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Life-Study of Isaiahby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0356-1
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 52 of 54 Section 1 of 7

LIFE-STUDY OF ISAIAH

MESSAGE FIFTY-TWO

THE ALL-INCLUSIVE CHRIST
IN HIS FOUR STAGES ACCORDING TO
GOD'S NEW TESTAMENT ECONOMY

(3)

Scripture Reading: Isa. 53:12a, 10c; Eph. 4:8; Acts 2:36; Rev. 17:14; 19:16; Eph. 1:22b, 10-11; Acts 5:31; Rev. 1:5a; Heb. 4:14; 7:26; 8:1-2; 7:25; 4:15-16; Rev. 1:13; 2:1b; Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Tim. 1:4b

In this message we come to the last verse of Isaiah 53. As we have seen in the previous two messages, Isaiah 53 covers the four stages of Christ. In the whole universe Christ is the most wonderful One. As such a One, Christ has four stages: incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. The entire Bible of sixty-six books speaks mainly concerning these four things. Nothing in the universe is as crucial as Christ's incarnation, Christ's crucifixion, Christ's resurrection, and Christ's ascension. In this message we will see Christ in the stage of His ascension.

Colossians 2:15 says that while Christ was hanging on the cross, the Father stripped off the rulers and authorities, the evil angelic powers. This verse opens a window to show us that while Christ was being crucified on the cross, a war was raging between God and Satan. Before that time Satan had induced a group of angels to rebel against God and to follow him and become his subordinates. In Ephesians 2:2 Satan is called "the ruler of the authority of the air," indicating that under him are the rulers and authorities in the air, which are the evil angels. When Christ was crucified on the cross, there was a war between the good angels and the evil angels, and even between God and Satan. This is clearly indicated by Colossians 2:15, which says, "Stripping off the rulers and the authorities, He made a display of them openly, triumphing over them in it." The antecedent of the pronoun He in this verse is God in verse 12. If we read only the four Gospels, we will not be able to see that during Christ's crucifixion a war was raging between God and Satan. Only Colossians 2:15 shows us such a scene.

We need to realize that in the universe there is an invisible scene behind the visible scene. In the entire universe there are two scenes; one is visible, and the other is invisible. When Christ was crucified, there was a visible scene. All the people standing there saw that visible scene. The soldiers put Christ on the cross and nailed His hands and His feet. Then they erected the cross. The bystanders saw these things, but they could not see and they did not see that behind the visible scene there was an invisible scene: God and Satan were fighting there. In this fighting God stripped off all the troublesome rulers and authorities, and He made a public show of them, triumphing over them in Christ and in the cross.

This indicates that in the whole universe only four things are crucial to God and to us, His elect. All other things are insignificant. In the books of the New Testament we can see the invisible scene behind the visible scene concerning Christ's incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. This scene is continuing even today.

The Old Testament, in books such as Daniel, also shows that at that time there were both a visible scene and an invisible scene. In the scene that was visible to people, Babylon came to capture Jerusalem (Dan. 1:1-2). That captivity endured for seventy years. At the end of those years the Medo-Persian Empire defeated Babylon. All these things were visible. But people could not see that behind that scene there was another, invisible scene. They could not see that behind Persia was the prince of Persia, and behind Greece was the prince of Greece. When Greece under Alexander was fighting against Persia, the two princes also were fighting in the air (10:13, 20).

In each of the four steps of Christ, not only men but also angels were involved (Luke 2:8-14; Col. 2:15; Matt. 28:2-7; Acts 1:10-11). This indicates again that concerning Christ's incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension there is both the visible scene and the invisible scene. However, of these two, the invisible scene is more important.


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