The Gathering: Isaiah Series/ Study 16: Isaiah 63-64 by Pastor Barry Bruce
Mighty To Save Isaiah 63:1-6, Revelation19:11-21
What is the context of this violent paragraph by Isaiah? In the preceding chapter (Isaiah 62) describes the fact that Israel will shine with God’s millennial glory (1000 years of Christ’s earthly reign). The question might well be asked, “How can the triumph of Israel come about when it is beset by surrounding enemies?” The Biblical answer is that Yahweh (God) Himself will defeat Israel’s enemies! That is what is happening in Isaiah 63:1-6 and it isn’t pretty.
The prophet actually sees Jesus as a mighty warrior coming towards Jerusalem from Edom and Bozrah (Mount Seir: between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqabah near Petra) in the aftermath of the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16) where the Antichrist will assemble all the armies of the world to wipe out God’s people. In Revelation 19:14 John tells us that the armies of Heaven will join Him, but according to Isaiah that army doesn’t do anything but watch in raiment’s “white and clean”. Jesus tramples the enemies in His anger alone. He alone proclaims victory and is “mighty to save”. Isaiah 63:5 says: “I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm achieved salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.” According to John’s vision in Revelation a sharp sword comes from the mouth of Jesus and strikes down the nations assembled for war. (likely this is a metaphor for a yell or command that slays the multitudes at once. We know that God simply spoke and set creation into motion [Genesis 1:3], how much more can the word from His mouth bring forth a slaughter?) John also saw Jesus’ eyes like a blazing fire. Fire in scripture always illustrates judgment. Isaiah says he “trampled them down in his wrath.”
Whatever the case may be, Armageddon is a bloody mess that spatters the garments of Jesus and leaves them stained. Revelation 14:20 says that the nations were trampled in the winepress outside the city (Jerusalem), and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridals for a distance of 1,600 stadia (180 miles). The slaughter is likened to a wine press which would crush grapes to make wine. There are about six quarts of blood in an adult body. Numerous God hating people will be crushed in the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Jesus came the first time as a LAMB (Revelation 5:12) to shed his blood as our sacrifice. He will come the second time as a LION (Revelation 5:5) to crush and devour those that dare war against Him and His people. No one could help Him with His first mission. He alone became the perfect blood sacrifice to redeem a sinful race. No one will help Him in His second mission either. He alone will vanquish His enemies. And so God said:
It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” Deuteronomy 32:35
He alone is “mighty to save”. He is our King of kings and Lord of lords and He has called us His Bride (Beulah) and His delight (Hephzibah: See previous lesson). It is He who fights for us! Jesus promises that He is coming and He will give to each person according to what they have done (Revelation 22:12). We simply make Him our King and He delivers us from this evil and wages war in our defense. Have you made Jesus Lord?
The Kindness of the Lord to those who fear Him Isaiah 63:7-16
We can not only see the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world and ignore the Lion that will come in judgment. He is a jealous God with our best interest in mind. There are consequences when we draw close to God and consequences when we rebel.
To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom… Proverbs 9:10
Isaiah 63:7-19 tells the story of Israel’s choices and the consequences that followed. Yes my friends, be afraid…be very, very afraid of what can happen to you should you rebel against the one true God.
“Come Down!” Isaiah 64:1-4, 8,12, Revelation 22: 12-13, 16-17, 20-21
On that tragic day of September 11, 2001— I wonder how many cried out to the Lord before those planes went down or before those buildings collapsed. How many cried out in such a way as Isaiah did in 64:1? “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains would tremble before you!”
The promise unfolds in verse 4 to any who call upon His name:
“there is no God besides you who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him”.
Of course there were many Christians who cried out like that to God and yet perished at the hands of evil doers that day. Terrible things can and do happen to God’s people, but there is a promise for those who make Jesus Lord:
“We are the clay, He is the potter…we are the work of His hand.”
He will come down! The potter will remold the clay. He will not hold Himself back. He will not keep silent and punish us beyond measure. He is coming soon and His reward is with Him…! He has the last word…He is the beginning and the end. His bride says “come” and He is coming soon. He alone is mighty to save. And it is a fearful thing to fall into his hands!
For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:30-31