January 8th, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
The Family that Fulfilled the Covenant of Immanuel (Is 7:14)
It’s good to see you. Greet those around you. Have you had a good week? Today’s title is, “The family that fulfilled the Covenant of Immanuel”. If a fox and a hedgehog fight, who would win? The fox would use its intellect to try to win while the hog would defend itself with thorns and the fox would get hurt. The hog negates the attack. The fox would think of a lot of strategies to try to win. This hog defends in 1 way. It would curl itself and make horns. The hedgehog only does 1 thing, so it could survive. There is a historic principle called the Rhino Principle. They have a big body, but a narrow eyesight. It is not like they are intelligent like foxes. These Rhinos are supposed to become extinct, but they aren’t yet. They have a good sense of hearing and smelling. When rhinos are about to fight, they can make a good decision on whether to charge or stand still. If it dashes through the enemy, they would use all their energies. There is only 1 of 2 results. Either the target would be bounced away or squashed. The rhino would definitely win. Then, they eat grass in peace. Paul Johnson said something regarding this principle. When we face our own crises, we have to consider the actions of a rhino. They only focus on 1 thing. If you look at successful individuals, they focus on their specialty, one thing. Non-believers also do this, people like Alexander and Caesar. It’s a case when they focus on 1 goal. Even if it is not our own goal, if it is God’s goal, we need to focus on that. That is why it is more vital to set it as our goal as a man of God. In America, there is a person named Bill Beck. He said that if a player tries to overcome a slump, they need to do one thing. They just need earplugs. A lot of people will say things and the player will be confused. If the player just focuses on the basics and blocks out everything else, they will overcome their slump. We are men of God. We have to focus on the word of God and the value of the Gospel. God is trying to look for a person to focus on His will. Today’s scripture is in Isaiah. In the Old Testament, Isaiah was a prophet who wrote his own book.
1. Isaiah had the guaranteed abundance
(1) Identity – Member of a royal family
(2) Background – Prophet of the palace
(3) Skill – King of the great prophet, predictor
We need to look at how he focused on the Gospel. He did so to the extent where he gave up his vested rights. Even though he had a guaranteed abundance, he gave that up for the sake of the Gospel. Isaiah was the son of Amos. He happened to be a nephew of the King. He was a part of the royal family. He was born in Jerusalem, the capital. He was a prophet of the palace. He had a great background. If you look him up, there are many descriptions of him. He was an elite with good education. His bloodline, background and academics were perfect. However, he gave up all that for the sake of God. Even Moses hesitated a couple times. However, Isaiah immediately obeyed God. In chapter 6, he was giving worship and heard the voice of God. When Isaiah was receiving this mission, he had to share messages that dealt with negative things. When the sermon is about a negative thing, there is a side effect to the point where people won’t want to come. So, Pastors would hesitate on whether to talk about it or not. Isaiah was aware of that. He immediately obeyed. He got a calling from God. Isaiah made a confession. "Here am I. Send me!" This is something that can challenge Christians. They try to calculate everything. Giving up your background means that God will give an even greater one. Matthew 25:21 says, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!” You would focus on what your master is telling you. When you put aside your own things, God will give you a greater one. Isaiah knew that God’s will, which is the Gospel, was much greater. This is the form of Christianity that we must take. He was on the cross for 3 days so He was able to sit with God in heaven. You may have a frame. You may call that a vessel. In God’s POV, that is so tiny. Because God wants to give more blessings, He will enlarge your vessel and abandon your small paradigm to enlarge it. I had a job during theology school. However, I no longer worked, so I thought that I didn’t have to do offering. However, God gave evidence. When you break your frame, God will give greater things. You might have limited English. Some people make excuses, and it can be your own paradigm. We have a Samsung factory here in Austin. It is a top 2 IT city. Austin has the 2nd largest population of doctorates. If you work at Samsung, it can be a paradigm. A person may only work within their group. Some may live in Killeen and work in the military, but they work by themselves. Isaiah saw his own paradigm. He confessed that even though he was a member of this worldly family, he was a member of God’s kingdom. He knew that God reigned over the world. His own people would face destruction. The surrounding nations would cause a war. He was wondering what must he do? If he didn’t throw away his own background and frame, what would’ve happened? Where would he hide his money that he had been saving? He was continuing to look for God’s answer and broke his own paradigm. I ask that you will enjoy this blessing of Isaiah. May you hear the voice of God like Isaiah. May you have the same calling from God. May God’s glory be upon you.
2. He held onto only the Gospel in the midst of a national chaos.
(1) Christ who becomes the Holy seed to the remaining ones (Is 6:13)
(2) Christ who came as a mankind who will be with us (Is 7:14)
(3) Christ who reigns with His amazing authority and wisdom and who is the eternal God (Is 9:6)
What kind of problem was in Israel at the time? Isaiah was a prophet for 50 years. There was a national and international crisis. At the time, the nation was split just like Korea. Within southern Judea, there was a lot of corruption and idol worship. Also, Assyria was causing problems and took over Northern Israel. As a result, the Southern Judea was thinking that they had to give up. Not only that, Egypt was also causing problems. Their soldiers were mobilizing for war. They had to decide whether to join Assyria or Egypt. The King Hezekiah sided with Egypt and the Assyrian soldiers would invade. In other words, the country experienced political problems and also experienced war from the outside. Most people would just protest. People would also flee from the country. However, Isaiah only followed the word of God. He only focused on the Gospel and immersed it. It is the Messiah. He held onto the mystery of Messiah that must be recorded in the Bible. Isaiah had to relay the mystery that had been relayed for thousands of years. God showed that whoever focused on the Gospel, will have victory. Through Isaiah, God was showing these facts. May you also have victory, knowing Christ. During the 1st service, I talked about the knowledge of knowing Christ. In 2 Peters 3:18, it says, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” How do we know Jesus Christ? Suppose a neighbor knocked on your door and noticed that you go to church every week. They asked if they want to know and believe Jesus. How would you respond? Would you just describe his secular titles? In the name of our Lord, I hope that you become a specialist on the knowledge of Christ. Do you know why God allows you to be able to see? Why has God blessed you to speak? Do you know how God blessed you to be able to walk? He wants you to see the Gospel through the Bible. He wants you to share the Gospel. He wants you to evangelize. A lot of people cannot even do this. God would tackle someone’s mouth or leg. Do not think of this day as a happy day, think of it as a new challenge. You must become a specialist of Christ. What kind of mystery does Isaiah enjoy? In chapter 6:11, Isaiah asked, "For how long, O Lord?" Then, God answered, "Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged” The land is a desolate waste. People will not understand until they get destroyed. However, God said in verse 13, “And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land." That stump is the Remnant. The Holy seed means life, Christ and the Messiah. No matter what chaos occurs, those who have the Gospel will survive. That Holy Seed will grow and restore everything. It may look like everything is destroyed, once you hold onto Christ, everything will be restored. In this impossible situation, God will make you immortal through Christ. You will realize His spiritual mystery. Christ ended the problems of your past, present and future. God is with you through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the person who has the Gospel, will not perish. They won’t be discouraged. No matter what they hear, the person will not be discouraged. The one who has the authority of heaven and earth will be with you, it is Immanuel. In Isaiah 7:14, he was able to confess that one incident will happen in the future. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” That is an amazing, because you need a male and female to have intercourse. God names this son ahead of time and calls Him Immanuel. This is an amazing blessing of God. At the time, if you hear this message, it is amazing. We all know as time passes. She was actually virgin. She bore a child and that child is Jesus Christ. He is the incarnation of God. In order to be with mankind, He had to be born as a man. Not only that, he filled our need. No matter how hard they try, mankind cannot be saved from their destiny. No matter how wealthy a person is, if they do not have Christ, they will go to hell. So, Christ came and that’s how He ended. In Isaiah 53:4, “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.” He was suffering on the cross and crucified. We might think this in a weird way. People will think that He was merely punished. When Jesus Christ was saying that He was the son of God, people that it was blasphemous. So, they crucified Him. 700 years prior to that, Isaiah predicted that He would be penetrated by nails because of our lacking. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” He came as man and solve the sin of not knowing God. If you have that sin, you will have a lot of curses and disasters. You will end up in hell. Through Christ, it is finished. Once you realize this, then you will have true peace. That fact will be praiseworthy. What kind of man was He? The answer is written in Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Who is that? It is Jesus Christ. May you believe the fact that He is the one who has all authority on heaven and earth. He raised Trump, Americans? If you think like that, then you don’t know. God raised Trump. I voted for him. I dislike him personally, but I know that God is the one who raised him. When God goes to the right, go right, and vice versa. We are not a political party. Our background is the Gospel and heaven. His title of The Wonderful Counselor is marvelous. He will give answers. Counselor can also mean comforter. There is a vital expression. He calls Him a, “Mighty God and Everlasting Father”. Jehovah’s Witnesses think of Jesus as a child. The Son and God are the same. However, they believe in Jehovah only. They think that Jesus is just a high-level angel. They are just interpreting that in their own way. The Bible says it like this. He knows everything and will move everything. He doesn’t have any impossibilities. The father is the one who gives peace. I pray that He gives comfort to me, as well as everyone else. He is the one who will comfort you. If you are not able to enjoy this, you will be anxious. You will start to calculate things. The more you do that, the more answers you won’t receive. Isaiah realized this mystery. He put everything in God’s will. He was able to enjoy the covenant of God which was Immanuel. He didn’t simply give up his luxurious life, but saw the importance of doing God’s work. He willingly became a prophet and enjoyed the Gospel.
3. And He truly fulfilled the covenant of Immanuel
(1) He obeyed God’s calling and served Him as a prophet (Is 6:1-8)
(2) He taught to reign over the family within God’s will (Is 7:3, 8:3)
(3) He continued God’s word movement in the field for more than 50years until he was martyred (Is 1:1, Heb 11:37)
What did he fulfill? Our congregation thinks of me as a pastor. I share the message with passion. There is a way to check how we live for the remaining 6 days. You just have to look at my family members. I have my wife and children. Suppose they are a mess. That means I am a fake. I might be real, but am wandering and lost. I might be deceiving you on Sunday and be lost for the rest of the week. My family won’t grow. If you look at the faith of my 3 children and aren’t doing well, then I am failing. If my wife is having a bad attitude, then I am failing. That is different. Isaiah’s wife is a prophet. Usually in an Asian mindset, a pastor’s wife is merely a pastor’s wife. If Asians have a position appointed, they might overreact. I am talking about Koreans. Koreans disrespect the wives of pastors because they cause problems. They aren’t wrong. However, Isaiah raised his wife as a prophet. He enjoyed the Gospel himself and prayed for her. This is what a husband must do in a biblical sense. What does the word, “husband” mean? In the old English Bible, they are called farmers. They must raise their wives and kids. They must help their family grow. If a wife wants plastic surgery, then pay for it. Christ is raising His church. He is the groom and the church is the bride. They are couples. They must raise each other. Isaiah raised her. People might think that it is ok since she is a prophet. He had a vessel big enough to serve his wife as a prophet. He was considerate enough to make his wife as a prophet. Isaiah enjoyed the Gospel realistically. His first son is Shear-Jashub. His second son is Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. “Shear-Jashub” means that the remaining ones will be returned or restored. “Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz” means that enemies’ invasion and plunder is coming soon. When you name a child, you would bless them. But, he tried to imprint the message of God within their names. In the book of Genesis, Methuselah was the person who lived the longest. His name means that that the time will come. Then, Noah’s flood happened. The people of God would name their children with God’s message. The children can reside with God’s message. Isaiah did the word movement for 50 years. In Isaiah 20, it talks about how God commands Isaiah to walk naked in 3 years. What does that mean? You will be seen as a mental patient. God is telling him to become like that. Isaiah truly obeys this command. The Isaiah was sharing this message to all people, but they weren’t listening. He was even falsely accused as a spy. He showed his nakedness. It means the spirituality of the Israelites were naked. It is a sign of God that they should come back to their own sense. Isaiah showed this with his own body. He even staked his own life to follow God’s word. At the end, he receives a great blessing of martyrdom. His body was cut by a saw. He was sawed in half. That was a great victory. He enjoyed and experienced the Gospel.
There is nothing more urgent and complete than the Gospel. I bless that this year, you may be imprinted, rooted and natured within the Gospel. May your personality, manner, even speech all be based on the Gospel. May you become a man of worship, word, prayer, evangelism, missions and devotion. May you have the evidence. Your family will be the Gospel Noble family.
Dear precious Lord, we give thanks. May we realize the value of Gospel as we look at the life of Isaiah once again. Through his ministry, may we look at our own field of faith. May we be able to fulfill the covenant of Immanuel. In Jesus Christ name we pray, Amen.