ISAIAH SESSION 16 — THE LORD’S PLANS WILL NOT BE THWARTED

Text: Isaiah 14:1-27

When God’s people go astray, He sends His prophets to frankly and bluntly warn them of their sin and admonish them to repent and return to Him. Again, when I speak of God’s people, I am speaking of the church, Jewish believers, and Jews that do not yet believe that Jesus is their Messiah.

The LORD does not desire for any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). So, He sends Isaiah to speak to Jerusalem and Judah. And He has assigned me to speak to today’s believers.

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “The LORD’s Plans Will Not Be Thwarted.” It begins with the Lord’s compassion toward Jacob (backslidden Israel), for He will destroy the Assyrians and, in his compassion for Judah, He will deal likewise with Babylon. 

His plans are against the whole earth, against all those who have defied and rebelled against Him, in their human pride and arrogance. And who can thwart His plans? No one!

Verses 1-2 — 

A time will come when the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, after they have received their punishment for rebelling against Him and have repented. Repentance must always precede release from captivity. 

It is true for believers today, for just like the Jews, all of us are born with a sin nature that rebels against the Lord. Believers remain captives to sin until we repent and ask Him to free us by crucifying our sin nature. 

And the LORD will settle Israel in their own land — His kingdom. He will settle in His land —His kingdom — ALL who repent! Israel became a nation in 1948, and many returned. But though they are geographically located there, they will not be settled in His kingdom until they return to Him and recognize their Messiah, Jesus Christ. And they will, as Paul writes —

Romans 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery — so that you will not be wise in your own estimation — that 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.”

27  “THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, 

WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”  (See Isaiah 59:20)

And strangers will attach themselves to the house of Jacob (to Israel). This is another prophecy that comes to pass, and then comes to pass again! When the Father sent Jesus Christ, Gentiles believed into Him. It happened after He died and rose and ascended, was glorified, and poured out His Holy Spirit to equip His church! A vast army of believers fanned out across the known world, and many Gentiles believed into Him. 

And many more will believe into Him during the Tribulation, when the 144,000 (12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel) go forth with the gospel —

Revelation 7:4   And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

Revelation 7:9   After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

Jesus Christ came not just for the Jews, but first to the Jews. Gentiles, strangers who were not part of God’s people, were in His plan from the beginning, for the Father said this of His Son, Jesus Christ —

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

Indeed, strangers have and will yet join with Jews who believe into Jesus. And indeed, His salvation reaches to the end of the earth! Hallelujah!

And Israel and Judah will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors. That is, those who were Israel and Judah’s enemies will bow down to them —

Isaiah 31:8  And the Assyrian will fall by a sword not of man, and a sword not of man will devour him. So he will not escape the sword, and his young men will become forced laborers.

How will Sennacherib, king of Assyria, fall? By the hands of his own sons —

2Chronicles 32:21 And the LORD sent an angel who destroyed every mighty warrior, commander and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned in shame to his own land. And when he had entered the temple of his god, some of his own children killed him there with the sword.

And how will Satan fall? By the hand of the Son of God, Jesus Christ!

Verses 3-6 —

Both Judah and Israel, and all who repent and believe into Jesus Christ, will be given rest from their enemies, once and for all, and from the pain and turmoil and harshness with which they were treated in their captivity. And their reaction is described in this Psalm —

Psalm 126:2  Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3  The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad (filled with joy).”

And they will take up a taunt (mocking lament) against the king of Babylon, and say, “How the oppressor has ceased, and how fury has ceased. The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers which used to strike the people in fury, with unceasing strokes.”

And spiritual Babylon, as I taught last time, will suffer the same fate. And Satan and his offspring will be taunted in the same way by those who have been saved —

Revelation 19:1   After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2 BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.” 3 And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.”

Verses 7-8 —

Isaiah sees a vision of the whole earth at rest and quiet, when Babylon is destroyed. 

Not only Israel and Judah, but even the trees and cedars of Lebanon will rejoice over Babylon’s destruction, and ultimately, over the destruction of spiritual Babylon, and Satan himself, as Paul writes to the church at Rome 

Romans 8:21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

Verse 9 —

Israel, Judah, all creation, and even Sheol, the temporary abode of the wicked until the great judgment, will be excited over the coming of the king of Babylon. Those in Sheol will eagerly await his arrival! It will be the same for Satan.

Sheol will arouse all the spirits of the dead and all the leaders of the earth. All of the kings of the earth who defied the Lord will be there, and they will arise and stand as the king of Babylon (and ultimately, Satan) enters. 

Verses 10-11 —

The kings and leaders now in Sheol will all respond, and speak to the king of Babylon. This is also a description of Satan’s demise. Even he has been made as weak as we, the kings in leaders in Sheol will say! You have become like us! 

The pomp and the noise of your harps have brought you down to Sheol. Maggots are spread out beneath you, and worms are your covering. 

Pomp and harps are the first links of this passage to Ezekiel’s prophecy of the fall of the king of Tyre, an earthly king who was also a representation of Satan —

Ezekiel 28:12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, “Thus says the Lord GOD, You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering . . . and the gold, the workmanship of your setting and sockets (tambourines and pipes) was in you . . . 14 You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God;  You walked in the midst of the stones of fire . . .” 

Ezekiel 28:17  Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty . . . I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.”

Do you see the similarities? Kings will mock Satan when he is presented to them in Sheol. He was an anointed cherub, created to worship the Lord. But his pride caused his fall. 

Some commentators say this section of Isaiah 14 refers only to human pride, but I disagree. Just as with the passage from Ezekiel, the prophecy goes far beyond natural kings. The parallels of the descriptions in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 are striking.

Verse 12 —

The LORD shows Isaiah much more than the demise of the king of Babylon. Those in Sheol will say, per the King James Version, “How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” Lucifer is one of Satan’s names. As the passage from Ezekiel 28 shows, Satan was in heaven, before the LORD cast Him out because of His pride. 

Those in Sheol will say, “You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations.” How has Satan weakened the nations? By the influence of His demons, who tempted men to make idols to false gods, and are behind all idols, as Paul warns the church at Corinth —

1Corinthians 10:19 What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.

Verses 13-14 —

Just like the earthly king of Babylon, Satan said, I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne above the stars of God. I am greater than God! 

I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the recesses of the earth. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will make myself like the Most High! Satan and his followers reek with pride! 

Verse 15-17 —

Nevertheless — no matter what the king of Babylon and Satan boast — they will be driven down to Sheol, just like the king of Babylon. Ultimately, they will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). Those who see the fallen king of Babylon will wonder at him, for his fall will be great! And it will be the same for Satan. 

They will say of the king of Babylon, who made the earth tremble, who shook the kingdoms, “Is this the man who did these things?” Likewise, when Satan is in Sheol, they will say, “Is this Satan, who was once so powerful?” Is this the one who made the world like a wilderness, and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?

Verses 18-20 —

All the kings of the earth have earthly tombs that are great and glorious. But the king of Babylon will be cast out of his tomb like a rejected branch (literally, a miscarriage)!  Satan and he will be clothed with those they have slain by piercing them with a sword. They will be clothed with those who go down to the stones of the pit of hell, even clothed with the trampled corpses of those they have mown down. In place of their glorious robes, they will be covered with the evil they have committed.

Satan will be united in burial with all he has slain, as will the natural king of Babylon. They have caused ruin, and have slain many. And the offspring of evildoers will never be renowned (famous, celebrated) again — forever!

Verses 21-23 —

The sons of the king of Babylon and the children of Satan will be taken to a place of slaughter, because of their sin. They will not arise and take possession of the earth, nor will they fill the world with cities. 

Satan’s kingdom will be destroyed, as will the kingdom of Babylon. And all of the offspring of the natural king of Babylon, and of Satan, will be cut off (killed). Their name (line), and survivors, offspring, and those who would be their posterity (their remnant) will be destroyed.

And their kingdoms will be places for unclean animals to dwell, a place of swamps filled with disease. The LORD of hosts, Jesus Christ, will sweep it with the broom of destruction! He declares it, and no one can thwart His plans! Hallelujah!

Verses 24-25 —

Now the LORD of hosts addresses the king of Assyria, and again, He also addresses Satan. He says, Surely, as I have intended it shall be done. As I have planned, so it will stand. 

Who is in charge? The LORD!

He will break Assyria and Satan in His land and will trample them on His mountains. He is the Lord of all the earth (Exodus 19:5)! Then the yoke will be removed from those who were Assyria’s and Satan’s captives, and their burden will be lifted from their shoulders. By whom will it be lifted? The LORD!

Verses 26-27 —

This is the plan devised by the LORD, against the whole earth, the whole world system that defies Him. His plan extends far beyond Babylon and Assyria. His hand is stretched out against all the nations (peoples) who have defied Him, and against Satan, who has defied Him— again, His hand is stretched out to punish.

For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate His plans? No one! And no one can turn back His outstretched hand. He will exact His punishment, just according to His plan which He established before anything was. 

Knowing that the LORD will punish those who rebel against Him and defy Him, and knowing that His plan will not be thwarted, how will you respond? If you are rebelling against Him, turn now! Repent and believe into Jesus Christ, and you will be saved from the wrath of God. But do not stop there!

After you are saved, cry out to Him to fill you with His Spirit. He will purify your heart and crucify your sin nature. Then Satan’s devices will be useless against you. All of his plans and schemes will fall to the ground, null and void. 

Lord, I pray all believers hear that Your plans will not be thwarted, and see their need to repent. You surely will have compassion on them, when they do!

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MOCKING HIS MESSENGERS

[SW387] 07/13/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“Mocking His Messengers”

 Text: 2Chronicles 36:11-21, etc.

Messengers sent by the Lord were frequently mocked and despised and scoffed at by His people, in both the Old and the New Testaments. It is the same today. As you will see in today’s passage, those who mock do so at their own peril, for His wrath is very great toward such ones!

Why? When His people mock His messengers, they mock Him. Yet He sent His messengers to His people because of His compassion for them!

Because they mock Him, He gives Satan permission to sift them (Luke 22:31, and the Book of Job). If they do not repent, he gives Satan permission to take them captive and drag them away into exile from His presence.

His purpose is that they will cry out and repent, after they have been battered for a while. But if they refuse to repent, and continue to mock those He sends, they will face His judgment, just as they did in the days of Isaiah, Jeremiah and the rest, and just as they do today, and just as they will at the end of things. 

Mocking is common in today’s church. She is a silly dove without a heart (Hosea 7:11), who does not see that she mocks the Lord when she mocks His messengers whom He has compassionately sent to her!

In today’s scripture, I will show you the people of Judah, who were about to go into Babylonian exile because they mocked His messengers, refusing to repent and turn from their sin. May it be a warning to today’s church.

Verse 11 —

Zedekiah was the final king of Judah, before the Babylonian exile — 

Jeremiah 37:1   Now Zedekiah the son of Josiah whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had made king in the land of Judah, reigned as king in place of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim. 2 But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the LORD which He spoke through Jeremiah the prophet.

Zedekiah refused to listen to Jeremiah, and thus, he refused to listen to the Lord. Therefore, when he was 32, Zedekiah was captured by the king of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar forced him to watch his children be brutally killed by the Babylonians (2Kings 25:7). Immediately after that, his eyes were gouged out, and he was taken into captivity. So, the last thing he saw with his eyes was the violent death of his children. And he was permanently blinded. 

It was done to Zedekiah just as Ezekiel, another mocked prophet of the Lord, prophesied regarding him. The Lord said, through Ezekiel —

Ezekiel 12:13 “I will also spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. And I will bring him to Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans; yet he will not see it, though he will die there.

Zedekiah would not see it, because his eyes would be gouged out by the Babylonian army. I tell you the truth, had he repented, the Lord would have delivered him. But he was determined to follow the ways of the world, to worship what it worships. So he was blinded. O church, if you do not repent, the Lord will allow Satan to permanently blind you!

Verse 12 —

Why did this happen to Zedekiah? He did evil in the sight of the Lord his God. What evil did Zedekiah do? He did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet who spoke from the mouth of the Lord. He did not bow down to and obey the words the Lord spoke through Jeremiah.

Instead of heeding the Lord’s words through Jeremiah, he listened to false prophets who told him pleasant things. He worshiped the gods of the land, and shed innocent blood by offering children in the fire, to appease the anger of the false gods. 

He listened to false prophets who gave him only good news, and who did not know the Lord at all (Jeremiah 27:9). He refused to listen to the exhortations of Jeremiah and of Ezekiel, though prophets of the Lord were higher in rank than kings. 

Verse 13 —

He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzer, who had made him swear by God that Judah would ally itself with Babylon. So, he broke his oath that he made in the Lord’s name. Zedekiah willfully and purposefully stiffened his neck — he did not bend to the Lord’s will — and hardened his heart against the LORD God of Israel.

Verse 14 — 

But Zedekiah was not the only one at fault. All the officials who were priests and all the people were very unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations. They worshiped what the world worshiped. They worshiped falsehood, instead of worshiping the Lord.

They defiled the house of the Lord, the temple, which He had sanctified in Jerusalem. How? By bringing their false gods into the temple, the Lord’s house, and setting up altars to them. O church, there are many false gods among you! Even the god of self, which is at the root of all false gods, is worshiped by you and reigns in you. And you seek pastors who will placate that false god with words about how the Lord wants to bless you, but nary a word that you must repent and turn away from your sin!

Verses 15-16 — 

The Lord sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion (pity) on His people and His dwelling place. Jeremiah says —

Jeremiah 25:3 “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. 4 “And the LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear . . . 

The Lord says, through Jeremiah —

Jeremiah 26:5 “If you will not listen to Me . . . to listen to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I have been sending to you again and again, but you have not listened . . .”

And the Lord declares —

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. 

And the Lord says —

Jeremiah 32:33 “They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive 

instruction.”

Judah, and today’s church, have mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets. Therefore, the wrath of the Lord has risen, and there was then and is now no remedy for her. There is no healing, there is no deliverance by the Lord, for He spoke and continues to speak to His people

again and again, but they still refuse to listen.

Already today’s church is ransacked. Already, there is a famine for the word of God (Amos 8:11)! Already the disease of sin runs rampant throughout her ranks! Already, she is powerless! Already she is a laughingstock! Already she is mocked! 

She receives what she has done to the Lord. She has mocked His messengers whom He has sent to exhort her to repent, and warn them of the consequences of her sin. Therefore, the world mocks her.

Verses 17-19 —

What were the consequences of the sin of Judah, and what are the consequences of the sin of today’s believers in today’s church?

The Lord lets their enemy have at them and destroy everything natural thing they treasure and rely upon. In Judah, their enemy even destroyed the strength of their young men, slaying them with the sword in the temple! 

And Satan has destroyed the strength of many of today’s sin-filled churches, for they worship the god of self and the wisdom and ways of the world. Lord, may they see their folly!

All the articles of the temple were carried off to Babylon, for they were made of precious metals — gold and silver and bronze. All of the church’s treasures will be carried off, for she has refused to repent. 

But the remnant of believers who have remained faithful will yet find favor, whatever happens to the church at large. It was the same for Daniel, for Jeremiah and other mocked prophets of the Lord.

Both man and virgin, old man or infirm, were destroyed, in Judah. All were given into their enemy’s hands. None were shown mercy.

Every false god they trusted in failed them. The world’s wisdom, ways and culture, which they trusted in failed them. The god of self, whom false teachers had taught them to worship, failed them. 

It will be the same for today’s believers in today’s church, unless they repent and cry out for the Lord to change their hearts by filling them with His Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26)! 

Judah thought that because the temple was in Jerusalem, it would not be destroyed by their enemy. But the Lord allowed the Babylonians to completely overrun and burn and destroy both Jerusalem and the temple in which they trusted. 

The Lord exhorted them, through Jeremiah —

Jeremiah 7:3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4 “Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’”

The church deceives herself, thinking that  because she says she belongs to Jesus Christ, she will not be destroyed by Satan. Yet like Judah, she mocks and despises those whom He sends to her. O church, amend your ways and your deeds!

She does not see that Satan has already had his way with her, and she is barely a shadow of the church when it began, in the Book of Acts! She says sin is no longer sin. Woe to her, for she calls evil good and good evil (see Isaiah 5:20). I tell you the truth, Satan rubs his hands with glee!

After looting the temple, Babylon burned it and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, leaving the city in ruins. All of its strong buildings were burned with fire. All of its valuable articles were destroyed. 

The church has been looted! The church is burning! Her walls are broken down. All she trusts in is being burned with fire! All she held dear is being destroyed! Yet she does not see that she is on fire (Isaiah 42:25), and pays no attention.

Verses 20-21 —

Those who escaped the sword were captured and carried away into Babylon, to serve Nebuchadnezzar and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia — 70 years of exile! It happened to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths (Leviticus 25:3-4), and was not worked by Judah —

All the days of its desolation, it (the land) kept its sabbath (it rested) until 70 years were complete, as the Lord said, through Jeremiah —

Jeremiah 25:11 ‘This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”

After the 70 years, Daniel read that it was time for the Lord to bring the people back to the land. So he prayed a prayer of repentance (see Daniel 9). Then, Cyrus, King of Persia (for Persia had overrun Babylon), issued a decree that they could return (2Chronicles 36:22-23). Though the number who returned was small, they rebuilt the wall and the temple. 

But by the time Jesus Christ came, they worshiped the Law and not the Lord. So they did not recognize God the Son when He came. They rejected Him because He did not fit their idea of what their Messiah should be. All of Jesus’ words offended them and enraged them. In the same way, today’s believers in today’s churches have fashioned Him into their own image. 

Should anyone come and speak the truth to them, they are offended and become enraged. I testify of it, from my own experience. I tell you the truth, the Jesus of the Bible is rejected in many churches. They have morphed Him into a totally human, confused, unsure man who had to come to the earth to see what it was like to be us. 

What? He created us. He already knew what was in man. He knew what was in the heart of man, beloved. He needed no one to tell him —

John 2:24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.

O foolish believer, O silly dove with no heart! He knows the darkness that is within you. Therefore, He says, Repent!

Lord Jesus, I have delivered this as You have commanded. May Your people stop mocking and scoffing at those you send them, and stop despising Your words. May they turn back to you and away from the god of self. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 15 — THE DEMISE OF BABYLON

Text: Isaiah 13

When God’s people go astray, He sends His prophets to frankly and bluntly warn them of their sin and admonish them to repent and return to Him. Again, when I speak of God’s people, I am speaking of the church, Jewish believers, and Jews that do not yet believe that Jesus is their Messiah.

The LORD does not desire for any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). So, He sends Isaiah to speak to Jerusalem and Judah. And He has assigned me to speak to today’s believers.

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “The Demise of Babylon.” Jesus Christ has been established as Judge (John 5:22).Who will He judge? He will judge the empire of Babylon by the invasion of the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:30-31), and He will judge spiritual Babylon, in the final judgment, the Day of the LORD. 

Verse 1 —

The LORD has given Isaiah an oracle, both a word and a vision, concerning Babylon. It is a word and a vision of its destruction, in the natural. But there is also a spiritual meaning here, for Babylon represents the world order that defies the LORD, the world order overseen by Satan (Ephesians 2:2, 2Corinthians 4:4).

Verse 2 —

The LORD says, Lift up a standard on the bare hill — a banner on a high mountain peak, where there is no vegetation — so it can be seen from afar! Raise your voice to the Medes and the Persians, wave the hand that they may enter the doors of the nobles of Babylon. 

Verses 3-5 —

Indeed, the Medo-Persian army entered the doors of the nobles. History records that they cut the bars and drained the water from a sluiceway beneath the palace of Balshazzar, king of Babylon, the grandson of King Nebuchadnezzar. Psalm 107:16 refers to the cutting of the bars.

Meanwhile, Balshazzar was eating and drinking with the holy implements that his grandfather had taken from the temple in Jerusalem when it was overrun (see Daniel 5:2-3). Thus, the Medo-Persian army entered the palace undetected! Balshazzar was slain and the kingdom was taken by the Medes and Persians in one night. It was the LORD who made it so! Who is in charge? The LORD!

The Medes and Persians were consecrated by the LORD to execute His anger toward Babylon and obliterate it from the face of the earth. They were His mighty warriors, just as boastful and proud as Babylon. 

Isaiah describes their approach. It will be like a sound of tumult (noise of a multitude) on the mountains, for they are a huge army! It will be like a sound of uproar (a rushing forth) of kingdoms, of nations gathered together to fight against Babylon!

At the end of things, God the Son, the LORD of Hosts, the divine Captain of the armies of the LORD, will muster an army for battle, to destroy spiritual Babylon! There will be an uproar, indeed, far beyond that of the destruction of natural Babylon!

And He will defeat the world order called Babylon, in the Day of the Lord, in one hour’s time. One hour! The description of spiritual Babylon and its destruction is in the Book of Revelation —

Revelation 17:1   Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” 

Revelation 18:2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.”

Revelation 18:10 (the kings of the earth) standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, “Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.”

His army is coming from a far country — against natural Babylon, from Media and Persia, in the Day of the Lord, from heaven! The Medes and Persians are His instruments of indignation against the earthly Babylon, for its whole land to be completely destroyed. He Himself will come against spiritual Babylon, for its complete destruction.

Verses 6-8 —

Wail! Make a howling noise, you who follow after Babylon! For the Day of the LORD is near! It will come as a destruction (violence, ravaging, desolation) from the Almighty God!

Because it is coming from Him, all hands will fall limp, and every man’s heart will melt with fear. There will be no strength and no courage in them, for His fearsome army will quickly overwhelm, and cannot be conquered!

Like natural Babylon, spiritual Babylon, will be terrified (trembling, alarmed, amazed). Pains (as the pangs of childbirth and anguish (a rope, a noose) will take hold of them. They will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look at one another in astonishment, their faces aflame with terror!

Verses 9-11 —

Again, Behold! See! Pay attention! The Day of the LORD is coming! It will be cruel (terrible), with fury (an outburst of wrath) and burning (fierce) anger, to make the land a desolation. And He will exterminate (utterly destroy) its sinners from it! 

While it is still today, repent, believe into Jesus Christ, be saved, and then cry out for your sin nature to be crucified and for the infilling of the Holy Spirit —

Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 

He will purify you from your sin, and set you free from slavery to it. Then, you will no longer follow spiritual Babylon!

The lights of the heavens will go out, in the Day of the LORD — no sunshine, no moonlight, no starlight. Thus, He will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity (sin). He will put an end to the arrogance of the proud, and humble the haughtiness of the ruthless (tyrannical oppressors, even Satan himself)!

Verses 12-13 — 

Very few mortals will be left. They will be scarcer than pure gold. Mankind will be scarcer than the gold of Ophir, a gold region in the Far East. 

In the Day of the LORD, He will make the heavens tremble. And the earth will be shaken from its place, at the fury of the LORD of hosts, in the day of His burning anger. He will shake everything that can be shaken, so nothing remains but that which cannot be shaken so nothing remains but that which cannot be shaken (see Hebrews 12:26)! Those who are filled with His Holy Spirit cannot be shaken, beloved! 

Peter describes the Day of the Lord, and exhorts believers —

2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.  

And . . . 

2Peter 3:11   Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening (eagerly awaiting) the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!

2Peter 3:14   Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless . . . 

Verses 14-18—

Isaiah switches to the prophecy regarding the destruction of the natural Babylonian Empire, comprised of many nations that Babylon had conquered. They will be hunted by the Medes and Persians. They will be like sheep with no one to gather and protect them. They will turn to their own people, and flee their own land. 

Those who are found by the Medo-Persian army will be thrust through with lances. Any who is captured will fall by the sword. Their little ones will be dashed to pieces before their eyes. Their wives will be raped. 

Behold, the LORD will stir up the Medes agains them, an army of men who do not care about silver or gold. Their empire is already rich! Their bows will mow down the young men, they will have no compassion on pregnant women, nor will their eyes pity children. 

Verses 19-22   

And Babylon, the most beautiful of kingdoms, the glory (majesty) of the pride of the Chaldeans (Babylonians) will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. They will be overthrown, and they will be judged by the LORD in the same way as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.

It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation, nor will the Arab pitch his tent there, nor will shepherds make their flocks lie down there. So, what will lie down (dwell) in the ruins of Babylon? 

Unclean creatures, for Babylon will be in the place where evil spirits, and the devil himself, await judgment. Desert creatures like scorpions, poisonous snakes, and owls, with their powerful talons, will dwell in the Babylonian’s beautiful houses. 

Babylon will be populated with ostriches that fight with their powerful legs and claws, and shaggy goats (the Hebrew meaning is saytrs — that is, devils, demonic beings) will frolic there. Hyenas will howl in their fortified towers, and jackals will howl in their luxurious palaces. 

Babylon’s fateful time also will soon come — within 150 years of this oracle from the LORD to Isaiah — and her days will not be prolonged. Babylon’s empire lasted 400 years, but it ended in one night, at the hand of the LORD! 

And it will be the same for spiritual Babylon in the Day of the LORD. As I have told you, she will be destroyed in one hour! 

That said, O believer, O church, I wonder who you are following? Do you follow after the world and its wisdom and its ways? 

Now that you know the fate of such ones, return to the Lord, before the Day of Judgment! He will gladly receive you if you repent from the heart. No one knows the day of His coming. Do not be found wanting, when He judges!

Lord Jesus, You give this warning to Your people, because they have strayed far from You. May there be ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. So be it, I pray. Amen!

THE UNLIT CHURCH

[SW386] 07/06/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“The Unlit Church”

 Text: Matthew 5:14-16, etc.

How can it be? Most of today’s church is unlit! That word means “not set alight.” Why? The truth is that Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, is on the outside of many church buildings and many churchgoers.

Why? I will show you, through what He has shown me.

Verse 14 —

Jesus prophesies to His disciples about what they will become. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”

In order to light the whole world, you must be able to shine so brightly that no one can miss your light. The light of the world must be a light that can be seen even in the darkness. It must be a light that drives out darkness.

But most of the church has joined the darkened world instead of being a light of the world. Why? They have not been set alight by being filled with the Light of the world, Jesus Christ (John 8:12). If He is not within them, they cannot shine with His light in the spiritual darkness of this world.

A city on a hill rises above the world that surrounds it. A city on a hill is lit brightly. A city on a hill can be seen from a great distance. 

The church buildings built by man can be seen in the natural. They often rise above nearby buildings, and many are built on natural hills. In the natural, some have beautiful lighting that washes the exterior walls of the building, and chandeliers inside their sanctuaries. But those who are inside are not cities on the Lord’s holy hill, for they cannot ascend to His holy hill because of their sinful hearts —

Psalm 24:3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Only those with clean hands that are not soiled by sin, and pure hearts that are entirely the Lord’s, can ascend into the holy hill of the LORD. It is then that they are set alight and become His city on His hill.

And those who have ascended to His city on His hill cannot be hidden! They have been set alight with His light, and are visible from a great distance, for all the world to see. I tell you the truth, for those who set alight, for those who are filled with His light, it is impossible not to shine! 

You may say, “Pastor Sue, you are judging the church.” Do you not know that we are supposed to judge sin in the church? We do not judge the world, for God judges them 

1Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

So, I judge those in today’s church and believers by their actions, for their actions and words reveal their hearts (Matthew 12:34). If the believers and teachers and preachers and leaders in many churches had ascended to His holy hill, they would not do what they do, and say what they say. They would not teach what they teach, and lead as they lead. 

They would not worship man’s wisdom and man’s ways, and the culture of the world in which they live. They would not be unlit, but set alight. But by their actions, they show that they live in the world, not in the kingdom of heaven.

Verse 15 —

Jesus continues to prophesy, saying, “. . . nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” 

But if there is no light in the lamp, it cannot provide light to all who are in the house. There is no light in many churches and believers, because Jesus is not in them. Such churches and such believers, therefore, cannot give light to all who are in the house, because they are not set alight.

O church, Jesus Christ walks among you who are commanded to be His lampstands (Revelation 1:13). He calls you to repentance, as He did five of the seven churches, in chapters 2 and 3 of the Revelation!

There is plenty of excitement in some churches, and there are plenty of sermons about how the Lord wants to bless believers, but no mention of the repentance that must come first, and no mention that they must be set alight by being filled with His light. So those who go to such churches enter an unlit place, and leave with their hearts still darkened by sin. 

There are some, though, who hear Jesus Christ’s voice in spite of the darkness in their churches, and open the door and He enters their hearts. He calls out to those in the church at Laodicea —

Revelation 3:20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” 

He will set such ones alight, filling them with His light, and they will become lamps that give light to all who are around them! Hallelujah!

Verse 16 —

There is no “let” in the original Greek. Jesus issues a command, not a suggestion, beloved! His command? “Shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

Do you see it? The purpose of shining is to glorify your Father in heaven. You cannot glorify Him if you have not been set alight.

The natural “good works” done by most churches are no different from what any unbeliever can do. And lest they offend, most church workers do not mention the name of Jesus when they do natural works. Therefore, the Father receives no honor and praise, but the church workers are praised for their goodness.

Beloved, you are commanded by Jesus Christ to be set alight so you do God works by which your Father in heaven is glorified. God works are works that only He can do, in and through you.  When you are set alight, He works through you to do what Jesus did when He walked the earth, and greater things (John 14:12), He is glorified.

He does God works through men and women who are set alight by Him, by being filled with the light of Christ. His light shining from them is undeniable evidence that God has done a work that only He can do, in them. 

So, their Father in heaven is glorified both by the God works He has done in them, and the God works which He does through them. 

Do you see it? You can only shine and do God works, thereby glorifying your Father, if you have been set alight.

I used to think it was noble, when I heard some preacher say, “Hide me behind the cross, so all they see is You, Lord.” But those words are contrary to Jesus’ words. Jesus commands “Shine!’ In order for your light to be seen, you must be seen!

Some of the believers at Philippi were complaining and arguing, thus revealing that they were not yet set alight, not yet filled with the Light of the world, Jesus Christ, not yet ascending to His holy hill because they were not yet pure. So Paul exhorted them to become blameless and pure, without fault — 

Philippians 2:14  Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

May these words cause you to cry out to be filled with His light, so I may boast on the day of the Lord that have not run or labored for nothing!

I used to think some hid their light, out of fear. I used to think they hid it because of concern for “what people might think.” I used to think they hid it out of a desire not to offend. I used to think they hid it out of fear of persecution.

But those things are not even a thought in the heart of those who are set alight by the Holy Spirit. And I tell you the truth, it is impossible for those who are set alight to hide the Light of the world who indwells them permanently and fully (John 14:23)!

Believers will fear, until they are set alight. It was the same for the Eleven, after Jesus Christ was crucified, but before they were set alight —

John 20:19   So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and  said to them, “Peace be with you.”

They were afraid of being persecuted and killed by their Jewish leaders, who hated them. But after they were filled, they openly and boldly preached repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Where? In the temple, in view and earshot of those who hated them! And they exhorted the leaders to repent and believe into Jesus Christ! 

They were set alight, they became the light of the world, cities on His holy hill, they could not hide His light. The light with which He had filled them surely did shine from them. And their Father in heaven was glorified!

Of course, they were brought before the Sanhedrin, who told them to stop talking about Jesus. Here was the response of those who had been set alight —

Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

They kept preaching, and were again brought before the Sanhedrin and were commanded to stop talking about Jesus — 

Acts 5:29     Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Then orders were given for them to be flogged and again, the apostles were ordered not to speak in the name of Jesus —

Acts 5:40   They took his (Gamaliel’s) advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Ah! These were God works, and by those, their Father in heaven was and is now glorified!

The cure for your darkness, O believer, to cease from your unbelief and rejection of the Holy Spirit. When you are set alight by being filled with the Holy Spirit, you will shine! You will do God works that glorify your Father in heaven, and you yourself will be evidence of God, who has worked in you by setting you alight!

You, O believer, must personally ask your Father in heaven for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13. You must have your own personal Pentecost, just like the 120 in that upper room in Acts 2!

The organization known as “the church” will continue to be unlit unless the Lord mercifully steps down as He did in the Hebrides Islands off the coast of Scotland, in the 1950s. Then, both churchgoers and the unsaved stopped and fell to the ground —  in streets, in bars, in dance halls, in fields, on roads, and in houses! They suddenly felt the weighty presence of God, and began to repent and cry out for mercy, right where they were!

But as powerful as that revival was, it faded after the Lord called home the generation who experienced God’s weighty presence. After they died and went to be with the Lord (2Corinthians 5:7), God once again became just a theological idea. The only permanent and eternal revival is the revival that will happen in your heart, when you are set alight by the Light of the world! 

So repent, and believe, and wait for the Father’s promise (Acts 1:4-5). Jesus Christ commands that you wait! Obey Him, and you will be filled with His Light, so you are a light of the world, a city on a hill, a lamp on a lampstand that gives light to everything around you! It is the command of Jesus Christ!

O Lord Jesus, my Beloved, You are the Light in me! May Your works in and through me be seen, so my Father in heaven is glorified through the words I have spoken. And may these words prick hearts, so they repent and obey You. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 14 — A TRUE PICTURE OF JESUS CHRIST

Text: Isaiah 11 & 12

When God’s people go astray, He sends His prophets to frankly and bluntly warn them of their sin and admonish them to repent and return to Him. Again, when I speak of God’s people, I am speaking of the church, Jewish believers, and Jews that do not yet believe that Jesus is their Messiah.

The LORD does not desire for any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). So, He sends Isaiah to speak to Jerusalem and Judah. And He has assigned me to speak to today’s believers.

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “A True Picture of Jesus Christ.” Many false teachers in today’s church have made Him a caricature, and have even portrayed Him as being just like you and me! 

But in Chapter 11, you will see a description of His character, His effect upon the world, the future of His people, both Jew and non-Jew. May you be convicted when you hear who He truly is. May you repent and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, so you are able join Isaiah and me in singing a great song of thanksgiving to Him! 

Isaiah 11

Verse 1 —

The LORD speaks of His Christ, who will be a shoot from the root of Jesse, a branch from Jesse’s roots that will bear fruit. As you know from Matthew and Luke’s gospel and elsewhere, Jesus Christ was the descendant of King David whose father was Jesse. He fullfilled the prophecies of prophets like Jeremiah —

Jeremiah 23:5  “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.”

Jeremiah 33:15 ‘In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.”

He executes justice and righteousness now, and He will then. He is God the Son, and not “like you and me!”

Isaiah later prophesies that this One will be like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground —

Isaiah 53:2  For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, 

nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

And this shoot, this root will bear the punishment we deserve, so that all who will believe into Him will be reconciled to God, and they will no longer be under His wrath   

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

Verse 2 —

The LORD had not yet revealed to Isaiah that this One will be God the Son. But He showed Isaiah that this One will be filled with the Holy Spirit! He will bear all the attributes (fruit) of God, and the Spirit will rest (remain) on (in) Him. 

John the Baptist testified of the Spirit remaining on Jesus Christ —

John 1:32 . . . “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’”

This was never before seen! Until Jesus Christ, the Spirit came upon prophets each time they prophesied, but did not remain on them until it was time for them to prophesy again, and was not literally within them. John the Baptist did not know it was possible, until the Lord, who sent Him to baptize in water, told him!

And what are the attributes of God that will remain on (in) this One? Wisdom (in words and actions), understanding (perfect knowledge), counsel (guidance), strength (valor, victory, power), holy, intimate knowledge of God, and the fear (reverence) of the LORD. 

Surely, He will be all of these things, because He is God the Son! And He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11), to purify your heart and make you holy on the inside, when you obey His command to be filled with His Spirit!

Verses 3-5 —

And He will delight in (breathe, smell as of a fragrance) the fear of the LORD. He will carry the fragrance of God within Him, and it will proceed from His mouth, from His very breath (John 20:22). 

And He delights in breathing in the fragrance of Himself emanating from those who are filled with His Holy Spirit! They are a sweet fragrance in His nostrils! He loves to inhale the fragrance of His fruit, in them (Galatians 5:22-23)!

Do you now understand why He commands all believers to be filled with His Spirit (Luke 24:47, Acts 1:4-5)? You cannot be His witness here until He does it, beloved (Acts 1:8)!

And He will judge not by what He sees, nor by what His ears hear. No one will be able to deceive Him by their outward words or actions. He knows and judges the hearts of all mankind, both now, and in the final day —

John 2:24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.

Jesus Christ will judge! He says —

John 5:22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”

He will righteously judge the poor (in spirit), and fairly judge the afflicted (humble) of the earth. He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” and “Blessed are the humble, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:3, 5)!

Such ones have seen the spiritual poverty of their hearts and have humbled themselves before the Lord, asking Him to forgive their sins. And then, these have asked Him to purify their hearts by filling them with His Spirit! So they will see Him now (Matthew 5:8), and when they are face-to-face with Him!

Jesus Christ will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth— the Word of God — and with the breath of His lips, He will slay the wicked. 

Psalms 2:9  “You (God the Son) shall break them with a rod of iron (the rod of His mouth), You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”

2Thessalonians 2:8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

Revelation 19:15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

Righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist. I did some digging, because I wanted to understand the significance of the belts Isaiah describes. I found this in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (EBC) 

In the Near Eastern dress styles, the belt or sash was the garment that gave stability to the whole ensemble; and to “gird the loins” (KJV, 1 Kings 18:46; 2 Kings 4:29; 1 Peter 1:13) was to prepare for work.

This One, girded for His work, full of righteousness and faithfulness, is indeed the righteous Judge, as Paul writes to Timothy —

2Timothy 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Again from the EBC 

He judges as “the Word of God” (Rev 19:13-15). This testifies to his great power, because, unlike many a monarch, He is well able to execute the judgments He pronounces. He is King of kings and Lord of lords!

Verses 6-9 —

Now, the LORD shows Isaiah a picture of Jesus Christ’s reign, after the day of judgment. What will it be like? Pain and destruction, danger and fear will no longer exist! 

Animals who were predator and prey will dwell and lie down with each other. Wolves will no longer eat sheep. Leopards and goats, calves and young lions and fatted calves will lie down together. They will be so tame that a little boy will be able to lead them!

The cow and bear will graze together, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. Cobras and vipers will no longer bite, nor will they be venomous; therefore, even very young children will play by their holes and dens, and not be harmed by them.

They will not hurt or destroy in all the LORD’s holy mountain, for in that day, in Christ’s reign, the earth will be full of the intimate knowledge of God — as full as the seas are with water! 

Verse 10 —

And in that day, all peoples will seek the root of Jesse, the Christ! He will stand as a banner on a hill, and His rest will be glorious! He says, even now —

Matthew 11:28   “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest (intermission from labor, a refreshment to strengthen). 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (a resting place) for your souls (hearts). 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

His resting place — you — will be glorious, because He will fill you with His glory, just as He asked when He prayed to His Father on the night before He was crucified —

John 17:22 “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one . . . “

John 17:26 “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.”

Him in you! Filled to the full with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit! Filled with the fruit of the Spirit! That is glory! That is rest!

Verses 11-13 —

He will recover the second time (the first being in Egypt) a remnant of Israel and Judah, even from the ends of the earth. He will lift up a banner for all the nations and assemble those whom He has banished from the land, and from His presence.

The jealousy of Ephraim toward Judah will be no more, and the enemies of Judah will be destroyed. Ephraim will no longer envy Judah and Judah will no longer harass (besiege, bind up) Ephraim. Just as with the beasts of the earth, they will be at peace forever.

Verses 14-15 —

The armies of the LORD will swoop down like birds of prey over the Philistines on the west, and Edom, Moab and Ammon on the east. Those who survive the battle will become obedient servants of Ephraim and Judah. 

And the LORD will utterly destroy (dry up) the tongue of Egypt (the Red Sea). And He will wave His hand over the mighty Euphrates with His scorching wind, striking it into seven streams. Men will cross it, dry-shod (in sandals). 

Again, from the EBC

“He had dried up the water of the Red Sea before. He would act again to dry it up and for the same liberating purpose. He had used a great wind (Exodus 14:21) at the Exodus. 

He would do so again to bring the people back from Mesopotamia (and the ends of the earth), for the wind would produce at the Euphrates a delta not unlike that at the mouth of the Nile.

Verse 16 —

Just as the LORD made a dry road for His people so they could easily cross the Red Sea (Exodus 14:26-29), He will again make a road from Assyria to the kingdom of God, ruled by God the Son. He will faithfully bring them into His kingdom.

What will be the response of all who He brings into His kingdom? Isaiah tells you and me, in Chapter 12!

Isaiah 12

Verses 1-2 — 

Therefore, all peoples will say this, when they are filled with the Holy Spirit, and again after the day of judgment —“I will give thanks to You, O LORD, for although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me (give me backbone).” 

Because of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, all people who believe into Him will be forgiven for their past sins and reconciled to God. And when they are filled with His Spirit, they will have backbones. That means they will be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might, just as Paul exhorts the believers in the church at Ephesus to become (Ephesians 6:10)!

On the day of final salvation, when the Righteous Judge has completed His judgment, those who have come to Him will exclaim Behold! See! God is my salvation. The LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation! 

Final salvation means that you have endured to the end, and remained in the faith despite great persecution —

Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”

Read and rejoice over the promises of Jesus to the ones who endure to the end, in Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26 and Revelation 3:5, 12 and 21!

Verse 3 —

Oh, my! You will joyously draw water from the springs (fountains) of salvation (yeshua, the Hebrew for Jesus)! In that day — both in the day when He reigns in you, beloved, and when He reigns on the earth — you will rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1Peter 1:8)!

Isaiah 12:3 was spoken on the last day the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles, when the priests would make their seventh trip to the Pool at Siloam (which means “salvation”) to draw water for the ceremony at the altar, for there was no water in the temple. 

Isaiah 12:3 had just been spoken by the priest when Jesus Christ shouted that He is the Savior, the Source of salvation and an endless Fountain of living water —

John 7:37   Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Verses 4-6 —

In that day, when He reigns in you, and also, when He reigns after the judgment, you will say, Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name, make known His deeds among all the peoples, make it known that His name, His character, is high and lifted up! 

You will not be able to stop speaking about what you have seen and heard (Acts 4:20)! You will praise Him in song, for He surely has done excellent things, and it will be known in all the earth!

You surely will not be silent! You will cry aloud and shout for joy, both Jew and Gentile who inhabit the true, Zion coming down out of heaven, of which the earthly Zion is a shadow!

Great in your midst (inside of you, and among you), is the Holy One of Israel, Jesus Christ! The Holy One was revealed by the Father to Peter and the rest of the twelve, when many of Jesus’ other disciples left Jesus because they were offended at His words —

John 6:67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”

Who do you say He is, beloved? Righteous Judge? The Holy One of Israel? Then blessed are you, for you have seen Him as He truly is! You have been saved, and have asked Him to make you holy by filling you with His Holy Spirit! You are His witness here! 

But if you see Him as somebody just like you, then you must repent, for you do not yet know Him and have followed false teachers. If you ask Him to crucify the sin nature in you and fill you with His Holy Spirit, He will indeed make you holy on the inside, you will bear His fruit, and you will rejoice with Him forever!

Lord Jesus, may all believers seek You in Your Word, so they see who You truly are, and no longer accept or believe the caricature that much of today’s church have taught. So be it, Lord. Amen.

THE FULFILLMENT

[SW384] 6/29/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“The Fulfillment”

 Text: Matthew 5:17,  Matthew 22:34-40, Luke 24:44-49, etc.

The Lord has asked me to show you what He means by fulfillment, so you may understand why He requires what He requires of you. Why did He ask me to “connect the dots” so you could understand the fulfillment? It is not taught in most churches, because teachers cannot teach what they have not experienced. 

Here are the words of Jesus Christ that I will use to connect the dots for you, so you may see the whole picture of the fulfillment —

Matthew 5:17   “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.”

Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Luke 24:44   Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 “You are witnesses of these things. 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.”

I will teach these to you, one by one. First, He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. He did not come to say, “None of that applies to you, now that I have come.” He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. There are 113 prophecies of His coming, in the Law and the Prophets, and He fulfilled every one, per Holman’s Book of Charts, Maps, and Reconstructions, and I also find others not listed in that reference book, from time to time.

But what do I mean, when I say He also came to make believers the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets? I will show you!

Fulfillment of the Law, By Believers

Jesus summarized the Law of Moses in this way, from Deuteronomy 6:5, when an expert in the Law tried to entrap Him into saying something contrary to the Law by asking what is the great commandment in the Law   

Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

If you love the Lord completely and perfectly, with His perfect love, then you fulfill the greatest and foremost commandment — that is, you fulfill the commandment that makes you able to gladly obey all His commandments. 

If you love Jesus Christ with His perfect love, you obey Him. If you do not love Him with His perfect love, you do not obey Him (John 14:15, 23-24).

If you love Him with His perfect love, then you will also fulfill the second commandment, to love your neighbor as yourself, with that same perfect love.

Who is your neighbor? Everyone! How do you love them? By being Christ to them, walking as He walked, and being as He is in this world (1John 2:5, 4:17).

On these two commandments, said the Lord, depend the whole Law and the Prophets. Loving the Lord with His divine love, and your neighbor with His divine love, is the foundation for the whole of the Law and Prophets. 

So, when you are filled with His divine love, you fulfill the whole Law and the Prophets. How are you filled with His divine love? By obeying Jesus Christ command to be filled with His Holy Spirit, just as I have read in Luke 24:49. And He repeats His command in Acts 1:4-5.

Jesus Christ gives this command to all believers —

Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

But you will say, “No one is perfect. How can Jesus Christ expect me to be perfect? It is impossible!” It will be for you, until you believe what He commands.

Beloved, the Lord is speaking of His perfect, divine love! When you are filled with His love, you will also unfailingly obey Him. Hallelujah!

Paul writes 

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

In Luke 24:44-49, Jesus speaks of Himself as the fulfillment, and also gives you a command. If you obey Him, He will make you the fulfillment, by filling you with His Spirit and His perfect love, and it will overflow and flow from you!

Continuing in Luke 24:44-49, He said that while He was still with them, He had told them all things that are written about Him in the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms (particularly Psalms 22 and 118, but in many other places as well), and that He had come to fulfill them.

Then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures (the Old Testament), and said, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead on the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations beginning from Jerusalem.” 

He said,”You are witnesses of these things.” And indeed, they were! They had seen the risen Christ. He was with them, speaking to them!

But there was only one way for them to become the fulfillment. In Luke 24:49,  He gave them this command — “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.”

He spoke this to those who already believed in Him and were following Him. It is the same today. Jesus Christ commands you in the same way. He commands you to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so you fulfill the promise of His Father, given in the Law and the Prophets. 

Peter speaks of what happened to him, and what happens to all believers when they stay and wait for His promises from the Law and the Prophets —

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

Ah! When you are filled with the Spirit, you become partakers of God’s divine nature! Then you are His witness here (Acts 1:8), because then you are filled with His perfect love Then you fulfill the Law and the Prophets, because you are filled with the Law-Giver and His divine love!

Fulfillment of the Prophets, by Believers

When you are filled, these prophecies are fulfilled within you and through you —

Ezekiel 36:25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

He purifies you when you are filled with the Spirit. He removes your heart of stone that sinned against Him, and gives you a heart of flesh that responds to His every whisper! Then you become the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy!

And the LORD promises, through Jeremiah —

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.”

He writes His law on your heart! And then He is your God, and there is no other. It is just as I spoke in my last message. Then you become the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy!

Malachi proclaims that the LORD will purify hearts, refining them with fire —

Malachi 3:2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi (priests) and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.”

Peter confirms that after Cornelius and all his household were saved, they experienced another event, receiving exactly what he and the rest of the 120 received in the upper room in Acts 2 —

Acts 15:8 “And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing (purifying) their hearts by faith.”

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you become the fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy. Therefore, the Lord, Jesus Christ commands this to His church —

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.”

And indeed they were, ten days later, per Acts 2:1-4. Then they became the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, with, through, and by Christ!

As I said at the beginning of this message, the Lord asked me to speak these truths because they are not taught in the majority of churches today. But these are the truths of God! How can they leave them out? How can they proclaim that you cannot be purified? How can they claim that He cannot fill you with  divine love, even to overflowing, and crucify the sin nature (Galatians 5:240 that was the root of your disobedience?

The Lord has been showing me an awful truth, beloved In today’s church, many who teach and preach and lead do not know Him. They have no intimate relationship with Him. They do not love Him, and do not obey Him. He is just a theological idea.

How can those who do not know the Lord at all (true of many seminary professors, per Drs. John Oswalt and Dennis Kinlaw), teach others to be filled with the Holy Spirit so they become the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets? And how can those who have not been filled with the Spirit teach others to be filled with the Spirit? You cannot teach what you have not become.

Beloved, the Lord called me into ministry to speak the truth to you. I exhort you to repent from rejecting the Holy Spirit by saying, “I don’t need ‘it,’” and to warn you that if you do not become what Jesus Christ commands that you become, you will be judged by Him when you stand before Him (see Matthew 25:24-30).  

Therefore, repent and be filled with the Spirit, so you are able to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, as He has commanded you!

Now that you know what you are called to become, will you obey His command to stay and wait? I pray without ceasing that all believers would stay and wait!

Lord Jesus, Your Word judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts. Through the words You have given me to speak, may many see their hearts and repent. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 13 — HE CONQUERS THE STRONGEST ENEMIES

Text: Isaiah 10:5-34

When God’s people go astray, He sends His prophets to frankly and bluntly warn them of their sin and admonish them to repent and return to Him. Again, when I speak of God’s people, I am speaking of the church, Jewish believers, and Jews that do not yet believe that Jesus is their Messiah.

The LORD does not desire for any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). So, He sends Isaiah to speak to Jerusalem and Judah. And He has assigned me to speak to today’s believers.

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “He Conquers the Strongest Enemies.” The Lord used Assyria, the most powerful enemy of Ephraim and Judah, to discipline and punish His people, so that they would repent and return to Him. 

But He knew they intended to go far beyond His purposes, and would attempt to destroy His people completely. Therefore, He will punish Assyria, after He finishes His punishment of Israel.

Verses 5-6 —

So, woe to Assyria! They are the rod of the LORD’s anger against His rebellious people. They are the ones through whom His people will be punished. He sends them against a godless nation — even His own! And He commissions them against the people with whom He is furious — even His own people! 

He sends the Assyrians to capture booty and to seize plunder, and to trample His people down like mud in the streets — that is, to take away the riches and the world’s idols and wisdom and ways that they are trusting in, and to bring them low, to humble them so they are face-down. 

Verse 7 —

But the LORD knows that Assyria intends to utterly destroy His people from the face of the earth. They do not intend to do only what the LORD has sent them to do, but to go far beyond it. Their purpose is to destroy and to cut off (completely annihilate) many nations, including Ephraim and Judah!

Verses 8-11 —

The Enemy, Satan, boasts, as do those who are his children. So Assyria boasts that its princes are altogether kings. After all, they rule over the known world! And as for the cities of Israel, such cities are no different from any of the other cities they have conquered! 

Assyria’s king says, no gods have been able to defeat me! I have beaten the kingdoms of the idols, and their graven images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria. 

Jerusalem and Samaria worship all the gods of the lands whom I have already defeated, but they also claim a God who has no graven image of Himself! He will be easy to defeat, just as easily as I defeated Marduk and Hadad, Baal and El! 

So I shall do to Jerusalem and her images just as I have done to Samaria and her idols. Assyria’s arrogant words are heard by the LORD! And what will the LORD do?

Verse 12 —

Here is the LORD’s answer! So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion, to humble them before Himself, He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.” 

The fruit of his heart are his words, for out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). It is the same today!

The king of Assyria is like the lofty bough of a tree. His pride and haughtiness (arrogance) will be brought low, and he will suffer at the hands of another nation. What nation? Babylon, with whom the Medes joined hands to overthrow the Assyrian empire in 616 B.C. — 100 years in the future. His empire will be obliterated!

Verse 13-14 —

What are  the king of Assyria’s boasts? By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this, for I have understanding, and I removed the boundaries of the peoples and plundered their treasures, and like a mighty man I brought down (subdued) their inhabitants. I, I, I! 

The reality was that nothing was accomplished the king of Assyria’s hand. He only succeeded because the Lord wanted to use him as His instrument for disciplining and punishing His wayward people, so they would repent.

And the king of Assyria’s boasts continued. My hand reached to the riches like a nest, and as one gathers abandoned eggs, I gathered all the earth, and there was not one that flapped its wing or opened its beak or chirped. 

I have taken the riches of the earth, and no one has even protested! Of course, that was because many were dead, and the rest carried off into exile. But again, he was only successful because the Lord had chosen to use him to discipline His own wayward people. 
It is the same today. Satan and his children boast. But nothing happens without the Lord’s permission, and nothing happens outside of His plan. He has created the blacksmith, Satan —

Isaiah 54:16  “Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work; and I have created the destroyer to ruin.”

BUT if you serve Him and Him only, here is His promise —

Isaiah 54:17  “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;  and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.

Verse 15 —

So the Lord’s response continues. Assyria is the axe, but it is the Lord who chops down. The axe can do nothing unless someone wields it. 

It is as if the king of Assyria says, I am the club, and I will wield the Lord! I am the rod and I will wield the Lord! It is the Lord who wields, and Assyria is just His tool. 

Verses 16-19 —

Therefore, the Lord, the GOD of hosts, will send a wasting disease among the king of Assyria’s stout warriors, and under the king’s glory, a fire will be kindled like a burning flame. Fire destroys! The king will be destroyed! By whom?

He will be destroyed by the light of Israel, which will become a fire and His Holy One a flame — the angel of the Lord will come like a flame! 

The angel of the Lord will burn and devour the king of Assyria’s thorns and briars, which are of no value and useless except to be burned in the fire. All the Assyrians are of no value, in the Lord’s eyes, for they went far beyond what He commissioned them to do.

The angel of the LORD will do it in a single day, as I  have already shown you —

Isaiah 37:36   Then the angel of the LORD went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, all of these were dead.

The flame of the angel of the Lord will destroy the glory of the king of Assyria’s forest and the fruitful garden! Though he and his army have won many battles, he and they would fall at the Lord’s hand —

Isaiah 37:37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh. 38 It came about as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons killed him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son became king in his place.

Soul and body, like a sick man wastes away. Then Babylon and the Medes will come upon them, and they will be obliterated. The remainder of his vast army will be so small in number that a child would be able to write them down. 

Verses 20-23 —

The Lord now speaks through Isaiah to the remnant left in Ephraim, and to those of the house of Jacob (again, a reference to northern Israel) who escaped capture by Assyria. They will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. 
A remnant now in hiding will return, the remnant of Jacob, but the Lord is not referring to a return to a geographic location. The Lord means that they will return to Him. That has been His desire, all along, and that is why He sent Assyria to punish them. 

Have you been brought low? Are you a mere remnant of what you were, because of your sin? Are you in ruins? Then return to the LORD! Truly rely on Him and Him alone!

Israel’s people were like the sand of the sea, but now, only a remnant will be there. But they will return to Him. Why will there be only a remnant? Because He has determined destruction — overflowing (inundated) with righteousness. 

He is a righteous God whose people have refused Him again and again. So no one can say He is not right to punish His people (or even to destroy them, if they still refuse Him). But He will leave a remnant!

It will be a complete destruction of Ephraim as a nation, however. It is one that He has decreed, for only He can declare and decree! The Lord GOD of hosts will execute this destruction in the midst of the whole land of Ephraim.

Verses 24-25 —

The Lord GOD of hosts tells those who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you, the way Egypt did (and that Pharaoh, in Exodus, was also an Assyrian). 

Why should Jerusalem not fear the king of Assyria? Because in a very little while, the Lord’s indignation against His people will be spent and His anger will be directed to the destruction of the Assyrians. 

Again, this is just according to Isaiah 37:36 and forward! Do not doubt that Satan, along with the false prophet and all those who follow after him and trust in him, will ultimately be punished in the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20, 20:10)!

Verses 26-27 —

The LORD of hosts will arouse a scourge (stir up a whip, even Babylon and the Medes) against the king of Assyria, just as with the slaughter at Midian at the rock of Oreb (Judges 7:25). The LORD’s staff will be over the sea and He will lift it up just as He did through Moses, when the LORD brought the plagues against Egypt, recorded in the Book of Exodus.

Verses 28-32 —

Thanks to John Oswalt for the history around this series of verses. They record the route taken by the king of Assyria to come southward to Jerusalem. He began in the north, following the Jordan Rift to avoid Gibeon, Ramah, and Gibeah, which were strong cities. 

He was not slowed by the deep wadi between Michmash and Geba, because he left his baggage train in Michmash. Then, he and his army were able to leap across the wadi before nightfall. He stopped at Nob, where he could  overlook the city of Jerusalem. And he shook his fist at the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. NOTE: Today, Hebrew University is at Nob. 

Verses 33-34 —

Ah! Then the Lord, the GOD of hosts will lop off the boughs — the boasting and pride and arrogance of Assyria. They will fall with a terrible crash! Those who are tall in stature and lofty will be abased. He will humble the king of Assyria, and his vast army, in one night! 

He will cut down the tickets of the forest — even the army of Assyria. He will do it with an iron axe. He will wield His own axe, and His angel will strike them down. The Mighty One will cause them to fall!

Today, many boast against the Lord. And today, many of His people rebel against Him. So, He will use Satan to discipline and punish them, so that they will return to Him. 

Many of His people will still refuse Him and rebel, and they will perish. But a remnant will remain. Such ones will return to Him and trust in Him and Him alone., for they will obey Jesus Christ’s command to stay and wait, and will be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire — purified inwardly, and set free from slavery to sin! 

Then, just as I have spoken earlier, this promise will be theirs —

Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage (inheritance) of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication (righteousness) is from Me,” declares the LORD.

And in the end, just as with the king of Assyria, Satan and the false prophet and all who follow them will receive the punishment they are due, in the lake of fire (again, Revelation 19:20, 20:10)!

Lord Jesus, may Your people hear and understand that the difficulties they are enduring are because of their rebellion against You. May they return to You, so they are not destroyed! May they be part of the remnant who turn back to You with their whole hearts. Let it be so, I pray! Amen!