Good evening Saints! Just a reminder that this is our last Wednesday evening service for awhile as we are kicking off our Fall Growth Group session next week.
1 Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? 2 For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.
Commentary: Poor means here means humble lowly, or meek. Contrite is crippled or broken. You guys may remember that this conclusion actually began in our last chapter, as Isaiah began to write of the things to come. In chapter 65, verses 17-19 he spoke of a New Heaven and a New Earth, so he was speaking of the eternal state. Then in verse 20 he began to describe the Millennium, or the 1,000 year reign of Christ that will occur before that.
In this chapter, He wraps up all of what Isaiah has spoken of, and lays out a comparison for us that is fitting. We now have a comparison of the wicked and those that are true worshippers and what the eternal state will look like for them.
The idea in these first couple of verses is God immediately reminding us of who He is and all that He has done. And a confirmation that we who are worshipers in truth are now His temple. The Holy Spirit resides in us. God says Heaven is My throne and the Earth is my ottoman, or my footstool, what house could you possibly build for ME? I made all things and it is in Me that all things exist. Anything that we think we can give to God, already belongs to Him. He describes in verse 3 what He things of empty religious ritual.
3 “He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man; He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog’s neck; He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine’s blood; He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol. Just as they have chosen their own ways, And their soul delights in their abominations, 4 So will I choose their delusions, And bring their fears on them; Because, when I called, no one answered, When I spoke they did not hear; But they did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.”
Commentary: God will bring a strong delusion. Because they would not believe the truth of Jesus Christ, God will allow them to believe the lie of the antichrist.
43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.
This speaks of this time that Isaiah is writing about. When they have a treaty signed with the antichrist, they will rebuild the temple, will begin to make sacrifices again, but to God, it is all done in unbelief because they have rejected Jesus.
5 Hear the word of the Lord, You who tremble at His word: “Your brethren who hated you, Who cast you out for My name’s sake, said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, That we may see your joy.’ But they shall be ashamed.” 6 The sound of noise from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, Who fully repays His enemies!
Commentary: Those that are just going through the religious motions, will be the very ones trying to persecute the true believers. You think how in the world could that happen? How could they be so deceived? Considered the Apostle Paul, who as Saul of Tarsus, persecuted the church and in doing so, truly believed he was doing the religious work of God.
And if you aren’t familiar with the story, when I say he persecuted the church, I don’t mean it in the way the many American Christians today think of it, as maybe a stranger makes fun of you or mocks your faith. We have glimpses of it in the Bible. In Acts 7 Stephen, one of the very first Deacons in the early church, gives an incredibly convicting message to religious leaders of his day.
In fact I want to look at it because he actually quotes the first two verses of Isaiah 66 in the message, and it reveals to us Paul’s or Saul’s persecution of the church, so Acts 7:48-51
48 “However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: 49 ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the Lord, Or what is the place of My rest? 50 Has My hand not made all these things?’ 51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.” 54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Check out verse 60 and consider that young Saul witnessed all these things and then we read more about him in chapter 8.
60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Ok, Chapter 8, just three verses...
1 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
I think it is amazing when we look to see what Paul’s mindset was at the time. In Gal 1:11-14
11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
He was advancing, because he was more exceedingly zealous, showing greater enthusiasm and going for it, more than anyone else. In his mind, not something bad, but the very religious traditions taught to him by his fathers. In Acts 26 he tells us.
9 “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
And again, just so you remember the extent of the persecution that he thought he was doing in the name of God, look at the next two verses...
10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
Isaiah tells us back in verse 6 that the Lord will repay these things falsely done in His name. I wonder how much more that list will be expanded to religious leaders today, that claim to be doing things in His name, all the while when they are abusing the sheep?
7 “Before she was in labor, she gave birth; Before her pain came, She delivered a male child. 8 Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children. 9 Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the Lord. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.
10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, And be glad with her, all you who love her; Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; 11 That you may feed and be satisfied With the consolation of her bosom, That you may drink deeply and be delighted With the abundance of her glory.”
Comm: So even though there was a season when it looked like Jerusalem was over and a non-factor, She will be delivered and blessed.
12 For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; On her sides shall you be carried, And be dandled on her knees. 13 As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
Comm: Jersulem will be the center of the World. Now back to judgement!
14 When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, And your bones shall flourish like grass; The hand of the Lord shall be known to His servants, And His indignation to His enemies. 15 For behold, the Lord will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire and by His sword The Lord will judge all flesh; And the slain of the Lord shall be many. 17 “Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, To go to the gardens After an idol in the midst, Eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse, Shall be consumed together,” says the Lord.
Comm: Interesting for those that say being Slain in the Spirit is not in the bible, look again at verse 16!
18 “For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory. 19 I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. 20 Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the Lord out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. 21 And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,” says the Lord.
Comm: God reveals to his children his plan to gather true worshipers from every tribe, language, people, and nation.
Andrew M. Davis, Exalting Jesus in Isaiah (Nashville, TN: Holman Reference, 2017), 391.
22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “So shall your descendants and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord. 24 “And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
He ends so powerfully here. With there is this, the Heaven, and there is outside of the Heavens. He says all flesh shall come to worship before Me, ultimate fulfillment of that is seen in Rev 5:9-10
9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
And also interesting that in these last few verses he brings us all the way back to chapter 1 where he talked about the shallowness of their worship in the time of New Moons and Sabbaths and how all that has changed now as He looks upon the one who worships with a humble and contrite heart, and those who transgressed against the Lord will have a different experience in the eternal state. Jesus talked about this, in fact quoted Isaiah 66 verse 24 several times when He said...
43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’
He says it again if your foot causes you to sin, and if your eye causes you to sin, stressing the point that suffering any of those other things, is better than the eternal suffering of Hell, separation from God forever and ever.
Tonight we get to celebrate that that does not have to be the case for us. Even if we deserve it, because we all deserve it. We celebrate because the One who did not deserve to die, did so willingly on our behalf. I’m going to have Jim come and do a song.
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
Grace and Peace