BEHOLD MY SERVANTS

[SW487] 07/31/2021 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

Behold My Servants

Text: Isaiah 65:1, 8-16, etc.

Behold My servants, Jesus Christ says to today’s church! Pay attention, He says! If you observe them, you will see what He does in and through those who are His servants, and you will see their reward from Him! And He will also show you the consequences if you serve yourself and not Him.

Who are His servants? 

Isaiah 65:1 “I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; 

I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. 

I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ 

To a nation which did not call on My name.”

What? He permits Himself to be sought by those who did not ask? He permits Himself to be found by those who do not seek Him? It is true! That was me! 

My so-called church did not show me what He gladly does in and through those who ask Him. So I had not asked for Him. They did not urge me to seek Him. So I had not sought Him. 

I was not taught that I must call on His name so He makes me His servant. So I did not call on His name — until I caught a glimpse of the real Jesus, and found out I could know Him intimately! Then I asked, sought, and called upon Him.

So who are His true servants? They dwell with those who are not His servants. But within His servants is a blessing, because they have obeyed His commandments regarding the Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), and are filled with Him! 

Behold His servants —

Isaiah 65:8 Thus says the LORD, 

“As the new wine (the infilling of the Holy Spirit) is found in the cluster, 

And one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is benefit in it (blessing within it) So I will act on behalf of My servants (the blessings within it)

In order not to destroy all of them (all of His people).

9  “I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, 

And an heir of My mountain (heavenly Mount Zion) from Judah; 

Even My chosen ones shall inherit it, 

And My servants will dwell there.

Through Christ, His servants become heirs with Him, sons and daughters of the Father (Romans 8:17) who inherit heaven! His servants are His chosen ones because they answered when He said, “Here am I, Here am I!”  

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.

Who are His servants? Behold! His servants are His people who seek Him! The Lord is their Shepherd, and no other! He makes them lie down in His pasture, He leads them to waters of rest, where they no longer work, but He works through them.

But behold! Who are not His servants, and what will happen to them?  

11  “But you who forsake the LORD, 

Who forget My holy mountain, 

Who set a table for Fortune (the false god Gad), 

And who fill cups with mixed wine for Destiny (the false god Meni),

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.”

You who do not serve Him in today’s so-called church will say, “What? I have gone to church all my life! I do not follow false gods!” But you have forsaken Him and forgotten Him. You believe in another Jesus (2Corinthians 11:4) who will give you what you want and require nothing of you.

You love the world and the things of the world. You love to do what pleases you, and not what pleases God. So you have made yourself your own god. You serve yourself, not Him.

So, you who do not serve Him will be judged by Him. In the day of judgment, you will perish. Why? The real Jesus Christ called, but you did not answer! He spoke but you did not hear (you plugged your ears) How strange! Those who were far from Him heard and answered, but you did not! 

Instead, you did evil. You did not obey His commandments to be filled with the Holy Spirit. So your heart remained wide open to all of Satan’s evil plans and you were caught in his snare! You chose it. 

But before the day of judgment, while they are yet on the earth, what will happen to His servants? What will happen to those who are not His servants?

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 

(do not be like His disobedient servants whom the He has made hungry, thirsty, and shamed when their sin is discovered), 

And the Lord GOD will slay you (He Himself will put you to death in hell, in the day of judgment).

But My servants will be called by another name (their name will not be used as a curse)

Why will the name of His servants not be used as a curse? Because they are blessed! He has made them blessings by filling them, so He calls them blessed!

16  “Because he who is blessed in the earth (obediently filled)

Will be blessed by the God of truth; 

And he who swears in the earth 

Will swear by the God of truth; (because they are filled with Him)

Because the former troubles are forgotten, (sin is forgotten because their sin nature is crucified, per Galatians 5:24)

And because they are hidden from My sight!” 

Here is the final outcome for His servants! Behold them!

Behold His servants! They obey Him —

Matthew 25:14   “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 “To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16 “Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 “In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.”

Behold those who are not His servants! They disobey Him —

18 “But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.”

Behold! Jesus Christ announces the final outcome for those who are His servants, in the day of judgment  — 

Matthew 25:19   “Now after a long time the master of those slaves  came and  settled accounts with them. 20 “The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21 “His master said to him, ‘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.’”

It was the same for His servant who had received and multiplied His two talents, in Matthew 25:22-23. But behold! He also announces the final outcome for those who are not His servants, in the day of judgment —

Matthew 25:24   “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25 ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’”

Matthew 25:26   “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27 ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28 ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’”

Matthew 25:29   “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have (because he does not obey), even what he does have (salvation from the Lord) shall be taken away. 30Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness (hell); in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Therefore, you who are His servants, rejoice! And you who are not His servants, repent! Amen, Lord Jesus!

HEAR, YOU DEAF!

[SW486] 07/24/2021 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

Hear, You Deaf!

Note to those who read my blog — I am again doing abbreviated notes for my sermons, because of my shoulder surgery. The Lord is strengthening me, but I find that extensive typing on my computer can be a problem. So, on the right side of my blog page, click on the Youtube link, and watch and listen!

Text: Isaiah 42:18-25, etc.

I will read this passage to you, to begin with.

Strong words! To whom does the Lord say this? 

To His people Judah, and to today’s so-called church! But don’t they call themselves His servants? Aren’t those words shocking to the church which sins greatly against Him though they say they are His?

They will say, “Wait a minute! Don’t we get a “pass” regarding our sin? Aren’t we once saved always saved?” They will also say, “Won’t we hear ‘Well done’ when we stand before Jesus Christ on the day of judgment, because we are ‘His 

people?’”

They will say, “We can hear and see!” But their actions contradict their words. By claiming they can hear and see, they condemn themselves —

John 9:40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

Foolish ones! You do not “get a pass” any more than Judah did. He will judge you.

Why? You have made yourself deaf to His words! And you have made yourself blind to your spiritual condition, just as Judah did in the days of Isaiah!

You do not want to hear the truth. You would rather believe lies that assure you that you are saved, regardless of your continued sin.

Have you not read Jesus Christ’s words from Matthew 7:23 and Matthew 25?

Matthew 7:23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE (do) LAWLESSNESS (sin).’”

Matthew 25:12 “But he answered (the five virgins who were not ready) “Truly I say to you, I do not know you.”

So I exhort you regarding your sin and warn you of the consequences of it. That is what He has sent me to do. So I will teach you from the verses I read from Isaiah 42  —

Isaiah 42:18 Hear, you deaf! And look, you blind, that you may see.

19 Who is blind but My servant, or so deaf as My messenger whom I send? 

Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me, (who thinks he is at peace with the LORD) or so blind as the servant of the LORD (servants who do not serve Him, but serve themselves)?

You are deaf. You are blind. You think you are at peace with Him. You think you are His servants, but you do not serve Him or obey Him. 

He continues to reveal the condition of Judah and the church —

Isaiah 42:20 You have seen many things, but you do not observe them (take heed, acting upon); Your ears are open, but none hears.

To what should they have taken heed and acted upon? His law, His Word! 

Isaiah 42:21 The LORD was pleased for His righteousness’ sake to make the law great and glorious.

But His people ignored His law and His Word. They ignore His words spoken through His prophets!

Here is the result  —

Isaiah 42:22 But this is a people plundered (looted) and despoiled (ruined); all of them are trapped in caves, or are hidden away in prisons (Babylonian invasion captivity in view); they have become a prey (of the lion who seeks to devour) with none to deliver them, and a spoil (stolen) with none to say, “Give them back!”

But won’t the LORD say, “Give them back?” No! They are under His judgment. 

Listen and be stunned —

Isaiah 42:23  Who among you will give ear to this? Who will give heed and listen hereafter? 24 Who gave Jacob up for spoil, and Israel to plunderers? Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned, and in whose ways they were not willing to walk, and whose law they did not obey?

The Lord will not say, “Give them back,” because Judah left Him for false gods. The church has left Him for the god of self, the god of this world, worldly treasures Truly, they reveal their hearts by revealing what they treasure! (See Matthew 6:19-21)

They do not serve Him, but expect to be served by Him. They have left Him and refused to repent and return to Him, so He has left them. It is His righteous judgment. 

He sent Judah into captivity, at the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, His servant (Jeremiah 25:9). Judah was defenseless against the king of Babylon because he was chosen by the LORD to administer His judgment to His people! 

The so-called church has been captured by the god of this world, Satan. They had no defense against him, because Jesus Christ allowed Satan to administer His judgment against sinning Christians. Do you not recall Him saying Satan asked permission to sift Peter like wheat (Luke 22:31)?

Sinning Christians have no defense against Satan, for they have mocked and ignored Jesus Christ’s commandments regarding the Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). So they fall into Satan’s hands. They have chosen it for themselves.

Though the Lord judges them, they remain blind to the truth that they are under His judgment, just as with Judah —

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.

You may say that this was just for the Old Testament, and that it does not apply today. But listen to Jesus Christ’s words to His disciples

Mark 9:43 “If your hand causes you to stumble (entices you to sin), cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, 44 [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] 45 “If your foot causes you to stumble (entices you to sin), cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, 46 [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] 47 “If your eye causes you to stumble (entices you to sin), throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, 48 where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.”

Yet all the sinning people in today’s so-called church do not see that they are already on fire (they are judged), and that hell awaits them if they do not repent. Why do they not see that they are already judged by Jesus Christ? Because they do not want to see it. They would rather believe the lies of the so-called church than believe the truth of His words!

Therefore, obey the Lord! Obey His commandments regarding the Spirit, and He will crucify your sin nature and purify your heart. He and the Father and the Spirit will permanently and fully indwell you. Then sin is no longer in you, so you no longer sin. 

Some theologians will say that such a thing is impossible. They will say it is a lie, and call me a heretic. They will dance around it, saying ,“Well it is possible not to sin, in a given situation. But you will still sin.” 

But in saying such things, they defy Jesus Christ’s words —

John 8:34   Jesus answered them, “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 (literally, when) the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed (completely free).”

They defy His promise of complete freedom from slavery to sin! So such theologians will be judged by Jesus Christ, for they will lead sinning believers to be condemned, in the day of judgment. Shame on them!

Therefore, repent! Amen, Lord Jesus!

GLORIFIED!

[SW485] 07/17/2021 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

Glorified!

Text: 2Chronicles 5:11-14, Isaiah 55:1-6

From my last two messages, you now know that you have the written instructions in order to become temples of the Lord, straight from Jesus Christ’s mouth. 

You now know that He and the Father and the Spirit will not come into a temple that is not cleansed. 

You now know that if you are not cleansed by Him inwardly, it is impossible to worship in Spirit and in truth, as God requires. 

And from past messages, you know that you cannot be His witness here, one through whom the world will believe that the Father sent the Son, unless you are filled with the Spirit (Acts 1:8, John 17:21).

Now the Lord has asked me to teach you what it is to be glorified by Him. Oh! To be glorified by Him! It is powerful, it is instantaneous, and it makes you shine with His glory —  His kabod, His weighty presence —  because He permanently and fully indwells you. His purpose in glorifying you in this way is that you would become His witness here, one through whom the world will believe that the Father sent the Son!

But you should be horrified to learn that many who do not know Him but go to church — everyone from leaders to those in the pews — have no idea what it means to be glorified. They do not know it is God who does it. They think it is to receive many compliments for your leadership style and success, while you teach lies.

They will say that to be glorified is to have Him say, “Well done,” when you stand before Him, even though you have continued to sin after hearing the truth. 

No lamp will light unless it is connected to an electrical source. When you throw the switch, the lamp is electrified and lights up. That is the simple truth.

When you are glorified because you have obeyed Jesus Christ’s commandments regarding the Spirit, He throws the switch and you are lit up by His glory which permanently and fully comes to dwell within you. That is what it is to be glorified, and it is for here and now

Only if  you are glorified here and now will you hear, “Well done,” when you stand before Him. If you are not glorified here and now, sin still remains in your heart. You have disobeyed Jesus Christ. He will judge such ones.

As I have taught you, David had received written instructions from the Lord regarding all aspects of the temple. When Solomon finished building it, no one had defiled it yet. The priests and Levites who would lead worship outwardly cleansed themselves thoroughly, so they would not defile it (2Chronicles 5:11).

So, when everyone came and worshiped the Lord, His presence came down in the form of a cloud. The cloud of His glory filled the temple! And under its tremendous spiritual weight, and under the full realization that God is real — the priests and Levites fell on their faces. They could not stand up to minister to the people —

2Chronicles 5:11   When the priests came forth from the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without regard to divisions), 12 and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and kinsmen, clothed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps and lyres, standing east of the altar, and with them one hundred and twenty priests blowing trumpets 13 in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the LORD saying,He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,” then the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.

It is an Old Testament preview of what happens when His glory fills a human temple. You become filled with His presence — again, permanently and fully. He does not leak out, as some foolish preachers preach. 

He inwardly cleanses you from your sin nature and purifies your heart (Galatians 5:24, Acts 15:9)! He fully indwells you so that you become an endless fountain of living water within you (John 4:14), and continually glorify Him because you are filled with Him! 

But here is the difference — the priests and Levites could not remain standing when the cloud of God’s glory filled the temple. But you remain standing when He fills you with His glory, because His purpose in filling you is so that He ministers through you to everyone you meet. 

You forever rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory (1Peter 1:8), you are permanently lit with His light so nations and kings come to it (Isaiah 60:1-3), He continually flows from your belly like rushing, flood stage rivers of living water (John 7:37-39) — I could go on and on!

Oh, church filled with fools! Repent and do as Jesus Christ commands you (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5. It is when you repent that He will glorify you —

Isaiah 55:1 “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters (John 7:37); 

And you who have no money come, buy and eat. 

Come, buy wine and milk 

Without money and without cost.

2  Why do you spend money for what is not bread, 

And your wages for what does not satisfy? 

Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good (inwardly eat His truth).

And delight yourself in abundance (His abundant presence within you).”

3  “Incline your ear and come to Me (submit to my truth and obey Me). 

Listen, that you may live

And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, 

According to the faithful mercies shown to David.”

Here is His promise to those who listen carefully and eat what is good —

Isaiah 55:5 “Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, 

And a nation which knows you not will run to you (Isaiah 60:1-3), 

Because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel; 

For He has glorified you.”

But you must act now on this offer by which you will live! It is a limited time offer! Here is what you must do, says the Lord through Isaiah — 

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.

But what is this I hear in the sin-sick church filled with sinners? Open the eyes of my heart! I want to see you! I want to see Your glory! Pour out Your power and love, and we will say holy, holy, holy. Show us Your glory!

I tell you the truth, if He brought His glory into such a foolish group of unrepentant sinners, they would be struck dead. He will not pour out His power and love upon such ones. Why? 

They have mocked, denied, and refused Jesus Christ’s commandments to be filled. They twist and contort the Word and the Lord until the Jesus they worship is not Jesus at all, but another Jesus (2Corinthians 11:4). 

They are not “friends of God”, as they love to joyously sing — they are His enemies, ones who by their very words and actions slap Him in the face and tarnish His reputation!

It is only because of His great mercy that He does not come when they call, for He does not desire that any perish but that all come to repentance — not, “I’m sorry, Lord,” and then you do it again — but a complete turning away from sin, and immediate obedience to His commandments regarding the Spirit. 

Then He will crucify your sin nature and purify your heart. Then you will not need to cry out, “I want to see Your glory, Lord!” His glory will be in you, and when you stand before Him in His glory in the day of judgment, He will gladly receive you because you walked the earth filled with His glory, as He requires!

So, repent from your heart! Amen, Lord Jesus!

JEREMIAH SESSION 50 — THE END OF THE MATTER

Text: Jeremiah 52

If I were to give today’s Bible study a title, it would be, “The End of the Matter.” 

The purpose of this chapter is to show you that all the words the LORD spoke through Jeremiah came to pass. In the same way, all the words spoken by Jesus Christ’s Spirit-filled bondservants will come to pass, for He speaks through them.

The end of the matter is this, O sinning church filled with infants in Christ (1Corinthians 3:1) — the Lord will continue to send His bondservants to exhort and warn you. And most of you will not listen to or heed such warnings. But He will do just as He has said, through us. 


Your sin has caused a separation between you and your God. Unless you repent from the heart and obey His commandments regarding the Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), you will remain exiled from His presence. 

And unless you repent and obey Him, you will not enter the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived! No sinner — whether an unbeliever or an infant in Christ — will enter the kingdom of God (1Corinthians 6:9).

Jeremiah wrote a lamentation after the LORD judged Judah. And I lament for what is called “the church,” for I tell you the truth, Jesus Christ does not recognize you as His church. Therefore, repent!

Verses 1-2 —

 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2 He did evil in the sight of the LORD like all that Jehoiakim had done.

King Zedekiah of Judah was 33 years old when he was taken into exile. Neither he nor his leaders nor the priests nor the false prophets nor the people of Judah heeded the LORD’s warnings. 

Zedekiah did evil in the sight of the LORD, doing just as Jehoiakim had done. You will remember that Jehoiakim burned up the scroll that contained all the exhortations and warnings which the LORD had spoken through Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36:23). 

Zedekiah discounted and dismissed the words of the LORD, and worshiped the false gods that his false prophets urged him to worship. He listened to and loved the false prophets’ lies, and hated and did not listen to the truth of the words of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah. I will speak of his rebellion in Verse 3.

Here is his sad history —

2Chronicles 36:11  Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. 12 He did evil in the sight of the LORD his God; he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet who spoke for the LORD. 13 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar who had made him swear allegiance by God. But he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD God of Israel. 

Verse 3 —

For through the anger (wrath) of the LORD this came about in Jerusalem and Judah until He cast them out from His presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 

Just as Jeremiah had warned, the LORD released His wrath upon Judah and Jerusalem. He used King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, His servant, to execute His judgment upon them — exile if they surrendered to Babylon, or death if they did not. 

Why did He cast them out of His presence? Because they refused to obey Him and abandoned Him, their Husband, to worship false gods who are nothingness and emptiness. 

Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon by trying to escape so he would not be killed by the Babylonian army or exiled in Babylon. But the LORD had commanded all of Judah to surrender and live (27:12, 17). So, if he did not surrender, he would die!

And the LORD had warned Zedekiah that he would not escape from King Nebuchadnezzar (38:23). Yet his heart was hard, and he did not listen to the LORD’s warnings through Jeremiah.

Verse 4-5 —

Now it came about in the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, camped against it and built a siege wall all around it. 5 So the city was under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.

Because Zedekiah refused to obey the LORD, King Nebuchadnezzar did just as Jeremiah had prophesied. Jerusalem was besieged by Babylon. Famine and the resulting diseases killed many in Jerusalem. 

Verse 6-7 —

On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 7 Then the city was broken into, and all the men of war fled and went forth from the city at night by way of the gate between the two walls which was by the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. And they went by way of the Arabah.

After severe famine had set in, the city was broken into. All the remnant of Judah’s army, as well as King Zedekiah, fled from Jerusalem by night, through the gate by the king’s garden, even though the Babylonians had surrounded the city. 

As I noted in Verse 3, they tried to escape by going out into the Arabah, a desert land. But again, the LORD had said neither he nor his army would successfully escape His judgment which He executed through the king of Babylon.

Verses 8-11 —

But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. 9 Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. 10 The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and he also slaughtered all the princes of Judah in Riblah. 11 Then he blinded the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him with bronze fetters and brought him to Babylon and put him in prison until the day of his death.

Just as the LORD had said through Jeremiah, the Babylonian army pursued Zedekiah and captured him, and his army was scattered away from him. They brought him before King Nebuchadnezzar, who passed sentence on him, slaughtered his sons before his eyes, as well as all his leaders, and then blinded Zedekiah. 

How ironic! Zedekiah chose to stubbornly blind himself to the true words of the LORD, so his natural eyes were gouged out. That is an example of the LORD’s righteous judgment.

Verses 12-14 —

Jeremiah 52:12   Now on the tenth day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who was in the service of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 13 He burned the house of the LORD, the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every large house he burned with fire. 14 So all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down all the walls around Jerusalem. 

This is the record of the destruction of Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan burned the temple of the LORD to the ground, after having removed all of its treasures, as you will see in Verses 17-23. Judah’s false prophets had told the people and the kings of Judah that Jerusalem would always stand, for the temple of the LORD was there. 

But the LORD was not in the temple. He had left a long time ago, because of their rebellion against Him —

First, He went to the threshold —

Ezekiel 10:3   Now the cherubim were standing on the right side of the temple when the man entered, and the cloud filled the inner court. 4 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the LORD.

Ezekiel 10:18   Then the glory of the LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over thecherubim. 19 When the cherubim departed, they lifted their wings and rose up from theearth in my sight with the wheels beside them; and they stood still at the entrance of the east gate of the LORD’S house, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them.

Ezekiel 11:23 The glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is east of the city.

Why did the LORD leave? They slaughtered their children to please their false gods (Ezekiel 23:39), a thing that never was in the LORD’s heart (Jeremiah 7:31). 

He could not remain with them because of their many abominations — disgusting and entirely wicked in the LORD’s eyes — which they performed for their detestable false gods!


Verses 15-16 —

Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away into exile some of the poorest of the people, the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon and the rest of the artisans. 16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.

As is recorded in Jeremiah 39:10, Babylon gave land to the poorest Jews, and they tended them. But the rest of the people either died or were carried into exile, including the artisans whose skills would be useful to the Babylonians. And the deserters, like King Zedekiah, were carried into exile.

Verses 17-18 —

Now the bronze pillars which belonged to the house of the LORD and the stands and the bronze sea, which were in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke in pieces and carried all their bronze to Babylon. 18 They also took away the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the basins, the pans and all the bronze vessels which were used in temple service.

The bronze pillars, which had been on the porch of Solomon’s temple that he had built for the LORD, were broken into pieces by the Babylonians, so they could carry them away as booty. They did the same with the stands and the huge bronze sea at which the priests outwardly cleansed themselves before entering the temple. They also carried away the rest of the implements of worship. 

All evidence regarding the worship of the LORD was entirely removed or burned down. Why? Judah had left Him and had no longer worshiped Him. Instead, they trusted in, relied upon and loved their false gods. Therefore, it was His righteous judgment to completely destroy all evidence of worship of Him. 

Verses 19-20 — 

The captain of the guard also took away the bowls, the firepans, the basins, the pots, the lampstands, the pans and the drink offering bowls, what was fine gold and what was fine silver. 20 The two pillars, the one sea, and the twelve bronze bulls that were under the sea, and the stands, which King Solomon had made for the house of the LORD — the bronze of all these vessels was beyond weight.

The looting of the temple included implements of fine gold and silver. The weight of the bronze sea and stand could not be measured. Babylon carried off everything of value — great value, indeed — from the temple complex, before burning it down. 

All of the temple’s riches that Judah had trusted in, relied upon and loved were taken, for they did not trust in, rely upon, or love the LORD.  They loved the LORD’s things, but not Him, or they never would have gone after false gods and committed abominations with them.

Verses 21-23 — 

As for the pillars, the height of each pillar was eighteen cubits, and it was twelve cubits in circumference and four fingers in thickness, and hollow. 22 Now a capital of bronze was on it; and the height of each capital was five cubits, with network and pomegranates upon the capital all around, all of bronze. And the second pillar was like these, including pomegranates. 23 There were ninety-six exposed pomegranates; all the pomegranates numbered a hundred on the network all around.

The degree of ornate design was astounding! Huge pillars, topped by decorative capitals. It was fine workmanship, indeed. But they had forgotten that they were the LORD’s workmanship. They had disregarded their Maker.

Verses 24-25 —

Then the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest, with the three officers of the temple. 25 He also took from the city one official who was overseer of the men of war, and seven of the king’s advisers who were found in the city, and the scribe of the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land, and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the midst of the city.

Then the priests of the temple were taken, as well as the overseer of the army of Judah — the secretary of defense, you might say — were taken. The king’s advisers were taken, the scribe of the commander of the army, and sixty men among the people of the land were taken. Where were they taken? To a place of judgment and death, as you will see in the next two verses!

Verses 26-27 — 

Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 Then the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was led away into exile from its land.

These were brought to the same place as King Zedekiah and those who tried to escape — to be judged by the king of Babylon, who was at Riblah until Jerusalem was completely destroyed. He killed all of them at Riblah. And the rest of Judah was led into exile from the land that the LORD had given them.

Verses 28-30 —

These are the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away into exile: in the seventh year 3,023 Jews; 29 in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar 832 persons from Jerusalem; 30 in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile 745 Jewish people; there were 4,600 persons in all.

Many were killed or died of famine and its resulting diseases prior to the three exiles. In those three exiles, a total of 4,600 persons were taken to Babylon from Jerusalem, the last stronghold of Judah. 

Feinberg notes that based on evidence from archeological digs, the population of Judah prior to the Babylonian invasion is estimated to have been more than 75,000. But in the days of King David and King Solomon, Israel and Judah were one nation, and were as numerous as the dust of the earth (2Chronicles 1:9)!

Verses 31-32 —

Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, showed favor to Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison. 32 Then he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon.

King Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he was appointed king, but reigned only three months before he surrendered to the king of Babylon. He was imprisoned for 37 years, and surely his health declined greatly over such a long imprisonment because of the cruelty of the guards and the extremely poor conditions in the prison. 

But Evil-merodach, the son of King Nebuchadnezzar, took pity on him, brought him out of prison, and gave him a higher position than all of the kings of the other lands that Babylon had overrun and captured.

Verses 33-34 —

So Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and had his meals in the king’s presence regularly all the days of his life. 34 For his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king of Babylon, a daily portion all the days of his life until the day of his death. 

Jehoachin was given fine clothing, and ate before the king of Babylon for the rest of his life. The king also gave him a daily portion (money) all the days of his life, until he died. 

But he died in exile, far from the LORD! So he was yet wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, just like those in the church at Laodicea (Revelation 3:17). And he will face the Judge, Jesus Christ, in the final day, and be sentenced to eternal perishing in hell. Why? There is no evidence that he ever repented and returned to the LORD.

Exhortation

The title of this Bible study is, “They Did Not Listen.” And now, I ask you, are you listening? Will you receive or reject the words the Lord has given me to speak? Will you repent, or is your heart hardened, like the hearts of those in Judah?

Many of you are still infants who not obeyed His commandments regarding the Spirit. Because of your sin-sick heart and your disobedience to His commands, you are exiled from His presence. That is His judgment on you now. How do I know? I used to be like you.

O beloved! Repent and obey Him, or He will further judge you, in the day of judgment. Why? If you do not repent and obey Him, you reveal that you have not listened to His Spirit-filled bondservants. Instead, like Judah, you have chosen to listen to false ones who teach another Jesus.

I have taught this Bible study at the Lord’s command. I confess that there were times when I wanted to stop because I saw so clearly the state of today’s church, for it is the same as Judah in Jeremiah’s day. It grieved me greatly, even to the point where I felt I did not have the strength to continue!

But I prayed for Him to forgive me for faltering, and continued, for I know His purpose for this teaching is that you see your spiritual condition and repent and obey His commandments regarding the Spirit. Do so, and live! 

Let it be so, Lord Jesus! Amen.

CLEANSING THE TEMPLE

[SW484] 07/10/2021 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

Cleansing the Temple

Text: 2Chronicles 28:1-4, 2Chronicles 29:16, John 4:23

I am reading through the Bible once again. Just as with last week’s message, “Written Instructions,” I came to 2Chronicles 29:16, and the Lord spoke to my heart.  

What did He say? The temple must be cleansed. In the Old Testament, worship of false gods polluted the temple, so no worship could take place. So when a king faithful to the Lord came into power, the temple had to be cleansed, so that worship could take place. 

The New Testament equivalent is complete cleansing of the heart to prepare it to be His temple. Only then can you worship Him in Spirit and in truth, per John 4:23. I will show it to you, just as He showed it to me.

King Ahaz of Judah sinned greatly against the Lord —

2Chronicles 28:1   Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do right in the sight of the LORD as David his father had done. 2 But he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel; he also made molten images for the Baals. 3 Moreover, he burned incense  (to false gods) in the valley of Ben-hinnom and burned his sons in fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had driven out before the sons of Israel. 4 He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills and under every green tree.

When he was threatened by an invasion of his enemies, he turned to false gods for help instead of repenting and then calling upon the LORD. These were the same gods his enemies worshiped —

2Chronicles 28:22   Now in the time of his distress this same King Ahaz became yet more unfaithful to the LORD. 23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him, and said, “Because the gods of the kings of Aram helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.” But they became the downfall of him and all Israel.

He also destroyed all evidence of worship of the LORD — all the utensils used during worship. Then he shut the door to the temple, in a final act of defiance agains the LORD  —

2Chronnicles 28:24 Moreover, when Ahaz gathered together the utensils of the house of God, he cut the utensils of the house of God in pieces; and he closed the doors of the house of the LORD and made altars for himself in every corner of Jerusalem.

King Ahaz died, and his son, Hezekiah, reigned. He clung to the LORD (2Kings 18:6), and did right in the eyes of the LORD.

The Levites and priests, who were responsible to oversee the worship of the LORD, had obeyed King Ahaz instead of the LORD, and had encouraged the worship of the false gods Ahaz had relied upon and trusted in. 

So King Hezekiah shamed them and commanded them to repent and then go into the temple which had been defiled and shut by Ahaz. Why? To cleanse it, so worship could be restored.

2Chronicles 29:15 They (the Levites and priests) assembled their brothers, consecrated themselves, and went in to cleanse the house of the LORD, according to the commandment of the king by the words of the LORD. 16 So the priests went in to the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and every unclean thing which they found in the temple of the LORD they brought out to the court of the house of the LORD . . . 18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed the whole house of the LORD, the altar of burnt offering with all of its utensils, and the table of showbread with all of its utensils. 19 Moreover, all the utensils which King Ahaz had discarded during his reign in his unfaithfulness, we have prepared and consecrated; and behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.”

Now the temple had been cleansed! What happened next? Repentance by all Judah. They turned back to Him and away from false gods. They gave thank offerings to the LORD, and praised and worshiped Him, per Verses 20-30! 

What was the result? The enemy, Assyria, was defeated in one night (2Kings 19:35)!

Oh, beloved, do you see it? Worship and praise could not take place until the temple was thoroughly cleansed of all uncleanness — all that was not of God! 

What does that mean to today’s church filled with sinning infants in Christ, from the headquarters to the boardrooms to the pulpits to the pews? You have decided to disobey Jesus Christ’s commandments regarding the Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), so sin remains within you. Therefore, it is impossible for you to worship God the Father —

John 4:23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

You must have the same cleansing experience I did when I was a sinning infant. You are full of sin, just as I was. Therefore, all that you call “worship” is just lip service. Your hearts are not in it! You worship another Jesus (2Corinthians 11:4) that is taught worldwide in the church, one which encourages you to worship yourself.

You do not come to worship Him, but to hear a warm and fuzzy word that makes you feel good about yourself. You came to get that from Him, not to worship Him. And many so-churches teach you to demand and declare and decree that the Lord answer your prayers, even though your heart is full of sin, even brazenly declaring and decreeing what you want. I do not see that anywhere in the Bible!

I tell you the truth, when I obeyed the LORD’s commandments regarding the Spirit, He completely cleansed me inwardly of all uncleanness — all sin! He did it in a moment of time, just as in Acts 2:4! 

Then He and the Father and the Spirit permanently and fully dwell in this temple, just as He promises in John 14:23!  Now I serve Him and Him alone, and worship and praise Him! Instead of a heart filled with sin, my heart is filled with God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. So Satan is defeated! 

Jesus Christ asked me admonish you by again repeating this word—

John 4:23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

These are the people the Father seeks, to be His worshipers — those who have obeyed Jesus Christ’s commandments regarding the Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), and have been completely inwardly cleansed (Galatians 5:24, Acts 15:9, 2Peter 1:4). Only then can you worship God the Father in Spirit and in truth. 

Until you do as He commands, He will not receive what you call worship. Why? It is lip service. It is outward only. You go to church, but your heart is still captive to your sin nature, so you sin, just like I did until I obeyed His commands.

Do you not know? He does not hear the prayers of sinners (John 9:31). 

Do you not know? If you continue to sin, you will not inherit the kingdom of God (1Corinthians 6:9).

Do you not know? He will set you free from slavery to sin, if you obey Him (John 8:31-36). 

Therefore, repent and obey Him. Amen, Lord Jesus.