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Go Tell It On The Mountain (Isaiah 40.9)

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Go Tell it on The Mountain

Text: Isaiah 40:9

Place Preached - (Mississauga International Baptist Church)

Date Preached - (12/24/06)


Stanzas by John W. Work, 1871–1925


While shepherds kept their watching o’er silent flocks by night, behold, throughout the heavens there shone a holy light.


The shepherds feared and trembled when lo! above the earth rang out the angel chorus that hailed our Savior’s birth.


Down in a lowly manger the humble Christ was born, and God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn.


Refrain: Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and ev’rywhere—go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born!


Negro spirituals had their roots in the late 18th and early 19th century camp meetings throughout the South as well as in the active evangelical ministry carried on among the black people during this time.

However, few of their traditional songs were collected or published prior to about 1840.

The stanzas for “Go Tell It on the Mountain” were written by John W. Work, Jr. He and his brother, Frederick J. Work, were early leaders in arranging and promoting the cause of Negro spirituals.

Today’s song was first published in Folk Songs of the American Negro in 1907.

These traditional spirituals have since become an important part of the American folk and sacred music heritage and are greatly appreciated and enjoyed by all of God’s people.

Isaiah 40:9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

The impact of this realization that a Deliverer was sent from the ivory palaces of heaven to become personally involved in the redemption and affairs of the human race becomes a strong motivation to share the good news with needy and desperate.

People who need to know that there is an Emmanuel available who can meet their every need.

Men everywhere must hear these glad tidings if they are to benefit from them. With absolute clarity they must hear the message, “Behold (here is) your God!”

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Isaiah 42:11-12 11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12 Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.

There is a message so Glorious, timeless and eternal, so Essential and Important, so Powerful and Life-changing, that it must not be kept quiet, it cannot be kept quiet.

2 Timothy 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

The message is clear, God’s People, Go Tell it On the Mountain!!

I. Tell the Whole Story

From Creation to the Cross, From the Foundation of the World to the Glory of Christ’s Return.

The song says “Go tell it on the MOUNTAIN”. There are three Biblical Mountains that illustrate the fullness of the Salvation Story.

A. The Mountain of Sinai

1. The Giving of the Law

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

2. The Purpose of the Law

Exodus 19:7-8 7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD

But they could not and did not keep them!!

Galatians 3:23-24 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith

B. The Mountain of Suffering

Mount Calvary – The Place of the Cross

Golgotha (The Skull)

Jesus was born to die!

1. Calvary’s Sacrifice

Sinless, perfect, holy.   The greatest gift ever given!

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

2. Calvary’s Substitute

He Died in my place & yours!

C. The Mountain of the Second Coming

This is the Mount of Olives.

Zechariah 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

What does the return of Jesus Christ indicate regarding our Salvation and our Saviour?

1. He is a Living Saviour

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

2. He is a Ruling Saviour

He Reigns on High!!

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Philippians 2:9-11 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

II. Tell the Story Plainly

John the Baptist is a central figure in the prophecy of Isaiah 40.

He is the Elijah of the NT.

If there ever was a prototype for bold, plain speaking, Biblical preaching, John the Baptist is it.

A. The Uniqueness of His Ministry

He was one sent to prepare the way of the Lord.

We too have a unique ministry and message.

We have only one story to tell!

The world can raise up it’s politicians and leaders etc.  That is not primarily our job.

We have a gospel mandate!!

B. The Unction of His Ministry

UNCTION – Anointing

1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

That believers have “an anointing from the Holy One” indicates that this anointing renders them holy, separating them to God. The passage teaches that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the allefficient means of enabling believers to possess a knowledge of the truth.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Don’t shave or shade or diminish or distort the clarity of the Gospel in any fashion.

When we trim the Gospel light it loses its power.

III. Tell the Story to Everyone

How is this to be done?  What would it look like if the church were doing her job?

A. Saturation Evangelism

Getting the Gospel to every available person at every available time through every available means.

Matthew 10:26-27 26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

B. Sanctuary Evangelism

Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

C. Situational Evangelism

We are talking about individual opportunities to share the Gospel.

Seizing the opportunities as they present themselves.  Redeeming the time!

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

CONCLUSION:     (Review)

Reflect on this:

How have I grown spiritually throughout this Christmas season?

What new insights have I gained regarding this message?

How can I share my faith in the living Christ more effectively in the days ahead?

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

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