God's Response to Israel's Prayer
Dr. Joe Temple


Open your Bibles, please, to Isaiah, chapter 65. As a word of review, may I remind you that we have been studying the book of Isaiah, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, for quite some time. We have come to the last discussion of the book of Isaiah, because we will be considering both chapters 65 and 66.

You are aware that in the original Hebrew, there are no chapter divisions. Chapter and verse divisions are very helpful. In fact, I think we would all find it very difficult to progress very far without them but, as we have pointed out to you at other times, sometimes the chapter divisions come at an unhappy place. We have developed the habit of stopping at the end of a chapter whether the subject matter has come to an end or not, and I think that is true in this case, so I am emphasizing Isaiah, chapters 65 and 66 as comprising one complete unit.

I would like to remind you, as well, that we have approached our study of the book of Isaiah from the very beginning from what theologians refer to as the futuristic standpoint . It is important for you to keep that in mind. There is a historical standpoint from which it can be approached, and if you do approach it from the historical standpoint, you are going to assume that everything in the book of Isaiah has been fulfilled. If you assume that, then you are going to have to accept what is commonly taught by many theologians—that there was more than one Isaiah. There was a deutero Isaiah, as far as interpretation is concerned, which indicates that in all probability there were three, four or five men who adopted the name Isaiah , each of them writing a little of the book, adding to it, so that you have the complete book as you have it today.

The reason that theory is around is that we find in the book of Isaiah prophecy related to events which occurred long after Isaiah left this earth. Of course, the human approach is to assume that the only way these things could have been written under his name was for them to have been written by someone who lived at a later date. But since we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and we believe that the Holy Spirit is able to reveal truth to men of God as they were moved along by the Holy Spirit, we find no problem in understanding that Isaiah could have been writing about a time that was future as far as he was concerned and, as we will emphasize, future as far as we are concerned.

You will recall that in our last lesson we looked at chapter 64 and we found that it represented a prayer of the believing remnant of Israel. Israelites who have suffered through their long night of persecution look up into the Heavens and cry, according to verse 1:

Isaiah 64

1Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,

Simplified: “LORD, if You would come to our rescue; if You would come to our deliverance.”

In chapters 65-66, you have recorded for you the response to the heart-cry of the nation of Israel. The response is divided up into a number of different paragraphs dealing with different phases and aspects of the nation of Israel and her future history. May I suggest that you follow in your Bibles as we read verses 1-7:

Initial Response of God to the Cry of Israel

Isaiah 65

1I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
2I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
3A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;
4Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
6Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,
7Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.

Let's go back over the paragraph and let me point out a few things to you, some of which you may be wondering about, and some which might make the paragraph clearer in understanding.

The Israelites had said, “Come to our rescue. Do something to deliver us,” and we read in verse 1: “I am sought of them that asked not for me…” If we were going to render this literally from the original Hebrew, we would find God saying this: “At last, I am being sought of them that ask not for Me. At last, I am being found of them that had not been interested in seeking Me.” Then He said, “Behold all these years while you have been going your own way, following your own thoughts [as is suggested in verse 2], I have been saying to this nation which was not called by name, ‘Come to Me.' I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people who walked in their own way, which is not good, and followed their own thoughts.”

In the few remaining verses, He lists a number of things which irritated Him and a number of things which caused smoke to come up into His nostrils, as He expressed it, and a number of things that provoked Him to anger. One of them is in the latter part of verse 3:

Isaiah 65

3A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens…

That might not mean a thing to you, but when you compare it with the prohibitions related to Israel's worship, you will discover that what they were doing was sacrificing to idols in enclosed gardens. They were burning incense upon altars of brick. That may not mean anything to you, but when you recall that altars were not to be made of anything which human hands had touched, as far as labor was concerned, you can see why this would provoke God.

In verse 4, it was recognized that they were spending their time attempting to communicate with spirits of the departed dead. They were remaining among the graves. Notice verse 4:

Isaiah 65

4Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;

That last statement we might call today the witches brew . They mixed up various parts of animals, just as you have read in the history of witchcraft. Then they partook of the brew, expecting departed spirits to come and commune with them.

Keep in mind who is doing this. If some folk in Africa or some other land, which we might have at one time considered a heathen land, were doing this, you would not be surprised; but this is the people who is the oldest people as far as the worship of one God is concerned, and yet they are worshiping witches around a caldron of witch's brew. No wonder God was concerned about it.

In verse 5, another thing that provoked Him was their holier-than-thou attitude. He said that they said:

Isaiah 65

5Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou…

In verses 6-7, is His response to their prayer. He said, “I am going to find it necessary to recompense to your bosom all of your evil doing.” Then in verses 8-10, He paints a rainbow of hope over a rather desolate picture, because He speaks of the remnant. If you want these words as mental pegs upon which to hang some of these thoughts, you might use the word response for verses 1-7 and the word remnant for verses 8-10. I use the word remnant as a reference to the small group of people within the nation of Israel who will be true no matter what others do, the small remnant within the nation who are a believing people. Notice verse 8:

A Promise of God's Blessing

Isaiah 65

8Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all.
9And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
10And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.

Get the picture. God said, “Oftentimes a man goes into his vineyard and he finds many clusters of grapes,” and He says, “Be careful how you pluck the cluster; there is a blessing in the cluster. Some of those luscious grapes are going to produce tasty wine, so don't destroy the whole cluster. Preserve it for the good wine that is in it.”

So God gives a promise here. “I will not destroy the whole nation of Israel. Even though I must deal with them because of their disobedience, I will not destroy the whole nation. I will preserve a remnant, and one day the valley of Sharon shall be a fold for the flock and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in.” Keep in mind now that Israel was scattered from her land at this time, but this is a promise of God's blessing.

Rebellious Ones to Be Visited With Punishment

Look at the paragraph which begins with verse 11 and concludes with verse 16. Let me suggest another word which begins with R for the sake of alliteration, that you might like to use to retain these thoughts. It is the word rebellious . In verses 1-7, we have God's response to Israel's prayer. In verses 8-10, there is a word of promise concerning the remnant. And now in verses 11-16, we have a word about the rebellious segment of the nation of Israel. What God has to say about these rebellious people is going to be by the way of comparison and contrast. I would like for you to watch for that as we read this paragraph. Notice verse 11:

Isaiah 65

11But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.
12Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.
13Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, [God's remnant] but ye [the unbelieving] shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:
14Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.
15And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:
16That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth…

I am going to stop right there, because even though the verse does not end there, the trend of thought ends there, and the last statement of verse 16 belongs to the next paragraph, which we will notice in a moment.

Most of the paragraph is self-explanatory. There is a suggestion of comparison and contrast indicating that God's remnant will be well taken care of and the rebellious people will be visited with punishment.

I think it might be wise for you to look at verse 11, because in the King James Version, it is an unhappy translation. It will not mean a great deal to you there, or at least it doesn't mean as much as it could, so let us look at it again:

Isaiah 65

11But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop…

Look at that statement, “ye are they that prepare a table for that troop.” Does that mean anything to you at all? Let me suggest to you that the word troop is the translation of the Hebrew word Gad , which is the name of a Babylonian deity. What is suggested in this particular verse is that the Israelites were preparing a table before Gad, the god of fortune. They were worshiping idols. That is the reason God was distressed with them.

Now, if you will look at the latter part of verse 11, He continues:

Isaiah 65

11… and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.

Does that mean anything to you? Look at that word number , as I suggest to you that it is the Hebrew word Mniy which is the name of the Babylonian goddess of destiny, the goddess of fate. You see, what He was rebuking here was their worship of heathen idols. They were pouring out drink offerings and serving food offerings to the idols Gad and Mniy, the god and goddess of destiny and of fortune.

The Regeneration

Look at the next paragraph which begins with the latter part of verse 16 and continues on through verse 25. Following our suggestion of alliteration, I am going to offer the word regeneration for this paragraph. I am using that in the same sense that the Lord Jesus did when He was on the earth. You remember that there was quite a bit of talk about what folk were going to get out of serving the Lord. One of the disciples said to the Lord Jesus Christ, “We have left all and followed Thee. What will we have therefore?” And the Lord Jesus Christ said, “In the regeneration, you will sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

If you follow that word regeneration through to its natural conclusion, you will find that it refers to a period of time that is yet to come upon the earth known as the Millennium, the reign of righteousness , God's Kingdom upon the earth , the Golden Age , Utopia , or whatever you wish to designate it. It is the time towards which all the earth is surging in desire, a time of perfection. That time is described in the paragraph which we will begin:

Isaiah 65

16…because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.
17For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
18But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
20There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
21And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
22They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
24And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

This is the description of this happy time which God prophesies will come upon the earth. The first characteristic is presented in the last part of verse 16. “The former troubles are forgotten. They are hidden from the eyes of men who will be dwelling upon the earth,” and the reason is in verse 17:

Isaiah 65

17For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Those of you who are familiar with Peter's second epistle remember that He said practically the same thing in chapter 3. But, before we pass on from the reference of creation of a new heaven and a new earth, may I suggest to you that we are not talking about the complete removal or annihilation of this present earth. We are thinking about its renovation, because the word new , in verse 17, comes from the Hebrew word chaddash , which means “to rebuild or to renew.” That is further borne out by the fact that the word create here comes from the Hebrew word bara which means “to create out of matter already in existence.” You remember that there are two words in Hebrew for create . They are bara and asah . Asah means “to create out of nothing.” Bara means “to create out of matter already in existence.” God is not going to create a new earth in the sense that this earth will be passed completely into oblivion, but He is going to renovate this earth. He is going to renew it, and He is going to rebuild it. Everything that is unpleasant and unlovely related to this present tenure of existence will be removed. This is the hope that God has laid before us.

As you glance along further, notice verse 18 and recognize that He is going to create Jerusalem a joy and a rejoicing. In the light of the next verse, that would indicate that Jerusalem will no longer need its Wailing Wall which you have observed on your telelvision sets and in your newspapers, for it will not be a place of weeping. It will not be a place of crying, but a place of joy and rejoicing.

The entire earth will be characterized in this future day by physical and material blessings. For example, in verse 20, longevity is referred to in the language:

Isaiah 65

20There shall be no more thence an infant of days…

That means that children are not going to die in infancy in great numbers as they do even in the day in which we live. There will not be an old man who has not fulfilled his day. This is comparative language.

We are told in the last statement of verse 20 that life will be such that the only way an individual will die will be for him to absolutely, positively refuse to live according to the rule of righteousness. Then he will be annihilated. It won't be a matter of his being put on probation. It won't be a matter of God stretching out His arms all day long, as we learned in the first part of this chapter. It will be a matter of righteousness reigning with a rod of iron.

In verses 21-23, everybody will build his own house and be able to live in it. He will plant his vineyard and eat the fruit of it. They will not build and someone else inhabit. Their life will be like a tree. They will not be wondering what is going to happen next. Notice verse 23:

Isaiah 65

23They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

I do not want to disillusion you if you have been claiming this promise in verse 24 as an indication of how God has answered your prayer, because I think it is possible in any age for you to give testimony to that fact. Notice what it says:

Isaiah 65

24And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

How many times have you, as a Christian, felt the sense of a very definite need in your life, but before you had a chance to pray about it or ask anyone else to pray about it, that need was met, and you gave a testimony saying, “That is just like the Bible says.” Perhaps even while you were praying about something, you had the answer. You see, it is true. It is all right to make an application of this verse of Scripture in the manner in which I have described, but keep in mind what I have suggested to you often, that every passage of Scripture has one interpretation and as many applications as is consistent with the rest of the Word of God.

The interpretation of this Scripture is related to the reign of righteousness. You see, the Lord Jesus Christ will be dwelling upon the earth in this day and in the midst of it, He will anticipate our needs. We won't even find it necessary to ask Him for anything. Everything will be provided.

The Lord Jesus Christ, one day while He was here, said, “In that day, you shall ask Me nothing.” A lot of folk, not understanding what He meant, said, “We can't even pray.” What He was talking about was this day. You won't need to ask Him. He will know, and your needs will be met.

As you glance at verse 25, you will notice that certain, natural changes are going to be made. The wolf and the lamb are going to feed together. That couldn't happen in this day. The lion shall eat straw like the bullock. A lion doesn't want straw today. He wants strong meat, because that is part of his nature.

Notice the last part of verse 25:

Isaiah 65

25…They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

You have learned already that the words holy mountain , used in the sense in which they are here, refer to all of the territory covered by God's rule and reign. It is not referring to one little piled up piece of dirt that you might call a mountain, but the whole area of God's reign. He is saying, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.”

If you are observant, you probably noticed a statement in the middle of verse 25 that you are wondering about. It says:

Isaiah 65

25…and [a better word would be dust ] dust shall be the serpent's meat…

Did you notice that? This is the only curse upon animal creation that is not lifted during this reign of righteousness. Back in the book of Genesis, in chapter 3, after sin entered the world and God found it necessary to pronounce a curse upon the earth and its inhabitants, He said to the serpent, “Because you have been the instrument in the hands of the Devil for bringing sin into the world, you will crawl upon your belly in the dust of the earth for the rest of your life.”

Every other curse is lifted but this one and here, in the midst of a description related to the Millennium, you will find the serpent still biting the dust. God did not lift the curse.

A Reminder of What God Expects

Glance with me at chapter 66. Let me suggest that as you glance at verses 1-4, you use the word reminder as an indication of what you are going to find there, because we are going to find a reminder of what God expects. We have been talking about how wonderful things are going to be when He lifts the curse, but we are reminded that He does expect something. We read in verse 1:

Isaiah 66

1Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
2For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

If I were going to paraphrase these two verses into one simple statement, I would say, “You cannot localize God.” Will you remember that? You cannot localize God. God said, “There isn't a building, no matter how big and how wonderful it is, that can contain Me. There isn't a building made with hands which I will dwell in exclusively. If you are thinking about building an ediface that God will honor with His presence, you are wasting your time. I won't do it.” But, He said, “I will tell you what I will do. I will come close to the man who is of a contrite spirit, the man who is humble and who trembleth at My Word.”

A better word for the word tremble is the word reverence , for God doesn't want you to be hiding in the dark all time as though you were afraid that He was going to do something awful to you. He does want you to respect Him. He does want you to reverence Him, and He reminds you in this passage of Scripture that more important to Him than the building in which you worship is the condition of the heart from which you worship. Will you remember that? You can have a much better time in a nondescript building with a yielded heart than you can have in a perfectly designed building with an unyielded heart.

In verse 3, He reminds again of something that has already been suggested in our discussion. He cannot and He will not abide hypocrisy, for He says:

Isaiah 66

3He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.

Keep in mind that an ox and a lamb are all animals that God had ordained for sacrifice. Swine were not acceptable. God said, “If your heart is not right when you bring your sacrifice, it means absolutely nothing. Even though you bring an ox, you might as well murder a man as far as I'm concerned.”

Oh, He did not mean that a man was of no more value than an ox; He simply meant that it is a sacrifice. It is murder to sacrifice an ox when your heart is not right, and if you bring a lamb and your heart is not right when you bring the lamb, then you might as well offer a dog. It will avail you just as much.

Then in verse 4, He says:

Isaiah 66

4I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

He is reminding them that everything which they have endured from which they did seek deliverance was brought upon them by their own actions, because they had broken the law of God and there was nothing left but for God to bring recompense, as He expresses it, unto their bosom.

His Reassurance

Now notice another rainbow of hope as you did in the previous chapter. If you want a word by which you might characterize this paragraph which begins with verse 5 and goes on through verse 20, you might use the word reassurance . He is reassuring these people to whom He has spoken so harshly, and He says:

Isaiah 66

5Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

Of course, what is meant by that verse simply is that some people, as the Lord Jesus Christ said, would persecute these people and think that they were doing God a service in doing it. You do not need my comment on all the bigotry and persecution which has existed down through the ages in the name of religion and in the name of Christianity, but God said, “There will come a time when these people—bigoted, persecuting, unfeeling individuals—will be ashamed, and you will recognize My blessing upon you.”

In verse 6, there begins a discussion that is going to illustrate a marvelous truth. Notice the figures of speech:

Isaiah 66

6A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies [excitement, excitement, excitement. Something big is going to happen] .
7Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.

Here, the figure of speech changes. He is saying, “Have you ever heard of a woman giving birth to a child without travail? Have you ever heard of a woman giving birth to a child without labor pains? O course you have never heard of anything like that.” Then, in verse 8:

Isaiah 66

8Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? [what is true in the natural realm of birth is true in the manner in which God is dealing with the earth and with His people. So you read in the latter part of the verse] Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

Here He has pinpointed the subject. He said, “The earth doesn't bring forth her seed in one day. The seed is planted. The seed germinates. It takes time for the plant to grow. Likewise, a nation is not born in one day.” Then He becomes very specific for He says, “Zion brings forth her children only after travail.”

Zion , of course, is the name for Jerusalem. Zion is the name for the nation of Israel. He is saying, “Israel will be born a new nation after all of the persecution and suffering she has endured down through the centuries.”

As I have suggested to you a number of times, we are a fortunate people. We are living in a fortunate generation, for we are seeing these things transpire before our eyes. We are seeing a nation being born in a day. No, I would not be so bold as to suggest that that nation has reached its maturity. I would say to you that God is keeping His promise. In verse 9, we read:

Isaiah 66

9Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

This is the poet's way of saying, “Don't worry. I will finish what I have begun. What you see transpiring before your eyes is only the beginning. The end will be by and by.” Then in verse 10, He rivits our attention to the city by saying:

Isaiah 66

10Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: [if you love Jerusalem, rejoice for good things are going to happen. If you have been mourning about the sad condition in which she is, rejoice, because those sad conditions are not going to continue]
11That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.

That is just another way of saying that all of the hunger of Israelites down through the centuries for a homeland and for a city and for a nation will be satisfied. In verse 12, you are reminded that though there is war and unrest at the present, God said:

Isaiah 66

12…Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.
13As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
14And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.

Then He goes on to describe in words that we have noticed in other portions of the Scripture how when God returns, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, to defend His people, He will take vengeance upon all those who obey not God and follow not His Word. In verse 19, He said:

Isaiah 66

19And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, [Put] and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

Here is a verse that suggests what is suggested in other portions of the Word of God—that the Jewish nation will become evangelists of the entire world. They will begin with the immediate territory around them and go to the farthest corners of the world with the message of the Gospel of God. This is taught in Revelation, chapter 7. It is the fulfillment, ultimately, of what you find in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24. It is a fulfillment, in part, of what you find in Acts, chapter 2, where the commission was given, “You shall be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the uttermost parts of the earth.” That commission has not been fulfilled, and it will not be fulfilled until these people take up the banner and carry the message.

In verse 20, it is explained how all of the Israelites from the four corners of the world shall come back home, for we read there:

Isaiah 66

20And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.

That is, from all over the world the nation of Israel will be brought, aided, encouraged, in their pilgramage to their sacred city.

Levitical Practices Re-established

In the last paragraph, we have an interesting thing presented to us which is almost unbelievable. In this reign of righteousness, practices that were practiced during the Levitical economy will be re-established. Notice what it says:

Isaiah 66

21And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD.
22For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
23And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

Jerusalem will be made the center of all religious worship when this state is set and this time is fulfilled.

To Those Who Receive Not the Savior

There is one last reference to rebellious people, one last reference to those who obey not the truth. Look at it in verse 24:

Isaiah 66

24And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

This verse of Scripture says that during this reign of righteousness, men will be eternally reminded of the price of disobedience. It was from this verse of Scripture that the Lord Jesus Christ quoted when He was here on this earth to remind men that there is a place of eternal torment for those who receive not the Savior. There is a place of eternal torment for those who are not willing to let someone else stand in his place. Of course, we know from the whole teaching of the Word of God that that person Who is willing to stand in our place, if we will let Him, is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Accept Christ and Live

Perchance you would like to stand before God on your own merit, and if you would like to, you may, but I don't want to. I am afraid that if I had to stand before God on my own merit I could not be accepted. I stand here not on my own merit, but on the merit of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, remembering that it was He Who died for me. Through His death, I live.

I trust that you all have that testimony. You may by simply receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior.

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Abilene Bible Church
Dr. Daiqing Yuan Tim Temple Dr. Joe Temple
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