ISAIAH SESSION 53 — PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND SEEK THE LORD

Text: Isaiah 51

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “Pursue Righteousness and Seek the LORD.” That is the fruit of repentance! And if you press on to know Him fully, you will experience His righteousness intimately, when He fills you with His Spirit, and He will write His law in your heart!

In this chapter, you will see His promises for those who pursue righteousness and seek Him. And you will see His warnings to those who continue to rebel.

His promises to the repentant in Isaiah 51 are echoed by what He spoke through Jeremiah and Ezekiel —

Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

Ezekiel 36:25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of 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 keep My judgments and do them.” (NKJV)

Verses 1-2 —

The LORD says to His repentant ones, “Listen to me, you who pursue (chase after) righteousness, who seek (strive after) the LORD. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain. When he was but one I called him, then I blessed him and multiplied him.”

Abraham was the rock, the natural father of all Israel. And Abraham’s barren wife, Sarah, miraculously bore Isaac as their son. The LORD was faithful to fulfill all of His promises to Abraham. 

So, the LORD says, “Look at My faithfulness to righteous Abraham! Surely, I will keep My promises to my repentant ones!”

Even though Abraham was just one man when the LORD called him, the LORD blessed him and not only multiplied his descendants into the nation of Israel, but also added to his descendants all non-Jews who come to faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 9:7-8, 30), just as He declared in Isaiah 51:18! He promises to do the same for repentant Israel. They will be multiplied greatly. And many non-Jews will gather and come to them — just as He promised in Isaiah 51:18! 

And His promise is also for sinning believers who repent and chase after righteousness and strive after the Lord! When they are filled with His Holy Spirit, they will be multiplied, bearing many spiritual children! 

Verse 3 — 

Indeed, says Isaiah, the LORD will comfort (give ease to) repentant Zion, and He will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and sound of a melody.

Judah was made a wilderness and a desert because of the drought and famine the LORD brought as judgment against them for their sin. Then Babylon’s army destroyed everything that remained, as they marched through the land and overthrew Judah and Jerusalem. But even worse, His people were in spiritual exile, in a spiritual wilderness, a spiritual desert, because of their sin. 

But He promises that when He restores His repentant ones to Israel they will again become fruitful and fertile, like the garden of Eden, and will enjoy bountiful harvests over which they will rejoice greatly! 

Bountiful harvests cause rejoicing, beloved! So when His repentant ones return to the land, they will be joyful and glad, thankful and singing His praises! 

But I am also reminded of the joy of the Jews who waited in the upper room to be filled with the Holy Spirit, as Jesus Christ commanded them (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). They rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory (Acts 2:13, 1Peter 1:8), for they were filled with His Spirit, and His righteousness, and His law was written on their hearts by His very finger! They reaped a bountiful harvest of souls, and bore the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)! 

And today, all who believe into Jesus Christ and then obey His commands to stay and wait to be filled with His Holy Spirit will do the same! Jesus Christ will send them out into His fields that are white for harvest (John 4:35). And with shouts of joy, they will bring in a harvest of souls!

Verses 4-5 — 

Again, the LORD says, “Pay attention to me, O My people, and give ear to Me, O My nation. A law (command) will go forth from Me; and I will set My justice for a light of the peoples (non-Jews).”

He will restore His repentant people and His nation. But that is not all He will do! From Him, a command will go forth that will cause non-Jews to exclaim, “He is a God of justice!” 

God the Father will command Jesus Christ, God the Son, to go forth from Him, to be a light of the peoples (non-Jews). It will be just as He promised in Isaiah 9:1-2 and in Isaiah 49:6! 

He continues, “My righteousness is near (is My kin), My salvation has gone forth, and My arms (My power) will judge (rule, lead) the peoples (non-Jews). The coastlands (non-Jews) will wait for Me (entwine themselves with Me), and for My arm they will wait (hope) expectantly.”

His Son is the expression of His righteousness. His Son is the promised Savior. His Son is the expression of His power. His Son will lead those who are non-Jews. They will entwine themselves with Him, and they will expectantly wait (hope) for Him!

Verse 6 —

The LORD says to those who pursue righteousness and seek the LORD, “Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath, for the sky will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants will die in like manner. But My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not wane.”

This is a reference to the rapture, when Jesus Christ will return in the same way He ascended — in the clouds (Acts 1:11). So, look up to the sky, O repentant believer, to watch Him coming! 

Then, as He snatches you up in the rapture, look to the earth beneath, to see its destruction and the death of its inhabitants who rejected and rebelled against the LORD! Paul describes the rapture —

1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 

1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up (Latin rapturo) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Peter describes the destruction of the earth —

2Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief (it will be unexpected), 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 Jesus Christ says the names of all who have worshiped the world system that defies God, and thereby worshiped its king, Satan, are not written in the book of life. Therefore, they will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).

His righteousness is unchanging and will never fail. He will rightly judge both those who repent, and those who do not repent. And for those who pursue righteousness and seek the LORD, His salvation will never fail, for they will press on to ask the LORD to fill them with His Spirit!

Verses 7-8 —

Again, the LORD says to the repentant ones, “Listen to Me, you who know (intimately experience) righteousness, a people in whose heart is My law; do not fear the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings, for the moth will eat them like a garment and the grub will eat them like wool. But My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation to all generations.”

He speaks of the future, addressing those who are filled with His Holy Spirit. They will know righteousness, having intimately experienced His righteousness that has filled them, and His law will be written on their hearts!

Because they will know righteousness and His law is written on their hearts, they will be reproached (shamed, disgraced) by man, and they will be reviled (abusively insulted). But they need not fear nor be dismayed. 

Those who have done such things to His repentant ones will come to nothing — they will be devoured. His repentant ones can count on this — His righteousness and His salvation are promises from Him to them forever. Why? They have intimately experienced His righteousness within them, His law is written on their hearts, and they intimately know Him and are entwined with Him!

Verses 9-10 —

The unrepentant ones now ask Him to rescue them. “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD! Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon? Was it not You who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea a pathway for the redeemed to cross over?”

They know that He redeemed their ancestors long ago. So now, they want Him to redeem them again. He will do it, but only if they repent! 

But if they do repent — if they pursue righteousness and seek the LORD, and if His people obey His future commands to be filled with His Spirit so they know righteousness and so His law is written in their hearts, He will do all that He promises in Verse 10! 

In the natural, when King Cyrus freed the exiled Jews to return to Jerusalem, they came with joyful shouting to Zion. But everlasting joy was not yet on their heads. 

In the future, when they are filled with the Holy Spirit, they will obtain (take hold of) gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing (from persecution) will flee away.” Again, I see the 120 filled with the Holy Spirit, rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory!

Yet their ultimate joy will come at the end of things, when there will be no more sorrow and sighing. They will longer be persecuted because of their faith in Jesus Christ —

Revelation 21:4 and He (God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Verses 12-13 —

Again, the LORD speaks to His people who have not yet repented. He says, “I, even I, am He who comforts (returns) you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, and of the son of man who is made like grass, that you have forgotten the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor, as he makes ready to destroy? But where is the fury of the oppressor?”

The LORD will return them to the land, if they repent and return to Him. They have feared their oppressor, Babylon. But they have feared because they have forgotten Him! They have not yet repented. Instead, they have stubbornly chosen to continue to follow after false gods.

They have feared continually, because of the extreme fury (rage) of their oppressor, who was preparing to destroy them. But the fury of the oppressor is as nothing before the LORD. It vanishes like a wisp of smoke. I tell you the truth, beloved, if you pursue righteousness and seek the LORD, and then are filled with His Holy Spirit so you know righteousness and have His law written in your heart, you will also know that Satan has been defeated by the LORD. His extreme rage and his threats are like a wisp of smoke, for you have fully submitted to the LORD (James 4:7).

Verses 14-15 —

The LORD promises, “The exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his bread be lacking, for I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the LORD of hosts is His name).”

He makes this promise to His people who are in exile in Babylon. If they repent  and return to Him, they will be soon be freed! Therefore, they will not die in chains, nor will they be starved to death by their captors. He will free them and provide food for them! Who makes this promise? The LORD of hosts — Jesus Christ, before God the Father sent Him to the earth.

And Jesus Christ makes a promise to all believers who have been exiled from His presence, but have repented and returned to Him and asked Him to fill them with His Holy Spirit, as He commands. They will be free, indeed, from slavery to sin (see John 8:31-36), and they will forever be spiritually fed by Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life!

Verse 16 — 

The LORD speaks of God the Son, saying, “I have put My words in your mouth, and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people!’”  

God the Father placed His words in the mouth of His Son Jesus Christ, when Jesus walked the earth. He was protected by His Father, until the hour had come for Him to carry upon Himself the punishment you and I deserved (Isaiah 53:5).

It was His Son who created everything, at His Father’s command (Hebrews 1:3). And it will be His Son who says to the repentant ones in Zion, “You are My people!” Through belief into Jesus Christ, a remnant of Israel will be restored, as 

Paul writes to the believers in Rome —

Romans 11:25  . . . a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion , He will remove ungodliness from Jacob (Israel). 26 “This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” 

Verses 17-18 —

In Verse 9, the LORD’s unrepentant people had cried to Him, “Awake! Awake!” But now the LORD turns the tables on them!

He commands them, “Rouse yourself (literally, awake)! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the LORD’s hand the cup of His anger. The chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs. There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne, nor is there one to take her by the hand among all the sons she has reared.” 

They have foolishly depended on the strength of man (their sons), just as today’s church foolishly depends on man’s wisdom and man’s ways. But it is not by the strength of man that Jerusalem (or the church) will be restored, but by the power of the LORD. 

Therefore, He commands them twice to wake up! If He says it twice, it means they must wake up quickly! They chose to drink from the cup of His anger, because they refused to repent. They reeled like drunkards as they drank it to the dregs. The sons of Jerusalem, upon whom she relied, could not guide her, nor could they take her by the hand to lead her back to the land.

Verses 19-20 —

The LORD says, “These two things have befallen you; who will mourn for you? The devastation and destruction, famine and sword. How shall I comfort you? (Hebrew-to-English, Who shall console you?) Your sons have fainted, at the head of every street, like an antelope in a net, full of the wrath of the LORD, the rebuke of your God.”

No one will console the unrepentant. They have chosen to drink from the cup of His anger, and Jerusalem has chosen to rely on her sons instead of the LORD. 

So they have been judged by the LORD. They have endured devastation and destruction, famine and the sword of Babylon.

All they have relied upon has failed. Jerusalem’s sons have fainted (i..e, they have become weak), they lie helplessly in the street, they are caught in Babylon’s net. They are full of the wrath and rebuke of God, having drunk from the LORD’s hand the cup of His anger. 

It is the same today, beloved! Continued rebellion against the LORD will always result in utter helplessness and captivity!

Verse 21-23 —

But now the LORD says, “Please hear this (literally, hear now this), you afflicted (humbled), who are drunk, but not with wine.” They are drunk with the cup of His anger, and they know it.

When they have repented and returned to Him, they will hear these words from Him — “Thus says the Lord, the LORD, even your God, who contends (fights) for His people. Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling, the chalice (bowl) of My anger (fury); you will never drink it again.”

He says that if they repent, He will fight for them, and He never loses a battle! And when they have repented, they will never again drink the cup of reeling, the chalice of His anger, because their repentance and return to Him will be complete! 

A day will come when they will return to Him with all their hearts. Then He will make them ones who intimately experience His righteousness because His righteousness is literally within them! And His law will be written on their hearts!

He will fill them with His Holy Spirit! 

Then they will they never again drink the cup of reeling and chalice of His anger, for they will be filled with His Holy Spirit, their rebellious sin nature will be crucified (Galatians 5:24), and their hearts will be purified (Acts 15:9)!

What will the LORD do with the bowl of His anger? He says, “I will put it into the hand of your tormenters who have said to you, ‘Lie down that we may walk over you.’” 

I will use the Hebrew-to English for the last portion of this verse. The LORD says, “They have made your back as the ground and as the street to those who cross”. 

Certainly, Babylon will receive upon themselves what they have done to His people. And in the end, the seven bowls of wrath will be poured out upon those who worship the world system that defies God (see all of Revelation 16). What they have worshiped will fall and be utterly destroyed (Revelation 18:2, 8). Then Satan and all who worship the world system that defies God will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). 

So what does all of this mean to you, beloved? Pursue righteousness, and seek the Lord! Obey His commands to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit! Then you will intimately experience His righteousness, for He will fill you with it. And  His law will be written on your heart. 

Then you will shout with joy unspeakable and full of glory, for you will know that He has freed you from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36) by delivering you from your sin nature, so you freely and gladly obey Him with all your heart!

Lord Jesus, may believers see that You will do all that You have promised, for all believers who will repent and bear the fruit of repentance. Let it be so, I pray! Amen!

THE PRICE

[SW424] 03/28/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“The Price”

Texts: Psalm 22:14-18, Isaiah 53:5-6, etc.

Two weeks from now, all Christians will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (2Corinthians 9:15)!

So, it is a good time to remember the price God paid for the gift of your salvation from His wrath and reconciliation to Him. And it is a good time for you to do what Jesus Christ commands you to do, in response to His gift. What He commands is a small thing, compared with the price He paid. 

The Price

It was the Father’s plan, from before time was, to send Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for your sin and my sin — our sins that we committed before we believed into Him. It pleased the Father to have Him bear the punishment we deserved (Isaiah 53:5, 10).

He is the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8, KJV). 

He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 36), for whoever will believe into Him. 

Before the Father sent Him to the earth, Jesus Christ was in a glorious position, eternally seated with the Father in heaven (John 1:1-2). But He gladly set aside that glory (Philippians 2:9), in order to save and reconcile you and me. For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the inexpressible agony of the cross, scorning its shame. He saw all who would be saved and reconciled!

King David had a vision of Jesus Christ as He hung on the cross for you and for me, and heard Him say —

Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and You lay me in the dust of death.”

As He hung on the cross, His bones were put out of joint because of the position of His body. His heart was greatly weakened, because the position of His body kept His heart from pumping properly. 

His strength was gone, He had lost massive amounts of blood and body fluids, so His tongue stuck to the inside of His mouth, because of His thirst. His Father laid Him in the dust of death, on my behalf and your behalf. 

Psalm 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet.  

King David wrote this 700 years before this form of crucifixion was invented by the Romans. Prior to that, men were impaled on trees, resulting in nearly instantaneous death. But the Romans were masters at torture, so they invented this form of crucifixion, which caused an excruciating, lingering death. 

Who were the dogs and the band of evildoers? Jesus was surrounded by the Jewish leaders who hated Him, and by the wicked, depraved Roman soldiers. 

The soldiers pierced His hands in the opened position, as He was spread-eagled on the cross. Again, it was to inflict maximum pain, and apply maximum pressure to His chest, to prevent Him from drawing a breath. And they pierced His feet, one on top of the other, so He could not lift Himself up to relieve the pressure on His chest. 

Psalm 22:17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. 

Jesus could count all of His bones because He could see all of them. He had been severely scourged with whips that had sharp objects at the end of each cord. The sharp objects slashed his skin and muscle, as the whip connected with His body. 

And when the Romans pulled the whips back in order to strike Him again, the sharp objects stripped the skin and muscle away from His body. He was skinned alive. He was nearly unrecognizable as human (Isaiah 52:14). 

They cast lots for His clothing. This prophecy was fulfilled, as He hung on the cross —

John 19:24  “Let’s not tear it,” they (the soldiers) said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did.

Why did He have to endure this unspeakable punishment? Because you and I rebelled against Him because of our inward twistedness —

Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions (rebellion), 

He was bruised for our iniquities (inward twisted-ness): 

The chastisement (i.e. punishment) of our peace (with God) was upon Him; and with His stripes (wounds) we are healed. 

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity (again, inward twisted-ness) of us all.

There had to be a perfect sacrifice to pay for our rebellion against God that stemmed from our inward twisted-ness because of our sin nature. Jesus Christ was that price!

God the Father sent God the Son to pay for our rebellion and twisted-ness! What other so-called god claims to do such a thing! There are none!

Beloved, if you understand the immense price that the Lord has asked me to show you, then you will cry, “There is nothing I can do to respond to the Lord for what He has done!” And I will cry to you, “Yes, there is!” Respond by obeying Him in the things which He commands you do to do. I will show you.

Matthew 16:24   Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to (will) come after (follow) Me, he must deny (utterly disown) himself, and take up his cross and follow Me (be in union with Me). 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it (fully destroy it); but whoever loses his life (fully destroys His life) for My sake will find it (permanently obtain it).”

You cannot follow Jesus Christ unless you utterly disown yourself — that is, your sin nature — understanding that it is worthless and makes you incapable of being His witness here. You must take up your cross, asking the Lord to crucify your sin nature —

Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh (impaled it on a cross) with its passions and desires (lusts).

You must die to yourself. If you understand the price He paid, you will respond by obeying Him. 

Then you will be in union with Him! To be in union with Him is to be one with Him, united with Him in purpose, and working together with Him.

But if you disobey what He says you must do, because you love yourself — your sin nature — you will fully destroy yourself. 

You must utterly disown yourself and fully destroy yourself for His sake, in response to the price He paid. Only then you will permanently obtain eternal life, here and now, for He and the Father and the Son will fully and permanently indwell you (John 14:23). And when your body dies, you will dwell with Him in heaven, forever.

So, just as Paul beseeched and exhorted the believers at Rome, I beseech and exhort you, beloved. Considering the mercies of God, die to yourself. That is your spiritual act of worship, and is holy and pleasing to Him —

Romans 12:1  Therefore, I urge you (beseech, exhort you), brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (NIV)

Then, you will respond to the price He paid by carrying out His commandments to stay and wait —

Luke 24:49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Acts 1:4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 1:8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (literally into you); and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

That is how you must respond to Jesus Christ for the price He paid to save you and reconcile you. You must obey His command to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then you will walk as He walked and be as He is in the world (1John 2:6, 4:17). 

You must respond. Why? Only then will the world believe that the Father sent the Son, because you will be the proof of it (John 17:21).

But I tell you the truth, beloved, in many of today’s churches and ministries, a false gospel is taught. The church is filled with infants in Christ who are not yet spiritual (1Corinthians 3:1). They gladly receive another gospel (2Corinthians 11:14) — one that says the only reason Jesus came was to do good things, to make your life better, and to find out what it was like to be you. They teach such infants that there are no consequences for their continued sin, because He will just keep forgiving them. 

Many of today’s believers know only this false gospel, and therefore believe that their continued sinning has no consequences. They shrug off any mention of the true gospel. But He will hold both them and today’s false teachers accountable, for the false teachers have led you down the broad path to the wide gate that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13), and you have chosen to believe them rather that the words of Jesus Christ.

So, I have told you the truth. You must decide whether you will disregard the price Jesus Christ paid, or believe the truth and respond to the price He paid by obeying Him in all that I have told you. His commandments to you are not optional.

Lord Jesus, I am awestruck by the price You paid. May many infants in Christ understand the price, be equally awestruck, and respond by obeying Your commands. Let it be so, I pray! Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 52 — THE ONES HE VINDICATES

Text: Isaiah 50

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “The Ones He Vindicates.” The LORD vindicates (literally, declares righteous) His Son who does not sin against Him, but He also vindicates those who were rebellious but have repented and returned to Him. 

That is very good news for you and me! I sinned against Him for many years, even while I was going to church every Sunday. But I repented from my heart and returned to Him. Then I asked Him to fill me with His Holy Spirit and crucify the sin nature in me so I no longer sinned against Him. And He filled me with Himself and His righteousness! He did it, so He alone is glorified by what He has done! And He will do the same for any who ask Him!

Verse 1 — 

Isaiah continues to prophesy for the LORD, speaking His words. “Thus says the LORD, where is the certificate of divorce by which I have sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.”

It is a rhetorical question. The reference to “mother” means He is speaking to one of the generations born in captivity in Babylon. 

The word “behold” is not in the original Hebrew. The LORD says He did not owe anyone anything, that He would need to sell His people in order to pay off a debt. But they were sold for their iniquities (sins).

He did not issue a divorce decree from His people, but they were sent away from His presence for their transgressions (moral twistedness). So, they caused their own captivity, just as I did, and just as many sinning Christians do today, for I know that I was a captive to sin. What about you?

Verses 2-3 —

He asks, “Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer?” He asks His people the same thing, through Ezekiel —

Ezekiel 22:30 “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 “Thus I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads,” declares the Lord GOD.

They did not listen to the words of the LORD. They did not humble themselves before Him. They did not obey Him when He warned them again and again, through His prophets. They just continued to sin against Him. So, He brought their way — their rebellion — upon their heads. He poured out His indignation upon them.

The LORD continues, “Is My hand too short, that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink for lack of water, and die of thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and make sackcloth their covering.”

By simply speaking a word, He dries up the waters! By simply speaking a word, He covers the universe with blackness, the clothing of mourning.

By simply speaking a word, He certainly could have saved His people from being taken captive. But they have made their own bed, because they continued to rebel against Him, despite His many warnings. Now they must lie in the bed they have made. 

When the enemy was at the gate, His rebellious people cried out to Him to save them. Isaiah records the LORD’s response —

Isaiah 59:1  Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,  and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

Verses 4-5 —

In contrast to the rebellious who He will not vindicate, God the Son now speaks. Surely, God the Father vindicates His sinless Son!

His Son says, “The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue (speech) of disciples (literally, of the learned), that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by  morning. He awakens (opens) My ear to listen as a disciple.” 

Jesus Christ had the speech of the learned, though He was never educated by the Jewish rabbis (John 7:15). His wisdom did not come from man, but He was God in the flesh, and had the wisdom of God. 

And with that wisdom, He knew exactly what wisdom the weary — those who were weak from fleeing their enemies — needed to hear. While He walked the earth, Jesus Christ spent much time in prayer to God the Father. And each day, the Father awakened His Son and spoke to His learned Son.

Beloved, does the Lord awaken you morning by morning? Does He open your ear, so you listen to Him? Are you one to whom He has given wisdom and continues to give wisdom? When you are filled with His Holy Spirit, He will do these things! Then you will know exactly what wise word the weary one needs to hear, because the Holy Spirit teaches you all things (see John 14:26, 16:13-15). 

Jesus Christ continues, “The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not disobedient, nor did I turn back.” He was God’s sinless son (Hebrews 4:15), whose ear heard what He would have to endure in order to save and reconcile all who would believe. 

And He was not disobedient. He did not turn back, even though the punishment He endured on our behalf was greater than anyone can imagine (see Isaiah 53:5)! He did it for the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2) — the joy of seeing all who would be saved and then sanctified through and through because of His sacrifice, when they were filled with the Holy Spirit (1Thessalonians 5:23)!

Verse 6 —

Now Jesus Christ gives us a glimpse of what He endured at the hands of the Roman guards.”I gave My back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard. I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.”

He gave His back to the Romans who scourged Him to within an inch of His life, though He had the power to call upon more than twelve legions (72,000) of angels (see Matthew 26:53). He allowed them to do it.

He gave His face to those who plucked out His beard (literally, His hair). Surely it was very painful when the Romans tore off His beard and possibly, the hair on His head! But He allowed them to do it.

He did not cover His face (He did not hide) from the humiliation He allowed. He did not hide from those who spit on Him, as Mark records —

Mark 14:65 Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers received Him with slaps in the face.

King David gave a prophetic account of what it was like for Jesus to be on the cross is given in Psalm 22:14-18. 

He was poured out like water. 

All His bones were out of joint (on the cross, they were pulled out of their sockets). 

His heart was like wax; it was melted within Him (He was nearly dead from scourging and beating when they nailed Him to the cross). 

His strength was dried up like a shard of pottery (He was extremely dehydrated because of loss of blood). 

His tongue stuck to His jaw (again, He was extremely dehydrated). 

His hands and feet were pierced (spoken 700 years before Roman crucifixion existed). 

He could count all His bones (most of His flesh had been torn off by the scourging whips that were used on Him, so His bones were literally visible).

He watched as they stared at Him. Isaiah 52:14 says His appearance was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of man. He was nearly unrecognizable as human.

He watched as they divided His clothing and cast lots for it. 

But He did not hide from any of the torture and shame. He obediently endured it all!

Verse 7 — 

“For the Lord GOD helps Me,” Jesus says. “Therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.”

Though He appeared to be disgraced and shamed on that cross, He knew that He would not be ashamed. And though He should have been unable to speak, the Father strengthened Him so He was able to speak loudly and clearly, and able to endure all that He had to endure for you and for me. He took the punishment for your sin, beloved — the punishment you deserved!

Luke records Jesus’ face that was set like flint —

Luke 9:51  And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face (resolutely turned) to go to Jerusalem.

Verses 8-9 —

He says, “He who vindicates Me is near (literally, is His kin).” The Father, who is His Kin, will declare Him righteous, and He will be victorious —

Colossians 2:15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him (literally, through it — that is, the cross).
Because His Father will declare Him righteous, He challenges those who hate Him, saying, “Who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; Who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me.”

None has a case against Him. If they try to stand up against Him in His Father’s court, they will have no evidence by which to convict Him. He has obeyed to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). So, Jesus Christ challenges them — “Draw near to Me, if you think you have a case against Me!”

Verse 9 —

He says again, “Behold, the Lord helps Me; who is he who condemns Me? Behold, they will all wear out like a garment, and the moth will eat them.”

None can accuse (rebuke) Him, and none can contend with Him. No one can do it! All who hate Him, all who point fingers at Him and attempt to falsely accuse Him will wear out like a garment, and the moth will eat them. They will become as nothing, for they have no evidence by which He can be accused.

Verse 10 —

Then He address His disciples who still did not understand why He was sent by His Father. He says, “Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of His Servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on His God.”

His followers are those who revere the LORD and obey the voice of His Servant, Jesus Christ. But before Pentecost, His disciples walked in darkness and had no light. They walked with the Light of the world, but did not understand His purpose until after Pentecost. 

Even in Acts 1:6, they asked if He would now establish His kingdom in Israel! But His is not an earthly kingdom! It is one that is established in heaven, and is also established in human hearts when they are filled with His Spirit —

Luke 17:20   And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

When Jesus says, “Let him that walks in the darkness and has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on God,” that is surely what His disciples did, when they stayed (Luke 24:49) and waited for the promise of the Father, the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5)! Then they had His light in them, and no longer walked in the darkness.

Verse 11 —

But Jesus Christ issues a warning to those who do not have His light in them. It is a warning, then and now, to those who walk by their own wisdom, who worship man’s wisdom and man’s ways and rely on the world system that defies God. 

He says, “Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with firebrands (torches). Walk in the light of your fire and among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from My hand; you will lie down in torment.”

I tell you the truth, there are many who make their own light because they walk in darkness. They walk in the light they have manufactured, but it is not His light. When they stand before Him in the day of judgment, He will send them to everlasting burnings, where Jesus says the worm never dies (i.e. they will be eternally tortured), and the fire is never quenched (they will eternally burn). (See Mark 9:44, 46 and 48.) 

Lord Jesus, may this be a warning to those who continue to sin against You, so they would repent and return to you. May it be a warning to those who walk by their own light. And may it be an encouragement to those who are filled with Your Spirit. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

ONE WITH HIM

[SW423] 03/21/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“One With Him”

Text: John 17:17-26

All the truths that I have spoken to you in the last seven messages from Chapters 13 through 16 of John point to one essential truth that is absolutely necessary for you to know —

You are commanded by Jesus Christ to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), because He and the Father and the Son must permanently indwell in order for you to be one with Him, having His divine nature, united with Him in purpose, working together with Him. Only by this means will the world know that the Father sent the Son.

I will briefly review the essential truths that Jesus Christ has asked me to show you over the past several weeks —

He gives you a new commandment, to love your brothers and sisters in Christ with His divine love (John 13:34)! But you cannot love them with His divine love unless you are filled with the Holy Spirit.

He is the only Way, Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). He is the embodiment of Truth, the Way to heaven, and the Giver of eternal life. You will fully know this truth by experiencing it, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit.

If you love Him, you will obey His commandments to stay and wait to be filled with His Spirit. Then you will do the works He did, and even greater works, because He has gone to the Father (John 14:12, 15). The greater works include: 1) laying hands on other believers so they are filled with the Holy Spirit, and 2) asking in Jesus Christ’s name because you are a partaker of His divine nature, one with Him, united with Him in purpose and working together with Him. 

If you love Him, you will obey Him and stay and wait until He and the Father and the Spirit fully and permanently indwell you. But if you disobey His commandments to stay and wait, you reveal that you do not love Him (John 14:23-24).

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will abundantly bear His fruit, because He and the Father and the Holy Spirit permanently and fully indwell you. But if you disobey His commandments, you cannot bear His fruit. Therefore, the Father will detach you from Jesus Christ, you will dry up, and you will ultimately be gathered and burned. (John 15:1-11).

He commands you to love your brothers and sisters in the Lord with His divine lovethe same love the Father has for the Son. If you stay and wait and are filled with His Spirit, you will be filled with His divine love and will love with His divine love (John 15:12-17).

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit will speak through you to warn the world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment, and He will teach you all the truth that Jesus Christ and the Father possess (John 16:8-11).

Today, I will speak from Jesus’ prayer to His Father, in John 17:17-26, to show you why He commands you to be filled — You will become one with Him, having His divine nature, united with Him in purpose, and working together with Him, when He and the Father and the Spirit fully and permanently indwell you. By this, the world will believe that the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ.

Do you see it? You cannot be His witness here, the proof that Jesus Christ died and rose and ascended and was glorified, until you are filled with the Holy Spirit. That is why He commands you to stay and wait!  

So, now I will speak from John 17:17-26, to show you, verse-by-verse, why He commands you to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is essential and absolutely necessary for all believers to know and understand the purpose of being filled, and why He commands all believers to stay and wait until it is done in them.

Verse 17 —

 “Sanctify them in the truth (literally, truly make them holy); Your word is truth.” 

In Ezekiel 36:26-27, the Father promised that He would put His Holy Spirit within the hearts of His people. Jesus now asks His Father to fulfill His promise.

The Eleven had been set apart as His disciples, an outward form of sanctification. But now He asks that the Father truly make them completely holy on the inside, by filling them with His Holy Spirit. The Father gives the Holy Spirit, as He has said (John 14:16).

Verse 18 —

“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” 

He speaks of what the Eleven are not yet but will be, when they stay and wait. It is the same for you, beloved! With these words, Jesus Christ commissions all believers to go out into the world and do what He did on the earth, and even greater works. 

Beloved, He will show you the purpose for sending you out, in Verse 21. But you cannot go out and do His works and greater works until you stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit so you are one with Him, having His divine nature, united with Him in purpose, and working together with Him.

Verse 19 —

“For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth (truly made holy).”

When He sanctified Himself, it was not so He would be made holy, because He was God in the flesh, when He was on the earth (Colossians 1:19). So as it relates to Him, the word “sanctify” means He set Himself apart to be the sin offering who took upon Himself the punishment the Eleven and you and I deserved for our rebellion against God. 

It was for your sake that He set Himself apart, because it is absolutely necessary that you be saved from God’s wrath and reconciled to God before you can  be truly made holy by being filled with the Holy Spirit. The first must happen before the second can happen. He had to die on a cross, rise, ascend and be glorified before the Holy Spirit could be given, just as I showed you last week —

John 16:7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but when I go, I will send Him to you.”

Verses 20-21 — 

“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may (literally, shall) believe that You sent Me.” 

Jesus Christ does not ask the Father on behalf of the Eleven alone, but for all who believe in Him through the word His Spirit-filled disciples would speak in the gospels and epistles.

So, He asks His Father to truly sanctify you — to make you truly holy. And that happens when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. 

The outcome of being made truly holy is this —  you become one with the Father, Him in the Father, the Father in Him, and you in Them, just as He has said —

John 14:20 “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

Remember that when He says, “you in Me,” He means that you are one with Him, having His divine nature, united with Him in purpose and operating together with Him. And that happens when you are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Now He tells you the purpose of being truly made holy by being filled with the Holy Spirit. When you are truly made holy and made one with Him and the Father, the world shall believe that the Father sent Him. They shall believe, not “they might believe.” 

You will be His witnesses here (Acts 1:8), the living, breathing proof that He is who He says He is. Why? The world will see that you are one with Him, having His divine nature, united with Him in purpose, and working together with Him. 

And they will understand that it would be impossible for you to be who you are and do what you do, if the gospel of Jesus Christ was not true. But you cannot be His witnesses here until you carry out His commandments to stay and wait. Acts 1:4-5 must happen before Acts 1:8 happens.

Verses 22-23 —

“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” 

Again, Jesus speaks of what the Eleven and you are not yet, but will be. The glory He was given was the outward sign that the Holy Spirit remained on Him after He was baptized in water by John the Baptist. That had never happened to anyone, including John the Baptist. 

This outward sign was given not because He needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. As I have said, He was fully God and fully man, when He was on the earth. So, He was already one with the Father. 

But this outward sign was given for your sake, so you would see what must be done in you, so the world shall know that the Father sent the Son.

The Father loves them with the same love the Father has for the Son — His divine love. He loves them with His divine love because they have loved Him by obeying His Son’s commandments to stay and wait. Therefore, through them, the world shall know that the Father sent His Son.

The glory that Jesus Christ gives to you is the Holy Spirit, when He and the Father and the Spirit fully and permanently indwell you. Then you are perfected (completed) in unity with Him and the Father. You become one as He and the Father are one, having the same divine nature, united with Them in purpose, and working together with Them.

It is through seeing that you are one with the Father and the Son that the world will know that the Father sent the Son. The Father loves the world in this way — He sent His Son to a lost world, so if they believe into Him, they will be saved from His wrath and reconciled to Him (John 3:16).

Verse 24 —

“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world (literally, cosmos).”

Remember that Jesus died, rose, ascended and was glorified in heaven, at the right hand of the Father who sent Him. So, He petitions the Father that they would be where He is, in heaven. 
The Father answered the Son’s prayer. So when your body falls away and you are immediately with Him (2Corinthians 5:8), you will see Him in His glorified position that He eternally held before the Father said, “Let there be,” and the entire cosmos was formed.

Verses 25-26 —

“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

The Father is righteous, for He sent Jesus Christ to an undeserving world, to save them from His wrath and reconcile them to Himself. But just as many of the Jews did not and even today do not know and receive Jesus as their Messiah (John 1:10-11), the whole world does not know Him.

But Jesus has known His Father intimately and personally, for eternity. And through His words, He has made you know that He was sent by His Father. 

Jesus made the Father’s name known to the Eleven, and has made it known to you. He has shown you the divine nature of the Father, for He is God the Son, the perfect representation of Him, even when He walked the earth.

But He says He will yet make His divine nature known to you, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit and are made partakers of His divine nature (again, 2Peter 1:4). 

He has commanded you to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that the same love with which the Father loves the Son — His divine love — is in you, filling your heart to overflowing (Romans 5:5) and that Jesus Christ Himself is in you, permanently and fully indwelling you, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. 

He has commanded you stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit so when you carry out His commandments to stay and wait, you become His witnesses here, the living proof that He is who He says He is, for you could not be who you are and do what you do if it were not true!

He has commanded you to stay and wait be filled with the Holy Spirit so you have His divine nature and are one with Him, united with Him in purpose, working together with Him. By this means, the world shall know that the Father sent the Son.

But will you carry out His commandments, and thus reveal that you love Him? Or will you reject His commandments, and thus reveal that you do not love Him? Your choice will reveal your heart. 

Lord Jesus, Your purpose in having me speak these essential truths is that today’s infants in Christ would see these truths, repent, and carry out Your commandments to stay and wait until they are filled with the Holy Spirit! Let it be so, I pray. Amen!

ISAIAH SESSION 51 — HE MAKES THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE

Text: Isaiah 49:14-26

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “He Makes the Impossible Possible.” I will show you that in their captivity, Zion (that is, Jerusalem and members of the twelve tribes of Israel who went into Babylonian captivity) believed the LORD has forsaken them. It seemed impossible! But He makes the impossible possible, if they will repent! I personally testify that He will do it! And He does, too —

Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”

Verse 14 —

Jerusalem and the twelve tribes lamented, “The LORD has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.” Their situation looked hopeless! They were captives of Babylon, exiled there because of their idolatry. 

He did not answer His unrepentant people’s frantic cries for help. Why? They were crying for rescue from the judgment He had warned them about through His prophets, again and again, but they did not listen. The LORD rebuked those who had not heeded His words spoken through His prophets, saying —

Jeremiah 29:18 “I will pursue them with the sword, with famine and with pestilence; and I will make them a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse and a horror and a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, 19 because they have not listened to My words,” declares the LORD, “which I sent to them again and again by My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,” declares the LORD.

Verses 15-16 —

But the LORD says He has not forgotten them. He simply would not answer their cries for help until they repented and returned to Him. It was the same for me, and it is the same for you, if you are still sinning against the Lord, beloved!

He asks, “Can a woman forget (be oblivious to) her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb?” If she forgot to nurse, the child would die of starvation. 

But the LORD says to His repentant ones, “Even these may forget (that is, women nursing children), but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands (literally, in the hollows of My hands); your walls are continually before Me.” 

It looked impossible, but He does not desire that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (see 2Peter 3:9). And if they do, He will restore them, even though in their eyes, it looks impossible!

In those days, a master’s name was written on the servant’s hands. But the names of the LORD’s repentant servants are written on His hands — He is the Master who writes His servants’ names on His hands! 

Oh, believer! He knows that you are sinning against Him. But if you turn back to Him and repent from your heart, He will surely remember you, for your name has been written in the hollow of His hands! But if you do not turn back, you will have chosen to perish.

The walls of Jerusalem are continually before Him. He has not forgotten that He chose the Jews to be His people (and also brought in non-Jews, as Isaiah has already prophesied), and chose Jerusalem as the place where He would dwell! 

I was very far from the Lord. My return looked impossible, for I was very rebellious, and in a captivity of my own making. And yet, just as He says in this passage, He had not forgotten me. When I repented and turned back to Him, I saw that my name was written my name in the hollow of His hands. 

Oh, His great mercy! I repented while He may be found and called on Him while He is near! This wicked one forsook her way, and returned to the Lord. He had mercy on me, and freely pardoned me (Isaiah 55:6-7)! He made the impossible possible!

Verse 17 — 

The LORD who sits above time says,“Your builders (sons) hurry; your destroyers and devastators will depart from you.” The LORD sees the city of Jerusalem being rebuilt, just as Nehemiah records it. 

And those who have destroyed and devastated them — the Babylonians — will release their grip on His people. The LORD will turn the tables on Babylon— the destroyers and devastators will be destroyed and devastated by the Medo-Persians. 

Verse 18 —

I will speak of His words from a spiritual perspective, for the devastation of His rebellious people went beyond the natural, beyond the city. The devastation was in their hearts. They were separated from their God, by their sin (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Yet to the repentant ones who were the third generation in Babylonian captivity (see Jeremiah 29:6), He says, “Lift up your eyes and look around; all of them (literally, your sons who will rebuild) gather together, they will come to you. ‘As I live,’ declares the LORD, you will surely put on all of them as jewels and bind them on as a bride.’”

His people were spiritually barren. But He tells the repentant ones to lift up their eyes. To do so, they must lift their heads that they have bowed in humble repentance! Look! Your sons will come to you, and they will adorn you!

Why? He has sworn it by His own name! A surely as He lives, they will be adorned with both natural and spiritual offspring! 

Verse 19 —

Again, why should they look up? The LORD continues His words to the repentant ones, saying, “For your waste and desolate places  and your destroyed land — surely now you will be too cramped for the inhabitants.” He makes the impossible possible!

Jerusalem will no longer be a desolate wasteland, a destroyed land, but will be rebuilt. But also, their hearts will no longer be a desolate spiritual wasteland, Instead, they will be spiritually prosperous, and they will bear many spiritual children. 

Some of their grandparents’ children had been slain in the Babylonian onslaught. Yet when the LORD returns the repentant third generation to the land, they will find that it is too cramped for their many children, natural and spiritual! They will hear their children say, “Make room for me!” He makes the impossible possible!

And those who swallowed them like a ripe fig (Isaiah 28:14) will be swallowed up by the LORD, by way of the Medo-Persians.

Verses 20-21 —

And His people will say in their hearts, “Who has begotten these for me, since I have been bereaved of my children, and am barren, an exile and a wanderer? And who has reared these? Behold, I was left alone. From where did these come?”

The repentant ones will be surprised to see children. They have been spiritually barren, exiled from the presence of God, wandering (literally, plucked away). 

So where did these children come from? They were left alone, abandoned by the LORD, from their perspective. Many of the women were widows. Bearing children was impossible. Yet here they were!

I tell you the truth, many of today’s churches and believers are spiritually barren and exiled from the LORD. But if they will repent, He will send them many spiritual children, seemingly out of nowhere! He makes the impossible possible!

Verses 22-23 —

Isaiah continues with the LORD’s words, “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and set up My standard to the peoples, and they will bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.’”

Ah! This is where Zion’s spiritual children will come from! The LORD will invite the nations to be part of His kingdom, just as He has said in Isaiah 49:6. 

He will lift up His hand — His Son — to the nations, beckoning them to come in, and will set Him as a standard (a banner) that can be seen worldwide. The believers who believe into Jesus Christ will become grafted-in branches of the olive tree  — the spiritual offspring of His people who repent and believe into Jesus Christ (Romans 11:17-21).
Their spiritual offspring will be tenderly, lovingly, and triumphantly carried to Zion by those who had once been outsiders. He makes the impossible possible!

But this promise also applies to today’s desolate church and believers — ones who have gone far from the Lord, just as Israel did. Yet, He has not forgotten them. He will bring the repentant ones back, and their spiritual children will be brought to them by the most unlikely people — kings and princesses!

The LORD describes them, saying, “Kings will be your guardians (parents) and their princesses your nurses (nursing mothers). They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth and lick the dust of your feet. And you will know that I am the LORD. Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.”

This is surely a view of the spiritual offspring of the Lord Jesus Christ’s bride, the church. Even the most high in worldly stature — kings and their princesses — will humble themselves before His repentant people, and before the church. He makes the impossible possible!

Then Israel will know (yada, know by intimate experience) that the LORD is the LORD! And when it happens to today’s church, they will know that the LORD is the LORD! Those who hopefully wait for Him (literally, entwine themselves together with Him) will not be put to shame! He makes the impossible possible!

I myself am physically barren, and I was surely spiritually barren. But I repented and turned to the Lord, entwining myself with Him and crying out to know Him intimately. And He answered! Now, I see some of the spiritual children whom the Lord has given me, and they will be part of His heavenly Zion! Surely, though I am naturally barren, I will not be ashamed when I stand before Him! He makes the impossible possible!

It is just as He promised His repentant ones, later in Isaiah —

Isaiah 54:1 “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman,” says the LORD. 2 Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs. 3  For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations and will resettle the desolate cities.”

And by the power of the Holy Spirit, I stretch out my earthly tent — my body — and strengthen its tent pegs to make room for the spiritual children that I will not see until I stand before the Lord. All these things are for His glory, for I was the least likely to repent and turn back to the Lord! But for the repentant, He makes the impossible possible!

Verses 24-25 —

The LORD asks, “Can the prey be taken from the mighty man, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?” 

It seems impossible, yet listen to His answer to His own question! Surely, thus says the LORD, “Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away (from the mighty man), and the prey of the tyrant will be taken (from the tyrant).” 

How can it be? The LORD says, “For I will contend with (grapple with, seize hold of) the one who contends with you, and I will save (free) your sons.” The LORD will contend with Babylon. And His people will be freed! 

And the LORD will contend with Satan and the world system that defies God, and rescue you from their clutches, if you will repent and turn to Him! And you will be set free, indeed, from slavery to sin —

John 8:34   Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

I tell you the truth, He set me free from slavery to sin, and crucified the sin nature in me (Galatians 5:24), so I no longer sin against Him. If you say, “That is impossible,” then I say, “He makes the impossible possible!”

Verse 26 —

For the repentant ones, the LORD says, “I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh and they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine, and all flesh will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”  

Their oppressors (those who rage against them) will be paid back by the LORD. It is also true for Satan and the world system that defies God. What they have done to His people will come back upon their heads, at the LORD’s hand! Then, all of His people will know that He is their only Savior and Redeemer, and that those who are mighty ones on the earth are no match for Him!

Lord Jesus, may believers see that their sin has separated them from You, just as with Israel, and repent and return to you, for surely, you will save and restore them!

Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT

[SW422] 03/14/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“The Work of the Spirit”

Text: John 16:5-15

 In John 14:16-26, Jesus Christ introduced the Eleven to the Helper, the Holy Spirit. He began to tell them the work of the Holy Spirit, within them. Now, He speaks about the work of the Holy Spirit, in and through them, when they carry out His commandments to stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). 

These truths are essential — absolutely necessary to know —  both for the Twelve and for believers today. Today, I will show you that if you are filled with the Holy Spirit —

He will speak through you to warn the world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment, and

— He will teach you all the truth that Jesus Christ and the Father possess.

Again, Jesus speaks these things to the Eleven, before He was arrested and then crucified. But He also speaks these words to you, beloved. So I will teach these things to you, just as He has commanded me to do.

Verse 5 —

“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’” 

In John 14:5, Thomas asked Him the question they all wanted answered — “. . . we do not know where you are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus rebuked Thomas and the rest, because He had told them many times, in many ways. So they did not want to be rebuked by Him again!

As I have said, they could not understand His words, because they believed He was an earthly Savior who would deliver them from Roman rule, reestablish the kingdom of Israel, and sit on a throne in Jerusalem. Therefore, it made no sense to them that He announced that He was about to leave them.

It is the same for today’s infants in Christ who are not yet spiritual — that is, not yet filled with the Holy Spirit (see 1Corinthians 3:1). They have a flawed understanding of who He is and why He came. So, many of Jesus’ words make no sense to them.

But beloved, if you are an infant in Christ, stay and wait until you are filled! Then you will understand why He had to die, rise, ascend, be glorified, and pour out the Holy Spirit. Then you will understand His words, for He and the Father and the Spirit will fully and permanently indwell you (John 14:23)!

Verse 6 —

 “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.” 

Because Jesus Christ told the Eleven that He was leaving them, their hearts were filled with sorrow. Their hearts overflowed with grief, for they loved Him as a friend. They loved Him with human love. And if He left, He could not save Israel from Roman rule.

Do you sorrow, wishing that Jesus was still here, walking beside you? Then you are like the Eleven. But when you stay and wait to be filled with His Holy Spirit, you will rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1Peter 1:8)! Why? He and the Father and the Spirit will fully and permanently indwell you, as He has said in John 14:23!

Verse 7 —

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage (better) that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if (literally, when) I go, I will send Him to you.” 

Their hearts were filled with sorrow, but Jesus Christ told them and tells you this essential truth — had He not died and risen and ascended and been glorified at the right hand of the Father, He would not have sent the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to fill the hearts of those who stay and wait. 

Filled with God! Now that is an advantage — immeasurably better than having Jesus Christ walk beside you! Why? It means that —

— He died, rose, ascended and was glorified, and poured out His Spirit, fulfilling all scripture about Him. And because you are filled with the Spirit, you are His witness here (Acts 1:8), living proof that He is indeed the Christ, for you could not be who you are and do what you do if you were not filled with Him!

— He is literally within you, fully and permanently indwelling you, along with the Father and the Spirit (John 14:23)! So, you experience Him in a holy, intimate way — far, far better than having Him outside of you.

— He has crucified your sin nature and filled you with His divine nature (Galatians 5:24, 2Peter 1:4), and He has purified your heart (Acts 15:9). Therefore, you are no longer powerless against Satan, for sin is longer in you, and your heart is filled with God, against whom Satan has no power! Hallelujah!

— And because you are proof to all mankind that the God the Father sent God the Son, who took the punishment you deserved on the cross, you therefore proclaim that all mankind must either believe into Jesus Christ or face God’s judgment and eternal perishing.

Verse 8 —

“And He, when He comes, will convict (warn) the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment . . .” 

Remember “the world” is the world system that defies God, and those who worship that world system. The Holy Spirit will warn the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. 

How will He warn them? Jesus has said that the world cannot see the Holy Spirit or know Him (John 14:17). 

But if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the unbelieving world will see Him through you. And they will hear Him speak through you, because you will boldly (frankly and bluntly) speak to them, in the Holy Spirit’s power!

You will warn the world, and the outwardly religious who continue to sin, just as the Spirit-filled disciples in the Book of Acts did. 

You will warn the world, and sinning believers, just as Paul, Peter and the rest did, in the epistles. 

You will pray for even greater boldness, despite extreme persecution from the world and the sinning church, just as Paul, Peter and the rest prayed for even greater boldness (Acts 4:29, Ephesians 6:20)!

Verse 9 —

What did they warn the world about, and what will you warn the world about?

“. . . concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;”

In the Holy Spirit’s power, you will tell the unbelieving world that all of mankind has sinned against God, but that God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ to save them from God’s wrath. Therefore, you will warn them that they must turn from their sin and believe into Jesus Christ, or they will be judged by Him, and will perish. 

And you will also warn sinning infants in Christ that they also must repent, or they also will be judged and perish, just as Paul and Peter and the rest warned such ones.

Verse 10 —

“and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me . . .”

By the power of the Holy Spirit, you will say that the Father reveals His righteousness to a world who defies Him and religious ones who rebel against Him. How? By sending His Son, Jesus Christ to bear God’s wrath, taking upon Himself the punishment they deserve.

You will say to them that Jesus Christ is no longer on the earth, because after He died and rose, He ascended and was glorified by the Father. This truth is the proof that the Father has indeed righteously offered to an undeserving world both salvation from His wrath and reconciliation to Him. And it is proof that He righteously keeps His promises, exactly according to all the prophecies about His Son.

You will say to them that He does not desire that any should perish because of their sin, but that all come to repentance (2Peter 3:9), and you will exhort them to repent and believe that He righteously offered His Son.

You will say to them that the Father has given the Holy Spirit, just as He promised (Acts 1:4-5), and that you are the proof that He has done it. They will know it is true, for His power is unmistakable in the words that you speak and the miraculous acts that you do, even if the listener knows nothing about Him. 

And you will warn them that if they reject this righteous act of God and refuse to believe into Jesus Christ, they will be judged and will perish.

Verse 11 — 

“. . . and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”

Who is the ruler of this world? Satan. He has now been judged (John 12:31), and awaits His sentence — the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). 

What is the evidence that Satan has been judged? Though he is still prince of the world system that defies God, He has no power over you, and you are not under His rule. Your sin nature has been crucified, so sin is longer in you! And your heart is permanently filled with God, against whom Satan has no power! 

Therefore, you will boldly warn worshipers of the world system, and sinning believers, of this truth —

— Satan has been judged because he defied God, and lied about Him.

— Therefore, those who worship the world system that defies God and lies about Him will also be judged, if they do not repent.  

Verse 12 —

 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them (take them up) now.”

The Eleven could not take into themselves and understand all that Jesus would later say to them. They could not yet absorb and comprehend such truth. 

But later, when they were filled with the Holy Spirit, He spoke to them through the Holy Spirit, and they understood all that He said! It will be the same for you, if you stay and wait! 

Verse 13 —

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into (teach you) 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 (tell you) what is to come.” 

When you are filled with the Spirit of truth, you will suddenly understand the Word of God, and all of Jesus Christ’s words. Why?  The Holy Spirit will constantly teach you. He will immediately teach you the most essential truths, and teach you all truth as you continue to constantly hear His teaching.

The Holy Spirit will not speak anything but what the Father and the Son speak. 

Likewise, you will speak the truth He teaches you, and will not teach anything but what the Father and Son speak to you through the Holy Spirit.

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, He will repeat to you what Jesus Christ and the Father are saying. And He will tell you what is to come, giving you —

— prophecies of coming famine and persecution, as with Agabus (Acts 11:28, 21:10), 

— prophetic words like He gave Peter, that Ananias and Sapphira were lying about the price of the land they had sold (Acts 5:3, 9), and

— prophetic visions, as He gave Peter and Paul visions (Acts 10:11ff, Acts 9:5, 9:12, 2Corinthians 12:2, etc.).

 

Verse 14 —

“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose  it  to you (tell you).” 

The Holy Spirit will tell you truths He hears from Jesus — things that you cannot possibly know by your own human understanding. Therefore, it will be obvious that you are filled with the Holy Spirit. 

And Jesus Christ will be glorified — given the praise and honor He so richly deserves — because when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are the proof that Jesus Christ died and rose and ascended and poured out the Spirit. Therefore, it is evident that Jesus is the Christ, and that His gospel is true, because there is no other way that He could speak through you, by the Holy Spirit, and no other way you could know what you know.

Verse 15 —

“All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of (takes from) Mine and will disclose it to you.”

What things will the Holy Spirit teach you, when you are filled with Him and the Father and the Son? All things (truths) that the Father and the Son have, for the Father possesses all truth, and the Son possesses all the Father has.

So, the Spirit will teach you all of God’s truth and speak all of God’s truth through you. And because He teaches you all of God’s truth, you will also possess all of God’s truth, as the Spirit continually teaches you.

Beloved, does the Holy Spirit work in and through you, speaking through you to warn the world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment, and teaching you all the truth that Jesus Christ and the Father possess? If not, you are not yet spiritual (filled with the Spirit and the Father and the Son), and are yet an infant in Christ. 

Are you still sinning, though you have been saved by claiming Jesus Christ as your Savior? Then you are in a perilous position! The Holy Spirit has warned you, through me, that you will be judged and perish unless you repent.

But if you repent from the heart and carry out Jesus Christ’s commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you will be saved and filled with God.

And if you disobey and refuse to repent and ask to be filled, the Father has already said that you do not love Him, nor do you love His Son (John 14:24). Again, you will be judged and perish unless you repent. So repent while it is still today, as the Lord has warned you   

Hebrews 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. 15 While it is said, “Today,” if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts (by sinning), as when they (Israel) provoked Me.”

Lord Jesus, may the hearts of many infants in Christ be pricked by the words You have given me to speak today, so they do what you command them to do. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 50 — A LIGHT TO THE NATIONS

Text: Isaiah 49:1-13

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “A Light to the Nations.” Isaiah 49 is chock full of wonderful truths — so, I will teach it in two sessions. In this first half of Isaiah 49, God the Son and God the Father speak prophetically about a salvation that extends to the end of the earth! It is amazing, when you see it, and I pray that by the teaching the Lord has shown me, you will see it!

Verse 1 — 

God the Son says, “Listen to Me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar.” He speaks to the Gentiles, those who are not Jewish. Why? You will see that He is sent to His people and to all peoples, when I show you Verse 6!

What does He say to the Gentiles? “The LORD called Me from the womb; from the body (inward parts) of My mother, He named Me.” It is just as Luke records, in Luke 1:26-38. The angel Gabriel visited Mary, and told her she would be with child by the Holy Spirit, and that her child’s name would be Jesus (see Luke 1:31), which means Savior!

Verse 2 — 

God the Son continues, “He has made My mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me, and He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver.”

What is the sharp sword? The Word of God, which Jesus Christ boldly spoke, rebuking those who had a form of godliness, but whose hearts were full of dead men’s bones and all unclean things (Matthew 23:27)! And at the end of things, that sharp sword of the Word of God will again come from His mouth, as He judges those who chose to reject Him (Revelation 19:15).

In the days of Isaiah, God the Father kept His Son hidden from His people. But just according to His plan, His Christ was revealed!

Jesus Christ was a select arrow — the Hebrew-to-English for “select” means polished, pure. Indeed, He shone with the light of God, just as something that is polished shines. He was fully God, while He walked the earth (Colossians 1:19)! He was pure — sinless (Hebrews 4:15). 

He was God in the flesh, so God’s light came from Him —

John 1:14   And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

And His light shined upon every human (John 1:9), so that they might come into His light! 

But at the time of Isaiah, Jesus Christ was hidden in His Father’s quiver. It was not yet time.

Verse 3 —

God the Father said to God the Son, “You are My Servant, Israel, in Whom I will show My glory (will be glorified).” His Son did what His people Israel did not do, when He walked the earth. 

How did He glorify the Father? Jesus tells us —

On the night He was to be taken prisoner, He prayed to His Father, saying —

John 17:4 “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”

The writer of Hebrews tells us —

Hebrews 1:3a And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. 

As God in the flesh, sent by God the Father, He was the exact representation of His Father. He did what the Father did, said what the Father said, and fulfilled the Father’s promise of His Christ. Thus, His Father was glorified!

And just according to the Old Testament prophets, He died on a cross, was resurrected on the third day, commanded all believers to stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), then ascended to the Father, sat down at His right hand, and poured out the Father’s promise — the Holy Spirit. And those who stayed and waited were filled with the Holy Spirit!

Verse 4 —

But as He watched His people reject Him, Jesus lamented, “I have toiled in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity. Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the LORD, and My reward is with My God.” 

The first part of this was a rebuke to His people. Before He was sent, Jesus Christ knew that He would be despised and rejected, and not esteemed by men (Isaiah 53:3). How could this be the promised Christ? He hung on a cross like a criminal. But Pilate testified three times that he found no guilt in Him (John 18:38, 19:4, 6)! 

It appeared that Jesus Christ toiled in vain for His people to be saved, and that He spent His strength for nothing. But He knew that it was just the appearance of things, and not the truth. He knew that regarding the mission upon which the Father sent Him, the verdict of His Father would be “Well done!” 

He was the Son in whom the Father was well-pleased (Matthew 3:17). And when He hung on the cross and said, “It is finished (completed),” His mission was completed (John 19:30)! He did all that the Father sent Him to do.

Verse 5 —

Jesus continues, “And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel may be gathered to Him — (for I am honored in the sight of the LORD, and my God is My strength) . . .

Again, Jesus Christ refers to being born to Mary by the Holy Spirit. And the Father sent Him as His Servant, to save those among His people who would repent and believe into Jesus Christ. 

On the night He was to be taken prisoner, He prayed to His Father, saying —

John 17:4 “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

The Father honored the Son, as I have spoken from Matthew 3:17. He glorified His Son again when He restored His Son to His glorified position, at His right hand, and poured out the Holy Spirit (John 7:37, Acts 1:5, Acts 2:4)!

Verse 6 —

Jesus Christ continues with what His Father said to Him. “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 to the nations (Gentiles), so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’”

It was God the Father’s plan for God the Son, from before anything was. He unfolded His plan from Genesis 3:15 onward.

NOTE: Other references to the salvation of the nations include Isaiah 2:2 and 9:1, and 42:6.

I tell you the truth, I thank Jesus Christ, continually, for He saved me, though I am a Gentile and not a Jew! His salvation indeed reaches to the end of the earth, for whosoever will turn from their darkness and come into His marvelous light (John 3:16 & 19-21, 1Peter 2:9)!

Verse 7 —

The LORD speaks to His Son, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, to the despised One, to the One abhorred by the nation, to the Servant of rulers; kings will see and arise, princes will also bow down, because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”

What nation despised and abhorred Jesus Christ? It was the nation of Israel. Listen to Isaiah’s prophecy of the Jewish leaders’ rejection of their Christ —

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.

Isaiah 53:4   Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Yet Jesus Christ’s disciples were Jews, and some of the Jews in Israel believed into Him. So Isaiah 53:3-4 refers to the Jewish leaders, as I have said.

God the Father says to God the Son, “Kings will see and arise, princes will also bow down, because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.” 

Nations will come to His light, and kings to the brightness of His shining (Isaiah 60:3). They will humble themselves before Him. Why? His faithful Father, the Holy One, sent Him! His primary ministry was to the Jews, but both Jews and non-Jew were saved through His ministry, even the entire city of Sychar (see John 4:42)! 

After Pentecost, the Roman centurion named Cornelius and his whole household were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:30 & 15:9). The Gentile jailer and his whole household were saved (Acts 16:29-31). As the New Testament testifies again and again, many nations and kings came to God the Son through those who were filled with His Holy Spirit and His light!

Verse 8 —

God the Father continues to speak to God the Son, saying, “Thus says the LORD, ‘In a favorable time (at just the right time) I have answered (responded to) You, and in a day of salvation I have helped (surrounded) You, and I will keep You and give you for a covenant of the people, to restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages (inheritance).’”

Certainly, Cyrus king of Persia restored His people from Babylonian exile, issuing an edict that freed them to go return to Jerusalem. It was done just at the right time, after they had been in exile for 70 years, just as the LORD had prophesied through Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 25:12, 29:10). 

You might say that the Servant in this passage could refer to Cyrus. But in no way was Cyrus given by the LORD to establish a new covenant with God’s people. God the Son was given as a covenant.

In those days, covenants (contracts) were made by the blood of sacrificial animals, just according to the Law of Moses. But Jesus Christ was a better sacrifice once for all, the guarantee of a better covenant (Hebrews 7:22). 

The writer of Hebrews quotes Jeremiah 31:33 —

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.”

A new covenant! A heart-changing covenant! 

On the night that Jesus Christ was to be captured by the Jews and crucified the next day, Jesus Christ spoke of the new covenant, in His blood 

Luke 22:20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”

God the Father would restore His people not only from their physical desolation, but their spiritual desolation — their separation from God — by the offering of the blood of His own Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross.

It is the better covenant, in which the hearts of all who believe into Jesus Christ are changed, so that they love God the Father and God the Son with God’s divine love that has been poured out into their hearts (Romans 5:5)! And their sin nature is crucified (Galatians 5:24), so they no longer rebel against Him!

Verse 9 —

God the Father said Jesus Christ would announce freedom —  “saying to those who are bound (by Babylonian chains), ‘Go forth,’ to those who are in the darkness (in disgrace because of their exile), show yourselves (depart from exile).’ Along the roads they will feed, and their pasture will be on all bare heights.”

The LORD says that He will bring His repentant remnant out of exile. At His hand, places of compacted soil (roadsides) and barren places will be like plains filled with food. He is the God Who Provides for all who will repent and turn to Him!

But this prophecy goes much farther than the exiled Jews! When He walked the earth, Jesus Christ declared that the prophecy of Isaiah 61 was fulfilled in Him —

Luke 4:18-21  “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor (humble). He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives (slaves to sin), and recovery of sight to the blind (spiritually blind), to set free those who are oppressed (crushed in spirit), 19 to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD.” 20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 

Hallelujah! I testify that this Scripture was fulfilled by Him, in me! I was exiled from the presence of God because of my sin (Isaiah 59:1-2). I was bound by it, but Jesus said, “Go forth!” I was in disgrace, but He set me free! I departed from my spiritual exile and desolation, and entered His kingdom!

Verse 10 —

The LORD promises the repentant remnant, “They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down, for He who has compassion (pity) on them will lead them, and will guide them to springs of water.”

Oh, beloved! Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6).” If you return to the Lord, confess that you cannot stop sinning, and ask Him to purify your heart by filling you with the living water of His Holy Spirit, He will do it! You will have His fountain of living water within you (John 4:14)!

Verse 11 —

The LORD promises the repentant remnant, “I will make all My mountains a road, and My highways will be raised up.” Surely, He will do just as He said in Isaiah 40. It will be easy for the repentant remnant to walk with Him on the Highway of Holiness (Isaiah 35:8), for they will have new hearts! 

Verses 12-13 —

The LORD promises that nations will come — from the north and the west, and from the land of Sinim (the Orient, to the east of Israel)! The Gentiles will come! Who will they come to? God the Son! 

And what will the reaction of His entire creation? The heavens (between earth and the heaven of God) will shout for joy! The earth will rejoice! The mountains will break forth into joyful shouting! 

Why will all creation rejoice? Because just as He promised, the LORD has comforted (consoled) His repentant people who have been in bondage, and will have compassion (mercy) on His afflicted (those whom He has humbled)! And we know it is for both Jew and Gentile —

Yet as I will show you next time in the remaining verses of Isaiah 49, Zion (Israel) will not believe the promise. When the Lord allows Babylon to take them captive,  their situation will look hopeless, to them and to everyone around them. But He assures His repentant ones that He will surely deliver them!

 It is the same today, among believers! If you will return to Him and believe His promise, He will do in you just as He promises! All of the Father’s promises are “yes” in Christ Jesus, and if you obey His command to be filled with the Spirit, you will become the “Amen” to His promises (2Corinthians 1:20).

Lord Jesus, may believers see that You keep Your promises to all who repent and return to you. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.