The Glory of the Lord

Isaiah 60: 1-3.

 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

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.

And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Related image

The Light of Israel in the Millennium and New Earth period will be the glory of God. The same will be true for the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Rev. 21:23).

Darkness will literally cover the earth just before the appearance of the the glory of God at the 2nd advent of Christ, making the glory appear more glorious as it expels the darkness which will come by the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars (13:10; Joel 3:15; Matt. 24:29, Acts 2:20). We must not understand darkness  as being spiritual, but literal where it is clear, as in these passages. Surely there will be spiritual darkness as Antichrist throws his power over the earth, but there will also be a literal darkness, unexplainable to the human mind. Perhaps some will say it is global warming 🙂

“His glory” in v. 2 is the same as the light in v. 1.

So great and so beautiful will be the light in Israel that it will attract the Gentiles from all nations, including the rulers of the Gentile nations.

The earth will have gone through the horrors of the Tribulation period. Hundreds of thousands will have died for their faith. The darkness will seem all-consuming, and impenetrable. And then——the glory of God will burst upon Israel and Jerusalem, and people from all around the world will be drawn to the Light.

What an exciting time that will be!

The Cup of God’s Fury

Isaiah 51:17-18.

17 Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of His fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.

18 There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.

Image result for Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem

Jerusalem will have undergone the worst destruction ever, but still, even though it seems she will never recover, God has His hand on His people. Jerusalem, standing now for all of Israel, will have drunk the cup of God’s fury down to the dregs, and there seems no one is left to guide her, rescue her, or restore her to health.

This is a prophecy that follows the Great Tribulation, when Antichrist does all in his power to destroy the people of God, Jew and Gentile alike.  The devastation around the world is terrible when Antichrist’s evil is  unleashed.

It seems that with every President we have in America, someone wants to point to him as being the Antichrist.  We need to stop that.  We have no idea who that man is, nor when he will appear. Some believe he will be a Jew; others, that he will be accepted  by the Jews as a great political leader.   Either way, we do not know who he is; we only know that the evil he performs will make Hitler look like a nice guy.

The upheaval of our times has a lot of people declaring that it can’t be much longer before Jesus returns to earth, but I will tell you that it is foolish to make predictions. The Bible says that no man will know the day or the hour. Our job is to be busy reaching the lost for Jesus Christ.  The rest is in the hands of God.

God Will Prevail

Isaiah 49: 24-26.

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.

Image result for Isaiah 49:24-26

Was there a “lawful captive”?  Looking into the near future for Israel when this question was asked, there were those who would be taken into captivity by Cyrus, under God’s direction. But, looking into the far future, the captives of the Antichrist were among those marked by Antichrist for the complete extermination of the Jews. The Lord will snatch these captives of Antichrist from his hands, those whom Satan will instigate to endeavour to exterminate the Jews.

The assurance is given that the Lord Himself will contend with those that contend with His people.  The passage again points to the time of Armageddon and the Second Advent. With the statement “I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh: and they shall be drunken with their own blood” (Rev. 14:20). All the world will discover and recognize that Jehovah is Israel’s Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

All the efforts of the combined nations to establish “peace and safety” in the earth, however sincere the motive, however good the intention may be, are foredoomed to failure. The world’s last great conflict, in which the Jewish question will be uppermost, will see the fulfilment of the Scriptures which make known that righteousness can be established in the earth only by the Personal Advent of Christ in judgment upon the foes of God and in the deliverance of His people.

 

 

Confusion and Desolation

(I took a week off from Isaiah while we vacationed last week.  Back home now, ready to dig in again, so here we go!)

Isaiah 34:9-10. “And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day: the smoke thereof shall go up for ever; from generation to generation it shall be waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.”

Image result for Isaiah 34:9-10

One commentator I read says these verses are metaphoric.  They are not. There is nothing in the text to tell us that God is speaking in metaphors here.  This is going to be a terrible time for Israel’s enemies. If you look at the tiny print along the bottom of this graphic, you’ll see other scripture references that bear out this prophecy in Isaiah.

Edom is singled out for particular punishment for its close association with Antichrist in his efforts to destroy Israel.  It is very clear that those who stand against Israel, against God Himself, will come to a terrible end.

 

Antichrist Judged

Isaiah 33: 10-12. ” Now will I rise, saith the Lord: now will I be exalted: now will I life up Myself. Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble; your breath, as fire, shall devour you. And the people shall be as the burning of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.”

Related image

The time will come when God has had enough of the arrogance and rebellion of Antichrist and his followers. When He rises and takes His proper position of authority, Antichrist and his armies will be like chaff that blows away in the wind when grain is threshed. They will be devoured by their own breath, burned like thorns that have been gathered when fields are cleared for plowing.

Antichrist will have no power to withstand the  power of the Lord God of Israel, the Holy One of Israel, the Lord God of Hosts.

We too often forget Who He is. Sovereign, holy, omnipotent God. No one has more authority than He; no one can stand against Him when He unleashes his judgment on them for their rebellion against Him.

Antichrist Overstepping

Isaiah 33:7-9. “Behold, their valiant  ones shall cry without; the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.  The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man. The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.”

Related image

There will be no point at all in trying to make peace with Antichrist once he sets out to destroy Israel. He will have spent three and a half years lulling Israel into a sense of safety and trust, and then he will turn on them so ferociously that the earth itself will mourn and languish under his assault.

Antichrist will enter Jerusalem to make it his capital, and anyone who stands in his way will suffer for it. He will establish a reign of terror such as no one has ever seen before, or will see again. All efforts at appeasement will be spurned, for his only aim is the final and total annihilation of Israel.

This is the Time of Jacob’s Trouble;  but judgment is coming for Antichrist and his armies.

Antichrist’s Successes

Isaiah 33:3-4. “At the noise of the tumult the people fled: at the lifting up of  thyself the nations were scattered. And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar; as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them.”

Image result for At the noise of the tumult the people fled

If you will read Daniel 7:23-24;8:20-25;and 11:40-45, you will see a more detailed description of today’s passage. For a time, it will seem as if nothing can stop Antichrist as he devours the land. The sound of his armies  will be so terrifying that people will run to hide from his devastation.

In spite of his overwhelming strength, though, Antichrist will not stand against God. His armies will be defeated, and much spoil will be gathered from them (Zech 14:1-4).

The Spoiler

Isaiah 33:1. “Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled: and dealest treacherously, and they  dealt not treacherously with thee: when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make and end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.”

Image result for Isaiah 33:1

I am reminded of Galatians 6:7. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Commentators usually associate this spoiler with the king of Assyria, who was paid to help Judah, and who then turned on the kingdom to destroy the Jews; but the passage more particularly refers to  the future Assyrian, the Antichrist (14:25; 30:31; 31:8; Micah 5:5-6). He will make a 7-year covenant with the Jews, then break it in the middle of the 7 years and become the  greatest  spoiler of Israel in history or prophecy (Dan.9:27; Matt. 24:15-22). He  will deal treacherously with the Jews, and then, when it is time for him to cease, he will be dealt with likewise, and will be destroyed (v.1).

We cannot hope to rebel against God and escape the consequences.

The Assyrian Defeated

Isaiah 31:8-9. “Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, Whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem.”

Image result for defeat of Antichrist

I don’t believe there are any images that can truly depict the evil of this creature. He will deceive the whole world for a time, but his true evil will become apparent especially in the second half of the Tribulation. He will be defeated when he comes face to face with Jesus Christ.  Here are the salient points in this passage:

  1.  “The Assyrian” is another name, or reference, to Antichrist
  2.   He will try to escape because of his fear of Jesus Christ.
  3.   He will not escape the brightness of Christ’s glory.  Dan. 7:11; 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:20.
  4. His princes, or young men, are the ten kings who will rule the ten kingdoms of his empire–Dan. 7:7-8, 23,24; Rev.17:8-17.
  5. The ensign of Christ in verse 9 is the banner under which He will destroy Antichrist and his armies
  6.   The fire refers to the perpetual flame on the altar of the Millennial temple that Christ will build and use as His capital building–Ezek. 43:7; Zech. 6:12-13.

Antichrist Judged

Isaiah 30: 30-33. “And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of His arm, with the indignation of His anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod. And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it. For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; He hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.”

Image result for Isaiah 30:30-33 judgment of Antichrist

The Assyrian is another title for Antichrist. What we’re seeing in this passage is Armageddon and the final, complete destruction of Antichrist, which will be accomplished by the glorious voice of God Himself. His voice alone will put a final end to Antichrist. That’s something to think about!

Antichrist’s doom has been set from the very beginning.  He knows it, and he is powerless to prevent it. His goal is to take as many souls as possible with him .

His judgement will include the power of God’s mighty arm; the indignation of His anger; the flame of a devouring fire, with turbulence and tempest, and a mighty hailstorm.  Every place in which Antichrist has placed his rod of power will experience release and relief from his rule, and there will be the music of rejoicing when he is destroyed.

Tophet has a history near Jerusalem.  The word itself means “that which  causes loathing, abhorrence, and vomiting.” Just as Tophet was to be a place of great destruction and a burial ground for multitudes in the ruin of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 7:31-32), so it was appointed by the Lord in this prophecy to be a place of slaughter when Jerusalem will be surrounded by the armies of the Antichrist. It is a deep valley on the southeast of Jerusalem, celebrated as the place of idolatry and worship of Moloch. Here a large brazen image with hollow trunk and arms was heated: and children were offered as sacrifices to it. To drown their cries as they were being put into this red hot idol, drums were beaten, which were call Toph or Tophim; and so the name Tophet was given to this part of the valley-the valley of the son of Hinnon (2 Kings 16:3; 21:6; 23:10). Fires were kept going in this place to burn the refuse of the city and to purify the atmosphere and prevent contagion. Because of this it became a symbol of eternal hell, among the Jews ; therefore, the name Gehenna was coined to denote the place of eternal torment.