Sunday, September 27, 2015
By James Fire
It has been said so very many times, that “It's always darkest before the dawn.” Today, we see the landscape of mankind, and witness to the darkening of this age, as more and more people are rejecting the Word of Truth and Light. Thus, a new Dark Ages is upon us . . . people are accepting a more palatable, shadowy lie in the guise of New Age and Emergent 'enlightenment'; preferring to see themselves as gods, rather than humbling their souls before the true and living God Who is soon to return. These are they who think of the Gospel as a social help source empowered by people rather than a declaration of redemption through the blood of Christ.
On that blessed day of Christ's Return, there will be a dawn of true salvation – the beast and false prophet that were ruling tyrannically over the nations will be dispatched to the darkness of Gehenna as the LORD establishes His kingdom from Jerusalem over Israel and all the world, bringing in an era of blessed peace and righteousness.
We yearn for this long night to be over with, and to behold the dawn – and the time is assuredly coming, but only after the darkness of rebellion has had its day; or more appropriately, its night.
Let us be encouraged and meditate on these numerous verses that describe this blessed time yet ahead, and rejoice in the Word of Truth! We left off in the book of Isaiah, covering about two thirds of the book. We continue now in ISAIAH 49:
ISAIAH 49:1-16, 22-26
Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
3 And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
Looking at these verses in hindsight, knowing what has transpired during the Gospel era, we can easily identify Who is being spoken of. The LORD God, the Father has called Jesus from the womb (of His faithful servant, Mary) and has made His mouth as a sharp sword (REV. 1:16; 2:16; 19:15). Jesus, being a Jew, is the epitome of all that God desired Israel to be, and as the representative of His people, the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (the superior priesthood over the Levitical), is Himself the 'Israel' Who is the King. Often in the Hebrew, the word for 'King' is interposed for 'Kingdom' (melek) so that the one is identified with the other.
4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.
5 And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.
6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
The LORD's mission when He came to Earth was to bring Israel back to the LORD God; He has accomplished this in part (as a remnant of Israel has always been present throughout the ages) today, just as in the early church, Jews who have received salvation in Jesus and are part of the church, the bride of Christ. Yet before the fullness of Israel comes in, where they shall repent nationally and receive their Messiah (See ISAIAH 63:1-3; ZECH. 13:6; where they failed to do so the first time), the Gentiles have their chance.
The LORD indeed has been given to us non-Jews, as the Light of Salvation and the glory of the LORD has been revealed to us! Such is our relationship with the LORD Jesus that we are in a very legitimate sense, provoking Israel “to jealousy” (ROM. 10:19; 11:11). Paul attributed this verse (vs. 6) to himself and he has certainly been called as the apostle to the Gentiles (GAL. 2:7; as Peter was to the Jews) and through him, the Spirit of the LORD operated to draw many Gentiles to salvation!
7 Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
We understand that when the LORD returns, He will be known universally as KING of Kings and LORD of Lords (REV. 19:16). Earthly kings and princes who disdained the Man from Galilee at His First Advent will, along with the rest of the world, bow and pay homage to Him at His Second Advent, to the glory of GOD the Father (PSALMS 68:29; 138:4; ROM. 14:11; PHIL. 2:9-11). If our present world rulers had any wisdom, they would bow their hearts in humility before the LORD God even today, and thus maintain an awareness of their accountability as to how they rule their people. Were they to do so, there would be far, far less oppression and injustice!
Yet these offenses along with all the rest in this “wicked and perverse and crooked generation” (PHIL. 2:15) are soon to come to a blessed end!
8 Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
This “day” is not a 24 hour span of time, but a designation signifying a time period that may last as much as “an age”. This day is the time in which the church of Jesus Christ is present on the Earth, when those who come to the LORD and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit are baptized into “the body of Christ” (ROM. 6:3; GAL. 3:27; EPH. 5:23; COL. 1:18), and become “the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 COR. 6:19; 2 COR. 6:16). No other group of saints are referred to in these terms; they are exclusive to the church and to what many refer to as “the church age”. This is the time period in which lost souls may come and enter into the salvation of the LORD and be baptized into the body of believes via the Spirit of grace.
Once the church is raptured from the world, the church age will be ended; but by no means does this indicate that the opportunity for salvation among the Gentiles will be forfeit, as there will be a “multitude beyond number” that will come out of the seven year period of Tribulation as saved saints, washed clean of their sins by the blood of the Lamb, but these will not be among the numbers that are counted as “the bride of the LAMB” (REV. 21:9). Still, these saints will be accounted great honor for their sufferings and martyrdom for Christ's sake that they will have endured under the wrath of Satan and his anti-Christ.
This covenant of salvation which was granted by God's grace to the nation of Israel was primarily rejected by “the nation” (see vs. 7 above) but the LORD has not abrogated it in the least! Just as He has preserved the nation, He has given the LORD Jesus “for a covenant of the people” the Jewish nation! This also is of course the final 'hours' of this Day of Salvation! The visible manifestation of this blessed inauguration will commence when the LORD returns and establishes His reign.
The Day of Judgment however will not linger long, and once it arrives, any opportunity will be lost to receive salvation; the same may be said of any of us who expire today – or tomorrow, without salvation in Christ (HEB. 9:27).
9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.
13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
On the Day that the LORD begins His holy reign over all the Earth, there will no longer be slavery or imprisonment, or oppression or injustice. He will rule with a rod of iron however and judgment upon rebellion (those who refuse to worship the LORD) will be swift and without recourse.
There will be no hunger or want; there will be no harshness in weather (anything from scorching deserts to frigid wastelands, to destructive storms and earthquakes will be conspicuously absent during the Millennial period. The LORD will see to it that paths are made and highways exalted so that people will have an easy pilgrimage to Jerusalem every year to worship the King (ZECH. 14:16-19).
The people of Earth will come from far and wide, unto Zion, and Jerusalem in order to pay homage worthily to the LORD Jesus Christ (ISAIAH 2:1-3)! There is mention of “the land of Sinim” in this passage above which indicates the people of China.
14 But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
It's truly amazing to me that there are those who insist that God is finished with Israel, even when they are confronted with Scriptures like these above. It's written plainly that even if Israel might believe that the LORD has forsaken and forgotten her, that He never has – and He never will! He even declares that He has graven her upon “the palms of [His] hands”.
Throughout all Scripture we read verses like these that declare the LORD's faithfulness to Israel, despite her continued and persistent unfaithfulness to God! He will honor the covenants of Abraham and David: the All knowing and All seeing God of Israel understands that while the Jewish people have forsaken Him, He will see to it that His promises are fulfilled!
22 Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
25 But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
For so long in our history the Jewish people have been despised, persecuted, enslaved and led into cruel bondage by various Gentile (even Semite) peoples. These verses above reveal that the day is coming when Israel will be exalted, and Gentiles will serve them – even so, not by coercion or cruel means but from a heart of joy, for they shall recognize the people of God for who they are – the true children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who God swore that He would bless and keep in all of their ways! Those who will harden their hearts against such shall reap the just punishment for their rebellion.
Let us remind ourselves that in prophecy, events are not always written in chronological order; the preferential method of documentation here in the West (Occidental) is to record events in chronological, sequential order. The Eastern (Oriental) mentality is that those things that are more pertinent are written first typically. We see that in Scripture, revealing the character of many of the Bible's amanuenses.
Yet the eternal God who dwells outside of time, will often cite future events out of sequence in order to call attention to some preeminent point. The last few verses of this chapter paint a sorrowful picture of our LORD, beaten and abused – yet before this we read about His triumphant arrival to Earth at His Second Advent and greet His people who at that time will “know My Name”!
6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.
7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.
9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
In the book of ACTS we read about the ascension of Christ after His resurrection. As He is caught up into the clouds, His disciples watching, two angels came to them and declared:
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
According to these heavenly messengers, the LORD will return in exactly the same fashion as He left; in other words, it would be like filming His ascension and then playing it backwards. He will come down out of heaven, and His “beautiful feet” shall touch down upon the Mt. Of Olives – and He shall bring “good tidings” with Him, that is, the time of the Gentiles is over (LUKE 21:24) and the time of the Kingdom of Israel has come, in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.
For more on this, see the following video where I present the teaching: WHY ISRAEL MATTERS TO THE BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN
The next section of prophecy relating to the Millennial period goes from ISAIAH 60 all the way to ISAIAH 61:6. We shall focus on the 60th chapter to complete this article.
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.
Such a contrast between this gross darkness and the brilliance of God's holiness entering into this world of sin at the presence of the LORD Jesus Christ – indeed, this is the quintessential and most corrupt darkness that has ever or ever will reign over all the world, before the dawn of God's Dominion! He is the blessed hope of His saints, and the never ending assurance that He will fulfill His Word to those to whom such promises have been given! Never has the glory of the LORD been seen throughout all of the Earth, and yet this is what's in store for our world – and I for one long with such a deep, passionate longing for this time, when GOD will be visibly beheld in His insurmountable glory!
5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.
6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of theLord.
7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.
8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
Nations far and wide will bring such wealth of gifts for the KING, the LORD Jesus Christ, and bow down before Him in absolute reverence. It will be like a re-enactment of the Wise men at the birth of Jesus to the Nth degree! These will also be gathered to bring honor to the people of Israel as well.
I can remember in my Christian youth attending an outdoor Christian festival, where contemporary Christian music, along with various well known Bible teachers, speakers and pastors gathered together with the saints, numbering about 40,000 total. Every where I went, I heard Christian music playing from boom boxes, people carrying Bibles everywhere, voices raised with shouts of “Praise the LORD!” and “Hallelujah!” People I didn't even know came up to me with the light of God's joy in their faces and warmly embraced me. People who had problems were instantly surrounded by concerned family in Christ who offered prayer and counsel from the pages of Scripture.
I NEVER wanted to leave that place! It was such a blessing to be in the midst of God's people; no profane language was heard, no alcohol or tobacco, nothing that would offend saintly eyes or ears or mind. Yet this wondrous experience is nothing compared to what's in store for this entire globe!
10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.
11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.
12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
Note here that the LORD pronounces that any nation that will not serve Israel shall perish, utterly wasted. Again, there are those who are professed believers who deny Israel, and such promises that they shall one day reign as the ruling nation over all the Earth. Yet this is plainly spoken in Scripture, not just here, but throughout the Holy Bible (as we shall see!). Look at the following section:
13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee; The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15 Whereas thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.
18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
This is also written in the following passage:
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
The people of Israel will flourish under the LORD's care, and bring forth bountifully strong nations from a few of God's righteous people. They will become a remarkable and innumerable people, who at the end of the tribulation period will number only a third of the entire Jewish population at that time (ZECH. 13:8-9).
21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.
That which the LORD desired for His people, that they would walk in His ways (PS. 81:12-14), which was impossible due to the sin nature, will finally be realized as He writes His Law in their hearts, and places His Spirit within them (HEB. 8:10; EZEK. 11:19; 36:26). Then shall His “ . . . people also shall be all righteous . . .”
Needless to say, the time to come will be the most exciting, exhilarating, joyous and glorious time far beyond imagining! Yet this is the birth right of every saint, purchased by the blood of the LAMB, of the church, and of Israel in her coming days.
May we await the LORD and His coming to rapture His church away and bring us to our Father's House (JOHN 14:1-2) which will, for His children, commence this period of profound peace and rest!
We shall pick up in ISAIAH 61 when we continue our examination of this wondrous subject of The MILLENNIUM: REIGN Of The MESSIAH!
Posted by James J. Fire at 10:55 PM