The End Times According to Isaiah, Part 12
In this installment the focus is on the Holy City, and the
changes the Lord will bring to Zion.
Included among these are vast wealth, eternal light, and a new name.
Isaiah 60. The Glory of Zion
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of
the LORD rises upon you. See,
darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD
rises upon you and his glory appears over you. (Isaiah 60:1-2)
The word translated darkness in this passage is the same as in
Genesis 1:2, before God said, “Let there be light.”
It was also used to describe the darkness so thick it could be felt in
the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 10:21) It has spiritual as well as physical
properties. The Lord Jesus spoke of
this in the Olivet Discourse. He was actually quoting from Isaiah 13:10
in speaking of the time immediately after the end of the Great Tribulation. But
as you can see, the language is almost identical.
"Immediately after the distress of those days" 'the sun
will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from
the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' (The word for “bodies”
literally means “powers”.
This is more than falling stars.
Spiritual powers in the heavens will be shaken as He returns.)
"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the
sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man
coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. (Matt.
Isaiah prophesied that the 2nd Coming will bring
the dawn of Israel's greatest Age. The time of separation caused by their
rejection of the Messiah will have ended with their acceptance.
He is the Light that brings them life.
The unbelieving world will mourn, realizing too late that they've been
wrong about everything, and will remain in darkness forever.
Although Isaiah directed this chapter to the Holy City, the blessings
will accrue to Israel as a whole.
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the
brightness of your dawn. "Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and
come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the
arm. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with
joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you,
to you the riches of the nations will come. (Isaiah 60:3-5)
As we learned in a previous installment, the gentile world
will pay homage to Israel.
And it will be expressed in much more tangible ways than simply lending a
helping hand to the returnees. As we'll see the focal point will be the Holy
City, now the City of Light in every respect.
Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of
Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and
proclaiming the praise of the LORD. (Isaiah 60:6)
Midian, Ephah, and Sheba
were sons and grandsons of Abraham and Ketura, the wife he took after
Sarah died. (Genesis 25:1-4)
These names are all associated with the Arabian Peninsula.
Like the Wise Men of old they'll bring expensive gifts as they come to
praise the Lord. Gold is a gift for a King and incense (KJV frankincense) evokes
images of the priesthood. Notice there's no myrrh mentioned here. Myrrh was an
embalming spice and its absence indicates that God will never again have to die
for man. His sacrifice was a once for all time event. (Hebrews 10:12)
All Kedar's flocks will be gathered to you, the rams of
Nebaioth will serve you; they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I
will adorn my glorious temple. (Isaiah 60:7)
Kedar was the 2nd son of Ishmael, and Nebaioth was Ishmael's
first born. Perhaps Kedar was
mentioned first because of the
greater prominence he would gain as the patriarch of the line of Mohamed.
In addition to sacrificial animals for the temple offerings, some see the
former followers of Mohamed symbolized here, giving homage to the God of Israel
and serving Him.
“Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to
their nests? Surely the islands
look to me; in the lead are the ships of Tarshish, bringing your sons from afar,
with their silver and gold, to the honor of the LORD your God, the Holy One of
Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor. (Isaiah 60:8-9)
From all around the world the wealth of the nations will pour
into the Holy City, in honor of the God of Israel. Men who were previously
unaware will be awakened to their Jewish heritage.
God's people, once thought to be on the brink of extinction, will form a
seemingly endless procession to their ancestral home in His Holy City, like
flocks of migrating birds returning to their homes.
"Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will
serve you. Though in anger I struck you, in favor I will show you compassion.
Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so
that men may bring you the wealth of the nations— their kings led in triumphal
procession. For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it
will be utterly ruined.
"The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the pine, the fir
and the cypress together, to adorn the place of my sanctuary; and I will glorify
the place of my feet. The sons of your oppressors will come bowing before you;
all who despise you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of the
LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 60:10-14)
Upon arriving at the Millennial Temple at the beginning of the
Kingdom Age, God will say, ”This is the place of my throne and the place for
the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever.”
Israel will once again be pre-imminent among nations and the Holy City will not
only be its capitol, it will be the everlasting home of the God of the Universe.
The nations of the world will offer their services and bring their wealth. Those
who have been Israel's blood enemies for a hundred generations will come and bow
down upon entering the Holy City.
"Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one
traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all
generations. You will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts.
Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty
One of Jacob.
Instead of bronze I will bring you gold, and silver in
place of iron. Instead of wood I will bring you bronze, and iron in place of
stones. I will make peace your governor and righteousness your ruler. No longer
will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your
borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. (Isaiah
The Holy City will be the source of pride and joy for all
generations of Earth's people.
Wealth and favor will be accompanied by peace and righteousness, with violence,
ruin and destruction consigned forever to the past.
Once again the Hebrew word translated Salvation is Yeshua, but in this
case the word for praise actually means a hymn or song of praise.
It's absolutely fascinating to me that the walls and gates of the Holy
city are modeled in the contemporary evangelical church.
The emphasis is on Jesus, expressed in song after song of praise and
The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the
brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting
light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your
moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days
of sorrow will end. (Isaiah 60:19-20)
The promises here are similar to those given the Church.
Neither will require the light of the Sun or Moon.
As the Lamb is the lamp of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:23), the
Father is the everlasting light of Israel. And the Glory of God illuminates them
Then will all your people be righteous and they will
possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted,
the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. The least of you
will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time
I will do this swiftly." (Isaiah 60:21)
The full portion of the Promised Land will be Israel's home
forever, and they will spread out from there to found other nations.
It's a promise from the Lord.
You may have noticed that although the entire chapter was
spoken to the Holy City, not once was the name Jerusalem mentioned.
Two chapters later, Isaiah explained this.
Isaiah 62. Zion's New Name
For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's
sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn,
her salvation like a blazing torch.
The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your
glory; you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land
Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD
will take delight in you, and your
land will be married. As a young
man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over
his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
Hephzibah means “my delight is in her” and Beulah means
“married”. But these are not the
official names of the Holy City either.
For that we need to consult Ezekiel again.
"And the name of the city from that time on will be: The
LORD is There ." (Ezekiel 48:35) In Hebrew it's JHVH (Jehovah)
Shammah, and it means that out of the entire universe, God will have chosen to
live among His people in the land He promised them, in the city they will have
built for Him.
Back To The Present
In the coming days we will likely see the most intense efforts
yet to divide the Promised Land.
Indications are that the USA and Europe will exert almost unbearable pressure
upon the new government of Israel to go along.
Loyalties are shifting rapidly.
It appears that very soon
the US will publicly invite the Moslem world to help forge a global US-Moslem
reconciliation that will leave Israel out in the cold.
A Palestinian State will be their reward for peace
in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, and Iran will be allowed to produce
the remaining components for a nuclear weapon on the promise that they'll stop
short of actually assembling them. Israel will have no say in these matters.
I first heard the phrase “prophecy on fast-forward” from Hal
Lindsey a few years back. He was talking about what would happen if the US ever
abandoned Israel. More and more,
commentators are using it in reference to the days just ahead. We've all heard
the Lord's command from Psalm 122:6. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
"May those who love you be secure.” It's more important to do this now than
We bring this
installment to a close with Isaiah's version of the Lord's command:
You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest,
and give Him no rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of
the earth. (Isaiah 62:6-7)
In the most literal form of this commandment we're being told
not to be silent about this in our prayers, but to make it a constant plea, and
to allow the Lord no peace and quiet until He achieves this.
It's easy to become sick at heart as we see the way things are going in
the world today. Our defense
against this is prayer. Constant, urgent, fervent prayer.