ISAIAH, CHAPTER SIXTY

Isaiah, Chapter Sixty

Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

In many passages of the Old Testament, and some in the New, we can observe the two great populations of the coming new world of righteousness. One of the two populations is Israel, the Divine elect, the Church. The other population comprises the nations of saved people.

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Glory of the Lord—verse 1,2

Nations will come to your light—verses 3,4

The inheritance of people—verse 5

Camels, gold, incense, flocks, and rams—verses 6,7

The clouds—verse 8

The Lord takes His place in the world—verse 9

The Church served by the world—verse 10

Open gates—verse 11

The Church and the world—verse 12

The place of God’s feet—verse 13

Acknowledging Zion—verse 14

The tail becomes the head—15

The nations shall come to Zion—16

Israel, the Church, shall be exalted—17

No more war—verse 18

The eternal Light—verse 19

No more sunset—verse 20

Perfect righteousness—21

The increase and power of the Church—22

Conclusion

ISAIAH, CHAPTER SIXTY

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. (Revelation 21:24-26)

Introduction.

It may be true that not too many Christians understand in the new world of righteousness there will be two groups of saved people. There will be God’s Church, His elect, His Israel, the royal priesthood, and then there will be nations of people whom God has saved from destruction and brought over to eternal life in the new world.

We see this in the above verse, don’t we? We notice that the glory and honor of the (saved) nations will be brought into "it." "It" is the new Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb, the Christian Church.

The Church is true Israel. This does not mean God has forsaken physical Israel, as some are teaching. The Church has not replaced Israel. The Church is Israel.

The new covenant is made only with the House of Israel. We become Israel, the one Seed of Abraham, as soon as we become part of Jesus Christ.

What I have just said is taught so plainly in the New Testament that I marvel at the errors that abound. There is only one new Man, only one Seed of Abraham. This is what the Apostle Paul taught, and I accept His writings as the inspired Word of God.

The first Christian Church comprised 5,000 Jews, all keeping the Law of Moses. This is what the Bible says. There is only the one Church, one elect of God. It began with Abraham and Sarah. There is no such thing as a Gentile Church. There is but one Olive Tree, the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are grafted onto it—all of us, whether we are Jewish or Gentile by physical birth.

The Tabernacle of the Congregation reveals the plan for the Kingdom of God. There are three main areas: the Most Holy Place, the Holy Place, and the Courtyard. This is the eternal design of the Kingdom of God.

The Most Holy Place and the Holy Place prefigure the Church. The Church consists of God’s Firstfruits, who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These are described in the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation. Physical race is not a factor in the composition of the Firstfruits. They are chosen because of their diligence in following and obeying Christ. These are the Most Holy Place.

Then there is the remainder of the Church. It is one Church; but as it is being formed, there is a firstfruits, and then the remainder of the Church. This division of the one Church is typified by the installation of the Ark of the Covenant in the city of Zion, while the remainder of the Tabernacle was established at the High Place of Gibeon. Also by Gideon and his three hundred, and then the remainder of the Israelites.

The Courtyard portrays the nations of saved people whom the members of the royal priesthood will govern for eternity.

It is a simple design, readily understandable to anyone who has read the Bible. There is the Church, the governing body of the Kingdom of God, and then the nations, who are the inheritance of the Church.

The members of the Church go by many names:

The Bride of the Lamb.

The royal priesthood.

The Body of Christ.

The sons of God.

The brothers of Jesus Christ.

The Bride of the Lamb indicates that the believers are being formed on the flesh and blood of the Lamb of God.

The designation of royal priesthood means they serve as intermediaries between God and the members of the saved nations of people.

The expression The Body of Christ indicates that they have been anointed with the Holy Spirit to communicate the will of God to His creatures. The term "Christ" is not the last name of Jesus, it means "The One anointed with the Oil of the Spirit of God."

The sons of God have been born of God. They actually have been born of God and have His Divine Nature in them. God is not only their God but also their Father in the truest sense of the world.

Brothers of Jesus Christ also refers to their birth from the Father of Jesus Christ. He ascended to our Father and His Father; our God and His God. Joseph and his brothers are a Bible type of Christ and His less-exalted brothers.

The effort to divide these various designations into different sets of people, such as the sons of God are male and marry the Bride, and this sort of analysis, leads only, as far as I can see, to small groups of worshipers who fancy themselves spiritually superior. Their desire to seek more of God is understandable; but to picture themselves as superior to the rest of the Body of Christ may not be fruitful.

The firstfruits, whom I have mentioned previously, are set forth in the New Testament, and merely are those who seek the Lord with a whole heart. Such disciples can be observed in just about any Christian church. Whoever will choose to do so may join the ranks of the firstfruits to God and the Lamb.

Please keep in mind when reading the remainder of this essay that the new world will consist of Israel, the Church, the Seed of Abraham, and then the people of the nations who are their inheritance.

The term "Israel" as I use it has nothing to do with physical race. Has God abandoned physical Israel? Not at all! The true Church began with physical Israel and, according to the Apostle Paul, God will turn again to Israel after the full number of Gentiles have been grafted on the one true Olive Tree, the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is one Olive Tree, one whole House of Israel—the Lord Jesus Christ and those who are an integral part of Him.

The members of true, eternal Israel have been chosen by the Lord from the beginning of the world. If you desire to become a part of God’s Israel, then come to the Lord Jesus Christ. He will not turn you away.

The Glory of the Lord.

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)

"You" refers to the true, eternal Israel of God.

All of us long for revival. We ought to always pray for revival in our own day. We can see from the above two verses that at the time of greatest spiritual darkness, the Lord will rise on His Church and His Glory shall be seen.

Since this Glory has not been manifest as yet, and the passage probably is not referring to the thousand-year Kingdom Age, or the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, my guess is that this greatest of all revivals will take place just before the Lord returns.

I am not referring to the harvest revival (the latter rain; the spring rain). The harvest awakening is close at hand, I believe.

I think rather that the revival of Isaiah, Chapter Sixty will coincide with the return of the Lord.

At the time of the flood of Noah, the water came not only from above but also from beneath as the "springs of the great deep burst forth." Perhaps this is a prefiguring of the Day when the Glory of the Lord appears in the sky and also on God’s people on the earth.

Darkness covers the earth and its peoples. We don’t have to look very far in America to see spiritual darkness. Our nation, along with the rest of the world, is descending rapidly into moral depravity.

We are not to fret over what we read in the newspaper. When the moral decline is at its worst, at the very midnight hour, the Glory of God will be seen on His elect.

We understand, therefore, that the greatest of all revivals is ahead of us.

Nations will come to your light.

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. (Isaiah 60:3,4)

Do you remember that the Lord Jesus said, "All whom the Father gives Me shall come to Me"? Here we see people coming to the Lord, but it is to the Light of the Lord that has risen on the elect.

Think of it! Nations and kings coming to the Church, carrying their daughters (now our daughters) on their arm.

This will be one of the greatest sights in the history of the world—exceeding by far the great company of animals that made their way to Noah’s Ark. Can you imagine the nations coming from all over the world, the people in their native costumes.

Perhaps the elect will be gathered in one place. If so, the various nations would be coming to the vicinity of Jerusalem.

It is not impossible that these verses may be speaking of the time when the Lord has come with His saints and has raised them from the dead. Then the living saints will be changed from mortality to immortality. No doubt all of the risen and transformed saints will be shining with a great light.

Perhaps we have always thought that when the trumpet sounds and the dead are raised and transformed they will immediately be caught up in the air to meet the Lord. I doubt this will be the case.

For one thing, the Lord Jesus Himself did not ascend until forty days after His resurrection.

For another, I think God would enjoy giving His newly immortalized people a space of time in which to appreciate their victory over death.

If this is true, if there indeed will be a period of time after the saints are raised and before they are caught up into the air to meet the descending Christ, then this may be the occasion when the nations come to the Light of God they see on the saints.

Perhaps when the Lord said one shall be taken and the other left, He may mean one shall be taken to Jerusalem to wait for the catching up there.

This makes sense. We know the Lord "will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

He ascended from the Mount of Olives so perhaps He will return to the Mount of Olives. In this case I want to be at the Mount of Olives. How about you?

The above two verses reveal that when He wants people to come to His Church they will come! I think sometimes we worry too much about trying to get people to come to the church and not enough about the growth of the people already in the church. I think it is evident that when the Holy Spirit decides it is time for people to come, they indeed will come.

I like the idea of the sons and daughter being brought. We are foolish and ignorant when we talk about gold and jewels in Heaven. The only inheritance worth having is that of people.

The inheritance of people.

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 60:5)

"The wealth on the seas, the riches of the nations" is referring to people, as I see it. I think the Lord has impressed on me that material wealth is not what we truly desire. Maybe some people would rejoice if they were given material abundance. But I think relationships with people bring more joy.

Paul said those who would be rich pierce themselves through with many sorrows. If I had my choice, I would not choose to be pierced through with many sorrows. Someone in the Bible said, "Don’t give me too much food lest I should forget God," or something like that. It’s true, isn’t it, that money does not bring the joy and peace found in the right sort of relationships.

We will be radiant and overwhelmed with joy when we see the people of the nations coming to the Light of God that has come upon the royal priesthood.

I think this is always true. The revivals of the past demonstrate that when the Holy Spirit comes people are attracted. I believe we need more of the Holy Spirit today. I for one am praying for the rain of the Spirit, because I believe today is the time of the harvest rain.

Camels, gold, incense, flocks, and rams.

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 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 60:6,7)

I have noticed, when reading the Prophets, that God speaks in terms that people can understand. God uses the language and the physical things and circumstances with which people are familiar.

This is why one must have the Spirit of God if he is to understand the Prophets, because there often is a double or triple meaning. For example, there are may of us who believe the great army, of the second chapter of the Book of Joel, refers to the soldiers of the army of the Lord rather than to locusts.

This can’t be proven from the words of the text. The Prophets spoke by the Holy Spirit and must be understood by people who have the Spirit to teach them.

The Jews of the time of Joel could understand locusts. But they would not have the concept of the saints returning with Christ to install the Kingdom of God on the earth.

So when we are speaking of camels, gold, incense, flocks, and rams, it is difficult to know exactly what is meant. Perhaps most of us Westerners would not be overly enthusiastic about being provided with camels. The idea probably is that in addition to bringing people to the Church they also will bring their resources of various kind.

Notice that the people will be "proclaiming the praise of the Lord." God will accept their offerings and bless them. These are the members of the nations of saved people I mentioned earlier. They were prefigured in the Courtyard of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.

The clouds.

Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests? (Isaiah 60:8)

This verse intrigues me. I become interested whenever I see the word "clouds."

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (I Thessalonians 4:17)

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. (Matthew 24:30)

"Caught up together with them in the clouds."

"Coming on the clouds of the sky."

"Fly along like clouds."

I would not be surprised if the clouds were clouds of saints, flying to the Lord like doves to their nests.

The Lord takes His place in the world.

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 60:9)

For two thousand years the Christian salvation has been a heavenly religion. Our fondest hope is to go to Heaven when we die and live there forever. The idea that the Kingdom of God is coming to the earth, that God’s will is going to be done in the earth as it is in Heaven, has somehow been lost to a certain extent.

But God is the God of the whole earth. The earth is the Lord’s and all its resources; the world and all who dwell therein. The earth has been invaded by Satan but it belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The original message of the coming of the Kingdom of God is being restored to Church in the present hour.

The islands will look to the Church because they will see God in the Church. The merchants will look to the Church. As the Lord told us, when we are one in the Father and the Son, then the world will believe.

Sometimes we don’t realize the earth is the Lord’s and He retains control over it. The Father has given the Lord Jesus all authority in Heaven and on the earth, as well as authority over all people—not just over God’s elect.

I like to think how the uncircumcised Cyrus was ordered by the Lord to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

Sometimes we Christians act as though the Church is a special culture that one day will be stationed in Heaven. It is not. The destiny of the Christian Church is to be the new Jerusalem on the earth. All the nations will come and receive healing and blessing from God and the Lamb who will be dwelling for eternity in the Church.

The practical point today is that we of the Church are to remember that God is in control of the earth. Sometimes God permits Satan to harm us, but this is only to bring us to perfection. In actual fact, the Glory of God fills the earth. We can choose to see God in the earth, or we can choose to see Satan in the earth and fret about the evil.

God has in mind to endow His elect with splendor. First, however, we have to be conformed to the moral image of Christ and enter untroubled rest in the very Center of God’s Person and will. This is where the Lord Jesus Christ always dwells, and He wants us to be there with Him where He always is. He has come in the Spirit today to bring every person who will obey Him into that secret place of the Father.

The Church served by the world.

Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you. Though in anger I struck you, in favor I will show you compassion. (Isaiah 60:10)

Even today the people of the world will help us when God is with us. I have noticed that when God is really using people, even the cynical newspaper reporters write favorably about them.

I understand Jesus said the world will hate us because we belong to Him. I am not questioning that. Rather, I am saying when God wants to do something in His Church He sometimes will move on people of the world to help.

Too often the world despises the Church because of the behavior of the Christian people. The world recognizes the lack of integrity, the covetousness, the arrogance, and are repulsed. There is a great deal of dishonest, foolish, self-seeking behavior taking place in the American churches, and this must change if people are to be brought to the Lord.

God always strikes us in anger before He heals us. He wounds and then He heals. That is His way. The wounding purifies us. He who suffers in the flesh stops sinning and becomes acquainted with the Lord. We are not to be amazed or discouraged when we suffer fiery trials. They are God’s way of saving us from our love of the world, the lusts and passions of our flesh and soul, and our self-will and stubborn rebellion against God’s will.

After we have suffered awhile the Lord shows us His favor and compassion.

Open gates.

Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so men may bring you the wealth of the nations—their kings led in triumphal procession. (Isaiah 60:11)

Again we have the picture of the nations of saved people bringing their resources to the Church.

Notice that the Church is always prepared, day and night, to receive the offerings brought to the Lord by the peoples of the earth.

On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. (Revelation 21:25,26)

The Lord wants each one of us to be like this. We are to be ready day and night to express the Lord’s will toward people.

We who have been called to be saints are to place everything else in our life in second place. There are frightful needs today among people in the world. The fields are white unto harvest. But the laborers are few

The Lord has a need for you and me. But we cannot serve the Lord and people as we should when we are occupied with our own life. God wants us as a burning bush—always filled with the Spirit of the Lord; always ready to respond as the Lord directs us to people who have needs.

It is not a grievous matter to keep ourselves ready to serve. There is very great joy in bringing the love of God to people.

Of course we have to rest and sleep. But the further we enter the Lord and His purposes the more able we are to serve His interests at all times. When we prepare ourselves with this attitude, the Lord brings to us those whom He has chosen.

The Church and the world.

For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined. (Isaiah 60:12)

Here we see clearly the Kingdom of God. Any nation of people that refuses to serve the Church will be destroyed.

We need to get a clearer view of the practicality of what is being portrayed here, I believe. So often we have pictured life after death as a nebulous, hazy, vague sort of existence that it difficult for us to relate to it in any realistic manner.

For example, people wonder if they will recognize their loved ones.

When we read that the nation that will not serve the Church will perish, it is difficult to take such words seriously.

Well, the Kingdom of God is drawing closer to us in these days, it appears to me. We are becoming aware we are speaking of a real kingdom coming made up of real rulers and nobles who are going to govern real people on the earth.

It is important that we understand the reality of our future life on the earth as resurrected people. Previously we might have imagined that while we were not truly living up to Bible standards, grace would take care of our personal weaknesses and we would enjoy life in Paradise in the spirit realm.

But you see, this is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that we have to attain to the resurrection from the dead so we will be prepared to be raised and to be caught up to meet the Lord when He appears.

Then we are to descend with Him and install the government of God on the earth in the midst of sinful, rebellious people.

Obviously, if we ourselves have not been morally transformed and are not resting in the will of God, we are in no condition to govern the people of the world. This is a very real, practical business we are speaking of here!

Will we know people? Of course we will know people and they will know us. We will represent Jesus Christ to the peoples of the earth. They will obey us, or, as the preceding verse states, they will perish; they will be utterly ruined.

The Lord is drawing near to us today. This is no time to be spending our life occupied only with eating, sleeping, playing, working, and reproducing. We have to make certain we are in the place where we can hear from the Lord and obey Him. If we do not hold ourselves before the Lord, we are going to miss the day of our visitation.

When it says the nation that will not serve you will perish, it is speaking of real people on a real earth who, if they are not willing to obey the saints, will perish!

The place of God’s feet.

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. (Isaiah 60:13)

The Prophet Jeremiah told us God is going to make Jerusalem the Throne of God. Heaven is God’s Throne and the earth is God’s footstool. When the Lord Jesus returns with His saints and holy angels, the Throne will be joined to the footstool. Heaven and earth will be one domain.

We read in Revelation, concerning the new Jerusalem, that the Throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it. This means the Throne of God will be established in the hearts of the saints, for they are the new Jerusalem.

At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. (Jeremiah 3:17)

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. (Revelation 22:3)

The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE. (Ezekiel 48:35)

We can understand, from the above passages, that God has decided to establish His Throne in the hearts of His saints. I am not certain where God’s Throne was in Heaven. Isaiah proclaimed that Heaven itself is God’s Throne. This is why we pray toward Heaven.

But now we see a change so awesome as to be incomprehensible. God is moving His Throne into the saints so they become the Throne of God.

The Book of Hebrews informs us that God has given to man rulership over all the works of God’s hands. The Lord Jesus Christ received all authority, not because He is the Son of God but because He is the Son of Man. The Scriptures cannot be changed in any manner.

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. (Hebrews 2:5-8)

The Lord told us if we overcame, as He overcame, we would sit on His Throne just as He sits on His Father’s Throne.

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)

The Lord Jesus overcame all the forces of darkness that came against Him, and now He is seated on His Father’s Throne. Each saint is invited to overcome, through Christ, all the forces of darkness that come against him. If he gains the victory, he then will have the right to sit with Christ on His Throne.

The above verse may me the greatest expression of assigned authority to be found in the Scriptures. Perhaps it should be preached more than it is.

The Throne that governs all creation is termed "The Throne of God and of the Lamb." There is only one such throne. If we live as a victorious saint we will be given the right to sit on that throne.

If my understanding is correct, the Throne of God is in the heart of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man. If such is the case, if Christ is in us then the Throne of God is in us. In this case, the saints become the Throne of God. The saints become Heaven.

Heaven is a place. We know. "Our Father who is in Heaven.

But Isaiah tells us clearly that Heaven is God’s Throne. So the new Jerusalem, which is the glorified Christian Church, will become, as Jeremiah stated, the Throne of God. When the glorified Christian Church descends through the new sky to be established forever upon the new earth, then Heaven and earth will become one area.

This is what it is all about, isn’t it? Everything that has taken place since the rebellion of Satan and his angels has been for the purpose of exercising God’s eternal vengeance on His enemies, and then insuring that such a rebellion never shall take place again.

God will use man to judge the angels and exercise vengeance on the wicked.

God will use man to be His Throne—the instrument by means of which God will insure that rebellion never shall take place again.

Sometimes people are under the impression once we are saved and go to Heaven, we no longer will be able to sin. This is not true. As long as angels and people have a will, they are capable of sinning, of disobeying God.

God has resolved to make an eternal end of sin. He has accomplished this by testing the Lord Jesus Christ to the uttermost extent, and then giving Christ all authority in the heavens, upon the earth, and over the dark regions below the earth’s surface. Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and all shall bow before Him and confess that He is Lord.

Now Christ is developing a band of victorious saints—saints who are tested thoroughly until God is satisfied they will practice righteousness no matter how they are tempted.

Christ and the tested saints, those who have been called by the Lord, chosen because of their consecration, and then proven faithful beyond all doubt, will govern the works of God’s hands for eternity, all creatures being subject to them.

This is the reason sin will never occur again; not because it cannot, but because all creatures will be governed by Christ and His saints who have chosen not to rebel against God’s will.

As I have written so many times, the present work of the Spirit is to search among those who have been saved and baptized with the Holy Spirit in order to identify those who will do God’s will with a perfect heart. The Kingdom of God is the doing of God’s will in the earth as it is in Heaven. Then the earth will be God’s Throne, the place where God’s will is done.

Nothing else is as important today as discovering those who are willing to obey Jesus Christ completely and perfectly in every circumstance.

The God of Heaven is going to glorify the place of His feet in the earth. His feet are glowing bronze. They are feet of judgment. God is a holy Fire. All who would dwell in the center of His Person and will, along with the Lord Jesus Christ, will have been made fireproof. We are fireproof when all worldliness, all sinful urges, and all rebellion and self-will have been burned out of us. God and we do not have perfect rest until all spiritual darkness has been purged from us.

The process of purging is taking place today, and it is the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish Day of Atonement.

Acknowledging Zion.

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 60:14)

I don’t know whether we should call it a principle or not, but one of the themes running through the Scriptures is that of acknowledging who is of God and who is not. It is as though God is hiding Himself, and all the while is looking out to see who will choose God’s way even though it is not always obvious this is the best or most desirable path to take.

Perhaps this is the essence of faith—to follow God’s will even though circumstances indicate this is not the most profitable decision.

The way to destruction is broad and inviting, and filled with travelers. The way to eternal life is difficult to find, difficult to travel, and there is not much company.

There used to be a television series called "Mission Impossible." During each episode an important personage was kidnapped and confined in an area designed to simulate a certain environment. For example, the kidnapped individual might be given the impression he was being transported to a location far from his home. He might hear the sound of train wheels playing from a tape recorder.

Then the kidnappers would enter the room and tell him all kinds of lies, persuading him to take some action, such as signing a paper, that would have important consequences.

As soon as the kidnappers had obtained what they desired, they set the victim free and left the room. When the victim went outside he discovered that he hadn’t been taken anywhere. He had been totally deceived. He still was at the location where he had been kidnapped.

Although I saw these episodes a number of years ago, I have never forgotten them because they portray so accurately the world and its people.

Our whole life in the world is a "Mission Impossible" episode. God permits Satan to attempt to persuade us that there is no God; we should seize what we lust after in the world because there will be no day of reckoning. Or, in the case of Christians, that they are saved by grace and will go to Paradise when they die no matter how they behave.

God watches each person carefully to see whether or not the individual truly wants God and righteousness; if he or she is a person of integrity who will do what’s right when it appears no one will ever know of his or her faithfulness and truth.

This individual takes the attitude that if there is no God, if there is no world of righteousness coming, he or she will still do what is right in any case—hoping against hope there is a God and a coming Day of Righteousness.

God wants to know who really loves righteousness; who will do what is right when the world culture is telling him he is a fool for not doing what he wants like everyone else.

The Day is coming when God will show Himself. Then everyone will know who is of God and who isn’t; who has behaved righteously and who hasn’t. In that hour the wicked will bow at the feet of the righteous and worship God.

Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed." (Isaiah 61:9)

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you And give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power On the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. (II Thessalonians 1:6-10)

In that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation." (Isaiah 25:9)

I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. (Revelation 3:9)

"They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not." (Malachi 3:17,18)

The Lord Jesus Christ and Satan are both day stars. Each heralds a new day. Satan presents his idea of the Kingdom Age that is coming. The Lord Jesus Christ presents His idea of the Kingdom Age that is coming.

Each one of us must decide which is the true Kingdom Age of God. Our heart will decide one way or the other. When the true Kingdom Age arrives, then all shall be revealed. The heart and actions of every human being shall be exposed for all to see; all to judge.

Who are the true Zion? In that Day it shall be made plain.

The tail becomes the head.

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. (Isaiah 60:15)

The idea here is that Israel has been forsaken ("no one traveling through"). The true Christian saints have never been popular. They are not of the world but of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Antichrist spirit in the world hates Christ and hates those who are part of Christ.

One problem we have in America is that the Christians are tolerated. I think in the days to come, as American realize our problem with the terrorists is because of our support for Israel, and we support Israel largely because of the influence of Christians, that we will begin to see open hatred against Christians in our country.

Some churches of our day go out of their way in an attempt to become part of the local community. I do not say that God would not endorse a church being involved in its local community, but it seems to me that the demands of discipleship would not be accepted by many local people. The pastor would have to compromise the rigorous demands of discipleship and just tell his audience that if they would believe in Christ, no more demands would be made on them.

Samson was a Nazirite. His vow had to do with his hair. When Delilah cut Samson’s hair, his supernatural strength departed.

So it is true that when the churches are not separate from the world they lose their spiritual strength. They may gain in numbers but they lose in holy separation. Their strength comes from their separation, not from numbers of people.

Some believe the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, mentioned in the second chapter of the Book of Revelation, was the teaching that the churches should be part of the local Roman communities. I believe Christ indeed would hate this doctrine, because as soon as the church makes an effort to bring in the community it of necessity must suppress the demands of Christ as well as the supernatural actions of the Holy Spirit.

We know Christian churches do this, and we know people of the local community will come if the churches are not too fervent. So it is right at this point that a denomination and its pastors must decide whether they want the Presence of God or the presence of the local community. If they believe they can have both they are mistaken.

You know, in the Book of Acts this statement is made: "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

What was the church doing? It was "praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people."

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, Praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)

If you will notice the passage carefully, the attention of the disciples was directed toward God, not toward people. They were devoting themselves to the Word, to fellowship, to the Communion service, and to prayer. When they did this the people who saw their joy and devotion regarded them with favor.

Then—at this point—the Lord added to their number.

They did not have to ingratiate themselves with the members of the local community. They worshiped the Lord, and the Lord added to their number.

"On this rock I will build My Church," Jesus told us.

For two thousand years men and women have been attempting to build the Church. I believe it is time that we find out what Christ Himself wants to do.

The watchword of our day should be: "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit."

So no, the true, fervent saints are not popular in our country, nor should they attempt to be. If we will obey the Lord carefully, He will add to His Church those who are being saved.

God says we have been forsaken and hated, but He is going to make His Church, His Israel, "the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations." As soon as the members of the Church become one in Christ in God, then the world will believe.

When Christ gives us His Glory, and His Light rises on us, then those whom the Lord is saving will come to us in a revival greater than any the world has witnessed in all its history.

The nations shall come to Zion.

You will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then you will know I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. (Isaiah 60:16)

The Church has had its ups and downs throughout the centuries. The Roman Catholic Church has been exalted at certain periods of history, but I would not call this an exalting of God’s true Israel. If my impression is correct, the Catholic Church made unholy alliances with the world and sometimes persecuted viciously the true Christians.

It appears the way things are moving today that the spirit of democracy is overcoming the Spirit of Christianity. As the rights of people are elevated, human impulses that used to be controlled by governmental decree are now legal. I think the newspaper and the television have been instrumental in awakening the baser instincts of people, such as in the areas of sexual perversion and the aborting of the development of children.

Some areas of the Christian Church, and the Catholic Church is one such area, inveigh strongly against the practice of abortion. But I think such protests are little more than an orderly retreat. The world spirit is moving toward the full expression of the lusts and passions of human beings.

The Scripture teaches clearly that there shall be a latter-rain revival. During this revival, if I understand it correctly, the Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached to every nation as a witness. Then the preaching of the Gospel shall come to an end in the cities of the earth, and the Antichrist spirit of Satan will urge people into the grossest perversions possible for the human being.

After God is satisfied that the personality of Satan has been completely displayed in the sight of the angels and people, He will send the Lord Jesus back to the earth. At this time the Glory of God will arise on the saints, and terrible judgments will fall on the earth followed by the descent of Christ and His army, who then will install the Kingdom of God, the rule of God on the earth.

Then Zion will "drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then the law shall go forth from Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. The Church shall be exalted as the supreme government of the earth.

In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s  temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. (Isaiah 2:2)

In this manner the Lord will prove to His people that He is their Savior, their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Israel, the Church, shall be exalted.

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. Isaiah 60:17)

Perhaps when the Jewish person thinks of the coming of Christ he would picture a king like Solomon; for the material wealth described here characterized the kingdom of Solomon. In the place of bronze and iron there were gold and silver. Where there was wood and stones there now were bronze and iron

This sort of material wealth the Israelites could understand. They understood material wealth was the blessing of God. They did not have the knowledge of the true spiritual treasures, such as eternal life, freedom from sin, rulership with Christ, status in the Kingdom of God, coheirship with Christ, rest in Christ in God, an immortal, glorified body. So God spoke to them about mineral wealth.

Even today you will hear Christians speak of getting gold and diamonds when they "get to Heaven." This is a sign of spiritual immaturity.

We have been advised by the Lord Jesus to lay up for ourselves treasures in Heaven. These treasures are not gold, silver, iron, and bronze. They are, as I have said, eternal life, freedom from sin, spiritual authority and power, status in the Kingdom of God, abilities that will enable us to help people and opportunities for service, joyous relationships with people, an immortal, glorified body like that of the Lord, and rest in Christ in God. These are just some of the marvels that the Lord has prepared for us.

To look forward to gold and diamonds reveals a need for growth in spiritual perception.

The important statement is: "I will make peace your governor and righteousness your ruler."

Love, joy, and peace are three extraordinarily valuable states of being. Peace and righteousness go together. Where there is unrighteousness there is no peace. The scepter of Christ’s Kingdom is one of righteousness.

Where there is no righteousness there is no Christian testimony. This is why Satan has labored so diligently to convince the Christian people that they cannot behave righteously and that it is not important to God that they behave righteously. Satan understands better than the Christian people do that God will not work where there is unrighteous behavior.

I guess pretty nearly everyone in the world knows what righteousness is, except the Christian people. They have been so confused by the teaching of grace and Dispensational theology that they are babies when it comes to understanding the difference between good and evil; nor do they have the desire and strength to embrace good and repulse evil.

The righteous Lord loves righteousness and will receive us only as we are willing to turn away from the unrighteous practices of the world and receive the strength to obey the commandments found in the New Testament.

The world leaders of today are striving for peace, but peace comes only where there is righteous behavior. Our country will never find peace until the worship of physical lust is driven from our midst along with the aborting of the development of children.

No more war.

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 60:18)

This must be a precious promise to the Israelis of today. They are hearing every day of violence, ruin, and destruction in their land. Some day such turmoil and sorrow will be a thing of the past.

I am looking toward the day when the Israelis come mightily before God, turning away from the help of Europe and the United States.

In the Old Testament accounts, whenever the Israelites looked to another country for assistance they were defeated. When they called on the Lord they were saved.

It is easy for me to sit here in a safe place and talk about the Jews turning away from outside help and looking to the Lord for His help. But I think sooner or later they are going to have to.

If the United Nations becomes much stronger it one day may tell the Jews that they are required to permit the Palestinians to view Jerusalem as their capital city. If the United States does not come to the rescue of the Jews at that time, they are going to have to look to the Lord for help. I don’t believe Europe will come to their rescue. My observation is that anti-Semitism is increasing in Europe at the present time (2003).

We will call our walls salvation and our gates praise. The new Jerusalem will not be a secular city. It will be holiness to the Lord in every square inch.

I am praying that my own house and yard are holiness to the Lord. How about you?

The eternal Light.

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. (Isaiah 60:19)

Have you ever wondered where the light came from that lighted the creation for the first three days? I have thought about this.

There were no sun, moon, or stars until the fourth day. Yet, God said there was to be light, and light there was. But where did it come from, this light?

And how could God separate light from darkness? In our physical world, one does not separate light from darkness. Darkness is nothing more than the absence of light.

If God separated the light from the darkness, then the darkness and the light were dwelling together in some manner. Perhaps God is speaking of the rebellion in Heaven. He had both Satan and Christ in His Presence. But Christ loved righteousness and hated wickedness. So God elevated Christ and called Him "God."

"Your throne, O God, is forever. A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom."

I have speculated on occasion that in the spirit realm, prior to the physical creation, there was no knowledge of good and evil on the part of God’s creatures. This knowledge came into being when Satan brought sin into the presence of God’s creatures. Then God, in His infinite wisdom, created man as His solution to the problem of sin.

My personal opinion is that the Ten Commandments are addressed to the heavens and the earth; particularly to Satan and his angels that they might understand God’s righteous Nature. If this is the case, then the Ten Commandments, the Covenant, are the Divine judgment on Satan and the other rebels.

Then we read that God separated the light from the darkness.

Notice also:

In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:4,5)

If life is light, then death is darkness. We can understand when the Life of Christ comes to us through His flesh and blood, light has come into us and God is separating the light from the darkness and death that are in us.

Notice the expression "the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory." This is the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles.

Up to and including our experience of the fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost, we pray to gain strength, joy, love, light, a holy song. But as we move into the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, the Lord Himself becomes our strength, our joy, our love, our light, our holy song. He Himself becomes all these elements of salvation. The transition from our praying for these virtues and God becoming these virtues occurs as we lay down our own life and will and permit Jesus Christ to become our Life and will. This is the next step after the Pentecostal experience.

No more sunset.

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 60:20)

I don’t understand how there could be any moon we could see  if the sun never set. Do you?

I know Revelation speaks of the Church being clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet. My interpretation of this has been that the Church is clothed with Christ, and the moon, speaking of the creation, is to be governed by the Church.

So maybe the idea of the sun never setting and the moon never withdrawing means the Glory of Christ always will cover the Church and the creation always will be hers to govern and enjoy.

I think the key idea is: "your days of sorrow will end." I believe this is the weight of meaning of the verse. Christ Himself will be our everlasting Light.

Notice what is written about the new Jerusalem, the glorified Christian Church, the true Israel of God?

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. (Revelation 21:22-25)

There will be no church building as such in the holy city because God and the Lamb are the Temple, the church building. The entire city is the Wife of the Lamb, the Body of Christ, the Throne of God.

There is no more sun or moon. The light will be as in the beginning. Thus the idea that the sun will not set nor the moon withdraw is speaking merely of a pleasing environment, not of the technical problems in the verse.

The Church is the Light of the world. Isn’t that what the Lord said? During the new heaven and earth reign of Christ this has come to pass literally. Will this mean a light will blaze forth from the city, lighting the way for the nations? Or does it signify that the nation will live according to the moral principles of the city.

I think it means exactly what it says. Since night is caused by the absence of the sun, if there is no sun but the daylight comes from Christ, and Christ is never absent, then there is no night as a result. Darkness cannot exist because there is only light.

The nations can always come and receive of Christ through the saints, for the gates are never closed.

This indicates to me that we will have eternal energy. Can you imagine what it would be like to have endless energy? Now there is a treasure worth infinitely more than gold and jewels!

Perfect righteousness.

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. (Isaiah 60:21)

The righteousness of the true saint is the righteousness of Jesus Christ Himself.

First by imputation. Second by re-creation.

We begin with imputed, assigned righteousness. Immediately the Holy Spirit begins to lead us into actual righteousness of behavior.

As we read the commandments in the New Testament, becoming aware of what God expects of us in the way of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God, we keep going to the Mercy Seat in Heaven. There we gain wisdom and strength so we can keep the commandments given by the Lord Jesus Himself and then through His Apostles.

As we faithfully obey what has been commanded, Christ begins to be formed in us. As Christ is formed in us we begin to keep His Word by means of the new Nature that is in us.

The Christian life is one long battle to purify us from the sinful nature and to give us the new Nature of Christ.

When the Lord returns, if we have been faithful in putting to death the urges of our sinful nature, the Lord will remove the last vestiges of sin from us and clothe us with a body that has no sinful urges in it.

As soon as Christ has come to maturity in us, the sinful nature has been destroyed from us, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are dwelling in us, and the whole has been clothed with a body that is free from sin and filled with incorruptible resurrection life, then it is true that we have attained to God’s righteousness.

Now one of our roles in God’s universe will be to practice, teach, and enforce righteousness wherever God sends us.

As soon as all the Church has been made totally, militantly righteous, then the saints will possess all the works of God’s hands, including the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth, for eternity.

Never again will sin and rebellion be permitted in God’s creation.

"They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor." I wonder sometimes if we realize the purpose of the Christian Church, of God’s elect, of Israel. The term "church" means "called out from." Thus it can never properly be applied to a building.

Now, why would God call out from the world specific people? Why would God elect certain people from the beginning of the world?

The term "Christian" is not employed very much in the New Testament. The believers are referred to as "saints," or "disciples." The word "saint" means "holy one." The word "disciple" means someone who is following and learning from Jesus each day.

I think our common understanding is that the Christians are saved to go to Heaven and everyone else is destined for Hell. This is not the concept. The concept is that the Christians are to reveal God to the world. They are, as was said of Israel from the beginning, God’s treasured possession, a holy nation that should show forth the praises of God and His Person, way, will, and eternal purpose in Christ.

Therefore, every true member of Israel, of God’s called-out people, is a witness of God. This is our purpose in the world.

We are as a shoot that God has planted. We are the work of His hands.

The problem I see in today’s Christian efforts is the effort to get people to "accept Christ" so we can count them as "saved." But how much effort is directed toward building up the saints in Christ until they display the splendor of God?

Actually I believe we have our hands on the Ark, so to speak. We are trying to help God out instead of finding His will and doing it.

The result of our enormous emphasis on making proselytes to our religion is churches filled with people who profess to be Christians but who hardly know the Lord. The works of the sinful nature abound in the churches.

We then charge these babies to go out and make more proselytes.

But until an individual is being changed into the moral image of Christ and entering untroubled rest in God’s will, he or she cannot possibly serve as the light of the world.

Thus God’s intention in Israel, His Church, is aborted by the misguided enthusiasm of well-meaning people.

My guess is that God is about ready to do something throughout the world that will place more emphasis on the spiritual growth of the believers.

The increase and power of the Church.

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 60:22)

"The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation." This means God intends to work until the saints grow into the stature of the fullness of Christ. All the gifts and ministries given to the members of the Body of Christ by the ascended Christ are for the purpose of bringing each one of us to maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ.

How God is going to do this when the almost total emphasis of the churches is on adding more converts is not known to me. But since God has said this is what is to happen, then it shall happen.

God has stated that such increase and power shall take place swiftly. We know it shall—even though Isaiah proclaimed God’s intention thousands of years ago.

We better not get in too much of a hurry and just do what God places before us each day. Do you agree to that?

Conclusion

I think we can conclude, after reading the sixtieth chapter of the Book of Isaiah, that great glory is to come to Israel. As we said at the beginning, Israel is the Church of Jesus Christ.

Remember, the Christian Church has not replaced and will never replace the physical land and people of Israel. The truth is, the Christian Church began with Abraham and Sarah. True Israel does not include every Jew born of Abraham and Sarah but only those whom God has called. This is the Olive Tree.

After the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, some of the physical Jews were broken off the Olive Tree and elect Gentiles were grafted on that Tree, on Christ. Thus there is, as Paul stated, a remnant consisting of elect Jews and elect Gentiles.

When the full number of Gentiles that God has elected are grafted onto the Olive Tree, God will turn again to physical Israel. He will pour out His Spirit on physical Israel. The result will be that the whole House of Israel, all whom God has called in Jesus Christ, will be saved.

We understand, therefore, as Peter told us, the Hebrew Prophets were really speaking of us upon whom the ends of the age have come. Some of the statements made by the Prophets clearly apply to the physical land and people of Israel. Not all of the utterance of the Prophets have a spiritual application.

But many of their utterances do indeed have a spiritual application, and those passages apply not to the physical Jews but to the members of Christ, whether Jewish or Gentile by physical birth.

All of the Messianic prophecies apply to Jesus Christ and to those who are part of Jesus Christ, whether Jewish or Gentile by physical birth.

The type of Joseph is interesting. Joseph is a type of Christ. Joseph’s Egyptian wife, Asenath, is a type of the Gentiles who have been called of God. Joseph’s brothers and father are a type of the Jews to whom God will turn after Christ has been joined to the elect Gentiles.

Another type of the oneness of Jew and Gentile in Christ is that of the two sticks that become one stick. Judah represents the Jewish elect. Ephraim represents the Gentile elect, in that the prophecy over Ephraim is that he will be the father of many nations, not just the nation of Jews. Remember also that Ephraim had an Egyptian mother.

There is one new Man, having been made one by that greatest of all sticks, the cross of Calvary.

We understand, therefore, that the sixtieth chapter of the Book of Isaiah is referring to God’s elect, His Church, His Israel. They may be as the barren woman, Sarah, today, while the physical Jerusalem is as Hagar. The barren woman shall yet rejoice for she is the mother of the new Jerusalem, the holy city that is destined to govern all the works of God’s hands, through Jesus Christ, for eternity.