Freedom to Prisioners

By Francis Frangipane

Even in the day of His wrath, the hand of God is ever guided by His redemptive mercy. What I mean is that many who have failed the Lord during these past years are, even now, discovering Christ has come to free them from the burden of defeat and condemnation.

Indeed, when Jesus began His ministry, He opened the book of the prophet Isaiah to where the nature of His mission was described:

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord . . ." (Isa. 61:1-2).

He then closed the book and said, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:21).

What is striking here to me is that Jesus ended this prophecy about Himself in the middle of a sentence. The second half of Isaiah's promise continues. Listen as it describes the complete purpose of God in Christ. It reads, ". . . and the day of vengeance of our God" (Isa. 61:2).

I love the balance of God: the Lord has a "YEAR" of favor for us, but only a "DAY" of vengeance. Even so, when we think of vengeance, our imaginations often rush ahead to fearsome events, terror and calamities. We hope to be nowhere near when God's judgments fall.

Yet one primary manifestation of God's wrath is that He comes against those spiritual powers that have been oppressing and laying siege against His people. What we need to understand is that God's wrath upon His enemies manifests as deliverance and freedom for His people! Read again the outcome of "the day of vengeance of our God":

"To comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified" (Isa. 61:2-3).

One very significant aspect of God's wrath is He comes to destroy that which has been destroying us! Listen to His promise: "Surely, thus says the Lord, ‘Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away, and the prey of the tyrant will be rescued; for I will contend with the one who contends with you, and I will save your sons'" (Isa. 49:25).

Many Christians suffer with demonic attacks and weariness, yet the promise of God to us is He will contend with the spirits that contend with us: demons that rob people of joy, strength, and health. Against these the Lord has a day of reckoning and vengeance.

From our perspective, God's judgment upon sin is our freedom from oppression! Our Lord brings us "comfort" instead of mourning, "a garland instead of ashes" and a "mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting."

God's Goal
The Lord desires to liberate us, but not so we can relax under our fig tree! He frees us so we can free others. He says, "Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations" (Isa. 61:4).

Many "former devastations" shall be raised up to serve God in gladness at the end of the age! Many sinners who, in their hearts, have wept for freedom will pass through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and, as new creatures in Christ, be used mightily in the days ahead. Indeed, many who are convinced the Lord has rejected them will find God's grace extended powerfully toward their hearts. The first evil Christ will judge and remove is the burden of hopelessness.

Even to each of us today, the Lord still comes "to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners" (Isa. 61:1).

Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, The Days of His Presence, available on Arrow Bookstore's website: