SESSION 31 — GOING DOWN TO EGYPT

Text: Isaiah 31

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “Going Down to Egypt.” Why did God’s people in Judah seek help from Egypt, who defied the God of heaven? 

Why does today’s church and why do today’s believers seek help from man’s wisdom and man’s ways, and why do they seek help from the world system that defies God? It is an issue of the heart. Through Isaiah’s prophecy, the LORD will show you Judah’s heart, and I will show you your own heart. 

Verse 1 —

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, instead of seeking the LORD for His help! “Woe” is a lamentation, a weeping. Isaiah sees what the LORD will do with Judah, who ultimately fled to Egypt to escape the Babylonian invasion (Jeremiah 43:4 and forward)!

Judah has seen the LORD’s strength and His trustworthiness. He has rescued them multiple times, even from the Assyrians, when they tried to overrun Jerusalem —

2Kings 19:32   ‘Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, “He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield or throw up a siege ramp against it. 33 “By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he shall not come to this city,”’ declares the LORD. 34 ‘For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’”

2Kings 19:35   Then it happened that night that the angel of the LORD went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead.

So, considering all that history, why does Judah rely on Egypt for help, instead of seeking the LORD’s help? Why does Judah rely on Egypt’s horses instead of relying on the LORD? Why does Judah trust in (go quickly to) Egypt’s chariots and Egypt’s cavalry, instead of going quickly to the LORD?

It is because Judah is far from the LORD. His people are sinning against Him by worshiping false gods who are nothingness and nothing —

Psalm 115:4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. 

So, they are sinning, and their sin has made a separation between Him and them (Isaiah 59:1-2). That is His judgment upon His people who sin, then and now. 

They have not repented because they love their sin. But as I taught last time, He longs to be gracious! At the sound of their cry of repentance, He will answer. 

But Judah is not looking to the Holy One of Israel, who will do what He promises if they will repent! They do not seek the LORD! They do not want to repent. Instead, they add sin to sin by trusting in Egypt, its horses, its many chariots, and its strong cavalry. 

Just as Judah would be overrun by Babylon 150 years from Isaiah’s prophecies to her, today’s church is being overrun by Satan the deceiver, and the world system that defies God. Why? They have opened their doors wide to the world system, in order to keep their doors open! The  church is full of sinning believers and leaders. They mock those He sends to exhort them to repent, and warn them of the consequences of their sin! It was the same with Isaiah, Jeremiah, and all of the Lord’s prophets!

In today’s church, sin is celebrated and sinners are elevated to high positions, just as with Judah. Therefore, entire denominations and many sinning believers are separated from the Lord by the sin they have chosen to do, just as with Judah.
And just as with Judah, today’s church adds sin to sin by seeking help from man’s ways and man’s wisdom and trusting in and following the ways of the world system that defies God!

Why do they resort to man and the world? Just like Judah, it is because they are sinning, and sin separates them from the Lord! They do not see that they are being overrun. They do not see that His anger has set them aflame —

Isaiah 42:25 So He poured out on him (Israel) 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.

The Lord longs to be gracious to the church, and to His people Israel, but He has not heard a cry of repentance from them. Therefore, they are being, and will yet be, overrun by the world system in which they have chosen to trust. 

Verse 2 —

Judah’s leaders think they are wise to seek help from Egypt. Today’s church leaders are wise in their own eyes, and have decided it is wise to seek help from man and follow the ways of the world system that defies God! 

But the LORD is also wise — far wiser than Judah and today’s church! As high as the heavens are above the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9)! 

And He does not retract (leave undone) His words. He has warned them that they will perish if they go down to Egypt to try to escape Babylon (Jeremiah 42:22). Because they have refused to listen, they will perish! He will arise against the house of evildoers — the house of Judah who rebels against Him! 

And He will also rise against the Egyptians to whom they have gone for help. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, will overrun Egypt and all the people of Judah will perish with the Egyptians (Jeremiah 44:12)!

Jesus Christ has told sinning believers that unless they repent, He will erase their names from the book of life (Revelation 3:5)! So indeed, He will erase their names! He will not leave His warning undone, if they refuse to repent. 

To all the sinning believers in the church who say, “Lord, Lord,” Jesus Christ will say, “I never (never ever) knew you. Depart from Me, you who do evil!” (See Matthew 7:23.) 

He will also arise against all that the church has trusted in and relied upon. For those who do not repent, their end will be the lake of fire, for their names will be erased from the book of life (see Revelation 20:15)!

Verse 3 —

The Egyptians are men and not God. Their horses are flesh and not spirit. Man’s wisdom and ways are from man and not God. Man’s strength is in his flesh only. God’s strength is Spirit and life! 

Judah trusts man instead of God, and horses for strength instead of the LORD, who has defeated enemies on their behalf for all of their history! Why? Their sin has separated them from their God! He will not hear their prayers, except if they pray a prayer of true repentance and cry out for mercy! He will hear that prayer!

The church trusts in man’s ways and wisdom, in order to draw people to the church. But these techniques are from men and women, not from God. 

The church trusts in the strength of the world system that defies God but seems so successful. They join hands with it. But the world system is not God. They can only be saved by God, not by men, and not by the world! 

Because Judah and today’s church have defied Him, the LORD will stretch out His hand to discipline and punish them. Men of the world, whom they have sought for help, will stumble. Judah and the church, who have sought man’s help, will fall. And all of them will come to an end together. They will perish! 

O church, O believer, hear the warning of the consequences of your sin!

Verses 4-5 —

For thus says the LORD to Isaiah — A young lion growls (roars) over his prey. A multitude of false shepherds is called forth to save the prey from the young lion. 

But the young lion is not terrified at their voice nor disturbed at their noise. It will be the same when the LORD of hosts! The Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5) will come down to wage war on Mount Zion and on its hill!

Yet, if Judah repents, He will protect Jerusalem like birds who swoop around their nest in order to drive off predators and protect their young. He will protect and deliver, He will pass over it and rescue it! He will do the same for the church, if she will repent!

Verse 6 —

Therefore repent! Isaiah cries, Return to Him from whom you, the sons of Israel, have so deeply (profoundly) defected (turned away, rebelled against) — first northern Israel, and now Judah! O apostate church, O sinning believer, you have deeply defected from the Lord! Repent!

Verse 7 —

Why should you repent immediately, Judah? Because He will receive you! Cast away your idols now, which your sinful hands have made for you as a sin! 

O church! cast away the idol of self (man’s wisdom, man’s ways,) which you have made, cast away the false Jesus you have created, cast away the world system which defies God and cannot save you!

But if you do not repent, O Judah, here is what will happen in your day of judgment: You will surely stand before the Judge, Jesus Christ, and you will surely cast away your silver idols and your gold idols when you see Him. But it will be too late! 

Why should you repent immediately, O church? If you don’t, you surely will stand before Jesus Christ on the day of the Lord, and when you see Him, you surely will cast away all of your trust in man and the world system. But it will be too late! 

Verse 8 —

The king of Assyria fell by the sword of his sons (1Kings 19:37). But a sword not of man will kill the Assyrian in this prophecy. So, I see that the “Assyrian” represents Satan. 

In the day of judgment, at the end of things, the Assyrian (Satan) will fall by a sword not of man. A sword not of man will devour him. 

Because it is the sword of the Lord and not a sword of man, Satan will not escape (literally, he will be unable to flee) the sword. He will join his children, and the false prophet, and the antichrist, in the lake of fire.

Verse 9 — 

Satan’s stronghold  (fortress) will pass away into thin air. He will be afraid! And his captains, his demons, will be terrified at the sign of Satan’s demise! The LORD declares it, so it will surely happen!

The LORD’s fire is in Zion and His furnace is in Jerusalem. Surely, earthly Zion and Jerusalem were restored after 70 years of captivity in Babylon. 

But His true fire and His true furnace (both symbols of His judgment) are in the heavenly Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem. The earthly Zion and the earthly Jerusalem are only a copy of the heavenly originals.

Believer, do not think you can hide your sin from God. Do not think you can deceive the Lord!  He knows every thought you think, and every sin that you do. Repent, while it is still today! O church, stop relying on man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for why should he be esteemed (Isaiah 2:22)?

Lord, may Your church and Your people Israel hear Your words from this passage of scripture, and repent immediately. So be it. Amen.

HE SENDS THE S-O-N AND THE RAIN

[SW401] 10/26/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“He Sends the S-o-n and the Rain”

Text: Matthew 5:43-48, etc.

The sun and the rain are blessings, according to the Word of God, and my own experience. God the Father sends both upon those who love and obey Him and His Son, and upon those who rebel against Him and neither love nor obey Him. Jesus Christ says you are a child of your Father in heaven only if you do the same. 

In what way does He send the sun and rain? Surely, He does it in the natural. But beloved your Father in heaven also wants you to see that He sent the blessing of His S-o-n, and His Son sent the rain of the Holy Spirit. The Son and the Spirit are the answer to hate and all other sins. And no one is excluded from His blessing, if they will repent and turn to God, and believe into His Son!

In the first two verses of this passage, Jesus gives all believers a command —

Matthew 5:43   “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be (that is, be found to be) sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

In Verse 43, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said . . .” and then He quotes Leviticus 19:18 and the rabbis’ version of Deuteronomy 23:6. But Deuteronomy 23:6 does not say, “hate your enemy.” The rabbis had twisted that scripture from “do not seek their prosperity (of those who persecute  you)” to “hate your enemies.”

I will use the Greek-to-English, which contains many more words than my NAS Bible —

So, Jesus once again contradicts the teaching of the rabbis, for He speaks these commands  

 But I say to you, Love the enemies of you, bless those cursing you, do well to those hating you, and pray on behalf of those who are abusing you, and persecuting you, so that you may be sons (the offspring) of your Father in heaven.”

How did God the Father bless those who hate Him? He sent God the Son, Jesus Christ, to boldly and bluntly speak to all people, exposing the condition of their hearts. Then God the Son blessed them by going to a cross to take the punishment that they and all who have rebelled against God deserved, so that if they believe into Him, they will no longer be under God’s wrath, but will be reconciled to God. 

You will do the same, for when you stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit, He will crucify your sin nature and purify your heart. Your sin nature is the source of hate, just as it is for all human beings. So, you die to your sin nature, and hatred and all sin dies in you. 

It is when you are filled with the Holy Spirit that you are filled with God’s perfect love. 

It is only then that you are able to love your enemies, bless them, do good to them, and pray for those who abuse and persecute you. 

It is only then that you are the offspring of your Father in heaven.

It is then that you become Jesus Christ’s witness here (Acts 1:8), a living representation of Him and of your heavenly Father. 

It is then that you walk as He walked when He was on the earth. It is then that you are as He is in this world —

1John 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected (completed — because you are filled with His love), By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

1John 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

You will say to me, “I cannot love my enemies. I cannot help but hate them.” 

You yourself certainly cannot remove hate from your heart, but God the Father sent His S-o-n, and His Son sent the rain of the Holy Spirit! When you are filled with His Spirit, your sin nature — the source of all hate and sin — is crucified (Galatians 5:24). You love with God’s perfect love, which has filled your heart to overflowing —

Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint (make us ashamed), because the love of God has been poured out (gushed out) within our hearts through (by way of) the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Given to us! But just as you had to believe into the S-o-n who was given to you in order to be saved, you must also believe and obey the Son’s command to stay and wait for the rain of the Holy Spirit!

I will give a brief testimony of how God the Father loved me — His enemy — with His perfect love. For most of the first 42 years of my life, I rejected God the Father and God the Son, even mocking them. I was a new-ager. But then, Jeff and I were invited by my friend, Debbie to a supper at her church. 

When I returned home, I told Jeff, an atheist, “Something is missing in my life, and I think it is God.” He agreed to take me to Debbie’s church (I could not drive there myself, because I had the incurable disease called progressive MS). Soon after, we believed into Jesus Christ and were saved from the wrath of God and reconciled to Him. 

Do you see it? Jeff and I were God the Father’s enemies. But He caused His S-o-n to rise upon us! We saw His Son! And three years later, on September 1, 2001, His Son blessed me by healing me of MS.

Starting in April 2001, I prayed to know the Lord intimately, crying, “I want to know you that way!”And after I was healed of MS, I prayed for the power to testify of what He had done. 

On November 1, 2001, He blessed me again, answering my prayers by sending the rain of the Holy Spirit upon me, filling me with the Holy Spirit! Jeff followed, eight days later. Then Jeff and I loved our enemies with His perfect love, for it had filled our hearts to overflowing (see Romans 5:5)!

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the divine love of God that has filled your heart will compel you (2Corinthians 5:14) to speak boldly and bluntly about the condition of the hearts of your listeners. You will warn them regarding their sin and its consequences, just as Jesus Christ did.

And you will proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ’s salvation for whosoever will believe into Him! And you will proclaim His power to remove hatred and all sin from their hearts! You will not be able to stop speaking of what you have seen and heard (Acts 4:20)!

In this way, you will bless your enemies. How? If they believe the message, God the S-o-n will rise upon them, and they will see the S-o-n! They will be saved and reconciled. If they hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6), Jesus Christ will send the Holy Spirit’s rain, and they will be filled with the perfect love of God! 

Do you see it? You will do to your enemies that which is truly good! But you can only do what is truly good to them if you are filled with the Holy Spirit and the perfect love of God. If you are not, you will continue to hate them, and you will not do good to them, bless them, or pray for them.

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will pray for those who are your enemies. You will see them through the lens of Christ. You know what He did for you and in you. So, you will pray for them to see the S-o-n and believe, and then hunger and thirst for His righteousness, so He sends the rain of the Holy Spirit, to gush out the perfect love of God into their hearts. 

Do you see it? On both the good and the evil, the Father causes the S-o-n to rise and God the Son sends the rain of His Holy Spirit to fill hearts to overflowing with His perfect love. When His perfect love is in your heart, you will do the same! 

The Father sent the Son to those who hated Him. “So send I you,” says Jesus Christ (John 20:21). But He will not send you, O believer, if you still hate your enemies. He knows you will not go to those who hate you if hate is still in your heart. You will only go to them if your sin nature, the source of hate, is destroyed and replaced with the perfect love of God. 

Verses 46-47 —

If you have only the natural human love you were born with, you will only love those who love you. You will only greet (literally, embrace) those who greet (embrace) you. You will not love those who hate you, nor will you embrace those who hate you. But Jesus Christ says You will not be found to be a child of your Father in heaven if you love only those who love you. So you will have no reward from Him. He will judge you.

Why? Even those who are cheaters love those who love them, and even those who worship false gods embrace those who are their relatives. If you do as they do, then you are no different from them. You only have natural love, not His perfect, divine love. So He will judge you as He judges them.

But if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then you have seen and believed into His S-o-n and then have asked His Son to send the rain of His Holy Spirit. You are filled with God’s perfect, divine love. 

It is then that you love both the good and the evil with the perfect love of God. Therefore, just as Jesus Christ did, you tell them about the condition of their hearts, proclaim the way of salvation to them. And you tell them that when they are filled, they will no longer hate, and they will no longer sin against God. You do good to them — the same good as the Father and the Son did to you!

Verse 48 —

Jesus concludes with this seemly impossible command — “Therefore, you shall be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.” His command requires that you must be inwardly changed — you must be filled with God’s perfect love by being filled with His Holy Spirit!

If I was not filled with the Holy Spirit, I could not obey Jesus’ command to be perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect. I could not love with His perfect love.

But I obeyed His commands to all believers, to stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). He commanded these things because they are essential for all believers. 

It was then that the Father’s perfect love filled my heart. 

It was then that sin no longer dwelled in me, including the sin of hate. 

It was then that I could be what He commands me to be. 

It was then that I spoke to people everywhere about the condition of their hearts and spoke the true gospel — salvation and deliverance from the sin nature, by being filled with the Holy Spirit after they believe.

It was then that I could be perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect, because my heart was filled with His perfect, divine love! 

It was then that I was able to love my enemies, bless those who cursed me, and do good to those who hated me, and pray on behalf of those who abused me and persecuted me.

It was then that I was found to be a child of my Father in heaven.

And it is the same for you, beloved. You cannot love like that, if all you have is natural human love. You cannot be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect until your sin nature is crucified and you are filled with His Holy Spirit and His perfect love. 

What is the condition of your heart, beloved? If  you have truly been saved, it is because He has caused His S-o-n to rise on you, and you have seen Him and believed into Him. 

But do you love with your Father’s perfect love? If you do not, now is the time to repent and ask His Son to send the rain of His Spirit upon you, so you are filled with His Spirit and His love. Do it while it is still today, for the day of judgment is coming!

Lord Jesus, I pray you would open ears and hearts to hear and obey what You have asked me to speak. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 30 — HE LONGS TO BE GRACIOUS

Text: Isaiah 30:18-33

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “He Longs To Be Gracious.” All that stands in the way is rebellion against Him. When we cry out in repentance, He will be gracious!

He longs to be gracious to Judah, if they will repent. He longs to be gracious to all believers, if they will repent. He is waiting to hear your cry! So, for both Judah and believers, I will use the pronoun “you!”

Verse 18 —

Isaiah says of the LORD, Therefore — that is, because it is in repentance and rest (sticking to the Lord like glue) that you will be saved — He longs (adhering to) to be gracious to you (to stoop down, to have pity upon, to show mercy)! It is His great desire to adhere to you, and for you to adhere to Him! How blessed are you, if you do it!

When you repent from the heart because you see the condition of your heart and mourn over it, He will adhere you to Him! He will pierce your ear, like the master who pierces the ear of his bondservant whose debt is paid, but when offered freedom, he chooses to continue to serve his master because he loves his master (Exodus 21:5ff)! Oh, do you love your Master like that, beloved? He has paid your debt of sin. Will you now serve Him, out of love?

Therefore (because it is in repentance and rest that you will be saved), He sits on high (He is exalted, He is above you). He is waiting to have compassion on you, to show His mercy to you.

Why does the LORD forgive those who repent and stick to Him like glue? Because He is a GOD of justice. He comes to a proper verdict in all whom He judges. He will show mercy to you because you have repented from the heart. 

Do you remember from our last session? In repentance and rest you will be saved (Verse 15)! Oh, enter His rest! It is a rest from your work of trying to make yourself good. Instead, ask Him to make you good on the inside! 

It is the sabbath rest of the infilling of the Spirit (Hebrews 4:9), a rest in which you rest from your works and ask Him to work in you, and then through you! It is so very different from the natural sabbath day that the New Testament believers coined a new word to describe it — sabbatismos!

Verse 19 — 

O people in Zion, inhabitant of Jerusalem, O believer, you will weep no longer! Why? At the sound of your cry, the Lord will surely be gracious (mercifully stoop down) to you. When He hears it, He will answer you. 

He waits to hear a cry of true repentance, a cry of repentance from the heart, from you! Then He will mercifully stoop down to you! 

Will you cry out, from the depths of your being? To cry out in true repentance means you fully understand that you have defied the Lord and rebelled against Him. And you are deeply grieved by your actions toward the One who is on high, the Lord your God!

Repentance happens when you see your spiritual poverty (Matthew 5:3) and mourn (Matthew 5:4). Blessed are you if you see it and mourn, for yours is the kingdom of heaven, and He will fill you with the Comforter, His Holy Spirit!

Verses 20-21 —

The LORD has fed you the bread of privation (distress) and given you the water of oppression (prolonged, cruel treatment). You have been distressed, you have been cruelly abused by Satan. The Lord has allowed him to sift you, so you will repent (Luke 21:13)!

The Lord has shown me that Isaiah 30:18-26 points to what happens when a believer is filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus says —

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.”

And then your Teacher will be permanently in you —

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

He has allowed Satan to buffet you. But when He hears your cry of repentance, He, your Teacher, will no longer hide Himself from you, but your eyes will behold your Teacher! You will see Him clearly! 

What will happen when He teaches you? You will hear Him clearly, and obey Him because your rebellious sin nature will be crucified! Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or the left (see Deuteronomy 28:14, Joshua 23:6ff).

O, humble yourself before the Lord. beloved —

1Peter 5:6  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time . . .  

Psalms 25:9 He leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way.

You will become the Amen to the Yes of the promise of His Spirit, (2Corinthians 1:20, Acts 1:4-5), when you cry out in repentance! May you see your spiritual poverty, through these words He has asked me to speak!

Verse 22 —

And you will do acts in keeping with repentance. You will defile the graven images overlaid with silver, your molten images plated with gold. You will scatter them as an impure thing (a menstrual cloth), and say to them, “Be gone!”

What is the god that you will cast away as if it were a menstrual cloth? The god of Self, whose root is the sin nature. You have worshiped you. 

But when you have repented from the depths of your being and are filled with the Holy Spirit, the god of Self will be cast away, for you will no longer have a sin nature! Instead, you will become a partaker of the Lord’s divine nature (2Peter 1:4)!

Verses 23-24 —

You have sought natural blessings from the Lord, but He is not pleased, for you ask out of your own desires, your own lusts for earthly things. But He is pleased, indeed, when you ask for the spiritual blessing of the infilling of His Holy Spirit! It is a heavenly thing, indeed, by which you will store up for yourselves not earthly treasures, but treasures in heaven! Jesus says 

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 . . .”

Isaiah describes natural blessing when he prophesies that when Judah repents, the LORD will give them rain for the seed which they will sow in the ground, and bread from the yield of the ground, and it will be rich and plenteous. On that day, their livestock will graze in a roomy pasture (wide space). 

But the Lord will do far more for you, O believer, now that He has come and died and risen and ascended and is glorified at the right hand of the Father! He will make you spiritually prosperous — a witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8), walking as He walked and being as He is (1John 2:6, 4:17)! 

Will He do it? I know He will, for He has done it in me! When will it happen? When you see your spiritual poverty, mourn over it, repent from your heart, and ask Him to fill you with Himself!

Then you will go to work in His harvest fields, where the grain heads have matured and turned white for harvest (John 4:35). He will lead you into a wide space (Psalm 119:45), where you are free from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36). And you will produce much for the kingdom of heaven!

Isaiah describes beasts of burden — oxen and donkeys — who are given the very best food, even salted fodder, which is the most nourishing for them. Again, he is describing natural blessings.

But you who carry the gospel on beautiful feet (Isaiah 52:7) will give the very best nourishment to those you encounter, food that is pure and carefully prepared — the gospel! You will be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13).

Verse 25 — 

Remember Peter’s exhortation that if you humble yourself before the Lord, He will lift you up? When He lifts you up, you will be like a lofty mountain, like a high hill!

And from your belly will flow rushing, flood-stage rivers of living water (John 7:37-39)! When will it happen? In the day of the great slaughter of your prideful sin nature and the collapse of the tower of your pride. 

Verse 26 —

Instead of the darkness of your despair, His light will be in you! The moon is the lesser light, and the sun is the greater light (Genesis 1:16). But when you are filled with His light, you, the moon, will shine as brightly as the sun. And Jesus Christ, the Son, will shine seven times brighter than you!

When will it happen? On the day that the Lord heals your fracture (brokenness). Brokenness always results from sin. When you repent, He will heal you of your sin by crucifying your sin nature! And He will heal the bruise He has inflicted upon you in order to humble you so you repent and ask Him to fill you with His Spirit! He has brought you low so that you will look up!

Verses 27-28 — 

Isaiah gives us a vivid picture of the coming of the name of the Lord. Judgment is part of His character (His name). Therefore, when His name comes, His judgment comes! Burning is His anger, and dense is His smoke! It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31)!

His lips are filled with words of indignation, and His tongue is like a consuming fire! It is an echo of Isaiah 29:6, when He says the enemies of His people will be punished with whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire. 

He will come in like a flood, an overflowing torrent. His judgment will reach to the neck of the enemies of His people. What will happen to His people and the people of the earth who have defied Him and rebelled against Him?  He will shake them back and forth in a sieve —

Hebrews 12:26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” (See Haggai 2:7.) 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

And He will put in the jaws of those who have rebelled and defied Him a bridle that leads them to ruin. They will be led down the broad path that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13)!

Verse 29 —

And you will have songs as in the night — in the same way that songs are heard during the feasts of Israel. You will sing as you view the destruction of the sin nature in you which was manipulated by the enemy of your soul, Satan! 

And you will be filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1Peter 1:8), and rejoice and go forth to the sound of a flute (the heavenly kind), as you ascend to meet with Him, by His Spirit. Who shall ascend to the hill of the Lord? King David tells us —

Psalm 24:3   Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity (evil, idolatry), nor sworn deceitfully.

O beloved, you will have clean hands (pure works) and a pure heart, when you are filled with Him! 

Verse 30 —

Isaiah appears to speak of Assyria’s demise, in the natural. But Assyria is a type of Satan, and this clearly speaks of Satan’s demise in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). 

The LORD will cause His voice of authority (excellent, majestic voice) to be heard, and He will cause everyone to see the descending of His arm (His power), in fierce anger and in the flame of a consuming fire, with cloudburst, downpour, and hailstones! 

Verses 31-32 —

And at the voice of the LORD, Satan will be terrified. He will be struck with the rod of God!

Every blow of the rod of the punishment of Satan which the Lord will lay on him will be accompanied by jubilant praise from His people — the sound of tambourines and lyres. And He will battle Satan, brandishing His all-powerful weapons, and He will fight with those weapons. And He never loses a battle (see Isaiah 6:1)!

Verse 33 —

For Topheth (a place of human sacrifices to the false god Molech) has already been prepared for the king of Assyria — again, a type of Satan. The LORD has made the place of his demise deep and large. It is a funeral pyre of fire, with plenty of wood. And the breath of the LORD, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it afire. That is Satan’s end, and the end of all who defy the Lord and refuse to repent! He destroys Satan with a single breath from His mouth!

This word that the Lord has given me to speak is not for the world system that defies God, but for you who believe in Jesus Christ yet still rebel and sin against Him! 

Therefore, repent from the heart! He longs to hear your cry of repentance. He will answer when He hears it. He will crucify the sin nature that caused you to rebel. He will fill you with His light and His living water, when He fills you with His Spirit! 

Do not keep Him waiting, beloved. This is a limited-time offer. Seek the Lord while He may be found —

Isaiah 55:6   Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while He is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (KJV)

Thank You, Lord, for showing me Your mercy, when I repented. You were waiting for me to turn to You, and answered quickly, when you heard my cry! May your church and Your people Israel do likewise. So be it. Amen!

THE REAL JESUS CHRIST — PART 4

[SW400] 10/19/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“The Real Jesus Christ — Part 4”

Text: Colossians 1:21-23, etc.

The church is flooded with many strange teachings about who Jesus is. I will not directly refute such false teachings in this message, but will use the Word of God to show today’s believers “The Real Jesus Christ.”

The Spirit-filled Paul did the same, with the believers at Colossae. Just like many of today’s believers, they had abandoned the true teaching of the gospel, and were accepting false teaching about Jesus Christ. 

By abandoning the true gospel through which they had been saved, the believers at Colossae revealed that they were infants in Christ (1Corinthians 3:1), unable to discern the true from the false. They were accepting another Jesus, and a different gospel (see 2Corinthians 11:4). 

Therefore, Paul urgently wrote to them from his Roman prison cell, warning them that they were in danger of moving away from (literally, changing their position) regarding their salvation (see Colossians 1:23), because they were following and believing these false teachings —

Colossians 2:18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize (salvation, per Strong’s Concordance) by delighting in self-abasement (i.e., self flagellation and depriving oneself of physical needs) and the worship of the angels . . . 

Colossians 2:20-21   If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”

Again, by following such things, they were in grave danger of changing their position regarding their salvation — that is, removing themselves from their saved position! The Lord does not want you to do as they were doing, beloved! 

You may say, “What? Once I am saved, I am always saved! Pastor Sue, you are wrong.”  So, before I teach Colossians 1:21-23, I want first to assure you that I checked the most highly respected commentaries on this.

From The Expositor’s Bible Commentary

If the Bible teaches the final perseverance of the saints, it also teaches that the saints are those who finally persevere (that is, persevere to the end)— in Christ. Continuance is the test of the reality.

And from The New International Commentary on the New Testament

What Paul has said in Verse 22 is what they can look forward to, provided they remain on the one foundation for faith. Their first enthusiasm was being dimmed. They were in danger of shifting from the fixed ground of Christian hope. 

“Holding fast” to that hope (literally, faith) is throughout the NT an indispensable condition for attaining the goal of full salvation to be revealed at the end of things.

So, salvation is conditional. The following are Bible verses that confirm that salvation is conditional — 

Paul, to the believers at Corinth:

2Corinthians 5:20   Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

2Corinthians 6:1   And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain — 2  for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to You, and on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time, behold now is “the day of salvation.”

2Corinthians 13:5  Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you — unless indeed you fail the test?

Paul, to the believers at Galatia:

Galatians 1:6-7  I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting (turning from) Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

Galatians 4:19 My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you20 but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you. 

Galatians 5:4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law (i.e., outward works); you have fallen from grace.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived (literally, roam from truth), God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh (pleasing his sinful nature) will from the flesh reap corruption (perishing), but the one who sows to the Spirit (pleases God by being filled with the Spirit and thereby becoming a partaker of the divine nature) will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Peter, to all believers:

2Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness . . .

Hebrews 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.

Jesus Christ, to five of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, and to all believers:

Revelation 2:5 (To the church at Ephesus) “Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place — unless you repent.”

Revelation 2:16 (To the church at Pergamum) “Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them (literally, you yourselves) with the sword of My mouth.”

Revelation 2:20, 23 (To the church at Thyatira) “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 23 And I will kill her children (her followers) with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.”

Revelation 3:1, 5  (To the church at Sardis) “ . . . He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

Revelation 3:16, 19 (To the church at Laodicea) “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit (literally, vomit) you out of My mouth. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”

These scriptures clearly show that it is possible to remove yourself from your salvation. That is why Paul exhorted the believers at Colossae. Again, they were in danger of removing themselves from their saved position because they were following false teaching, a false gospel. 

Now, I will teach from Verses 21-23 of Colossians 1.

Verse 21-23a —

Colossians 1:21 And although you were formerly alienated (estranged from God) and hostile (hateful toward God) in mind, engaged in evil deeds (sins), 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy (pure) and blameless (spotless) and beyond reproach (unable to be accused) — 23 if indeed you continue (literally, remain) in the faith . . . 

Beloved, you must remain a believer in the real Jesus Christ, not the Jesus Christ that many false teachers are proclaiming in today’s church! Otherwise, you are in danger of removing yourself from your saved position!

The believers at Colossae were formerly estranged from God and hateful toward Him. They chose to do evil, just as you and I did, before we were reconciled to God through Christ. 

Beloved, this was your state, before you believed into Jesus, regardless of natural good deeds you had done. All humans are born alienated (estranged, separated) and actively enemies of God in mind, by the evil works they do. Even if you were perfect in all of the outward good works you do, you were still born with a sin nature in you, as a child of Adam.

Paul quotes from Psalm 14:2-3 and Psalm 53:1-3, in his letter to the church at Rome —

Romans 3:10, 12 . . . as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; 12 all have turned aside, together they have become useless (corrupt); there is none who does good, not even one.”

Yet! Oh, the mercies of our God! Despite your complete lack of righteousness and inability to do good in God’s eyes, you were reconciled to God. How? By Jesus Christ’s death on a cross. 

You were reconciled when you first believed into Jesus Christ. Your reconciliation to God through the cross of Jesus Christ made it possible for Jesus Christ to present you before Himself pure and spotless and unable to be accused, when you stand before Him in the day of judgment.

But I tell you the truth, when I first believed, I know that in no way was I pure and spotless and unable to be accused! I confessed Jesus Christ as my Lord at the age of 42, but I continued to sin against God the Father and God the Son — even through my own belief system. Though I was hearing sermons about the real Jesus Christ, I still believed much false teaching, including new age teaching. So, I was in the same perilous position as the believers at Colossae.

But then, at the age of 45, I obeyed His commands to stay in the city until I was clothed with power from on high, and wait for the promise of  the Father, the baptism of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). 

The Father was faithful to keep His promise! I was filled with the Spirit and my sin nature was crucified. Sin is no longer in me, so I no longer sin against the Lord. He made me pure and spotless and unable to be accused by Him in the day of judgment.

What is more, the Father and the Son and the Spirit now fully and permanently indwell me (John 14:23). And the Holy Spirit continually teaches me all the truth (John 16:13). So, when I hear false teaching — anything contrary to the Word of God and the true gospel of Jesus Christ —  I immediately reject it. 

Do you see that there is a condition for your salvation, beloved? There is an “if.” You will be presented pure and spotless and unable to be accused by Jesus Christ in the day of judgment if you continue (remain) in the faith, But you cannot remain saved when you continue to sin. And you cannot remain saved if you follow the false teaching that abounds in today’s church. You remove yourself from your salvation by your sin and by the false teaching you follow.

But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high! Wait for the promise of the Father, the baptism of the Holy Spirit! When you do, Jesus Christ will make you pure and spotless and unable to be accused when you stand before Him in the day of judgment. 

Then you will be able to determine whether what you hear from teachers is true or false. And then you will remain in the faith, steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1Corinthians 15:58). 

Beloved, you cannot make yourself holy and spotless and unable to be accused by Him in the day of judgment! He is the One who works it, so all praise and honor and glory goes to Him!

Verse 23b —

Again, you will be presented to Him pure and spotless and unable to be accused in the day of judgment if indeed you remain in the faith, firmly established (standing) in it, and steadfastly holding onto it, not moved away from (literally, removed from) the hope (faith) of the gospel you have heard. It is the gospel which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, by Paul and others, both then and now. And it is the gospel of which Paul was made a minister.

If you continue to sin, you will not be presented to Him pure and spotless and unable to be accused by Him, in the day of judgment. No one who sins will enter the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ says this —

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE (DO) LAWLESSNESS (SIN).’”

If you follow false teachers who do not teach the real Jesus Christ, you will not be presented by Jesus Christ to Himself pure and spotless and unable to be accused by Him, in the day of judgment. Why? You have removed yourself from His salvation.

So, the believers at Colossae were in a perilous position, in danger of removing themselves from their saved position and once again becoming estranged from God. They were following false teachers, and believing a false gospel. By doing so, they sinned against the Lord. 

The believers at Colossae had no spiritual discernment, but were infants in Christ who had decided to believe in another Jesus, just as with the believers at Corinth. The cure for their position would have been for them to be filled with the Holy Spirit. That is why Paul prayed for them to be filled, in Colossians 1:9-11. And that is why I pray for today’s church to be filled!

So, who are you listening to, beloved? When you stand before Jesus Christ in the day of judgment, will you be found by Him to be pure and spotless and unable to be accused? You will exclaim, “Yes!” if you are filled with the Holy Spirit. 

If you say, “No,” then heed His words today and ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit! Then you, too, will be steadfast and immovable, and always abounding in His work! Then you will no longer be in danger of removing yourself from your saved position. It is very good news for you, beloved! So, repent, believe and obey!

Lord Jesus, I pray believers would hear and heed these truths. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 29 — ACTIONS OF THE REBELLIOUS

Text: Isaiah 30:1-18

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “Actions of the Rebellious.” When the LORD’s people — then and now — seek alliance with man, trusting in man’s wisdom, man’s ways, and man’s power and protection, they rebel against the LORD. 

The LORD says —

Isaiah 2:22  Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; for why should he be esteemed?

To put your trust in man instead of Him is to rebel against Him. That is sin. But He longs to be gracious to you, if you repent!

Verse 1 —

Woe to the rebellious children, declares the LORD! What do His rebellious children do? They execute a plan, but not His, and make an alliance, but not of His Spirit. Their plan is to flee to Egypt, because 150 years from this prophecy of Isaiah, the Babylonians will overrun Jerusalem. They will put their trust in Egypt, but will not trust the LORD, who is and has always been their Redeemer (29:22).  

I tell you the truth — both then and now, believers and church leaders who are already sinning will not trust the Lord. And if you distrust the Lord, you surely will rebel against Him. Sin is rebellion against the Lord, beloved. Therefore, you add sin to sin —  adding the sin of distrust of the Lord to the sin you are already doing. Woe to you! He has sent me to exhort you to repent, and to warn you of the consequences of trusting in the world system that defies God, instead of trusting in Him.

Many commentators believe this chapter refers to the Ahaz-Assyria alliance, but I can find no scripture to support that view. They base their thinking on Isaiah 30:31-33, a judgment of Assyria by the LORD. Yes, King Ahaz of Judah sent a delegation to Assyria to seek help in defeating Syria and northern Israel (2Kings 16:7-9). But in this later prophecy, the LORD says, “They shall flee,” not “they shall send a delegation.”

Verse 2 —

What do the rebellious children do? They proceed (run) down to Egypt, to rely on them for salvation. They do not consult with the LORD, though they asked Jeremiah to consult Him for them. They reject the words the LORD speaks to them through His prophets —

Jeremiah 43:1-2   But as soon as Jeremiah, whom the LORD their God had sent, had finished telling all the people all the words of the LORD their God — that is, all these words . . .  all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, ‘You are not to enter Egypt to reside there.’”

It is the same today. When the truth is spoken by His servants, rebellious believers accuse them of lying. Jesus says they rebel because they are not yet His sheep —

John 10:4, 27 “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers. 27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me . . . “

So, Judah will rebel and flee and will take refuge in Pharaoh, and seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! But the LORD is their true refuge, and He is the One under whose wings they will find shelter. But because they are sinning, they will not seek Him for refuge and shelter, but man.

O church, hear these words! I am a watchman for the LORD (Ezekiel 33:7), and I see you relying on men to save you from being overwhelmed by those who would destroy you. You open your doors and welcome alliances with the world system that defies the Lord, in order to keep your doors open!

Verse 3 —

Because of the actions of His rebellious people, the LORD says that the safety of Pharaoh will be Judah’s shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, their humiliation. Nebuchadnezzar will overrun Egypt, and His people who will flee there will perish.

Verses 4-5 —

The captains of Judah will lead the people to their deaths. Their messengers who will travel ahead of them will arrive at Hanes (another name for Tahpanhes), on the eastern border of Egypt.

But everyone will be ashamed because of a people who cannot profit them. Judah’s efforts to find shelter in Egypt will not profit them. Instead, Egypt will be for shame and for reproach (rebuke).

Where are you seeking shelter, beloved? Where are you fleeing? Turn back to the Lord, not to man, for man cannot help you, O believer! He sees your rebellious heart, and He will change it when you repent and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit.

Verses 6-7

This is an oracle — both a vision and a word — given to Isaiah by the LORD. The commanders of Judah will send bribes to Egypt, through the messengers that are sent ahead of the remnant.

The Negev is a vast and inhospitable place. Their trip will be full of distress and anguish, full of lionesses and lions, vipers and darting, venomous serpents! Across this dangerous terrain, young donkeys and camels will carry the few treasures of Judah that have been hidden from the Babylonians.

 

But Egypt will not profit them. Her help is vain (emptiness) and empty (emptiness)! Therefore, the LORD calls her Rahab, who will be exterminated (who does nothing). Egypt’s strength will cease, for Babylon will overrun her!

Verse 8 —

The LORD tells Isaiah to write the oracle on a tablet before Judah, and inscribe it on a scroll. Remember that a tablet is a large stone that Isaiah will display in a place where all of Judah will see it. 

What is the purpose of recording the LORD’s words through Isaiah on both a tablet and a scroll? So the tablet and scroll, and the words inscribed on them, will serve as a witness against Judah, that the LORD warned them not to go to Egypt. The LORD already knows they will disobey all the warnings of His prophets, and flee to Egypt and perish. 

Verses 9-11 —

Who are the rebellious, in the LORD’s eyes — then and now? His own people. They are false sons (untrue, deceiving, lying, faithless). What are the actions of the rebellious false sons?

— They refuse to listen to the instruction of the LORD.
— They say to the seers, “You must not see visions,” for they do not like the words that the LORD’s true seers speak.

— They say to the prophets, “You must not prophesy to us what is right,” because when the LORD’s true prophets speak, they are convicted of their sin. But they want to remain in their sin which they love.

— They say to the prophets, “Speak to us pleasant words; prophesy illusions (deceits).” They want to hear false words that make them feel good. 

— They say, “Get out of the way, turn aside from the path. Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us (literally, make Him leave)!”

Verse 12-15 —

Because they reject the LORD and His instruction and His words through His prophets, they sin. Therefore, their sin will be like a breach about to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose collapse comes suddenly, in an instant. 

Their instant collapse will be like the smashing of a potter’s jar, so ruthlessly shattered (so fractured) that the pieces (shards) of pottery will be too small to be useful, even for scooping fire from a hearth, or scooping water from a cistern (shallow well). 

Just as with the church today, Judah does not see that man’s wisdom, ways, and strength will collapse, in the same way a high wall collapses when it is breached. All that Judah trusts in, and all that today’s church trusts in, will collapse. 

For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel! If He says they will suddenly collapse, then they will surely suddenly collapse. He is Lord, He is God, He is the Holy One of Israel, He is the Deliverer whom they reject!

An interesting aside about the bulge in the wall — The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem has developed a bulge. It is a sign to His people the Jews, who continue to reject their Messiah, Jesus Christ. They go to the Wailing Wall to wail for the temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and to cry out for the Lord to restore it. They place all of their trust in the temple, but the temple cannot deliver them! They have rejected their Deliverer, Jesus Christ, who is God the Son. Therefore, I expect to see the wailing wall suddenly collapse.

Verses 15-16 —

What are the actions of the rebellious? In repentance and rest (sticking fast to the LORD, like glue), they will be saved. In quietness (settling down with the LORD, as in a marriage) and trust (in the LORD), they will find strength (exchanging theirs for His, per Isaiah 40:31). But they are not willing, just as the church today and believers today trust in everything but Jesus Christ!

Instead, Judah and all rebellious believers will say, No! We will flee on horses! So the LORD says, you will flee! Judah will say, We will ride on swift horses! Therefore, the LORD says those who pursue you (hunt you down) will be swift. 

I tell you the truth, O church, O believer, if you place your trust in the world system that defies the Lord instead of placing your trust in the Lord, your pursuer, Satan, will catch you. You will not be victorious against him. Your previous victories will be completely reversed because of your rebellion.

Verse 17 —

One thousand will flee at the threat of one pursuer; you will flee at the threat of five pursuers, says the LORD to Judah and to today’s church and today’s believers who trust in man’s ways and wisdom and strength instead of trusting in the Lord!

The remnant who will remain will be like a pole on a mountaintop. They will be a sign to them and their enemies of what He will do when they rebel against the LORD.

Their defeat will be a direct reversal of their victories. No longer would one of Judah’s men put to flight a thousand (Joshua 23:10), but a thousand Judeans would flee at just one pursuer. 

When Joshua was old, he gathered Israel to remind them that the LORD promises deliverance and victory IF they obey Him —

Joshua 23:11   Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God. 12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them (take them into yourselves), and they to you: 13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you. (KJV)

O church full of sin, O believer who has been taught there is no deliverance from sin, hear the word of the Lord! He will not fight for you, because you stick like glue to man’s ways and wisdom, and not to Him! You have married the world system, instead of Him! Therefore, return to the Lord!

Verse 18 —

I will speak about this verse more fully in the next session of “Return to the LORD.” But know that the LORD longs (waits) to be gracious to you — both the His people the Jews, and His people the church. He waits on high to have compassion on you (be merciful to you)!

Lord Jesus, may today’s believers and today’s church leaders hear and heed these words, and turn back to You, for surely, as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are Your ways higher than man’s ways, and Your thoughts higher than man’s thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). Amen. 

THE REAL JESUS CHRIST — PART 3

[SW399] 10/12/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“The Real Jesus Christ — Part 3”

Text: Colossians 1:18-20, etc.

After my message two weeks ago, Lord showed me that I should now break Colossians 1:13-23 into a few verses at a time, and teach “The Real Jesus Christ” as a series. 

The church is flooded with many strange teachings about who Jesus is. I will not directly refute such false teachings in this message, but will use the Word of God to show today’s believers “The Real Jesus Christ.”

The Spirit-filled Paul did the same, with the believers at Colossae. Just like many of today’s believers, they had abandoned the true teaching of Paul, and were accepting false teaching about Jesus Christ. 

They thus revealed that they were still infants in Christ (1Corinthians 3:1), unable to discern the true from the false. They were accepting another Jesus, and a different gospel. Paul exhorted the believers at Corinth —

2Corinthians 11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

I will now show you the real Jesus Christ, from Colossians 1:18-20.  

Verse 18 —

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 

I will separate this verse into two sections. 

Verse 18a —

He (Jesus Christ) is also head of the body, the church. He alone is the Authority. 

Why is He the head of the body, the church? Because He is King over His kingdom. And it is His kingdom to which all believers belong. 

It is a scriptural truth that He appoints apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11), to bring the Body of Christ to the point of being filled with the Spirit (see Ephesians 4:12-13). But they are not the head of the church. Jesus Christ is the Head, and they are simply His servants who He has assigned to exhort His Body to be filled, and to teach and encourage them.

So, He is the Head, and you are part of the Body of Christ, which is the church. Just as a headless human body cannot remain alive, if you are not connected to Him, you cannot remain spiritually alive. God has not changed — sin will separate you from your God (Isaiah 59:1-2), disconnecting you from Him.

Beloved, in order to remain connected to Him, you must obey His command to stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4-5) to be filled with the Holy Spirit. When you do, your sin nature is crucified, so you no longer disobey the Lord.

As the Head, Jesus Christ tells the His Body — the church — what to do. A human body requires a brain in order to know what to do. You must be connected to Christ in order to know what to do, and to have His power and wisdom to do it. Sadly, many believers are disconnected from Him, and do natural works in their own power and wisdom. God is not glorified by such things!

Verse 18b —

. . .  And He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He will come to have first place in everything . . . First place means “preeminence,” first in rank, a superlative. Again it means that He is the Authority, the Head, of His church. 

As I have taught before, in no way does “firstborn” mean there was a time when He was not God the Son, but was a mere human. As Paul and John and I have already said, Jesus Christ has eternally existed with God the Father. 

He is the beginning — the first One — to be raised from the dead, defeating death. He ascended to God the Father, 40 days after He rose from the dead. 

He is the first One. Therefore, others will also defeat death. Who? Obedient believers! For such ones, death has no victory, death has no sting, as Paul writes in 1Corinthians 15:54! I will take you there, after I show you a few other scriptures that explain what happens to believers when they die.

The physical bodies of obedient believers will “fall asleep” and be buried. But from the moment they die, their spirits will immediately be with the Lord! The Spirit-filled Paul writes —

2Corinthians 5:8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

As for our resurrected bodies, Paul writes —

1Corinthians 15:20   But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep (that is, believers whose bodies have died). 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also (all) in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 

And at the end of things, believers bodies will be raised, but their resurrected bodies will not be like the body that was buried. They will receive a spiritual body that is not at all like a physical body. Listen to Paul’s words about these things —

1Corinthians 15:42   So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

1Corinthians 15:54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (See Isaiah 25:8, Hosea 13:14.)

Verse 19 —

For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him . . . 

When I preached Colossians 1:13-23 a couple of weeks ago, I believed that this verse was simply a reference to Jesus Christ being filled with the Holy Spirit, as an example to us of what believers are commanded by Him to do. But when I studied  it again for today’s message, the Lord showed me something I had not seen.

Per The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, I now see that the meaning here is much more profound. It pleased the Father to have “the fullness of deity” permanently dwell in Jesus Christ, God the Son, when He walked the earth. 

“The fullness of deity” means Jesus Christ was fully God when He walked the earth. He was all that God is, having absolutely every aspect of God the Father’s godhood, and doing what only God can do.

So, I have learned something new! But it must be supported by other scriptures. And my deeper understanding of the meaning of “all the fullness to dwell in Him” is confirmed by Paul later in Colossians —

Colossians 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority . . .

The Father is always pleased to fulfill His Word. But beloved, do you know what will please the Father now? Your obedience to Jesus Christ’s command to be filled with the Holy Spirit. When you obey Jesus’ command, God the Father will fulfill His Word, spoken in Isaiah 44:3, Jeremiah 31:31-33, and in this passage from Ezekiel   

Ezekiel 36:26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” 

When He puts His Spirit within you, that means you are filled with His Spirit. It is only then that you become a partaker (sharer) of the divine nature. You are not God, but God the Father and God the Son permanently and fully indwell you (John 14:23). 

Therefore, you walk in the same manner as Jesus walked (1John 2:6) and are as He is in this world (1John 4:17). That is what Jesus means, when He says, “And you will be my witnesses,” (see Acts 1:8). You will be a living representation of Him!

Verse 20 —

. . . And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

“Reconciled” in this verse means “to fully establish peace.” Through Jesus Christ’s blood, God the Father opened the way for peace between you and Him. The condition? You must believe into Jesus Christ.

It is by His shed blood that you are fully reconciled to God the Father —

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being (peace with God) fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed (in our relationship with God).

Jesus Christ not only made the way for peace to fully be established between God and you, but at the end of things, He will establish a new heavens (universe) and a new earth, to replace that which has been corrupted from the moment the Lord judged Adam for His sin. 

The old earth and heavens will be destroyed in this way —

2Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

And John saw the revelation of the new heavens and new earth —

Revelation 21:1   Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 

“Reconcile all things to Himself” does not mean that all people will automatically be reconciled to God even those who have rejected God the Son. But that if they believe into God the Son, they will be reconciled, and no longer under God’s wrath, as John the Baptist says — 

John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Remember, beloved, it is only through belief into Jesus Christ, God the Son, that God the Father rescues you from evil control and transfers you to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). 

You were saved when you believed into Jesus Christ. Remember, though, that your salvation is conditional, per Colossians 1:23 and elsewhere. I will show it to you next week.

So, the cost of your reconciliation with God the Father was the very blood of Jesus Christ. But the Father was pleased to do it, because it fulfilled His Word that He would make a way for you to be at peace with Him —

Isaiah 53:10   But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; 

if He would render Himself as a guilt offering . . .

Jesus Christ Himself refers to the truth that His blood would signify a new covenant, a new promise, a new contract between God and all who believe into Him —

Matthew 26:26   While they (He and His disciples) were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” 

Yet many denominations refuse to speak of the blood shed on the cross by Jesus Christ. They teach a bloodless salvation, which contradicts the Bible entirely. Such ones do not know the Lord at all, but only know some things about Him!

Now, what will you do with what the Lord has asked me to show you? 

Do you see that the Lord asked me to show this to you because of all of the false teaching about Jesus in today’s church? 

Do you see that He is the Head of His body, the church at large? Do you see that in many churches, He is not the Head, or they would not say what they say and do what they do — things completely contrary to the Word of God? Do you see that such ones do not know the Lord, but only know some things about Him?

Do you see that much of the church teaches, at best, only part of the real Jesus? Do you see that such ones do not know the Lord, but only know some things about Him?

Do you understand that some churches go so far as to say that Jesus needs our help in order to save people? Do you see that they do not know Jesus, but only know some things about Him? 

I tell you the truth, He does not need our help, but the Father and the Son have chosen to use humans who are filled with His Holy Spirit, who obey Him and who are representations of Him! Do you see that when you are a living representation of Him, it will be obvious that it is God’s work, and God will thereby be glorified?

Do you see that in many churches, teachers, preachers, prophets and leaders seek to be glorified, and thus they do not glorify God in any way? Again, do you see that such ones do not know the Lord, but just know a few things about Him?

Do you see that much of the church teaches that Jesus is like us, and had fears and worries and even depression? They do it so you can “identify” better with Him, and to make Him more user-friendly and acceptable to you. Thus they reveal they do not know Him, but only know some things about Him?

I have shown you that He never was like us, but eternally was fully God, and was fully God on the earth, and is fully God now! Again, do you see that ones that teach that “Jesus is like us” do not know Him?

The Lord has set my hand to teach you the real Jesus Christ, so you would no longer follow a Jesus that is false. So, I will continue, in all my messages, to do what He has called me to do.

Lord Jesus, may believers who see and hear this message also see the truth, repent from following falsehood, and ask You to forgive them and fill them, so they are Your living representatives here. So be it. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 28 — RISING FROM THE ASHES

Text: Isaiah 29

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “Rising from the Ashes.” The LORD calls Jerusalem Ariel, which means altar hearth. 

In those days in Jerusalem, animals were burned on altars, as sacrifices to the LORD. Only ashes remained, and they covered the altar hearth. But in Isaiah 29, the LORD promises that Jerusalem, which is covered with ashes, will rise from her ashes. 

It was true for me. I was a pile of ashes on an altar hearth! But Jesus Christ raised me up from the ashes, when I repented. He saved me, and three years later, healed me of MS, an incurable disease, and two months after that, filled me with His Holy Spirit. 

He will do the same for you, beloved. You may be a pile of ashes because of His discipline and punishment, but if you will repent, He will raise you up! Glory to God!

Verse 1 —

Isaiah speaks the LORD’s words. Woe, O Ariel, Ariel, Altar Hearth, Altar Hearth, the city where David camped. Add year to year, observe your feasts on schedule. Every feast was held as the Law of Moses specified, every tradition was followed, but His people’s hearts were not in it. 

They mechanically went through the motions of worshiping the LORD. The feasts were a remembrance of the LORD’s faithfulness and mercy toward them, delivering them from Egypt, providing for their needs in the wilderness wanderings, bringing them into the promised land — but they paid no heed. Instead, they strayed, worshiping other gods who were false and could not save them.

It is the same today. Much of the church worships mechanically, while their hearts are far from the Lord. They love the world system, blind to the truth that, by doing so, they defy the Lord. And the world’s ways and wisdom cannot save them!

Verses 2-3 —

So, the LORD will bring distress to Ariel, the altar hearth, and she will lament and mourn, and she will be like an Ariel, an altar hearth, to Me, says the LORD. She will be covered with the consequences of her sin. 

He will camp against her, encircling her, and will set up siege works (siege ramps) against her, and He will raise up battle towers against her. Jeremiah prophesied it and saw it —

Jeremiah 6:6  For thus says the LORD of hosts, “Cut down her trees and cast up a siege against Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, in whose midst there is only oppression.

Jeremiah 52:4 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.

Verse 4 —

Then you, Ariel, will be brought low. You will be humbled. From the earth you will speak. You will be laid out on the ground, face-down, and you will speak to Me. 

And from the dust where you are prostrated before Me, your words will come. Your voice will also be like that of a spirit (a hollow-sounding mumble) from the ground. And your speech will whisper from the dust. 

From my own experience, I know that it is a very good thing to be brought low by the LORD! It is a very good thing to be so weak and so near death that you can only mumble hollowly and whisper a prayer of repentance to the LORD, a petition for Him to forgive you! 

Ah! Repentance! That is what He seeks from you! I have prayed, “Lord, whatever it takes,” on behalf of those who stubbornly refuse Him and rebel against Him.

Verse 5 — 

After they have mumbled hollowly and whispered a prayer of true repentance, the LORD will deal with their captors, Babylon. He will end the Babylonian Empire by way of Media and Persia, as I have taught you. Remember that Babylon is also a symbol of the world system that defies the LORD. 

Verses 6-8 —

From the LORD of hosts, Babylon will be made like fine dust which blows away at the slightest breeze. The multitude of the ruthless ones will be like chaff which blows away at the slightest breeze. It is His judgment, a judgment from the LORD of hosts! Jeremiah prophesies —

Jeremiah 50:29  “Summon many against Babylon, all those who bend the bow: encamp against her on every side, let there be no escape. Repay her according to her work; according to all that she has done, so do to her; for she has become arrogant against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.”

And it will happen instantly, suddenly! Remember that when Babylon is judged at the end of things, her judgment will come in one hour (Revelation 18:10)! And in one night, Balshazzar’s reign ended and the Medo-Persians overran and obliterated the entire Babylonian Empire (Daniel 5:30)!

The LORD of hosts will punish Babylon with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, with whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire! Surely, this prophecy not only applies to Babylon’s demise at the hands of the Medo-Persian army, but also the end times, when the world system that defies God will be consumed by fire! 

And the multitude of all the nations who wage war against Jerusalem, those who wage war against her stronghold and who distress her will be like a dream, a vision of the night. They will evaporate, they will be as nothing. It will be the same for the world system that defies God, at the end of things.

Babylon and all of the nations will be hungry and thirsty, and nothing will be able to save them from starvation and dehydration. They will dream of eating food, but when they awaken, they will be hungry. 

They will dream of drinking water, but when they awaken, they will be faint, dying from lack of water. Their thirst will not  be quenched. They will perish from starvation and dehydration. 

When the LORD judges the whole earth, it will be the same for the multitude of nations who defy Him — all those who wage war against Mount Zion, His holy mountain which He created.

And it is also true of the world system that already wages war against those who believe into Jesus Christ and love and obey Him! They will perish. Yet if they had turned to the LORD, He would have given them His living water, eternal life! 

But they perished because they loved their sin! They reviled the Holy Spirit’s conviction, through Spirit-filled believers, regarding sin and righteousness and judgment, says Jesus Christ —

John 16:8 “And He (the Holy Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”

Verses 9-10 —

The LORD again addresses Ariel, Jerusalem, His people who have not repented. Be delayed (be reluctant to repent) and wait (be amazed and wonder). What will cause them to be amazed and wonder? Their  transformation into an altar hearth full of ashes!

Blind yourselves and be blind. They have blinded themselves. It has been their choice to be blind. Jesus spoke to His disciples regarding the Pharisees —

Matthew 15:14 “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

Become drunk, but not with wine. Stagger, but not with strong drink. If not from drink or from wine, what will cause them to become drunk and stagger?

The LORD has poured out on them not wine, not strong drink, but a spirit of deep sleep. He has put them into a trance — a state of semi-consciousness —  for they have chosen to be blind. He has shut their eyes — their prophets see nothing. He has covered their heads — the seers see no visions. 

Verses 11-12 —

In Isaiah 28, the LORD’s people would not listen to or heed the words He spoke through His prophets. In that chapter, part of the LORD’s judgment of them was that they would not be able to understand the prophecies He gave His prophets, nor would they understand the Word of God, for they chose to rebel against Him. 

In the LORD’s judgment of Jerusalem, they are unable to understand His words and unable to understand His prophets. Now He adds that they will not understand the vision Isaiah is describing to them in Chapter 29. 

His words through Isaiah will be like a sealed book. When it is given to one who can read, and he is asked to read it, he will say they cannot, for it is sealed. When it is given to one who is illiterate, and he is asked to read it, he will say, I cannot read.  

Beloved, Satan would love to have you think that the Word of God is a sealed book, that it is not understandable. But if you have repented for your sin and turned back to Him, that is a lie!  The Holy Spirit, of whom all believers receive a measure, will gradually show you what it means, if you pray and ask Him to do it. But He will not do it for those who claim to be His but rebel against Him and refuse to repent.

Verse 13 —

The LORD continued speaking through Isaiah, calling them out for drawing near to Him with their words, and pay Him lip service, but their hearts are far from Him. Their reverence toward Him is outward — it is outward obedience to the Law of Moses that is taught by men. It is to follow tradition, to bow because you are supposed to bow, to pray a written prayer instead of speaking what is in your heart to the LORD, in the holy conversation with Him called prayer.

Jerusalem’s defiance toward the LORD reveals that they have no relationship with Him, or they would learn from Him, and their hearts would be His. Remember, they are the ones who have chosen to worship false gods, who please their sin nature. 

If you rebel against Him and have not repented, you will be unable to do anything but worship the Lord as rote and tradition, and pay lip service to Him, making promises to Him that you have no intention of keeping. I know, because I rebelled against Him, and yet still went to church on Sunday and sang in the choir. It was an outward act. I had no relationship with Him. I just did what my church expected me to do. I know many Christians today who are the same as I was. 

Verse 14 —

Because they do not worship the LORD nor obey nor love Him, He will once again deal marvelously with this people. He will do wonders among them. He delivered them from Egypt, and brought them into the land. But now, He will do the opposite, because they oppose the One who set them free!

The wisdom of their wise men will perish. It will be completely destroyed. The discernment of their discerning men will be concealed (hidden). They are not speaking from the LORD. They do not even know Him, or they would never speak what they speak!

Those who say Judah will not go into captivity will be shown to be liars who do not know Him. The false prophet Hananiah said the LORD told him that Judah would be returned from exile in two years. It sounded good, but it was false! So, here is the LORD’s judgment upon Hananiah, spoken through Jeremiah —

Jeremiah 28:16 “Therefore thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This year you are going to die, because you have counseled rebellion against the LORD.’”

Jeremiah 28:17   So Hananiah the prophet died in the same year in the seventh month.

Verse 15 —

Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the LORD, and whose deeds are done in a dark place. And they say, Who sees us? or Who knows us? The LORD searches the heart, He examines the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what His deeds deserve (Jeremiah 17:10)! All things are open and laid bare to the One to whom all humans will be held accountable (Hebrews 4:13)!

Verse 16 —

You turn things around, says the LORD. You are the clay — I am the Potter. You cannot hide from Me, you cannot worship mechanically and expect me to be pleased. You cannot try to hide your sin from Me! 

The LORD says, You cannot say I did not make you, for I surely did! I formed you. What are you doing, saying I have no understanding? You refute My prophets! 

Therefore, the LORD will judge them. He will send them into exile for 70 years. They will be there until they have children, and their children have children. The whole generation of those who rebelled against Him in Judah will be gone, before He will bring them back to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 25:11, 29:6).

Verses 17-19 —

But in a little while, after the 70 years are up, He will bring back to the land all who repent

Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 ‘I will be found by you,’” declares the LORD, “and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,” declares the LORD, “and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.”

I was puzzled by the reference to Lebanon, as were the commentators, so I did a word search in my Bible software. Indeed, Joshua and all Israel conquered Lebanon (Joshua 1:4, 13:1-5). He did just what the LORD commanded —

Joshua 13:6 “All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon as far as Misrephoth-maim, all the Sidonians, I will drive them out from before the sons of

Israel; only allot it to Israel for an inheritance as I have commanded you.”

When they repent, they will no longer be spiritually deaf. They will hear words of a book — His book! And He will give them understanding. Out of the gloom and darkness of their captivity, His spiritually blind people will see!

To repent is to become humble toward the LORD, to repent before Him. And here is His promise to such ones — 

The afflicted (humbled) will also increase their gladness in the Lord, and the poor (who see their spiritual poverty will rejoice in the Holy one of Israel. Blessed are the humble, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5)! Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3)!

Verses 20-21 —

For the ruthless (even the ruthless among His people) will come to an end and the scorner (even the scorners among His people) will be finished. Indeed, all who are intent on doing evil will be cut off. They will perish. 

Such ones, by their falsehood, brought Judah under His condemnation. They led His people into sin. Such ones laid a trap for the righteous elders who sat at the gate in order to reprove those who were doing wrong — just as the Pharisees and Jewish leaders tried to entrap Jesus Christ! Such ones defrauded the righteous with worthless things, nonsense, and nothingness.

Verses 22-24 —

The LORD delivered Abraham, rescuing him from his enemies many times, and bringing him into the land that his descendants would possess. And the LORD made a one-way covenant with Abraham. He promised that He would make Abraham the father of many nations! 

In the same way, when they repent, He will redeem Jacob — this time, Jacob refers to both northern and southern Israel. They will no longer be shamed by all the nations, nor will their faces turn pale with terror over His judgment of them.

Instead of shame and terror, when Jacob sees his children surrounding him, the offspring of those in exile and those who will belong to the LORD — both Jew and Gentile — will sanctify the LORD’s name. “Sanctify” means they will proclaim His holy character. Indeed, they will proclaim that He is the only Holy One! And they will stand in awe of the God of Israel, marveling at what He has done!

Those who erred in spirit will know the truth. They will understand His counsel. It will be the opposite of Verses 11 and 12! And those who murmured about and criticized Him will gladly receive His teaching.

Beloved, will you gladly receive His teaching? What and whom are you listening to? If it contradicts the Word of God, go away from that one! But you must know the Word of God to be able to discern for yourself whether someone is speaking out of their own imagination. 

Woe to the church, most of whose members never pick up their Bibles so they would know the truth and be able to discern truth from error (delusion and deceit)! It is no wonder that they follow the voice of strangers who teach them foolishness and nothingness!

Lord Jesus, I pray that believers would repent and return to You. May they seek You, their Good Shepherd, and learn Your voice. Surely, if they repent, they will be among the many whom You have raised from the ashes. Amen!