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|July, 2001 (5761)||Vol. 27 No. 7|
JERUSALEM OF GOD, Chapter 6
All We Like Sheep
Have Gone Astray
I remember years ago when I first read The Word of GOD, it seemed so terribly impossible that I would ever understand or even comprehend it's meaning. Reading through The Holy Bible became a challenge, therefore, I read it from cover to cover not once, but twice. By the way, it was during my second reading that I came to a realization that spiritually I was lost ; I was lost in the sense that I had no rhyme or reason for my own existence, or direction in life. It was as if, I was a 'lost lamb', not knowing where I came from; what I was doing here on earth; and where I was going. As I read through The Scriptures, I began to find some of the answers, although at first, they were very sketchy and almost confusing. There is one passage of Scripture that I remember very distinctly spending a great deal of time on and basically not being able to appreciate it's meaning. You see, it took me about five or six months to read through The Holy Bible (twice), and all that time I would not allow anyone to know of my endeavor, nor would I speak with anyone about it. But the saddest of all, is that during this period of time, no one ever approached me, either to 'witness' to me, or to help me with The Scriptures. The passage of Scripture that I mentioned above, was the fifty-third chapter of the book of Isaiah.
I am going to list all twelve verses, with one exception, in order to help you understand of 'WHOM' the prophet is speaking about, wherever it is needful to insert some knowledge for you, I will!!!
I must tell you before I continue that on November the 18th, 1964, not only did I realize that I had sinned against The Almighty God of Israel, but that His beloved Son, Jesus of Nazareth came to this earth to redeem and to reconcile me unto GOD Himself. As a result, I accepted Jesus as LORD and Saviour, and then I began to understand GOD's GREAT LOVE for all of humanity through Jesus The MESSIAH, "...to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile". Thanks be unto my LORD and GOD!
"Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the Arm of The Lord revealed? For He (that is Jesus ) shall grow up before Him (GOD) as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He (Jesus) hath no form nor comeliness; and when we (you and me) shall see Him (Jesus) , there is no beauty that we (you and me) should desire Him (Jesus) . He (Jesus) is despised and rejected of men (you and me) ; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we (you and me) hid as it were our faces from Him (Jesus) ; He (Jesus) was despised, and we, (you and me) esteemed Him (Jesus) not. Surely He (Jesus) hath born our (you and me) griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we (you and me) did esteem Him (Jesus) stricken, smitten of GOD, and afflicted. But He (Jesus) was wounded for our (you and me) transgressions, He (Jesus) was bruised for our (you and me) iniquities: the chastisement of our (you and me) peace was upon Him (Jesus) ; and with His (Jesus) stripes we (you and me) are healed. All we (you and me) like sheep have gone astray; we (you and me) have turned every one to his (you and me) own way; and The LORD hath laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us (you and me) all. He (Jesus) was oppressed, and He (Jesus) was afflicted, yet He (Jesus) openeth not His (Jesus) mouth: He (Jesus) is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He (Jesus) opened not His (Jesus) mouth. He (Jesus) was taken from prison and from judgment: and who (you and me) shall declare His (Jesus) generation? For He (Jesus) was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my (Isaiah the prophet) people was He (Jesus) stricken. And He (Jesus) made His (Jesus) grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His (Jesus) death; because he (Jesus) had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His (Jesus) mouth. Yet it pleased The LORD to bruise Him (Jesus) ; He (The LORD) hath put Him (Jesus) to grief: when Thou (The LORD) shalt make His (Jesus) soul an offering for sin (yours and mine) , He (The LORD) shall see His (Jesus) seed, He (The LORD) shall prolong His (Jesus) days, and the pleasure of The LORD shall prosper in His (Jesus) Hand. He (The LORD) shall see of the travail of His (Jesus) soul, and shall be satisfied: by His (Jesus) knowledge shall my (The LORD) 'RIGHTEOUS SERVANT' (Jesus) justify many (you and me) ; for He (Jesus) shall bear their (yours and mine) iniquities. Therefore will I (The LORD) divide Him (Jesus) a portion with the great, and He (Jesus) shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He (Jesus) hath poured out His (Jesus) soul unto death: and He (Jesus) was numbered with the transgressors (you and me) ; and He (Jesus) bare the sin of many (you and me) , and made intercessions for the transgressors (you and me) ".
I do pray and hope in The LORD, that, the help on the pronouns from ISAIAH Chapter fifty-three will be of use to you, either to bring you unto The MESSIAH Jesus for your eternal good and Salvation, or if you already are a believer; then may it be useful to you in understanding the Chapter better than you have before! I personally know, that if I had been given or even told of the various personalities that appear in the chapter, such as, The LORD, Jesus, Isaiah, The people of Israel, and you and me; I surely would have understood this very important MESSIANIC PASSAGE a long-long time ago!
'ALL WE LIKE SHEEP' is a reminder that as human beings we are very much 'like' sheep. The Bible does not say that we are sheep, but rather 'like' sheep; that is, in respect of the mannerisms that are displayed by sheep. Some of these are:
SHEEP - are very 'Naive', in respect of following whomever and whatever asserts enough authority and initiative to lead them!
SHEEP - are 'dumb', in the sense that even as they are led to the slaughter, they won't even object!
SHEEP - 'lack' sense of direction, because no matter where you leave them, they will not be able to return on their own.
SHEEP - are 'ignorant' due to the fact that a 'sheep-herder' must sometimes (in order for the sheep to learn), hit their legs in order to teach them lessons, and yet, the poor sheep, just keep making the same mistakes, again and again, thusly, receiving the same hits, again and again!
Although, I have been relating some of the mannerisms of sheep, personally, I simply adore sheep!!! I don't like sheep because of the negative qualities that I listed, but rather because they are, at least in my estimation, cute, cuddly, soft, meek, affectionate, as well as the fact that they give of their wool for our warmth! However, for the purpose of understanding our portion of Scripture in Isaiah Chapter 53, verse 6, "...all we like sheep have gone astray", we will use the negative aspects of sheep: They are NAIVE - DUMB - and IGNORANT. Before we go any further, let me establish for you, the Biblical fact, that, there are 'two' distinct families in the overall structure of humanity. In I Corinthians 10:32, we read, "...Give none offence, neither to the Jews , nor to the Gentiles , nor to the Church of GOD "; Here we see the overall breakdown of humanity into 'two' distinct families, that is, Jewish people and Gentile people. For the purpose of identification, a Jewish individual is one that comes from a Jewish father or mother, or has embraced the 'commonwealth' of ISRAEL such as Ruth in the Old Testament, or an individual that marries a Jewish person. Therefore, an individual is regarded as Jewish if they are: 1) Born of Jewish Parents, or 2) Embrace Israel or, 3) Marry into the Seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. On the other hand, a Gentile is anyone that does not fall into the above categories! Now for an example: today there are over 5 billion Gentiles in the world, and only - 16.5 million Jews. So you can see, that there are very very few Jewish people in the world today!
Of course, I must bring out the fact, that according to The Holy Bible, the one true fact of Jewish descendency is through the Seed of the man, namely as the father is Jewish, so are the children! Remember that not only is the name passed on through the 'male' line of humanity, but most importantly the right to the throne; to the inheritance; to the position, etc.! Now, to underscore our verse in I Corinthians that tells us that there are 'two' distinct families, that is, Jews and Gentiles; so also is there a third, namely, The Church of GOD. The Church of GOD is comprised of individuals from the 'two earthly families' , making 'one' spiritual family through The MESSIAH of Israel, Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, the two 'family' groups on earth today are the 1) Jewish and, 2) Gentile people! And from these two groups, individuals are chosen by The LORD GOD Himself, and brought into fellowship through Jesus our LORD and Saviour. This has established for us the Biblical fact that there are 'two' distinct families that comprise all of human nature; that is, either you are from the Jewish family, or you are from the Gentile family. In The Gospel of John, The LORD Jesus Christ speaks about these 'two' distinct families. In John 10:14 we read, "...I am The Good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As The Father knoweth Me, even so know I The Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep ." You probably are familiar with the above verses, although, you may not be aware of the fact that 'the sheep' that Jesus our LORD spoke about is specifically, the Jewish believers. In Psalm 80:1, The MESSIAH is referred to as The 'Shepherd of Israel'. You must remember, that at the time of this writing, Jesus our LORD was ministering, teaching, healing, etc., to "The lost sheep of the House of Israel" (see: Matthew 10:6-7). Also, one must remember that even the Apostle to the Gentiles, The Apostle Saul-Paul spoke of this in Romans 15:8, "...Now I say that Jesus Christ was a Minister of the circumcision for The Truth of GOD, to confirm the PROMISE made unto the fathers".
Jesus our LORD goes on to say in John 10: 16, "...And 'OTHER SHEEP' I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be 'one' fold, and 'one' Shepherd". Although Jesus our LORD would not do the actual ministering in the flesh, that is, to 'the other sheep', which by now you can truly understand that it is speaking of the Gentiles, nevertheless, Jesus The MESSIAH will always see to it that His Word is carried out. Let's look at this once again! Jesus our LORD speaks of 'two' distinct families, that is 'my sheep' and 'other sheep' , representing the Jewish, and the Gentile people! I wanted to emphatically emphasize by way of The Word of GOD, that, The Almighty relates to humanity as sheep, either Jewish or Gentile. No matter which one of the 'two' distinct families we belong to, one thing is for sure and that is, that "...For all have sinned, and come short of The Glory of GOD" (Romans 3:23). Therefore, as part of 'the sheep' (the Jewish people) or, 'the other sheep' (the Gentile people), we know according To The Word of GOD, that we are basically and fundamentally sinful, and that "...The wages (or the ultimate penalty) of sin is death; but the gift of GOD is eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD" (Romans 6:23). How wonderful that we as 'lost' sheep have the great opportunity of being 'found' by GOD Himself. "...For there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile: for the same LORD over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. " (Romans 10:12). This verse is 'not' saying that there is no distinction between Jewish and Gentile people, but rather, that both, the Jew and the Gentile have the opportunity to be in fellowship with GOD, that is, "...Unto all that call upon Him" . How is this accomplished? "...If thou shalt confess with thy mouth The LORD Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that GOD hath raised HIM from the dead, thou shalt be saved. " "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto Salvation." (Romans 10:9-10). In conclusion, we are reminded that, "...Whosoever shall call upon The Name of The LORD shall be saved." (Romans 10:13).
SALVATION IS FREE - it's a GIFT.
SALVATION IS FULL - it's COMPLETE.
SALVATION IS FOR - ALL - it's not PREJUDICED TO:
COLOR, RACE, STATUS OF LIFE, SEX, OR INTELLECT.
SALVATION IS FORMIDABLE - it's OF THE LORD.
How beautiful that The LORD, didn't make the requirements to be saved from sin, so difficult, that only a very select few would every qualify; However, Salvation is 'all' OF GOD, and 'all' we must do is to receive His free GIFT . If you have never taken your eternal destiny serious, please do so at this time!
"...But as many as 'received' Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of GOD, even to them that 'believe' on His Name." (John 1:12). Before you continue reading, I pray that you will settle this all important eternal matter! Although we know that "...All we like 'sheep' have gone astray", in the plan and purpose of The Almighty GOD, the Son of GOD gave Himself willingly, through His death, burial and resurrection, that you and I would receive the GIFT of GOD which is eternal life through Him. Remember that every relationship demands responsibility. Therefore, as Jewish or Gentile believers, we need to keep before us the requirements according to The Scriptures, to live a holy life in thought, word, and deed! Amen!!!
JERUSALEM OF GOD, Chapter 7
JERUSALEM OF GOD,Contents
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (Psalm 122:6)
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