Isn’t it amazing that Isaiah’s prophecies date back more than 2,700 years and they are so completely applicable today! No wonder the Lord Jesus Christ commanded the Nephites and the Lamanites:
1 And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.
2 For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel… (3 Nephi 23:1-2)
Isaiah is speaking to us today and let’s see what he has to say about fasting, keeping the Sabbath Day holy and the last days we are in.
Welcome to Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me Podcast. We are Scot and Maurine Proctor and we’re thrilled to spend a fifth podcast talking about Isaiah and his amazing words and prophecies. Today we study chapters 58 to the end, which is chapter 66.
Before we jump in to Isaiah, we have to tell you something very exciting. Here at Meridian we are constantly looking for ways to testify of this great work of the Restoration—the ongoing Restoration—and of our Prophets, Seers and Revelators. We have just released from Meridian Press a new book by a father and daughter team, Duane Boyce and Kimberly White, The Last Safe Place, Seven Principles for Standing with the Prophets in Troubled Times. We’ve been working together with Duane and Kimberly for a long time to get this book out to you. It’s a book for our times. In it you will hear stories from and about the prophets you have never heard before. At General Conference you will have heard from the brethren. Now learn about the brethren. As one reviewer said: “You will love our leaders even more after reading this book.” This is a book for the whole family, for those who are rock solid and for those who may be struggling with their faith. You can only get it on Amazon (Search for The Last Safe Place with Duane Boyce and Kimberly White) or, if you prefer to listen to it, you can purchase through Audible.com and search for the title: The Last Safe Place. We know you’re going to love this book!
I was struck by the first verse of our readings this week, Maurine, in chapter 58 where it says:
1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
I was so moved by the thought of lifting our voices like a trumpet. What kind of trumpets do you and I have? We live in a world full of technology where people can sound their trumpets—and some people on the other side of righteousness BLAST their trumpets. I know of one man, who was a bishop in Orem, Utah, and he started his morning each day by talking to one million people through social networks, posting something very positive about the Lord, His Gospel, the Restoration, the Scriptures, Happiness—just something very uplifting and inspirational—EVERY DAY he talked to one million people! That is a trumpet.
I was talking this past week to Jenny Oaks Baker who is called America’s Violinist, and she is doing a Christmas Tour this coming season. She said she just feels compelled to share a message of Christ through her music and to lift and bless as many people as she possibly can. We were living in the Washington D.C. Metro when Jenny was living back there with her family and she was the first seat violinist in the National Symphony Orchestra. She said, “I always thought I was called to be a musician, but now I know I was called to be a missionary. And music is my vehicle.” She is known everywhere for her fine-tuned talent and her passionate playing of her violin. She is doing what Isaiah said to do: “lift up thy voice like a trumpet,” although in this case, it’s a violin! The energy and drive Jenny has is captivating and inspiring!
Alma the Younger also wanted to follow Isaiah’s admonition:
1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
Alma didn’t live in the days of the Internet, but he gave his whole life, after his conversion, to bringing souls to Christ.
Brigham Young had that same desire. On 1 January 1877, carried into the room in a chair because his legs were so weak, he addressed the congregation that had met to dedicate the lower story of the St. George Temple. This prophet, seer, and revelator declared to the Saints: “We enjoy privileges that are enjoyed by no one else on the face of the earth. … When I think upon this subject, I want the tongues of seven thunders to wake up the people” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young , 299).
So, each of us, in our own spheres of influence can lift up our voices like trumpets.
There are now 2.85 billion people on Facebook. This is the largest social network in the history of the world. Instagram has 1.44 billion users. What we say on our own Facebook or Instagram posts can go far and wide. Yes, we talk about something going viral, but don’t we want our testimonies of the Savior and our witnesses of this great work to go viral? Don’t we want to do everything we can to use our voices like the trumpets of God and make this world a better place?
This all reminds me of this hymn:
In a world where sorrow
Ever will be known,
Where are found the needy
And the sad and lone,
How much joy and comfort
You can all bestow,
If you scatter sunshine
Ev ‘ry-where you go.
Slightest actions often
Meet the sorest needs,
For the world wants daily
Little kindly deeds.
Oh, what care and sorrow
You may help remove,
With your songs and courage,
Sympathy and love.
When the days are gloomy,
Sing some happy song;
Meet the world’s repining
With a courage strong.
Go with faith undaunted
Thru the ills of life;
Scatter smiles and sunshine
O’er its toil and strife.
Scatter sunshine all along your way.
Cheer and bless and brighten
Every passing day. (Hymns, 230, Lanta Wilson Smith)
Let us all lift up our trumpets and sound them in our own spheres, in our own homes, in our own communities, in our own wards and branches, in our own neighborhoods and extended families.
Now, let’s turn to the topic of fasting. Do some of you remember the special fast we had as a church on January 27, 1985? The famine in Ethiopia, which would end up taking the lives of one million innocent victims, had come to the attention of the world and the Church called for a special non-fast-Sunday fast, in the which was raised an astonishing $6.4 million in a single day. This amazing event sparked a number of things, including what would be the establishment of Church Humanitarian Services. In order to make sure this relief money was distributed wisely to trustworthy, reputable, on-site, on-the-ground relief agencies, the First Presidency authorized Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Twelve and Elder Glenn L. Pace, executive director of Welfare Services, to go to Ethiopia and see that the money got into the right channels in country. It indeed was a mission or mercy.
These brethren had heard that there was one member of the Church in all of Ethiopia, that he lived in Addis Ababa, and they were determined to find him and bring the sacrament to him. His name was Harry Hadlock and he was from Seattle and miraculously, they found him!
They had a sacrament meeting with Harry in his apartment. It was a tender scene, filled with the Spirit. Elder Pace gave the opening prayer, after which the three men bore their testimonies in succession and then they partook of the sacrament. At the end of the meeting, Elder Ballard offered the prayer.
“In his prayer, Elder Ballard stated that we were the only Melchizedek Priesthood holders residing in the country and that we were there on assignment from the First Presidency of the Church,” Elder Pace shared.
“He expressed gratitude to the members of the Church who had contributed their means during the special fast and who had offered up individual and family prayers on behalf of the people of Ethiopia. Then, with as much power and boldness as I had ever witnessed, calling upon the power and authority of the holy Melchizedek Priesthood, he commanded the elements to gather together, which would cause rain to come upon the land and begin to relieve those who had been suffering for so many years.”
“After the sacrament meeting concluded, Elder Ballard and Elder Pace left for a luncheon with representatives of Catholic Relief Services and Africare. They enjoyed their meal outside, and Elder Pace took note of the pleasant, sunny weather.
“We returned to the hotel in the afternoon to rest up for the coming week, and I was sitting at a little desk writing in my journal when I heard a clap of thunder,” he recalls.
“I went to the patio just in time to see a torrential downpour. People came running out of their little huts and public buildings looking up in the sky and reaching their arms toward the heavens. They were shouting and crying. Children and adults alike began to frolic and splash on each other. They grabbed buckets and barrels to collect rain from the roofs.”
“He continues, “I began to weep. I knew there were only two other people in the whole country who understood what had happened.”
Elder Pace left his hotel room and knocked on Elder Ballard’s door. The two men then knelt together and offered a prayer of gratitude.
“The land was burning up—it hadn’t rained for a year, and no crops had grown in three years,” Elder Ballard explains. “I knew that if we called upon the Lord to bless the land, the elements would be tempered.”
For the rest of their time in Ethiopia, it rained wherever the two men traveled.” (Armstrong, Jamie, LDSLiving, November 17, 2015, Latter-Day Saint Life)
Let’s now look at Isaiah chapter 58, starting with verse 6:
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Isn’t this scene in Ethiopia a perfect scene of undoing the heavy burdens and letting the oppressed go free? And breaking every yoke? AND dealing thy bread to the hungry? This whole thing in 1985 moves me so much. And, of course, since then, generous Church members and Latter-day Saint Charities have provided billions of dollars in aid to those who suffer throughout the world.
I think we underestimate the power of fasting in our modern world. Not many months after that churchwide fast, a number of other organizations worked for the relief of the Ethiopian hunger crisis. Bob Geldof, a singer in an Irish rock group, was the brainchild of Live Aid, the banding together of entertainment superstars like Phil Collins, U2, Elton John, Madonna, Sting, Neil Young and many others—75 acts in all—to do a benefit concert for the aid of famine-stricken Africans. I can’t see a direct tie from the fast of the Church to the Live Aid concert on July 13, 1985—but I do know that spiritual blessings were flowing because of the faith and prayers of millions. The Live Aid concert raised $127 million dollars. So much good can be accomplished by the selfless giving of millions or even of just a few.
And look at the blessings of the true fast from Isaiah 58:8-11:
8 ¶ Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
Let’s make sure we don’t miss this covenant promise. This glory of the Lord being our rearward is a direct reference to the deliverance of the Children of Israel coming out of Egypt when the Lord sent a pillar of fire to travel with them—this was divine protection. The definition of rearward means to walk backwards and look behind. In other words, the Lord literally had their backs, no one, including the super power army of the Egyptians, could come upon their rear unchecked and unaware. I really want the Lord to by my rearward!
Let’s keep reading in verse 9:
9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
Oh! There’s that covenant phrase again: Here I am, or Here am I. This is ancient Israel covenant language and it applies today. The true fast means that if we call upon the Lord in sincere and humble prayer, He will hear us! We shall cry unto Him and He will say, “Here I am.” That is an immense promise!
Let’s continue in verses 10 and 11:
10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Those promises in verse 11 are especially amazing: The Lord shall guide thee continually! Who would not want that? And He shall satisfy thy soul in drought. Have you ever felt like your soul was in drought, you know, when you are just not connecting with the Lord or feeling particularly guided by the Spirit? Fasting opens this portal, this connection to the Lord.
I also love that “thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” These are covenant blessings, originally given to desert people and they meant the world to the faithful. You have to know that this God we worship is a generous God. He is an abundant Giver. He loves to bless His children. He loves to help in time of need. He loves those who turn to Him with all of their heart, might, mind and strength. I love how Elder Jeffrey R. Holland says it:
“Just because God is God, just because Christ is Christ, they cannot do other than care for us and bless us and help us if we will but come unto them, approaching their throne of grace in meekness and lowliness of heart. They can’t help but bless us. They have to. It is their nature.” (Holland, Jeffrey R., Come Unto Me, BYU Speeches, March 2, 1997)
I love how Isaiah now approaches the keeping of the Sabbath Day:
We’re still in Isaiah 58, the last two verses, 13 and 14:
13 ¶ If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
I can’t help but be reminded of Elder Glenn Pace as he was teaching his children about keeping the Sabbath Day holy.
“When our children were younger and we would be on our way to Sunday church meetings, occasionally we would pass a car pulling a boat. My children would become silent and press their noses against the windows and ask, “Dad, why can’t we go waterskiing today instead of to church?”
“Sometimes I would take the easy but cowardly way out and answer, “It’s simple; we don’t have a boat.” However, on my more conscientious days, I would muster up all the logic and spirituality available to a patriarch of a family and try to explain how much happier our family was because of our Church activity.
“I first realized I wasn’t getting through when on a subsequent Sunday we saw a family laughing and excited as they loaded their snow skis onto their car. One of my teenage sons said with a sly grin, “They’re not really happy, huh, Dad?” That statement has become a family joke whenever we see someone doing something we cannot do. When I see a teenager driving a beautiful, expensive sports car, I say to my sons, “Now there’s one miserable guy.” (Pace, Glenn L., “They’re Not Really Happy,” General Conference, October 1987)
It’s not so simple in our modern world, is it, to teach your family not only how to keep the Sabbath Day holy but why to keep it holy. I do love the word Isaiah uses in that we “call the Sabbath a delight.” Just thinking about that makes me happy. We both love the Sabbath so much; it is our favorite day of the week—a day of spiritual refreshment and replenishment. It truly is a delight for us. Elder Russell M. Nelson talked about this:
“I am intrigued by the words of Isaiah, who called the Sabbath “a delight.” Yet I wonder, is the Sabbath really a delight for you and for me?
“I first found delight in the Sabbath many years ago when, as a busy surgeon, I knew that the Sabbath became a day for personal healing. By the end of each week, my hands were sore from repeatedly scrubbing them with soap, water, and a bristle brush. I also needed a breather from the burden of a demanding profession. Sunday provided much-needed relief.
“What did the Savior mean when He said that “the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath”? I believe He wanted us to understand that the Sabbath was His gift to us, granting real respite from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal. God gave us this special day, not for amusement or daily labor but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief.
President Nelson continues:
“In Hebrew, the word Sabbath means “rest.” The purpose of the Sabbath dates back to the Creation of the world, when after six days of labor the Lord rested from the work of creation. When He later revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses, God commanded that we “remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Later, the Sabbath was observed as a reminder of the deliverance of Israel from their bondage in Egypt. Perhaps most important, the Sabbath was given as a perpetual covenant, a constant reminder that the Lord may sanctify His people.
“In addition, we now partake of the sacrament on the Sabbath day in remembrance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Again, we covenant that we are willing to take upon us His holy name.
“The Savior identified Himself as Lord of the Sabbath. It is His day! Repeatedly, He has asked us to keep the Sabbath or to hallow the Sabbath day. We are under covenant to do so.” End of quote. (Nelson, Russell M., The Sabbath is a Delight, General Conference, April 2015)
I am especially impressed that the Sabbath was given as a perpetual covenant, a constant reminder that the Lord may sanctify His people.
And in the early times of the Restoration, the Prophet Joseph received this revelation concerning our keeping the Sabbath Day holy. We’re reading from Section 59 of the Doctrine and Covenants, starting with verse 9:
9 And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
10 For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;
11 Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;
12 But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.
So, keeping the Sabbath Day holy helps us more fully keep ourselves unspotted from the world. This is a critical thing as we live in a world where is it so easy to become spotted or even drenched in the things of the world. Setting aside this day of the week to come and renew our covenants through the partaking of the holy emblems of the sacrament lets us start anew, afresh, clean and whole.
Section 59 continues:
13 And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.
14 Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer.
The Lord here equates fasting with rejoicing. I hope that we think of our fasting as rejoicing and not as drudgery or an onerous obligation that we just have to get through, carefully watching the clock: “Okay, our Church block is 9:00 to 11:00, we are planning to break our fast at 4:00, let’s see, that five more hours. Wow. If I sleep for one hour, that’s only four more hours…” You get the picture. This would not be the true fast.
Listen to the promises of the Lord in our time, again from Section 59, now in verse 15:
15 And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—
16 Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.
21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.
Those are immense promises. Study them out carefully and you’ll see that keeping the Sabbath Day holy, as part of our covenant with God, is a way to have among the richest blessings the Lord has to offer.
I think if we all had a deeper understanding of the covenants we have made with God, we would never think of doing anything other than staying on that straight and narrow course that leads us through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and back to the presence of our Heavenly Father.
Scot and I go to Nazareth, in Israel, at least once or twice a year. This is the city in the Galilee region where Jesus grew up. We don’t really know how much time He spent here. Ancient, apocryphal rumors say that He spent time in Arabia, perhaps in Persia, in the far away British Isles. Nevertheless, He spent enough time in Nazareth that He was known of the inhabitants here. They knew His family, Mary, His mother, and Joseph, His step father, and his brothers and sisters. When his ministry finally began, about the age of 30, he was teaching in many of the synagogues throughout the Galilee. And we have record of Him coming back to His hometown synagogue in Nazareth. We find the account in Luke, chapter 4, and it ties into our reading this week of Isaiah, chapter 61. Let’s look at the account of Jesus in Luke, chapter 4, verses 16 through 21:
16 ¶ And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
So, picture this. He comes back to where He was raised. The people all know Him. The verse tells us He was active in the synagogue. He was now of age and was an official Jewish Rabbi. He walked up to the area of teaching—the place where He could read to the congregation of listeners.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. [That’s the Greek for Isaiah] And when he had opened the book [which should read, as he unrolled the scroll], he found the place where it was written (and now the Lord is going to read from Isaiah, chapter 61):
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book [or he rolled up the scroll], and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
At this point, a Rabbi would expound upon the reading, tell the people what it meant, help them understand the word of God. And here is what He taught:
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
This is clearly a Messianic prophecy. Undoubtedly everyone in the congregation was familiar with Isaiah chapter 61 and they knew it was a Messianic prophecy. And now, Jesus has boldly asserted that these Messianic verses are talking about Him! He could not be clearer.
22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?
In other words, “Wait, we know this Man. This is Joseph, the carpenter’s son—or—the stone mason’s son. He grew up here. He was friends with my son and my family. He has brothers and sisters that we know. We know His mother, Mary. Where did He get His learning? How can this be?
Well, of course, as you remember, the conversation went south and His home town moved against Him and tried to stone Him to death.
I think the thing that is so fascinating here is that He clearly declared to His home town friends and associates that He is the Messiah, He is the Holy One of Israel, He is the One that Isaiah was prophesying would come. This was more than they could take. [Pause] Is it more than we can take? Are we ready to accept Jesus fully and be “all in” with His restored gospel? Are we ready to give our all to His kingdom? Are we ready to whole-heartedly accept and follow His chosen servants, His Prophet, and the other apostles? Are we ready to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the work of the Savior of the world? I so wish I could have been there to hear Him read that beautiful prophecy of Himself on that special Sabbath in Nazareth.
He indeed was the One Who was anointed—That’s what His very name, Jeshua ha Messiah, means—the anointed life giver. And He indeed preached the gospel to the poor. He came to heal the brokenhearted—we know this, don’t we, can’t you feel how He heals your broken heart? And He has come to preach deliverance to the captives—aren’t we all captives in sin? And He is the only One Who can deliver us! He is to restore our sight—aren’t we all blind in so many ways and only through Him can we see again? And He is here to set at liberty those of us who are bruised. Life; mortality itself, is a bruising affair. We are all bruised and He alone can set us at liberty.
Let’s end by looking at three verses from Isaiah chapter 59. Let’s start with verse 19:
19 So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
We learn from our good friends, Donald and Jay Parry and Tina Peterson, in the book Understanding Isaiah, that “those who receive God’s judgments will be afraid of both death and eternal punishment, and they will fear the Lord who brings both. When the Lord comes in his glory, “every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, . . . saying: Fear God, and give glory to him” (D&C 88:104). These responses will occur from the west to the east, over the entire globe (40:5; 52:10)…And the phrase, “like a flood,” means “the enemies of the Lord’s people will come with such power and in such numbers that they cannot be stopped or turned (8:6-8). But the Lord will stop them nonetheless. Just as the Lord will lift a banner or ensign as a rallying point for the righteous, so will he lift a banner or ensign as a rallying point in the battle against evil (49:22; Alma 46:11-21, 36; 62:4)
Now in verse 20:
20 ¶ And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.
21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.
“When Christ comes again, before he appears in glory, he will first come to Zion, both to the temple and to the gathering at Adam-ondi-Ahman (Malachi 3:1). Moroni gave a valuable context to this prophecy when he quoted it to Joseph Smith on 22 September 1823. He said that the Church would prosper and grow despite persecution, “increasing in knowledge till they shall be sanctified and receive an inheritance where the glory of God will rest upon them; and when this takes place, and all things are prepared, the ten tribes of Israel will be revealed in the north country, whither they have been for a long season; and when this is fulfilled will be brought to pass that saying of the prophet . . . [quotes 59:20].”
“Not only will Christ come to Zion but he will then go forth from Zion. Paul wrote: “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (Rom. 11:25-27). Elder Orson Pratt declared, “The Zion of the last days . . . is the Church and kingdom of God; and out of that Church or kingdom or Zion is to come a Deliverer, who will turn away ungodliness from Jacob after the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
“The Lord will “come to” the repentant among those who receive the Abrahamic covenant (66:5). This seems to refer to the Second Coming.
“There is an eternal decree, issued in heaven above by the Lord himself. It is that in the day of gathering, when for the last time he assembles the outcasts of Israel, he will never again forsake them. They and their seed forever shall remain steadfast to the truth. The gospel will never be given to another people, nor the kingdom placed in other hands. The Lord’s work will roll forward until the conversion of the world is completed” (Peterson, Tina M., Parry, Jay A., Parry, Donald W., Understanding Isaiah, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1998, pp. 526-528)
That’s all for today. We’ve loved being with you and we’ve loved studying Isaiah together these past five podcasts. Next week the lesson will look at the first half of the book of Jeremiah in a lesson entitled “Before I Formed Thee in the Belly, I Knew Thee.” Don’t forget to get your copy of The Last Safe Place on Amazon today. Thanks to Paul Cardall for the music that accompanies this podcast and a special thanks to our producer, Michaela Proctor Hutchins. Have a wonderful week and see you next time.