at verse 3, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” I especially liked that verse because let’s see, this is October so nine months and about a week and a half ago. I was laying strapped down, totally conscious, in this operating room. They were running a pipe up my arm and going in to repair my heart. Now, if you’ve ever had a stent put in your heart or had any type of work like that done, it’s unbelievable to be alive and to be looking at this wall size monitor, where you’re seeing your own heart and you can see this foreign device coming through your veins and going into your beating heart. It was just remarkable, I would suggest it for everybody because it makes you realize how fragile you are, how temporary we are, and how great, look at verse 3, is the “wells of salvation.” That’s actually the verse I just kept repeating over and over in my mind because I thought, either I’m going to come out of here with my heart repaired or else I’m going to be stepping in, for the first moment of my life, into Heaven and see everything I’ve read about my whole life.
Now, there’s two things I’d like to encourage you from Isaiah 12:3. Number one, if you were dying today, do you know for sure you have the well of salvation? Do you have hope in Christ? Number two, if you were laying on an operating table or in an ER somewhere or in some accident trapped in your car, do you have verses memorized in your heart and mind that you can draw on? Draw with joy, draw the water from the wells of salvation? That’s the benefit of Bible study that leads to verse memorization, that gives the great joy of meditation. You have to study in order to memorize, and you have to memorize in order to meditate. What a blessing look at your slides, that this is the salvation book of the Old Testament and we’re going to cover that.
Off to number three, it’s the primary source on the virgin birth of Christ. Look up in your Bibles to chapter 7. Isaiah 7 and verse 14 is the chief verse on the virgin birth of Christ. Isaiah contains the only Old Testament prophecy concerning the virgin birth of Christ. I’m going to read Isaiah 7 and get to 14, and it says, “Therefore the LORD Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Doesn’t that sound familiar? That’s Matthew 1 in the New Testament. Matthew 1 and verse 23. “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel.” Back down to the slides, Isaiah is the primary source on the vital doctrine of orthodoxy called the virgin birth of Christ.
Number four, Isaiah is also an amazing picture of the Bible structure. Now, let me remind you what I mean of that.
- The Bible has 66 books that were written by about 40 different authors.
- Those 40 different authors wrote over a 1,600 year timespan, from Moses all the way through John. So, Moses over here in about 1445 BC and the apostle John is, we know he’s on Patmos in AD 90’s. So, that 1,600 year period of time, it’s the span of the Bible.
- The Bible comes to us in two parts. There are 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books. How does the New Testament open? In Matthew, we hear a voice crying in the wilderness saying, prepare the way of the Lord. We call him John the Baptist, in Matthew chapter 3.
Guess what? Isaiah the book exactly parallels the structure of the Bible. You say, oh is that really significant? Yes, because the first part of Isaiah, 1 through 39 is all about judgment and sin. Starting in Isaiah 40 we have John the Baptist predicted. In chapter 53, we have Christ on the cross. In chapter 66, we have what’s quoted in Revelation 21 and 22, the new Heavens and new Earth. So, Isaiah is an amazing reminder to us of the plan of God, the structure of His word.
Back at the slides, number five, the book of Isaiah is the best source of some of the Bible’s greatest mysteries. Now, what do I mean by that? Take your Bible and we’re going to spend an entire class on this, but Isaiah 14 records for us the fall of Satan starting in Isaiah 14 and verse 12. “How you are fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” Verse 13 and 14, talk about his five I wills. I will ascend into Heaven. Basically, Isaiah is a source of some of the Bible’s greatest mysteries. Isaiah contains the two furthest reaching events in all history. One of the most ancient events of all is the fall of Satan, that’s in chapter 14. At the other end, the most future event is the creation of the new Heavens and the new Earth and that’s Isaiah 66:22. So, Isaiah has those two furthest points that we can hardly even comprehend, yet they’re both captured in this one book. So, back at your slides, Isaiah, it’s a source of some of the Bible’s greatest mysteries.
Number six, Isaiah is the book that totally emphasizes the doctrine of God in the Bible. Now, what do I mean by that? Let’s open in our Bibles to Isaiah 40. Isaiah 40 could be called a theology book. That one chapter, the 40th chapter is like a book of theology. Do you remember what theology means? Theós-logía. Logía, it’s the study of. God in Greek, theós is God, and logía is to study. So, Isaiah is not only a chief source on inspiration and salvation, but on theology. What we find in Isaiah is what we can call the attributes of God practically applied. I think that many people struggle with, I’ve never been to seminary, I don’t know Hebrew, I don’t know Greek, I’m not a theologian, I don’t want to say anything because I don’t want to say anything wrong. That’s a terrible idea. God says in 1 John 2 that His Spirit anoints all believers. We all have an anointing from God. Now, I’m called by God, spiritually gifted to be a Bible teacher, but all of us are called by God to be His ambassador. All of us have the Holy Spirit who teaches us the word of God.
Many times, over the 40 years, I’ve taught the Bible, I have gotten done teaching a group of people and some sweet elderly person has come up to me. After two or three sentences into our discussion I realize that they know the Bible as well or better than I do, and they never have been to school. They’ve never been to seminary. They don’t know ancient languages, but they sure do know the author. So, what I’d like to encourage you is, don’t just casually read Isaiah 40. Now, part of this course is, remember one of the course assignments, that’s in class zero that has all the assignments, is you read the whole book of Isaiah. Don’t just read it like you’re reading labels in the supermarket, read it like you’re reading a love letter from your future wife or your current /present, wonderfully, married to wife, that you just savor every word. That’s how we should read the Bible.
Look at Isaiah 40. ” ‘Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ Says your God. ‘Speak comfort to Jerusalem.’ “ Look at verse 3, “the voice of one crying in the wilderness.” This is the John the Baptist passage. Look at verse 6, in the middle. “All flesh is grass, and it’s loveliness is like the flower of the field.” Verse 7 “The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the LORD blows upon it.” But verse 8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Look at this, Isaiah affirms inspiration, “The word of our God stands forever.”
Now, look at the theology, this theology of the attributes of God, or a better way to understand attributes is the character. Don’t get bogged down by theological terms. They’re only supposed to define truth. Character we understand, people have character. We put people in categories. That person is loud. That person is boisterous. That person is kind. That person is patient. What is God like? Look at Isaiah. It says verse 10, “the LORD God shall come with a strong hand, His arm shall rule for Him.” Look at verse 11, “He will feed His flock like a shepherd.” Whoa.
Let’s just start listing some of these attributes. God is a shepherd. Titus the New Testament epistle of Titus says that, God is a shepherd who is a savior. A lot of times we think of Jesus as our savior. Jesus is just revealing the invisible God, who is a savior. Jesus, the good shepherd is just revealing our invisible God, who is a shepherd, like it says right here.
Now keep reading in verse 12, this is more of the character of God. “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured the heavens with a span and calculated the dust of the Earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains.” Wow. What is this saying? This is saying that our creator, because it’s talking about the creator, knowing how to balance the Earth. By the way, that’s a whole division of science. Within science, within geology and astrophysics is this type of scientific thought called isostasy and geodesy. This has to do with the balance of the Earth. Did you know, the Earth spins, it’s round, but it has tall mountains, but it has ocean trenches that balance out, so the Earth doesn’t wobble. Those are actually branches of upper-level science. Look what Isaiah says. Who’s the one that’s calculated the dust of the Earth, measured the heavens and weighed the mountains and the hills. It’s our creator who is all powerful. No one, not even all those fictional superheroes in all the movies ever claim to be able to hold the Earth in their hand, and measure it, and weigh it.
It doesn’t stop there, it says in verse 15, “the nations are as a drop in the bucket.” Verse 17. They’re like nothing. Then, it talks about a little bit about idolatry, but look at verse 22 of chapter 40, “He who sits above,” what does your Bible say? “The circle of the Earth.” Our great God sits above that and looks down on the Earth. What that tells us is that He is not only the creator, but He is all powerful omnipotent. He is all knowing. He is watching, He sees us. He’s listening to when we talk. Isaiah is just filled with all of these truths about the attributes, the character of God. Of course, we’re going to spend an entire hour on that.
Number seven, as you look at your slides, not only is Isaiah a book on the doctrine of God and the Bible, it’s also the strongest declaration of the doctrine of the Trinity. I know that’s important. Let’s turn to Isaiah 48. I do read some of, of course all of you student’s comments, but I also read many of you online viewer comments. I just saw one, they said, please help me, I’ve come to trust Christ, former Jehovah’s Witness, but I’m really struggling with the Trinity; I can’t find that word in the Bible. I thought, wow, you’re doing a good job studying the Bible because the word Trinity is not in the Bible. Did you know that neither is the word rapture? There are a couple of big, important doctrines, but both of them are found in the Bible, but both of those words are theological terms. Trinity is actually a contraction, like can’t or won’t, it’s a contraction where you leave out a few letters. Trinity is Tri- Unity and they just take/ leave out the u and put it together. The Trinity speaks of the character of God. There’s one God who eternally exists in three persons, Father, Son and Spirit. They’re co-equal, co-eternal, and infinitely eternally God. One God. When you get to Heaven, you’re not going to see three gods. There aren’t going to be three gods walking around. There’s god over there, god over there, god over there. There’s only one God, who eternally exists in three persons. Those three persons are co-eternal, co-substantial, and they are a mystery.
Look at what Isaiah 48:16 says, this is one of the key Trinity verses and it says, “Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there. And now the LORD God and His Spirit have sent Me.” The Lord God is the Father. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit, and who’s talking? Jesus Christ is talking, in verse 16. He said, the Lord God, and His Spirit have sent me. You see that? That is one of many, very clear verses in the Bible that affirmed the doctrine of the Trinity. Look back at your slides, Isaiah is the strongest declaration of the doctrine of the Trinity.
Isaiah’s also contains, what I call the most important chapter in the whole Bible. Let’s go there, turn over to Isaiah 53. I hope I’m just whetting your appetite for this book. I hope you can’t wait to read it. Wherever you’re picking up with us, some of you I know will watch later classes. Then you’ll come back and start at the beginning and want to cover the whole thing. Most importantly, read your Bible with a pen in hand, with some way to mark, to remember, to note these fantastic verses, like I just said, that will help you as you learn them, to draw water out of the well of your salvation.
Isaiah 53, perhaps the most important chapter. I wrote this, Isaiah 53 is probably the most important chapter in the Old Testament as it is quoted from or alluded to 85 times in the New Testament. That’s why Jesus said that, and remember I started with that, Jesus said that Isaiah saw His glory and spoke of Him. When did Isaiah see His glory? Two times Isaiah saw His glory. In chapter 6, when He was high and lifted up and the train of His robe filled the temple. But even more gloriously, Isaiah saw Him as the suffering substitute. The suffering one is the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, that God the Father sent the Son, and the Holy Spirit took the sacrifice of the Son and offered that sacrifice to the Father for the cleansing. This is what the book of Hebrews is all written about, is the most crucial doctrine in the Bible because salvation is all that matters.
Salvation tells us that we are lost and separated from God by our sin, there’s no hope for us for the future, we’re headed to destruction. Luke says, we’re all sitting on the edge of a precipice, we’re blind by our sin, and we’re tumbling headlong into destruction and we don’t even know anything because we’re blinded. The light, as Luke calls Him, Jesus, the sunrise from on high, the Dayspring. He comes and shines His light on us and says, would you like to be set free from your sin? And He, the Bible says, He knocks. He knocks, He’s within an arm’s length, Paul said, of every human being on Earth. Do you see what an arm’s length is? See how close that is. If you were standing there close to me and I bumped you and you were blind, you would be able to grope. That means to reach out in the dark. That’s what Acts 17 says that God wants every human being on this Earth, in the darkness of their sin, when He shines the light of conviction upon them, His grace, that they reach out and say I want to know you creator. I want to know you, the one who is convicting me of my sins. That’s what salvation is all about. That’s what’s in this incredible doctrine of salvation that we have in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah 53. So, in Isaiah, we not only have this, a widely quoted, salvation described, virgin birth, structure of the Bible, for these mysteries, theology, Trinity, but we have chapter 53, which is the eighth. Let’s go to two more. Look back at your slides. The most important chapter in the whole Old Testament and perhaps the Bible is Isaiah 53.
Number nine, the best explanation of the powerful purpose of Bible prophecy. For that, would you turn with me to Isaiah 44. Isaiah 44 and I’ll get there too. This is what it says in verse 6, I start in Isaiah 44:6, “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; beside Me there is no God.” Now, what does that mean? That means that Jehovah’s Witness is absolutely false doctrine. They say that in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was a god. What they say is there’s the real God and then there’s Jesus, who is god. He’s a lesser god. There’s another guy, but he’s not the god. What does Isaiah record? God says, I am the first. I’m the last. Beside me there’s no God.
Keep going. “And who can proclaim as I do?” This is how God is telling you. This is the verification that I’m God. The proof. This is my calling card. These are my credentials. “Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people.” Look at this “and the things that are coming and shall come, let them show these to them.” What is he saying? God says I’m the only one that can predict the future with absolute, one hundred percent accuracy.
Now keep going to verse 28. It says in 28, “Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,’ and to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’ “ Now verse 28, it means nothing to the average reader, but let me put it in context for all of you. Verse 28, Isaiah 44:28 names a historic person, Cyrus and says he is going to declare Jerusalem is going to be rebuilt. Guess what? Jerusalem wasn’t destroyed yet. Isaiah 44:28 was written 200 years before Cyrus was born. Who is Cyrus? He’s the leader of the Persian people. He’s famous and in museums around the world.
Now, let me show you how important this prophecy is. It would be like someone; this is October of 2020; So, it would be like someone in 1820, who is alive in 1820? Abraham Lincoln. As my kids call them Abraham Lincoln logs. But Abraham Lincoln let’s say in 1820, he said behold, Donald Trump my servant will do this or Donald J. Trump, as he calls himself. Wouldn’t that be a remarkable thing? Now, in the current political day that would make the news. Even CNN would say something about it. That it was discovered, that 200 years ago, Abraham Lincoln named a contemporary person. But not just named him God says 200 years before Cyrus’s birth, that Cyrus was going to make the decree for the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem and their temple.
This is the most, the single most remarkable chapter, 45. See, this is the introduction, but chapter 45 is the single most important display of prophecy in the book of Isaiah and perhaps in the whole Bible. We’re going to cover that greatly because I’ll read it to you. God verifies Himself by prophecy. Prophecy is a signature of God and Isaiah makes the Old Testament’s clearest prophecy about an individual. The Persian King Cyrus and his decree are both mentioned by Isaiah, nearly 200 years before Cyrus was even born. Wow. Best explanation of the purpose of Bible prophecy is in Isaiah, to verify God.
Number 10, finally, the clearest archeological proofs for the verification of the Bible.
Number one, the Bible is verified as true. The picture you’re looking at on this slide is a picture from the British museum, and it’s a powerful verification of the trustworthiness of the Bible. It’s called, if you could read the little tag that’s down there in front, it’s called the prism of Sennacherib the king of Assyria. Plus, on the right, in the picture are the arrowheads his vast army shot at the city of Lachish. Now, what this whole exhibit is about is, the ancient world had a bully system, and it was really straightforward. A nation would conquer a region demand, tribute, which was an annual payment and if you didn’t pay the tribute, they’d come and kill you. Now, that’s a simple system.
Now look at the next slide. This is a tunnel. It’s called Hezekiah’s tunnel. King Hezekiah refused to pay the tribute to the bully. So, the Assyrians invaded Judah. Archeology unearthed treasures, that reveal just what the Bible says about Hezekiah. It’s in 2 Chronicles and it’s in of course, Isaiah. That’s a picture of the tunnel that Hezekiah, that’s mentioned in Isaiah, built.
Look at this next slide. This is the very famous rock it’s called the Siloam Inscription. It was discovered at the end of Hezekiah’s tunnel. It’s described, in ancient Hebrew script, the process of them digging. These little squiggly marks you see on that slide says that they, dug and the two groups met, and that they broke through, and the water flowed. That’s what it says in Hebrew. Now this, what you see on that slide, is actually from the archeological museum in Istanbul. The Turks or the Ottomans as they ruled the Holy Land area, chiseled that out of the tunnel and took it to their museum.
Now, the next slide. There’s another thing mentioned in 2 Chronicles 32:5, it says that Hezekiah enlarged the wall. Now, look closely on the left, upper left corner. You see playground equipment and if you look on the right upper right corner, you see people in black. Those are Hasidic Jews; this is the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. You’re looking down at an excavation that goes back 2,600 years. That’s the actual wall that the Bible says, a broad wall that Hezekiah built.
Now, this next one is amazing. This is actually Sennacherib’s prism. And the left the sandstone-colored thing is the prism. Then the circle with red around it, this is part of the cuneiform that refers to Hezekiah King of Judah. It begins on line 11 of panel three. This is what it says, you can read the slide. This prism contains six columns of text in which the Assyrian king Sennacherib describes his triumph. Wow, there’s an actual record right out of the museum of a historic person.
Now this is an even better picture of that prism.
When we walked through Hezekiah’s tunnel, when we gaze at the broad wall, when you observe Sennacherib’s prison, which is in the British museum, or when you try and read the Siloam Inscription, one lesson should jump to the forefront of our minds. The Bible is verified as true.
Now, look at this, you can read it with me. You and I have faith rooted in history, not mystery. The words on the pages of the Bible you hold are supported by simple elements we can dig out of the ground. They prove nothing but support everything. How can we expect to believe parts of the Bible we can’t verify, like faith, the Messiah, and Heaven if the Scriptures are not also true in the natural realm? The Bible is not primarily a history book, but what it says about history is true. The Bible is not a science book, but everything it says about science is true. This reality reminds us of what Jesus said to Nicodemus. “If I told you Earthly things and you didn’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you Heavenly?” With our own eyes we can see Hezekiah’s wall. I just showed you a picture Hezekiah’s tunnel. I just showed you a picture and Sennacherib’s prism. They are real and so is our faith.
This first class, the purpose of this class is what you saw in that last slide. Jesus believed Isaiah was verbally inspired, in- errantly true, every word, the verbal plenary inspiration of the scriptures. Jesus believed everything Isaiah said about salvation was true. Jesus believed everything Isaiah said about theology was true. Do you? I hope that you will come in simple faith and bow before the great God that knows the future and say to Him, increase my faith, helped me to believe and trust and cling to and rely upon your word. Which when I have it in grafted into my soul, saves me eternally.
Let’s bow for a word of prayer.
Father, I thank you for Isaiah. What an exciting journey we’re going to have through this book. What an exciting time on unearthing all these doctrines and truths and character and prophecy, but I pray most of all that your Spirit will be at work in each of our hearts. That we will begin to read and study, memorize and meditate on your truth. So that, with joy, we can draw water out of the wells of salvation. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. And all God’s people said, Amen.
Check Out All The Sermons In The Series
You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, Exploring The Book Of Isaiah here.
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Dr. Barnett has curated an Amazon page with a large collection of resources he uses in his study of God’s Word. You can check it out here.