BEARING HIS FRUIT

[SW420] 02/29/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“Bearing His Fruit”

Text: John 15:1-11

The next essential, absolutely necessary truth that Jesus Christ has asked me to show you has two parts —

# 1 — When you carry out His commandments to stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5) to be filled with the Holy Spirit, He will make you a bearer of His fruit. 

# 2But if you do not carry out His commandments, you cannot bear His fruit. So the Father will remove you, detaching you from Jesus Christ, and you will dry up. Then you will be destroyed, at the end of things.

Beloved, He does not desire that any should perish, but that all come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). So He calls you to repent, while it is still today.

After I was saved, I was ignorant of Jesus Christ’s commandments to be filled with the Holy Spirit. So I did not in any way bear Jesus Christ’s fruit. It is the same for many of today’s believers.

But what is His fruit that all believers must bear? He has asked me to show it to you, and to exhort you to repent and carry out His commandments to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so you bear His fruit. The lovingkindness of God is repentance, beloved (see Romans 2:4)!

In this passage, Jesus Christ and the Eleven had left the upper room and were  traveling through the Kidron Valley, toward the Mount of Olives. I believe that as they passed the temple, they looked up at the emblem of the great golden grapevine, the national emblem of Israel, on the front of the temple. (Source: Expositor’s Bible Commentary.) 

That is why Jesus says what He says in the first verse.

Verse 1 —

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.”

As they looked at the emblem of the great golden grapevine, Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” 

He is the true Vine, the true Source of His fruit. Therefore, there are false vines — the outwardly religious whose hearts are darkened with sin. It is the same today as when Jesus Christ walked on the earth.

Jesus is the true Vine. Branches are attached to grapevines. The Father is the Vinedresser who tends the branches. How does He tend them? Jesus tells us, in Verse 2.

Verses 2-3 — 

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away (removes); and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” 

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away (removes); and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”

Not all the branches who are attached to Jesus bear His fruit. As I have said, I did not bear His fruit after I was saved. I did not bear His fruit until I was filled with His Holy Spirit.

So the Father — the One who tends the vine — removes the branches that do not bear fruit. So, it is possible to be a branch attached to Jesus Christ that does not bear fruit. The Father removes such ones, detaching them from Jesus Christ.

Then He prunes (trims) the fruit-bearing branches. Therefore, those fruit-bearing branches produce fruit even more abundantly.

 

3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” 

Again, He speaks of what the Eleven are not yet, but will be when they carry out His commandments to stay and wait to be filled with His Spirit. It is then that their hearts will be completely made clean (Acts 15:9), and it is then that they will bear His fruit. It is the same for you.

Beloved, after you are filled with the Spirit and are bearing His fruit, the Father will continue to prune you so that you even more abundantly bear His fruit. He who has begun a good work in you will continue to perfect it until Jesus returns, taking you from one degree of Christlikeness to the next and the next and the next (see Philippians 1:6, 2Corinthians 3:18)!

Verse 4 —

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” 

What does He mean by His command to abide in Him, and Him in you? It is exactly as He has already said — the Holy Spirit will be inside of you, forever (John 14:17), and He and Father will also be inside of you, permanently and fully indwelling you (John 14:23). 

You cannot bear His fruit out of your own efforts. You cannot bear His fruit until you carry out His commandments and are filled with the Spirit. 

What is His fruit? The fruit of the Spirit, as Paul tells us from Galatians 5:22-23 —

God’s love, the same love the Father has for the Son

— God’s joy, His exceeding gladness

— God’s peace, His quietness and rest

— God’s patience, His patient persistence

— God’s kindness, His moral excellence

— God’s goodness, His perfect goodness 

— God’s faith

— God’s humbleness (that is, He is not self-seeking, self-centered or selfish)

— God’s self-control, because your sin nature has been crucified (Galatians 5:24)

Beloved, His fruit is divine fruit — not human fruit. You cannot bear His divine fruit until the Father, the Son and the Spirit fully indwell you. Then you walk as Jesus walked and are as He is in the world (1 John 2:6, 1John 4:17), bearing the fruit of His Holy Spirit.

Sin is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit, beloved. But sin is the fruit you bear if you have disobeyed His commandments, because your sin nature is still alive and well. Therefore, you bear its fruit, not His, and will not inherit the kingdom of God (see Galatians 5:19-21). And as Jesus has said, the Father will detach you from Him.

Verses 5-6 —

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much (abundant) fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing (nothing at all). 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” 

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much (abundant) fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing (nothing at all).”

Jesus clearly tells them that He is the vine, and the Eleven are the branches. It is the same for you, beloved. Believers are His branches. If you are in Him and He is in you, then you will bear His fruit abundantly!

But if you are not in Him and He is not in you, you cannot bear any of His fruit at all. Beloved, all of the natural good works that you may be doing are not His fruit, for they are things any kindhearted human being would do. And you sin by disobeying His commandments to stay and wait.

You are only able to bear His fruit if you are in Him and He is in you — that is, He and the Father and the Spirit fully indwell you, so His divine nature is in you and you are one with Him, united in purpose, operating together with Him. If that is true of you, Jesus says you will bear His fruit abundantly!

6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” 

Jesus clearly says that those who do not bear His fruit are thrown away as a branch, and dry up. Then they are gathered and cast into the fire and burned. 

He speaks of anyone who does not abide in Him! Such ones were branches who were attached to Him. They were saved. But they do not bear His fruit. So, they will be cut off, and will dry up. Then they will be gathered up, and eternally destroyed. Jesus describes the gathering and burning, in Matthew 13:39-40, 49. 

As I have said, if you are saved but still sinning against Him, it is impossible for  you to bear His fruit. So, Jesus uses this graphic description to exhort you to repent, and warns you of the consequences of your sin — the Father will detach you from Him!

Verses 7-8 —

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

When you bear much fruit because you are filled with Him and the Father and the Spirit, then ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you, just as He said earlier —

John 14:13 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do . . . 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”

Remember, to ask in His name is to ask according to His divine character and nature. And those who are filled with Him, have His divine character and nature. You are united with Him in purpose, and operate together with Him. So when you ask what you wish, you ask what He wishes. And it will be done for you.

8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”

Why will the Father be glorified when you bear His fruit? Because He is the only One who can make you like His Son, giving you His divine character and nature! He is the only One who can unite you with Him in purpose, so you operate together with Him! 

Bearing His fruit will make it obvious that you are His disciple and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true — you are the living proof, for there is no other way that you could bear His fruit! 

And those with eyes to see and ears to hear will exclaim, “This one works the works of God! This one walks as Jesus walked and is as Jesus is in this world! The gospel of Jesus Christ must be true!” And they will glorify the Father, giving Him honor and praise for sending His Son!

Verses 9-11 — 

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.”

Jesus loves the Eleven just as the Father loves Him — with God’s divine love! So He commands them to abide in His love. Because of His words in the next verse, I believe the “abide” in this verse means to tarry for/wait for His love. Stay and wait for His love to fill you, beloved!

10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”

If you carry out His commandments to stay and wait, you will surely abide in His love. Why? Because the Father’s love — His divine love — will abide in you. Jesus says it is the same way with Him and the Father —  Jesus Christ is God the Son, and loves with God’s divine love. He carries out the Father’s commandments, and is loved by the Father, with the Father’s divine love.

Again, when you are filled with His Holy Spirit, your rebellious sin nature is crucified and the Holy Spirit fills you to overflowing with God’s divine love (Romans 5:5). So you obey the Father, just as Jesus Christ does, and you are loved by the Father.

11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

He has spoken these things to you, beloved, so that His joy will indwell you permanently and fully, just as He indwells you permanently and fully. Therefore, your joy will be made full, made complete, made perfect, for you are filled with His divine joy!

Beloved, do you bear His divine fruit? Or do you bear the fruit of the sin nature, like I did, before I even knew it was His commandment that I be filled with His Spirit? 

Now you know — so do what I did! Repent and carry out His commandments to stay and wait! He will surely make you a bearer of His fruit, just as He did me!

The consequence of your refusal of Jesus Christ’s words is clearly spoken by Him. You will perish. Again, He does not desire that any perish, but that all repent (2Peter 3:9). So repent!

Lord Jesus, may sinning believers see this truth, obey Your commandments to stay and wait, so they become abundant bearers of Your fruit. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 48 — HIS JUDGMENT OF SATAN/BABYLON/THE WORLD SYSTEM THAT DEFIES GOD AND THOSE WHO WORSHIP IT

Text: Isaiah 47

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “His Judgment of Satan/Babylon/the World System That Defies God and Those Who Worship It.” Remember that Babylon was a powerful empire. Satan has a powerful empire — today’s world system that defies the Lord. Those who worship the world system, and thereby worship Satan himself, will be judged.

In this chapter, their judgment and punishment is described in detail. I will speak in terms of the Lord’s final judgment of Satan and today’s world system that defies Him.

Verses 1-3 —

The LORD speaks to Babylon. Come and sit down in the dust — mourn — O virgin daughter (maiden, lady) of Babylon! All that you have trusted in is false, and now you see it! You have defied the living God, and now you will be judged!

Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter (nation) of the Chaldeans! Your kingdom will be destroyed, O Babylon! You shall no longer be called tender (soft) and delicate (luxurious). Your soft living, your luxury, will be taken from you. 

Instead, hard labor awaits you — grinding meal with a heavy millstone. Shave off  the hair of your head, as a sign of mourning. Bare your legs, O fugitive Babylon, even to the thigh, so you can pass over the rivers as you attempt to escape the Lord’s judgment.

The LORD says, “Your nakedness will be uncovered, your shame also will be exposed.” He will uncover all that is hidden, O Babylon, O world system that defies Him! He will rebuke and disgrace you! 

The LORD says, “I will take vengeance (inflict harm), and will not spare a man (literally, I will not come to you as a man).” He will inflict harm on you, because they inflicted harm on His people, in their captivity. 

Babylon had His permission to take them into exile, but not to abuse them. They defied Him. So, He will not come against Babylon as a man, but as the LORD, for He is God alone! 

The world system defies the Lord by mocking, persecuting and murdering those who believe into Jesus Christ. Therefore, Jesus Christ will come and judge them —

Revelation 19:11   And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

Satan, whose kingdom is the world system, defied the living God, because he believed he was higher, wiser and mightier than God —

Isaiah 14:12 “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!

13 “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.”

The world system, and those who worship it, think they are higher, wiser, and mightier than God. They mock and persecute and imprison and murder those who love and obey the Lord.

At the Lord’s hand, Satan fell from heaven. Satan now sits on an earthly throne, for the time being, as ruler of the world system and those who worship it. But he and his earthly kingdom will end. He will be dethroned and cast into the lake of fire at end of things, as will the world system and all those who worship it —

Revelation 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life (because they have refused Jesus Christ), he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Verse 4 —

Isaiah pauses here to say what His people will say, when they see His judgment of Babylon — 

“As for our redeemer (Deliverer, Avenger), the LORD of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel.” (KJV)

It is the LORD of hosts, Jesus Christ who will deliver His repentant people from Babylon. And at the end of things, He will judge the world system that defies Him and His Father and abuses those who believe into Him and obey Him.

Revelation 19:11   And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

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

Verse 5 —

As for Babylon and the world system that defies Him, the LORD says, “Sit silently and go into darkness (destruction), O daughter of the Chaldeans. For you will no longer be called the queen of kingdoms.”

When the LORD judged Babylon, the Chaldeans were enslaved by the Medo-Persians. Babylon was never again a nation, even to this day. 

In the same way, Satan himself, and the world system and those who worship it, will be judged by the LORD and sentenced to eternal perishing, in the lake of fire. Satan and his kingdom will be destroyed forever!

He does not desire any to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). Peter writes this to the straying church!

 But even when Jesus Christ returns to judge the world system and those who worship it, there will be some who continue to defy Him by refusing to repent.

Verses 6-7 —

The LORD recounts Babylon’s sin against His people, saying, “I was angry (enraged) with My people, I profaned (defiled) My heritage (My people who were to be My heirs).” 

He was enraged because His people defied Him, worshiping false gods. So, He used Babylon to defile and trample down His people, by sending them into exile in a pagan nation.

But Babylon abused His people mercilessly.  Even those weakened by age carried a yoke of slavery that was heavy and harsh beyond measure.

Babylon went far beyond the punishment He desired for His rebellious people. It did not surprise Him. He knew Babylon would do it, because He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). 

And Babylon boasted — like Satan, and the world system He rules, and its worshipers! They said, “I will be a queen forever!” I will reign forever! No one can defeat me! 

But they did not consider the outcome of their words and actions. They were unwise. They did not contemplate their future punishment for their defiance. It is the same today, for Satan and his kingdom, the world system that defies God.

As I have been teaching you, the root of all false gods is the god of self, which even today is worshiped in the hearts of believers, because of their sin nature. They sit on the throne of their own hearts. Thus, they are exiled from His presence, and are continually being sifted like wheat, by Satan 

Luke 22:31   “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Beloved, I come to tell you how He will strengthen you now! He will crucify the sin nature in you, and make you a partaker of His divine nature! He will fill you with His Holy Spirit!

The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit will permanently and fully indwell you (John 14:23)! Then you will gladly be a servant of the Father and the Son and will no longer foolishly believe that you should rule yourself, and that God does not mind if you lust as the world lusts. Hear God’s promises, from Peter 

2Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Verse 8 —

The LORD says, “Now hear this, you sensual one (living in luxury and sensual pleasure), who dwells securely, who says in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me. I will not sit as a widow, nor know loss of children.’”

Babylon thinks it cannot be conquered. It is secure, it is its own god. It immerses itself in sensual pleasures. It says, I am my own god, and there is no other god but me. So, I will never be made a widow because of war, and my children will never be destroyed.

Satan says the same. The worshipers of the world system that defies God say the same. Believers in whom the god of self rules say the same!

Verse 9 —

They think they are their own god. They think they cannot be conquered. But hear what the LORD says (I am putting the Hebrew-to-English in parantheses) — 

“But these two things will come on you suddenly, in one day; loss of children, and widowhood. They will come on you in full measure, (because of) your many sorceries, (because of) the great (abundance) of your spells.” 

Babylon, and Satan, and all who worship the god of self, think they have power. They think they can manipulate and defeat the LORD by using witchcraft. But witchcraft is powerless against the LORD and those who love and obey Him! 

All that such ones rely upon and trust in will fail, for they rely upon evil to defeat the LORD. They will be defeated, they will have no offspring — no means of reproducing.

All this will happen in one day. As I have taught you, Babylon was defeated by the Medo-Persian army in one night, per Daniel 5:30.

Verse 10 —

The LORD continues to tell Babylon, Satan and the worshipers of the world system that which they have not considered. He says, “You felt secure in your wickedness, and said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; for you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no other.”

The god of self ruled in the hearts of the Babylonians. It rules in Satan. It rules in the hearts of those who worship the world system. And it rules in the hearts of believers, until their sin nature is crucified. 

You who worship the god of self feel secure in your wickedness, your wretchedness that you do not see. To the church at Laodicea, which felt secure in its love of the world and the things of the world, Jesus says —

Revelation 3:17 “Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked . . .”

They were deluded about their spiritual condition. In Revelation 3:18-19, He advised them to repent and be purified! 

In the same way, the LORD says of Babylon’s wisdom and knowledge, “They have deluded you, for you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no other.”

Satan’s wisdom and knowledge, the world system’s wisdom and knowledge, the church at Laodicea’s wisdom are a delusion. By relying on this delusion, Babylon, Satan and the world system and its worshipers deceive themselves!

Verse 11 — 

Therefore, the LORD says to the deluded ones, “But evil (calamity) will come upon you which you will not know how to charm away (literally, you will not know where it arises from) ; and disaster (ruin) will fall on you for which you cannot atone (for which there is no pardon); and destruction about which you do not know will come on you suddenly.

They think they know! They think they are wise! But they do not know! He will send calamity, and they will not know from where it arises. He will send ruin, but they will have no means to be pardoned so it will not come upon them. They will not know about the destruction that will come upon them. All the worldly wisdom and knowledge upon which they have relied will fail them.

Verses 12-13 

The LORD says, “Stand fast now in your spells, and in your many sorceries with which you have labored from your youth. Perhaps you will be able to profit, perhaps you may cause trembling (cause dread). You are wearied with your many counsels. Let now the astrologers, those who prophesy by the stars, those who predict by the new moons, stand up and save you from what will come upon you.”

In Babylon, the intellectual and the magical were intertwined, the wise man being instructed in all the arts of the supernatural (per The Expositor’s Bible Commentary). The LORD knows they will rely upon their witchcraft. He says, “Perhaps,” to mock them, because such things will not profit them, and such things have no power, and such things do not make Him tremble.

The Babylonians and the world system that defies God, and those who worship the world system are faint from seeking worldly wisdom and advice. Their astrologers prophesy nonsense. None of these things can save them from what will come upon them, at the hands of the LORD.

O church, I see many of you who rely on astrology, who go to fortune tellers to tell them about their future. And there are fortune tellers in the pulpits and on the platforms in the church, and in the conference rooms! 

These fortune tellers in pulpits and on platforms perform witchcraft to counsel you, and prophesy nonsense, telling you the Lord wants to make you make you rich and wealthy and in need of nothing! They tell you that what the Lord formerly called sin is no longer sin. 

But you are separated from the Lord by your sin! You are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked! Repent and be purified, says Jesus Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit, and you will no longer be deluded!

Verse 14 —

The LORD says, “Behold! They (the astrologers) have become like stubble (He mows them down), fire burns them (they are judged and sentenced to hell); they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame; there will be no coal to warm by, nor a fire to sit before!”

The witches and astrologers cannot deliver themselves from their sentence. They have chosen it. There will be no comfort in the hell to which they will be sentenced by the LORD. It is the same today, O churchgoer! Repent!

Verse 15 —

The LORD says it will be the same for those who have followed witchcraft, who have followed astrology. Each has wandered in his own way. They have chosen to follow nonsense instead of the Lord. There is none to save them. 

O church, may you see it! You have no discernment to understand that your end will be the same as Satan’s end, and the same as the world system’s end, and the same as the end of all who prophesy nonsense and practice witchcraft in today’s church! Turn back to the Lord, while it is still today! 

Lord Jesus, may Your church see herself and be horrified, repent, and turn back to You. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

HE WILL BE IN YOU!

[SW419] 02/22/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“He Will Be In You”

Text: John 14:15-24

The next essential, absolutely necessary truth that Jesus Christ has asked me to show you is this —

He promises that when you carry out His commandments, He and the Father and the Spirit will fully and permanently indwell you, and you will become a partaker of their divine nature. He says you will carry out His commandments, if you love Him with all your heart, beloved. But He says that if you do not love Him, you will not carry out His commandments.

Verses 15-17 —

“If you love Me, you will keep (carry out) My commandments. and 16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another (allon, another of the same kind) Helper (Counselor), that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit (literally, Holy Spirit) of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in (within) you.”

“If you love Me, you will keep (carry out) My commandments. (AND)”

I have added the word “and,” to Verse 15 because it is in the original Greek-to-English. If you love Jesus Christ with your human love, you will carry out His commandments, and then He will give you another Counselor who is of the same kind as Him. 

What are the commandments that you will carry out because you love Him? The commandments that He gave before He ascended and was glorified — stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4-5) for the promise of His Father, the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I tell you the truth, when I was an infant in Christ, I could not carry out any of Jesus’ commandments. But I loved Him with all my heart, and I wanted to know Him as intimately as I possibly could. 

So I carried out these two commandments. And the Father gave me the Counselor, who dwells within me! Then I was able to carry all the rest of His commandments. If you do as I did, you will, too!

So, if you love Him with all your heart, you will carry out His commandments to stay and wait, and

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another (allon, another of the same kind) Helper (Counselor), that He may be with you forever; 

Jesus will ask the Father, and the Father will give you another Counselor who is the same kind as Him. Jesus says the Counselor is a “He.” And Jesus says He is another of the same kind as Him. Jesus is God the Son, so the Counselor is also God. They are both part of God.

And the Counselor will be with you forever! The Father will give Him to you, when you carry out Jesus Christ’s commandments because you love Him with all your heart! 

. . . that is the Spirit (literally, Holy Spirit) of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him,

Jesus now fully identifies the Counselor as the Holy Spirit. He is the Holy Spirit of truth, because He is part of God, and God is the Source of all truth. Every part and aspect of God expresses the truth.

Jesus says the world system that defies God and the worshipers of that system cannot receive the Holy Spirit of truth. Why? They have chosen to rebel against God and have chosen to reject Jesus Christ. Therefore, they cannot see the Holy Spirit, they cannot know Him in any way, and they cannot experience Him personally.

. . .  but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in (within) you.”

Jesus tells the Eleven that they know the Holy Spirit of truth and will yet know Him. Again, Jesus speaks of what His disciples are not yet but will be.

In what way did the disciples already know Him, and in what way would they yet know Him? 

— The Holy Spirit is God the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ is God the Son. Therefore, when Jesus walked the earth, the Eleven saw the Holy Spirit by walking with Jesus. They outwardly knew the Holy Spirit by outwardly knowing Jesus Christ.

— But Jesus says they will yet know the Holy Spirit, in a new way — a holy, intimate, spiritual way — because Jesus said, “He will be in (within) you. 

Jesus says that when the Holy Spirit is inside of them forever, they will fully know the Holy Spirit by intimately experiencing Him! Why? He will be within them! It is the same for you, beloved!

Verses 18-19 —

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.” 

The Eleven were His little children (John 13:33). He told them He must leave them. But He promised He would come to them.

He spoke on the night He was to be arrested. He was crucified the next day, and buried in a tomb. So truly, it was just a little while until the world would no longer see Him in the natural.

But He promised the Eleven that they would see Him again! And they did, when He rose on the third day, and then, when the Holy Spirit was within them!

And He promised that because He lives, they will live. He rose from the dead and lives forever. And they, too, will live forever, because they have believed into Him, they have loved Him with all their hearts, and they have carried out His commandments so His eternal life is literally within them. It will be the same for you, beloved!

Verse 20 —

 “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

In what day will they know? The day when the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are inside of them! 

When they and the rest of the 120 were filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:4, they fully knew and understood that Jesus was in His Father, they fully knew that they were in Jesus, and they intimately experienced Jesus, within them! 

Just as it was with them, you will see, fully understand, and intimately experience these truths —

— That Jesus Christ is in His Father. What does that mean? God the Father and God the Son are separate parts of one God, and are the same in divine nature and character. Therefore, they are united in purpose, and operate together, as One God.

— That you are in Jesus Christ! You will become a partaker of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4). You are not God, but you will have His divine nature in you. Therefore, you will be one with Him, united in purpose, operating together with Him.

— That Jesus Christ Himself is inside of you. This is a further revelation from Jesus. He has said the Holy Spirit would be in them forever. Now He says that He Himself will be inside of them! Therefore, He also will be within them forever! And it will be the same for you, beloved!

Verses 21-23 —

“He who has (does) My commandments and keeps (carry outs) them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him (make Himself clearly seen by him).” 22 Judas (not Iscariot)  said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 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. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”

I will step down through this indescribably powerful truth —

He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

Just as in Verse 15 and 21, Jesus says that if you carry out His commandments, you reveal that you love Him. But Jesus adds this — if you love Him, the Father loves you, and Jesus loves you. Until you are filled with Him, you can only love Him with all of your heart, with your human love. But their love is divine love. It is the same love the Father has for the Son. (Reference: Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance).

So, God the Father and God the Son love you with their divine love because you love them with all your heart, with your human love, and therefore carry out Jesus Christ’s commandments. And I must tell you that when the Holy Spirit fills you, He will pour out God’s divine love into your heart, until it overflows (Romans 5:5)! Then you will love God the Father and God the Son with their divine love!

Jesus Christ says that if you love Him with all your heart, He will disclose Himself to you. He means that you will clearly see Him, in a spiritual way. How? He will be inside of you, per His words from Verse 20!

22 Judas (not Iscariot)  said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 

Judas (not Iscariot) then spoke what the rest of the Eleven were thinking. They did not understand what He was saying. What did He mean when He says they will clearly see Jesus, but the world will not see Him? 

Again, the Eleven do not understand because of their own faulty conception of who He is. But they will suddenly understand, when the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are inside of them. It is the same for you, beloved!

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.”

Again, Jesus answers by repeating what He said in Verses 15 and 21. But now He adds the truth that God the Father will also be in you, along with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. All three will come to you and make their abode (dwelling place, home) within you!

The Greek word for “make” is in a particular grammatical tense — it is a prolonged verb, indicating a permanent act. So, when they come and are inside of you, they make you their dwelling place permanently and fully.

Why do I say they will stay permanently and fully? Because from Acts 2:4 onward, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is described as being filled with the Holy Spirit. So you are filled with them, and they stay permanently and fully.

God will not dwell in the presence of sin. So, when God comes to permanently and fully indwell you, He completely purifies your heart (Acts 15:9), removing sin from it. So, all that is in you that is not of God is suddenly and instantly removed. 

Now Jesus Christ warns those who do not carry out the words that He has just spoken —

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

If you do not carry out His commandments to stay and wait, you reveal that you do not love Him! Jesus puts an exclamation mark at the end of His words, saying that this truth comes directly from the highest Authority, the One who is greater than Him — that is, the Father Himself.

Beloved, there are many infants in Christ (1Corinthians 3:1-3) in today’s church who have not carried out His commandments, thereby revealing that they do not love Him! Many such infants have said to me, “I do not need ‘it.’” 

If you are like them, then you must repent, for Jesus Christ says you do not love Him! But if you repent from your heart and truly believe into Him, you will indeed love Him with all your heart, with your human love. Then you will carry out His commandments, and He will be faithful to do all that He promises in this passage. 

If you are not like them, then you are rejoicing at the words the Lord has given me to speak, for you have loved Him with all your heart and carried out His commandments. Therefore, you know by intimate experience that they are true! And like me, you are praying for the infants in Christ who do not love Him!

Lord Jesus, I pray that the hearts of all infants in Christ will be powerfully pricked by the words You have given me, so that they repent! Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 47 — THE BURDENED CHURCH

Text: Isaiah 46

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “The Burdened Church.” False gods have no strength because they are not gods at all, so they bend over and stoop. And those who worship them and make idols to them become like them — they also have no strength, and bend over and stoop. They become burdened by what they worship — weary, bowed down and stooped over (Psalm 115:8)!

This is a prophecy of the LORD’s judgment of His people for their idolatry. He speaks again of the coming Babylonian captivity. 

But it also applies to today’s church, where the god of self is worshiped and exalted by many churchgoers and exalted from many pulpits and by many leaders of today’s denominations. But the idol to the god of self, whose root is the sin nature, must be carried. It is a burden. It has no strength. It causes those who carry it to be weary, to bow down and stoop.

The LORD has asked me to speak boldly and bluntly to you today. O church, you have become what you worship! You have no strength, you are weary, you bow down and stoop!

Verse 1 —

NOTE: Bel/Baal/Marduk was the chief god of Babylon. Nebo was the son of Marduk. 

Isaiah says, “Bel has bowed down, Nebo stoops over. Their images are consigned to the beast and the cattle (which must carry them around). The things carried by you are burdensome, a load for the weary beast.” 

The LORD’s people — both then and now — do not see that these gods have no strength. They do not see they themselves have no strength because they worship that which has no strength.

They do not see that the idols they make to false gods are a burden that they must carry, because their false gods are not gods at all. They become weary from carrying idols to them, and put their idols on beasts.

Verse 2 —

Therefore, the LORD’s people who carry idols to false gods are stooped over, and have bowed down (stooped down) together; they could not rescue their burden, the idols to the false gods that they carry. But they have themselves gone into captivity. 

They cannot rescue their burdensome false gods, nor can their false gods save them from going into Babylonian captivity. That is because their false gods are no gods at all! Today’s church is full of captives of their own sin nature and slaves to sin. Why? Few believe and teach the truth that Jesus Christ will set them free from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36), if they will ask Him to crucify their sin nature and fill them with the Holy Spirit.

Verse 3 —

So the LORD says, “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, you who have been borne by Me from birth, and have been carried from the womb . . .”

In contrast to idols to false gods, which must be carried and are burdens to those who worship them, the LORD has borne His people, and the LORD has carried them, even when they were still in the womb. He has not been a burden for them to carry, but He has carried them! O Christian! Repent! Throw away the god of self to the moles and the bats, and the Lord will carry you!

He speaks to the Israel which is in Judah. Northern Israel had already been judged for their idolatry, and were carried off and scattered across the known world by the Assyrians, never to be a nation again. 

But the Lord clarified for me the reason why He refers to Judah as Jacob and Israel. Members of all 12 tribes resided in Judah. Why? Some of each of the 12 tribes could not bear to be in the midst of the wicked idol worship in northern Israel (which included child sacrifice). 

Their hearts were set on seeking the LORD God of Israel. So, they fled from northern Israel when the Levitical priests were excluded by King Jeroboam from serving as priests there 

2Chronicles 11:14 For the Levites left their pasture lands and their property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had excluded them from serving as priests to the LORD. 15 He set up priests of his own for the high places, for the satyrs (demons) and for the calves which he had made. 16 Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the LORD God of their fathers.

So in that way, Judah became Jacob and Israel. It was because members of all 12 tribes dwelled there. I thank the Lord for continuing to teach me, by His Holy Spirit!

Verse 4 —

Therefore, He promises to His repentant ones, “Even to your old age I will be the same, and even to your graying years, I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you, and I will bear you, and I will deliver you.”

Those who repent for their idolatry will be carried by Him all of their lives, even to the time they are old and gray-haired. They will be borne by Him. He has done it! 

We did not make Him, but He made us. So to worship Him — instead of the false god of self, O church — is no burden. We are not bent down or stooped over, for we do not carry Him. He carries us!

Verse 5 —

Again, He asks His people — including today’s church — 

“To whom would you liken Me, and make me equal and compare me, that we would be alike?”

There is no god like Him. All other gods are false, and are a burden that you carry. He is the true and living LORD! 

Verses 6-7 —

The LORD continues, “Those who lavish gold from the purse, and weigh silver on the scale hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god. They bow down, indeed they worship it. They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it. They set it in its place and it stands there. It does not move from its place. Though one may cry to it, it cannot answer. It cannot deliver him from his distress.” 

The gold and silver idols represented false gods who are no gods at all. Idols to them must be carried by those who worship them. But what is at the root of worship of false gods? The root is the god of self.  And what is the root of the god of self? The sin nature we are all born with, as the offspring of Adam. 

I speak frankly and bluntly to you, as I ought to speak, O believer. Paul asks the believers at Ephesus to pray for him to continue to be frank and blunt —

Ephesians 6:19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness (literally, frankly and bluntly) the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly (literally, frankly, bluntly), as I ought to (am required to) speak.

Again, today’s church panders to the god of self, worshiping and exalting it from the pews to the pulpits and even to the leaders of denominations! The god of self is erected in many church buildings and in the hearts of many infants in Christ, but it can do nothing but stand there. It cannot move, it cannot answer your cry. It cannot deliver you from your distress. It is false. It is dead.

God the Father sends distress upon you, O churchgoer,  so your eyes may be opened to see that you are worshiping yourself! But the LORD is glad to deliver you from your sin nature, and from the god of self that is nothing but a burden that you must carry, one that makes you weary, one that makes you bend down and stoop over! But in what way does the god of self make you bend and stoop?

You make yourself bend and stoop under the weight of your own sin. You drag the full weight of your moral twistedness behind you, using the cords of lies. You pull your sin behind you with lies, as a cart is pulled with cart ropes. Woe to you —

Isaiah 5:18 Woe to those who drag iniquity with the cords of falsehood, and sin as if with cart ropes . . .

You have obeyed and followed false teachers, who have encouraged you to worship the god of self! “Believe in Jesus, and you will have your best life now — money, success, happiness! Believe in Jesus and He will affirm how good you are, He will stroke your ego! He will make you happy!” But they are teaching another Jesus (2Corinthians 11:4), not the real Jesus Christ. Woe to them! Woe to you, if you follow them!

The real Jesus Christ was sent to give you His life, in you, not “your best life now!” He came to take the punishment for your past sins upon Himself, and rise on the third day, so that if you believe into Him, you will be rescued from being under God’s wrath, and will have peace with God. He ascended and was glorified so your sin nature, which is the root of your idolatry of self, would be crucified, and so you could become a partaker of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4)!

But you do not want to feel bad about yourself. You worship yourself! You think you are not under God’s wrath, so you do not need to be rescued. You think that you are at peace with God! You are happy with teachers who falsely tell you that  He took all your sins — past, present and future — because you cannot help but continue to sin. So, you believe that when you sin again and again, you will automatically be pardoned. 

You do not want to hear that you need something you do not have. But you need a new heart!

But being told that you, O churchgoer, are still a sinner in need of a new heart does not affirm you, it does not promise you the things you lust after, it conflicts with your prayers (really, demands) that God give you what you want. So you reject the gracious gift of God — the real Jesus Christ!

You want, want, want. You lust after — you greatly desire — that which the world worships and lusts after. But you do not get what you want. 

So you are crushed, you are disappointed with God, you are depressed and burdened and weary. But you do not see that your burden is self-made!

The Spirit-filled John writes this to the church —

1John 2:15   Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

How will the Father put His love in you? How can you know and do and be the embodiment of His will, so that you will live forever?

I tell you the truth, if you will ask your Father in heaven to fill you with His Holy Spirit, He will crucify the sin nature in you! Then His love will fill your heart to overflowing (Romans 5:5). Then Jesus Christ’s kingdom will be established in your heart. Then you will know and do and be the embodiment of the Father’s will. Then He will carry you, and you will no longer carry the burden of the god of self!

Verses 8-10 —

Remember! Remember! You have forgotten, O Christian, O people of Judah! When the LORD repeats something twice, it means that what He is about to say must be quickly acted upon. Why? Repeating means His judgment will come suddenly!

The LORD exhorts His people who rebel against Him and worship false gods, saying, “Remember this, and be assured (literally, act in a manly way), recall it to mind, you transgressors.” 

He calls them out! They have forgotten that He is God alone! They sin against Him. They do not remember who He is and what He has told them He will do if they do not repent. 

He continues, “Remember the former things long past. For I am God, and there is no other. I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose (plan) will be established (will stand), and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’”

He is God, and there is no other, there is no one like Him. He alone knows all that will happen, for He sits above time. And from that position, He declares what will happen, long before it happens. He is God. He will make His plan stand. He will accomplish (do) His good pleasure (what He desires). 

In today’s church, idolaters of self often declare and decree, they try to make their own plan stand, they try to manipulate God to do what they desire. But only God can declare and decree, and only His plan will stand and be fulfilled. 

Verse 11 —

What is the plan that the LORD has made, from long ago? It is not a man-pleasing plan, but a God-pleasing plan that is for His rebellious peoples’ own good!

He says He will call a bird of prey from the east, the man of His pleasure from a far country (King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, His servant, per Jeremiah 25:9). He is pleased to use Babylon to discipline His people, so they return to Him. 

He says, “Surely, I have spoken, truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.” No one can thwart His plan from long ago. He knew you would go after the god of self. He allows Satan to sift you like wheat (Luke 22:31), so you will turn back to Him!

He does what He says He will do. If you are unfaithful, He will be faithful to do what He says He will do to the unfaithful, for He cannot deny Himself (see 2Timothy 2:13).

Verses 12-13 —

The LORD continues, “Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded (Hebrew-to-English, “mighty ones of heart”), who are far (standing far away) from righteousness!” Again, He calls out His people who rebel against Him! They think they are mighty, but they are not! They think they are right before God, but they are far away from righteousness!

Then He tells them what He will do if they repent, saying, “I bring near My righteousness, it is not far off, and My salvation will not delay (be late). And I will grant salvation in Zion, and My glory for Israel.” 

 The original Hebrew-to-English is much clearer than my NAS Bible translation —

“I bring near My righteousness. It shall not be far off, and My salvation shall not wait. I will place in Zion salvation, for Israel My glory.”

If they repent, He will bring near His righteousness. It is not far off, though they are far away from it. He will place in Zion salvation. By what means? By sending Jesus Christ, God the Son, to reconcile us to God the Father, and remove us from being under His wrath. His salvation will not wait, but will come suddenly —

Malachi 3:1   “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. 

Where did God the Father send Jesus Christ? To Israel. His ministry began suddenly. He was the messenger of a new covenant, in His blood.

Why does He call Israel “My glory?” First, you must understand that those who believe into Jesus Christ — the promised Messiah — are Israel. 

Paul explains —

Romans 9:6   But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel (that is, Jacob, Abraham’s grandson); 7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but “Through Isaac your descendants will be named.”

What does that mean? Abraham was declared righteous by the LORD because He believed God. He had faith that the LORD would keep His promise regarding a son. 

Isaac was the child of the promise — the one the LORD promised to Abraham and Sarah. Indeed, genetically, all Israel came from Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, just as the LORD had promised Abraham. But Jacob was a natural offspring. And the Spirit-filled Paul says genetics do not determine who is Israel. Faith determines who is Israel. Both Jews and non-Jews who come to faith in Jesus Christ become children of God (John 1:12). Thus, they are Israel. 

That does not mean the church replaces Israel. That is a false teaching that ignores Romans 11, especially these verses —

Romans 11:17   But if some of the branches (Jews) were broken off (by their unbelief), and you (non-Jew), being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 

Romans 11:22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

But all Jews from Israel who believe into Jesus Christ — now and when the Lord removes the spirit of stupor (sleep) that is upon the Jews, are Israel. And all non-Jews who believe in Jesus Christ are Israel. 

When does the true Israel become His glory? When Jews and non-Jews who believe into Jesus Christ obey His commands to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5)! 

Then they are filled with the very glory of God, His Holy Spirit, and become Jesus Christ’s witnesses here — that is, they become living representations of Him (Acts 1:8)! For that, the Father and the Son receive praise and honor and are glorified, for those that are filled are radiant proof that the Lord keeps His promises!

Beloved, I am a watchman who will not keep silent, nor will I give the Lord rest until all believers become a praise in the earth —

Isaiah 62:6  On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; 7  and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem (and the church) a praise in the earth.

Lord Jesus, may Jews and non-Jews see and believe into You, and may they be filled with Your Holy Spirit so they become “Israel, Your glory.” Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 46 — TURN TO ME AND BE SAVED

Text: Isaiah 45:14-25

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “Turn To Me and Be Saved.” The Lord offers salvation and restoration to His repentant people. 

But He also offers salvation to the ends of the earth. All they have to do is turn to Him, and away from their idols, and believe into Jesus Christ!

Indeed, the LORD says of His Christ —

Isaiah 49:6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations (non-Jews), so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Verses 14-15 

The LORD speaks again through Isaiah. Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker . . .” He again reminds His people that He is the LORD, that He is Holy, that He is God over all, including Israel, and has created Israel, and all things. 

The LORD continues, “The products (property produced by labor) of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush (literally, Ethiopia), and the Sabeans, men of stature, will come over to you and will be yours (literally, to Judah they will bow). They will walk behind you, they will come over in chains, and will bow down to you; they will make supplication to you: ‘Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, no other God.’”

Egypt made Israel slaves in the days of the new king of Egypt (see Exodus 1:8), who was an Assyrian (see Isaiah 52:4). Ethiopia fought against Israel many times, as did the Sabeans. Israel prevailed over these enemies many times, even into the 1967 Six-Day War. 

But now, the LORD says Egypt and Ethiopia and even the Sabeans of southern Arabia, also former enemies, will come over to Judah, and will be Judah’s — that is, they will surrender to and belong to Judah (remember, northern Israel was no longer a country)!

They will be in chains, and will walk behind the people of Judah, just as a slave walks behind his master. They will bow down to Judah. They will make supplication to Judah; that is, they will ask earnestly and urgently for Judah to have mercy on them. 

If Egypt, Ethiopia and the Sabeans will turn, He will save them. But unrepentant idolaters will say, “Surely, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior!” Why will they say such a thing?

From the perspective of idolaters, God seems hidden from them, but He is not seen by them because they do not want to believe in Him! So, such ones will go away together in humiliation, judged by the LORD. 

But He will reward anyone who sincerely and diligently seeks Him —

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (literally, seek after Him diligently).

Yet even unrepentant idolaters will confess, as they bow their knees in the day of judgment, that He is the only God, and that Jesus Christ is the only Savior! And then Jesus Christ will judge them and sentence them to hell, for they rejected God the Father and God the Son.

Verse 16 —

The Egyptians, Ethiopians, and Sabeans will be put to shame. They will be ashamed of the gods they have worshiped. They will be humiliated, they will blush with shame. All those who made the idols they worshiped will go away together in disgrace. 

Verse 17 —

Judah’s enemies will see that repentant and obedient Judah is saved by the LORD, with an everlasting salvation. Therefore, in contrast to worshipers of idols, Judah will not be put to shame by the LORD. They will no longer blush because of shame, because they have repented and turned back to the LORD. This is the LORD’s promise to all of His repentant and obedient ones! 

Everlasting, eternal salvation! The Lord’s promise is the same today, for those who repent and obey the LORD. Such ones are filled with His Spirit (see Isaiah 45:8, and 44:3-5), so they no longer disobey Him, and no longer chase after empty idols to false gods — even the idol of the god of self, so often erected in the hearts of today’s believers, and so often exalted from today’s pulpits!

Verse 18 —

The LORD continues through Isaiah, “For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it (made it stand) and did not create it as a waste place (a desert, an empty place), but formed it to be inhabited. I am the LORD, and there is none else.”

The LORD says again and again that He is the Creator, He formed everything, there is no other God but Him, and He created the earth to be inhabited by the humans He created! 

Verse 19 —

The LORD continues, “I have not spoken in secret (literally, in some dark land).” I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in a waste place (literally, in vain).’ I, the LORD, speak righteousness, declaring things that are upright (right things not deceitful things).”

What good news! O believer, He speaks openly to you today, not in secret. He does not ask you to seek Him, and then not allow you to find Him. He says through Jeremiah —

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.’

Whether you are a believer or have not yet believed, He asks you to diligently seek Him, with all your heart. As I have shown you, He is a rewarder of such ones. 

If you have not yet repented and believed into Jesus Christ, now is the time! When you do, you will be saved. 

And if you then obey Jesus Christ by asking your Father in heaven to fill you with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), in obedience to His commands to stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4-5), He will make you the Amen to all of His promises (2Corinthians 1:20)!

Verse 20 —

The LORD again addresses the nations who are now fugitives seeking deliverance from the LORD. He says, “Gather yourselves and come, draw near together, you fugitives of the nations.” He says of such ones, “They have no knowledge (literally, they know nothing), who carry about the wood of their graven image, and pray to a god who cannot save (KJV).”

Again, what can an idol do? The Psalmist answers —

Psalms 115:4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands.

They have mouths, but they cannot speak; they have eyes, but they cannot see;

6 they have ears, but they cannot hear; they have noses, but they cannot smell;

7 they have hands, but they cannot feel; they have feet, but they cannot walk; 

they cannot make a sound with their throat. 8 Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.

Their gods cannot save, nor can they speak, see, hear, smell, feel, walk, or make a sound. Why? They are dead. And those who worship them and look to them for salvation will end up just like them. Idolators are foolish, and have no knowledge (yada, intimate knowledge of the LORD, as in a marriage relationship). 

Verse 21 —

The LORD again puts idolaters on trial, saying, “Declare and set forth your case; indeed, let them counsel together (that is, let those with no knowledge deliberate among themselves).”

What must they deliberate among themselves, and answer? The LORD’s words, for He says, “Who has announced (revealed) this from old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior. There is none except Me.”

Only the LORD can announce and declare, long before it happens. There is no other God besides Him. He always acts rightly in all that He does, and in all of His judgments. And there is no other Savior but God the Son!

So they must ask themselves, “To what have we been worshiping and praying? Why are we crying out to a god that cannot save?”

Verse 22 —

Then the LORD makes the most remarkable offer to those who have spurned Him, even those from all the nations who have worshiped false gods — “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other.”

To the ends of the earth, He offers His salvation! He offered His salvation even to such a one as me, a “least likely,” who worshiped a god of my own making!

What god did I worship? The god of self, which I fashioned using bits and pieces of several religions, including a dash of Christianity and some “new age”beliefs. I made for myself a god that I could agree with and who required nothing of me. 

My god did not tell me to turn away from my rebellion and turn to the one true God. My god did not tell me I was a sinner in need of a Savior. My god said nothing at all, for it was no god at all! It was dead! It was something I fashioned, in my own mind, from my own imagination and human reasoning.

My god was deaf, unable to speak, and blind. How merciful are God the Father and God the Son! I was as blind and deaf as the god I had made. But when I took a step toward Him, He healed my blindness and deafness and gave me life in the Son — God the Son, Jesus Christ!

Verse 23 —

The LORD continues, “I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness, and will not turn back (literally, My word will not return to Me), that to Me, every knee will bow, every tongue will swear.” 

He swears by Himself, for there is none greater than Him. And He is Truth, so He will do what He says — His word is given not in deception but in righteousness. He offers His salvation to the ends of the earth! He will not reverse His offer. 

The LORD makes His offer so that they will humble themselves and swear that He is God alone. He makes His offer so that every person who ever lived would turn away from their false gods and to Him, through Jesus Christ, God the Son. 

And for us who turn, we surely will bow our knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God the Father —

Philippians 2:9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

But some will refuse Him. Per The Expositor’s Bible Commentary,All will not be saved, but all must acknowledge the Lord is God alone, and that Jesus Christ is God the Son. 

At the end of things, There will be both judgment for the rebel and salvation for God’s people (that is, the repentant ones). At the time of the white throne judgment (see Revelation 20:11-12), they will stand before Jesus Christ, and confess that Jesus Christ is God the Son, the Savior sent by God the Father and freely offered to them. Then they will be judged and sentenced to the lake of fire (see Revelation 20:15), for they rejected and refused His salvation which He freely offered! 

Do you not know that salvation is a limited-time offer? He who offers salvation to you says so, through Isaiah —

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)

Verse 24 —

The LORD says of those whose knees are bowed, “They will say of Me,’Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength (power, mightiness).’” They will confess that He is the only mighty and powerful God. They will confess that only in Him dwells rightness, justice, and virtue (goodness). 

And men will come to Him. Some will come (run) to Him through His Christ, God the Son. And all who were angry at Jesus Christ (literally, have blazed up against, have been wrathful toward), and at God the Father, all who refuse to come to Him, will be put to shame (ashamed). 

Verse 25 —

But the repentant and obedient ones of Israel (Judah), who have believed in and obey the LORD, will be justified (will be seen as right in His eyes) and will glory (boast in the LORD, celebrate Him, commend Him, and praise Him)! 

I tell you the truth, in today’s church, many are just like I was. They have combined a dash of Christianity with many other false beliefs, and have made God the Father and God the Son into something they can agree with, and something that does not offend.

Truths of the Bible are regularly discounted as no longer being valid. In doing so, believers have fashioned an idol to the god of self. They want a god who will do what they want Him to do and be what they want Him to be. They want a god that does not offend and that does not prick hearts. 

And unless they repent, they will have to stand before the Lord in the day of judgment, and they will bow their knee to the One whose words offended them. They will bow their knee to the One they fashioned into their own image. And He will judge them and send them to hell.

The Lord does not desire any to perish, but all to come to repentance. Those were Peter’s words to the church, from 2Peter 3:9. So, while it is still today, O believer, repent! Return to the Lord from whom you have deeply defected!

Lord Jesus, may today’s churchgoers see these truth from Your Word, and cast away the idol of self that they have fashioned and worshiped. Let it be so. Amen!