ISAIAH’S END-TIME TIMELINE
Isaiah’s End-time Timeline Chapter 66
THE PRESUMPTUOUSNESS OF ISRAEL AND CHRISTENDOM
Luke 13:23-28, 1 Corinthians 3:12-13, 10:6, Matthew 5-7, 13:49-50
Keeping in mind a truth principle; that the Promised Land (Israel) is representative of the Kingdom of God. It is this that is always threatened to be lost, just as the Garden of Eden was before.
The first two verses speak to the indictment against ancient and present Israel. It also possibly speaks a warning to the future restored Millennial nation of Israel. As their history and the prophetic Word have made it clear, that the Jew, although being the chosen of God to be His mediators to the rest of the nations, fell into apostate hypocrisy. Believing their privilege was perpetual, rigidly practicing their religious beliefs in Temple and service, and believing that, in doing so, they garnished and maintained the favor of Almighty God.
In response to their works of iniquity, (religious works of the flesh) God continually responded by reminding them of the Covenant requirements and declarations through His holy prophets. God threatened them by chastisement and punishment, which is ultimately going to result in the loss of their (God’s) kingdom, of which we have had poignant example after example in Isaiah and other prophets. Seen in the clearest of descriptions and rebukes of their presumptuousness in their Temple service. “Thus saith the Lord, The earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made and all those things have been, saith the Lord.”
And then He speaks to how His Word/Torah, with the regenerated spirit of His Covenant children should prevail over the carnality of their fallen nature. “….but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” *Poor in spirit; this is the first or initial realization upon their having received regeneration, to have realized how very poor they were/are in the given light of God’s Torah. This state was/is foundational for every regenerated Jew. With this awakening, they can see that their own best efforts are totally unacceptable to God and they need to let God reign in their lives. This attitude being lost as they and their leadership get out of fellowship with God and leave the Torah/Word for practices of the world and the flesh. They have fallen from their poor and contrite spirit, seeking once again their own self-importance. And unless they hear, and tremble, and turn back to God, their enemies will overrun them and the Promised Land/Kingdom will be lost to them.
*Being “poor in spirit” is also the beginning state of the Believer in the New Covenant Atonement reality for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the temple of the heart. [Matthew 5:3]
As to the seriousness and repercussions of their continued defiance He warns: “He 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.” And now their frightful historical and present state is laid out for all to see the gravity of their choices. And that after being redeemed, after being “saved,” after entering into Covenant, that gravity is comprehended in the severity of God’s Words. “I 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.”
All of this answers again to the 64th chapter. After stating truthfully that they are His children and that they are saved, and acknowledging their sins as to the reason of their state, they yet ask, Why do you not “come down, make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations might tremble at thy presence!….Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our Holy and our beautiful temple, where our fathers praise thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste.” Leading to the 65th chapter’s declarations that, since they are a people “that provoketh to anger continually to my face”, God “will be found by a nation that has sought Him not.” We discover that Nation is the Nation of the New Man in Jesus Christ, out of which He will call out a holy people for His Name. One that answers to His Heart.
After which He will again turn His full attention to the end time Jew, who will then be poor in spirit and trembleth at His Word. To take an elect unto Himself, that He might restore them as His mediators upon the earth in the Millennial Age, fulfilling His promises to their forefathers. All of this to which we look to Paul in Romans 9-11 for our clearer understanding.
The summary being; God, on the one hand, has shown in His Just anger temporarily towards the Jews; and on the other extended mercy to the Gentiles, to whom He has primarily turned to in bringing out a nation of people for His Name and Kingdom. A nation that the Jews will hate and sorely persecute. [Isaiah 66:5]
Isaiah 66:6 “A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to his enemies.” This speaks to the 11th chapter of Revelation in that single future DAY in the Temple of heavens; when the yet unfulfilled words of Isaiah are to be fully realized; those of verses 15-16 of Isaiah 66. (Along with 2 Thessalonians 1:7,8) “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 judge all with all flesh and the slain of the Lord shall be many.”
When this, His Word, is finally to be manifest and the events of Isaiah verses 7-21 will fully be brought to pass. “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” The echo of Daniel’s words literally will then be brought to pass. “And in the days of these (last) kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it brake in pieces…” The catastrophic event of Jesus Christ’s return is immediately followed by His Millennial Kingdom. “Behold there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto the son of man, and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a KINGDOM, THAT ALL THE PEOPLES, NATIONS, AND LANGUAGES SHOULD SERVE HIM.” [Daniel 7: 13]
This is the Kingdom of “the Christ”, (as declared 4 times in the Book of Revelation) in that Christ currently sits upon the Throne of His Father. But then He will uniquely sit upon His own Throne in that Millennial age, (6 times delineated in the Book of Revelation) and that Throne in His Kingdom He promises to share with His faithful. [Revelation 3:21 with Luke 22:29] The clear epoch or period of time between His sitting on the Father’s throne, and then in eternity the Father’s and His Throne being together.
The inheriting in the Kingdom of Christ is dependent upon the regenerate keeping the “law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, Matthew 5-7) as opposed to keeping the “law of God”. Keeping the law of Christ has to do with reward or loss of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, just as keeping the law of God was the requirement for the Jew to inherit the Promised Land of Israel.
This then being when the Son finally comes into His Kingdom. [Matthew 25:31-46] “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” It is time for the judgment of the “nations”. It is not of the dead, (among whom there are no nations) as the final judgment is of the individual remaining dead; seen in Revelation 20:11. So this judgment is the culling of living individuals of the nations.
“So shall it be the end of the (kingdom of the) world; the end of the kingdom of the Gentile nations in this age, at the commencement of the kingdom of Jesus Christ; in the Millennial age. The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked (living) from among the just (living), and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” [Matthew 13:49,50 with Revelation 14:17-20]
Just before (as not much time has elapsed) His 2nd Coming, and that separating out of the Gentile Nations, the living wicked from the living just, was the Harvest, into His presence in the heavens just above this earth. It is the Harvest (Revelation 14:14-16); the First Resurrection out from among the dead, which is paramount in establishing His Kingdom in the heavens and on the earth. It is in, and by the means of the First Resurrection that all the faithful will be rewarded in the Kingdom. It is then that we understand that He will fulfill His promise to the 12 Disciples, who shall sit on 12 thrones and rule over the 12 tribes, wherein is found the promised reemergence and comforting of the 12 Tribes of Israel. [Luke 22:29]
Additionally, in that previous moment of the Harvest, He has also promised by His Word to those who will have faithfully and patiently endured unto the end of their Tribulation alive, that they would, along with those who had died as faithful overcomers, be caught up to meet Him in the heavens just above this earth. [Revelation 14:12-16] And having a transformation of being… “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” [Matthew 13:43, Daniel 12:2,3]
And with authority and throne, they shall reign with Him for a thousand years. [Revelation 20:4-6 with 1 Corinthians 15:50-52] This being the positive definition of the “salvation of the soul.” That term Paul, James and Peter referred to. “….he that overcometh, to him will I give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are BROKEN IN SHIVERS.” [Revelation 2: 26]
Christ gives all born again believers warning in the sermon on the Mount. For there and then did He state the qualifications for entrance and the inheritance of the Kingdom. [Matthew 5-7] Just as God did through Moses to all Israel redeemed out of Egypt when He said, “…for I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed (the righteousness) of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
These prophetic verses of dire warning and terrible judgment, over and over again, that speak to the hypocrisy of Israel and their severe punishment are but telling sister Scriptures of the consequences of the regenerated Christian. Who, in like manner, are no longer poor in spirit, or mourn over their condition, but have grown complacent and live as they did. [1 Corinthians 10:6] And upon judgment before Christ, flabbergasted, will speak these words in Christ’s ears. “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out devils in your name, and do many wonderful works in your name?”
These are the words of convicted religious Christians, guilty of the same unbelief as the religious Jews, to which the severity of God’s judgments also awaits. No less, for sure, than those millions of covenant Jews so severely punished for their unbelief in religious hypocrisy. These works, which they hold up for measure, are no different from the unacceptable rote ritual performed by the observant Jew. These were not the works of Christ through them, but the religious efforts of the flesh. [Matthew 23] And symbolized in 1 Corinthians 3:12 as wood, hay, and stubble. And the Lord will say, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity, I never knew you.” I never knew you intimately, are the same words we find throughout the prophets’ Words that express God’s frustration to the resisting Jews. It would do Christians well not to spiritualize these Words of warning, but to take the Jews’ awful experience throughout history, and that which is yet to come, to heart. These are but examples of God’s seriousness with His Covenant people, Jews or Christians.
The Promises and the warnings of Scripture are mostly the contrasting of “saved” covenant Jews or Christians who hear the sayings and obey them, opposed to those Jews or Christians who hear and obey them not. THEY RARELY TEACH THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE LOST AND THE SAVED.
In view of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ coming, it is imperative for Christians to continually study Christ’s qualifications and commandments, along with all His Kingdom parables. Among these verses we discover what is to some a perplexing threat of Christ to His regenerated followers: “…and if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell [Gehenna].” [Matthew 5:29-30]
The warning of the consequence, of being cast into Gehenna by our Lord to those Christians whose sins warrant it, is confusing to those who have no understanding of gaining or losing part in His Kingdom. Nor of His intent to purge His Covenant people finally during the Millennial age. The message of the Kingdom has been obscured by the message of comfort and safety preached by the false prophets of today’s Christendom. Contrary to what these teach, Gehenna, one of those places in Hades, is the place of the severest judgment of God upon His redeemed people. It is of Gehenna that Christ, (in Matthew 5:29-30) warns every Christian. For the Believer it will be purging, not condemning. It is in this understanding that these Scriptures can be reconciled in our thinking. [See Hebrews 6:4-8, 10:26-31, John 15:1-6, 1 Corinthians 3:13-17, Matthew 25:30, Luke 14:34,35, 12:43-49, Revelation 2:11 & 20:6…..etc.]
“Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate (of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ): for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all [ye] workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you [yourselves] thrust out.” [Luke 13:23-28]
What presumptuousness and explaining away of the realities of these Words that now exists. It exists in Christianity and Judaism. Aside from the catastrophic event of Christ’s bloody sword and just judgments, their message of peace and safety amount to nothing less than false prophecy by false prophets.
The remainder of Isaiah 66:22-24 speaks to the permanency of Israel’s seed and their name. Even into the following Age, after which God obliterates this World, in its present heavens and earth, and creates a New heavens and a New earth. So the Bible “prophetically” ends with Isaiah 66, which has in view Revelation chapters 19-22 as it began, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”