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Title: Lesson Ten

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Lesson Ten
Isaiah 61-3
Isaiah 61-2 1 In the year that king Uzziah
died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne,
high and lifted up, and his train filled the
temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims each one
had six wings with twain he covered his face,
and with twain he covered his feet, and with
twain he did fly.
Isaiah 61-3
Isaiah 63 3 And one cried unto another, and
said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts the
whole earth is full of his glory.
Isaiah 64-6
Isaiah 64-5 4 And the posts of the door moved
at the voice of him that cried, and the house
was filled with smoke. 5 Then said I, Woe is me!
for I am undone because I am a man of unclean
lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of
unclean lips for mine eyes have seen the King,
the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah 64-6
Isaiah 66 6 Then flew one of the seraphims
unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he
had taken with the tongs from off the altar
Isaiah 67-9
Isaiah 67-9 7 And he laid it upon my mouth,
and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips and
thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin
purged. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord,
saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for
us? Then said I, Here am I send me. 9 And he
said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed,
but understand not and see ye indeed, but
perceive not.
Isaiah 610-12
Isaiah 610 10 Make the heart of this people
fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their
eyes lest they see with their eyes, and hear
with their ears, and understand with their
heart, and convert, and be healed.
Isaiah 610-12
Isaiah 610-12 11 Then said I, Lord, how long?
And he answered, Until the cities be wasted
without inhabitant, and the houses without man,
and the land be utterly desolate, 12 And the LORD
have removed men far away, and there be a great
forsaking in the midst of the land.
Focus Verse
Isaiah 61 In the year that king Uzziah died I
saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and
lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
Focus Thought
Isaiah received a vision from the Lord and
heeded the call of God.
The prophet Isaiah is a significant figure in the
Old Testament. The word prophet originates from a
Hebrew word meaning to announce thus, a
prophet is Gods mouthpiece or spokesperson
(Hebrews 11).
In his book A Popular Survey of the Old
Testament, Norman L. Geisler describes a prophet
as the human instrument through which God
declared His message to men. A prophet, then, is
one through whom God speaks. Consequently, the
prophet has insight or vision into the will and
purpose of God.
The word vision has become a popular term among
Christian leaders in the contemporary church.
However, popular business jargon has replaced
much of its original meaning. Goals, objectives,
and action plans based on theory or trends are
not always synonymous with a God-given vision.
Furthermore, a godly vision that reveals Gods
will and purpose is crucial to an effective
A person could have an intelligent plan and
desirable goals, yet lack God-given vision. The
Tower of Babel is an example of mankinds ability
to conceive a workable plan with desirable goals,
yet lacking in God-given vision (Genesis 11).
This incident in mankinds history further proves
God does not always work through our dreams and
In his book Disciplines of a Godly Man, R. Kent
Hughes states, Vision is the currency of
leadership. Therefore, a leader without vision
is bankrupt, lacking a basic ingredient necessary
to lead people. The Bible clearly warns, Where
there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs
Gods messenger should have an accurate,
prophetic word from God that enables him to lead,
guide, and direct His people. Those who follow
such a visionary leader feel safe amid the
complexities of their lives. Certainly, nothing
can substitute for godly leadership that
carefully follows the Spirit.
In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah
received a vision from God calling him to do a
special work. Despite the fact that Israel had
sinned, God revealed His plan to Isaiah that
would remedy their sin problem and the sins of
the world. (See Isaiah 53.) Isaiah surrendered to
Gods call and remained committed to what God had
called him to do.
If we are to become people of vision in our
postmodern world, we should learn the valuable
lessons afforded us by the model of Isaiah as he
heralded a message of hope and salvation to a
generation in trouble. His theme parallels
beautifully with the gospel of Jesus Christ no
matter how messed up a persons life may be, God
can save him.
Through repentance, water baptism in Jesus name,
and being filled with the Holy Ghost, God is able
to save those hopelessly trapped by sin. Like
Isaiah, people of vision are called,
commissioned, and committed to Gods
purposepreaching the message of deliverance to
all people everywhere.
I. The Call A
The Call
Isaiahs effectiveness as Gods servant grew out
of his own personal experience with Him. How
could he preach repentance convincingly to others
unless his own life bore fruit of repentance? The
same is true of everyone in Christian service.
Our effectiveness begins with our own personal
experience with God. Paul proclaimed that the
Corinthians were epistles known and read of all
men (II Corinthians 32).
I. The Call A
An anointed life ablaze with godliness and
passion always stands out from the crowd.
Although each is admirable, education, talent,
ability, charisma, or business savvy will never
substitute for a personal relationship with God.
For example, it was obvious to onlookers that
Peter and John were not properly educated or
trained men however, the call of Jesus Christ
and their living relationship with Him was
evident. (See Acts 413.)
I. The Call A
God called Isaiah to proclaim a message of
repentance to a wayward people, but he needed a
personal cleansing before he could effectively
minister to others. He needed an encounter with
fresh fire. He needed the seraphim to touch him
with a live coal from the altarnot from last
months or last years worship, but from an altar
aglow with fresh fire.
I. The Call A
  1. The Vision

The vision of Isaiah was accompanied by three
things the seraphim, the voice of God, and
smoke. On numerous occasions in both the Old and
New Testaments, angelic beings appeared in Gods
presence to fulfill His purpose. Although we do
not worship angels, they are a very real and
vital part of Gods hierarchy of power. (See
Hebrews 26-7.) They exist to do the divine
bidding of the Almighty.
I. The Call A
According to Nelsons Illustrated Bible
Dictionary, the seraphim were angelic or heavenly
beings associated with the prophet Isaiahs
vision of God. (See Isaiah 6.) Seraphim had six
wings two with which to fly two to cover their
feet and two to cover their faces. The New
Ungers Bible Dictionary suggests that two pairs
of the wings depicted humility and respect, while
the third pair of wings enabled them to fly.
I. The Call A
The holiness of God should evoke a similar
humility and reverence from those who serve God
today. The call of God came to Isaiah in an
atmosphere of humility and reverential awe. As we
seek to serve God by whatever meanspreaching,
teaching, singing, music, or any other meanswe
should do so in a spirit of humility and
reverence instead of pride and arrogance.
I. The Call A
Booker T. Washington, the renowned educator, was
an outstanding example of humility in service.
Shortly after he became president of Tuskegee
Institute in Alabama, he was walking in an
exclusive section of town when a wealthy woman
stopped him. Not recognizing Mr. Washington, she
asked if he would like to earn a few dollars
chopping firewood. Professor Washington smiled,
and accepted her offer.
I. The Call A
When he had finished, he carried some of the wood
into the house and stacked it neatly by the
fireplace. A young girl recognized him and
revealed his identity to the woman. Embarrassed,
she went to see Mr. Washington and apologized for
her oversight.
I. The Call A
In spite of his position as an esteemed educator,
Mr. Washington was humble enough to do menial
tasks that others may have thought beneath them.
I. The Call A
One of the seraphim, having a live coal in his
hand taken from the altar, purged Isaiahs sin.
The imagery of the seraph taking a live coal from
a living firea fresh fireto cleanse Isaiah
should speak powerfully to us. We should ask
ourselves if there is enough fresh fire on our
personal altar to bring about a cleansing in our
mind and spirit as we seek to serve God.
I. The Call A
It is easy to get spiritually cold when we
worship with the ashes of yesterdays fire. Only
a living firefresh firecan purge away our sin
and carnality. We cannot maintain fresh fire on
our altars while spending countless hours
consuming various media, surfing the Internet, or
following any other carnal pursuits. The call of
God is too sacred for us to neglect in exchange
for fulfilling insignificant human interests.
I. The Call A
Isaiah saw the Lord, and the house was filled
with smoke (Isaiah 64), the shekinah cloud, or
the glory of the Lord. When Solomon finished the
magnificent Temple that he built for the Lord,
and they placed the ark of the covenant inside,
the same cloud appeared and prevented the priests
from ministering (I Kings 81-11).
I. The Call A
When we enter Gods house with prayerfulness,
humility, repentance, and praise instead of
manifesting arrogance, carnality, or
maliciousness, Gods glory will fill the house!
David declared that Gods glory inhabits the
praises of His people (Psalm 223).
I. The Call B
  1. The Call

As with Isaiah of old, God still has a work to
accomplish. He has chosen to get it done through
willing and committed individuals who will obey
His call. God will accomplish and perfect His
work in the church through the ministry
(Ephesians 411-13). God does not call everyone
to perform the same ministry, yet each one works
in harmony with the others to effect Gods
complete purpose (I Corinthians 1227-31).
I. The Call B
In Isaiahs vision, God asked, Whom shall I
send? (Isaiah 68). Although the answer seems
obvious, it was Isaiahs choice whether or not he
would make himself available. He could have
declined and walked away instead, he yielded to
Gods call. Each of us has the freedom to do as
we wish regarding the call of Godwe can yield to
it or resist it. Isaiah chose to yield and
surrender his will to the will of God.
I. The Call B
Likewise, to serve God effectively, we should
surrender ourselves to the will of God. When we
surrender to Gods call, we may find that it
conflicts with our career plans or changes the
direction of our lives. Things that once were
unimportant to us become priority because of our
surrendering to Gods design and purpose.
I. The Call B
Isaiah acknowledged God as the only King because
there is only one God (Isaiah 448, 24 455-6,
18, 21-22 469). Isaiahs prophecy teaches us
that God would later manifest himself in flesh
(Isaiah 96) and become the Savior of all mankind
(Isaiah 53). Jesus Christ was God manifested in
flesh (Matthew 121-23 I Timothy 316). The
great King of Isaiah 65 became the suffering
Servant of Isaiah 5311 to justify many.
I. The Call B
Isaiahs vision of God impacted him profoundly,
causing him to dislike what he saw in himself.
Isaiah 65
II Timothy 22
Woe is me! for I am undone because I am a man
of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a
people of unclean lips for mine eyes have seen
the King, the Lord of hosts (Isaiah 65).
I. The Call B
Overwhelmed by Gods purity and holiness, Isaiah
lamented his own depraved condition. We may
deceive ourselves with self-righteousness when
comparing ourselves to others (Luke 1810-14),
but we can never experience such pride when
confronted with the true righteousness of God.
I. The Call B
Isaiah certainly felt no pride after his
encounter with the holiness of God. His only
feeling was self-contempt. A God-called
individual of true spiritual depth genuinely
humbles himself in Gods presence, leaving no
room for egotism.
I. The Call B
As with Isaiah, Gods purity magnifies our
impurity, sending us to our knees in repentance.
To the Corinthian believers Paul declared, Godly
sorrow worketh repentance to salvation (II
Corinthians 710). Certainly, Gods radiant
righteousness reveals the dullness of our
I. The Call B
We often recoil at the sight of ourselves in our
true condition, but the discomfort provides the
necessary motivation for repentance that clears
the way for relationship with God and empowers us
to reach a state of full maturity in God.
I. The Call C
  1. The Touch

Isaiah confessed that he was a man of unclean
lips (Isaiah 65) therefore, the seraph touched
Isaiahs lips with the live coal taken from the
altar and laid it on Isaiahs mouth (Isaiah
66-7). From that point onward, Isaiah had a new
message to share.
I. The Call C
The tongue is the most unruly member of the human
anatomy (Proverbs 1821 2123 James 126
35-8). It should not surprise us that God chose
tongues as the sign of the new birth, for there
is no denying Gods touch when we surrender our
tongue to Him in complete submission and
II. The Commission A
The Commission
God does not call people to inactivity, but to
action. He called Noah to build an ark, and He
called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees. He
called Moses to lead Israel out of Egyptian
bondage, and He called Samuel to be a spiritual
guide to His people.
II. The Commission A
Jesus called the twelve disciples to preach and
to teach those things that He had communicated to
them, and He still calls people today to fulfill
His purposes. According to Paul, not everyone is
called to be a preacher or teacher (I Corinthians
1229). However, He does call everyone to
minister in some way, even if it is to work in
harmony with the pastor for the churchs
II. The Commission A
  1. The Response

Although Isaiah did not yield and surrender to
Gods call immediately, he was willing both to
obey and to go. Many people seem to be willing,
but they never become involved in Gods work.
Isaiahs initial response was to recoil from
Gods call because of his sinfulnessnot because
he was unwilling. We should not interpret his
hesitancy as unwillingness or apathy, but his
response reveals our need to approach Gods work
with caution.
II. The Commission A
On the other hand, when one is overzealousabandon
ing all cautionhe can cause much harm. Zeal is a
two-edged sword (Galatians 417-18). It can be a
good thing or a bad thing because it cuts both
ways. This is one of the reasons why it is
crucial that we work under the oversight of a
local pastor who is responsible to oversee the
church (Hebrews 1317). Isaiahs response
indicates that he first spent time preparing
himself before he entered into service.
II. The Commission A
Unrestrained zeal may prompt well-meaning
individuals to pursue active service before they
are prepared, which may bring unnecessary
embarrassment to themselves or injury to the
church body. Therefore, we should prepare
ourselves carefully in the presence of God before
we sing, play music, teach a Sunday school class,
lead a youth group, preach a sermon, or pastor a
Romans 126-8
Having then gifts differing according to the
grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let
us prophesy according to the proportion of faith
or ministry, let us wait on our ministering or
he that teacheth, on teaching or he that
exhorteth, on exhortation he that giveth, let
him do it with simplicity he that ruleth, with
diligence he that sheweth mercy, with
cheerfulness (Romans 126-8).
II Timothy 22
II. The Commission A
For instance, a person may have ambitions to
pilot an airplane. However, prudence demands that
before one takes the controls, he should receive
proper training. Similarly, a novice should not
be allowed to bring injury to the body of Christ
just because he is zealous and willing to serve.
Personal preparation and training are essential.
II. The Commission A
For this reason, Paul advised pastors not to
appoint novices to positions of influence and
responsibility until they first are proven (I
Timothy 310). He further implied that candidates
should be thoroughly examined, scrutinized, and
tested before being given such a position.
II. The Commission A
To ignore Pauls instruction may lead the church
body into possible embarrassment, hurt, or even
shame, especially in the eyes of unbelievers.
Rather, we should appoint leaders who are role
models, competent and capable of doing the work
to which we assign them. Although no one is
perfect, we should not appoint those whose
witness has been so tarnished that they lack
credibility. If a leader is to inspire
confidence, he should have credibilityespecially
among the unsaved.
II. The Commission A
Although he was willing, Isaiah first waited
until God prepared him for the work. Effective
service always begins with personal preparation,
which may include working closely with a pastor
or mentor, allowing him to counsel, critique, and
direct us.
II. The Commission A
Once Isaiah was at peace within himself that he
was prepared for the work, he made himself
available to God. He was not only willing to
serve, but he was willing to goto get involved
in Gods work. Since God never calls anyone to
inactivity, we should get busy fulfilling His
purpose for our lives.  
II. The Commission B
  1. The Commission

God revealed His plan and purpose to Isaiah,
authorizing him to communicate a specific message
to which Isaiah remained committed. He refused to
compromise it. Likewise, our message must be
specific and on target.
II. The Commission B
A person of vision knows what his message is and
communicates it clearly with conviction. Nathan
looked King David in the eye and said, Thou art
the man (II Samuel 127). His specific message
affirmed that God had revealed Davids sin to
him. The clarity of our message reveals the
clarity of our vision, but a weak message reveals
a weak vision. If we have heard from God, we
should speak with clarity and conviction.
II. The Commission B
In an age when mega media ministries feed the
masses with vague generalizations, hungry hearts
still deserve to hear a clear, specific gospel
message from God-called servants. We should not
be vague when preaching the gospel of Jesus
II. The Commission B
When we are vague in our declarations of truth,
sin makes inroads into the church. On the other
hand, a clear and specific gospel message
empowers people, enabling them to make
spiritually sound decisions. Only then can we
expect believers to make mature choices and walk
in the power of the Spirit, abounding with joy
and peace.
II. The Commission B
Isaiahs message was to remain consistent until
the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the
houses without man, and the land be utterly
desolate, and the Lord have removed men far away,
and there be a great forsaking in the midst of
the land (Isaiah 611-12). Just as Isaiah could
not change the message in midstream, a person of
vision understands the seriousness of his mission
and is committed for the duration.
II. The Commission B
God had clearly declared to Isaiah that the
people would not receive his message, but Isaiah
never tweaked his message to accommodate the
whims of the people. He knew that to truly help
people, the message should remain consistent.
Changing the core message cannot help but bring
confusion to future generations. (See Galatians
II. The Commission B
If we tamper with the message, we interfere with
peoples ability to comprehend and fulfill the
will of God. Doing so places the one who tampers
with Gods message in a grave position with God.
II. The Commission B
Commentators suggest that Isaiah met death by
being sawed in two during Manassehs reign in
Judah. One may ponder how those who compromise
Gods Word will fare at the judgment when
compared to men like Isaiah, John the Baptist, or
Paul, all of whom gave their very lives defending
the truth. Without question, people of true
vision demonstrate courage, conviction, and
III. The Commitment A
The Commitment
  1. Isaiah Obeyed

Isaiah obeyed despite opposition. There is no
greater witness to a persons commitment to God
than his continuing obedience in the face of
difficulty. Even though his message was poorly
received, Isaiah remained faithful to the task.
III. The Commitment A
More than 180 men died in the Alamo fighting for
the independence of Texas from Mexico. These
freedom fighters stayed and continued to obey
orderseven when their cause seemed lostbecause
they were completely committed to freedom.
Likewise, Isaiah kept preaching the message that
God gave him because he was committed to it even
when the people rejected it.
III. The Commitment B
  1. Isaiah Went

We recognize a person of vision because of his
acting upon what God has shown him. He has a
task, a specific job to do. God has called and
commissioned the person of vision, and he cannot
sit still or remain idle. He is committed to
fulfilling his commission.
III. The Commitment B
Isaiah went about fulfilling the call of God on
his life. The person who leisurely approaches
life usually lacks vision. Such a person
apparently sees nothing worth doing and he
continues to excuse his inactivity.
III. The Commitment B
It is not so with a person of vision, however,
because his vision keeps motivating him to
action. Columbus discovered the Americas because
he saw something that others failed to see. When
others gave up or threatened mutiny, Columbus
sailed on! So it is with people of vision.
A brief glance at history reveals the impact that
a person of vision can have on a people, a
nation, and even the world. For example, John F.
Kennedy, in his book Why England Slept, examined
the reasons why England was so sluggish in its
preparations to engage Hitler in the 1930s. One
of the reasons he cited was the lack of Englands
long-range point of viewshe had no vision.
Englands political leaders were shortsighted and
complacent. As a result, little was being done to
prepare for the inevitable future conflict. In
armaments, Germany was outproducing Britain by 43
Kennedy concluded it was not until Winston
Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime
minister that England began to awaken from its
lethargic sleep. Had it not been for Churchills
visionary leadership, England would have been
devastated by the German war machine. A person of
vision makes all the difference!
Isaiahs ministry began with a personal encounter
with God during which he received vision and
purpose. This encounter occurred close to the
altar, which is always a good place to begin
seeking God. The altar symbolizes deathdeath to
self-will, pride, carnality, worldly desires, and
selfish ambitions. For Isaiah, cleansing and
personal preparation preceded service to God.
People who have a personal encounter with God
often become people of vision. Like Isaiah, they
tarry in the presence of God, preparing
themselves for the work to which God has called
them. People of vision are truly committed and
possess a desire to be effective. Moreover, they
will not compromise their mission by compromising
their message.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Isaiah was one of many links in a chain of events
that led mankind to the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Every preacher, teacher, evangelist, pastor, or
Christian worker is likewise a link in the chain
of events that leads souls to the Lord.
Therefore, we should be faithful and true to the
vision, consistently proclaiming the unchanging
message of salvation and holiness. The eternal
salvation of future generations may well depend
on what we do today.
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