Text: Isaiah 65

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be this — “His Response to the Rebellious.” In Isaiah 63 and 64, you have seen His punishment for the rebellious, Isaiah’s reminder of the LORD’s lovingkindness (hesed) toward those who do not deal falsely with Him, and the accusations of His rebellious people toward Him. 

Now, in Verses 1-7, the LORD rebukes His rebellious people for their sin and for their accusations against Him. He has not forsaken them, but they have forsaken Him. 

Then, in Verses 8-16, He contrasts His response to them with His response to His servants who seek Him and delight in Him. 

Finally, in Verses 17-25, He describes the future that His servants will enjoy, when He will establish a new heavens and a new earth, after His judgment of both the worshipers of the world system that defies God and rebellious believers who refuse to repent.

Verse 1 —

The LORD responds to His rebellious peoples’ accusations, saying —

“I permitted Myself to be sought (I am sought) by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found (I am found) by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ to a nation (people) which did not call on My name.”

He is sought by those who did not ask for Him because they knew nothing about Him. He is found by those who did not seek Him because they knew nothing about Him. Those least likely to seek and find Him — the Gentiles — seek Him and find Him. He says to such ones, “Here am I! Here am I!” It is a picture of the ingathering of the Gentiles after Acts 2:4!

Verse 2-5 —

But He does not say, “Here am I! Here am I!” to His rebellious people. Instead, He says — 

“I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts, 3 a people who continually provoke Me to My face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks; 4 who sit among graves and spend the night in secret places; who eat swine’s flesh, and the broth of unclean meat is in their pots. 5 who say, ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all the day.”

How has He held out His hands to them? By sending His prophets to them again and again (Jeremiah 26:5, etc.) to exhort them to repent and warn them of the consequences of their sin. He has continually offered them the opportunity to repent, but they were not willing.

Jesus Christ said this to His people, when He walked the earth —

Matthew 23:37   “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”

So He recounts His rebellious peoples’ sin to them, for nothing is hidden from His eyes —

— They walk in a way which is not good, following their own thoughts, not His.

— They continually provoke Him to His face (literally, brazenly), with their worship of pagan gods.

— They worship false gods instead of Him, offering sacrifices in gardens, burning incense on bricks, sitting among graves, spend the night in secret places, eat swine’s flesh, and the broth of meats he has declared to be unclean are in their cooking pots. These are all pagan practices.

And to further insult the LORD, His rebellious people are hypocrites who claim they are holy and shun that which they see as unholy and unclean — the Gentiles, to whom He now calls! But His rebellious people are the ones who are unclean, as He has said, and all their hypocritical outward acts are like menstrual cloths (Isaiah 64:6)!

It was the same in the days of Jesus Christ. The priests, scribes and Pharisees were outwardly religious, but inwardly, they were full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness (Matthew 23:27). So, He called them hypocrites 14 times, in the Book of Matthew!

Therefore, His rebellious people are an irritation to Him, like acrid, pungent smoke in His nostrils. And their fire burns all the day! They are on fire, and yet they do not even know it —

Isaiah 42:25 So He poured out on him the heat of His anger and the fierceness of battle; and it set him aflame all around, yet he did not recognize it; and it burned him, but he paid no attention.

I tell you the truth, beloved. I see many rebellious infants in Christ (see 1Corinthians 3:1) in today’s church. They also are on fire, and do not even know it. They also are an irritation to Him. Yet they also refuse to repent, though He sends His servants to them again and again, to warn them to repent!

Verses 6-7 —

“Behold, it is written before Me, I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will even repay into their bosom (into their hearts), 7 both their own iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers together,” says the LORD. “Because they have burned incense on the mountains and scorned Me on the hills, therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom.”

All their sins are written down with an iron stylus (Jeremiah 17:1). He will not keep silent, but will judge them. That is His answer to the pleas of the rebellious. He will repay them into their bosom — into their midst. It is a very personal repayment to each one who rebels against Him. 

He will repay them not only for their perverse sin, but also will bring upon them the punishment that their fathers underwent for their rebellion in the wilderness. Here is how He punished Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, who staged a rebellion against Him —

Numbers 16:32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

Again, Paul recounts how those who were in the wilderness were judged —

1Corinthians 10:6   Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

The LORD’s judgment of today’s rebellious infants in Christ will be no different from His judgment of His rebellious people in the Old Testament. He will deal with them now just like He dealt with His people then.

But He will gladly receive you, beloved, if you repent and ask your Father in heaven to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Then your sin nature will be crucified, and your heart will be purified, and you will no longer sin against Him because you will be dead to sin (Galatians 5:24, Acts 15:9, Romans 6:1-2)!

Verses 8-10 —

Thus says the LORD, “As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is benefit in it,’ so I will act on behalf of My servants in order not to destroy all of them. 9 I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and an heir of My mountains from Judah; even My chosen ones shall inherit it, and My servants will dwell there. 10 Sharon will be a pasture land for flocks, and the valley of Achor a resting place for herds, for My people who seek Me.”

Now He contrasts His judgment of His rebellious people with His blessing to His servants, those who love and serve Him and do not rebel against Him. They are of great value to Him! 

They please Him, and they bring the gospel to the world on their beautiful feet (Isaiah 52:7)! He will not totally destroy Judah, for His servants dwell among the rebellious ones. 

So, He will bring forth spiritual offspring from His servants — both Jew and Gentile — the ones who have obeyed Him. They are the ones He has chosen to be His heirs (Romans 8:17). They are the ones who will inherit the true promised land, which is the kingdom of God!

Peter said to all who believe into Jesus Christ and have obeyed His commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5) —

1Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race (kin), a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light . . .”

These are the ones who shall inherit the true promised land — His kingdom! They shall forever dwell in His Father’s house, for Jesus Christ goes there to prepare a place for them (John 14:1-2). 

The pastures, sheep and herds are symbolic of His complete provision for them. 

Then what is Jesus Christ’s actual complete provision? 

First, He provided salvation from His wrath and reconciliation to Him by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

Then He provided the cure for rebellion by crucifying the sin nature of those who ask Him to do it (Galatians 5:24), and by purifying the hearts of believers who ask Him to fill them with His Holy Spirit (Acts 15:9). And He and the Son and the Spirit permanently and fully indwell such ones (John 14:23)! 

That is complete provision! If you are His servant, you have experienced this divine provision!

Little ones who are still infants in Christ, He offers that same complete provision to you today, if you will repent and ask Him to do it! But will you ask Him?

Verses 11-12 —

“But you who forsake the LORD, who forget My holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune (Gad, a false god), and who fill cups with mixed wine for Destiny (Meni, a false god), 12 I will destine you for the sword, and all of you will bow down to the slaughter. because I called, but you did not answer; I spoke, but you did not hear. and you did evil in My sight and chose that in which I did not delight.”

The future is far different for His idolatrous and rebellious people who forsake and forget Him by worshiping false gods. They are destined to die by the sword, and be slaughtered. He called, but they did not answer. He called, but they refused to hear. They did evil, and chose that which did not please Him at all!

So, according to what they worship, the LORD will judge them — 

— They worship the false god Destiny. So, He will destine them for the sword. 

— They worship the false god Fortune, so they will experience great misfortune. They will bow down to the slaughter, killed by the ones whose gods they have worshiped.

Why will He do this to them? Because He called and they did not answer. 

How ironic! In Isaiah 63 and 64, they complained that they have called and He has not answered, and that they have wanted to hear His voice. But He called, and they did not answer! But in what way did He call them?

They have heard His voice through His warnings spoken by His prophets. But they have not listened!

It is the same today, beloved, among many infants in Christ who continue to rebel and sin against the Lord. He calls you today, He speaks to you today. Will you listen, or will you reject His words?

Verses 13-16 —

Isaiah 65:13 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD,  “Behold, My servants will eat, but you will be hungry. Behold, My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty. Behold, My servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. 14 Behold, My servants will shout joyfully with a glad heart, but you will cry out with a heavy heart, and you will wail with a broken spirit. 15 You will leave your name for a curse to My chosen ones, and the Lord GOD will slay you. But My servants will be called by another name. 16 Because he who is blessed in the earth will be blessed by the God of truth; and he who swears in the earth will swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hidden from My sight!”

Just as with the blessings and curses He spoke through Moses in Deuteronomy 28, He declares blessings to His servants, and curses to His rebellious people, in the days of Isaiah —

— My servants will eat, but you will be hungry.

— My servants will drink, but  you will be thirsty.

— My servants will rejoice, but you will be ashamed. 

— My servants will shout joyfully with a glad heart, but you will cry out with a heavy heart and wail with a broken spirit.

— Your name will be a curse (you will be called “cursed”) by those who are My chosen ones, and you will be slain. But My chosen ones will have another name — they will not be called “cursed,” but “blessed.”

He who is blessed in the earth (that is, His servants) will be blessed by Him. Those on the earth who are is servants will swear by the God of truth, not by false gods.

Because they are His servants, they will not suffer from the curses of those who rebel. Why? Because they have repented! Therefore, their past sins have been forgotten and are hidden from His sight.

It is the same for infants in Christ in today’s church. If you repent from the heart, ask Him to crucify your sin nature, and carry out His commandments stay and wait to be filled with His Spirit, He will do it! Hallelujah!

In what category are you, beloved? Are you still sinning against Him, even after you have been saved? I was like you. Have you gone on to be filled with His Spirit,  as I did? Or have you disobeyed Jesus Christ’s commandments to stay and wait? 

If you are in the latter category, you are rebelling against the Lord. Look again at the contrasts between the rebellious and His servants, and repent! 

Verses 17-19 —

Now the LORD speaks of the glorious future of His servants, after the final judgment of His rebellious people, and the final judgment of those who have worshiped the world system that defies God—

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing and her people for gladness.

19 I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; and there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying.”

If you are His servant, you will not remember the former things (2Peter 3:10). But you will be glad and rejoice, for He creates a new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2) for rejoicing and gladness, and He Himself will rejoice and be glad in you! 

There will be no more weeping or crying. He will wipe away every tear —

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with (within) men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit will fully and permanently indwell His servants who carry out His commandments to stay and wait, per Jesus Christ’s words from John 14:23. And they will dwell with Him in the place where He has prepared for them — His Father’s house (John 14:2). Surely, in that place, there is no death, no sorrow, no crying, and no pain. The old things have passed away!

Verses 20-21 —

“No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed. 21 They will build houses and inhabit them; they will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit.”

NOTE: At first, it appears that there will be death, after the new heavens and new earth are created. That contradicts other scriptures, so I consulted John Oswalt from The New International Commentary on the Old Testament for his interpretation of this passage.

For His servants who dwell in the kingdom of God, the Lord contrasts the former things with His glorious kingdom. Those things that caused sorrow — the death of an infant, a lifespan cut short — will no longer exist, because there will be no death at all — untimely or otherwise! 

His servants will prosper in His kingdom, building houses, living in them, planting vineyards, and eating their fruit. These cannot refer to Judah, because the Romans would burn down Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD, and once again, His rebellious people would be scattered.

So the meaning here is spiritual. When you are filled with His Spirit, beloved, your body becomes His temple, and He lives in you. Infants in Christ are in the process of being built up into His spiritual house (1Peter 2:5), and will become His house when they offer themselves to the Lord as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing (Romans 12:1)!

Beloved, it is then that you bear the fruit of His Spirit, fruit no one can take away from you. And you will enjoy the fruits of your labor — spiritual children — here and now, and also when you go to your Father’s house!

Verses 22-23 —

“They will not build and another inhabit, they will not plant and another eat; for as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, and My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands. 23 They will not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD, and their descendants with them.”

Again, for His servants who are His houses, no one but the Father, the Son and the Spirit will inhabit the spiritual house that you have become, for they will fully and permanently indwell you (John 14:23). 

No one will rob you of the spiritual fruit that you will bear. And you will live forever — far greater than the lifetime of any tree! It is a direct contrast to the curses of those who rebel against Him, from Deuteronomy 28:15-68.

The work of those whom He has chosen, those who are His servants will never wear out. They will eternally enjoy the fruit of their labor, for it is eternal, spiritual fruit. 

None of their labor is unproductive, nor can their spiritual children be miscarried. Why? They and their spiritual children are the offspring of those blessed by the Lord! 

Their spiritual children are the treasures in heaven that they store up —

Matthew 6:19   “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal . . .”

Verses 24-25 —

“It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. 25 “The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD. 

If you are His servant today, whatever you ask, He will do, even while you are still in the process of asking. Why? You are filled with the Spirit and thus have become a partaker of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4). So you are one with Him, united in purpose, and operating together with Him. Therefore, your desires are the same as His desires! 

And in the kingdom of heaven, you will dwell with Him forever, in complete, uninterrupted communion! While I am here, I still have earthly chores and appointments, and life-in-general happens. But there, I will have no interruptions! 

He again speaks symbolically of His kingdom.There is no fear of danger in His kingdom. All that caused fear in the world — ravenous animals, death, hell, and Satan (Revelation 12:9, 20:10 and 14) — will be destroyed forever, along with those who have rejected Him and His people who continue to rebel against Him (Revelation 20:11-16).

Beloved, are you rebelling against the Lord? Are you worshiping the god of self in the churches that teach the “Me gospel?” Then repent, and ask the Lord to forgive you for your rebellion. He is holding out His hands to you, continually! He will receive you back to Himself, if you repent!

Then you must carry out Jesus Christ’s commandments to stay and wait. And surely, He will crucify your sin nature and fill you with His Holy Spirit. Then, when you stand before Him, your Master will receive you as His servant, saying —

Matthew 25:21 “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’”

Lord Jesus, may many of Your little children have ears to hear Your warnings, and repent. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.


[SW438] 07/04/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“God’s Response to Rebels”

Texts: Psalm 2, etc.

You may wonder why I do not address today’s upheavals and rebellion. I do not address such things for the same reason Jesus Christ did not address such things, when He walked the earth. He addressed the source of all upheaval and rebellion. 

What is the source? The chain-bound condition of every human heart. And His death, resurrection, ascension and glorification established the truth that He is the Breaker of every chain and the Giver of new hearts!

I was a rebel, in every sense of the word. Using Psalm 2, the Lord has directed me to show you how He responded to me, and to exhort you to repent and warn you of the consequences of your sin, if you do not turn to Him to be set free from your chains and to be given a new heart. 

Psalm 2

Verses 1-3 —

Why are the nations (peoples) in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain (worthless) thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel (consult) together against the LORD and against His Anointed (Messiah), saying, 3 “Let us tear their fetters (restraints) apart and cast away their cords (chains) from us!”

All people are in an uproar — every tribe and tongue and nation and people. They are rebelling, planning some worthless and empty action. What do they plan? They plan to stand against the LORD— God the Father —  and His Messiah (Christ). 

They plan to refuse to come under the rule of  God the Father and of His Christ. They believe the LORD and His Christ have restrained them, and vow to cast away the chains with which they believe the LORD and His Christ have bound them. But they do not see that their hearts are bound by chains of their own making!

When I was a rebel, I stood against everything, including Jesus Christ and the Father. I mocked the bourgeois middle class, calling them small-minded and stupid. I mocked the elite, who were in positions of political power.

I rejected the Father and Jesus Christ as foolishness, though I had been brought up in church, and vowed that I would not come under the rule of anyone, including the Father and His Christ. I was the ruler of my own destiny! 

I said all these things and believed all these things while I was a drug addict married to a drug dealer. Now that was living, I thought! I was not responsible to anyone but myself!

I did not see that I was in chains of my own making — addiction and self-imposed separation from God. I was just glad to be rid of what I called “the establishment!”

Verses 4-6 —

He who sits in the heavens laughs (laughs to ridicule), the Lord scoffs at them (laughs them to scorn). 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger (wrath) and terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 “But as for Me, I have installed (appointed) My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

The Lord is in heaven, sitting on His throne. As all peoples and tribes and nations and tongues protest strongly and rage against Him, He laughs, ridiculing them. He laughs at them, in contempt. 

Then He speaks to them in His wrath, terrifying them in His fury. And He says, “Do you think you are kings? Do you think you rule the earth? Then you are foolish, for I have installed My King upon My holy mountain, the Zion that is in heaven!” 

God the Father is holy, and where He dwells is holy. He is not at all like anything of this world. His King is Jesus Christ, and He has appointed Christ as King in heaven, and has appointed Him to rule the earth (1Corinthians 15:27-28). 

So, all those who think they rule, all who think they can break away from Him and go their own way, are deceiving themselves. He is King of kings, and Lord of lords!

As I sat in my own chains of addiction, pleased with myself for breaking away from all authority of any kind, the Lord of heaven ridiculed me and scorned me. Why? I had rejected Him as Father, and Jesus Christ as King! So, He held me in contempt. I had rejected Him, so He rejected me. That is righteous judgment.

Verses 7-9 —

“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8  Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”

Jesus Christ was with the Father eternally, before anything was — He was with God and was God (John 1:1-2). But the Father issued a decree, saying He was designating Him as His Son. For what purpose? 

Before anything was, the Father had devised His own plan to save rebels from His wrath and reconcile them to Him. So, with no physical act involved, the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary with the Father’s Son. So, Jesus Christ was born, proclaimed the Father’s plan, was crucified though He was innocent, rose on the third day, ascended and was glorified. He fulfilled every prophecy about Himself.

And the Son now rules over all the earth. He rules powerfully, breaking those who reject Him with an iron rod, so that they are like smashed pottery.

My drug dealer husband had a black belt in Taekwondo karate. One night, he beat me to the point where I bled internally. Suddenly my plans to be my own ruler were shattered. I was shattered, physically. I was shattered, in every way.

I left him and was taken back in by my parents. After a couple of weeks, I mused in my bed in the night about divorce, and finally cried out to God, saying, “I don’t have the strength for this.” I heard Him say in my heart, “You have My strength,” and He broke one of the chains with which I had bound myself. He healed me of drug addiction, in a moment of time.

After that, I ignored Him for 18 years. I should have been grateful and turned to Him fully. But I had devised a new set of my own plans, and was determined to fulfill them. So, I still thought I could rule myself and could determine my own destiny, though my first attempt was an abysmal failure. I was too blind to see that I was still rebelling against Him.

Verses 10-12 —

Now therefore, O kings, show discernment (be wise); take warning (be corrected), O judges (leaders) of the earth.11 Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. 12 Do homage to (kiss) the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! 

O rebels of the earth, be wise! Accept correction, by these words, you who think you are kings and think you are leaders of the earth. What words?

Worship God the Father with reverential awe and healthy fear, for He is God and you are not. Rejoice when He breaks your self-made chains and gives you a new heart! Tremble at His great and awesome power to do it! 

Kiss the Son, for He is King and you are not! In the New Testament, when someone fell down before Jesus, they worshiped Him. The Greek word for worship is proskuneo, which means “to kiss toward.” So, kiss the Son by worshiping Him! Otherwise, He will become angry and you will perish, sentenced to hell, having chosen hell instead of Him. His wrath will be kindled. A day of judgment is coming, and He is the Judge (John 5:27-29)! 

When I was stricken with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1996, I had married my wonderful husband, Jeff, and was a successful business woman with a bachelor’s degree. But MS shattered me physically, and shattered my carefully planned career.

One day, in the midst of my pain and anguish, I suddenly knew that I needed God. And I began to see that ever since my first acts of rebellion, the Father had been drawing me, bringing me low so I would look up! I returned to Him, and believed into His Son, Jesus Christ.

From that time onward, I worshiped the Son with reverence — awe and a healthy fear. I knew He was King, and I was not. And I was glad to have Him rule over me! I found that His yoke was easy to bear, and His burden was light (Matthew 11:28-30). I was yoked with Him, and He was teaching me His ways! And I found rest for my soul!

I kissed the Son! Then I learned that I could know Him in a very personal and intimate way. So, I literally crawled down from the chair to the floor, on my face, crying, “Lord, I want to know You that way!” Five months later, He healed me of MS, in the middle of the night. Two months after that, He filled me with the Holy Spirit! 

This is the testimony of this former rebel —  

“How blessed are those who take refuge in Him!” He saved me, reconciled me! I obeyed and stayed and waited to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). My sin nature was crucified and my heart was purified (Galatians 5:24, Acts 1:4-5). Suddenly the last of my chains fell away — slavery to the sin nature that was the source of my rebellion! And suddenly, He gave me a new heart!

What is God’s response to rebels? If they stop rebelling against Him and turn to Him, He saves them and reconciles them, fills them with His Spirit, and sets them free! 

But if they choose to refuse Him and continue to rebel against Him, they will remain in chains of their own making, and He will judge them on the day of judgment. He will sentence them to eternal perishing, for that is what they have chosen. They have rejected Him, so He will reject them. It is righteous judgment.

I tell you the truth, I was like you, O rebel! I was king! But He brought me low. He humbled me. I pray He does the same to you, and that when you are as low as you can go, you no longer reject Him, but turn to Him. 

Lord Jesus, by the testimony You have given me and the words You have given me to speak, may many rebels see themselves and turn to You. Let it be so, I pray. Amen!


Text: Isaiah 64

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be this — “Handed Over For Punishment.” When God’s people and today’s believers continue to sin against the Lord, He hands them over for punishment for their sin. 

Why? So that when they hit bottom, they will look up, repent and return to Him. Surely, it is because of His lovingkindness that He offers repentance to them, just as He did me! Beloved, His lovingkindness to you is repentance!

I tell you the truth, I am amazed by His sinning people then, and often amazed at sinning believers today. Why? They know they have hit bottom because of their sin, yet they do not repent! You will see it in this passage, just as I see it every day, in today’s church.

Verses 1-2 —

His people ask Him to do as He has done in the past, despite the fact that they are sinning against Him and refuse to repent

Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence — 2 as fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil — to make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence!

His people want the LORD to show Himself great as He did at Mount Sinai, when their ancestors heard His voice and saw the mountain quake, and saw the smoke and fire at the top of the mountain (Exodus 19:16, 18-19, etc.). They expect Him to do it again, even though they continue to rebel against Him. They expect Him to consume and boil the ones they say are His adversaries — the Babylonians. 

But His own people are His adversaries! It was the LORD who called King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon His servant (Jeremiah 25:9). The LORD used Nebuchadnezzar to punish His rebellious people! Through His prophets, the LORD had warned of their fate, again and again (Jeremiah 26:5)! But they paid no attention to the warnings. 

As Israel went in to possess the land, their adversaries trembled, for the LORD made them victorious wherever they went, unless there was sin in the camp. If there was sin in the camp, they had no victory over their enemies. And if there is sin in you, He makes the same judgment against you that He did against Israel —

Joshua 7:11 “Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. 12 Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they (the sons of Israel) have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.”

Little children, He does not change — if there is sin in you, He will send Satan upon you to sift you like wheat (Luke 22:31). But again, His lovingkindness to you is repentance. 

If you will repent and return to the Lord, He will receive you, just as He would have received His people in the days of Isaiah, if they had repented and returned to Him. But they did not. And many of today’s sinning believers do not. They just go on sinning.

Verses 3-4 —

His people tell Him that they are waiting for Him to do what He has done in the past —

When You did awesome (fearsome, dreadful) things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence. 4 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts in behalf of the one who waits (who is pierced) for Him.

Well, His rebellious people got part of it right. He did many things that were fearsome, as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Paul recounts to the infants in Christ in Corinth (1Corinthians 3:1) that He destroyed many of His people because they rebelled —

1Corinthians 10:5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. 6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 

Indeed, no one had then or has now heard or understood or seen a God like the LORD, for He acts on behalf of the ones who are pierced for Him. What does the LORD mean? They are His bondservants, just as God described through His servant, Moses —

Exodus 21:2   “If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment. 5 “But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master . . . I will not go out as a free man,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.”

So, He acts on behalf of those whose ears He has pierced, the ones who are His bondservants who serve Him permanently, who say, “I love you, Lord. You have paid my debt, and I can go free, but I will not go. I know what You have done for me and in me, and I will serve you forever.

In case you wonder if that is really “for today,” Paul, John and others in the New Testament identify themselves as bondservants 11 times. It is a reference to being filled with the Spirit, for it is then that you serve Him and Him alone!

The many infants in Christ in today’s church are commanded by Jesus Christ to become His bondservants! And they will become what He commands, when they carry out His commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit!

Verse 5 —

Now His people confess their sin, yet they do not repent

You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways. Behold, You were angry (enraged), for we sinned, we continued in them a long time (continually); and shall we be saved?

He meets — meets with and acts on behalf of — those who rejoice in doing righteousness and follow Him, in all of His ways. He does not act on behalf of those who sin against Him. 

His rebellious people know that the LORD was and remains angry because they sinned and still sin. But my NAS Bible’s translation is lacking. They did not ask, “And shall we be saved?” They say, “We shall be saved!” They believe they will be saved, in spite of their rebellion against Him! 

I know many infants in Christ who are in pews and pulpits and denominational leadership positions who say the same. They have not yet died to sin — that is, their sin nature has not been crucified (Galatians 5:24) — yet they believe they will be saved by God’s grace, though they continue to sin. But here is Paul’s warning to you all —

Romans 6:1  What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Verse 6 —

His people understand that their outwardly righteous deeds are unclean, in His eyes, because while as they do such deeds, they continue to sin 

For all of us have become like one who is unclean (impure, polluted), and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment (menstrual cloth); and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities (inward perversity), like the wind, take us away (carry us away).

— They know their hearts are impure. They worship false gods (just as many of today’s believers worship the god of self, the root of all false gods). 

— They know that all of their outwardly righteous deeds are therefore like filthy menstrual cloths, entirely impure. 

— They know that their inward perversity, like the wind, carries them away from the LORD. 

Yet they do not repent, though He has sent His prophets again and again! They simply agree that their hearts are impure, but they do not return to the LORD and ask Him to forgive them and change their hearts! 

It is the same today, beloved. Even though infants in Christ confess that they know they are sinning, and know they have evil in their impure hearts, they continue to sin. 

Then and now, many are darkened in their hearts! Jesus Christ says that is a deep darkness (Matthew 6:23), a darkness that blinds them! 

But Jesus Christ is glad to remove your darkened heart from you, little children, when you carry out His commandments to stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5)! He will crucify your sin nature and fill you with His Holy Spirit, so sin is no longer in you!

Verse 7 —

His people say it is useless to try to reach Him, for He has hidden Himself from them. Again, it is His fault, for He is hiding

There is no one who calls on Your name, who arouses himself (wake up) to take hold of You (bind themselves to You); for You have hidden Your face (presence) from us and have delivered us into the power of our iniquities (handed us over because of our perverse sinfulness).

None of them can call on His name, for they are sinning against Him! None of them wake up and bind themselves to Him. Ah, it is useless, they say. He is not listening!

But it is their sin that has caused a separation between them and Him (Isaiah 59:1). 

Beloved, do you not know that He does not hear the prayers of sinners, then or now (John 9:31)? 

Yet He called His prophets then, and calls such ones as me today, to exhort you to repent of your sin and  warn you of the consequences of it. What is the consequence of refusing to repent for your sin? The same as with His people, in Isaiah’s day. The LORD hands them over to their enemies. 

He will hand you over to your enemy, Satan, to be sifted like wheat (Luke 22:31)! Some will look up from their punishment, and repent. That is His desire. Do you not know, sinning believer, that  He does not desire that any should perish, but that all come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). But if you continue to rebel, you will perish!

Verses 8-9 —

His people again claim them as their Father, and He made them, in the hope that He will act because He is their Father —

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand. 9 Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD, nor remember iniquity forever;  behold, look now, all of us are Your people.

His rebellious people again remind Him that He is their Father, just as they did in Isaiah 63:16. They say they are the work of His hand — He is their Creator, they say! Once again, they accuse Him of not being a good Father!

But they are sinning against Him, so He will hand them over for the punishment they have brought upon themselves, because of their rebellion.

Verses 10-11 —

His people tell Him what He already knows and sees. As I have said, He ordered their destruction through His servant, Nebuchadnezzar. Yet His people complain —

Your holy cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. 11 Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised You, has been burned by fire;  and all our precious (delightful) things have become a ruin.

It is a picture of the destruction of everything they held dear to their hearts. But the destruction came because they did not hold Him dear to their hearts! 

All that they took pride in and trusted in — His holy cities, Jerusalem, even His temple — are gone. The temple is burned to the ground. All of their natural possessions in which they delighted have become a ruin. It is because they did not delight in the LORD. 

So, their literal destruction comes because they neither held Him dear nor delighted in Him, their Father, the One who created them. Instead, they rebelled against Him. 

It is the same today, little children. When you sin, you reveal that you do not love Jesus Christ —

John 14:24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”

Your sin will destroy you, unless you repent and return to Him, and ask Him to cleanse your heart by filling you with His Holy Spirit! 

Verse 12 —

His people repeat their lament from Isaiah 63:15, but still, they do not repent 

Will You restrain Yourself at these things, O LORD? Will You keep silent and afflict us (deal harshly against us) beyond measure (exceedingly, intensely)? 

Will you hold back Your power, LORD? Will you deprive us of what we think you should do for us? He would deliver them, if they would repent!

Do you see that they accuse Him of not answering them? Why does He keep silent? They are His children, whom He created! Why does He deal exceedingly and intensely harshly against them? He is doing wrong against them!

It is because of their sin, which they know and confess that they are committing! Yet they do not repent!

It is the same today, little one. Is He dealing intensely harshly against you? Have you accused Him being wrong to do it, like His people in this passage? Then repent! He offers you the opportunity to come back to Him. But it is a limited time offer —

Isaiah 55:6  Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; 

and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

I have shown you what you must do. If you have done it, as I did, you will rejoice at this message, for the Lord has crucified your sin nature and filled you with the Holy Spirit, so you no longer rebel against Him.
I have shown you the cure for your rebellion, beloved. So, repent and ask Him to do it! Amen!

Lord Jesus, may many infants in Christ see themselves in Isaiah 64, and repent and ask You to apply Your glorious cure. Let it be so I pray. Amen!


[SW437] 06/28/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“Condemned Murderer Set Free!”

Texts: John 8:31-32, 34–36; Acts 9:1-19a

What a headline! A condemned murderer — one who boasted that he had murdered many Christians — was set free! Who was this murderer? Why did he commit murder? Who judged and condemned him? Who set him free? From what was he set free? Why was he set free?

Jesus Christ says this about the kind of freedom that He commands all believers to receive —

John 8:31   So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 34  “. . . Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

But how could Christ’s promise apply to one who did not believe into Him, and one who boasted that he murdered many Christians, and how could it apply even to me — one who murdered the Lord? I will show you, from Acts 9!

Who was this murderer, and why did he commit murder?

Verses 1-2 —

Now Saul (Paul’s Jewish name, per Acts 13:9), still breathing (animated by) threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Paul was animated by his hatred of Christians. He lived and breathed his hatred. He was on a mission to murder them. Nothing could stop him. 

He asked for letters from the high priest, authorizing him to capture Christians in Damascus, put them in chains, and bring them to Jerusalem. 

There, these innocent ones would be judged as guilty and thrown in the city’s Roman prison, to await death by whatever depraved means the Romans chose.

Why did Paul murder Christians? His sin nature was alive and well, so he did what was right in his own eyes. That is what all sinners do.  

So, because his sin nature was alive and well, Paul was a sinner, a murderer. He was driven by his sin nature to destroy all Christians and erase all evidence of them and of Jesus Christ.

Who judged and condemned him?

He was found guilty and condemned to hell by Jesus Christ because he brazenly sent those who were His to their deaths. Their blood was on his hands.

There was no question that he was guilty of murder — as I have said, he boasted of how many he had sent to prison, to await death at the hands of the Romans. And he stood by in approval, when they were stoned in his presence. 

For all his great knowledge about the Lord, he did not know Him. How do I know that? He spoke of his “great knowledge” and confessed that he did not know Him, in Philippians 3:5-8. 

If he had known the Lord, he never would have murdered those who belong to the Lord. He thought he was murdering blasphemers of God, but he was fighting against God!

The wages of sin was and still is death, both for those who do not know the Lord, and for infants in Christ who continue to sin after they are saved (Romans 6:23, 1Corinthians 6:10). So, Paul stood condemned to hell because of his own actions.

Who set Paul free? 

Verses 3-6 —

As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city (Damascus), and it will be told you what you must do.” 

Paul had a powerful encounter with Jesus Christ. The Lord came in His great light, Saul fell to the ground, and Jesus asked Paul why he was persecuting Him. 

Paul did not recognize Him, though he knew the light was from heaven. So he asked Jesus to identify Himself. He did, and told Paul he was persecuting Him.

Paul suddenly realized he had been fighting against God! So, when the Lord commanded Paul to get up and enter the city of Damascus, where he would receive instructions from the Lord, Paul immediately obeyed. He was on his way to being set free from slavery to sin — from his sin nature —  by Jesus Christ!

Verses 7-9 —

The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

The others heard but did not see Jesus. Paul got up, unable to see. This proud Pharisee had been brought low, blinded, and had to be led by the hand to the place he was to stay and wait. And he prayed and fasted, in repentance. It was the next step toward freedom!

Verses 10-12 —

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” 

While Paul prayed and fasted, Jesus visited Ananias in a vision in which He gave him Paul’s specific location, and told him to ask for Paul, for Paul was praying. Jesus told Ananias that He had given Paul a vision in which Ananias come and lay his hands on him, so Paul would regain his physical sight.

Verses 13-14 —

But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 

Ananias was incredulous. Paul was a murderer of Christians! He had done great harm to the believers at Jerusalem. Jesus already knew all of that.

Verses 15-16 —

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear (carry, proclaim) My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 

16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 

The Lord commanded Ananias to go, saying this condemned murderer is His chosen instrument, to bear His name (to carry it and proclaim it) before Gentiles and kings, and the Jews. And He told Ananias that He would show Paul how much Paul would suffer, because he would be severely persecuted for his faith in Jesus.

How was Paul set free?

Verse 17-19a —

So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; 19 and he took food and was strengthened . . . 

Paul was set free by Jesus Christ when Ananias laid hands on him so he was filled with the Holy Spirit, suddenly, in a moment of time. That is how I was set free, and it is how all infants in Christ can be set free, if they will obey His commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5)! 

Suddenly, in a moment of time, Jesus Christ set Paul free from slavery to sin, for his sin nature was crucified (Galatians 5:24), and his heart was purified (Acts 15:9)!

Suddenly, in a moment of time, Jesus Christ healed Paul’s eyes! Thus, Jesus made him physically able to travel throughout the known world, carrying His name and proclaiming His great gospel!

Suddenly, in a moment of time, Paul could spiritually see, for he was permanently and completely filled with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (John 14:24)! 

Suddenly, in a moment of time, Paul became a partaker of the divine nature (2Peter 1:4)! 

Suddenly, in a moment of time, Paul became one through whom the world would believe that the Father sent the Son (John 17:21)!

Suddenly! Jesus Christ always works that way. The resulting transformation of a human heart is a testimony that He is who He says He is, and He is worthy of great praise and glory for setting free condemned murderers like Paul and me!

An Exhortation and Warning for Today’s So-Called Church

As I said in the beginning of this message, I murdered Jesus Christ. I did not like the real Jesus, so I changed Him into something I liked, and mixed Him together with other religions. I wanted nothing to do with the real Jesus, and mocked and rejected those who tried to tell me about Him.

In today’s so-called church, there are many who are like I was. Many false teachers and leaders murder Jesus by transforming Him into a Jesus of their own making. 

They teach another Jesus (2Corinthians 11:4). Their goal is not only to murder the real Jesus, but to destroy those who love and teach the real Jesus, and erase all evidence of them, and of the real Jesus.

They boast that they know what the Word of God really says, and who Jesus really is. Their false Jesus is tailor-made to please the god of self which they worship, and which they teach infants in Christ to worship. The infants believe them, because these false ones say they know the real truth.

What they teach is called the “Me gospel,” Jesus came to make my life better, to make me successful and happy. He is required to do what I ask, when I pray. He does not care if I sin. Once I am saved, I am always saved. 

But it is not only the false leaders and teachers who murder Jesus. Many infants in Christ actively participate in the murder of Jesus Christ because they love the “Me gospel.” They love the murdered Jesus that they are taught by their leaders and teachers. 

As if that is not wicked enough, they directly murder Him themselves. How? They tell everyone they love their false Jesus, but murder the reputation of Jesus Christ with their sinful, rebellious actions against Him. 

Unless they repent, both they and their false teachers and leaders will stand before the Lord, in the day of judgment. And He will condemn them to hell, for murdering Him.

But I pray that today’s superabundance of false leaders and teachers are suddenly confronted by Jesus Christ, just as Paul was. I pray He make them fall to the ground during their murderous “missionary trips” and “revivals.” I pray they be blinded by His light, so they can see nothing until they repent. Surely, if they do, He will send someone like Ananias to open their eyes and fill them with the Holy Spirit. 

I pray the same for the infants in Christ who loves the false Jesus they teach. I pray He suddenly confronts them as they relentlessly continue to murder Him with their words and actions that are completely contrary to His nature. I pray they be blinded by His light, so they can see nothing until they repent. Surely, if they do, He will send someone like Ananias to open their eyes and fill them with the Holy Spirit.

A couple of years ago, I attended a so-called church filled with infants. One day, as I interceded for the infants and leaders and teachers, the Lord gave me a vision. I saw the sanctuary, and heard Him say, “I will bring My light into this place. When they see My light, they will cry, ‘What is this light? We have not seen it.’  And they will fall down on their faces, and repent, and worship Me.” I pray for the day when the vision comes to pass, for I will rejoice greatly when they finally see His light!

Lord Jesus, may this word go forth in Your power, to convict many murderers in the so-called church of their murderous ways, so they repent and are set free. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.


Text: Isaiah 63

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be this — “His Lovingkindness.” The Lord’s lovingkindness — His hesed, His divine love, is extended to the repentant ones, beloved, and they are blessed by Him. 

But to the rebellious, then and now, His lovingkindness is that He holds out His hands all day long to them, and you —

Isaiah 65:2 “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts . . .” 

His hands are extended, waiting for them and you to repent and return to Him. That is His lovingkindness to the rebellious (Romans 2:4). 

In Verses 1-6, Isaiah sees a vision of the final judgment, by Jesus Christ. In Verses 7-9, Isaiah reflects on the history of the LORD’s lovingkindness to the repentant. And in Verse 10-19, the LORD’s rebellious people remember how He saved them in the past, and cry out for Him to return. Then they blame Him for their sin!!!

Verses 1-2 —

The LORD gives Isaiah this vision of Jesus Christ —

Who is this who comes from Edom, with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, 

this One who is majestic in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? 

“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is Your apparel red, 

and Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?

Bozrah is the capital of Edom, a natural enemy of Israel. Seen from a distance, the one who comes from there appears to have majestic, brilliantly colored clothing. He marches as a king marches in victory. And He is alone.

He speaks in righteousness (judges rightly), mighty to save (abundantly able to set free). So, the picture here is of the destruction of an enemy, by a king who can do it without an army. So, he is not a natural king. This king marches in the greatness of his might (the abundance of his power). 

As this victorious king gets closer, Isaiah sees that His garments are actually red, like one who treads the wine press. The juice of the grapes stains the clothing of the treader. So he asks this glorious king, Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads the wine press? 

Who is this one? Jesus Christ —

Revelation 19:15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

He is King and Lord over the kings and lords of all the peoples of the earth. And He will trample all who rebel against Him, as if they were grapes in a winepress. He is the One who judges rightly, Jesus Christ, the One who sets free all who are slaves to sin (John 8:31-36)!

Verses 3-4 —

Jesus Christ answers Isaiah, saying, “I have trodden the wine trough alone, and from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger 

and trampled them in My wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, and I stained all My raiment. 4 For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption (literally, My redeemed) has come.”

Note that Jesus Christ has trodden the wine trough of God’s wrath alone. No man was with Him. He treads the winepress of God’s wrath, in righteous anger. He is the only One who is able to do it.

As for the red that is on His garments, Jesus Christ graphically says it is the blood of those He has trampled in His wrath. Who has He trampled? Those who rebel against Him — including today’s sinning believers. In the process of trampling them, their blood was splashed onto His clothing, and has stained them.
Why has He done it? Worshipers of the world system that defies God have chosen to refuse and reject Him. Sinning believers have chosen to rebel against Him. 

It is a picture of what will happen on the day of vengeance that He spoke about in Isaiah 61:2 — the day of the final judgment of God, at the end of things. And His Father has appointed Him as Judge (John 5:22). 

But for His repentant redeemed ones, the end times are the “year,” the time of their redemption and adoption for which they have been prepared — 

Romans 8:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits (the infilling) of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 

How have they been prepared? Their sin nature is crucified (Galatians 5:24), and they are filled with the Spirit, so they are victorious over the power of sin and the power of the devil. They are the overcomers of whom Jesus writes in Revelation 2 and 3.

Verses 5-6 —

Jesus Christ continues speaking —

“I looked, and there was no one to help (aid), and I was astonished (stunned) and there was no one to uphold (sustain, strength); so My own arm  (power) brought salvation to Me (delivered Me), and My wrath upheld Me (made Me stand fast). 

6 I trod down the peoples in My anger  and made them drunk in My wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

His words echo what He spoke in Isaiah 59:16-17. He was left alone; all who followed Him — even the Eleven — abandoned Him, just as He said in John 16:23). The twelfth disciple, Judas, had already betrayed Him. 

These words reflect His perpetual horror and aversion to sin, not surprise. He knew from the beginning that He would be abandoned by all but the Father —

John 16:32 “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”

But though He knew it would happen, He was struck by how quickly they abandoned Him, after He was arrested. They were afraid they would be arrested, too. Yet when He was about to be arrested, they wanted to use swords to fight to keep Him from being taken. And He said to them —

Matthew 26:54 “How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”

Again, His own arm delivered Him, emphasizing that only the Lord can deliver! Only He could deliver Himself from death, rising on the third day. Only He can save you from God’s wrath, reconcile you to God, and make you a victor over the power of sin, beloved!

His wrath over His enemies makes Him stand fast, in this end-time view. In His wrath, He has trampled underfoot those who rebel against Him. He has made them drunk — that is, as He loosed His wrath upon them, they staggered and fainted like those who are drunk. 

And indeed, in the day of judgment, their lifeblood will be poured out on the earth, for they have refused to receive His lifeblood which He poured on the earth to save them from God’s wrath. How ironic! By refusing His lifeblood, they chose to face His wrath and the loss of their own lifeblood! 

Verse 7 —

Isaiah sings a hymn of praise for the LORD’s divine love toward His people, to remind God’s people of His divine love —

I shall make mention of (give a record of) the lovingkindnesses (hesed, divine love) of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has granted them according to His compassion (deep inner stirring) and according to the abundance of His lovingkindnesses.

NOTE: The New Testament equivalent of hesed, the divine love of God, is agape, which also means the divine love of God, the same love the Father has for the Son.

Isaiah reminds His people that they should repent and praise Him for His divine love toward Israel. And if you are an infant in Christ who rebels against Him (see 1Corinthians 3:1-2), you must repent and do the same! 

He granted them and you salvation — theirs was natural salvation from slavery in Egypt, and He offers you and them salvation from His wrath and reconciliation to Him when you and they believe in Jesus Christ, and deliverance from your sin nature when you and they are filled with His Spirit!

The goodness He has granted to the house of Israel, and to you, is not like human goodness. His goodness is great — abundant and mighty (divinely powerful)! 

He did not grant them and you His abundant and mighty goodness according to the compassion (mercy) humans have. He gives it according to His compassion, His mercy which emanates from the very depths of Himself.

And this great goodness and compassion that He has granted Israel and you is because of the abundance of His hesed.

He has done it, though He knows they and you will deal falsely with Him. But all day long, He holds out His hands to them, calling them to repent and return to Him! His repentance is a gift from Him, because of His hesed, His divine love. If they will repent, He will restore their relationship with Him.

Verses 8-9 —

Isaiah continues to speak of the LORD’s compassion toward His people if they do not deal falsely with Him, for He says —

“Surely, they are My people, sons who will not deal falsely.” So He became their Savior (Deliverer). 9 In all their affliction (troubles) He was afflicted (troubled), and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

He bestowed His divine love upon Israel and upon you, with the condition that they would not deal falsely with Him. Surely, that would be foolish of them and  you, for He has blessed them and you with His divine love and great goodness and compassion! 

He became Israel’s Savior, delivering them from Egyptian slavery. He looked and saw the punishment they endured from their Egyptian masters, and He was troubled by their troubles, as He told Moses —

Exodus 3:9 “Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.”

The angel of His presence — the angel that came to destroy all the firstborn of Egypt — set them free, for after all the human and animal firstborn of all Egypt had been destroyed, Egypt wanted all the Jews to leave, immediately!

In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them from slavery. Slaves are bought and sold. He bought them back, through the ten great plagues that judged Egypt’s gods, ending with the destruction of all of Egypt’s firstborn. 

Beloved, Jesus Christ redeemed you — He bought you back from your past sins — on the cross. And surely, He will deliver you from slavery to your sin nature, if you will believe His promise (again, John 8:31-36) and stay and wait until it is done (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5).

Verse 10 —

So the LORD showed Israel great favor, but Isaiah reminds His people that the LORD removed His favor from the rebellious, for they became His enemies —

But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them.

They rebelled against Him, and grieved His Holy Spirit. This is the first mention of the Holy Spirit as a person — a part of God who is grieved in the same way the Father and the Son are grieved.

Does “grieve” mean they made Him cry? No! “grieved” literally means stabbed. They stabbed Him. Therefore, He withdrew far away from them, because their sin caused a separation between the LORD and them (Isaiah 59:1-2). 

It is the same for sinning believers today, beloved! Do you not know that you are stabbing God the Holy Spirit? Do you not know that by your sin, you have caused a separation between you and the Lord?

Verses 11-12 —

Isaiah commands his people to remember the history of the LORD’s faithfulness as their Shepherd who protected them — 

Then His people remembered the days of old, of Moses. Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them (literally near him, that is, Moses), 12 Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, Who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name . . . 

Literally, it is “Remember,” not “Then His people remembered!” It is a command! The LORD did so many miracles on behalf of His people! He parted the seas for them! He was their Shepherd! He also gave them shepherds — even Moses and then Joshua! He brought His Holy Spirit near to Moses! 

Moses had the LORD’s glorious power at his right hand, when Moses parted the sea! And the name of the LORD was glorified, for it was a divine act — a miracle. The Spirit-filled writer of Hebrews says —

Hebrews 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.

Verses 13-14 — 

Isaiah continues —

. . . Who led them through the depths? Like the horse in the wilderness, they did not stumble; 14 As the cattle which go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So You led Your people, to make for Yourself a glorious name.

Remember who led them through the depths of the Red Sea, Isaiah says! They went through on dry ground! 

He made them as strong as a wild horse in the wilderness! They did not faint or fall in the wilderness, except for those who were judged by the Lord for rebelling against Him! 

As the cattle go down into the valley to feed and rest, He gave them rest, even in the wilderness, and then in the promised land. He led them. He was glorified by all peoples because all that He did was divinely miraculous! He was faithful to His people!

Verse 15 —

Rebellious Judah and the rebellious remnant of Israel who were with them did not remember and praise Him, though. Instead, they accused Him —

Look down from heaven and see from Your holy and glorious habitation; where are Your zeal and Your mighty deeds? The stirrings of Your heart and Your compassion (mercies) are restrained (held back) toward me.

LORD, You are in heaven, the holy and glorious place that You dwell. Do You not see our predicament? Do You not see that our enemies are at the gate? Do You not see that Babylon is about to breach the walls? 

Where are Your zeal and Your mighty deeds? You did them then — why are You not doing them now? 

Where are Your mercies? Why are You holding them back from us? 

Do you see it, beloved? They told the LORD that He was being unfaithful to them! He was not doing what He should do for them! Thus, they judged Him! But they were the ones worthy of judgment, for they had been unfaithful to Him!

Beloved, do you do the same as Judah? Do you think the Lord should do everything He promises, even though you rebel against Him? If you do these things, you are judging Him and calling Him unfaithful, but you are the one who is unfaithful and you will be judged by the Lord, unless you repent.

Verses 16-17 —

The LORD’s people began to beg, calling Him Father. But then they blamed Him for their rebellion —

For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us (literally, see us, know us intimately) us and Israel (that is, Jacob) does not recognize (see us) us. You, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer (next of kin) from of old is Your name. 17  Why, O LORD, do You cause us to stray from Your ways and harden our heart from fearing You? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage.

His rebellious people said, “You are our Father!” Abraham was their natural father, their ancestor who walked the land, as the Lord showed it to him. But God is their Father, as King David declared in 1Chronicles 29:10, for He “birthed” Israel when He chose them to be His people. Abraham and Jacob did not know their descendants personally, and never saw them. 

By their words, they accused Him, saying “You, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from old!” Thus they said, “You are abandoning Your children! You have not redeemed us from the Babylonian invasion!”

Then they blamed the LORD for their rebellion! Why do You cause us to stray from Your ways? Why do You harden our heart from fearing You?

Certainly, the LORD had said to Isaiah —

Isaiah 6:9  He said, “Go and tell this people: ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

The LORD called Isaiah to tell His people that their hearts were hardened. And when Isaiah told them, the LORD said their hearts would become even more calloused, their ears more deaf, and their eyes more blind. It was His judgment on those who refused to turn and be healed of their sin.

His rebellious people chose to turn away from the LORD and worship false gods and their idols! And in the days when Jesus Christ walked the earth, many of His people chose to reject Him! 

As I have said, the root of false gods and idol worship is the god of self. In Isaiah’s day, God’s people worshiped false gods because they loved the evil things these so-called gods required them to do. The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day pridefully exalted themselves and their outward holiness. Thus, they all worshiped the god of self.

Beloved, it is the same today! The “Me gospel” is preached from many pulpits. “What’s in it for me, Jesus, if I believe into You? How will You bless me? How will You make my life better for me?” Believers are thus encouraged to worship the god of self!

Verses 18-19 —

Your holy people possessed Your sanctuary for a little while; our adversaries have trodden it down. 19 We have become like those over whom You have never ruled, 

like those who were not called by Your name.

Once again, His rebellious people accuse Him of abandoning them! We were your holy people! Your temple was in Jerusalem! But now it is in ruins! 

It certainly was! The Babylonians burned it to the ground. And in 70 A.D., the Romans burned the second temple to the ground, for His people still rebelled against Him, denying that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ!

His people say, We were part of Your kingdom. You were our King! Where are you? You ruled over us! We were Your people, but now you do not treat us as Your people! 

But they chose to rebel against His rule! They chose to follow false gods! They chose to sin against Him. They chose to cause a separation between Him and them! What did they expect? They were warned again and again, by His prophets (see Jeremiah 26:5, etc).

Just as it was then, the LORD speaks through those He sends to His people. They exhort today’s unbelieving Jews, and today’s infants in Christ, calling them to repent. They exhort them regarding their sin, and warn them of its consequences. And they are mocked, just as in the days of Isaiah, and just as in the days of Christ. 

Again, just as it was in the days of Isaiah, today’s sinning infants in Christ judge the Lord when things do not go the way they think they should. Just as it was in the days of Isaiah, they accuse Him of being unfaithful, complaining that He is not treating them fairly. 

Beloved, if you see yourself in the foolish words of God’s people in this passage, repent for your sin against Him! He has great compassion for those who will repent and return to Him! Ask the Lord to forgive you, and ask Him to crucify your sin nature and fill you with His Holy Spirit! Then you will not sin against Him any more.

Lord Jesus, may the hearts of many infants in Christ be pierced by the words you have given me, so they repent! I pray it in Your name! Amen!