ISAIAH SESSION 25 — THE LORD PROTECTS THE RIGHTEOUS

Text: Isaiah 26:7-21, 27:1

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “The LORD Protects the Righteous.” Those who are righteous in His eyes will be protected in the day when the inhabitants of the earth, and Satan himself, are judged because they have defied Him and refused to repent.

Chapter 26

Verse 7-8 —

The way of the righteous is smooth. The Upright One, the LORD, makes the path of the righteous level. We walk in His righteousness when we humble ourselves before Him and repent, just as Isaiah prophesies in Chapter 40 —

Isaiah 40:3   The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley (that is, the humbled) shall be exalted (lifted up), and every mountain and hill (the proud) shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain . . . (KJV)

Isaiah 40 was John the Baptist’s marching orders for calling Israel to repentance (Matthew 3:2-3). He lifts up those who have humbled themselves before the Lord, per James 4:10 and 1Peter 5:6!

The way of the LORD’s judgments is this — he lays low those who exalt themselves and He exalts those who have humbled themselves before Him. He judges righteously. Therefore, His obedient ones wait for Him, entwining themselves with Him. 

I tell you the truth, when you entwine yourself with the Lord, it will be as Isaiah prophesies in Chapter 40 —

Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who wait for (entwinte themselves with) the LORD will gain new strength (exchanging theirs for His); they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

His name (His nature) and the remembrance of Him, are the desire of all of those who love and obey Him. They constantly meditate upon His nature — His goodness and righteousness. And, since Jesus Christ came and died and rose and ascended and was glorified, they become partakers of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4) when they are filled with the Holy Spirit!

Verse 9 —

Isaiah says to the LORD, At night, my soul longs for You. Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently. All who truly love the Lord are like Isaiah   

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (KJV)

I praise God that He made me hunger and thirst for righteousness, for indeed, He filled me (Matthew 5:6), after I sought Him diligently. It is a great reward to be filled with Him!

Those who have diligently sought Him and entwined themselves with Him look forward to His righteous and just judgment of the earth and its inhabitants who have defied Him. The earth dwellers will learn that He is righteous, for He will righteously judge them! None will be able to claim that He has been unjust in His judgment of their defiance.

Verse 10 —

The wicked are shown favor — He causes the blessings of sunrise and rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). As I have said from the beginning of this study, He does not desire any to perish, but blesses all of mankind so they would see His righteousness and repent and diligently seek Him. 

But many continue to defy Him, dealing unjustly in the world that the LORD created. They do not perceive the majesty (excellency) of the LORD. Why? They who refuse Him are blinded by the god of this world, Satan, as Paul teaches the wayward believers in Corinth, who are being blinded by Satan’s false teachers —

2Corinthians 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Verse 11 —

Because those who defy the LORD are blind, they do not see that His hand is lifted up, poised to judge them. But they will surely see His uplifted hand, at the moment they stand before Him, in the day of judgment. Jesus says —

John 5:28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good (loving and obeying Him) to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil (defying Him) to a resurrection of judgment.”

Indeed, fire will devour the LORD’s enemies —

Revelation 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Verses 12-13 —

The LORD will establish peace for us — and He means peace between Him and us! Jesus Christ died on a cross to remove us from God’s wrath, and to reconcile (make peace) between the Father and us (Isaiah 53:5)! It is the Lord who has done it — He has faithfully performed it for us!

And He fills us with His peace, when we are filled with His Holy Spirit (John 14:27)! Again, it is the Lord who has done it!

Other lords have ruled His people — kings of other lands, and even the god of self, which is behind every false idol His people have worshiped and been enslaved to, then and now. But in this verse, His people have turned back to Him, and now His name is written over them, just as Jesus promises 

Revelation 3:12 “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.”

Verse 14 —

Those who have defied the LORD and are therefore spiritually dead will be judged, and will not have His eternal life. Those who have died in their sin will not rise to life, but only to judgment —

John 5:28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good (believed in and obeyed Him) to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil (defied Him) to a resurrection of judgment.”

Verse 15 —

Isaiah twice repeats “You have increased (enlarged) the nation.” Remember that when the LORD repeats the same phrase twice to His prophets, it means it will be a sudden event. Indeed, He has extended the borders of His kingdom, by making His Son a light of salvation to those who are not Jewish by lineage, as He speaks through Isaiah —

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.”

Verse 16-18 —

Isaiah now speaks to the LORD about His people. He sees a vison of their repentance, in which they sought Him in their distress — they turned back to Him! As I have said, He disciplines and punishes them so they will seek Him! And it worked! 

Their strength upon which they had relied was gone. They were so weakend that they could only whisper a prayer of repentance, because His chastening (restraint in order to discipline) was upon them. It was true of me, when He brought me low in order to bring me in!

Again, Isaiah sees a picture of their weakness, and their inability to prosper by their own strength. They could not increase themselves, even though they were pregnant and in labor. They could not deliver themselves, but gave birth to wind, to nothingness. They could not deliver the earth — only the LORD is able to do it, for all who repent!

Verse 19 —

Your (literally, My) dead will live! All who are the LORD’s, all who obey Him, and all who repent with their whole hearts, will live! Their corpses will rise, to a resurrection of life, at the time of the Rapture. Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica to explain how it will all unfold —

1Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep (died) in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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.

Jesus said, when briefing His disciples prior to His crucifixion —

Matthew 24:30 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. 31 “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect (all who believe into Him) from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”

And Paul writes to the believers at Corinth —

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.

Those who lie in the dust will awaken and shout for joy, for their dew (covering) is as the dew of the dawn (which covers everything). They have been covered, and

now, the earth will give birth to those who have died in Him!

Verse 20-21 —

The LORD will provide those who love Him with a safe place, in the day of judgment of the dwellers on the earth. He says, “Come, My people!” Enter your rooms, and close the door behind you. Hide for a little moment, until My indignation passes over.” Why must they hide?

For behold! Isaiah sees that the LORD is about to come out from His place, to punish the inhabitants of the earth because of their sin, for they have defied Him. The earth will reveal both the bodies and the blood of all those whom Jesus Christ will righteously and justly slay the wicked —

Revelation 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 

14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword (the Word of God), so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Chapter 27

Verse 1 —

In that day, the day when Jesus Christ comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth because of their sin, He will also deal with Leviathan, the fleeing serpent. Leviathan is a type, symbolic of Satan.

In pagan cultures, Leviathan represents the chaos god, out of whom the world came. But the true god of chaos is no god at all — it is Satan, a created being. 

Satan will try to flee from the LORD, but the LORD will easily capture Him. Satan’s destruction is marked out for him, as I have spoken in previous studies (see Revelation 20:10)!

Jesus Christ will slay him with His fierce and mighty sword — the Word of God. And He will also kill the dragon who lives in the sea (a type of the people of the world), who is the Antichrist, the beast who comes up out of the sea (Revelation 13:1). 

The LORD is victorious over all evil, in the end. But even now, if we are His, we become super-conquerors when He indwells us fully —

Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer (literally, we are super-conquerors) through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Beloved, are you still willfully disobeying Him? Then you are defying Him. Turn from your sin, ask Him to forgive you and fill you with His Holy Spirit, and you will walk in His victory over sin.

Lord Jesus, may believers who obey You rejoice at both their present and their future with You! And may both the inhabitants of the earth and those who rebel against You while claiming to know You repent and turn back to You today, for you will surely hear their cry and answer! Amen.

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THE CURE FOR BLINDNESS

[SW395] 9/14/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“The Cure For Blindness”

Text: Mark 10:46-52, etc.

There was a time when I had returned to church, but I was spiritually blind. I did not see my heart’s condition. But in His great mercy, the Lord not only showed me my blindness, but gave me the cure for it. And most of today’s believers need the same cure, for they are spiritually blind, just like I was.

I will interweave my testimony with this passage in Mark 10. Eighteen years ago, the Lord healed me of an incurable disease — secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). And two months after He healed my body, He healed me of my spiritual blindness! 

The first miracle caused His name to be praised, for through it, He showed the world that nothing is too difficult for Him — not even incurable diseases! The second miracle opened my spiritually blind eyes and healed my heart’s condition, so His name would be praised by me, and by all who see that only the Lord could do such a thing!

May my testimony give you a real-life example of the Lord’s amazing cure for spiritual blindness, and encourage you to diligently seek Him, for He is a rewarder of such ones (Hebrews 11:6)!

Verse 46 —

As Jesus was leaving Jericho, a blind beggar, Bartimaeus was sitting by the road. Beggars often sat by roads or by synagogues or by the gates of the temple, in those days.

I was spiritually blind. I had the sense that something was missing in my life, and I knew it was God. So I returned to church, and sat there, a spiritual beggar. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit — those who know their spiritual poverty — for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:13)! Recognizing that I was spiritually poor was the first step toward the cure for my spiritual blindness.

Verse 47 —

As he sat on the roadside, Bartimaeus heard a commotion. Someone was coming! 

When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 

There is great significance in what Bartimaeus shouted. One of the titles of the Christ is “Son of David.” He called Jesus the Christ. He must have heard of what Jesus was doing and saying. Everyone was talking about Jesus, and what He was doing and saying. 

So Bartimaeus realized Jesus was the Christ. And Bartimaeus knew that only Jesus could cure him of his blindness. And he knew that Jesus was merciful (literally, (compassionate with God’s compassion). So, he cried, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

I was sitting in the church pew. But I had come to believe that Jesus is the Christ. 

I was still spiritually blind to my heart’s condition, but then my pastor gave a book to the church board. Through that book, and through my pastor’s preaching, I learned that it was possible to know Jesus in a much greater way than the way I knew Him. There was a way to know Him deeply and fully and intimately. 

So I cried out, “Lord, I want to know you that way!” But I did not cry out to be healed, because I did not believe that healing is “for today.”

Then I heard He was coming by!  My pastor made an announcement from the pulpit in April 2001. He had seen a vision, and in it, I was healed! 

So when I heard through the vision that He was coming by, I began to cry out, “Jesus the Christ, have mercy on me!” I knew He was the Christ. And I knew that He was merciful, full of divine compassion.

I knew that only by crying out to Jesus, I would I come to “know Him that way.” And I began to believe He would also heal me of progressive MS. So my pastor encouraged me to cry out to be physically healed, too! 

Verse 48 —

When Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me,” many sternly told him to be quiet — literally, they began to forbid him and rebuking him, because he was crying out.

But their words just made Bartimaeus cry out all the more, and he kept shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Why? He knew His only hope for being healed of blindness was through Jesus Christ!

When I began to cry out to the Lord because I saw that I could “know Him that way,” I did not tell anyone at my church. And when I heard that He was passing by, and that He wanted to heal my body, I told a few people what I was doing. The reaction shocked me.

Many church members began to forbid me and rebuked me! Some said, “That is not for today,” while others chided my pastor, saying, “You are giving her false hope.” Even the retired pastor’s daughter told me, “Stay away from the new pastor. What he is telling you is not right.” 

But I believed the vision, and I was hungry and thirsty to know Him! I was sitting by the road, and He was coming by! So I kept crying out all the more, “Jesus the Christ, have mercy on me!” 

I was determined to listen to this pastor who knew something I did not know. When he preached, it was authentic — I knew that he had personally experienced what he was preaching. I wanted to know Jesus that way!

Beloved, if you see through my testimony that it is possible to know Jesus Christ intimately, and if you see that Jesus still physically heals, do not let the church stop you! Keep crying out, no matter how many church leaders, teachers, preachers and members begin to forbid you and rebuke you! 

I tell you the truth, the church’s unbelief grieves the Lord greatly, and keeps many from being healed, both physically and spiritually. From denominational leaders to those in the pews, few believe Jesus is who He says He is!

Verse 49 —

When Jesus heard Bartimaeus crying to Him, He stopped and said, “Call him here.” Jesus heard his cry for mercy from the Christ! The crowd then called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.”

I tell you, when Jesus hears you calling for Him, He will call you to Him! Someone like my pastor will say He is calling for you. 

So take courage! Be bold! Stand up! Arise! Why? He is calling for you! When He heard your cry, He knew you had a mustard seed of faith.

Verse 50 — 

The blind man threw away his cloak, which was probably his only possession. He jumped up and came to Jesus. 

I am so glad that I threw away everything I thought I knew, in order to come to Jesus to have Him heal my spiritual blindness! Hallelujah!

My heart jumped, and I came to Jesus. My body was stricken severely with secondary progressive MS, so I could not physically jump. 

Both feet were paralyzed, both legs were paralyzing, my bladder was paralyzed, my ability to function mentally was severely impaired, and I had irreversible tremors that made my head bob, and I bobbed at the waist when I bent over. 

But when He called me to Himself through the vision, I jumped up spiritually, and came to Him!

Verse 51 —

After Bartimaeus jumped up and came to Jesus, the Lord said, “What do you want me to do for you?” What a strange question! Bartimaeus was obviously blind. But the Lord wanted him to ask for exactly what he needed.

But Jesus’ question did not stop Bartimaeus. He said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight.” Literally, He told the Lord, “I want to see!” It was an act of faith, a mustard seed presented to the Lord.

My heart jumped up and came to Jesus. He asked me what I wanted Him to do for me. I said, “O Lord, I want to see! I have been praying for months to know You the way I have learned I can know you!” It was an act of faith.

And I also cried, “O Lord, heal me of this incurable disease!” My pastor asked me to pray to the Lord and tell Him exactly what needed to happen in my body. So I told the Lord, in great detail. It was an act of faith.

On the night that He healed me, Satan flooded me with every doubt imaginable. Jesus said to my heart, “You are sinking in a sea of doubt.” So I cried out to the Lord, with my mustard seed of faith. Satan’s flood could not wash away that little seed, for it had been planted by the Lord!

After I was healed, I continued to cry out, “Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit!” I had learned that the Holy Spirit would give me power to testify about what Jesus Christ had done. And I knew I still did not know Jesus in the way I wanted to know Him.

Verse 52 —

After Bartimaeus told him what he wanted Jesus to do, Jesus said to Bartimaeus, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately Bartimaeus saw, and began following Jesus on the road.

Bartimaeus’ faith had made him well. He could not heal himself, beloved. Only Jesus does that. But he acted upon what he believed —

  He believed Jesus is who He says He is,

  he cried out to Jesus as He was passing by,

  he disregarded the naysayers,

  he came to Jesus when He stopped and said, “Call him here,” and

  he told Jesus exactly what he wanted Him to do. 

If Bartimaeus had not believed, he would not have done these acts faith.  He would never have come to Jesus to be healed, if he did not believe Jesus was the Christ, and that He was healing people. 

In Jesus’ own home town, few came to Him, because they did not believe He is who He says He is (see Mark 6:5)! There were no crowds. They were familiar with Him. He had grown up there.  They knew his family. So they did not believe He is who He says He is. 

It is true in today’s church — many are familiar with Him, and even know the Word of God, but they do not believe He is who He says He is. So they are not healed of their spiritual blindness. They continue to be blind to their heart’s condition. And they are not physically healed.

The Lord healed me in the middle of the night on September 1, 2001. The Lord filled me with His Spirit on November 1, 2001. My faith could not heal me, nor could it cause me to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

But if I had not I believed Jesus is who He says He is, I would never have cried out to Him. I would never have disregarded the naysayers. I never would have come to Him and told Him what I needed Him to do.  

If I had not believed Jesus is who He says He is, I would have been in a nursing home by 2003, as my neurologist at Brigham and Women’s in Boston told me. I would have died of aspiration pneumonia — food going into my lungs because I couldn’t swallow properly.

But even more, if I had not believed that Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and that it is possible to be filled with the Holy Spirit, I would not have kept crying out to the Lord to do it. So, I never would have been healed of my spiritual blindness! 

I never would have seen my heart’s poverty-stricken condition. If I had not cried out to know Him, my heart’s condition never would have been healed. I would not have the intimate relationship with Him that I now have. I would not have power to testify of Him.

O, beloved! Many of you are spiritually blind! Many do not see their heart’s condition. Many have not believed Jesus is who He says He is. Many have put limitations on what He can do. 

It is not too late to change your ways, beloved! He is passing by right now! 

Cry out to Him! Cry out to Jesus the Christ, the One who has great compassion! Believe He is who He says He is! If you cry out, He will answer your cry and call you to Himself. 

Then, throw off all you think you know, and jump up and go to Him! He will ask you what you want Him to do. Tell Him you want Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, just as He commands in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-5. 

Tell Him you know it is the only way to cure your spiritual blindness. He will heal you of it, and change your heart by filling you with His Holy Spirit. It will happen in a moment of time, just as it did for me.

That is the cure for the spiritual blindness from which so many believers suffer! And if you suffer from a disease, do the same! I testify to you that He will do both, if you will believe He is who He says He is, and call out to Him!

O Lord, may believers see that you are passing by right now, may they understand that they are spiritually blind, and may they cry out to you to heal them! Let it be so, I pray. Amen!

ISAIAH SESSION 24 — THE LORD’S PERFECT FAITHFULNESS

Text: Isaiah 25:1-26:6

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “The LORD’s Perfect Faithfulness.” He is perfectly faithful to His Word — wonderful news for those who love and obey Him, and a wake-up call for those who do not. Just as He is perfectly faithful to fulfill all of His promises to those who love Him, He is also faithful to perform all His judgments against those who do not love Him.

Isaiah 25

Verse 1 —

After the LORD gave Isaiah the prophecy of the judgment of the earth, Isaiah bursts into praise and thanksgiving! He says, I will exalt you, I will raise Your name high, I will give thanks to Your name, Your very character seen in Your righteous acts!

The LORD has worked wonders! For His enemies, He has worked wondrous judgment. But for those who are full of faith in Him and endure despite persecution, His salvation and His sanctification (purifying of hearts) — wondrous works, for our good and for His glory!

You may say, “I do not want to believe in a God who judges.” But He is righteous, and just. If your heart is filled with His light and His love, you need not fear (1John 4:18). But if you judge Him by saying it is wrong for Him to judge, then you will be judged, for He has given you every opportunity to repent and believe.

Paul writes to Timothy of those who deny Him by refusing to believe into Him, or deny Him by disobeying Him, or deny Him by refusing to believe that He can change the hearts of those He created — 

2Timothy 2:11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him (death to the sin nature), we will also live with Him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Those who deny Him will be denied by Him, for He and His Son have said so (Matthew 10:33). And for those who are faithless (disobey), He will faithfully execute His justice and judgment. Why? He cannot deny His character.

But as for those of who love Him and obey Him, we rejoice and praise and thank Him! We lift His name high, for He is faithful to save us from our past sins, and then from our sin nature! He is faithful to free us from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36), and thus, from the hand of our Enemy, Satan. He has nothing on us, because the Lord has removed the sin nature that Satan manipulated!

Verses 2-3 — 

In these verses, Isaiah praises and thanks and exalts the LORD because He has made a city into a heap, a fortified city into a ruin, a palace of strangers (profane pagans) is a city no more. It will never be rebuilt.

Of what city does Isaiah speak? He has already prophesied of the destruction of Assyria and Babylon. But Isaiah also refers to end times, when the earth is judged. 

So, this fortified city is also the “city of chaos” referred to in Isaiah 24:10, which will be destroyed and will never rise again. Isaiah sees the destruction of all evil! It is no wonder that Isaiah rejoices at the LORD’s wondrous and powerful judgment against the enemies of those who love the LORD!

Therefore (because of the LORD’s judgment of the city), Isaiah says, A strong people — those who defied Him and oppressed His people — will glorify (honor) His power and righteousness. And ruthless (tyrannical, oppressive) nations will fear the LORD. The remnant of them (Isaiah 24:13-14) will be frightened because of His wondrous works against them.

Verses 4-5 —

Both those who love the LORD, and those who have seen His judgment, will see His wondrous work of salvation of Judah, and the final salvation of all who love Him —. He has been and yet is a defense (fortress) for those who love Him and yet endure fierce persecution. He has been and yet is a fortress for the needy in His distress. 

The needy are those who rely on His strength and not theirs. He has been and yet is a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat. Because of the LORD’s favor toward them, the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall — it cannot penetrate and thus, cannot harm.

Like heat in a drought, the uproar of pagans is vanquished, for they must bend the knee to their great Conqueror (Philippians 2:10-11). Like heat which ceases when covered by the shadow of a cloud, the song of the ruthless is silenced (humbled). Hallelujah!

Verse 6 —

This passage surely refers to the marriage supper of the Lamb, (Revelation 19:9), which is for Jesus Christ’s bride who has made herself ready. Who is His bride? All who believe into Him! John the Baptist rejoices —

John 3:29 “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.”

The LORD of hosts, a title of Jesus Christ before He was sent by His Father to the earth, will prepare a lavish banquet — a banquet of fat things, a phrase used to emphasize the richness of the food and drink He will provide. Who will partake? All peoples who are His bride, believers from every tribe and tongue and nation and people and nation —

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”

John writes —

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 . . . 

Where will the wedding feast be held? On the heavenly Mount Zion! What will be on the menu of this lavish banquet? Fat things, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine. As we eat of it, we will celebrate all that He has swallowed up!

Verses 7-8 —

The LORD of hosts will swallow up:

1) The covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched out over all nations, blinding them —

2Corinthians 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

As I said earlier, even those who are perishing will see Jesus Christ, and bow their knees and confess that He is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11)!

2) Death — for all time! Those who have defied Him will go into the lake of fire, but those who love Him will never face death again, for we will be eternally with Him! Even now, we have His eternal life within us! 

The Lord will wipe tears from all faces — the tears of those who love Him and have endured persecution and even death, because they are His (see the entire New Testament!).

And He will remove the reproach (rebuke) of His people from the face of the earth. True believers in Christ are rebuked and despised by many, even in America in these days. It was not always so, in this country. But it is just as Jesus said in Matthew 24, when He briefed believers on the end time persecutions. Lawlessness (defiant sin) will increase. These are just birth pangs; the frequency and intensity of our persecution will increase as the day of Christ’s return approaches.

Why is Isaiah sure that all this will happen? Why am I sure? Because the LORD has spoken it, and what He says must be done!

Verse 9 —

And it will be said in that day, See! This is our God for whom we have waited expectantly, that He save us! This is the LORD for whom we have waited expectantly! We rejoice are are glad in His salvation! 

He is faithful to those who love Him, fulfilling His promises with perfect faithfulness! We are saved, and will yet be saved at the end of things, if we endure to the end, and do not falter in our faith. Oh, be filled with His Holy Spirit, and you will be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1Corinthians 15:58)! You will not be shaken —

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

Verses 10-12 —

The hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain, Mount Zion. And Moab, which worshiped many false gods, will be trodden down (trampled) in Moab’s place in that day, the day of judgment. Moab is also a symbol of a divided heart that worships the LORD but also many other false gods — even the god of self! Such ones will be trampled by Him in His day of judgment. 

Isaiah sees a picture of this trampling. It is like straw trodden down in the water of a mature pile. Those with divided hearts will spread out their hands in the middle of it, in the same way a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim, and they will be trodden into the manure.

The trickery (spoils) of those with divided hearts will not be able to save them. Trickery means “spoils gained from war.” The LORD will lay low their pride, and restore those who love Him from their persecutors.

He will bring down the unassailable walls which they have erected and in which they have trusted. The LORD will lay low everything that they trust in, and cast them to the ground, even to the dust. Isaiah sees a picture of sudden, utter humiliation and defeat of the LORD’s enemies, exactly according to His promises which He made in His perfect faithfulness!

Isaiah 26:1-6

Verses 1-2 —

When the LORD humiliates and defeats the enemy of Judah, a song will be sung! It will be sung in Judah, and in the end times, it will be sung in heaven!

In Judah, His people will sing, “We have a strong city, but not by our own efforts. IT is the LORD who has set up ramparts and walls for security.” He has set them up. They will no longer rely on their own strength to protect them.

They will sing, “Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, the one that remains faithful (has kept faith in the LORD, even in adversity)!” The gates of heaven are open to the righteous, even now —

2Corinthians 5:6   Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord7 for we walk by faith, not by sight — 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 

Verses 3-5 —

The people of Judah will sing, “The steadfast of mind (heart), You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You!” They have trusted, and He has saved them from the hand of their enemies. And we who are filled with His Spirit are filled with His peace, here and now —

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

They will sing, “Trust in the LORD forever, for in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock!” We will sing the same, for we stand on the rock of His words, for we have not only heard but done them (Matthew 7:24-25)!

They will sing, “It is because He has brought low those who dwell on high (who are prideful), the unassailable city.” But they are assailable by the LORD. In perfect faithfulness, He lays them low, even to the ground, casting them to the dust! We will sing the same of Satan, who will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)!

Verse 6 —

They will sing, “The foot will trample it, the feet of the afflicted, the steps of the helpless.” Those of the people of Judah, who their enemies have afflicted, those who were helpless agains their enemies!

Paul writes his letter to the believers at Rome —

Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

And here is the song that will be sung in heaven, at the end of things —

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.” 

And we will sing —

Revelation 19:3 And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 

And we will sing —

Revelation 19:5 And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” 6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.”

Indeed, He reigns now! But are you one who has a divided heart, who is like Moab? Are you one who has defied Him and rebelled against Him, sinning against Him? Then today is the day to repent, to turn away from your sin and turn to the LORD, for the day of judgment is coming, and He does not desire any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). 

Lord Jesus and Father, may many see Your majesty, Your power, Your justice, and Your righteousness, and repent. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

HOLY INTIMACY

[SW394] 9/7/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“Holy Intimacy”

Text: Psalm 91, Matthew 7:24-25, 16:24-25, etc.

The Lord has asked me to show you the holy intimacy with Him that He commands all believers to have. For all who see the truth of what I am about to say, He will restore what was lost in the Garden of Eden because of Adam’s sin, and you will know Him intimately!

Some believers bristle at the word “command.” But I tell you the truth, when you obey Him, you will understand why He commands it. You will have intimate fellowship with the Father and His Son, just as John beseeches the churches in 1John 1:3).

Psalm 91 describes the holy intimacy that Old Testament prophets felt, when the Spirit came upon them. But the Holy Spirit lifted from them, after they had prophesied. Since Jesus Christ came and died and rose and ascended and was glorified and poured out His Holy Spirit, I will show you that Psalm 91 is also prophetic, because that holy intimacy becomes constant when today’s believers are filled with the Holy Spirit.

This scripture has been a reality for me since I was filled with the Holy Spirit nearly 18 years ago. Yet there are times when the Lord shows it to me more fully, through life events and storms that happen around me. He keeps me in perfect peace, for my heart is stayed upon Him (Isaiah 26:3). I exalt and praise Him with all that is in me!

Verse 1 —

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

Shelter and shadow, in the presence of the Most High God! But the meanings of the Hebrew words reveal that it is much more than being beside Him, as I used to think of it. 

With the original translation and definitions from Hebrew to English, this first verse reads —  He who settles down with the Lord, as in a marriage, is secretly covered by the Most High. And he stays permanently in the shadow of the Almighty. Beloved, have you settled down with the Lord, as in a marriage? Do you know Him in a holy, intimate way?

To be in the constant presence of the Lord is beyond description and beyond words. It is to be what you are meant to be, and what He commands you to be!

Beloved, you must be very near to someone to be in their shadow. When you are filled with Him, He is in you, fully and permanently indwelling you — that is the nearness this Psalmist prophesies about! It is then that He overshadows you with His protection. 

Verse 2 —

I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!”

Original Hebrew-to-English — I will say to Yahweh (the voice from the burning bush), the I AM,  “You are my shelter and my strong place, my God in who I am sure and am confident!

I testify that He became these things for me, after I, as a believer, hungered and thirsted to know Him intimately. He answered my prayer! Have you hungered and thirsted, beloved? Then He has become these things for you, too!

Verse 3 —

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence (plagues).

I had no power to rescue myself from the snare of Satan, the Trapper. I could not deliver myself from my sin nature that snapped up everything Satan dangled. Nor did I have any power to deliver myself from the deadly (wicked) pestilence —the disease of sin. It is Jesus Christ who rescued me from these things, crucifying the sin nature in me and purifying my heart, when I was filled with His Holy Spirit! He set me free from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36)!

Verse 4 —

He will cover you with His pinions (feathers), and under His wings (skirt) you may seek refuge. His faithfulness is a shield (an immeasurably large guard) and bulwark (fortress).

The Lord does not have feathers, but it is a picture of Him spreading His protection over you and hiding you. But just according to Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34, the Lord has said to me that He has longed to gather all believers — both Jew and non-Jew — under His wings, as a hen gathers her chicks, but He says, “You are not willing.” Repent, O believer!

Under His skirt you may seek refuge. It is a reference to the kinsman-redeemer ritual Ruth performed in Ruth 3:4-13, and the response of Boaz. She laid down at his feet. And Boaz faithfully took her as his wife.

So, when the Lord covers you with His skirt, it is a gesture of His redemption and of His intent to take you as His bride. Do you not know that spiritually, the purified church is His bride (Ephesians 5:25-27)? 

Have you humbled yourself before Him and laid down at His nail-pierced feet, as I did? He will take you as His bride, and will protect you! 

I tell you the truth, when you are filled with His Spirit, you will not need to seek Him for refuge, for He will be in you, fully and permanently! The Father and the Son will make you Their abode. You will remain in that glorious position of holy intimacy with Him forever!

Beloved, are you willing? He longs to gather you! His promise is true and established. His word stands forever (Isaiah 40:8)! 

Verses 5-8 —

You will not fear when you see all the evil that will come in the days leading up to Christ’s return. This is a truth for you, O believer, when you have a holy, intimate relationship with the Lord, as in a marriage. 

At the end of things, there will be fearful events at night, arrows (that which pierces), disease, pestilence (plagues), and destruction. But you will not be afraid. You will see many fall, at the end of things, but it will not approach you. 

You will only look on to see the recompense of the wicked. The Lord has promised retribution to those — even His own people — who rebel against Him and refuse to obey His commands.

Verses 9-10 —

If you have made the Lord your abode, you will not fear, because you have made the LORD, my own refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. That is my testimony to all who have settled down with Him, as in a marriage. 

You are filled with His Spirit, and He fully and permanently indwells you. You have 24/7 holy intimacy with Him. He sups with you, and you with Him (Revelation 3:20). 

He is knocking, O believer! I pray you hear, and open the door, for He will come into you (Revelation 3:20)!

He will send evil and plagues upon the rebellious (see Revelation 6 and forward). But I can attest to you that no evil sent upon the rebellious will befall you, nor will any plague sent upon the rebellious come near your body. You will simply look upon the Lord’s judgment of those who disobey Him, per Verse 8.

Verses 11-13 —

If you have holy intimacy with the LORD, He will command His angels to keep you, in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands. You will not strike your feet against a stone; you will not stumble or be slain. 

You will tread upon the devil, the roaring lion who seeks to devour (1Peter 5:8). You will tread upon the serpent of old (Revelation 12:9).

Verse 14 —

The Lord says, “Because you have set your love on Me, therefore, I will deliver you.” Because you have been filled with His divine love when you were filled with His Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5), and because you now you have holy intimacy with Him, He will keep you safe. 

He will set you securely on high, in the kingdom of heaven. You will be seated with Him (see Ephesians 2:6), even while you are physically on this earth.

Verse 15-16 —

Because you have obeyed Jesus Christ’s command to be filled with His Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), you will call on Him, and He will answer. Why? Because you no longer sin against Him, and have become a partaker of His character and nature (2Peter 1:4). So when you call on Him, He will hear your prayer. He does not hear the prayer of sinners — even sinning believers — unless it is a prayer of repentance (John 9:31). 

He will be with you in trouble (persecution because you believe in Him). He will rescue you, and honor you, just as with Stephen, in Acts 7. 

He will satisfy you with a long life, because you will be His faithful servant and His witness here (Acts 1:8). And He will make you see His salvation — His deliverance and His victory — both now, as you live this life in Him, and when you are caught up with Him in the clouds, at the end of things (2Thessalonians 4:17).

My prayer for all believers 

I pray that you are greatly stirred to pursuing the Lord, so you may know Him intimately, as I have described. I pray you come to Him with no other desire in your heart than to know Him intimately.

I pray that you hunger and thirst for His righteousness (Matthew 5:7), because He has shown you the condition of your heart. Thus, you know you cannot possibly become righteous on your own, or by your good works.

I pray that you sit at His feet and listen to and do as He commands (Luke 10:38-39). 

I pray that you utterly reject yourself and your life, so He can live in you —

Matthew 16:24   Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny (disown, utterly reject) himself, and take up his cross and follow Me (for the sin nature to be crucified). 25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (His life, in you).”

I pray that you will obey the commands He gave His disciples, before He returned to heaven and sat at the right hand of the Father —

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.”

And —

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.”

 

If you already enjoy holy intimacy with the Lord, you will rejoice at this message. If you do not, beloved, then this is a divine appointment for you!

Humble yourself today, O believer! Return to Him, and He will return to you —

Zechariah 1:3 “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the LORD of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the LORD of hosts.

Lord Jesus, I know you hear Jeff’s and my prayers for all believers, both Jew and non-Jew. I will continue to pray, and will not be silent, nor will I give you rest, until you make them a praise in all the earth (Isaiah 62:7)! So be it. Amen!

ISAIAH SESSION 23 — THE EARTH IS JUDGED

Text: Isaiah 24

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “The Earth is Judged.” A day is coming when the Lord will judge the whole earth, and its inhabitants — that is, those who defy Him, also called “those who dwell on the earth.” A day is coming when His invitation to them ends, and His wrath is poured out.

He does not desire that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). So, now is the time to repent, turn from your sin, be saved from the wrath of God, and be reconciled to God!

And now more than ever, believers must be ready! Be diligent to be found by Christ to be at peace with God, spotless and blameless (2Peter 3:14). Be filled with the Holy Spirit! And then go out in His power and proclaim His kingdom, even to the hardest hearts! My heart was very hard against the Lord, so I never give up on anyone — I just tell them what I was, and what He did in me, and will do in them, if they repent as I did!

Verse 1 —

What will happen when God’s invitation ends and His wrath is poured out? Isaiah sees it. Behold! See! Take notice! The LORD lays the earth waste (depopulates it, empties it), devastates it, distorts its surface as with an earthquake, and scatters its inhabitants. Peter speaks of the earth’s ultimate destruction —

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

And John sees Jesus Christ break the sixth seal, on the great day that His wrath is poured out —

Revelation 6:12   I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 

Revelation 6:15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Verse 2 —

None of the inhabitants of the earth will escape, and all who have defied Him will be treated equally. The people and priests who have taught false things, the maid and mistress, the buyer and seller, the lender and the borrower, the creditor and the debtor. 

They will all be judged, regardless of their social stature. Jesus says —

John 5:28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”

Verses 3-5 —

Isaiah sees the earth completely laid waste and completely despoiled (utterly plundered). Nothing will be left untouched by the LORD’s hand of judgment.

He also sees the earth mourn and wither (fall away), the world fades (is sick) and withers, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away (they are weak and feeble). All that the inhabitants have trusted in and relied upon is gone.

The earth is also polluted (defiled, corrupted) by its inhabitants, for they have rebelled against the LORD and His laws, statutes, and covenant. They have utterly defied Him.

 Verse 6 —

Therefore, because the earth has been polluted by its inhabitants., a curse from the LORD devours the earth. Those who live in it are held guilty, for they have defied Him. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left. It is just as the LORD said through Isaiah earlier —

Isaiah 13:12  I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold and mankind than the gold of Ophir.

Verses 7-9 —

Gone are the days of parties and revelry and feasts. The new wine laments — no one is drinking it. The vine decays (droops) — no one is there to tend it. The merry-hearted groan. The joy of the tambourines ceases. The noise of revelers stops. The gaiety (delight) of the harp ceases. 

No one drinks wine, no one sings. Strong drink no longer tastes good. Instead, it is bitter to those who drink it.

Verses 10-12 —

Not only is there no more revelry and feasting, but even the habitations of the rebellious are destroyed. The city of chaos (confusion and lawlessness) is broken down. All cities where the lawless and defiant live are cities of chaos, because rebellion breeds chaos, and causes spiritual destruction in those cities now, and complete destruction in the day when the LORD pours out His wrath. They collapse under the weight of the judgment of the LORD.

Every house is shut up, so no one can enter. No one is safe! The inhabitants of the earth hide behind locked and bolted doors, but there is no escape. Fear reigns!

Isaiah hears an outcry in the streets concerning the wine — they want their wine, to drown their sorrows and numb their fear. But there is no wine. So all joy turns to gloom. The gaiety of the earth is banished. All is quiet.

Desolation is all that remains. The gate on which they relied for protection is battered to ruins.

Verses 13-14 —

Then, praise will suddenly come from a remnant. In the midst of the earth, among the peoples (Gentiles), a small remnant of the inhabitants of the earth will survive. They will be like the remnant of olives that can be gleaned by shaking the tree, or like the gleanings of a few grapes when the grape harvest is over.

And Isaiah hears them as they raise their voices and shout for joy. They rejoice because they have not been destroyed. They will cry out from the sea concerning the majesty of the LORD. But it is false praise, as  you will see in the next verses.

Verses 15-17 —

Isaiah says to the remnant, Therefore (since you have been spared), glorify the LORD in the east, glorify the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. Glorify Him in  the coastlands of the sea (Gentile lands). 

And from the ends of the earth, Isaiah hears songs, “Glory to the Righteous One.” But Isaiah sees their treachery. He says, Woe to me! Woe to Me! Alas to Me! Remember, this is the day of the LORD’s wrath. Their praise is false, so Isaiah cries,Woe! And he says, The treacherous deal treacherously, and the treacherous deal very treacherously. 

It will be so, in the day of His wrath, for the inhabitants of the earth who remain in those days will be thoroughly deceitful, and utterly treacherous against the LORD. 

So, Isaiah says to the treacherous remnant, Terror and pit and snare confront you (are upon you), O inhabitants of the earth! You heard the gospel many times, and rejected it. Again and again, the LORD sent believers to you, but you mocked them. Now you feign worship, but the LORD knows your rebellious heart. The day of grace is gone, and the day of judgment has come!

Verse 18 —

So, O inhabitant of the earth, when you flee the report of disaster, you will fall into the pit. And if you climb out of the pit, you will be caught in the snare. There will be no escape.

Why? Because the windows above are opened — heaven is opened, not for blessing but for judgment. And the foundations of the earth shake. 

Verses 19-20 —

The earth which the LORD made is broken asunder, split through, it is shaken violently, it reels to and fro like a drunkard, and totters like a shack. The picture is of an earth with no firm place to stand, an earth moved from its axis and out of balance; therefore, it is an earth that is totally destroyed. Jesus says —

Matthew 7:26 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great was its fall.”

The LORD made the earth and the universe so it is delicately and precisely balanced. And His blow of judgment will cause its destruction. 

Its transgression (rebellion, sin) is heavy upon it, and it will fall, never to rise again. The earth is destroyed not by natural pollution, but pollution of the souls of mankind.

Verses 21-22 —

In that day, the LORD will punish the host of heaven on high — Satan, and all the false gods that man created, under his influence. And the LORD will punish the kings on earth who have defied the LORD.

They will be gathered together, like prisoners in the dungeon (literally, the pit). They will be confined in prison, and after many days, they will be punished —

Revelation 20:11   Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds . . . 

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Verse 23 —

Even the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, for they, too, were worshiped by mankind. But they will see the LORD of hosts reigning on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and His glory will be before the elders —

Revelation 4:4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.

Revelation 4:9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 

11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

And the Lamb took the book with the seven seals —

Revelation 5:8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” 

Every tribe p and tongue and people and nation who have repented and believed into Christ! A kingdom and priests! Peter writes to believers —

1Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Knowing all this, O rebellious one, what should you do while it is still today? Repent! You will receive mercy, for it is still the day of grace. But a day of judgment is coming — the day of God’s wrath for all who defy Him!

Lord Jesus, may many hear and heed Your warning. You warn so they will repent now, before it is too late. Amen.

A GODLESS NATION

[SW393] 8/31/2019 message notes by 

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019

“A Godless Nation”

Text: Isaiah 10:5-12, 20-27, etc.

When you see the title of the message the Lord has asked me to speak, you will not think that it pertains to believers. But it was against His own people that He sent an enemy. Why? To discipline and punish them, so they would return to Him. 

Think of it! The Lord calls His own nation godless! He established Israel. He made them His nation. But they abandoned Him, following the ways of the nations around them. 

I tell you the truth, it is the same in today’s fallen church and among today’s fallen believers. The Lord established the church. But the gospel preached from today’s pulpits has been perverted to such a degree that it now contains only lies and twisted interpretations that sound good to the ears of those who hear it. Today’s church and today’s believers have abandoned Him to follow the ways of the world system that defies God, to the point where the church calls evil good, and good evil.

This passage will show you that He is God over all time, all things, and those who are His but who rebel against Him by chasing after foolishness. He raises up the Enemy, Satan, against His church. 

Many in today’s church complain that they are undergoing persecution from factions in today’s society. But today’s fallen church and believers do not see that they are being judged by the Lord, and disciplined and punished by Him. Why does He do it? So you would return to Him, O believer!

You will say, “What? God would not send Satan against me!” But He Himself created Satan, and He says this of Satan —

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

But for those who repent, who become His servants by obeying His command to be filled with His Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), He promises this —

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

Before getting into today’s scripture, the Lord asked me to say what I have just said. Now, I will show you how Isaiah 10 pertains to the church today.

Verses 5-6 —

Assyria and the king of Assyria, and the punishment meted out by them to the LORD’s people is a matter of history, but Assyria and the king of Assyria are also a type of Satan. And the LORD’s people in Isaiah’s day are a type of the church today.

The Lord speaks of Israel, through Isaiah. Woe to Assyria whom He uses as the rod of His anger and the staff of His indignation against the LORD’s godless nation. He calls them the people of His fury. 

The LORD commands Assyria to punish His people. So why does He say, “woe” to the enemy He uses? Because He knows they will go beyond the punishment He has ordered. They will boast because they will overcome His people, and they plan to utterly destroy His people, so none are left. They will also boast against the LORD Himself, and blaspheme Him.

What has He commanded Assyria to do to His godless nation, His people with whom He is furious? The enemy is to capture booty and to seize plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets — literally, to make them a trampling. Why? They worship false gods, whose root is the god of self, whose root is the sin nature.

The church is His godless nation today. Once again, they have resorted to worshiping false gods, but not only ones made of wood and stone and metal. They worship the god of prosperity, the god of success, the god of the world system that defies God. 

Again, the root of these gods is the god of self, and the root of the god of self is the sin nature you were born with, O believer, as the offspring of Adam. And the Lord has sent Satan to make them a trampling, so they would return to Him.

Verses 7-11 —

Assyria’s plan to utterly destroy is no secret to the Lord. He knew it before anything was — before the earth and the heavens were created by Him. He knows the hearts of all humans. Nothing is hidden from the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13). 

He knew before anything was that Assyria would boast that by their own power, they conquered nations and the gods of those nations. He knew before anything was that they would come to the wall of Jerusalem and blaspheme His name (see 2Kings 18:34-35, 2Kings 19:22). 

Verse 12 —

Therefore, when the LORD has completed His punishment against His godless nation, He will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria. As I have said, He will come as Judge (Revelation 19:11), and will punish the arrogance of Satan by sentencing him to be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

Verse 20  

Now in that day, when the LORD destroys Assyria, there will be a repentant remnant of Israel who will survive the onslaught of the king of Assyria. There will also be a very small remnant who will survive the Babylonian captivity after Babylon destroys Jerusalem 150 years later. The LORD will strike 185,000 of the soldiers in the Assyrian camp (2Kings 19:35). And the LORD will destroy the Babylonian empire in one night (Daniel 5:30-31), using the Medo-Persians as His instrument of destruction.

What does the LORD mean when He says His people will never again rely on the one who struck them? Ahaz, king of Judah, had made an alliance with Assyria to defeat Syria and northern Israel (see 2Kings 16:7). 

But when He destroys Assyria, the repentant remnant who have escaped death will never again rely on the one who struck them. Instead, they will truly rely on the Holy One of Israel, and no other.

And today, there is a repentant remnant of believers who will not bend to the tremendous pressure to conform to today’s church and today’s believers who have gone far from the Lord and have joined hands with the world system that defies the Lord. The repentant remnant of believers will not capitulate, but will stand steadfast and immovable, truly relying on God their Father, and on Jesus Christ, who fully and permanently indwells them (John 14:23).

Verses 21-23 —

A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob (that is, all of Israel, including Judah). First, they will repent and return to Him, the mighty God. And then, He will return them to the land, and they will become His godly nation.

It is the same today, for all believers who will repent and who will return to Him and obey the Lord’s command to be filled with His Holy Spirit. Then, they will become His godly nation.

Why does the LORD say, “only a remnant? Israel was so numerous, they were like the sand of the sea. But only 48,942 returned from Babylon, per Nehemiah 7:66-67. 

Why will so few return to the land after they have returned to the LORD? Because a destruction is determined by the Lord, overflowing with righteousness. His judgment is always right, because His very nature is righteous. He does not punish the obedient, or the repentant, but those who refuse to repent.

Against the unrepentant, the LORD of hosts (God the Son) will execute a complete destruction — the entire destruction of Jerusalem, and of His rebellious people, in the midst of the whole land. He will do the same, in the church, and among today’s rebellious believers who refuse to repent and return to Him.

Verses 24-25 —

To the repentant remnant, the LORD GOD of hosts says, “Do not fear the Assyrian who will strike you with the rod and lift up his staff against you.” For in a very little while, the LORD’s indignation will be spent and His anger will be directed to Assyria’s destruction, as He has already said in Verse 12.

The LORD of hosts will arouse a scourge against him. As I have said, He sent the angel of the LORD to destroy 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night, in the Assyrian camp, so the king of Assyria withdrew from Jerusalem and Judah, and returned to Assyria. 

But the LORD had further plans against Assyria. Babylon overran Assyria’s armies and became a world empire, until Babylon was overthrown by the Medo-Persians.

In the same way, the LORD will deal with Satan. As I have said, Satan will be sentenced to the lake of fire, as will all who follow him. 

As I have shown you, the LORD knows everything and is over everything. Nothing happens without His permission. He uses Satan today to discipline and punish believers so they will return to Him. 

But of all who are in the church — His godless nation — only a small remnant will return to Him and become His godly nation. Many will disregard and mock the words He has given me to speak. But the Lord has not changed. If you rebel against Him, He will punish you. If you continue to rebel, you will perish (Hebrews 10:26 and elsewhere). 

It is not that His promise in John 3:16 is a lie. It is that you have taken lightly the salvation He has given to you. You have continued to sin against Him, though you should have asked Him to fill you with His Spirit, thereby crucifying your sin nature that chases after the foolish teaching in much of today’s church. 

Repent now, O believer! Become part of the repentant remnant, become part of His godly nation.

Lord Jesus, may today’s believers both hear and heed the truth of the words You have given me to speak. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.

ISAIAH SESSION 22 — TYRE’S DESTRUCTION

Text: Isaiah 23

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “Tyre’s Destruction.” This is the last of the judgments of the nations. But from the outset, it also has parallels in Revelation and in Ezekiel, so I will occasionally speak from that perspective. Next week, we will see the judgment of the earth.

A little background — Tyre and Sidon were prosperous port cities of Phoenicia, and as such, they had a monopoly on sea-borne business. Thus, many countries relied upon them for transportation and trade. But the LORD is about to judge them. 

Isaiah’s prophecy again emphasizes that the LORD is in charge of all history. Only He will stand at the end of things. The wisdom and ways of man, and the natural things and false gods on which His rebellious people have relied, will fall. The world system that defies the LORD, and Satan Himself, will fall. So, now is the time to turn to the LORD and serve Him, and Him only.

Verse 1 —

Isaiah sees and hears a vision concerning Tyre, a port city in Phoenicia. The merchant ships of Tarshish, across the Mediterranean Sea, regularly traveled to Tyre. But now a report comes from the island of Cyprus, off the coast of Phoenicia, that Tyre is destroyed, even its houses and harbor! 

And so will Satan, the figurative king of Tyre, and the world system that defies the LORD. Ezekiel sees the destruction of Satan, who was in the garden of Eden, in Ezekiel 28:12-19 (NIV) —

Ezekiel 28:11  The word of the LORD came to me: 12 “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you 14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones . . .”

Ezekiel 28:15  “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created

till wickedness was found in you. 16 Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God,

and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. 17 Your heart became proud . . . 18 So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching.’”

Verses 2-4 —

All inhabitants of the coastland of Phoenicia will be silent, upon hearing of Tyre’s destruction. The merchants of Sidon crossed the sea, and were paid handsomely to bring to other nations the grain of the Nile. Tyre and Sidon’s ships were the marketplace of nations. 

How does this relate to Satan? He is always involved in international trade, but his trade is lies and deception. And now, with television and the internet, he reaches more than ever before with what he sells. He is, after all, the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:1-2).

Sidon is commanded to be ashamed of the stronghold of the sea, possibly a reference to the false god Yam, in whom she relies. Yam is barren — she no longer has any offspring. Her trade has ceased. She is warned that she should not become complacent, for the hand of the LORD would reach her, with His divine judgment! No kingdom could reckon itself immune from God’s righteous wrath.

Verses 5-7 —

The report of Tyre’s destruction reaches Egypt. They are in anguish (writhing in pain) over the news. When they sail by other harbors to Tarshish, across the sea from Tyre, they wail. Tyre, the ancient city, which was once jubilant because of its prosperous shipping and travel industries, has been destroyed. Her feet (ships) cannot carry her trade to other nations, for her harbor and city are completely destroyed. 

Just as with Tyre, the LORD will destroy Satan’s trade and Satan himself. He allows him to roam for now, but his time is coming, and his followers will wail, indeed!

Verses 8-9 —

Who planned the destruction of Tyre, who bestowed crowns of prosperity to those who used her port, who called her merchants princes, whose traders were called the honored of the earth? Who planned the destruction of Satan, whose trade of lies and deception were carried about by his children, whom he called his princes and traders, and honored of the earth? 

The LORD of hosts has planned it, to defile (dissolve) the pride (arrogance) of all beauty (splendor), to despise (bring into contempt) all the honored of the earth. They are neither beautiful nor honorable in His sight. And so He judges the world system who defies Him, and Satan who defies Him. 

Verses 10-12 —

So, the daughter of Tarshish — Tyre, the apple of the eye of Tarshish, is judged, and Tyre flees, overflowing Phoenicia like the Nile overflows its banks in a flood. Tarshish sees there is no more restraint (strength) in Tyre, upon which it has relied. 

The LORD has stretched His hand out over the sea, and He has made the kingdoms tremble. He has given a command concerning the whole land of Caanan, to demolish its strongholds. All of its fortified places will fall. It is the same with the world system that defies God, and Satan who is prince of that system.

The LORD has said, “You shall exult no more, O crushed one. Arise, pass over to the island of Cyprus. Even there you will find no rest.” 

O rebellious believer, O unbeliever, if you do not repent but stubbornly continue in your sin, you will not escape the Lord’s pursuit of you, and you will be judged. It will be the same for Satan, in the last day. 

Verse 13 —

Tyre and Sidon should have taken note of the destruction of Babylon by the Assyrians, who besieged Babylon and stripped its palaces in 647 B.C., making it a ruin. [NOTE: Babylon later rebounded under King Nebuchadnezzar, defeating Assyria and ruling over it.]

But as with His own people, the Phoenicians paid no heed to the LORD’s judgment of other nations. 

Verses 14-16 —

Again, as in Verse 1, Isaiah cries, Wail, O ships of Tarshish! Your stronghold, that in which you trusted, is destroyed. 

For 70 years, the usual reign of a king, Tyre will be forgotten. But then it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the harlot, for like Babylon, Tyre is a harlot in the LORD’s eyes. The song goes like this —

Take up your harp, O forgotten harlot. Draw people to you with your music, so they commit immorality with you. Pluck the strings skillfully, sing many songs, play the harlot so all the kingdoms of the earth who traded with you will return to you, and to commit immorality with you.

Verses 17-18 —

After her 70 years of desolation, Tyre will be restored by the LORD. But she will be His servant, as a supplier of sufficient food and choice attire for those who dwell in the presence of the LORD. Her harlot’s wages and her financial gain will be set apart to the LORD — holiness to the LORD, set apart for those who dwell in His presence. It will not stored up or hoarded by her. 

Historically, Tyre is like a colony of Israel. Her wealth flows to Jerusalem. It is set apart now for God’s use, and He gives it to His own. Though the LORD will restore her for His purposes, in the end, Tyre will be destroyed entirely by the LORD, just as with Satan —

Revelation 20:2 And he (an angel from heaven) laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

But Satan’s final end is swift —

Revelation 20:7   When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

As the New International Commentary on the Old Testament concludes

The glory of the nations is nothing, the wisdom of the nations is nothing, the vision of the nations is nothing, the wealth of the nations is nothing. So, why rely on the nations? Turn to the One who is over all things —

Colossians 1:15   He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Does He have first place in you? Are you trusting in and loving the world system that defies God? Or do you love the Lord who saved you, and obey Him, and serve Him only?

I tell you the truth, you will listen to Satan’s lies and deceit until you are filled with the Holy Spirit. Then you will discern his lies and have power to reject his temptations. That is why Jesus commands you to be filled. 

Lord, may Your people hear and heed, for You are worthy of immediate and complete obedience. May they seek to be filled with Your Holy Spirit, so they are able to defeat Satan. Amen.