[SW393] 8/31/2019 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019
“A Godless Nation”
Text: Isaiah 10:5-12, 20-27, etc.
When you see the title of the message the Lord has asked me to speak, you will not think that it pertains to believers. But it was against His own people that He sent an enemy. Why? To discipline and punish them, so they would return to Him.
Think of it! The Lord calls His own nation godless! He established Israel. He made them His nation. But they abandoned Him, following the ways of the nations around them.
I tell you the truth, it is the same in today’s fallen church and among today’s fallen believers. The Lord established the church. But the gospel preached from today’s pulpits has been perverted to such a degree that it now contains only lies and twisted interpretations that sound good to the ears of those who hear it. Today’s church and today’s believers have abandoned Him to follow the ways of the world system that defies God, to the point where the church calls evil good, and good evil.
This passage will show you that He is God over all time, all things, and those who are His but who rebel against Him by chasing after foolishness. He raises up the Enemy, Satan, against His church.
Many in today’s church complain that they are undergoing persecution from factions in today’s society. But today’s fallen church and believers do not see that they are being judged by the Lord, and disciplined and punished by Him. Why does He do it? So you would return to Him, O believer!
You will say, “What? God would not send Satan against me!” But He Himself created Satan, and He says this of Satan —
Isaiah 54:16 “Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work; and I have created the destroyer to ruin.”
But for those who repent, who become His servants by obeying His command to be filled with His Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), He promises this —
Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage (inheritance) of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication (declaration as righteous) is from Me,” declares the LORD.
Before getting into today’s scripture, the Lord asked me to say what I have just said. Now, I will show you how Isaiah 10 pertains to the church today.
Verses 5-6 —
Assyria and the king of Assyria, and the punishment meted out by them to the LORD’s people is a matter of history, but Assyria and the king of Assyria are also a type of Satan. And the LORD’s people in Isaiah’s day are a type of the church today.
The Lord speaks of Israel, through Isaiah. Woe to Assyria whom He uses as the rod of His anger and the staff of His indignation against the LORD’s godless nation. He calls them the people of His fury.
The LORD commands Assyria to punish His people. So why does He say, “woe” to the enemy He uses? Because He knows they will go beyond the punishment He has ordered. They will boast because they will overcome His people, and they plan to utterly destroy His people, so none are left. They will also boast against the LORD Himself, and blaspheme Him.
What has He commanded Assyria to do to His godless nation, His people with whom He is furious? The enemy is to capture booty and to seize plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets — literally, to make them a trampling. Why? They worship false gods, whose root is the god of self, whose root is the sin nature.
The church is His godless nation today. Once again, they have resorted to worshiping false gods, but not only ones made of wood and stone and metal. They worship the god of prosperity, the god of success, the god of the world system that defies God.
Again, the root of these gods is the god of self, and the root of the god of self is the sin nature you were born with, O believer, as the offspring of Adam. And the Lord has sent Satan to make them a trampling, so they would return to Him.
Verses 7-11 —
Assyria’s plan to utterly destroy is no secret to the Lord. He knew it before anything was — before the earth and the heavens were created by Him. He knows the hearts of all humans. Nothing is hidden from the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).
He knew before anything was that Assyria would boast that by their own power, they conquered nations and the gods of those nations. He knew before anything was that they would come to the wall of Jerusalem and blaspheme His name (see 2Kings 18:34-35, 2Kings 19:22).
Verse 12 —
Therefore, when the LORD has completed His punishment against His godless nation, He will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria. As I have said, He will come as Judge (Revelation 19:11), and will punish the arrogance of Satan by sentencing him to be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
Verse 20 —
Now in that day, when the LORD destroys Assyria, there will be a repentant remnant of Israel who will survive the onslaught of the king of Assyria. There will also be a very small remnant who will survive the Babylonian captivity after Babylon destroys Jerusalem 150 years later. The LORD will strike 185,000 of the soldiers in the Assyrian camp (2Kings 19:35). And the LORD will destroy the Babylonian empire in one night (Daniel 5:30-31), using the Medo-Persians as His instrument of destruction.
What does the LORD mean when He says His people will never again rely on the one who struck them? Ahaz, king of Judah, had made an alliance with Assyria to defeat Syria and northern Israel (see 2Kings 16:7).
But when He destroys Assyria, the repentant remnant who have escaped death will never again rely on the one who struck them. Instead, they will truly rely on the Holy One of Israel, and no other.
And today, there is a repentant remnant of believers who will not bend to the tremendous pressure to conform to today’s church and today’s believers who have gone far from the Lord and have joined hands with the world system that defies the Lord. The repentant remnant of believers will not capitulate, but will stand steadfast and immovable, truly relying on God their Father, and on Jesus Christ, who fully and permanently indwells them (John 14:23).
Verses 21-23 —
A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob (that is, all of Israel, including Judah). First, they will repent and return to Him, the mighty God. And then, He will return them to the land, and they will become His godly nation.
It is the same today, for all believers who will repent and who will return to Him and obey the Lord’s command to be filled with His Holy Spirit. Then, they will become His godly nation.
Why does the LORD say, “only a remnant? Israel was so numerous, they were like the sand of the sea. But only 48,942 returned from Babylon, per Nehemiah 7:66-67.
Why will so few return to the land after they have returned to the LORD? Because a destruction is determined by the Lord, overflowing with righteousness. His judgment is always right, because His very nature is righteous. He does not punish the obedient, or the repentant, but those who refuse to repent.
Against the unrepentant, the LORD of hosts (God the Son) will execute a complete destruction — the entire destruction of Jerusalem, and of His rebellious people, in the midst of the whole land. He will do the same, in the church, and among today’s rebellious believers who refuse to repent and return to Him.
Verses 24-25 —
To the repentant remnant, the LORD GOD of hosts says, “Do not fear the Assyrian who will strike you with the rod and lift up his staff against you.” For in a very little while, the LORD’s indignation will be spent and His anger will be directed to Assyria’s destruction, as He has already said in Verse 12.
The LORD of hosts will arouse a scourge against him. As I have said, He sent the angel of the LORD to destroy 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night, in the Assyrian camp, so the king of Assyria withdrew from Jerusalem and Judah, and returned to Assyria.
But the LORD had further plans against Assyria. Babylon overran Assyria’s armies and became a world empire, until Babylon was overthrown by the Medo-Persians.
In the same way, the LORD will deal with Satan. As I have said, Satan will be sentenced to the lake of fire, as will all who follow him.
As I have shown you, the LORD knows everything and is over everything. Nothing happens without His permission. He uses Satan today to discipline and punish believers so they will return to Him.
But of all who are in the church — His godless nation — only a small remnant will return to Him and become His godly nation. Many will disregard and mock the words He has given me to speak. But the Lord has not changed. If you rebel against Him, He will punish you. If you continue to rebel, you will perish (Hebrews 10:26 and elsewhere).
It is not that His promise in John 3:16 is a lie. It is that you have taken lightly the salvation He has given to you. You have continued to sin against Him, though you should have asked Him to fill you with His Spirit, thereby crucifying your sin nature that chases after the foolish teaching in much of today’s church.
Repent now, O believer! Become part of the repentant remnant, become part of His godly nation.
Lord Jesus, may today’s believers both hear and heed the truth of the words You have given me to speak. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.