Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? ( Isaiah 66:1 )
They"re going to build a new temple, but God says, "Hey, don"t need it." And this is that temple that will probably be built at the covenant of the antichrist. Thus saith the Lord, "The heaven is My throne, the earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build for Me? Where is the place of My rest?"
For 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, who trembles at my word ( Isaiah 66:2 ).
God says, "I don"t need a house. I don"t need a fancy building to live in. The heaven is My throne. The earth is My footstool. What are you giving to Me? It"s all Mine; I made it anyhow." That"s what makes it hard to give anything to God. I"m not giving to God. I"m giving only that which is His, so why should I make a big deal? Here, God, I"m going to give You what is Yours, what belongs to You. You made it all to begin with. And now the sacrifices that they will institute in this period before the Lord returns are unacceptable completely to God.
He that kills an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrifices a lamb, as if he cut off a dog"s neck; he that offers an oblation, as if he offered swine"s blood; he that burns incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions ( Isaiah 66:3-4 ),
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. Jesus said, "I came in My Father"s name, you didn"t receive Me. Another one"s going to come in his own name, him you will receive" ( John 5:43 ). And he"ll make a covenant with the nation Israel and they will rebuild their temple and they will start their sacrifices. But God says it"s in unbelief as far as Christ is concerned and He"ll have nothing to do with it.
Hear 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 ( Isaiah 66:5 ).
Paul when he was persecuting the church thought that he was doing the Lord a service. He was doing it in the name of God. God said, "For those that had been cast out tremble at His Word. Your brothers that hated you, saying, "Let the Lord be glorified," but he shall appear for your joy, they shall be ashamed."
A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompense to his enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? 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. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? ( Isaiah 66:6-9 )
In other words, God says, "I brought it this far and will I not complete it?" It"s inconsistent to think that God is going to stop the whole prophetic plan and picture at this point. He"s brought us right up to the birth of the Kingdom Age. Surely He will bring it forth.
Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: That 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. For thus saith the LORD, 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. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when you shall see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like the vegetables: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation towards his enemies. 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. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many ( Isaiah 66:10-16 ).
Now I"ve heard of people being slain in the Spirit and here we find them. Finally found the scriptural reference, that"s great. I"m glad we found it.
They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine"s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, will be consumed together, saith the LORD. For I know their works ( Isaiah 66:17-18 )
God"s speaking again of the day of vengeance and judgment that is going to come. People will be judged for their abominations. "For I know their works,"
and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles [or the coasts that are] afar off, that have not seen or heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. And 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. And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, [they will be eternal] saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And 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 ( Isaiah 66:18-23 ).
So that glorious day of the future when all the universe again is in harmony with God. But those that have rebelled and chosen to rebel against God have another destiny.
I think that we have to be extremely careful that we do not modify God"s Word. Just because it doesn"t agree with our own sense of fairness or justice or righteousness or whatever, we try to make God"s Word read something other than it actually does.
There has been a lot of ridicule against the idea of eternal punishment and damnation for the unrighteous. And because of the ridicule, many pastors are hesitant to talk about hell or the judgment of God or the wrath of God, the indignation of His wrath or the eternal punishment of the damned. And yet if God speaks of it, then we are derelict as His ministers if we do not also speak of it. And because the Bible teaches it, I must also warn a person of it. Now I would rather preach10,000 sermons on heaven than one sermon on hell. I don"t like to talk about hell. I don"t like to preach about hell. I would rather preach a thousand sermons on the love of God and never preach on the wrath of God. I don"t like to preach about the wrath of God. I love to preach about the love of God. I would much rather preach on the grace of God, the goodness of God, the blessings of God. I enjoy these subjects. I do not enjoy the wrath of God, the vengeance of God, the judgments of God against the wicked. And yet, because God speaks of them and I am a spokesman for God, I must also speak of them. And that"s the advantage of going straight through the scriptures; I can"t jump them and I can"t jump the last verse of Isaiah, though I would like to. I would like to quit the lesson right there. Say, "It"s going to be glorious. The whole world is going to come and worship before the Lord. Glory, glory."
And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses 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 ( Isaiah 66:24 ).
Jesus, using the same phraseology of Isaiah in warning against the coming judgment, said, "Don"t fear him who can kill your body, but after that doesn"t have any power over you. But rather fear Him, who after the body is destroyed is able to cast both your soul and spirit into Gehenna" ( Luke 12:4-5 ). "Where the worm dieth not, neither is the fire quenched" ( Mark 9:44 ). "Yea, I say unto you, Fear ye Him" ( Luke 12:5 ).
Now the phrases that the Lord uses for those that are in this place of Gehenna, a place of torment, the final disposition of the unrighteous dead. Hades is not the final place of the unrighteous dead. Hades is going to give up their dead before the great white throne judgment of God. Death and Hades are going to deliver up the dead. So hell is going to be empty. But whosoever"s name is not found written in the book of life will be cast in the lake of fire. This is the second death into Gehenna. And there is a vast difference between Gehenna and Hades in the New Testament. Gehenna is a place, the eternal abode of the damned.
Now Jesus, when He returns and gathers the nations together for judgment, as He places those on His left as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, to those on His left He says, "Depart from Me, you cursed, you workers of iniquity. For I was hungry; you didn"t feed Me. Thirsty; you didn"t give Me to drink. Naked; you didn"t clothe Me. In prison; you didn"t visit Me." "Lord, when did we see You hungry, naked, and ignored You?" "Inasmuch as you did it not unto the least of these My brethren you didn"t do it to Me. Depart from Me into Gehenna which was prepared for Satan and his angels" ( Matthew 25:41-45 ). Wasn"t prepared for people. It was prepared for Satan who had rebelled against God and those angels that have rebelled with him. But those who choose to align with Satan"s rebellion shall also find their part with him in the lake which burns with fire. And as we are warned in Revelation chapter14, "The smoke of their torment ascends from the ages throughout the ages" ( Revelation 14:11 ).
I dare not modify that. I must just leave it stand as it is declared. I dare not try to lessen the impact of it. There is to be the judgment of God against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness. And God will judge and it is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of a living God. You say, "But that isn"t fair. I don"t see... " I can"t help what we might think. I can only tell you what the scriptures says is. And I can"t modify it. We must leave it there. For God said, "If any man would take away from the words of this prophecy," and God warned about these things in Revelation very heavily, He said, "his name will be taken out of the book of life" ( Revelation 22:19 ). And thus I don"t and can"t modify or take away from the impact that there is God"s wrath and judgment that is going to come against the ungodly and it is eternal. That is why it is so important that we walk with Jesus Christ. That we live for Jesus Christ. That we submit our lives to Him and we"re a part of God"s eternal kingdom.
So I don"t dwell in that other side, because I don"t plan to be around. I dwell where I plan to be. "For where a man"s treasure is, there will his heart be also" ( Matthew 6:21 ). My heart"s with the Lord and in the heavenly things, and that"s where I like to dwell. But I would be negligent and derelict in my duties as a representative of God if I didn"t bring out to you that the other side does exist. The scriptures speak about it and you can"t take it away.
Father, we thank You for the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. In the hope of our calling. And we thank You for these glorious things that we have read here in Isaiah of the coming age when the Lord shall reign. And we shall dwell with Him in righteousness upon the renewed earth. And Lord, we pray, even so, come quickly. Establish Thy righteous kingdom, O Lord, that we might share with Thee in the glory that You had with the Father before the worlds ever existed. Bless, Lord, Your people. Bless Thy Word to our hearts. May we be nourished and strengthened in our spiritual walk through Thy Word. In Jesus" name we pray. Amen.
May the Lord be with you and bless you, give you a beautiful day tomorrow. And may He keep you in His love and in His grace. We look forward to our gathering together again on many occasions this week as we learn more about God"s glorious work in the past and His marvelous plans for our future. And so God keep you in the love of Jesus Christ and strengthen you by His Spirit in your inner man. And may He help you to begin to comprehend what is the length, the breadth, the depth, the height of His love and begin to understand more and more the things that He has prepared for those who love Him and wait on Him. May God cause His grace to abound towards you through Jesus Christ our Lord. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 66". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany