The Rod, The Branch, The Spirit

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Audio of 8:30 am Sermon:

Audio of 11 am Sermon: 

Isaiah 11:1-5 (KJV) And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: [2] And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; [3] And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: [4] But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. [5] And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

June of 2016 A heavily armed gunman who had reportedly pledged allegiance to Islamic State stormed into a packed gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It was early on a Sunday morning. He began rapidly firing into the crowd, killing 49 people and wounding 53 in the then “worst mass shooting in U.S. history”. The talking heads cry out, wondering what could cause this, and how to solve it.

October of 2017 a madman stashes guns at a Las Vegas motel, and on a Sunday evening from the 32nd floor of that place begins to fire. When he is finished he would kill 58 people, and wound 527 more before he was killed. This is the new “worst mass shooting in U.S. history”. Once more the political parties war over what causes such tragedy.

Colleges and universities are meant to be places of learning and growth. Recently students at Louisiana State University text one another about a “Bible Study” that is going to be held at a fraternity. Coming together for the so called “Study” where there was no Bible they begin drinking until one young man dies from alcohol poisoning. University officials wring their hands and wonder what caused such a travesty.

I find it interesting – and tragic – that the two “worst mass shootings in U.S. history” all occur on a Sunday, a day set aside to recognize the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Coincidence? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Not too long ago a Muslim wearing a ski mask carried a gun into a Nashville Church, killing one and wounding eight. This happened on a Sunday. People wring their hands during every tragedy that happens. Politicians point, blaming guns, and calling for greater government regulation. Human government cannot fix what ails us. You could take away every gun from every person worldwide and there would still be killing. The first murder recorded was between the brothers Cain and Abel, and they had no guns. Ancient wars like those of the Mongolian and Roman Empires claimed millions of lives with spears, swords, and arrows. The solution we need is not more human government.

We All Need The Lord

We all need to submit our hearts to Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 11 begins with the picture of a cut down tree, a tree whose stump is all that is left.

Isaiah 11:1 (KJV) And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

A “Branch” doesn’t normally grow out of the roots of a tree, but grows out of it’s trunk.

Common sense tells us this. When you see a Branch from a tree, it comes from the trunk, and the trunk is attached to the Branch. The Branch has life in it. In a trunk only the outermost ring of that trunk has life in it, just a few centimeters. This is what we normally have seen. God speaks of a Branch coming from the roots of the tree. There are some trees, like the Oak, that if cut down will still continue to grow from the stump. I have seen trees cut down and, if the stump were not removed, a Branch would grow out of that stump, and the Branch would eventually become a tree. This is the picture the Lord gives us of Israel. Israel had drawn away from God. Judah – the House of Jesse – was supposed to rule Israel under the leadership of the Lord. But the nation departed from God because the leaders of that nation departed from God.

As goes the Head, so goes the Body.

Israel was fallen. It had fallen to sin, just as America has fallen to sin today.
Our marriages are in disarray because sin rules.
Our families are mangled because sin rules.
Our communities are in disarray because sin rules.
It’s Sunday, but many are in Casinos, at Country Music Festivals, on the Lake fishing.
God is not in their hearts, nor do they worship His rule.
Satan swings an ax on the trunk of the tree of America,
slowly chopping it down with evil while clueless people suggest useless remedies.

We need the Lord.

God gives us Bible prophecy not to just interest us, but to tell us the good that can come if we cling to Him. God tells Judah – the House of Jesse – that there are better days coming. It is in our passage today that God foretells the Coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the …

ROD out of the stem of Jesse

The ROD is symbolic of the governing power of the Savior.

Jesus Christ came to this world to save Sinners. How does Jesus save a sinner? Jesus first of all is the Good Shepherd Who lays His life down for the Sheep. This is what Jesus said.

John 10:11 (NIV) I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

The God Shepherd doesn’t lay His life down for the dogs, nor for the pigs, or even the goats. He lays His life down for the SHEEP. The Shepherd puts Himself between the sheep and danger. The Shepherd carries a ROD, a weapon by which He strikes the evil and punishes the bad. When King David saw Jesus Christ he said:

Psalms 23:1-4 (KJV) … The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. [2] He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. [3] He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. [4] Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

The Shepherd Jesus Christ carries both a ROD and a STAFF.

We All Need To Follow The Lord

With the STAFF He reaches out and draws His sheep to safety and sustenance. With His ROD He punishes the wolf, destroys the viper, and prods the foolish wandering sheep. The Shepherd rules His sheep. “He MAKETH ME to lie down in green pastures”. The sheep follow the Shepherd.

John 10:27 (CSB) My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.

I was talking to a professing Christian the other day who told me that she loved Jesus, but would not do what He said. Her feelings were hurt, so she quit the Church rather than obey Jesus and go to the one who hurt her (see Matthew 18). She hops from Church to Church like a movable locust plague, absorbing resources but never being a real part.

This lady may PROFESS Christ, but she is not POSSESSED of Christ.

Jesus said My sheep HEAR My voice
I know them
They follow Me

Christ is the ROD out of the stem of Jesse.
He is the Ruler of His people,
the Shepherd of the sheep,
the Light in our days,
the Love of our lives.

We love Him for He laid His life down for us, and lays His life down even now. Christ died for me on Calvary, standing between me and the wrath of Almighty God:

1 John 3:16 (ESV) By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us …

1 John 4:9-12 (ESV) … In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

Jesus Christ laid His life down for us. He bore our sins on Calvary’s Tree. The Rod from the stem of Jesse and the Branch from the roots bound Himself to the Tree of Calvary. My sins were poured out on Him and judged. My failures were placed on Him. He died because of my wrongs. He rose again, show us all that His payment was received of God.

Isaiah 11:1 (KJV) And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

The Branch grew out of the roots, the stump of Judah. Everyone looked at the stump and thought it was dead, but Christ rose from the dead. He lays His life down for us even now. Having saved us by Calvary, He keeps on saving us as our Shepherd. Christ watches over us. Christ guards our souls. Christ makes intercession for us.

Romans 8:31-35 (ESV) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Hebrews 7:25 (KJV) Wherefore {Jesus} is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

The Branch is a symbol of life from death. Jesus said:

John 10:28 (CSB) I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.

Christ lives, and we that love and follow Him live. Oh Beloved, if your life is a mess, if you feel like a stump, hopeless and without ability to move forward, come to Christ. He will bring life out of death, light out of darkness, good out of evil, and blessing from cursing. Jesus is able!

Isaiah 11:2 (KJV) … And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

The Spirit of the LORD, the Eternal God, rests on Christ. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, the Almighty I AM become Man. He is no mere prophet or teacher, but is Immanuel, God with us. Those who follow Christ and hear His Word will find wisdom and understanding, good counsel and might, knowledge and a healthy fear of the LORD. The reason our nation is staggering is because we have “In God We Trust” on our money but no God in our hearts. We run to educated politicians to find solutions for what is ailing us. What we need to do is run to Jesus. He will not lead us astray. Jesus trusted is sin busted. Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God, and invited all who would come into His Kingdom.

Jesus is the best King, the Great Shepherd. Led by God and in union with God – for He is God among us – He always leads us in the right direction.

Isaiah 11:3-4 (KJV) … he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: [4] But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

There is coming a day when Jesus will judge the earth, and rule over all creation. The Bible speaks of a Millennial Reign of Christ where He shall rule mankind, a thousand years of peace and prosperity. No earthly kingdom has ever brought peace and prosperity, because every earthly ruler has been plagued with sin in himself and in those around him. Other earthly rulers have judged “after the sight of their eyes” or after “the hearing of their ears”. Other earthly rulers pronounced judgments based on external or outward appearances. But Jesus will not judge this way.

Being God, Jesus judges the “thoughts and intents of the heart”.

1 Chronicles 28:9 (CSB) … the Lord searches every heart and understands the intention of every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you abandon him, he will reject you forever.

Only Jesus In Charge Can Bring Peace

When Jesus rules the poor are blessed, and the humble lifted up. Where Jesus rules His Word will punish the wicked, and bring peace to the world. Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Socialists, and Communists have all tried ruling mankind, yet each group has brought with it failure and harm. As human government grows, so grows corruption. But where Jesus rules there will be a unified peace.

Isaiah 11:5 (KJV) And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Where Jesus reigns political correctness will not be the order of the day, but that which is right in the sight of the Father will be promoted. Human government demands that we become tolerant of everything regardless as to what God thinks. As a result our society is falling apart. And no wonder, for the wages of sin is always death (Romans 6:23). When we compromise with sin we invite the Grim Reaper in. But Christ shall reign in righteousness and faithfulness. The will of God will be the order of His Kingdom.

Isaiah 11:6-8 (KJV) The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. [7] And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. [8] And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

During Christ’s future Millennial Reign the effects of sin will be diminished, even eradicated. Jesus ruling from Jerusalem will even effect the animal kingdom. The wolf which today looks for the young lamb as a tasty meal will lose its appetite for that weak critter. The wolf will not eat, but dwell with the lamb. The leopard that loves to prey on the young will lie down with the kid. The calf, the young lion, and the fat juicy young shall come together and a little child shall lead them. God in Christ will bring a worldwide peace. Every day we wake up and look in the newspaper or television and read of horrifying things that horrible people do to one another. But when Christ reigns the hearts of even the wildest beasts will be restrained. The cow and the bear will feed alongside of one another, the young ones of all types shall lie down together and rest. The lion shall not eat the weak, but will eat wheat. And the child yet on its mother’s breast will play in a sandbox where the deadliest snake rests and no harm shall come. The Lord says:

Isaiah 11:9 (KJV) They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

As the knowledge of the Lord increases, evil decreases. Where Jesus is and the knowledge of Him reigns sin diminishes. What is the solution the world desperately looks for. Will gun control fix things? No. Will more legislation fix things? No. Will a nanny government intruding into our every life fix things? No. What will fix things?

The knowledge of the Lord.
Salvation by faith in Christ.
Surrender to His Word and Will.
Christ reigning in the human heart.
The life in disarray is the life without Christ.
The marriage in a mess is the marriage without Christ.
The Church in confusion is the Church without Christ.
The community in the commode is the community without Christ.
The nation acting like a ninny is a nation without Christ.

We need Jesus. We need the Rod out of Jesse, the Branch from his stump.

Isaiah 11:10 (KJV) And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Jesus Christ came to save all. He came for the Jew and the Gentile. He came for the male and the female. He came for the broken and the broken hearted. Jesus came for sinners like you and I. He came to save us, to rule us, to protect us, to make us stable and healthy and whole.

Jesus gave Himself for you.
Give yourselves to Jesus!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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