Isaiah 6

Title: When the King died

Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-13

音频:以赛亚书6章
讲道从21:05开始

Isa 6:1 当乌西雅王崩的那年,我见主坐在高高的宝座上。他的衣裳垂下,遮满圣殿。
1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
2 其上有撒拉弗侍立,各有六个翅膀:用两个翅膀遮脸,两个翅膀遮脚,两个翅膀飞翔;
2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3 彼此呼喊说:圣哉!圣哉!圣哉!万军之耶和华;他的荣光充满全地!
3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
4 因呼喊者的声音,门槛的根基震动,殿充满了烟云。
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 那时我说:祸哉!我灭亡了!因为我是嘴唇不洁的人,又住在嘴唇不洁的民中,又因我眼见大君王―万军之耶和华。
5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
6 有一撒拉弗飞到我跟前,手里拿着红炭,是用火剪从坛上取下来的,
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 将炭沾我的口,说:看哪,这炭沾了你的嘴,你的罪孽便除掉,你的罪恶就赦免了。
7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
8 我又听见主的声音说:我可以差遣谁呢?谁肯为我们去呢?我说:我在这里,请差遣我!
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
9 他说:你去告诉这百姓说:你们听是要听见,却不明白;看是要看见,却不晓得。
9 And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
10 要使这百姓心蒙脂油,耳朵发沉,眼睛昏迷;恐怕眼睛看见,耳朵听见,心里明白,回转过来,便得医治。
10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
11 我就说:主啊,这到几时为止呢?他说:直到城邑荒凉,无人居住,房屋空閒无人,地土极其荒凉。
11 Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste,
12 并且耶和华将人迁到远方,在这境内撇下的地土很多。
12 and the LORD removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13 境内剩下的人若还有十分之一,也必被吞灭,象栗树、橡树虽被砍伐,树墩子却仍存留。这圣洁的种类在国中也是如此。
13 And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.

This is the word of God.

Introduction

I bet you have heard a lot of sermons from Isaiah 6, even last year we had a guest preacher came to preach Isaiah 6 and calling. But most of the preachers will only preach half of it, for example, Isaiah 6:1-8. As the second half of Isaiah 6 is not as popular as the first part. We feel good as long as we sense we have the certain privilege that God called me into ministry. We feel proud and appreciate people’s respect with a shining tile: Pastor or Reverend. And we don’t bother preaching the rest part of Isaiah 6, but only here:

“I am here! Ordain me!”

Oh, I am sorry, it’s “Here I am! Send me!”

Send you what? Among a bunch of good Christians and bless them. No, God says,

9 他说:你去告诉这百姓说:你们听是要听见,却不明白;看是要看见,却不晓得。
9 And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
10 要使这百姓心蒙脂油,耳朵发沉,眼睛昏迷;恐怕眼睛看见,耳朵听见,心里明白,回转过来,便得医治。
10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

I will send you into unrepentant sinners to proclaim my judgment, so they may have hope after a tiny portion of remnants coming back from captivity:

13 境内剩下的人若还有十分之一,也必被吞灭,象栗树、橡树虽被砍伐,树墩子却仍存留。这圣洁的种类在国中也是如此。
13 And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.

While you still want to go? Will you faithfully proclaim my message to my people?

I don’t know your answer yet, but at the end of the day, I want to know your answer. That’s why I choose my theme of today’s sermon as:

“When the King died.”

I just want to ask you one question: Who is the King?

Isa 6:1 当乌西雅王崩的那年,我见主坐在高高的宝座上。他的衣裳垂下,遮满圣殿。
1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

Uzziah. This King should never die. His story is in chapter 26 of Second Chronicles and Isaiah was happened to be his biography author. This one was on the throne for 52 years, one who reigned longer than any other Kings in Judah, even longer than King David’s 40 years. And he did the right things in God’s eyes, seeking God’s will; he was powerful and subdued many nations around Judah, even Egypt knew him.

2Ch 26:15乌西雅的名声传到远方;因为他得了非常的帮助,甚是强盛。
And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong.

This one seemed would never die, and he was many people’s hope, people even questioned if he was the One who would save Judah from all threatens of Assyria, Egypt, Syria and other nations. He just shadowed everything.

1 当乌西雅王崩的那年,我见主坐在高高的宝座上。他的衣裳垂下,遮满圣殿。
1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up.

I would ask you, is there anything in your life which is like King Uzziah, who only must die to allow you to see the Lord sitting upon His throne, high and lifted up?

At that time, people put their trust on a King, and now the King died.

You may put your trust on your country, your wealth or health, your family heritage, your education, your position, your children, your religion, your famous pastor, your house, your stock, your business… But not until the King dies, you can see the Lord, high and lifted, sitting upon the throne. He is so marvelous, magnificent; when people ask you about it, “how is the Lord looks like?” And you think and think, and you realize that you did not pay attention to his face, for only His robe was big enough to fill all your thought and mind, so you thoughtfully answer, “and the train of his robe filled the temple. (他的衣裳垂下,遮满圣殿。)”

And what else you see? They keep asking. And your answer is, “Holy!” The Lord is holy.

And this is my first point:

The foundation of calling is the holiness of the Lord.

Every one of us has a calling from the Lord. When we say vocation, or “what’s your vocation?” or “I have found my vocation in teaching high school students,” we are talking about a calling. I would urge you to think about the foundation of your calling. Is there any king who needs to die first so that you can see the Lord and His holiness, and you may accept the specific calling from God?

My second point is:

All are sinners, all need the purification from God. The ordained pastor is not a “more holy” class in the church.

5 那时我说:祸哉!我灭亡了!因为我是嘴唇不洁的人,又住在嘴唇不洁的民中,又因我眼见大君王―万军之耶和华。
5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
6 有一撒拉弗飞到我跟前,手里拿着红炭,是用火剪从坛上取下来的,
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 将炭沾我的口,说:看哪,这炭沾了你的嘴,你的罪孽便除掉,你的罪恶就赦免了。
7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

There should be no single moment I would think I am better than any of you. And in the New Testament, there is no more Priest class or Levites to serve between God and Man. For the Son of God had come to us and lived among us. If you have any doubts, please read Hebrews one more time.

When the Seraphim put a burning coal and touched Isaiah’s mouth, he did not say “Behold, you are holy” but “your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

My third point is:

Calling is only from God.

In my understanding, “pastor” is a calling for everyone when God calls us to “Love our neighbor as ourselves.” Love people and serve their needs, is to do pastoring job. And even today in this church, many of you are doing pastoring jobs when you are helping others, talking with each other, or sharing your understanding in the Sunday school classes.

In my understanding, “Pastor” is not an office in the church, but a function of every one of us.

When Paul wrote to the church of Philippi (Chen Xie preached a series on this letter, so we use it as an example), he said:

1 基督耶稣的仆人保罗和提摩太写信给凡住腓立比、在基督耶稣里的众圣徒,和诸位监督,诸位执事。
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
1 Παῦλος καὶ Τιμόθεος δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ πᾶσιν τοῖς ἁγίοις ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν Φιλίπποις σὺν ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακόνοις•
2 愿恩惠、平安从神我们的父并主耶稣基督归与你们!
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

And here in the New Testament, we can see overseers (multiple) and deacons (multiple). And we have two passages, Acts 20:

17 保罗从米利都打发人往以弗所去,请教会的长老来。
17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him.

18 他们来了,保罗就说:……
18 And when they came to him, he said to them: ……

28 圣灵立你们作全群的监督,你们就当为自己谨慎,也为全群谨慎,牧养神的教会,就是他用自己血所买来的(或作:救赎的)。
28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

And Titus 1:
5 我从前留你在革哩底,是要你将那没有办完的事都办整齐了,又照我所吩咐你的,在各城设立长老。
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—
6 若有无可指责的人,只作一个妇人的丈夫,儿女也是信主的,没有人告他们是放蕩不服约束的,就可以设立。
6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.
7 监督既是神的管家,必须无可指责,不任性,不暴躁,不因酒滋事,不打人,不贪无义之财;
7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,
8 乐意接待远人,好善,庄重,公平,圣洁自持;
8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.
9 坚守所教真实的道理,就能将纯正的教训劝化人,又能把争辩的人驳倒了。
9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

And in Ephesians 4, (the second sermon I ever preached in this church):

7 我们各人蒙恩,都是照基督所量给各人的恩赐。
7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
11 他所赐的,有使徒,有先知,有传福音的,有牧师和教师,
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,

I strongly believe that “shepherds and teachers” is a gift from God that He gives our church, so we can fulfill the function of pastoring and teaching, so as Ephesians continues:

12 为要成全圣徒,各尽其职,建立基督的身体,
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

I am happy that I have explained my motive on seeking ordination last week. The decision has its cultural background and a higher purpose: by all means I might save some. But this is a calling from God, not from any of you or my former pastors, mentors, professors or friends. Not even from a local church.

If our calling is not from God, I would long give up and become one of you, sitting in a church every Sunday enjoying some good sermons.

And my fourth point is:

The calling to teach and pastor a church is not always a pleasant work.

8 我又听见主的声音说:我可以差遣谁呢?谁肯为我们去呢?我说:我在这里,请差遣我!
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

Any preacher, if he only preaches this verse, but not verse 11:
我就说:主啊,这到几时为止呢?
Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”

Can you see what he is missing?

This is not “How long I will have a big church and publish dozens of books and speak in the conferences and attend the president’s prayer breakfast.”

It’s to proclaim God’s message faithfully, no-compromised, and prepare to bear people’s attack.
It’s to preach among a people who are going to be judged soon and nothing can change their minds and bring repentance.
The only hope is after the judgment, a remnant would survive and remain according to God’s kindness and mercy.
This is not a pleasant job. But you know, calling is like this if God is calling us into this world.

Now if you have the calling to preach God’s word and take care of God’s people, as Paul says, you are desire a noble task. (1tim 3:1). Then you may seek to be ordained.

But I have a completely different view on ordination with a so-called traditional view. It’s a very simple view:

1) Elder/overseer is a key office in the church and is an honorable one.
2) The calling is, just like any other callings, only from God.
God may use different circumstances to call a person, just like Isaiah was called in the year when the King was removed and he was allowed to see the holiness of the Lord. But anyway, calling is from the Lord.

3) Church, as the institution to exercise the authority of Christ among His people, should publicly confirm God’s calling of a person to be a teaching elder in the church (so-called pastor).
There should be no “pastor” who does not have a church to pastor and confirmed by a local church, only “ordained” by a group of “Pastors”, even those “Pastors” may be very famous, godly pious and influential among the church.

4) It’s the church, not the individuals who laid hands on will hold accountability of the ordained person.

Illustration: Report on Yuan Zhiming (https://www.cclifefl.org/View/Article/4694; Chinese version https://www.cclifefl.org/View/Article/4709 ).
Illustration: Beijing Logos Church

As to seek ordination in Living Stone, I will fully submit myself to the church to discern my calling, my qualification, my gift of teaching, and I will accept the decision of Living Stone as final.

As our church government is congregational, this is appropriate. I don’t want to judge other practice like Presbyterian Church or Lutheran Church, but I want to point out a few clouds around ordination and make a little clarification, so even you don’t pursue ordination, you may still benefit from the general principles.

  1. Every one of us has a calling to share the gospel and make disciples for Christ. I don’t think in the New Testament church there were full-time pastors like a priest class.
    I attended a prayer meeting in Atlanta last week with Joshua. The meeting was good, and one item of prayer requests is that we prayed that God may call out more full-time pastors in China. I am not sure if it’s a good idea, due to the severe situation in China right now. As for me and my family, I will not be a full-time pastor but rather a tent-maker.

  2. I don’t think inviting a group of famous pastors to be my ordination committee is always a good idea, especially if they don’t know me well or they don’t support my vision.
    I need Living Stone and Crossover to hold me accountable and give me a check regularly.
    I am open to the Scripture if there are practices that Paul invited famous Apostles from Jerusalem to lay hands on him. The Scripture is the highest authority.

Acts 13:1 在安提阿的教会中,有几位先知和教师,就是巴拿巴和称呼尼结的西面、古利奈人路求,与分封之王希律同养的马念,并扫罗。
1 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 他们事奉主、禁食的时候,圣灵说:要为我分派巴拿巴和扫罗,去做我召他们所做的工。
2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
3 于是禁食祷告,按手在他们头上,就打发他们去了。
3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

  1. The bravest person is no those who say no to social evil but those who stand firm on the Scripture against the “traditions”.
    I am not opposed to a group of famous pastors offering to ordain me, even I will certainly be more honorable if it’s my church fellows who know me well to do so.
    There is no biblical reason to seek the famous ordination committee. For some people, it’s not possible to find a group of famous pastors attending his ordination. Mentorship is not bound to ordination.

  2. I am seeking a consistent theology and practice in every way of my life. If I believe so, I will try to do so.

James 2:14 我的弟兄们,若有人说自己有信心,却没有行为,有甚么益处呢?这信心能救他么?
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

Fictional Conversation:
– You should find at least one or two famous pastors to ordain you.
– I don’t think it’s necessary…(my reasons above)
– Let’s respect the “Holy Tradition” of the church. Ordination must be done by those who have “Apostolic Succession”. Don’t let others say anything on your behave.
– I believe Elder/Overseer is the office in the church with Deacon as another office. Elder Ron is an elder at Living Stone. My question is, is he ordained as an Elder? If not, why would he rule the church? If yes, who ordained him?
– Elder Ron is an ordained officer in Living Stone.
– Very well. Then Elder Ron must have Apostolic Succession. And I know him laying hands on a much more famous pastor than me. For me, that’s good enough…
– I agree with you. You can just do it as you will. But still I think the brothers and sisters in Living Stone are too young, they cannot decern your sins (if any) and they may not have authority over you.
– I trust local church more than any human being on the earth. I will fully submit to the authority of the church.

Application:

I would like each of you to think something that you really believe but your practice is not consistent with your belief. Anything, like you, believe you should restrain your phone usage, sleep early, have family worship time, have dinner as many as possible with your family, have quality time with your wife, or pray before dinner, reading the bible every day. Think about something that you may have a little pressure on changing, maybe other people may question your decision or not fully agree with you.

I want you to find the biblical support of your belief and put into practice.

Lets Pray.

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