Christ The Breaker - Part 1

“I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; Like a flock in the midst of its pasture They will be noisy with men.  The Breaker goes up before them; They break out, pass through the gate, and go out by it. So their king goes on before them, And the LORD at their head.” (Micah 2:12-13-note)

CHRIST THE BREAKER - Have you ever heard our Lord Jesus Christ referred to as "The Breaker (Heb = happores from parats)?" Spurgeon said "He who has many crowns, has many titles. Jesus, the King of kings (Rev 19:16-note), has many Names, each of them fraught with meaning, and full of sweetness." The glorious Names of Jesus are like windows through which we see His attributes and character and in which we experience His power and presence, for the Name of Jehovah is forever and ever a Strong Tower for the righteous who run into it and make it their safe haven (lifted up above the fray) (Pr 18:10-note). The more we grow in the grace and knowledge of the great Names of Jesus (2Pe 3:18-note), the Name above every name (Php 2:9-note), the more we will gladly place our trust in His sufficiency to meet our every need (2Cor 9:8-John MacDuff), for as David learned through manifold trials "Those who know (experientially know, not just head knowledge but heart change) God's Name, will put their trust in Him" (Ps 9:10-note). As Spurgeon said "Ignorance is worst when it amounts to ignorance of God, and knowledge is best when it exercises itself upon the Name of God. This most excellent knowledge leads to the most excellent grace of faith (Ro 10:17-note). Knowing His Name means an experiential acquaintance with the attributes of God, which serve as anchors to hold our soul from drifting (Heb 2:1-note, Heb 6:19-note)." I know not what trial you may be experiencing today (or are about to experience) dear child of the Living God, but I know that while He may bend us, "a bruised and battered reed" the Breaker will not break off (Isa 42:3, Mt 12:20-Spurgeon sermon) So "May the LORD answer you in your day of trouble! May the Name of the God of Jacob (THE BREAKER) protect and defend you and keep you safe from all harm!" (Ps 20:1-note) And may His Spirit enable you to "Proclaim aloud the Saviour’s fame, Who bears the BREAKER'S wond’rous Name; Sweet Name, and it becomes Him well; Who BREAKS DOWN earth, sin, death, and hell." Amen

CHRIST THE BREAKER is found only once in Scripture in Micah 2:13-note in the midst of a description of divine discipline (Micah 2:1-11-note). Robert Hawker invites us "Pause, my soul, over this precious scripture, for it is indeed most precious." Spurgeon reminds us "Judgment is God’s strange work, and He rejoices even in the midst of threatening to turn aside and utter gracious words to obedient souls. Surely the brightest and most silvery drops of love that have ever distilled upon men have fallen in close connection with storms of divine justice." And so against this dreary backdrop "Micah proclaims this bright and brilliant vision of deliverance (C Roll)," promising "I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the (believing) remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; like a flock in the midst of its pasture. They will be so numerous that they will make a lot of noise. THE BREAKER (ESV = He who opens the breach) goes up before them. They break out, pass through the gate, and go out by it. So their King goes on before them, and Jehovah is at their head." (Micah 2:12-13-note). Most conservative writers agree that while Micah's prophecy may have a partial fulfillment in Judah's return from Babylonian exile, the final fulfillment awaits Christ's Second Coming, when He rescues Israel (the believing remnant) from otherwise certain annihilation at the end of this age (Ro 11:25-27-note, cf Jer 32:37-39, Ezek 37:21-22-note).

CHRIST THE BREAKER'S MANY TITLES - Notice that in Micah 2:12-13 Jesus is depicted as our BREAKER, our GOOD SHEPHERD (sheep… flock) leading us out of bondage (cf Ps 23:1-3-note, Heb 13:20-note), our victorious KING leading us in triumph (cf Rev 19:11,16,14-note), our Great "I AM" (JEHOVAH) Himself the Covenant Who assures our eternal redemption (Isa 42:6, 49:8, Mal 3:1-note) and our HEAD (Leader), our example, in Whose footsteps we are to follow (1Pe 2:21-note). Spurgeon adds that Christ "marches in front of His sheep, the GOOD SHEPHERD clearing the way; the PIONEER of the heavenly army (Heb 2:10NET-note); the BREAKER, breaking through every difficulty; the KING, overcoming all foes." Indeed, "THE BREAKER is gone forth in love, With power and skill divine, Descending from the realms above, To quell His foes and ours." Amen

CHRIST THE BREAKER GOES BEFORE US - Micah says our Breaker "goes up before us" so wherever your path leads today, you can rest assured that your Breaker has already tread that path. Let us fix our eyes on His lovely Face (Heb 12:1-note) and our ears on His winsome Voice (Jn 10:5), remembering that Christ never drives His sheep, but always leads them, clearing their way (Jn 10:3-4-note). He is our BREAKER Who has broken all barriers and impediments that obstruct our way to God. The "Goliaths" among men cannot stand before Him or his weakest servant who is strong in His grace (2Ti 2:1-note). Let this assurance be a source of comfort and confidence to your soul today. "He as the BREAKER has made the way POSSIBLE and PASSABLE." (Paisley) Let us follow Him as we ponder His precious Name, THE BREAKER, looking especially at what transpired when our BREAKER was "BROKEN AND SPILLED OUT, Just for love of me, Jesus, God's most precious Treasure, Lavished on me" (Gloria Gaither-see link below) on Calvary's Tree.

OUR BREAKER BREAKS OUR STONY HEART - When the Lord created Adam, He gave man his life (Ge 2:7-note). When He redeemed man, He gave His own life. (Mt 20:28). In the movie, the Last Emperor, the boy emperor of China was asked "What happens when you do wrong?" to which he replied "When I do wrong, someone else is punished," and proceeded to break a costly vase, causing one of his servants to be beaten! God so loved the world, that Jesus reversed the roles. The first Adam broke the law of God (Ge 3:6-7-note). The Last Adam (1Cor 15:45) kept the law of God, that on the Cross He might be BROKEN for our BROKENNESS and "crushed for our iniquities" (Isa 53:5, 10-Spurgeon, 2Cor 5:21-note, Heb 10:10-note, 1Pe 3:18-note). Christ the BREAKER became "the REPAIRER of the breach (break)" (Isa 58:12) which sin had made between God and Adam (and all men - Ro 5:12-note). The BREAKER Himself was BROKEN "once at the consummation of the ages!" (Heb 9:26-note), that we might not suffer a BROKEN relationship with God "in the ages to come" (Eph 2:7-note, cf Heb 7:25-note, 2Th 1:8-9-note) Christ our BREAKER cleared our way to heaven when He broke our "heart of stone and gave us a tender heart" (Ezek 11:19-note) In fact, one of the few things improved by breaking is the hard heart of an unconverted sinner. "At the conversion of every sinner, Christ breaks open the everlasting doors of our hearts and enters in. He breaks our rocky hearts in pieces and then binds up what He has broken." (John Gill) Indeed, when the BREAKER "forgives sin, He purges the RECORD, erases the REMEMBRANCE and empowers the RECIPIENT." (Bosch) "He breaks His children’s hearts in twain, And brings proud nature down; The hearts He breaks He heals again, And on them puts a crown."

OUR BREAKER BREAKS THE BARRIER BETWEEN GOD & MAN - What a breakthrough our Breaker made for us when He died on the Cross, for when He cried out and "yielded up His spirit," the barrier between God and man was removed, the Gospel writers all recording that "the veil of the Temple (separating the Holy Place from God's glorious presence) was torn in two." (Mt 27:51-note, Mk 15:38, Lk 23:45). The writer of Hebrews interprets the rent veil declaring "brethren, we have confidence to enter the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is His (broken) flesh." (Heb 10:19-20-note) As Spurgeon says "Jesus Christ’s humanity was a veil which somewhat concealed the glory of His Deity; but the flesh of Christ having been crucified (broken), the veil has been rent, and now we may come right up to the Throne of God without trembling; nay, we may come even with holy boldness and familiarity, and speak to God without alarm. Having such a privilege as this, LET US NOT NEGLECT IT" for "through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father." (Eph 2:18-note) "Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need (in the nick of time)." (Heb 4:16-note). "When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil." (From Christ the Solid Rock by E Mote)

OUR BREAKERS BREAKS THE BARRIER BETWEEN MEN - On the Cross, Christ was both Binder and Breaker, Paul writing that "in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ, for He Himself is our peace (peace in Greek literally pictures BINDING together that which was BROKEN), and made both Jew and Gentile into one, having BROKEN DOWN the BARRIER of the dividing wall." (Eph 2:13-14-note) As Spurgeon says our BREAKER "has swept out of the way all the ordinances which divide us and we are now one in Him. The distance was infinite, but now the nearness is intimate. The blood of Jesus works marvels, annihilating distance, breaking down partition walls and transforming aliens into sons! May it come to pass that (because of the Breaker's finished work on Calvary) all middle walls of division between men become as useless as the great Wall of China!" "The Breaker broke the barrier down, Which law and sin had made; He did fulfil all righteousness, And full redemption paid."

Beloved, the precious Name CHRIST THE BREAKER is too rich to expound in one post for as the hymn writer said "Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry." (F Lehman)

Play Steve Green's classic rendition of Broken and Spilled Out

Related ResourceIn Depth Commentary on Micah 2:12-13

The Breaker.
Micah 2. 13; Jer. 23. 29
Gadsby's Hymnal

    1    The Breaker is gone forth in love,
            With power and skill divine;
        Descending from the realms above,
            To quell his foes and mine.

    2    In love to Zion, he has broke
            The powers of death and hell;
        And her from Sinai’s dreadful yoke
            Has broken off as well.

    3    Though death, and law, and sin agree
            This Breaker to arrest,
        He breaks their bonds, himself sets free,
            With Zion on his breast.

    4    He breaks his children’s hearts in twain,
            And brings proud nature down;
        The hearts he breaks he heals again,
            And on them puts a crown.

    5    [He breaks through every darksome cloud,
            And shows his lovely face;
        Which makes the sinner sing aloud,
            “Salvation is of grace.”]

    6    [He breaks the traps and gins that lie
            To catch poor pilgrims’ feet;
        And, when they stumble, makes them fly
            To him, their safe retreat.]

    7    He’ll break the strings of nature soon,
            And bid the prisoner fly
        Beyond the reach of sin and gloom,
            His glory to enjoy.


MISCELLANEOUS NOTES
RELATED TO CHRIST THE BREAKER

Note: Below are various notes (including sermons) related to Christ the Breaker. There is no specific order. 

Until you are broken by Him, you will never know Him as the Breaker.

(Nah 1:13) “So now, I will break his yoke bar from upon you, and I will tear off your shackles.”

(Ezek 34:27) “Also the tree of the field will yield its fruit and the earth will yield its increase, and they will be secure on their land. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.

(Jer 2:20) “For long ago I broke your yoke And tore off your bonds; But you said, ‘I will not serve!’ For on every high hill And under every green tree You have lain down as a harlot.

Sin is a burden (Ps 38:4) and it weighs us down, bars our way from God, weakens our mind, harasses us with perplexing fears and uneasy reflections. The Law is a yoke we cannot bear (Acts 15:10) but Immanuel breaks into our world, is broken for us, that the yoke of sin might be forever broken in us (Col 2:14) The Gospel of Jesus Christ comes laden with the Breaker's grace to break the yoke of sin and Satan (Heb 2:14-15), to break the power of guilt and condemnation, to free us from the rod of our oppressors, the world, the flesh, the devil, that we might break out into the glorious liberty of the sons and daughters of God. ("into the glorious freedom of the children of God" - Ro 8:21NIV)

When the Breaker was broken for us, the yoke of every oppressor was broken. Now by His Spirit's enabling power, His liberated ones can break the yoke of every evil habit, of the fear of men, of the love of the world, of the boastful pride of life, of the ugliness of self-will, of covetousness and greed, etc. Addressed to Israel but applicable to all God's children is the promise that when He breaks every yoke (Isa 58:6), our "light will break out like the dawn, and our recovery will speedily spring forth; and our righteousness will go before us. The glory of the LORD will be our rear guard." (Isa 58:8) "Obedience to God's will is the clearing of the window, through which the light of His favor will shine as the morning… this light has healing in its beams. The moral diseases within cannot stand the dawn of the light of His truth… Righteous before you, and the glory of the LORD behind you. What a testimony this is. Leaving behind the sweet savor of His presence and glory. The Shepherd's care before you, and His goodness and mercy following you all the days of your life. What a rearguard!" (Smith)

Wilt Thou, O Lord, me holier make?/Wilt Thou, O Lord, me holier keep?/The power of sin within me break,/Behold me as I troubled weep.

Are you in bondage to a sin, a habit, a hang-up? Then take hope, for the Breaker came to set the captives free. By breaking the bonds of the yoke, He teaches us that He alone is Lord and He alone is able to accomplish what we have attempted to accomplish for years. See Ezek 34:27.

The first yoke He breaks is that of sin, guilt and condemnation under the law, a yoke that was tightly place around our neck. He alone can break it, but He does it most effectually, and when He does that first time (our day of salvation), we know that He is Jehovah our Breaker Who brought us out of the house of bondage. "To emancipate a soul from the thraldom of sin is a labor worthy of God and His to His liberating hand be glory forever and ever."

In the fullness of time the Breaker broke in to our world as a Man, Jesus, opening for us a new and living way, on the basis of blood atonement and full pardon. Now we can walk boldly into His presence because of the Breaker's finished work, for when He was finally and fully broken, he

Breaks down enmity we had toward God, willingly now His bondservants, His love slaves

Those saved by His grace are called the broken up - the Gospel seed is sown and it falls on the ground, some good, some stoney, some thorny, falling wherever it is cast, some good ground, it receives the seed because it has been broken up. Soil that is not broken, does not receive the seed. So it is with man's heart, that you must be broken up by almighty grace, in order for the Spirit to plant the seed in your stony hard heart giving it a heart of flesh.

What breaks us, causing us to bow and worship?

Law condemns but won't break.

Judgment terrifies but won't break.

Religion might tame you but it won't break.

What breaks a man? The King shall pass before them.

The Lord your Head!

When you are broken, you break out. of the darkness, you break out of prison, you break out of bondage, you break out into the light, into the glorious sons of God and you follow the Lamb wherever He leads.

Are you chained by some sin, chained by some evil habit with a strength you never understood until you tried to shake it off? Christ has broken the chains beloved. Believe that Breaker has gone up before us and frees liberty from the chains of sin. Now are we the sons of God! Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty from the chains of sin. Walk in the freedom, for "It was for freedom that Christ set us free. Therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." (Gal 5:1)

Ro 6:6 Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.

Gal 5:24NLT Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

He took upon himself the whole load of his people’s iniquities; he endured the entire weight of the crushing burden, and by his atoning death he cast their iniquities into the depths of the sea. The pass of the atonement is our clear way to glory. In the sepulchre of Jesus all our sins are buried.

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.

Give a man (like Adam) a law and he will figure out a way to break it. Jesus not only did not break the law, but He was broken for everyone who breaks it.

Christ is the Breaker of spiritual bondage. A Bond breaker. Isaiah 42:7; Isaiah 49:8, Isaiah 49:9, Isaiah 49:24, Isaiah 49:25

Isaiah 42:7 To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.

James Smith - Christ is not only the Breaker up of the sin-closed way, but the Lifter of the sin-bound head (Ps 27:6)..He is the "Breaker up" of our way, and can make the rough places smooth for us.

Roll - Until Christ came, underwent crucifixion and thus became the Conqueror, no evidence of victory for humanity over death and no assurance that evil would be vanquished had been established. He has broken the bondage of sin and the bars of death, passed through at the head and led His people to larger life and lasting liberty. He not only breaks the power of canceled sin but enables each trusting soul to say,

My chains are snapped, the bonds of sin are broken
And I am free.
Oh, let the triumphs of His grace be spoken,
Who died for me.
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee
And Can It Be- - YouTube

Out of Bondage
Arise, come ye forth, and forever break the chain,
That long had oppressed you with sorrow and pain;
Arise, come ye forth, hear the blessèd Lord’s command,
And He Himself will guide you with a strong, strong hand.

Refrain
Come forth, come forth, and shout the jubilee,
Come forth, come forth, the Lord will make you free;
Come forth from your bonds, hear the blessèd Lord’s command,
And He Himself will guide you with a strong, strong hand.

Arise, come ye forth; will ye spend your life for naught,
When Jesus who loves you a ransom has bought?
The price of His blood, O receive it while you may;
Behold the promised time is now; O come away.
Refrain

Arise, come ye forth, and be slaves to sin no more,
How oft your deliv’rer has called you before;
Come forth from your bonds, and your liberty receive,
Your willing hearts to Jesus give; repent, believe.
Refrain

In love to Zion, He has broke
The powers of death and hell;
And her from Sinai’s dreadful yoke
Has broken off as well.
Though death, and law, and sin agree
This Breaker to arrest,
He breaks their bonds, Himself sets free,
With Zion on his breast.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
(Vocal Version of "O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing")

F B Meyer - When our Lord went through the Heavens, it was not as Victim but as Warrior, not as the dying Lamb but as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Thousands of angels accompanied Him, welcoming Him home, and bound in fetters, behold the captive forms of Evil! The world, "I have overcome the world;" Death and Hades, "I have the keys of Hades and of Death;" the Grave, " O Grave, where is thy victory;" and greater than them all, he that had the power of death, even the devil, who had kept myriads in his thrall. "The Breaker is gone up before them; they have broken up and passed through the gate, and the Lord at the head of them" (Micah 2:13).1

The Lord is risen.
“CHRIST, the Lord, is risen to-day,”
Sons of men and angels say!
Raise your joys and triumphs high;
Sing, ye heavens; and earth reply.
Love’s redeeming work is done;
Fought the fight, the battle won:
Lo! the sun’s eclipse is o’er;
Lo! he sets in blood no more!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal,
Christ has burst the gates of hell;
Death in vain forbids His rise,
Christ hath open’d paradise.
Lives again our glorious King!
“Where, O death, is now thy sting?”
Once He died our souls to save;
“Where’s thy victory, boasting grave?”
Soar we now where Christ has led,
Following our exalted head;
Made like Him, like Him we rise;
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies.
Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to Thee by both be given!
Thee we greet triumphant now,
Hail, the Resurrection—Thou!
Charles Wesley, 1739

Resurrection and Ascension. C. M.
HOSANNAH to the Prince of light,
Who clothed Himself in clay,
Enter’d the iron gates of death,
And tore the bars away!
Death is no more the king of dread,
Since our Immanuel rose;
He took the tyrant’s sting away,
And spoil’d our hellish foes.
See how the Conqueror mounts aloft,
And to His Father flies,
With scars of honour in His flesh,
And triumph in His eyes.
There our exalted Saviour reigns,
And scatters blessings down;
His Father well rewards His pains,
And bids Him wear the crown.
Bright angels, strike your loudest strings,
Your sweetest voices raise;
Let heaven and all created things
Sound our Immanuel’s praise.
Isaac Watts, 1709,

‘Through death he did destroy the grave,
And made an end of sin;
Gave honour to the holy law,
And righteousness brought in.

‘We’ll sing the Breaker’s power to save,
And triumph in his name;
Let all the powers within us join,
To spread his matchless fame.

He’ll break the strings of nature soon,
And bid the prisoner fly
Beyond the reach of sin and gloom,
His glory to enjoy.
(Resurrection)

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal,
Christ has burst the gates of hell;
Death in vain forbids His rise,
Christ hath open’d paradise.
(Death)

Saved by Grace
Fanny Crosby
Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing;
But oh, the joy when I shall wake
Within the palace of the King!

THE BREAKER HAS BROKEN THE POWER OF THE DEVIL - We cannot resist our spiritual foes. If we go out against them, we shall be as stubble to the flame. Our shield is God’s Anointed (Messiah), and the Breaker is gone up before us. He clears the way and smites our foes hip and thigh with a great slaughter, and though they come against us like a flood, His blood-stained hand uplifts the cross and backward they fall before Him. For who can stand against the Christ of God? Committing our souls, then, to (the Breaker's) keeping as the defenseless one does to the care of the guardian, the great act of faith is done. But then the defenseless ones abide in their city. They are obedient to those who protect them. And such must our faith be if it be at all the faith of the Apostle Paul. (Charles Spurgeon-Able To The Uttermost)

Solomon assures that Jesus "shall break in pieces the oppressor." (Ps 72:4) Our Breaker is strong to "smite the foes of His people. Oppressors have been great breakers, but their time of retribution shall come, and they shall be broken themselves. Sin, Satan and all our enemies must be crushed by the iron rod of King Jesus. We have, therefore, no cause to fear, but abundant reason to sing "All hail the power of Jesus' Name (the Breaker)! Let angels prostrate fall. Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him Lord of all." (Spurgeon)

We battle not for victory, we battle in the victory (from His Victory at Calvary). The "Breaker" has swept away all real opposition. Fear not to fight with such broken headed adversaries.

He who raised up Gideon as the breaker to destroy the yoke of Midianite oppression, who called the mighty Cyrus to break the brazen gates of Babylonian bondage (Isaiah 45:2) and who Himself broke the covenant and brotherhood of Israel (Zechariah 11:10, 14), such an One is the Breaker Who in aggressive combat with our great adversary, the Devil, assailed the fortified stronghold of the Devil and disgorged his armor wherein he trusted (Luke 11:21-22; Colossians 2:15-note; Hebrews 2:14-15-note). The victory achieved over the Devil and death is complete.

The world, with sin and Satan,
In vain our march opposes;
By faith we shall break through them all,
And sing the song of Moses.

The Breaker broke the powers of hell,
Did all its hosts o’erthrow,
Death, hell, and sin, the monster train,
He openly did show.

‘He dragged them to the judgment seat,
Then cast them down to hell;
The power of his almighty arm
His hellish foes did quell.

OUR BREAKER WILL ONE DAY BREAK ALL HIS ENEMIES - In Daniel Christ is the Breaker, "The Stone cut out without hands, Who will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, but will endure forever." (Daniel 2:34-45) Spurgeon comments that "as surely as Jehovah is the Living God, the Kingdom of Christ will yet break in pieces all the power that resist it. 'He shall break them as with a rod of iron: He shall dash them in pieces like potters' vessels.'"

struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

BREAK THE SCROLL Jesus the Breaker - He the Breaker alone is worthy to take the Scroll from the Father's hand and break the seal. (Rev 5:6-10)


Christ as our "Breaker" Morning and Evening - C H Spurgeon

"The Breaker goes up before them"

Inasmuch as Jesus has gone up before us, things remain not as they would have been had He never passed that way. He has conquered every foe that obstructed the way. Cheer up now thou faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ traveled the road, but He has slain all our enemies. Do you dread sin? He has nailed it to His cross (Col 2:14-15-note). Do you fear death? He has been the death of Death (1Cor 15:55). Are you afraid of hell? He has barred it against the advent (coming) of any of His children. They shall never see the gulf of perdition. Whatever foes may be before the Christian, they are all overcome (cf 1Jn 5:4-5, Jn 16:33, Gal 6:14-note, Ro 6:12-note, Heb 2:14-15-note). There are lions, but their teeth are broken (cf Da 6:16-21, 22-note); there are serpents, but their fangs are extracted; there are rivers, but they are bridged or fordable (cf Isa 43:2); there are flames, but we wear that matchless garment which renders us invulnerable to fire (Da 3:16-18-note; Da 3:23-24, 25-26-note, Da 3:27-note). The sword that has been forged against us is already blunted; the instruments of war which the enemy is preparing have already lost their point. (cf Isa 54:17) God has taken away in the Person of Christ all the power that anything can have to hurt us (cf Lk 12:4-5). Well then, the army may safely march on, and you may go joyously along your journey, for all your enemies are conquered beforehand. What shall you do but march on to take the prey? They are beaten, they are vanquished; all you have to do is to divide the spoil (cp Zech 14:1). You shall, it is true, often engage in combat; but your fight shall be with a vanquished foe. His head is broken (Ge 3:15); he may attempt to injure you, but his strength shall not be sufficient for his malicious design (cf 2Cor 2:11). Your victory shall be easy, and your treasure shall be beyond all count (cf 1Cor 15:57, Mt 6:19-21-note).

Proclaim aloud the Saviour’s fame,
Who bears the Breaker’s wond’rous Name;
Sweet Name; and it becomes Him well,
Who breaks down earth, sin, death, and hell.


F B Meyer - Our Daily Homily - THE BREAKER IS GONE UP BEFORE THEM. Micah 2:13 (R. V.)

THE mind of the prophet conceives of the people as captives in a foreign city, surrounded by lofty walls and frowning gates. Like impassable barriers, these lie between them and liberty. There seems no hope of their being able to break forth; but all suddenly a Breaker appears, who, summoning them to follow, breaks through the opposition of armed men and of mighty bulwarks. With resistless might, He breaks His way through; and they that follow Him are described as having broken forth, and passed on to the gate, and gone out thereat. First the Lord, then their king, and then hosts of men.

No finer description could be imagined of the resurrection, which we celebrate as the first day of every week recurs. Looking forth from heaven at the mystery of the resurrection, when the triumphant Lord stepped forth from the restraint of watch, and ward, and stone, and demon hate, and the grim fortress of the grave, the angels might fitly have appropriated these words, "The Breaker is gone up" before His redeemed ones. See! they too are breaking forth, and passing on through the gate--their King passing on before them.

This is also true of every new era of time and novelty of circumstance. Circumstances, like prison walls, may confine us; but our Breaker is always preceding us, breaking down opposition and strong ramparts of apparently impassable difficulty; breaking down the suspicion and hatred of men; breaking down the mailed force of hell. Keep close beside Him, as the armor bearer behind Jonathan. Let there be no perceptible interspace. The iron gate of the city will open of its own accord, through which you shall pass into perfect liberty.


More from Meyer…

F B Meyer - My Goodness and my Fortress - Each of these seven (I see only 5) title of God is a pathway which leads to His very heart. The all-subduing grace of God is indeed a theme for song. The Breaker is ever going before us. The Goliaths among men cannot stand before Him or His weakest servant.

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There shall be a space between you and the ark." Yes, the Lord Jesus preceded his Church. He first passed through the grave in resurrection power. "Every man in. his own order: Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ's." In all things, and therefore in this also, he must have the preeminence. When he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them; and his sheep follow him. "The breaker is gone up before them: they have broken forth and passed on to the gate, and are gone out thereat, and their king is passed on before them, and the Lord at the head of them" (Micah 2:13)

When our Lord went through the Heavens, it was not as Victim but as Warrior, not as the dying Lamb but as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Thousands of angels accompanied Him, welcoming Him home, and bound in fetters, behold the captive forms of Evil ! The world " I have overcome the world ; " Death and Hades " I have the keys of Hades and of Death ; " the Grave " O Grave, where is thy victory ; " and greater than them all, he that had the power of death, even the devil, who had kept myriads in his thrall. " The Breaker is gone up before them; they have broken up and passed through the gate, and the Lord at the head of them " (Micah ii. 13).

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Changes are permitted to pass and repass over our lives, which break up our homes, scatter our nests, shatter our schemes, and drive us forth to the untried and novel experiences which we dread. But in all these changes there is always the personal presence and superintendence of the Good Shepherd, who neither slumbers nor sleeps… "He goes before them." Whatever awaits us is encountered first by Him--each difficulty and complication; each wild beast or wilder robber; each yawning chasm or precipitous path. Faith's eye can always discern His majestic presence in front; and when that cannot be seen, it is dangerous to move forward. Bind this comfort to your heart: that the Saviour has tried for Himself all the experiences through which He asks you to pass; and He would not ask you to pass through them unless He was sure that they were not too difficult for your feet, or too trying for your strength. The Breaker always goes up before us. The Woodsman hews a path for us through the trackless forest. The broad-shouldered Brother pushes a way for us through the crowd. And we have only to follow.

This is the Blessed Life not anxious to see far in front; not careful about the next step; not eager to choose the path; not weighted with the heavy responsibilities of the future: but quietly following behind the Shepherd, one step at a time. (The Present Tense of the Blessed Life)

The Great Demolisher

Ian R K Paisley

"The breaker is come up before them." Micah 2:13

The Lord Jesus Christ has already walked the path that we are about to walk this day. What a source of joy and comfort that is to our souls. He as the "Breaker" has made the way possible and passable. There are many titles recorded in the Word of God with reference to the Saviour but this title of Breaker is both unusual and unique. It is the Hebrew word for a breaker through.

Christ is the Breaker Through of

All Obstructions On Our Road to Heaven

What a breakthrough He made at the Cross when He, Emmanuel destroyed (rendered powerless) him that had (past tense) the power of death that is, to say, the devil.

What a breakthrough He made at the Cross when He by Himself purged our sins.

What a breakthrough He made at the Cross when He crucified the world with its affections and lusts.

What a breakthrough He made at the Cross when He broke down the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile, and bond and free.

He cleared the way to heaven. Hail Thou Great Breaker Through!

Christ is the great breaker through of

All Opposition on Our Road to Heaven

Christ has not only cleared the way and prepared the King's High Way to Heaven but He has devastated all opposition. The sword which opposes us is a broken sword. The fire that we face is a smothered fire. The lion which roars at us has broken teeth. The serpent that hisses at us has had its sting extracted. The armies which bar our way are already corpses. We battle not for victory, we battle in the victory (from His Victory at Calvary). The "Breaker Through" has swept away all real opposition. Fear not to fight with such broken headed adversaries.

Christ is the breaker through of

The last Obstruction and the Final Opposition on the Road to Heaven

The last obstruction and the final opposition on the road to heaven is the last enemy death itself.

Ah, but it is not death. It is but a shadow of death. The monster of death is but a ghost of what it was. Its head has been broken and its sting has been removed. The Conqueror of Death has tread death down in its own domain, has broken down his throne and has smashed his sceptre. The rejoicing saint can sing "O death, where is thy sting O grave where is thy victory?"

The Breaker is gone forth in love,
With power and skill divine,
Descending from the realms above,
To quell His foes and ours.

From: Text a Day Keeps the Devil Away- Ian R. K. Paisley

Not a son of Adam's race has escaped the chains of sin. We were born in chains and in slavery. Sin has dominion over us as children of a fallen race. But the Breaker of Chains has appeared giving liberty from the chains of sin. Now are we the sons of God! Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty from the chains of sin.

H. Melvill - There is a remarkable prophecy in the writings of Micah, which seems closely to bear upon the subject of our present discourse ("the veil of the Temple was rent" - Mk 15:38): it is this-“The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out of it; and their King shall pass before them, and the Lord at the head of them.” Now, here is presented to us a magnificent procession, led by a Chief under the expressive title of the Breaker; He heads a vast company, He directs them through some gate, which He presses open by His own energy or labour; and they follow in triumph, and pass on like marching conquerors. Who is this but the Lord Jesus Christ, Who, having vanquished death, and opened the closed gate of everlasting life, has gone before that He may prepare a place for His followers, who through faith and patience, shall inherit His promise (Heb 6:12). And do you observe how the title of the Breaker, as applied to our Redeemer, is verified or vindicated by the prodigies which throng the crucifixion! The broken earth, the broken rocks, the broken graves, the broken veil of the temple-how do all these teem to correspond with the Name of the Breaker! Oh! that in our own case we might be able to add broken hearts to the list, and thus prove that Christ is still a Breaker; but a Breaker Who breaks only with the gracious purpose of making whole (Ps 51:17). (Mark 15:38 The Biblical Illustrator)


Hymns Related to
Christ the Breaker

Out of Bondage
Arise, come ye forth, and forever break the chain,
That long had oppressed you with sorrow and pain;
Arise, come ye forth, hear the blessèd Lord’s command,
And He Himself will guide you with a strong, strong hand.
Refrain
Come forth, come forth, and shout the jubilee,
Come forth, come forth, the Lord will make you free;
Come forth from your bonds, hear the blessèd Lord’s command,
And He Himself will guide you with a strong, strong hand.
Arise, come ye forth; will ye spend your life for naught,
When Jesus who loves you a ransom has bought?
The price of His blood, O receive it while you may;
Behold the promised time is now; O come away.
Refrain
Arise, come ye forth, and be slaves to sin no more,
How oft your deliv’rer has called you before;
Come forth from your bonds, and your liberty receive,
Your willing hearts to Jesus give; repent, believe.
Refrain



The veil is rent:—our souls draw near
Unto a throne of grace;
The merits of the Lord appear,
They fill the holy place.
His precious blood has spoken there,
Before and on the throne:
And His own wounds in heaven declare,
Th’ atoning work is done.
’Tis finished!—here our souls have rest,
His work can never fail:
By Him, our Sacrifice and Priest,
We pass within the veil.
—J. G. Deck



C.M. W. Gadsby
The Breaker.
Micah 2.13; Jer. 23.29
The Breaker is gone forth in love,
With power and skill divine;
Descending from the realms above,
To quell His foes and mine.
In love to Zion, He has broke
The powers of death and hell;
And her from Sinai’s dreadful yoke
Has broken off as well.
Though death, and law, and sin agree
This Breaker to arrest,
He breaks their bonds, Himself sets free,
With Zion on his breast.
He breaks His children’s hearts in twain,
And brings proud nature down;
The hearts He breaks He heals again,
And on them puts a crown.
He breaks through every darksome cloud,
And shows His lovely face;
Which makes the sinner sing aloud,
“Salvation is of grace.”
He breaks the traps and gins that lie
To catch poor pilgrims’ feet;
And, when they stumble, makes them fly
To Him, their safe Retreat.
He’ll break the strings of nature soon,
And bid the prisoner fly
Beyond the reach of sin and gloom,
His glory to enjoy.
(Resurrection)


the seal,
Christ has burst the gates of hell;
Death in vain forbids His rise,
Christ hath open’d paradise.
(Death)



This Breaker once made sin to be,
Broke from the curse His people free.
He broke the power of death and hell,
And cleared the road for Israel.



Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light
Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light,
And usher in the morning;
O shepherds, shrink not with afright,
But hear the angel’s warning.
This Child, now weak in infancy,
Our confidence and joy shall be,
The power of Satan breaking,
Our peace eternal making.



Break Forth, O Joyful Heart
Fanny Crosby
Break forth, break forth, O joyful heart,
And make His goodness known,
Who all thy life, though undeserved,
Such love to thee has shown.
Refrain
Break forth, break forth, O joyful heart,
Break forth, no longer silent be;
Break forth, break forth in grateful praise
To Him who came to ransom Thee.
’Twas Jesus sought my wand’ring soul,
And with a shepherd’s care
He brought me kindly to His fold,
And still protects me there.



Break Forth into Praise
Charles Wesley
Break forth into praise! Our Surety and Head
His members to raise, hath rose from the dead;
The power of His Spirit hath quickened our Lord,
That we by His merit may all be restored.
Our Captain and King with shouts we proclaim,
And joyfully sing the wonderful Name;
The Name all-victorious we publish, and feel
Triumphantly glorious o’er sin, earth, and hell.
The power of His rise we know and declare
And rapt to the skies, His happiness share;
In heavenly places with Jesus we sit,
And Jesus’ praises with angels repeat.
We sing of His love while sojourning here,
Till Christ from above our Savior appear;
The heirs of salvation with triumph receive,
In full consummation of glory to live.



What Though I Cannot Break My Chain
Augustus Toplady
What though I cannot break my chain
Or e’er throw off my load,
The things impossible to men
Are possible to God.
Who, who shall in Thy presence stand,
Or match omnipotence;
Unfold the grasp of Thy right hand
And pluck the sinner thence?
Faith to be healed I fain would have,
O might it now be given;
Thou canst, thou canst the sinner save,
And make me meet for Heav’n.
Bound down with twice ten thousand ties,
Yet let me hear Thy call;
My soul in confidence shall rise,
Shall rise and break through all.
Thou canst o’ercome this heart of mine,
Thou wilt victorious prove;
For everlasting strength is Thine,
And everlasting love.



O That My Load of Sin Were Gone!
Charles Wesley
Break off the yoke of inbred sin,
And fully set my spirit free:
I cannot rest till pure within,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.



Lord, Behold Us with Thy Blessing
Henry J Buckoll
Break temptation’s fatal power,
Shielding all with guardian care,
Safe in every careless hour,
Safe from sloth and sensual snare;
Thou, our Savior,
Still our failing strength repair.



Saved by Grace
Fanny Crosby
Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing;
But oh, the joy when I shall wake
Within the palace of the King!



God Moves in a Mysterious Way
William Cowper
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.



O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES TO SING
Charles Wesley, 1739
(Click for all 19 Stanzas)
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
(Vocal Version of "O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing")


J C Philpot - The Ministry of the Gospel

As, then, he preached liberty to the captives, so do his ministering servants proclaim the opening of the prison to them that are bound, by holding forth the forgiveness of sins through his precious blood. As, then, they thus preach peace by Jesus Christ, (Acts 10:36,) and the Spirit attends their testimony with power, it comes with a blessed liberating influence, into the heart. Nothing can stand before the power of the gospel. Every lock, bar, and bolt must give way when "the Breaker comes up, and their King passes before them, and the Lord at the head of them," (Micah 2:13,) to break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron. (Isa. 45:2.) (The Ministry of the Gospel)

How did rabbis understand Micah 2:13? (The Breaker)

"This verse pictures the shepherd taking the stones of the pen away in the morning, therefore “breaking open the way” for the sheep to get back out, which is the Hebrew word parats [1][18]. While the breach-maker and the king are the same in Micah 2:13, rabbinic interpretation says that the breach-maker is Elijah and the king the Messiah. Jesus, hinting at that, is therefore saying, “The Kingdom of heaven […] is breaking forth […] and every person in it is breaking forth […] individuals within the Kingdom are finding liberty and freedom.” (Bivin & Blizzard 1994:86). Jesus is here declaring himself to be the Messiah, John the Baptist being Elijah. Jesus is the shepherd who leads the sheep out and onto the green fields." (Mag. Claudia R. Wintoch. Hebrew Idioms in the Gospel of Matthew

"The breaker has gone up: Their savior, who breaks the fences of thorns and the hedges of briers, to straighten the road before them." (Rashi)


James Nisbet's Pulpit Commentary

CHRIST THE BREAKER
‘The breaker is come up before them.’
Micah 2:13

I make no apology for taking the words as having their only real accomplishment in the office and working of Jesus Christ. He is ‘the Breaker Which is come up before us.’ He it is that has broken out the path on which we may travel, and in Whom, in a manner which the prophet dreamed not of, ‘the Lord is at the head’ of us, and our King goes before us. So that my object is simply to take that great name, ‘The Breaker,’ and to see the manifold ways in which in Scripture it is applied to the various work of Jesus Christ in our redemption.

I. I follow entirely the lead of corresponding passages in other portions of Scripture and, to begin with, I ask you to think of that great work of our Divine Redeemer by which He has broken for the captives the prison-house of their bondage.

II. Take another application of this same figure found in Scripture, which sets forth Jesus Christ as being the Opener of the path to God.—For we do not know God as He is except by Jesus Christ. We see fragments, and often distorted fragments, of the Divine nature and character apart from Jesus, but the real Divine nature it is, and as it is in its relation to me, a sinner, is only made known to me in the face of Jesus Christ. When we see Him we see God.

III. Then still another modification of this figure is found in the frequent representations of Scripture, by which our Lord is the Breaker, going up before us in the sense that He is the Captain of our life’s march.—We have, in the words of the text, the image of the gladly-gathered people flocking after the Leader. ‘They have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it; and their King shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.’

IV. Lastly, there is a final application of this figure which sets forth our Lord as the Breaker for us of the bands of death, and the Forerunner ‘entered for us into the heavens.’—Christ’s resurrection is the only solid proof of a future life. Christ’s present resurrection life is the power by partaking in which, ‘though we were dead, yet shall we live.’ He has trodden that path, too, before us. He has entered into the great prison-house into which the generations of men have been hounded and hurried; and where they lie in their graves, as in their narrow cells. He has entered there; with one blow He has struck the gates from their hinges, and has passed out, and no soul can any longer be shut in as for ever into that ruined and opened prison. (Micah 2 - James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary)


C H Spurgeon's sermon on Micah 2:13

THE BREAKER AND THE FLOCK
A Sermon
DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, MARCH 20TH, 1887, BY
C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON

I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men. The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.—Micah 2:12, 13.

YOU will remember, dear friends, from our reading last Sabbath morning, in the second chapter of the Book of Micah, that the prophet was delivering reproofs and rebukes against a sinful people, a people who tried to straiten the Spirit and silence the voice of prophecy, and refused to listen to the messengers of God. He threatened them with condign punishment from the Most High. To our surprise, in the very midst of the threatening he delivers a prediction brimming with mercy. Not only is not the Spirit of the Lord straitened, but even the people of the Lord are not to be straitened; for one has come forth who will be to them both liberator and leader. Judgment is God’s strange work, and he rejoices even in the midst of threatening to turn aside and utter gracious words to obedient souls. Surely the brightest and most silvery drops of love that have ever distilled upon men have fallen in close connection with storms of divine justice. The acceptable year of the Lord is hard by the day of vengeance of our God. The blackness of the tempest of his wrath acts as a foil to set forth more brightly the glory of his grace. In this case the thunder-bolts stay their course in mid-volley: when the prophet is hurling destruction upon sin and sinners he pauses to interpose a passage of promise most rich and gracious—a passage which I wish to open up to you at this time, as the Spirit of God shall enable me.

Certain willful persons were proudly confident that no enemy could reach them behind the walls of their cities, though the Lord declared that he would make Samaria a heap (Micah 1:6), and would strip Jerusalem. They coveted fields and took them by violence, and went on with their oppressions as if there had been no Judge of all the earth (Micah 2:2). The Lord warned them again and again, and assured them that they must not expect to be preserved from chastisement because they were the Lord’s people. They boasted that God would protect them, yea, they leaned upon the Lord, and said. “Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us.” (Micah 3:11) He told them that Zion should be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem should become heaps (Micah 3:12). They were by no means to escape the rod; rather might they look for grace after they had been severely chastened. They would be carried away into captivity, but yet there would come a day in which they should be gathered out of the places wherein they had been scattered, and brought back to their own land. The prophet cried to the daughter of Zion, “Thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the Lord shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.” (Micah 4:10)

Truly, the Lord forgets not to devise means to bring again his banished ones. The words of Micah in the passage before us agree with many others which fell from the lips of prophets; for it is the way of the Lord to restore his chosen in the day of their repentance. Did he not say by his servant Amos, “Lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve; yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” (Amos 9:9) He will preserve the chosen race even in their scattering, and then in his own appointed time he will seek them out, according to his own word, “He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.” (Jer 31:10) These gathered ones were to be led back to their land under the guidance of a Great Shepherd (cp Heb 13:20), Whose business it should be to break down all obstacles and clear the road for them, so that they might safely reach their resting-place.

I have no doubt that the first fulfilment of this prophecy was given when Cyrus conquered Babylon and gave permission for Israel to return to their own land. Cyrus may be regarded as “the Breaker;” for the prophet Isaiah wrote concerning him: “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.” (Isaiah 45:1) Then the willing-hearted of Israel gathered together to rebuild the house of the Lord, and to this centre multitudes hastened, the Lord being with them and sending them prosperity. It was of these favored ones that we find a striking fulfilment of our text as to the noise made by the concourse of men. Ezra tells us that “the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.” (Ezra 3:13) Then was this promise in a measure fulfilled.

But, brethren, the promises of the Lord are perennial springs for ever overflowing with new fulfillments. In the latter days (cf Hosea 3:5KJV), the God of Israel, in abundant grace, will remember his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and will gather together his ancient nation, who are at this time a people scattered and peeled. These shall be converted to the Christ of God, and then shall be accomplished the word of the prophet: “I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them.” (Ezek 34:24, cf Ezek 37:25) The Son of David, whom their fathers slew, not knowing what they did, shall be made known to them as the promised seed, and then they shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him. (Zech 12:10) May this day soon come! Then shall the veil be taken away from their hearts (2Cor 3:15-16), and the cloud shall no longer hang over Israel’s head, but the Lord shall restore them, and they shall rejoice in Him. The day cometh when the Breaker shall go up before them, and the King at the head of them, and they shall be brought again unto the inheritance of their fathers.

Even this will not exhaust the prophecy. I regard this passage as setting forth a vision of spiritual things (Ed: In the previous passage Spurgeon interpreted the text literally, and here he spiritualizes the passage) in which Micah dimly saw the gathering together, and the heavenward march of the true Israel, namely, the elect of God, whom he hath given to his Son Jesus, and whom the Lord Jesus has undertaken to save. “He is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart.” (Ro 2:29.) As Paul, by the Spirit of God, interpreteth the whole story of the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it is clear that we, brethren, the children of the promise, are the true seed, even those who are born by divine power and as believers are the spiritual family of believing Abraham. If we have the faith of Abraham, we are the children of Abraham, and with us is the covenant made; for the seed of Abraham is not reckoned according to descent by the flesh, else would the covenant blessing have fallen to Ishmael and not to Isaac, to Esau and not to Jacob. The covenant is to a spiritual seed, born according to divine promise through divine power. The line in which the Lord has determined that the covenant blessing should run was ordered by divine sovereignty, “that the purpose of God according to election might stand.” The Lord purposed that they which are born after the spirit should be the true heirs, and not those that are born after the flesh. We, therefore, believe that to us, even to us who rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh, appertain the promises and the covenant. It shall come to pass that all the elect of God shall yet be gathered together from the places whereto they have wandered in their sin, and for them a clear way shall be opened up to the land of their inheritance. The Breaker, who is also their King and God, shall lead them through all opposition, and bring them without fail to their quiet resting-place. Even as at the first all Israel was brought out of Egypt and safely led with a high hand and an outstretched arm through sea and desert, so shall the Lord Jesus lead the whole host of his redeemed to the place of his glory. Hath not the Lord God declared it—“The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and sighing shall flee away”?

An august spectacle is set before us in our text. May our eyes be anointed of the Holy Spirit, that we may behold its glories, so that our hearts shall leap for joy!

First, in the text I see the flock gathered: “I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.” Secondly, we behold the champion Shepherd clearing the way of the flock: “The breaker is come up before them.” He, with the arm of his strength, breaks all opposers, and breaks up for them a way from their captivity. Thirdly, behold the flock advancing, with their great Shepherd at their head: “They have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.” Jehovah leads the van, and the hosts of his redeemed march triumphantly after him.

I. To begin then, brethren; here is THE FLOCK GATHERED:

“I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee.”

Who knows where God’s chosen are? Babylon was far off from Jerusalem, but our places of wandering are farther off from God than that. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” In the cloudy and dark day we have wandered to the uttermost ends of the earth. The Lord’s chosen ones lie wide of one another, and they are far off from God himself. What a mercy it is that in the text we have a promise that they shall be gathered divinely! “I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel.” Who else could gather them but the Lord? What power less than divine could fetch such wanderers from their haunts and hidings? One is aloft yonder on the hill side in his pride and self-conceit; another is down below in the despondency of his disappointment. One wanders in the pastures of worldliness, sporting himself in the plenty thereof, and hard to be brought back for that reason; another is entangled in the briars of poverty, half-starved and ready to die, and hopeless of ever seeing the face of God with joy. They are everywhere, my brethren,—these lost sheep: they seem to have chosen out, as if deliberately, the most dangerous places; they stumble on the dark mountains, they are caught in the tangled thickets, they have fallen into pits. O sin, what hast thou done? rather, what hast thou not done? for men seem to have gone to the utmost extreme of rebellion against God, and to have done evil with both hands earnestly. Therefore doth God himself come to the rescue. He himself shall assemble Jacob, and gather the remnant of Israel. Driving with the terrors of his law, drawing with the sweetnesses of his gospel, he shall surely bring them in. By one instrumentality or by another, and in some cases, apparently, without instrumentality at all, he will bring them from all points of the compass to the place where he will meet with them.

There is a period known to God,
When all his sheep, redeemed by blood,
Shall leave the hateful ways of sin,
Turn to the fold, and enter in.

This is the result of the divine working, and of that alone. Our hope of the salvation of God’s elect lies in the fact that it is God himself who undertakes to gather them. Remember his word by the prophet Ezekiel, “For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.”

Following the text closely, we notice that this gathering is to be performed surely. I dwell with great pleasure upon that word “surely,” because it is spoken twice, “I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel.” There are no “ifs” where there is a God: there are no “peradventures” where divine predestination rules the day. Let Jehovah speak, and it is done; let him command, and it shall stand firm. Inasmuch as he saith “surely” twice, it reminds me of Joseph’s word to the Egyptian king: “And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice, it is because the thing is established by God.” God will not change his purpose, nor turn from his promise, nor forget his covenant: he will surely gather together his chosen people wherever they may be. O thou that art buffeted by opposition, and driven to sore distress in thy holy service, be not thou dismayed, for the purpose of the Lord shall stand. Thou mayest fail, but the eternal God will not. Thy work may be washed away like the work of little children in the sand of the sea shore, but that which God doeth endureth for ever. God shaketh the earth out of its place, but who can move him? When God saith surely, who shall cast doubt in the way? The Lord will without fail call out his redeemed from among men. As a worker and a soul-winner I grasp at these words, “I will surely gather the remnant of Israel,” and I feel that I shall not labour in vain, nor spend my strength for nought. When the end cometh, and the whole business of salvation shall be complete, it shall be seen that the Lord hath achieved his purpose. Jesus saith, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me,” and it shall surely be so. Wherefore let us be of good courage, and seek out the lost ones in full confidence that they must and shall be found.

This leads us to notice that they shall be gathered completely. “I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee.” Not some of the chosen, but all of them, shall be brought out from the world which lieth in the wicked one. Not some of the redeemed, but each one of them, shall be made to walk at liberty under the leadership of their Shepherd-king. The Lord will leave none of his sheep in their wanderings, and surrender none to the lion or the bear. Dear friend, sighing and crying afar off and thinking that God will never gather you, have faith in him. Helpless as thou art, trust him to do his work as a Saviour. It is written, “I will surely gather, O Jacob, all of thee,” and thou mayest not think that thou hast wandered beyond the reach of the infinite arm. Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened? Thou must not dream that thou hast sinned thyself beyond the power of grace, for his mercy endureth for ever! Only do thou look unto Christ, and let thy soul stay itself on him, and God will not overlook thee in the day when he gathers his own. Though thou be least in Israel, and most unworthy of his regard, yet he has expressly said, “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick.” He will not forget thee, thou weakest of all the flock. Thou art needful to the completeness of the company. If thou be not there, how shall the Lord keep his word, “I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee”?

Further, our text declares that the people shall be gathered unitedly. There shall be a wonderful union among them: “I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah.” Oh that the Lord would in these days more fully and evidently carry out this promise in the happy unity of his visible church! Sinners hate each other while they wander in their different ways; but when the Lord brings them together by his grace, then love is born in their hearts. What enmities are cast out by the power of divine grace! When lusts are conquered, wars and fightings cease. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. It is grace which causes that Ephraim shall not envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim. I notice that sinners, when they are under conviction of sin, are not apt to quarrel with one another; and saints, when they behold the Saviour and rejoice in pardoning love, come together in holy love. In that visible community which stands for the Church of God—I mean the combined external organization of Christendom—there are many divisions and fierce heart-burnings; but in the real Church of God, that spiritual body which the Holy Spirit inhabits, these evils are buried. The truly spiritual are really one in heart. You may meet with a man from whom you differ in many respects, but if the life of God is in him, and in yourself also, you will feel a kinship with him of the nearest kind. Often have I read books which have awakened in my soul a sense of true brotherhood with their authors, although I have known them to be of a church opposed to many of my own views. If they praise my divine Lord, if they speak of the inner life, and touch upon communion with God, and if they do this with that unction and living power which are the tokens of the Holy Spirit, then my heart cleaves to them, be they who they may. Is it not so with you? When the Lord brings people to himself, he brings them to one another. Though depraved nature divides, and pride and self set men apart, yet the Lord overcomes these dividing elements by his renewing grace, and his divine word is accomplished—“I will put them together!” When the Lord puts us together, no man can put us asunder. What is wanted in the much-divided visible church of God is, that we should all come under the divine hand more fully, that we should all feel the touch of the divine life, and yield ourselves more completely to the teaching of the divine truth. Schemes of union are of small value; it is the spirit of union which is wanted. Our Lord Jesus prayed, “that they all may be one; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me”; and his prayer cannot fall to the ground. The church is one in Christ, and none can rend the seamless vesture. Yet more openly as the days pass on, the Lord will gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. (John 11:52.)

This gathering together will be done happily: they are to be gathered “as the flock in the midst of their fold.” God’s gathering of his chosen is not to a place of barrenness and misery, but to a place of security and quietude, even to his appointed fold. The Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, maketh us to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth us beside the still waters. He folds his flock, and makes it to lie down in peace. He saith, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” He gives us all things richly to enjoy. O you that are wandering afar from God, there can be no rest for you until the Lord gathers you to the fold of which Jesus is the centre and the Shepherd. When you come to Jesus you shall find rest unto your souls, but not till then. “The peace of God that passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds by Christ Jesus,” but by Christ Jesus only. Christians are not a miserable company of restless spirits; they are not a pack of dogs howling at one another, and smarting under the keeper’s lash; but they are a flock feeding in happy communion, while Jesus in their midst finds for them a place where they may rest at noon. He so loves his own, and so reveals himself to his own, that they are a happy people, highly favoured, and greatly honoured. God hath blessed them, and they shall be blessed, let the world say what it will concerning them.

One more note must be made on this head: they shall be gathered numerously: “They shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.” The Lord’s camp is very great. If you have taken into your head the idea that the Lord has chosen for himself a very small company, and that in the end there will be only a few saved, dismiss the notion. The redeemed are a number that no man can number. Now, a man can count to a very great extent; and if the chosen are beyond the numbering of men, they are a multitude indeed. The prophet represents them as making a great noise by reason of their multitude: he alludes to “the busy hum of men,” the buzz of the crowd as when the bees are swarming. As in a city there is an indescribable sound by reason of the multitude who are making traffic in it, so shall there be a noise in the church of a great concourse of men. Conceive of the noise heard at Bozrah, in the sheep country of Edom, when all the flocks of the country were gathered together to be numbered for the purposes of tribute. Hearken to the indescribable noise of the bleating myriads. What a suggestion of the voices of the innumerable hosts of the redeemed when they shall finally be brought together, and shall all in fullest joy lift up their voices! If all the gathered-out company were to pray together, what a sound of supplication would go up by reason of the multitude of men! But when they all sing—what a sound shall that be! Do you wonder that John said, “I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder”? It makes my eyes water to think of the incomparable armies of the redeemed gathered together in one place. Well might the prophet turn poet when he began to picture that countless flock, and speak of the “great noise by reason of the multitude of men”! I believe we shall not any one of us restrain our voices in that day when we shall meet together with our Lord at our head. I saw one stand up at the opening of this service to look around the Tabernacle, to see the multitude; and well he might, for it is a thing to do one’s eyes good to behold this vast assembly. But what shall be our joy when we shall stand up in the midst of the great company of the redeemed? We shall look far and wide, and see no end of the great gathering. When they begin to sing, how will our spirits bear the swell of that majestic psalmody? I know I shall find my best voice that day, when in the midst of the congregation of the faithful I shall sing praise unto the Lord my God. The “great noise by reason of the multitude of men” sets forth the enthusiasm of the praise, and the immense number of the perfected ones who shall pour out their hearts before the throne. Thus I have set before you in a feeble way the gathering of the flock.

II. Follow me while, next, I speak of THE CHAMPION SHEPHERD clearing the way.

“The breaker is come up before them.” In the tenth verse the Lord says to his people, “Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted.” But we say to ourselves—How are they to depart from the place where they now are, and press forward to the pastures on the hill-tops of heaven? They are as sheep. How can they find their way? How can they face their foes? How can they break down barriers? A flock is but ill fitted to tramp over pathless deserts, infested by ferocious wolves. How shall the church attain to the abodes of the perfected? Long leagues of distance must be traversed, hills of guilt must be crossed, and nights of blackest darkness must be experienced. Ah, Lord God! how canst thou expect that this thy church, which is like a flock of sheep, should find its way through all difficulties and adversaries unto thyself? The answer to our fears is before us: “The breaker is come up before them.” That great Shepherd of the sheep, whose name is “The Through-breaker” or “The Breaker-up,” makes a way for his people, yea, creates it by force of arms.

Between us and heaven once lay the tremendous Alps of sin. Not one of all the flock of God could climb those hills; all must perish who attempt to cross those awful barriers. The way to heaven was effectually blocked by these heaven-defying mountains, for no passes existed: even the eagle’s eye could not discover a way. One sin might keep a man out of heaven; but the multitudes of our iniquities, the blackness, the aggravation, the repetition of our offences made the case hopeless to all human power or wisdom. I see those awful hills, and wonder how the flock of God can hope to reach eternal bliss with those in the way. Behold he comes, “The Breaker,” before whom the mountains sink. “He his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree; and by that bearing he put them all away.” He took upon himself the whole load of his people’s iniquities; he endured the entire weight of the crushing burden, and by his atoning death he cast their iniquities into the depths of the sea. The pass of the atonement is our clear way to glory. In the sepulchre of Jesus all our sins are buried. To as many as believe in Jesus Christ no sin remaineth.

This Breaker once made sin to be,
Broke from the curse His people free.
He broke the power of death and hell,
And cleared the road for Israel.

“In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.” The glorious Breaker, with his pierced hands, and nailed feet, and opened side, hath wrought a miracle of miracles by putting away sin through the sacrifice of himself. Jesus saith, “I am the way”; and the way he is: the way which neither past nor present sin can effectually close. But, my brethren, if our sins were all forgiven us, there are other difficulties in the way; for we are without strength, and the depravity of our nature is not readily to be overcome. Think of the hardness of our hearts, the waywardness of our wills, the blindness of our judgments, the readiness of our minds to yield to temptation! How can we force our way through such obstacles? Why, if the Lord would forgive me all my sin, and give me heaven on condition that I should find my way to it, mine would still be a hopeless case. Even the regenerate find that they have a hard struggle with the flesh; how can we win our way in the teeth of our fallen nature? Beloved, the Breaker has gone up before us. The Lord Jesus Christ assumed our nature, and was “tempted in all points like as we are”; he overcame the adversary at every point of the conflict, that through his victory we might be more than conquerors. He sends forth the Holy Spirit to renew us in the spirit of our minds; he takes the stony heart out of our flesh; he rules the will, he governs the affections, he enlightens the understanding, he sanctifies the soul; and thus, though weak in ourselves, we are made strong in him; so strong that we shall not perish in the wilderness, but shall pursue our pilgrimage till we cross the Jordan, and stand in our lot at the end of the days. Because the Breaker has gone up before us, we shall break through the ramparts of sinfulness, and cut our way to holiness and perfection.

Yet, even though this be so, that sin is forgiven and our corrupt nature overcome, still there is another difficulty: the prince of darkness has set himself to obstruct the way: he defies us to advance, he stands across the road, and swears that he will spill our souls. By no means let us be afraid, for the Breaker is gone up before us, and the enemy knows the force of his strong right hand. In the wilderness and in the garden our Lord vanquished this great adversary, and therein gave us full assurance that he will bruise Satan under our feet shortly. We need not fear all the devils in hell: if by faith we have courage to resist them they will flee from us. We shall reach the haven of our rest, the heaven of our bliss. Our glorious Breaker with the mace of the cross has broken the head of leviathan, and made an open show of his adversaries. Thus was it spoken of our Lord at the gates of Eden concerning the old serpent—“Thou shalt bruise his heel”: and now by his ascension to heaven he has done the deed, leading captivity captive.

Gone up as God’s co-equal Son,
With all his blood-stained garments on,
While seraphs sing his deathless fame,
And chant the Breaker’s glorious name.

This brings us face to face with the last enemy. Death blocks the way to eternal life. Be of good courage, the Breaker has gone up before you in this matter also. Jesus died: the Ever-blessed bowed his head and yielded up the ghost. Hearken yet again: he has risen from the dead; he slept a while in the cold prison of the tomb, but he could not be holden with the bands of death, and therefore in due time he arose. He arose in newness of life, that all his own might also rise in him. Come, be not afraid to die, for you will travel a well-beaten track. Be not afraid to go down into the heart of the earth, for there your Emmanuel has slept. Nor will he suffer you to go by this dark road alone. “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” He will go down into this Egypt with you, and he will surely bring you up again. The Breaker goeth up before you.

But can I hope I shall ever enter the gates of heaven? Those gates of pearl whose mild, pure radiance chides my perturbed and guilty heart—can I hope to pass their portal? Can I hope to stand where all is absolutely perfect? I shrink in the presence of such matchless purity. But, brethren, the Breaker has gone up before us. He hath opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. It will be safe for us to enter where he has gone: yea, we must enter; for where he is, there also shall his servants be. He will welcome each one of us with, “Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thon without?” Adown those streets of pure gold like unto transparent glass we shall walk without fear, and up to that blazing throne of purest light we shall pass without dismay; for Jesus has gone in before us. Behold him!

He is at the Father’s side,
The Man of Love, the Crucified.

The way into the holiest is now made manifest. The Breaker has rent the veil from the top to the bottom, and given us free access to heaven itself.

But I must pause. Certainly my matter is not exhausted: time alone restrains.

III. Lastly, I have to show you for a minute or two THE FLOCK ADVANCING, their royal Breaker leading the way.

As the Lord Jesus, in his death, resurrection, and ascension, has gone up before us, so by his grace we are led to follow him from grace to glory. “They go from strength to strength.” He saith to them, “Follow me”: they know his voice, and as his sheep they follow him.

Along the way which the great Champion clears we find the whole of the flock proceeding. “The Breaker is come up before them,” therefore they keep to his footprints. “They have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it.” Behold, my brethren, the vision of visions: the whole company of God’s elect following their triumphant Leader! Do you see yonder the pillar of fire and cloud leading the way through the desert? Do you see the host of Israel in glorious order marching to their predestined inheritance? Such is the Church of God as it is seen by spiritual eyes. All down the centuries, in every land, they are marching along that appointed road which Jesus, the Breaker, has cleared for them. You and I, I hope, are in that goodly company: sometimes our following is lame and halting, but yet we are not turned out of the way. To whom else could we go if we were to leave our chosen Leader? Faint we may be, but pursuing we will be. Oh, that we could keep closer to the Breaker! Oh, that he would break our hearts with his love! Oh, that all our evil habits might be broken by his grace. We would follow our King whithersoever he goeth. Yes, we are in that company, I trust; and God grant we may never stray from it! No other road is prepared by a great Breaker as this road is prepared. This is the King’s highway, and we will keep to it all our days.

Observe, that in the text the people of God are described as imitating their King; for it is written, “They have broken up.” He is the Breaker; and are they breakers too? Yes, they also have broken up. Christ is the great warrior for his people; but not without conflict will any one of them be crowned. It is so arranged in the wisdom of God, that everything is so done for us as not to drive us into inaction, but to draw us into holy diligence. Christ’s warfare is repeated in his saints in their measure. The crown is of grace; but we must run for it. Christ has conquered sin, and we have to overcome through faith in him. He has subdued the adversary, but we also shall have to wrestle with spiritual wickednesses. “They have broken up.” Herein is condescending love. Christ might have saved us, and there might have been nothing for us to do; but, to display his grace, he intends to conform us to himself, in conflict and in crown, in breaking up, and in going forth, and in entering in. He makes us know the fellowship of his sufferings. Come, brethren and sisters, let us ask God to fulfil in us the words of the text, “They have broken up.” Let us be resolved to break down all sin. Let us be determined to overcome through the blood of the Lamb. This is the victory which overcometh the world, even our faith. If we have it, let us use it to good purpose this day.

Notice that as these people were led on by the Breaker: they persevered in following him. “They have broken up; they have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it.” They did a little at a time; they advanced step by step; they stopped at nothing, but went onward and upward. So do saints go from grace to grace, from faith to greater faith. Note the sentences: “they have broken up, they have passed through the gate, and have gone out by it”: this looks as if they did it slowly but surely, gradually but grandly. So, when the grace of God enters into the heart, and we, the sheep of God, are made to follow him, we are attentive to detail, and notice each part of our obedience. You cannot in grace, any more than in anything else, do a great deal at once, and do it effectually. I find that advance in grace, if it be suppositious, can be rapid; but if it be real, it requires patience. Our Lord gives us line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little. Let us be sure even if we be slow.

But now I would have you dwell upon the fact that they are marching under royal leadership: “Their King shall pass before them.” Christ is always at the head of his own church. Why? because he loves it so that he cannot be away from it. He is at the head of his own flock because he has purchased it with his own blood. He will not send an angel to lead his chosen, but he himself will watch over the objects of his everlasting love. He knows the necessities of his church to be such as he, and only he, can meet: therefore as the King he always remains at their head. Brethren, let us always reverence, honour, and obey him. Our active, present King must be loyally and earnestly served. As Breaker he did us service; as King we must render him service. Remember how the Psalmist put it to the chosen bride: “He is thy Lord, and worship thou him.” As a church, we know no other head; as the people of his pasture, we know no other leader. Let us follow him boldly and gladly.

Let us give him praise this day; yea, let us worship and adore him, for he is Jehovah. He who is at our head is Lord: in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Is it not written, “The Lord shall go before thee”? Let us rejoice because the Lord is our King, and he will save us. Do you ever fear that the cause of truth and righteousness will fail? Shake this dust from off thee. Banish such a thought. If Jehovah leads the van, who shall stand against him? If Jesus Christ, once the man of sorrows, but now the King of kings, is to the fore, he will reckon with our adversaries, and make short work of their boastings. Wherefore, follow quietly and unquestioningly as sheep follow the shepherd, and your way shall be prosperous. The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge: wherefore comfort one another with these words.

I cannot express the joy I feel in the belief that I am one of the company which is following the Breaker’s lead; but my sorrow is that some of you are not of his flock. Oh, that you may belong to those of whom he says, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring.” Oh, that he may bring you in speedily! Do you feel a desire towards Christ this morning? Have you any longings to be reconciled to God by him? Then you may freely come, with the confident assurance that him that cometh to him he will in no wise cast out. He invites you to his cross, yea, to himself. Obey the gentle impulse which is now stirring your bosom. Jesus has come on purpose to seek and to save the lost: you are lost; therefore pray that he may save you.

Should the enemy of all good tell you that if you should believe, yet you would never hold out to the end, remind him that the Breaker has gone up before his people, and their King at the head of them, and therefore you are not afraid of meeting anything upon the road which can beat you back from hope and heaven. Join the army which marches under our victorious Joshua, and through sin, and hell, and death the Breaker will clear your way. To him be praise for ever and ever! Amen.

The Lord is risen.

“CHRIST, the Lord, is risen to-day,”
Sons of men and angels say!
Raise your joys and triumphs high;
Sing, ye heavens; and earth reply.

Love’s redeeming work is done;
Fought the fight, the battle won:
Lo! the sun’s eclipse is o’er;
Lo! he sets in blood no more!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal,
Christ has burst the gates of hell;
Death in vain forbids His rise,
Christ hath open’d paradise.

Lives again our glorious King!
“Where, O death, is now thy sting?”
Once He died our souls to save;
“Where’s thy victory, boasting grave?”

Soar we now where Christ has led,
Following our exalted head;
Made like Him, like Him we rise;
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies.

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to Thee by both be given!
Thee we greet triumphant now,
Hail, the Resurrection—Thou!

Charles Wesley, 1739

Resurrection and Ascension. C. M.
HOSANNAH to the Prince of light,
Who clothed Himself in clay,
Enter’d the iron gates of death,
And tore the bars away!

Death is no more the king of dread,
Since our Immanuel rose;
He took the tyrant’s sting away,
And spoil’d our hellish foes.

See how the Conqueror mounts aloft,
And to His Father flies,
With scars of honour in His flesh,
And triumph in His eyes.

There our exalted Saviour reigns,
And scatters blessings down;
His Father well rewards His pains,
And bids Him wear the crown.

Bright angels, strike your loudest strings,
Your sweetest voices raise;
Let heaven and all created things
Sound our Immanuel’s praise.
Isaac Watts, 1709,

The Breaker
Charles Spurgeon

"The Breaker has gone up before them. He will bring you through the gates of your cities of captivity, back to your own land. Your King will lead you; the Lord Himself will guide you!" Micah 2:13

Inasmuch as Jesus has gone before us, things do not remain as they would have been, had He never passed that way. He has conquered every foe which has obstructed the way. Cheer up O faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ traveled the road—but He has slain your enemies upon life's road!

Do you dread sin? He has nailed it to His cross!

Do you fear death? He has been the death of death!

Are you afraid of hell? He has barred the gates of hell from being entered by any of His children; they shall never see the gulf of perdition!

Whatever foes may be before the Christian—they are all overcome!

There are lions—but their teeth are broken!

There are serpents—but their fangs are extracted!

There are rivers—but they are bridged or fordable!

There are flames—but we wear that matchless garment which renders us invulnerable to fire!

The Breaker, Christ—has taken away all the power that anything can have to hurt us. Well then, you may go safely and joyously along your journey, for all your enemies are conquered beforehand! What shall you do—but march on to take the prey? They are beaten, they are vanquished; all you have to do is to divide the spoil. You shall, it is true, often engage in combat; but your fight shall be with a vanquished foe! His head is broken! He may attempt to injure you—but his strength shall not be sufficient for his malicious design. Your victory shall be sure—and your treasure shall be beyond all count!

"Proclaim aloud the Savior's fame,
Who bears the Breaker's wondrous name;
Sweet name; and it befits Him well,
Who breaks down earth, sin, death, and hell!"

(The Breaker - Gracegems)


JESUS CHRIST:
THE BREAKER

A sermon by C. H. Spurgeon,
Delivered at Queen’s Square Chapel, Brighton,
Wednesday evening, 23 April 1856
FORWARDED BY PASTOR T. W. MEDHURST, CARDIFF

The Breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.’—Micah 2:13.

GOD’S people have wandered hither and thither, some on the mountains of pride, some into the deep glens of despair, some into the green and poisonous pastures of self-righteousness, others to the arid and burning sands of licentiousness and dissipation. One of the most difficult things in the world for man to do would be to collect the scattered sheep of God into one fold; indeed, it would be altogether impossible for mortal might to accomplish so wondrous a miracle; but God has promised that he will gather all his people together, wheresoever they may have strayed. The verse immediately preceding our text has this sure and comforting promise: ‘I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.’ No matter how far they may have wandered, how extensive may have been their ramblings, how great may have been their errors, they shall, nevertheless, by sovereign grace be reclaimed. ‘For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost,’ and he will ‘leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it.’ There is not one of the Lord’s wandering sheep, however far it may have strayed, but shall ultimately be carried upon the shoulders of the Good Shepherd right into glory,—

While Heaven’s resounding mansions ring
With shouts of sovereign grace,

because Christ has rescued it from the lion and the bear that threatened to devour it.

But, if one thing be even more difficult than gathering the sheep together, it is leading them all the way from their pastures here, to their glorious fold in Heaven. When we consider what obstacles there are in the way of the Lord’s flock,—a constant, persevering, indefatigable enemy ever striving to destroy them, that roaring lion that ‘goeth about, seeking whom he may devour,’ mountains piled upon mountains, and rivers that are not to be forded, but must be crossed, ere the sheep can enter within the promised rest,—we may indeed exclaim with wonder, ‘Who is sufficient for these things? Who shall lead the ransomed flock of God into the blessed fold of Heaven? Who shall be the Great Shepherd who shall conduct the Lord’s sheep into the dwelling-place of the redeemed?’

The answer to our questions is seen in our text. There may be obstacles, there are obstacles; but here, flock of God, is your solace and comfort: ‘The Breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.’ He marches in front of his sheep, the Good Shepherd clearing the way; the Pioneer of the heavenly army; the Breaker, breaking through every difficulty; the king, overcoming all foes.

If the Lord shall enable us, this evening, we shall discourse a little, first, on the title of our Saviour as ‘the Breaker’: ‘The Breaker is come up before them.’ Then, after we have done that, we shall put the enquiry to ourselves, Are we among the number who ‘have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it’? Has our King gone before us? Is the Lord at the head of us?

I. We will first consider THE TITLE OF JESUS CHRIST—‘THE BREAKER.’

He who has many crowns, has many titles. Jesus, the King of kings, has many names, each of them fraught with meaning, and full of sweetness. Perhaps the title which we least seldom notice is that which occurs in our text. We have dwelt full frequently upon Christ the LAMB; we have noticed, oftentimes, Christ the PRIEST; we have referred again and again to Christ the PROPHET, and to Christ the KING; but seldom have we spoken of Christ the BREAKER. So come now, dear friends, and let me speak to you of the title of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ which is mentioned in our text, that is, the Breaker.

First, Christ is the Breaker, for he broke the power of Satan. In years long gone by, the arch-enemy of God rebelled, and thenceforward became the arch-enemy of man. He coiled himself, like a huge serpent, around this world, intent to crush it; he held the entire human race beneath his sway, and there seemed to be no hope of deliverance. By-and-by, a promise shone out like a new star in the dark firmament, gleaming with this cheering message: ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel’ (Gen. 3:15). Centuries rolled away, and then that Seed of the woman appeared, an infant of a span long; and it was not long before he commenced his combat with the enemy. He had two great battles, at the beginning and the end of an awful struggle which was protracted through his entire life.

In the wilderness, Christ fought the arch-enemy; foot to foot they stood, and long and hard they wrestled. Thrice did the foeman try to throw the Saviour to the ground; but thrice he repulsed him, crying, ‘It is written;’—‘It is written again;’—‘For it is written.’ It was a stern fight; but, at last, the Almighty Breaker became the Victor: ‘then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.’

Oh, what a conflict was that which our Saviour had with Satan in the garden, and on the cross! What a wrestling it was amongst the olive-trees of Gethsemane! There, the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the lion of the bottomless pit fought for their lives. There, the seed of the serpent and the Seed of the woman struggled together. There, Satan grasped the Saviour, and so tightly did he press him, that his body was covered with a sweat that ‘was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ Ah, certainly, that was a desperate tug! Christ then felt full well, even through his armour of proof, the pressure of his adversary’s grasp. Satan held him until, almost overcome, he cried, ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ Satan thus bruised the heel of Christ; and then, later, he smote him yet again and again; on his head, for a crown of thorns was there; he smote him on his cheeks, shame and sorrow gushed adown them; on his shoulders, for the cruel lash of tyrants scourged him; and at last Satan yelled, ‘Aha! aha! Thou Prince of life and glory, I have thee now; my Foeman, thou art nailed to the cross! Where now is the vaunted power of him who was to crush to powder the iron limbs of death? Where is the strength of him who was to overcome his foes? I have thee now, O Christ, I have achieved the victory over thee!’

Just then, the Saviour bowed his head, and with a loud voice cried, ‘IT IS FINISHED!’ He sprang from the cross, and, though the astonished fiend sought to find shelter in the pit, Christ, the Omnipotent Breaker, pursued the arch-fiend down to hell, shouting, ‘Traitor to God and man, this my bolt shall find and pierce thee through; though thou descendest to the remotest caverns of hell, my shaft shall reach and slay thee there!’ The Sovereign Breaker sought and found Satan, lashed him to his chariot wheels, dragged him near the gates of Heaven; the angels gathered on the battlements to behold the wondrous sight of him who had led captivity captive, and to listen to him as he cried, ‘Come, angelic hosts, stand round and see how I have triumphed over my mighty foe.’ Then, seizing the old dragon, he exposed him to their view, and hurled him down to the pit,—defeated, crestfallen, with all his hopes crushed, there to lie, weltering in fell despair for ever! Christ broke the power of Satan in that glorious day when he entered Paradise in triumph, and received gifts for men.

What, then? My brethren, we are often vexed by the power of the enemy, and at times we are exceedingly afraid lest we should fall by his hands. O believer, fear not, thine enemy is a broken enemy, a conquered foe!

Though hell and sin obstruct thy course,
Yet hell and sin are vanquished foes;
Thy Saviour nailed them to his cross,
And sang the triumph when he rose.

Satan! why should I fear him? He may have a sword, but the edge of it is blunted; he may shoot his arrows, but the points of his barbed shafts have been taken from them by the Saviour; he cannot hurt us, he may worry, but he cannot devour. Pilgrim, art thou afraid to come by the den of lions? Fear thou not, their power is broken. Art thou fearful of the den of leopards? Fear thou not, their teeth are drawn. Tremble not, O Christian! thou shalt overcome because thy Saviour overcame; the day shall yet dawn wherein thou shalt put thy foot upon the neck of Satan, trample on him, and tread him beneath thy feet, and thou shalt be made more than conqueror through him that loved thee. The Mighty Breaker is gone up before thee, so thou hast only to fight against a foe who is already overcome.

In the second place, Christ is the Breaker of hearts. What hard things hearts are! They are compared to the nether-millstone, which is the harder of the two, because it is subject to the greater pressure. Such is the heart of man; how often have we tried to charm it into softness! But, alas, how unavailing have been our endeavours! The minister has preached the thunderings of the law, he has launched the lightning of Jehovah from the pulpit! The sinner has trembled for a moment, and has wept; but, oh! wonder of wonders, he has wiped the tears away ere even he has left the sacred edifice, and he has not trembled to rush into fresh sins within an hour after he has rejoined his companions. Law and terrors did but harden him, for they were working all alone.

Another time, the preacher selected for his theme that which was gentle, and soft, and affecting, for he said, ‘Surely, the story of a Saviour’s woe will melt them; surely, the proclamation of free grace must win their souls.’ He preached, till his eyes were filled with tears, and his heart was moved with tenderness; he talked of a bleeding Saviour, and pointed to that Saviour’s wounds; he preached of the love of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and Saul of Tarsus; and lo, the sinner wept again even as he had wept before! It was wonderful how much he wept, but it was far more wonderful how soon his tears were dried up; like the morning cloud and the early dew, they quickly vanished.

Dost thou not remember, my brother, how oft thy friends tried to break thy hard heart? There was thy loving mother shedding tears over thee as she talked of the Saviour’s grace; thy father’s warnings came to thee, but thou wast unmoved. Thou didst put away all the tears of thy mother, and all the entreaties of thy father. Ministers pleaded with thee, yet thy heart would not yield; but oh! canst thou remember, brother, that sweet hour when Jesus came to thee, and said,—

‘Say, poor sinner, lov’st thou me?’

Canst thou remember when thou couldst not help answering, and saying, ‘Nay, Lord, I feel I do not love thee’? Dost thou not remember when Jesus said, ‘Sinner, thou art in awful peril,’ when he made thee feel that thou wast in dire danger, and when he caused the scalding tears of repentance to flow down, like a river, from both thy streaming eyes? Dost thou remember, brother, how he showed thee his hands and his feet, how he bared his side, and said, ‘See here; I opened this my side, I opened this my heart to pour forth a fountain of precious blood to wash away all thy sin’? Ah! it was not hard for thee to weep then; the Breaker of hearts had come. He had only to touch our souls, and they melted; then our rocky hearts dissolved, as snow upon the lower mountains when the sun shineth upon them; our hearts began to melt when Jesus did his love display.

How often since that glad hour, when our hearts have again become hardened, when Christ has come once more, have we set him in the midst, and said, ‘Lord Jesus, we will be thine; thou shalt be ours; we give ourselves to thee!’ Oh! sweet thought, minister of the gospel, thou dost not have to break hearts, for ‘the Breaker is come up before them.’ I love to come into the pulpit with a full and certain faith that this is the case. There are some, in every congregation we address, to whom the Word will come with power. Many may laugh at the preacher, and scorn God’s truth; but of some, at least, it shall be said, ‘The Breaker is come up before them.’ When we speak in our Master’s name, the seed falls on good, broken soil. When we utter his message, each word tells, each syllable has its power, because the Breaker is gone up before us. It is not for us to go first; we want the Breaker to go before us, then all our work in breaking hearts shall be easy work.

I have often compared a congregation to a heap of ashes piled up; somewhere in the heap there are hidden some steel filings. We bring the magnet, it attracts the steel filings, but it leaves the ashes. So, there are some in the midst of this congregation who are being attracted out of the ungodly mass; they are drawn, and then they run after Christ. But who is it that makes the heart ready to hear the Word? It is ‘the Breaker.’ Sweet name, and it becomes him well. My hearer, hast thou ever felt Christ to be a Breaker to thy soul? Has he ever melted thy spirit? Didst thou ever feel broken in heart? Oh, bow down before the Lord! Let me tell thee, if thou art never broken in heart, thou shalt never enter Heaven. Thine heart must be ground small before thou wilt be received there. God pounds our hearts in the mortar of contrition, he grinds us in the mill of conviction, till we are broken all to pieces; hast thou been so broken? Canst thou bless thine Almighty Breaker that, though man could never break thine heart, though thou couldst not do it thyself, yet that Jesus alone, thy blessed Saviour, has proved himself the Breaker of thine heart?

In the third place, Christ is the Breaker of the chains of Justice. There sits within this audience a man in chains. He knows it not, he thinks himself to be free; but he is a prisoner, his hands, his feet, his entire being is in chains. Though he thinks he walks freely on the earth, he hath but the freedom of a condemned convict, who can only walk round and round his cell, and look through the solitary slit in the wall, by which the sunlight enters. So, some sit here ‘condemned already,’ not believing in Christ. Some of you are wearing invisible fetters; they are none the less mighty on that account. You are carrying manacles and chains about with you, and when you die, those fetters shall be riveted for ever, and ye yourselves shall be dragged to execution, like chained culprits forced to the gallows, to die, to be lost, to be punished with the just terrors of the justice of God. Some of us felt ourselves in slavery once, we had chains upon us like the rest of mankind; but, glory to sovereign mercy, now we are free, and we love Christ, the Breaker of our bonds!

Perhaps there is a friend here who was once bound hand and foot, and who tried to free himself from the chains that bound him; but the more he tried to do so, the more firmly did those chains hold him, and the more completely did he manacle himself by his own exertions. He went to that blacksmith, Mr Morality, and asked his leave to put his chains upon his anvil, that he might thus try to break them; but when he came away from making the trial, he found that he was more firmly fettered than before. Can you remember when you seemed to be chained all over, waiting only for the executioner to strike the last blow? Some passed by you, and laughed at your miserable condition, while your chains rattled in your ears their horrible mockery. Your friends tauntingly exclaimed, ‘It is very easy to break off such little fetters as these;’ but you knew those fetters were made of sterner stuff than to be broken by mortal might. In despair, you cried, ‘I am chained; I am lost; I am condemned; I am going to perdition; that is my certain destiny.’ But, oh, you will never forget that happy moment when Christ, the Breaker, passed by, and said to you, ‘Poor sinner, thou art in chains.’ Thou saidst, ‘Lord, I know it.’ ‘Poor sinner, thou canst never get rid of those chains.’ ‘Lord, I know it.’ ‘Sinner, canst thou trust me?’ ‘Lord, who art thou?’ ‘I am the Great Saviour, the Deliverer of captives: if thou wilt trust in me, I will break off thy chains for thee.’ ‘Lord, thou art very kind, but I have no faith.’ ‘I will give thee faith. Sinner, wilt thou trust me?’ ‘Ay, Lord, even to the world’s end.’ ‘Well, then, I will take thy fetters from thee.’ He touched thee; and, oh! in a moment, it was wondrously true; thy manacles fell to the earth, thy chains dropped on the ground, thou wert free, and thou didst leap for joy, and cried, ‘I am free, free, free! I am forgiven! I am a miracle of mercy! I am a sinner saved by grace!’

Never did emancipated slave leap from his slavery with more ardour than we did when our Glorious Breaker set us free. Never did poor refugee tread with greater joy the free shore of England than did we when we found ourselves thus delivered from our sins. Never did poor galley-slave, released from his weary tugging at the oar, rejoice so much as we, when we saw our fetters broken, cast into the furnace, and we leaped up God’s freed men. We could have sung all the day long; our heart was like a city lighted up for an illumination; our eyes overflowed with joyful tears; our feet, like roes, did leap the hills; our soul was the very concentration of song, while we rejoiced that Christ, the Heavenly Breaker, had given us glorious, perfect, entire, eternal liberty.

Bondslaves! BOND SLAVES! BOND SLAVES! Christ has bidden us sound the trump of jubilee, and proclaim the year of release. Art thou fettered by sin? There is One who can break thy fetters. Hast thou the iron chains of guilt upon thee? He, the Heavenly Breaker, like another Prometheus, has volunteered to remove thy guilt. He comes, he comes, the Breaker of chains! Look to him, and he shall free thee. Cast thine eyes up towards him, and he shall give thee freedom, he shall give thee liberty; though thou wast dead, yet shalt thou live; though thou art loaded with twice ten thousand chains, a prayer, a look, shall release thee from thy load.

He is able,
He is willing: doubt no more.

Oh, that my message might reach the ears of some poor convicted sinner! How I should rejoice that another was added to the list of Christ’s freed men, and another struck off the list of Satan’s bond slaves! Mighty Breaker! break the chains off this congregation; make, O make this people free!

In the fourth place, Jesus Christ is the Breaker of all obstacles which impede us on our road to Heaven. The first traveller through the pathless desert hath a rough road; those who follow him will find a smoother path. Christ was the Pioneer on the road to Heaven; he found it a wilderness, but the track is well-trodden now. ‘The Breaker is come up before them.’ If you have to pass over the bleak mountains, look closely, and you will find a footprint; look closer still, it is the footprint of a man; look again intently, lo! it is the print of a pierced foot, for your Saviour has passed that way before you.

Why should I complain of want or distress,
Temptation or pain? He told me no less;
The heirs of salvation, I know from his Word,
Through much tribulation must follow their Lord.

They could not ‘follow their Lord’ if he had not gone before them. What foolish people even many Christians are! There is an old proverb which says, ‘Never cross a bridge before you come to it.’ How many Christians are filled with sorrow on account of imaginary troubles! Many timid Christians have a trouble manufactory in their own houses; they sit from morning to night endeavouring to make trouble for themselves. We have quite enough real trials to bear; and if we make any more of our own, we have no promise that God will give us grace to bear our self-made sorrows. How unwise are those people who crowd a whole year’s troubles into a single day! The brave Spartan ranged his little troop in a narrow pass, Thermopylæ, and slew his enemies as they came up one or two at a time. If he had been foolish enough to have ventured into the plain to fight that mighty host of Persians all at once, he would soon have been overcome. Believer, stand in the narrow path of today; as thy troubles come, by divine grace slay them one by one; but, I beseech thee, never go into the broad plain of tomorrow, lest thou be overwhelmed by the vast hosts. Troubles usually come one or two at a time, and when they do come, it is for us to have at them, strong in the strength of Jehovah, and so to destroy them. If thou puttest together the troubles of a year, and seekest to bear them in a day, how canst thou expect to have grace sufficient? Thou didst ask this morning, ‘Give us this day our daily bread;’ dost thou want all at once a month’s supply? Thou hast the promise: ‘Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days so shall thy strength be.’ Dost thou expect a year’s strength in a single day? Believe me, my fellow-Christian, thy cup of sorrow will be quite full enough without thine additions. Let this cheer thee wheresoever thou art going: ‘The Breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.’ Oh, methinks it is sweet to go anywhere where Christ has gone before! Pilgrims in the Holy Land delight in spots where they can find traces of the Saviour. Christians may find a Holy Land in all their experiences of sorrow, for their Saviour was ‘a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.’ Sorrowing Christian, in all those gloomy Gethsemanes of thine, thou dost hold fellowship with Jesus Christ thy Lord and Saviour! Cheer up, Christian! Take heart, man! Courage, O believer! ‘The Breaker is come up before them,’ ‘and the Lord on the head of them.’ Sing, then,—

Through floods and flames, if Jesus lead,
I’ll follow where he goes;
“Hinder me not,” shall be my cry,
Though earth and hell oppose.

In the fifth place, Christ Jesus is the great Breaker of death. When Jesus died, he was laid in the tomb. His enemies ‘went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.’ Outside Joseph’s own new tomb, the Roman soldiers watched while the body of Jesus lay buried therein. Then the hope of immortality seemed to be crushed for ever. The Saviour is dead and buried, and the scorner, death, points with his finger to the empty cross whereon the Saviour died, and cries aloud, ‘There is no hope of immortality now, for he who was to bring it is dead.’ There lay the Saviour, sleeping the sleep of death. Sleep on, O Almighty Conqueror, for thou wilt yet arise to fight thine own battles! Behold, there is a great earthquake; the angel of the Lord descends from Heaven, he rolls back the sealed stone from the mouth of the sepulchre, out springs the Saviour, death’s Victor, clothed in light, radiant with resurrection glory,—

‘Death of deaths, and hell’s destruction.’

Christ gained the victory over sin and Satan, he broke the power of death and the grave. ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’

Now, beloved, what have we to do when we die? Nothing, but to meet the shadow. Death is vanquished. Christ slew death. He broke death’s power. Christian, be not afraid of death, it is but a shadow; the shadow of a dog cannot bite, the shadow of a lion cannot rend in pieces, then fear not ‘the shadow of death.’ I thought, some time since, if death be a shadow, there must be a light somewhere. Death is nothing but the shadow of the bright light of Heaven. We have but to go through the gloomy ‘valley of the shadow of death’; on the other side there is a brilliancy which excelleth all the light we have ever imagined. We who believe in Jesus need not fear to die, for death is conquered. Christ Jesus has come up from the Jordan before all his redeemed ones. Methinks I see the Christian die. Christ comes to his side, and says, ‘Come on, beloved, I will go with thee.’ The believer puts his foot into the cold waters; he hears a second foot splash in the stream, and a voice saying, ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.’ ‘What, Lord, art thou about to cross the stream with me?’ ‘Yes, my friend, did I not so promise? Fear not: for I have redeemed thee.’ The believer takes another step, and another, and another, and he hears the Saviour still accompanying him through the waters; and as the billows dash upon him, still he hears his Lord’s voice saying, ‘Fear thou not, thou art mine, I am thy Saviour.’ When the cold dark stream threatens to overwhelm him, he feels the arms of Jesus round his loins strengthening him, and lifting him up, and so he sings, ‘My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.’ He seems about to sink, but the Saviour bears him up, and whispers, ‘Hold on, beloved!’ Another step, another groan, another sigh, and then the spirit has gone;—gone! but not unattended, for Christ is still with him, and bears him up; and with attendant angels on each side, he flies upwards to Heaven, and the Saviour presents the ransomed spirit to his Father. Blessed death! once a curse, but now a blessing, for Christ, the glorious Breaker, hath broken the power of death.

In the sixth place, Christ has broken down every obstacle that opposes his reign on earth. ‘He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.’ Christ, the Breaker, is coming soon. I look for my Master’s advent; I know not when he will come, but I should not be surprised to see the Lord Jesus Christ tonight or tomorrow morning. ‘In such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.’ To the world of the ungodly, like a thief in the night, unseen, the coming of the Lord stealeth through the earth’s dark shade. Monarchs must then give up their sceptres, and kings resign their crowns, which shall be trampled in the dust, to make way for the coronation of the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Old Popery of the seven hills, we thank our God thy days are numbered; the Almighty Breaker is coming up against thee. Vain thy mitre and crosier, proud bishop, then! Thy lordly pretensions shall then be dashed in pieces; the Sovereign Breaker is coming up against thee. Thou false prophet, Mohammed, when he comes, thy crescent shall wane, and all the sabres shall be snatched from earth’s mighty ones. Ye may arise, ye kings of the earth, and mighty rulers, and ‘take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed;’ but it shall be all in vain. He ‘will overturn, overturn, overturn, until he come whose right it is,’ and he will burn all the chariots in the fire. ‘The Breaker is come up before them.’ We shall not much longer preach without our Master; we shall not long have to mourn an absent Saviour; the clouds shall soon vanish, and reveal the golden wings of the descending Christ. All the earth shall see him come; even now the sound of his chariot-wheels may be heard in the distance. And when he comes, what a victory it will be! His troops will not march on to an uncertain fight, but to conquer, and to win the day. Now we wrestle hard, and fight a fearful conflict; but when he comes, there shall be heard the shout, ‘Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.’ But a little while, and he shall come. We are no prophets to foretell days or years; the Lord Jehovah hath said that it is not for us ‘to know the times or the seasons.’ But he cometh! He cometh! He cometh! Vain the pomp, the pageantry of war; vain the pride, the power of man; vain everything that sets itself against the King of kings; it shall fall as Jericho fell. No great mountain can stand before our Almighty Zerubbabel. He comes! He comes! ‘The Breaker is come up before them: they have broken up and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.’

The Breaker broke the powers of hell,
Did all its hosts o’erthrow,
Death, hell, and sin, the monster train,
He openly did show.

‘He dragged them to the judgment seat,
Then cast them down to hell;
The power of his almighty arm
His hellish foes did quell.

‘The Breaker broke the barrier down,
Which law and sin had made;
He did fulfil all righteousness,
And full redemption paid.

‘Through death he did destroy the grave,
And made an end of sin;
Gave honour to the holy law,
And righteousness brought in.

‘We’ll sing the Breaker’s power to save,
And triumph in his name;
Let all the powers within us join,
To spread his matchless fame.

II. Now briefly let us ask, ARE WE AMONG THE NUMBER WHO ‘HAVE BROKEN UP, AND HAVE PASSED THROUGH THE GATE, AND ARE GONE OUT BY IT’? HAS OUR KING GONE BEFORE US? IS THE LORD AT THE HEAD OF US?

I wonder, dear friends, how many of us know anything about Jesus Christ, the Breaker? Has Christ ever broken your heart? One says, ‘Pshaw! I do not want a broken heart.’ It may be very well for you to say so while you are in life, but it will be another matter when you come to die. I have read a story to this effect. A traveller once lost his way in the woods, and seeing in the distance a light, he said, ‘That is a cottage; I will go and rest there this evening.’ Approaching nearer, he perceived a number of lights, and heard voices. ‘Ah!’ said he, ‘perhaps that is a meeting of Christians, I will go and join them.’ It was a solemn sight, and, in some degree, a singular one. They had cut down the trees in the forest, and laid them across for seats. The scene was illumined by several pine torches, which threw a lurid glare over some faces, but left others in darkness. He listened to the speaker; to his consternation, it was an atheist cursing his Maker, and daring him to do his worst against him. The good man was shocked, astonished, and thought he must stand forth to vindicate the honour of his Lord; but he trembled lest he should not prevail, and a good cause should suffer through the feebleness of its advocate. He need not have trembled; from one corner of the meeting there rose up a middle-aged man, strong and stalwart. Leaning on his staff, he said, ‘Gentlemen,—I wish to say a word about the mighty orator who has just sat down. A few days ago, I walked by the side of a river, and saw a boat with one man in it. He did not understand the art of rowing, and his boat was being carried down to the rapids. I saw that man kneeling in his boat, and heard him cry, “O God, save me!” I heard him confess that he had once blasphemed God, and doubted his being; but now he cried, “O God, save my soul, if not my body!” I stood on the shore, and heard the shrieks of that poor wretch. I plunged into the waters; these strong arms rescued him, and brought him to the shore… The man who just now cursed his Maker is the self-same man who prayed to him in the boat. Judge ye what I say.’ You may imagine the consternation of the listeners; they raised a shout of execration against the man who could pray to God one day, and blaspheme his name the next. Sinner, it is just so with thee. Thou mayest despise religion now; but when sick, a few nights ago, a shrill shriek of agony escaped thee; and if thou turnest not from the evil of thy ways, thou shalt ere long know that there is a God, and feel it, too. Thou shalt surely know that ‘Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it’ (Isaiah 30:33). I trust there are none present who will ever know the meaning of these solemn words. May you, who are unconverted, now turn, and repent, and be saved! I trust there are many poor convinced sinners here who know themselves to be sinners, who feel they need a Saviour, and who are seeking him. Let them not fear that the Saviour will not accept them. If thou dost know thyself to be a sinner, there is no reason in the world why thou shouldst not know thyself to be a saint. All that is necessary is to feel thyself unholy and unclean, and, just as thou art, to trust in Jesus to save thee. We have seen men write on the flag-stones in London, ‘I am destitute.’ We can never pass by such without in some degree relieving their necessities, although we may be unwise in doing so, having been so frequently imposed upon. But, sinner, if thou art really destitute, and art sitting by the wayside, begging that Jesus, the Son of David, may have mercy upon thee, as surely as thou art a living sinner today, thou shalt be a living saint soon. I care not what thy sins may be, the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, can cleanse thee from all sin. Faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus will save thee.

‘Venture on him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude;
None but Jesus
Can do helpless sinners good.’

If a helpless sinner wants to come to Christ, and asks, ‘What must I do to be saved? What is it to believe?’ here is the answer, ‘Simply take Jesus Christ at his word, and he has said, “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” ’

Allow me to finish with an illustration. There is, in our National Gallery in London, a picture by Raphael of Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness. When you look at that picture, you fancy you hear Moses crying, ‘Look, look, look!’ In that picture there is one stout brawny man trying with all his might to pull off the serpents. They twist around him, coil on coil; with all his endeavours he cannot prevent their deadly poison from being instilled into his blood. He must die; his lips blacken, his eyes are sunken in their sockets. Another is seen, the serpents are twisting around him, and one eye is already swollen; but the other, in agony, is turned upward toward the brazen serpent; see, there is life coming back to him; for he has looked, and therefore he lives. One thing pleased me more than any other, a mother holding up her little child in her arms, and around that little child the serpents are twisting; for children are sinners, and need the Saviour as well as grown-up people. The child is so small it cannot itself turn to the serpent of brass, so its mother is holding up the little one, that it may look and live. This is the holiest office of a mother, to hold her child up so that it may look to Jesus. Sunday-school teachers should do the same; get their scholars to look to Jesus. In addressing sinners, tonight, I would that I could take them up in my arms, and, pointing them to Jesus Christ, cry, ‘Poor sinner, look, look, look!’ There is nothing to be done in salvation. ‘It is finished.’ ‘Salvation is of the Lord.’ It is only,—Look and live,—looking and living, because Jesus Christ has had all the doing and the dying. There are no great miracles to be performed, no wondrous impossibilities to be done. ‘The Breaker is come up before them.’ The act of the sinner is simply this, to look to the wonderful Breaker; and even that look of faith the Holy Spirit enables the sinner to take. Sinner, art thou bitten? Dost thou know that thou art a sinner? Look away from thyself, and look to Jesus.

‘High on the cross the Saviour hung,
High in the heavens he reigns;
Here sinners, by the old serpent stung,
Look, and forget their pains.’

I shall never cease exhorting sinners to ‘look’ for that word, ‘look,’ was the means of my own salvation as I sat in a pew in a little obscure chapel, whither, driven by stress of weather, I listened to a minister whom I have never seen nor heard since. I know not what else besides he said, I was sad and weary on account of sin, but these words he uttered: ‘Sinner, dying sinner, young man, look, LOOK, LOOK.’ I looked; I cannot tell my joy, and I shall not try; but next to that joy will now be mine if some poor soul will ‘look’ to Christ tonight. Works will drive you from the Saviour, but the look of faith brings you to him. It does not matter how black you are, if from head to foot you are covered with serpent-bites, if you are as black as Satan himself, if you look to Christ, he will save you. If you are, in your own feelings, one of the cast-offs of hell, too bad for the devil; if even Satan himself has cast you away, you may yet look to Christ, and, looking, you shall surely be saved. Come, O come, now come to Jesus, sinner, come! God help you to come, poor sinner! He will, if you are such as he has called. May he add his blessing, for Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen, and amen.


Devotional by Charles Roll (His Glorious Name- Names and Titles of Jesus Christ, 1986) -

The Breaker, Their King

The Breaker is come up before them… and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them (Micah 2:13).

Amid a setting of national rebuke and reproof and under conditions in which there was little that existed worthy of the name of government, the Prophet Micah proclaims this bright and brilliant vision of deliverance. The counselor, their king, had perished (Micah 4:9), but a voice of confidence calls attention to the Word of promise, the Spirit of power, and the Ruler in prospect (Micah 2:7; 5:2).

In the great pledge of this prophecy the Breaker is to come Who brooks no opposition, Who overturns oppression, Who overrides obduracy and Who overthrows all obstacles that stand in the way of permanent peace. The very blackness of the boisterous tempest described forms a suitable background to set forth the finer tints and fairer tones of the brightest rays of blessing ever given.

Under the title of The Breaker, Christ appears as the Champion. Chivalrous in conflict, He is the Challenger who without fear assails the encastled foe. Yea, and He is the Conqueror Who without fail subdues the rebels and triumphs gloriously. The spiritual values of this section of the prophetic forecast are not only bright with vision but brighter with victory.

He who raised up Gideon as the breaker to destroy the yoke of Midianite oppression, who called the mighty Cyrus to break the brazen gates of Babylonian bondage (Isaiah 45:2) and who Himself broke the covenant and brotherhood of Israel (Zechariah 11:10, 14), such an One is the Breaker Who in aggressive combat with our great adversary, the Devil, assailed the fortified stronghold of the Devil and disgorged his armor wherein he trusted (Luke 11:21-22; Colossians 2:15-note; Hebrews 2:14-15-note). The victory achieved over the Devil and death is complete.

Christ in His might has also broken down the middle wall of partition that hindered our approach to God, and by Him we now "have access by one Spirit unto the Father" (Ephesians 2:14, 18). The dramatic portrayal in Micah's thrilling figure of triumph is associated with certain of the grazing areas in Palestine. When feeding among the thorn bushes, some of the sheep suddenly become startled because the appear to be entirely encircled. Then it is that the strong double-horned ram, with head down, plunges forward and breaks through the thorn barrier and opens a way for the sheep to follow. Until Christ came, underwent crucifixion and thus became the Conqueror, no evidence of victory for humanity over death and no assurance that evil would be vanquished had been established. He has broken the bondage of sin and the bars of death, passed through at the head and led His people to larger life and lasting liberty. He not only breaks the power of canceled sin but enables each trusting soul to say,

My chains are snapped, the bonds of sin are broken
And I am free.
Oh, let the triumphs of His grace be spoken,
Who died for me.

He is the great and grand Pioneer Who opened heaven, the Forerunner Who marked the highway, the Breaker Who cleared the barriers from the road, Himself the Covenant Who assured the children's rights, the firstborn Representative of the family claims, the Head Who is joined to the members of His Body in an indivisible union, the Firstfruits predicting the homecoming of myriads of His people, the Friend Who is preparing a suitable place for us all and the Bright and Morning Star Who will usher in the eternal day.


The Breaker
Micah 2:13

Sermon by J C Philpot

Preached at Providence Chapel, Oakham, on Tuesday Evening, May 12, 1846, by J. C. Philpot.

"The breaker is come up before them--they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it--and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them." Micah 2:13 (kjv)

"Your leader will break out and lead you out of exile. He will bring you through the gates of your cities of captivity, back to your own land. Your king will lead you; the Lord himself will guide you." Micah 2:13 (nlt)

I would not do justice to my conviction of the meaning of the Old Testament Scriptures if I did not state that I believe this passage has a prophetical as well as an experimental meaning. Let us give a glance at the context. We read in the preceding verse, "I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of you; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold; they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men. The breaker is come up before them."

Now as to the prophetical meaning of this Scripture, it appears to my mind to point to a day not yet arrived, to "the latter day" of which the Old Testament prophets speak so much. When the Lord shall set his hand a second time to gather the remnant spread abroad on the earth, then this prophecy of Micah will be literally fulfilled--for there will be those difficulties in the way which none but "the Breaker" going before can remove. But the Scriptures are written with that mysterious wisdom that there is not only in the Old Testament prophecies what is strictly prophetical, but also experimental. We are not to discard the prophetical meaning as some do, for God has given it, and every word of God is pure. But on the other hand, it is the spiritual and experimental part which is food for the church of God. Therefore though we dare not pass by the literal meaning, yet we confine our attention chiefly to the spiritual. And in this way, with God's blessing, I shall view it this evening, taking the words much in the order as they now lie before me.

"The breaker is come up before them--they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it--and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them."

There are two main things here–

First. The people of whom these things are said.

Secondly. That wondrous Individual who is here pointed out by the expression, "The breaker."

1. The people of whom these things are said.

The people here spoken of are the people of God, the remnant according to the election of grace, God's own beloved family. But we gather from the words used that they had great difficulties, for why need they to have a breaker go before them unless they were in such difficulties as nothing but an almighty hand could break down and remove? Thus we gather that the people to whom this promise is made are in such straits and difficulties, that they can never succeed in making a passage for themselves--but that this wondrous Person, this Immanuel, God with us, is to go before them; and for that reason he is called "the breaker," because with his almighty hand he breaks up and breaks down these difficulties that lie in their path, and which they themselves could not by any wisdom or strength of their own remove out of the way.

Let us look at this a little more closely, and open it a little more in detail. When the Lord is first pleased to quicken a soul dead in sin, he sets before him the narrow gate; he shows him that his sins merit eternal wrath and punishment, and he raises up in his heart a desire to flee from the wrath to come. However the circumstances of the new birth may vary, there will always be this leading feature accompanying the work of the Spirit in the heart– a fleeing from the wrath to come; a cry in the soul, "What shall I do to be saved? God be merciful to me a sinner." As Bunyan sweetly sets forth in the Pilgrim's Progress, a quickened soul, like Christian, immediately begins to run. All the difficulties that encompass him are nothing compared to the burden on his back. Wife, child, family, money, all are considered less than nothing compared with the salvation of his soul. Therefore he begins to run, setting his face Zionward, earnestly desiring to be found saved at last with an everlasting salvation.

But no sooner does he begin to run, and move onward in the heavenly way than he begins to find difficulties. The way to heaven is described as "a path which no fowl knows, and which the vulture's eye has not seen" Job 28:7. "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14. We must "through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." The Lord, therefore, knowing the difficulties of the way, on one occasion, when he saw great multitudes following him, turned and said to them, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26-27. As though he would check this rash forwardness by showing them that no one could run in that way except he denied himself and took up his cross; implying that the way to heaven is one of continual self-denial, a path of daily crucifixion.

And what is the object of this? It is to teach a soul this great lesson– that he cannot by any wisdom, any strength, any righteousness, or any goodness of his own obtain eternal life. We are very slow learners in this school. The pride of our heart, our ignorance, and our unbelief, all conspire to make us diminish the difficulties of the way. But the Lord has to teach us by painful experience that the road to heaven is so difficult that a man can only walk in it as he is put in and kept in it by an almighty hand.

When these difficulties first begin to rise, they startle him that is first running in Zion's way. For instance, the discovery of a broken law, and of the curse that flames from Mount Sinai is an obstacle insuperable in the way to glory; for if a sinner has to get to glory by the burning mount, he must be consumed as he passes over it, for from that mount nothing but wrath comes. Again, he is startled by the discovery of the corruptions of his heart, the workings of that inward iniquity, which before was hidden from him. He now becomes aware of secret sins that before he was utterly unacquainted with.

He becomes aware too that there is such a thing as living faith, and that without faith it is impossible to please God; and he finds he has not this living faith, and is unable to raise it up in his own heart. He finds love also spoken of; and he finds he cannot by any power of his own raise up this love to God or to his people. He finds hope too spoken of; and he is sinking in the waves of despondency. He finds prayer spoken of; and he feels utterly unable to pour out his heart before God. He finds submission to God's will spoken of; and he perhaps feels little else but repining and hard thoughts of God. He finds an inward knowledge of Jesus spoken of, and the revelation of Christ to the soul; and he finds darkness and gloom within. He cannot bring this knowledge of Christ into the heart.

A man may have all the religion of the world in his head, in the theory, and never meet with one difficulty. But if once he is put into the strait way by the hand of God, he will meet with difficulties; no, he will feel the whole scene to be more or less a scene of difficulties. Now this prepares a man for the knowledge of "the breaker."

"The breaker," we read in the text, "is gone up before them." But what use is the breaker if there be nothing to break down? no obstacles in the way? no rocks or stones in the road, all a smooth, grassy meadow with nothing to obstruct the course? The very circumstances of a breaker being needed implies there are such difficulties in the way as nothing but an almighty hand can break down. There was a custom in primitive times which throws a still further light on the text. In those times there were no great highways as there are now. When kings wanted to go out on an expedition, men went before them to clear the way, to fill up the hollows, and dig down the mountains in order to make a path for the king. So this divine breaker has to go before, and as he goes before he breaks down those difficulties and obstacles that lie in the path.

II. But who is this breaker? Need I say it is the Lord of life and glory; Immanuel, God with us? Why is he called a breaker? This is one of his titles. But why is this title given him? Because he breaks down those obstacles that lie in the road. For you will observe if you read the text, it speaks of a people coming up, and passing through the gate, and journeying onward, and the king passing before them, and the Lord, that is Jehovah, being at the head of them. And you will observe also that this breaker is Jehovah--for it is the Lord in capital letters, which always implies Jehovah. The Lord, that is Jehovah, "is at the head of them," implying that the breaker is Jehovah, and he is called a breaker because he breaks down the difficulties that lie in the path.

For instance, there is the law; and how are we to get by that obstacle? Bunyan represents this in that invaluable work, the Pilgrim's Progress. When Christian was drawn aside from the path through the persuasion of Mr. Legality, and was going to the city pointed out to him, he saw a mountain that overhung the road, and thunder and lightning flashed from it, and he was afraid it would fall on his head. There Bunyan shows that there will be these flashes of God's wrath from the law, and the mountain will appear as if it would fall upon him, so that he dare not go by that road. But the breaker has traveled that way; he endured the curse of the law for us. He, so to speak, broke down its curse against God's people. As the Scripture speaks--"He took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" and thus he so removed it that it should not be a covenant of condemnation to his dear family. In this sense he is a breaker.

But not only is the law against them, but also God's holiness, majesty, justice and purity, what God is as eternal Jehovah--all these things have to be removed out of the way. But when Jesus died upon the cross, he satisfied justice, and all the claims of God's holy law. By suffering himself, he made such a propitiation for sin as God the Father could accept.

But besides these external difficulties that lie in the road there are internal difficulties. The Lord's people find internal difficulties as great and heavy to grapple with as external difficulties. For instance, there is an unbelieving heart; and what a difficulty an unbelieving heart is! If you are one that is journeying Zionward, do you not know experimentally the workings of unbelief? And is not this sometimes the sincere cry of your soul?

O could I but believe,
Then all would easy be;
I would, but cannot; Lord, relieve,
My help must come from Thee.

Do you not find the workings of unbelief in your carnal mind? that you cannot raise up living faith in your own heart, and yet you are persuaded you must have living faith, or you can never please God? Now this glorious breaker, this Immanuel, God with us, breaks down this evil heart of unbelief by communicating precious faith; and when he communicates precious faith, this evil heart of unbelief is broken down. Unbelief does not then rule and reign, it gives way to a better principle, for the elder is to serve the younger.

But there is also a hard heart. And how the Lord's people have to lament and mourn continually on account of their hard heart; that they cannot feel as they would; soft, and contrite, and broken; that they cannot see and feel sin as they would see and feel it; that they cannot mourn nor sigh on account of the iniquities that work in them; that they cannot look to a crucified Savior, and mourn over him, and grieve and groan because his holy soul and body were so afflicted for sin. "The heart of stone," as the Scripture speaks, is in them, and nothing but the power of God can take it away; for this is God's promise, "I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh" Eze 36:26, implying that there is a heart of stone, and implying that nothing but the hand of God can take it away.

Now the breaker, when he comes up before the people of God, breaks this hard heart; he melts it, and softens it, dissolves it, and humbles it, and lays it low in holy admiration and adoration of this blessed Immanuel. And thus he breaks the heart by breaking into the heart, and breaks the soul by a sense of his dying love and atoning blood, and this breaks it all to pieces, so that it crumbles into nothing at his feet. And thus contrition, sorrow, and grief blend together with faith, hope, and love. In this sense, then, "the breaker is come up before them." Because when he breaks their hard hearts he goes before them and leads them in the ways of truth and righteousness.

But as they journey onward they find arising immeasurable difficulties. What the Scripture calls, "gates of brass and bars of iron." And there is a promise made to spiritual Israel, "I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron" Isaiah 45:2, implying that there are these difficulties which the Scripture compares to bronze gates and iron bars in the way of a believer. These are so great that the believer cannot break them himself. He needs the breaker to go before him; and when the breaker has come up before him, he has but to touch them, and the way is made plain. As when Peter was in prison, and the angel came to set him free, the gate opened of its own accord. The angel had but to look, and the iron gate opened. But what is the power of an angel, though angels are said in Scripture to "excel in strength" Psalm 103:20, compared with the power of God himself? His power is incomprehensible. Words would fail to speak of the distance between the power of the brightest seraph or the highest angel and the power of Jehovah.

In a similar way, then, as the gate opened of its own accord when the angel looked or spoke, whatever the gates of brass and bars of iron a child of God feels in his own experience to be obstacles that obstruct his path, when the breaker is come up before them, he breaks them asunder and takes them out of the way. Thus there are temptations, and these are gates of brass and bars of iron; there are trials, and there is the very nature of brass and iron in them; and there are afflictions and difficulties, all the evils of an evil heart, God hiding himself, not giving an answer to their sighs and groans. The weary soul finds, through the difficulties of the way, that all these are insuperable obstacles. But the breaker goes up before them--and as he moves onward and goes before the soul, all these difficulties vanish. The good Shepherd goes before his sheep, and they follow him, for they know his voice. And so the breaker is here represented, not as following, but as going before; not waiting for his people to accept offered grace, nor waiting for them to close in with the invitation, but as going before them, and they following in the path that he precedes them in.

III. And this leads me to consider what is contained in the next portion of the text. "They have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it." They have broken up. Now the word 'broken up' here means that they have left the camp where they were stationed. It is a common expression. Boys are said to break up when they go home from school, that is, a leaving the place where they are, and going home. So spiritually, a breaking up here does not mean a breaking up of the soul, but it means that they move onward from the spot in which they were standing. "And they pass through the gate, and go out by it," which implies that until the breaker goes before them, they are stationary. It is with the children of God spiritually as it was with the children of Israel. There is a sweet description in the book of Numbers of the children of Israel moving as they saw the pillar of the cloud move, and resting as the pillar of the cloud by day and of fire by night rested on the tabernacle. When it was taken up, they moved forward--and when it stood still, they stopped; where it abode, they rested--implying that the spiritual Israel can only move forward as the Lord goes before them. But directly the pillar of the cloud was taken up, they journeyed forward--but there was no stirring until that took place. So it is with the spiritual Israel. They cannot move forward until they see the pillar of the cloud move; until the Lord goes before them, they cannot stir. There they are; some full of darkness, others full of doubts and fears; others, exercised with a heart full of unbelief; others, conflicting with powerful temptations; others, well-near swallowed up in despair, but all feeling themselves unable to move forward. This marks the true Israel. We read in the book of Job of those who "run upon the thick bosses of God's bucklers" Job 15:26. These are different characters from those who wait at the footstool of God. "Your strength is to sit still" Isaiah 30:7. So with the children of Israel when they were at the Red Sea; they did not rush through the waters, but they waited until God appeared; and when God appeared and Moses struck the waters with his rod, and the channel was opened, then they passed through.

Thus it is spiritually--there is no moving except as the Lord goes before the soul; and immediately that the breaker is come up and goes before, the soul goes on; when he stops, it stops; and when he moves, it moves. And then what takes place? "They pass through the gate." Here is this gate that has before stood closed against them, and they were unable to pass through; but when the breaker goes before them, then the gate is opened, and they pass through the gate just as the breaker precedes. And is not this sweetly typical and descriptive of the way in which the Lord's people move forward? This gate is not only, perhaps not chiefly, the strait and narrow gate that leads to eternal life. There are other gates besides that; for we read, "Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in." And thus the gate here spoken of is not only, perhaps not chiefly, the strait and narrow gate, but it is also any of those difficulties that lie in the path which may be compared to a closed gate.

But when the breaker goes up before them, he opens the gate. We read that the Lord will open "a door of hope in the valley of Achor," that is, he opens the gate, and when he opens it they pass through. But what is the meaning of "passing through the gate," viewed spiritually? When the Lord, for instance, does not appear to the soul, then the gate is closed; there is no going up of faith to the Lord, and there is no answer from him; there is no view of his glory such as Jacob had in Bethel when he said, "This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven" Ge 28:17. What made him see that this was the gate of heaven? Because in his dream, when he had chosen stones for his pillow, he saw a ladder, and angels ascending and descending it; and he looked up and saw where the ladder was fixed. Then he saw heaven opened. This too, was what Stephen saw when the enraged populace ran upon him and stoned him to death. He said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" Acts 7:56. There was a view in his soul of heaven and the glory and blessedness of it. As his eyes looked up, he saw it, and his heart's affections flowed out to it. So with God's people; this gate is often closed; they cannot look up, or if they do, they cannot see anything for their comfort. But when God is pleased to go before them and unbar the gate of heaven, then they look up and see such things as God is pleased to manifest to their souls. Then they "pass through the gate." And the difficulties, trials, temptations, and exercises that have lain in their path, like closed gates, are removed when the breaker comes up before them.

Some of the Lord's people are exercised with powerful temptations. And this makes access to God a closed gate. Others of the Lord's people are greatly cast down in their minds because they have not received the pardon of their sins. Others because they are not brought into the enjoyment of gospel liberty. Others because they have not had the application of Christ's blood to their consciences. These are so many closed gates; but when the breaker comes up before these gates, then they pass through the gates and enter into the sweet enjoyment of those things which are beyond the gate, such as the love of God, the salvation of their souls, and all the rich treasures of love and mercy that are beyond the gate. But the breaker goes up, the gate opens, and they pass through it. Then they pass through that gate and have some manifestation and discovery of these blessed realities to their souls.

4. But it goes on to say, "And their King shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them." Now this King is the same as the Breaker; the same as the Lord. This King is King Jesus, the King of Zion, the King and Head of his covenant people. And why is this expression used? Not only because he is their King, but because they are his subjects. The titles given in Scripture to the Lord Jesus Christ are not uselessly scattered up and down God's Word, without a meaning to them. But every title that is given to the Lord Jesus Christ is not only exactly adapted to the needs of his children, but is suitable to the very text where it occurs. It is like a diamond because it exactly fits it. So every text that speaks of Jesus by any title, the text fits it, and it fits the text, and he is the glory of it, as the diamond is the glory of the setting. So he is called here "the King," not merely because he is a King, but because they follow him as obedient subjects. And we never give ourselves, our hearts and souls to Jesus; we never yield up our affections unto him until he comes and manifests himself as a breaker. But when he comes up in this great and glorious character as breaker, to break the hard heart into contrition, humility, and love; to break down the difficulties and obstacles that lie in the road to Zion; to break down every temptation, every besetment, and every snare, every sin, and everything distressing to a living soul--when he breaks these things down by his almighty love and power, then his children go in through the gate and pass onward, and then the King passes before them.

He is a King because he is such a precious disposer of kingly power; for you know the office of a king is to RULE over his subjects, and to fight their battles for them. Then when they yield to him their hearts, and fall down before his footstool, he becomes enthroned in their affections as King of Zion, and being their King, he is to be at their head. What! is not a king to be at the head of his people? What! a subject to precede the king? What an indignity to the monarch! So when the Lord Jesus Christ moves onward in royal dignity as Monarch and Prince, those who know him, believe in his name, and love him in their hearts, follow him obediently as his subjects. He says to such, "Forget also your own people, and your father's house" Psalm 45:10. He addresses them tenderly as his people, and in the same way as king Ahasuerus addressed the queen when she touched the golden scepter.

5. "And the Lord on the head of them." O what dignity is this that the Lord Jehovah should be at their head! What if the Lord is to be at your head? If he is to go before you in the way to glory, what obstacle can there be in the path that he cannot, and will not in a moment surmount? You have a hard heart. Can that stand before the almighty power of God? You have an unbelieving nature. Can that stand before the power of God put forth? You have temptations, you have trials, you have difficulties, you have hardness and darkness, and worldly-mindedness, pride, presumption, and hypocrisy, every evil, every iniquity, nameable and unnameable. But if you are God's people, the Lord Jesus Christ is your King, the King of Zion. Everything must disappear before him. And if he is the Lord Jehovah, who is to stand against Jehovah, who can frown devils into hell in a moment, before whose word creation itself would vanish like a scroll?

What a mercy it is for God's people to have the Lord Jehovah going before them, making a way through the deep waters, as of old he made a way through the Red Sea, and made every difficulty to move, and every mountain to melt down, leading them on in the ways of peace and righteousness. But some may say, "How am I to know whether I am one of these people for whom these mercies are written?" Let me ask you two questions. First, have you found any difficulties in the way you are traveling? Have you found the way you have been taking in divine things a hard way, a difficult way, a strait and narrow way? "Why," say you, "I have found it a very hard way, but I sometimes fear lest my difficulties are natural difficulties." Now do you not need a breaker to break them down for you?

But let me ask you a second question. Has the breaker ever done anything for you? Any meltings, any movings, any softenings, any humblings, any actings of faith, hope, and love; any godly fear, any goings out to him in the yieldings of your heart's worship, any subjection of spirit, any obedience to his blessed will, ways, and word? Now if you can answer these two questions; that you know by experience that the way you have been led in is a difficult way, a distressing way, an afflicting way, such a way as you never could have walked in of yourself, but God has put you in and kept you in, then you have an evidence that you are one of those to whom the promise is made. Have you not found at times that the breaker is gone up, and has melted, softened, and humbled your heart, and appeared for you, when nothing but his hand could deliver? Then you have a further testimony you are one of the Lord's people. And this breaker will go before you all your days--and you will need this breaker, for all your days you will need something to be broken down. And this breaker will go before you all your days as your King and your Lord, until he bring you safe to glory.


Christ the Breaker
Alexander Maclaren

'The Breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.' -- MICAH 2:13.

Micah was contemporary with Isaiah. The two prophets stand, to a large extent, on the same level of prophetic knowledge. Characteristic of both of them is the increasing clearness of the figure of the personal Messiah, and the increasing fulness of detail with which His functions are described. Characteristic of both of them is the presentation which we find in this text of that Messiah's work as being the gathering together of the scattered captive people and the leading them back in triumph into the blessed land.

Such is the image which underlies my text. Of course I have nothing to do now with questions as to any narrower and nearer historical fulfilment, because I believe that all these Messianic prophecies which were susceptible of, and many of which obtained, a historical and approximate fulfilment in the restoration of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, have a higher and broader and more real accomplishment in that great deliverance wrought by Jesus Christ, of which all these earlier and partial and outward manifestations were themselves prophecies and shadows.

So I make no apology for taking the words before us as having their only real accomplishment in the office and working of Jesus Christ. He is 'the Breaker which is come up before us.' He it is that has broken out the path on which we may travel, and in whom, in a manner which the Prophet dreamed not of, 'the Lord is at the head' of us, and our King goes before us. So that my object is simply to take that great name, the Breaker, and to see the manifold ways in which in Scripture it is applied to the various work of Jesus Christ in our redemption.

I. I follow entirely the lead of corresponding passages in other portions of Scripture, and to begin with, I ask you to think of that great work of our Divine Redeemer by which He has broken for the captives the prison-house of their bondage.

The image that is here before us is either that of some foreign land in which the scattered exiles were bound in iron captivity, or more probably some dark and gloomy prison, with high walls, massive gates, and barred windows, wherein they were held; and to them sitting hopeless in the shadow of death, and bound in affliction and iron, there comes one mysterious figure whom the Prophet could not describe more particularly, and at His coming the gates flew apart, and the chains dropped from their hands; and the captives had heart put into them, and gathering themselves together into a triumphant band, they went out with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; freemen, and on the march to the home of their fathers. 'The Breaker is gone up before them; they have broken, and passed through the gate, and are gone out by it.'

And is not that our condition? Many of us know not the bondage in which we are held. We are held in it all the more really and sadly because we conceit ourselves to be free. Those poor, light-hearted people in the dreadful days of the French Revolution, used to keep up some ghastly mockery of society and cheerfulness in their prisons; and festooned the bars with flowers, and made believe to be carrying on their life freely as they used to do; but for all that, day after day the tumbrils came to the gates, and morning after morning the jailer stood at the door of the dungeons with the fatal list in his hand, and one after another of the triflers was dragged away to death. And so men and women are living a life which they fancy is free, and all the while they are in bondage, held in a prison-house. You, my brother! are chained by guilt; you are chained by sin, you are chained by the habit of evil with a strength of which you never know till you try to shake it off.

And there comes to each of us a mighty Deliverer, who breaks the gates of brass, and who cuts the bars of iron in sunder. Christ comes to us. By His death He has borne away the guilt; by His living Spirit He will bear away the dominion of sin from our hearts; and if the Son will make us free we shall be free indeed. Oh! ponder that deep truth, I pray you, which the Lord Christ has spoken in words that carry conviction in their very simplicity to every conscience: 'He that committeth sin is the slave of sin.' And as you feel sometimes -- and you all feel sometimes -- the catch of the fetter on your wrists when you would fain stretch out your hands to good, listen as to a true gospel to this old word which, in its picturesque imagery, carries a truth that should be life. To us all 'the Breaker is gone up before us,' the prison gates are open. Follow His steps, and take the freedom which He gives; and be sure that you 'stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free, and be not entangled again with any yoke of bondage.'

Men and women! Some of you are the slaves of your own lusts. Some of you are the slaves of the world's maxims. Some of you are held in bondage by some habit that you abominate, but cannot get away from. Here is freedom for you. The dark walls of the prison are round us all. 'The Scripture hath shut up all in sin, that He might have mercy upon all.' Blessed be His name! As the angel came to the sleeping Apostle, and to his light touch the iron gates swung obedient on their hinges, and Roman soldiers who ought to have watched their prey were lulled to sleep, and fetters that held the limbs dropped as if melted; so, silently, in His meek and merciful strength, the Christ comes to us all, and the iron gate which leadeth out into freedom opens of its own accord at His touch, and the fetters fall from our limbs, and we go forth free men. 'The Breaker is gone up before us.'

II. Again, take another application of this same figure found in Scripture, which sets forth Jesus Christ as being the Opener of the path to God.

'I am the Way and the Truth and the Life, no man cometh to the Father but by Me,' said He. And again, 'By a new and living way which He hath opened for us through the veil' (that is to say, His flesh), we can have free access 'with confidence by the faith of Him.' That is to say, if we rightly understand our natural condition, it is not only one of bondage to evil, but it is one of separation from God. Parts of the divine character are always beautiful and sweet to every human heart when it thinks about them. Parts of the divine character stand frowning before a man who knows himself for what he is; and conscience tells us that between God and us there is a mountain of impediment piled up by our own evil. To us Christ comes, the Path-finder and the Path; the Pioneer who breaks the way for us through all the hindrances, and leads us up to the presence of God.

For we do not know God as He is except by Jesus Christ. We see fragments, and often distorted fragments, of the divine nature and character apart from Jesus, but the real divine nature as it is, and as it is in its relation to me, a sinner, is only made known to me in the face of Jesus Christ. When we see Him we see God; Christ's tears are God's pity, Christ's gentleness is God's meekness, Christ's tender, drawing love is not only a revelation of a most pure and sweet Brother's heart, but a manifestation through that Brother's heart of the deepest depths of the divine nature. Christ is the heart of God. Apart from Him, we come to the God of our own consciences and we tremble; we come to the God of our own fancies and we presume; we come to the God dimly guessed at and pieced together from out of the hints and indications of His works, and He is little more than a dead name to us. Apart from Christ we come to a peradventure which we call a God; a shadow through which you can see the stars shining. But we know the Father when we believe in Christ. And so all the clouds rising from our own hearts and consciences and fancies and misconceptions, which we have piled together between God and ourselves, Christ clears away; and thus He opens the path to God.

And He opens it in another way too, on which I cannot dwell. It is only the God manifest in Jesus Christ that draws men's hearts to Him. The attractive power of the divine nature is ail in Him who has said, 'I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.' The God whom men know, or think they know, outside of the revelation of divinity in Jesus Christ, is a God before whom they sometimes tremble, who is far more often their terror than their love, who is their 'ghastliest doubt' still more frequently than He is their 'dearest faith.' But the God that is in Christ woos and wins men to Him, and from His great sweetness there streams out, as it were, a magnetic influence that draws hearts to Him. The God that is in Christ is the only God that humanity ever loved. Other gods they may have worshipped with cowering terror and with far-off lip reverence, but this God has a heart, and wins hearts because He has. So Christ opens the way to Him.

And still further, in a yet higher fashion, that Saviour is the Path-breaker to the Divine Presence, in that He not only makes God known to us, and not only makes Him so known to us as to draw us to Him, but in that likewise He, by the fact of His Cross and passion, has borne and borne away the impediments of our own sin and transgression which rise for ever between us and Him, unless He shall sweep them out of the way. He has made 'the rough places plain and the crooked things straight'; levelled the mountains and raised the valleys, and cast up across all the wilderness of the world a highway along which 'the wayfaring man though a fool' may travel. Narrow understandings may know, and selfish hearts may love, and low-pitched confessions may reach the ear of the God who comes near to us in Christ, that we in Christ may come near to Him. The Breaker is gone up before us; 'having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest of all … by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us … let us draw near with true hearts'

III. Then still further, another modification of this figure is found in the frequent representations of Scripture, by which our Lord is the Breaker, going up before us in the sense that He is the Captain of our life's march.

We have, in the words of my text, the image of the gladly-gathered people flocking after the Leader. 'They have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it; and their King shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.' The Prophet knew not that the Lord their King, of whom it is enigmatically said that He too, as well as 'the Breaker,' is to go before them, was in mysterious fashion to dwell in that Breaker; and that those two, whom He sees separately, are yet in a deep and mysterious sense one. The host of the captives, returning in triumphant march through the wilderness and to the promised land, is, in the Prophet's words, headed both by the Breaker and by the Lord. We know that the Breaker is the Lord, the Angel of the Covenant in whom is the name of Jehovah.

And so we connect with all these words of my text such words as designate our Saviour as the Captain of our salvation; such words as His own in which He says, 'When He putteth forth His sheep He goeth before them' -- such words as His Apostle used when he said, 'Leaving us an ensample that we should follow in His steps.' And by all there is suggested this -- that Christ, who breaks the prison of our sins, and leads us forth on the path to God, marches at the head of our life's journey, and is our Example and Commander; and Himself present with us through all life's changes and its sorrows.

Here is the great blessing and peculiarity of Christian morals that they are all brought down to that sweet obligation: 'Do as I did.' Here is the great blessing and strength for the Christian life in all its difficulties -- you can never go where you cannot see in the desert the footprints, haply spotted with blood, that your Master left there before you, and planting your trembling feet in the prints, as a child might imitate his father's strides, may learn to recognise that all duty comes to this: 'Follow Me'; and that all sorrow is calmed, ennobled, made tolerable, and glorified, by the thought that He has borne it.

The Roman matron of the legend struck the knife into her bosom, and handed it to her husband with the words, 'It is not painful!' Christ has gone before us in all the dreary solitude, and in all the agony and pains of life. He has hallowed them all, and has taken the bitterness and the pain out of each of them for them that love Him. If we feel that the Breaker is before us, and that we are marching behind Him, then whithersoever He leads us we may follow, and whatsoever He has passed through we may pass through. We carry In His life the all-sufficing pattern of duty. We have in His companionship the all-strengthening consolation. Let us leave the direction of our road in His hands, who never says 'Go!' but always 'Come!' This General marches in the midst of His battalions and sets His soldiers on no enterprises or forlorn hopes which He has not Himself dared and overcome.

So Christ goes as our Companion before us, the true pillar of fire and cloud in which the present Deity abode, and He is with us in real companionship. Our joyful march through the wilderness is directed, patterned, protected, companioned by Him, and when He 'putteth forth His own sheep,' blessed be His name, 'He goeth before them.'

IV. And now, lastly, there is a final application of this figure which sets forth our Lord as the Breaker for us of the bands of death, and the Forerunner 'entered for us into the heavens.'

Christ's resurrection is the only solid proof of a future life. Christ's present resurrection life is the power by partaking in which, 'though we were dead, yet shall we live.'

He has trodden that path, too, before us. He has entered into the great prison-house into which the generations of men have been hounded and hurried; and where they lie in their graves, as in their narrow cells. He has entered there; with one blow He has struck the gates from their hinges, and has passed out, and no soul can any longer be shut in as for ever into that ruined and opened prison. Like Samson, He has taken the gates which from of old barred its entrance, and borne them on His strong shoulders to the city on the hill, and now Death's darts are blunted, his fetters are broken, and his gaol has its doors wide open, and there is nothing for him to do now but to fall upon his sword and to kill himself, for his prisoners are free. 'Oh, death! I will be thy plague; oh, grave! I will be thy destruction.' 'The Breaker has gone up before us'; therefore it is not possible that we should be holden of the impotent chains that He has broken.

The Forerunner is for us entered and passed through the heavens, and entered into the holiest of all. We are too closely knit to Him, if we love Him and trust Him, to make it possible that we shall be where He is not, or that He shall be where we are not. Where He has gone we shall go. In heaven, blessed be His name! He will still be the leader of our progress and the captain at the head of our march. For He crowns all His other work by this, that having broken the prison-house of our sins, and opened for us the way to God, and been the leader and the captain of our march through all the pilgrimage of life, and the opener of the gate of the grave for our joyful resurrection, and the opener of the gate of heaven for our triumphal entrance, He will still as the Lamb that is in the midst of the Throne, go before us, and lead us into green pastures and by the still waters, and this shall be the description of the growing blessedness and power of the saints' life above, 'These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.'


The Breaker
Victor Robert Farrell

Our text for tonight ascribes to Jesus, a name which we are not overly familiar with, “Jesus the Breaker.”

This text makes reference to the deliverance of the Jews and their re-gathering to their God. This text is full of hope and that hope and that deliverance, that hope and that reclaiming, that hope and that victory, is built upon nothing less but the arrival of the Messiah within the shrieking mess and His name at that point is called, “The Breaker.”

Have you ever imagined the style of the gates of hell, those very gates that are prophesied never to prevail against the church of the living God? Have you ever wondered maybe at their shape? Some imagine them to be linear in their presentation, like some vast movable rampart, sometimes retreating from the advancing Christian, but mostly and menacingly, ever edging themselves, slowly and determinedly towards the defeated sons of His love, whilst demons are screaming insults and firing fiery darts, all falling from their walls upon our blood-bought heads. I suggest that we mostly imagine ourselves then, as poor beleaguered Christians, retreating, back, back and ever backwards into some safer areas of our souls and lives.

Unfortunately, my experience has taught me that there is no space for such a safe retreat. You see, the gates of hell are in fact circular. In other words, the gates of hell surround me, as if I were the center of some ever decreasing, nasty and all-confining, light-consuming, ever-collapsing circle. There is no retreat to safety here then! When the gates of hell come in upon us like this, they surround us, they constrict us, they limit our movement, they bind us, they break us, they place us into the servitude of a constrictive condemnation. Yes, when the gates of hell advance dear friends, there is no retreat for the Christian, there is only bondage.

This ever tightening manacle of monstrous restraint, whether it is an addiction, whether it is a state of mind or even a state of heart, becomes to us, a surrounding stronghold, a geographical territory even, and like a torturous tyranny it imposes its overlaying, all-labouring will upon us! This ever tightening manacle of monstrous restraint, may be a financial sinkhole sucking us dry, or a fear-infested moat of alligators waiting to tear us apart should we ever dare to cross it and friends, we rarely dare to cross it, for as that circle minimizes itself to a most strangling contraction, the bondage and the life-sucking darkness has then become so severe, that we lose all our strength and most importantly, we lose all our hope. As I write, there are millions who are being eaten alive by such a circle of consummate despondency. The circular gates of hell have for now, prevailed against them.

Those of us in this cannibalizing condition, need nothing short of Christ “The Breaker” to appear among us! We need Him, the Holy Hammer of the Lord God Almighty, to appear within our shrunken circles of death, and burst like a broken Aswan Dam upon the gates of the enemy, or to explode like a mighty bomb against his pressing spikes, or throw Himself like some giant battering ram against the hot and horny, metal doors of hell, head- butting down the fiery walls and making a broad breach for us to safely travel through, and then, King Harry-like, stand in the gap astride His neighing charger, His silver and glistening sword raised high, tattooed name upon His thigh, the now golden sky above, raining down angelic troopers, all to make a way, I say again, all to make a way for us, to leave these concentrated and concentric, strangling rings of terror!

Let us then this evening, together invoke this forgotten name of Jesus our Saviour, so that as ‘Christ The Breaker,’ He would appear among us on the morrow and smash and splinter these gates of hell, that so bear down upon our sorry souls tonight. (SermonAudio.com - Jesus - THE BREAKER)


The Breaker
Micah 2:13
Don Fortner

This almighty Breaker is the Lord Jesus Christ. He came up as the Breaker from everlasting. In the council of peace, divine decree was broken open and the Son of God stood forth as the Surety of God's elect. He it was who alone was found worthy to take the book of God's eternal purpose out of the hand of him that sat upon the throne. Christ alone, as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world, is worthy and able to loose the seals of the book, break it open, and fulfill its decrees.

It was this same Holy One, our Lord Jesus Christ, who, when he found it written of him in the volume of his Father's book (The Book of His Decrees and The Book of Inspiration) that he should fulfill the law of the Lord for chosen sinners, cried out, "Lo, I come. I delight to do thy will, O God."

In the fulness of time our all-glorious Christ came up as a Breaker in this world, to break down the wall of separation between God and his chosen, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and to open, by his precious shed blood, a new and living way by which sinners might draw near to God with full assurance of acceptance upon the basis of pardoned sin. Our Lord Jesus, by his one great sacrifice, forever put away all the sins of his people, forever silenced the accusations of Satan, forever freed us from the curse and penalty of God's holy law, and forever justified and sanctified every sinner for whom he bled and died. This great work he did by himself alone, when he who knew no sin was made to be sin for us.

After he lay in the grave for three days, the almighty Breaker came forth from the dead, bursting asunder the bars of death. Triumphant over death, hell, and the grave, he proved himself to be the Breaker spoken of by the prophet Micah, passing through the gate before us as our great Head, Representative, Lord, and King. It was not possible that death should be holden of him. His holy soul must not and could not see corruption. Therefore the almighty Breaker broke through all the obstacles before him as our Representative, ascended up on high, led captivity captive, and entered into heaven. There he sat down upon his throne, took possession of heaven as our Forerunner, and ever lives to make intercession for us according to the will of God.

At the appointed time, in "the time of love" appointed by God for the regeneration, effectual calling, and conversion of our souls, the Lord Jesus, by his sovereign Holy Spirit, came as the almighty Breaker, in all the glorious force and power of his irresistible grace into our hearts. He did not stand outside our hearts' doors and meekly knock, hoping and pleading that we might, by the mere exercise of our wills, let him in. Had he done so, we would yet be without life before God. This almighty, saving, gracious Breaker, broke into our hearts and took possession of our souls. When he came in, he brought his welcome with him, causing us to cry, "Come in! Come in Lord Jesus! Come, reign in me forever." (The Breaker Micah 2-13)


Micah 2:13
Robert Hawker

The Poor Man’s Morning Portion (1845)

PAUSE, my soul, over this precious scripture, and ask thine own heart who this almighty Breaker can be, except the Lord Jesus Christ; for he, and he alone, answers to such a divine character. Was it not he who came up as the Breaker from everlasting, when, in the council of peace, the divine decree was broken open, and the Son of God stood forth the sinner’s Surety? Was it not he whom John saw by vision, who alone was found worthy in heaven to open the book, and loose the seals thereof? (Rev 5:6-10) Was it not the same precious Holy One who, when in the volume of the book it was found written of him, that he should fulfil the law of Jehovah for sinful man, cried out, “Lo! I come?” (Ps 40:7, Heb 10:7-9) And was it not Jesus, even thy Jesus, my soul, that in the fulness of time came up as the Breaker (Gal 4:4), to break down the dreadful bar of separation which sin had made between God and man, and to open a new and living way for the sinner to God by his blood (Heb 10:19-22)? And when he had broken down the fence sin had made in disobedience to the divine law; the accusations of Satan; the dominion of death and the grave, by sustaining the whole weight and burden of all in his own precious Person; did he not, as the Almighty Breaker, burst asunder the bars of death, and prove himself thereby indeed to be this Almighty Breaker, in such a palpable evidence, that it was impossible his holy soul could be held by it (Acts 2:24)?

And hath he not broken through all intervening obstacles, ascended up on high, led captivity captive, entered into glory, and there ever liveth and appeareth in the presence of God for us? Is not Jesus then this Almighty Breaker?

But, my soul, look yet further. It is said also, in this blessed Scripture, that the Breaker is not only come up before them, (that is, his people,) but that “they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it; and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.” And so they are, if so be this almighty Breaker hath broken down the strong holds of sin and Satan in which they lay bound; broken down the natural hatred and enmity of their own heart against God and his Christ in which they were born, and in which they lived, and must have died, but for his sovereign grace manifested in them and towards them; burst open the prison doors of Satan, and broke off his cursed chains, and brought them out; if these things are wrought and accomplished in the people, may they not be said, in his strength, to have broken up and have passed through the gate of Satan’s dominions, and are gone out by it into the glorious liberty of the sons of God?

Is it so, my soul, in your experience? Do you indeed know Jesus for thy Almighty Breaker, by such sweet and precious tokens of his love and power? Has your King passed before you, and your Lord at the head of you (Micah 2:12-13)? Oh! then, be ever on the look out for all the renewed visits of his grace, in which he still acts as thine Almighty Breaker, in breaking down all the remaining obstacles which our unbelief, and fears, and doubts, are continually raising up against our own happiness, in his precious manifestations. Look up to him daily, hourly, minutely, if possible, that he may break down all the remains of indwelling corruption in your nature, by which these fears and this unbelief gets a hold on your soul; and be often on the look out also for that glorious day of God, when this Almighty Breaker shall finally and fully come, and break through the clouds to judgment, to break down every remaining evil that keeps you now from the everlasting enjoyment of your Lord. Hasten, blessed Jesus! Come, my Beloved! and, with a glory infinitely surpassing all conception, manifest Yourself as the Almighty Breaker, in the full display of Your sovereignty and power. And then, as Samson (a type in this instance) carried with him the gates of his prison, so will You break up and carry away all the gates of your people’s graves, and take all Your redeemed home with You to glory, that where You are, there they shall be also. Hail, thou Almighty Breaker! Jesus omnipotent reigneth!


From Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary - (Ref) (Ed: A number of the older commentaries discount Messiah as the identity and consider the breaker to be the Assyrians - Matthew Poole, John Trapp, etc.

Micah 2:13

Here is a verse concerning the Lord Jesus, which it would take the whole of life to go over every part and explain; and after all, numberless beauties pointing to the Lord Jesus in it would be left unexplored and unknown. That by the breaker is meant the Lord Jesus Christ, the general consent of all commentators have agreed. The name seems to be taken from Pharez, meaning a breach. See Genesis 38:29. And Christ is come up in the everlasting counsel of Jehovah, in his glorious Mediatorial character, as a Repairer of the breach of his people. Isaiah 58:12. And in this view it is most blessed to behold Christ, and to remark how he corresponds in every point to this character. He indeed came up before his people, when he arose at the call of Jehovah, in the infinite mind, as the Holy One of Israel, the Maker, and Redeemer thereof. And as in the eternal counsels he thus appeared the glorious Head and Representative of his body the Church; so in time his goings were for the salvation of his people. Micah 5:2; Habakkuk 3:13. Through the whole of the scripture history before his incarnation; who but Jesus came up as the sum and substance of every type, shadow, and figure; both before the law, and under the law, and the Prophets? And when at his miraculous conception, birth, and ministry, death and resurrection; he manifested himself under each, and every particular, as the Lord Our Righteousness; who but Jesus came up, and went before his people in all the glorious offices which testified to his character? And who but Jesus broke asunder the bars and gates of death, when he arose from the dead, and conquered the grave in its own territories, for his people? Who but Jesus broke up the clouds, when in his ascension he returned to take possession of the kingdom of heaven, for his people? And who but Jesus is it that now goeth before his redeemed every act of grace, and enables them in his power to break up and break through every difficulty that would impede their way to glory; and as this blessed scripture saith, are passed through the gate, and are gone out by it? We hail thee, O thou Almighty Breaker! thou art indeed all this and infinitely more to thy people; for thou art the Lord Our Righteousness!

REFLECTIONS

READER! from the perusal of this truly gospel chapter, behold the gracious provision made for you, for me, for all that are of the house of Jacob, spiritually considered; the Spirit of the Lord is not straitened, neither the power of the Almighty Breaker diminished! Everything around us, in us, and about us, join the Prophet's cry; arise ye and depart, for this is not your rest because it is polluted. Surely then we must desire a better country, that is heavenly. And blessed be our God, there is not only prepared for us a better country, but Jesus, our Almighty Breaker, has broken up, and gone before, and taken possession of it in our name, that as He is there, we may be also. Precious Lord Jesus, we pray Thee break through for Thy people all that would oppose our following Thee! Break for us all the chains of sin, all the devices of Satan, and quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And do thou, Almighty Lord, break in us all the remaining power of indwelling corruption, and open our prison frames, and prison doors, and bring us out into the glorious liberty wherein You make Your people free. Then shall we, in Your strength, trample over all the power of the enemy, and be made more than conquerors through Thy grace helping us. Yea, we shall then pass through the gate, and go out by it; Jesus our King is before us, and our Lord on our Head. Amen


COMMENTARIES ON
MICAH 2:13

Pulpit Commentary (Ref) - The breaker is come (gone) up before them. Micah depicts Israel's redemption under the figure of release from captivity. The passage is clearly Messianic, and can neither be considered an interpolation nor tortured into a declaration of the siege and ruin of Samaria or Jerusalem. "One that breaketh" is a liberator, a leader that overcomes all obstacles which oppose Israel's return. There may be an allusion in the first instance to a human leader, such as Zerubbabel, in analogy with Moses and Joshua in old time, but the real conqueror intended is generally regarded as Messiah. The Breaker up is supposed to be a title of the Messiah well known to the Jews (see Pusey; and Pearson, 'Exposition of the Creed,' art. 7; note y). This interpretation is rejected by Professor Driver, who considers the "breaker up" to be "either a leader or a detachment of men, whose duty it was to break up walls or other obstacles opposing the progress of an army." But is not this to introduce an agency unknown to these times? Was there any special body of men trained and maintained for this particular duty? This "breaker up," according to Dr. Driver's conception, "advances before them, breaking through the gates of the prison in which the people are confined; they follow, marching forth triumphantly through this open way; their king, with Jehovah at his side (Psalms 110:5), heads the victorious procession (Exodus 13:21; Isaiah 52:12)? They have broken up; broken forth, or through. The captives cooperate with their leader. Have passed through the gate, etc. The prophet speaks of a solemn, regular removal, like the Exodus from Egypt, which no human power can oppose. Their king. The same as Jehovah in the next clause (Isaiah 33:22). He shall lead the host, as he headed the Israelites when they left the house of bondage (Exodus 13:21). The prediction may look forward to the final gathering of Israel, which St. Paul seems to contemplate when he writes, "And so all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:26).

Homily - It is a title which may be accounted precious, not only to the Church of God as a whole, but also to each servant of the Lord. It is interesting to notice how that Christ, in one of his memorable discourses, associated this thought, of his going before his servants with a view to their being brought through every difficulty, with his references to himself as "the good Shepherd;" so that in the recorded words of Jesus (John 10:3, John 10:4) we find the very same association of figures of speech which were here employed by Micah; for Christ said of himself as the Shepherd, "He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out;" "He goeth before them, and they follow him." And may not the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews have had the words Micah here employed, and the words of Christ alluded to, in mind when he wrote of the Saviour as being "the Forerunner" of his people (Hebrews 6:20)? Christ has gone before his servants, and has gained the victory over their spiritual foes. He has conquered the evil one. In his life he conquered, for not once did the adversary gain the ascendancy over him; and in his death he conquered, for then "he spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them," etc. (Colossians 2:15). He has conquered the world, and could say to his disciples," I have overcome the world." And he has conquered death and the grave, fulfilling the triumphant declaration, "O death! I will be thy plagues! O grave! I will be thy destruction" (Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 25:8). Thus he is, in the interests of each of his servants, "the Breaker." By his victory he has so weakened the strength of our spiritual adversaries as to render the conflict comparatively easy to us. We have to encounter foes already defeated by our Lord. We have to face enemies already dispirited by failure, and who know assuredly that the time of their triumphing is short. Beautiful representation of the Messiah this! "The Breaker," who removes all difficulty out of the way of his servants; who has gone before them to clear the ground, to cast down every obstruction, to make "the crooked things straight, and the rough places plain," that "the glory of the Lord may be revealed." Let us hear his voice saying to us, as he thus leads us on, "Follow me;" and be it ours

Homily by D. Thomas in Pulpit Commentary (Ref) - EMANCIPATION. "The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate." Men everywhere are in moral bondage. They are the slaves of sin and the devil. "Carnal, sold under sin." Moral bondage is the worst of all bondage; it is a bondage. Who shall free man from this bondage? Who is the Moses that will take us out of this Egypt, the Cyrus that will free us from this Babylon? There is One, and but One—Christ. He is the "Breaker." He snaps the chains, breaks open the prison gates, and lets the soul into the true light and liberty of life. He came to preach liberty to the captive and to oven the prison doors of them that are bound.

CONCLUSION. Blessed gospel, speed thy work! Bring all the scattered sections of the world together, and unite them together by uniting them to one common centre—Christ. Break the moral chains that bind the faculties, sympathies, and souls of men to sin and the devil. Bring on the moral jubilee of the race, and let the clarion blast of liberty be heard through all the land.—D.T.

H A Ironside (Ref) - Thus they set at naught the Shepherd of Israel, and would not follow His ways. Hence their casting off. Nevertheless His anger shall not burn forever; for the message closes with a precious promise of restoration and blessing to be fulfilled in a day yet future (Micah 2:12, 13). God will Himself assemble the lost sheep of Jacob, gathering the remnant of Israel, and placing them together as flocks in His fold. If walls rise before them to bar their return to the land of their rest, He will send His breaker to open a way for His redeemed, thus leading them in triumph back to Immanuel’s land, as it is written, “Their king shall pass before them, and the Lord at the head of them.” Happy ending when all their discipline is accomplished, and they ask the way to Zion! A C Gaebelein - Micah 2:12-13. In this prophecy Christ is announced as the Breaker, the One who goes before them, clears the way, and removes every obstacle out of the way. In Micah 2:10 we read, “Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest.” The true rest for His people Israel comes when the King comes and brings with Him the promised blessing and glory. Then the remnant of Israel will be gathered, “and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord at the head of them.” It is a great prophecy of the ultimate restoration of Israel. “We must not exclude all allusion to the deliverance of the Jewish nation out of the earthly Babylon by Cyrus; at the same time, it is only in its typical significance that this comes into consideration at all, namely, as a preliminary stage and pledge of the redemption to be effected by Christ.” John Gill on Micah 2:12-13 - It is best to interpret "the breaker" of Christ Himself; and so I find it explained by the Jews also, to whom this and all the rest of the characters in the text agree; and who may be so called with respect to his incarnation, being the firstborn that opened the womb, and broke forth into the world in a very extraordinary manner; his birth being of a virgin, who was so both before and after the birth; thus Pharez had his name, which is from the same root, and is of a similar sound with Phorez here, from his breaking forth before his brother, unawares, and contrary to expectation, Genesis 38:29; this agrees with Christ, with respect to his death, when he broke through and vanquished all enemies, sin, Satan, the world, and death; broke through all the troops of hell, and spoiled principalities and powers; and through all difficulties that lay in the way of the salvation of his people; he broke down the middle wall of partition, the ceremonial law which was between Jew and Gentile; and broke off the yoke of sin, Satan, and the law, under which they were, and set them at liberty; and at his resurrection he broke asunder the cords of death, as Samson did his withs as a thread of tow; and at his ascension he broke his way through the regions of the air, and legions of devils there, leading captivity captive, and entered into heaven; and was "pandens iter", as the Vulgate Latin version here renders it, "opening the way" for his people into it; by the ministry of the word, he broke his way into the Gentile world, conquering and to conquer, which was mighty, through God, for the pulling down of strong holds, and reducing multitudes to his obedience; at the conversion of every sinner he breaks open the everlasting doors of their hearts, and enters in; he breaks their rocky hearts in pieces, and then binds up what he has broken; and in the latter day he will break in pieces all his enemies as a potter's vessel; yea, he will break in pieces and consume all the kingdoms of the earth, which will become like the chaff of the summer threshing floors: and now he is ascended, or "gone up" to heaven to his Father there, and "before them" his sheep, his people, said to be assembled, gathered and put together; he is ascended as the forerunner of them, to receive gifts for them, and bestow them on them (Eph 4:8), and to prepare heaven for them, and to make intercession on their behalf; and, as sure as he is gone up, so sure shall they also follow: David Guzik - (Micah 2:12-13) A promise of restoration.
a. I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob: Though judgment was promised because of the great sin of God’s people, they could not “out-sin” the grace and goodness of God. He still promises restoration to the remnant of Israel.

b. They shall make a loud noise because of so many people: The remnant will not be few; there will be many people brought back to the LORD and His ways - with the LORD at their head.

c. The one who breaks open can be translated as a title - the King James Version has it as the Breaker. We can see this as a more obscure, but no less precious messianic title of Jesus - The Breaker. In this office, He is the captain and leader of His people, advancing in front of His flock. How we need a Breaker, a trailblazer in our life!


ARTICLES FROM
BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR

Micah 2:12-13 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee

Gospel work

Homilist.

The prophet here passes from threats to promises.

The future was to embrace two things.

1. A grand gathering. Jacob and the remnant of Israel was to be ‘gathered’ as a mighty flock in the fruitful and lovely region of Bozrah.

2. A triumphant deliverance. “The breaker is come up before them.” Who is the breaker? If reference is here made to Jewish bonds, it was to Moses; if to Babylonish captivity, it was to Cyrus; if to the bondage of the devil, it was Christ. We shall apply the words to illustrate the grand work of the Gospel. “The fulfilment of this prophecy,” says Delitzsch, “commenced with the gathering together of Israel to its God and King by the preaching of the Gospel, and will be completed at some future time, when the Lord will redeem Israel, which is now pining in dispersion, out of the fetters of its unbelief and life of sin. We must not exclude all allusion to the deliverance of the Jewish nation only out of the earthly Babylon by Cyrus; at the same time, it is only in its typical significance that this comes into consideration at all, namely, as a preliminary stage and pledge of the redemption to be effected by Christ out of the spiritual Babylon of this world.” Taking the words, then, as an illustration of Gospel work, two thoughts are suggested.

I. Unification. “I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah.” Men are morally divided; there is a schism in the great body of humanity. Men have not only lost interest in their fellows, but an antipathy prevails amongst them. They are scattered abroad in different countries, under different governments, and in connection with different religions and interests. The great work of the Gospel is to bring men together, to gather them together in some moral Bozrah, to unite them in the fold of Christ. There is only one way, and that is the presentation of an object of supreme moral attraction to all men. That object the Gospel presents: it is Christ. And He Himself said: “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.” As a mater of philosophy, I proclaim that there is nothing but the Gospel that can hush the discords, heal the divisions, and terminate all wars and strifes amongst men; and historically.

II. Emancipation. “The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up and passed through the gate.” Men everywhere are in moral bondage. They are the slaves of sin and the devil. “Carnally sold unto sin.” Moral bondage is the worst of all bondage; it is a bondage--Who shall free us from this bondage? There is One, and but One, who can. Christ, the Breaker.

Verse 13

Micah 2:13 The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it

Christ, as the Breaker, opening all passes to glory that were impassable

E. Erskine.

It is agreed not only by Christian, but even by some Jewish interpreters, that these words have a principal and ultimate view unto the glorious Messiah, and the great work of salvation that lie was to accomplish in the fulness of time.

The prophet here prophesies that Christ should rid the way, and clear the passage, and make mountains as a plain.

I. The way of the Lord’s ransomed opened up by the great Redeemer. “The breaker is come up before them.”

1. The designation given to the glorious Messiah. “The breaker.” Cyrus was an instrument in the hand of God for breaking the Babylonish yoke. Herein he was a type of Christ, by whom the yoke of our spiritual captivity under sin and Satan is broken.

2. We have the courageous appearance of the glorious Redeemer in His breaking work. He “comes up,” He appears upon the field with an undaunted and heroic courage.

3. The party that He heads, or those in whose quarrel this Breaker appears. Enquire upon what account Christ is called the Breaker.

6. He may be called a Breaker because of the breaking trials He brings on His own people, and the judgments and calamities that He brings on an offending Church or nation.

II. The upcoming of Christ as the Breaker. Understand of His coming up to avenge the quarrel of His children and people. Like a mighty champion He takes the field. Tell of some seasonable upcomings.

1. He appeared in our quarrel in the council of peace.

2. He came seasonably immediately after the fall of man.

3. Really and personally in His incarnation.

4. In the power of His Spirit in the dispensation of the Gospel.

5. In the outward dispensation of His providence.

6. When He revives His own work in a backsliding land and church.

7. In every display of His grace and love to a particular believer; when He seasonably interposes for the relief of a poor soul sinking under the burden of sin, temptation, affliction, and desertion.

8. At death.

Question--In what manner doth He Come up in our quarrel, to the help of the weak against the mighty?

1. All His appearances for the help and relief of His people have been well-timed.

2. He comes up solitarily. He alone comes up. It is His own arm brings salvation.

3. With the greatest alacrity and cheerfulness.

4. Speedily, with no lingering or tarrying.

5. Courageously.

6. Victoriously.

7. His coming to His breaking work is irresistible. And--

8. It is with much awful greatness and majesty.

III. What is implied in His “coming up before them”?

1. It imports that He has them and their case deeply at heart.

2. It implies that their way is hard and difficult.

3. It implies His authority to rule and govern them.

4. It implies strength and ability to support authority.

5. It implies their inability to break up their own way.

6. As the Breaker is gone up before them, it implies that He has paved the road, and travelled the way before them. He goes before His people in obedience, in suffering, in going through death into glory.

7. It implies His routing and discomfiting all the enemies that stood in the way of our salvation: Satan, sin, the world, death.

8. It implies that the way to heaven is patent.

9. It implies that, whatever dangers, difficulties, or opposition be in their way, they are in absolute safety under His conduct.

IV. The grounds and reasons of this dispensation, or why doth Christ break up the way to His people?

1. Because they were gifted to Him of the Father, as a heritage and possession.

2. Because they are the purchase of His blood.

3. Because His faithfulness is engaged to lead them in their way.

4. Because He has to give an account of them to the Father.

5. Because they cannot break up their own way.

6. Because they trust in Him as Leader and Commander.

7. Because of the near and dear relation that He has come under unto them.

The Breaker

Charles Bradley, M. A

Micah lived near the time of the Babylonish Captivity. It is a prominent subject in the prophetic writings. Resembling, as it did, the spiritual captivity of God’s people, it is made the groundwork of many glorious predictions relating to the Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation. In this light commentators regard the prediction of the text. It has a reference to the captive Jews, and their liberator Cyrus; but it looks further. In Christ and His ransomed people it has its real, complete fulfilment. It sets forth the Lord Jesus--

I. As interposing for His people in a peculiar character. “The breaker.” The demolisher. One who beats down before them all barriers and impediments that obstruct their way. The figure places us where we really are, far off from God and His kingdom, with many obstructions lying in between God’s kingdom and us; with more than distance to be got over--with barriers and obstacles to be surmounted. What are these? Some of them lie out of us, some within us. Out of us is--

1. The judicial displeasure of God. It is our guilt which has subjected us to His wrath.

2. The opposition of Satan. By Satan is meant, not one being, but a numerous host of beings in the spiritual world opposed to our happiness. Through this difficulty Christ breaks. Not, as we might have supposed, by exterminating these enemies of our salvation, scattering them out of our path; but in first making His own way to heaven in man’s form through them, and then by communicating strength to His people to do as He has done--withstand these enemies, force their way through them, and tread them down. Within His people, what is there to impede them in their way to heaven? We may say that everything within them is an impediment to them in their way. There is nothing within fallen man, naturally, that does not tend to carry him away from God, rather than to lead him to God.

See--

1. The natural self-sufficiency and pride of heart, which we may call self-righteousness. But Christ comes, and touches the proud heart of man, and this barrier in it falls down.

2. There is the ungodliness of the heart. Almost as stiff a barrier in the way of our salvation as its pride. Here too the heavenly Breaker comes in. He opens the sinner’s heart, communicates to it a holy principle; and this principle, warring against the unholiness in him, gradually breaks its strength, masters and dethrones it.

3. The unbelief of our hearts. This leads to hesitation and delay, under one excuse after another.

II. The escape of God’s Israel in consequence of Christ’s interposition for them. Two remarks.

1. A great change has taken place in the spiritual condition of Christ’s people, in consequence of what He has done for them.

2. The people really delivered by Christ cooperate with Him in their deliverance. You must be warned against imagining that you have one particle of spiritual ability or strength of your own. But you must be warned as earnestly against taking up with what may be termed a passive religion.

III. The high privilege of these escaped liberated men after their escape. “Their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.” This is more than saying we shall have the Lord for us, we shall have Him with us. It indicates not merely the presence, but the near presence of the Lord. It may be a figure taken from the cloudy Pillar hanging over Israel, overshadowing them. It is an assurance at once of discipline and of safety on our way to heaven.)

The Breaker

John N. Norton, D. D.

Names appropriate to the offices which He was afterwards to fill were bestowed upon the promised Messiah. This is one of them. The name answers to what we call a “pioneer,” one who clears the way before an army in its march.

1. It is appropriate to the Lord Jesus, because it was through His agency alone that the power of sin was broken. Our redeemed broke the strength of the law, by obeying its rigid requirements in our stead.

2. This title marks the character and office of the Messiah when, by His death, the destruction between Jews and Gentiles was forever removed.

3. The title is appropriate, since by His death Christ destroyed death, and by His triumphant resurrection He has given an earnest of what He will one day accomplish for all who fall asleep in Him.

4. Appropriate also when we notice the steady inroads which His kingdom has made upon the widespread dominions of the Prince of Darkness. In vain does infidelity attempt to account for the improvement in morality and refinement by attributing them to the advance of civilisation alone. Stubborn facts, drawn from the history of nations, contradict the assertion. Civilisation, unless animated and directed by the religion of Christ, has uniformly corrupted and deteriorated public morals. We must look to a higher source than the wisdom or ingenuity or strength of man for the agency which has vanquished the powers of darkness, and redeemed the world from bondage; and we need not look for it in vain.

The Breaker

T. Hannam.

I. In what respects may Jesus Christ be called a Breaker? Because of the great opposition He had to break through in the work of our redemption. Because He breaks up a new and living way, by which we may have access to God and glory. Because He breaks the enmity of our hearts against Him. Because of the breaking judgments He brings on the world, and the breaking trials on His people.

II. In what respects may He be said to “come up”? When our first parents sinned, He came up in the promise. He came up really and personally in the incarnation, etc. In the chariots of a preached Gospel. In every display of His grace and love to such as believe.

III. What may be implied in His coming up before them? He comes before them as a Shepherd, as a General, as a King. It imports that the way to heaven is patent.

IV. The escape of the ransomed by this way. They have broken up, etc., out of darkness into light, out of bond age into liberty. They have passed through the law gate of conviction, and the gospel-gate of conversion.

The Lord Jesus as the Leader of His people

J. G. Breay, B. A.

I. The Lord Jesus in the character of a Breaker. By breaker understand one who burst through all obstacles.

1. What are the difficulties to be broken through?

2. Jesus, as the Breaker, has burst through every difficulty.

II. His people following in His steps. Allusion is to the entrance of a victorious Captain, with His troops following. Every act of Christ was done for His Church. How great will be the final glory of the Saviour! How blessed is the lot of the people of God! How awful it must be to be a stranger to Christ.

The matchless beauty of Jesus

Joseph Parker

Apply the words to the spiritual and eternal salvation of the Israel of God. Consider--

I. The captivity, implied in the promise of deliverance. The people are described as sheep, but their salvation is spoken of in language which implies they are captives, and such captives that no other than the Lord Jehovah can effect their freedom. It is a captivity to sin. It is a willing captivity. They have sold themselves.

II. Their glorious redemption. Who is it that undertakes their cause, and as their Redeemer is mighty to set them free?

III. The making effectual of the redemption thus obtained in the release and liberty of the captives. They break through their unbelief; they break through the barriers of sin, guilt, and death, and lay hold on eternal life. They break, also, from their sins, from the world, from its ungodly ways, and from whatever would withstand them in their following their glorious Lord and King, who goes before them, and whom they obey as their Leader and Commander. A threefold application.

1. Warning to such as go on still in their trespasses.

2. Encouragement to all that are sensible of their sins, and concerned about their souls.

3. Comfort for all such as are following after the Lord.

Christ the Breaker

Alexander Maclaren, D. D

I. The great work of our Divine Redeemer, by which He has broken for the captives the prison house of their bondage. Many of us know not the bondage in which we are held. We are chained by sin, chained by the habit of evil with a strength of which you never know till you try to shake off.

II. Jesus Christ as the Opener, and the Path, to God. Our condition is not only one of bondage to evil, but also one of separation from God. We do not know God as He is, except by Jesus Christ. It is only the God manifest in Jesus Christ that draws men’s hearts to Him. That God that is in Christ is the only God that humanity ever loved. He, by the fact of His Cross and Passion, has borne and borne away the impediments of our own sin and transgression which rise forever between us and Him, unless He shall sweep them out of the way.

III. Christ is the Breaker as the Captain of our life’s march. “When He putteth forth His sheep, He goeth before them.”

IV. He is the Breaker for us of the bands of death. Christ’s resurrection is the only solid proof of a future life. It is not possible that we should be held of the impotent chains that He has broken.

THE CORDS CAN BE LOOSENED

Excerpt from sermon on Proverbs 5:22

Alexander Maclaren

Bitter experience teaches that the imprisoning net clings too tightly to be stripped from our limbs by our own efforts. Nay rather, the net and the captive are one, and he who tries to cast off the oppression which hinders him from following that which is good is trying to cast off himself. The desperate problem that fronts every effort at self-emendation has two bristling impossibilities in it: one, how to annihilate the past; one, how to extirpate the evil that is part of my very self, and yet to keep the self entire. The very terms of the problem show it to be insoluble, and the climax of all honest efforts at making a clean thing of an unclean by means within reach of the unclean thing itself, is the despairing cry, ‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me out of the body of this death?’ (Ro 7:24-25) But to men writhing in the grip of a sinful past, or paralyzed beyond writhing, and indifferent, because hopeless, or because they have come to like their captivity, comes one whose name is ‘the Breaker,’ Whose mission it is to proclaim liberty to the captives, and whose hand laid on the cords that bind a soul, causes them to drop harmless from the limbs and sets the bondsman free. Many tongues praise Jesus for many great gifts, but His proper work, and that peculiar to Himself alone, is His work on the sin and the sins of the world. He deals with that which no man can deal with for himself or by his own power. He can cancel our past, so that it shall not govern our future. He can give new power to fight the old habits. He can give a new life which owes nothing to the former self, and is free from taint from it. He can break the entail of sin, the ‘law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus’ can make any of us, even him who is most tied and bound by the chain of his sins, ‘free from the law of sin and death.’ We cannot break the chains that fetter us, and our own struggles, like the plungings of a wild beast caught in the toils, but draw the bonds tighter. But the chains that cannot be broken can be melted, and it may befall each of us as it befell the three Hebrews in the furnace, when the king ‘was astonished’ and asked, ‘Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?’ and wonderingly declared, ‘Lo, I see four men loose walking in the midst of the fire, and the aspect of the fourth is like a son of the gods.’


Christ the Breaker - Part 2
Christ the Breaker - Part 3