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This is a Wednesday Update Archive piece.
Subject: The Age or Era of Peace, Justice, and Righteousness on Earth
(or) The Great Prophecy, Part VIII in a Series On End-Time Bible Prophecy
(Fri., May 28, 2004)
(approx. 10,715 words, 17 pp.)
Fun, Satire & Bible Prophecy Part VIII:
The Great Prophecy of a "Millennial Era" in Isaiah
The Age of Peace, Justice, and Righteousness on Earth
Isaiah's prophecies (unlike Paul's letters to Timothy and the Thessalonians) are quite lengthy and truly "ancient" in almost every sense of the word, and they are probably the most well-known and time-honored of all historical writings (Biblical or otherwise) on the subject of an almost mythical age of one thousand years of peace, justice, and righteousness on earth when a mysterious figure who descends from David, the Branch or Rod from Jesse etc., comes to establish this new age and defeat the enemies of truth, justice, and righteousness in a time of great falsehood, injustice, and unrighteousness, which, of course, is 'the mark' of the times just prior to the great "mythical" millennial era, etc., etc. (Everybody 'on board'?)
It's all one Big Story. . .
I do not want to over-do these themes which we are about to look at in the famous prophecies of Isaiah, but they are almost (overtly) identical to the things which Paul writes about, and which we have just looked at generally in the previous Parts of this series on end-time Bible Prophecy. There is little obscurity in Isaiah about Jesus' first coming or his possible second coming. The only real question which emerges in reading Isaiah is what to take literally and what to take spiritually and what to limit (in time reference) to the literal destruction of Jerusalem in ancient times (in the various invasions). In any case, these prophecies from Isaiah are (in this writer's view) the most famous and lengthy of all the many Bible passages on the Millennial Era, and just as Paul's shorter prophecies, they also seem to provide an exact description of our dark-times from which we are about to emerge in order to cross the Jordan (spiritually speaking) and take (or guide) the nation (culturally speaking) into the Promised Era of truth, justice and righteousness on earth because of "our return" to the King's or Kingdom's truth, justice, and righteousness or, that is, its principles of good government as foundational for this world's republics (within Christ's principles of love, truth, good, justice, etc.).
Quite simply, in this coming new historical era or historical epoch of mankind the edifice of the nations of the world will be built upon the righteous Rock (or principles of Christ's good, just, and righteous government, etc., as in Matthew 7:24) and not on the mere sand of self-interest, injustice, unrighteousness, or "seems right or good in our own eyes," etc. and hence, the nations of this world now to be built upon righteous governmental principles will become the nations of (our) God and of His anointed Servant, Christ (and, hence, of John's 7th Trumpet, etc.). Is this "complicated"? No, I think not. Nor is it obscure, dark, mysterious prophecy, and it is the same "big picture" and the same one "big story," folks, which we have been looking at in the last seven Parts of this Series on Bible Prophecy, but now, at long last, we will look at Isaiah's lengthy and extremely clear foretelling of these our transitional end-times to the Millennial Era, as seen from the 8th century BC perspective of Isaiah (or at least that is the date my (New) Scofield (1967 Edition, please) gives for Isaiah).
First, Isaiah sets the stage, no less vividly than Paul. . .
Isaiah starts off in chapter 1 by first talking in prophecy of the actual desolation of Judah and Jerusalem and by type of the spiritual desolation or wasteland of our end-times in words no less vivid than Paul's to Timothy. As Isaiah says in chapter 1, "Ah, a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, and children are corrupters [we sure haven't seen that!]! . . . The whole head is 'sick' [really?]. . The whole heart faints. . . Your country is a [moral] wasteland [no kidding?], your cities are burned with fire, and strangers (the un-Godly) devour your land in your presence [no way!]. . [But then Isaiah asks,] Should we become like Sodom?" (What is this about I wonder?!)
In any case after listing numerous other moral, religious, and spiritual ills of the land, God thru Isaiah says, "I do not delight in the blood of bulls or of lambs or goats [that is, your 'religious' offerings and activities for your wrong doing]. . I cannot endure (says God) your iniquity and your (so-called) 'sacred' meetings! (You must, God says) Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong,17 learn to do good and the right! Seek justice. . . relieve and encourage the oppressed, rebuke the oppressor, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." (Pretty close to Malachi's list, is it not?)
And, then, in very well-known verses God goes on to say, "18 'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.' [And in not so well-known verses God adds. . .] 19 ' If you are willing and obedient (in your heart), you will eat the best from the land; 20 but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.' For the mouth of the Lord has spoken." . . . (Or, possibly, we might say in keeping with other end-time prophecy interpretations, we will be spiritually devoured in metaphorical "bloody" conflict by the word or truth of the Lord as Paul and John have told us repeatedly, though God in fact certainly can and does also use actual military defeat at times against some nations as judgment, no? And He did in Isaiah's time, no? And of course Malachi has also spoken of actual physical blessings, judgments, cursings, etc.)
Isaiah then gives "The Whole Thing" of the Millennial Era in a nutshell
If you really want the "Whole Thing" of ALL end-time, millennial era prophecy in a nutshell, Isaiah 2:3-11 will do nicely or certainly about as well as any other one given, succinct prophecy in the Bible. In chapter 2, verses 3-11, Isaiah basically gives it "all" to us in 8 verses: "3Many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.' [This is clearly end-time Gospel awakening and personal salvation and revival, etc.] For out of Zion [spiritually speaking] shall go forth the law [or the Truth of God], And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. [spiritually speaking, of course]. 4He [that is, God in His truth or righteous principles will be established and] will judge between the nations [and, hence, God will establish the nations in the Millennial Era] and [hence, He] will rebuke many people and settle disputes for many peoples. And [famously Isaiah adds] they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. And nation shall not lift up sword against nation, And neither shall they learn war anymore. [and, hence, we will be in the Millennial Era of good, just, and righteous government and this will be also be a time of great spiritual personal renewal as well since Isaiah's very next verse is] 5O house of Jacob [people of God], come and let us (personally) walk in the light of the Lord. [The long way around is the shortest way home?] 6For You (O, God) have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob (in these dark transition end-times). The people are full of (New Age) superstitions ["sorcery," Malachi has told us] from the East [no kidding?]; (and) they practice divination like the (materialistic) Philistines [no way? no gambling or horoscopes here!] and they corrupt even the children of strangers [no less, my goodness? and no bad TV or MTV here!]. 7Their land is full of silver and gold [yes, it is]; (and) there is no end to their treasures. [No, there isn't.] Their land is full of horses; (and) there is no end to their chariots. [Are we not full of material possessions and even 'chariots,' no?]. 8(And) Their land is full of idols [no doubt]; (and) they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made. [Yes, we do]. 9BUT (the foolishness of) man will be brought low and mankind humbled [with 'the return' of God's good principles of righteousness and justice] . . . 11for the Lord God alone will be exalted in that day. . ." My Goodness. . . . And so here we are?
We have in Isaiah a repeated pattern. . . Great Darkness before the dawn of a New Era
The Great Prophecy of Isaiah can be looked at in various ways, and clearly he is speaking immediate judgment on Judah and Jerusalem before their destruction by the Babylonians (or possibly others), but also clearly, by spiritual type, Isaiah is speaking of the coming Millennial Era, and he has been so understood to be so speaking since the time he penned these words, no? And what Isaiah does is repeat (over and over) the themes of our sinful rejection of God's good, truth, and right as well as the themes of the social-cultural anarchy and false, phony religion which will precede the coming Millennial Era when God's truth, justice, good, peace, and righteousness will finally prevail, and this is, in effect, the pattern or refrain of Isaiah's entire writing or prophecy in many ways.
For example, in the above ("nutshell") passage we saw perhaps the most famous Millennial Era passage in Isaiah or the entire Bible and followed by a blistering, vivid description of the times which must come before then, just as Paul wrote to Timothy! And in Chapters 3 to 5 Isaiah repeats (in his refrain, as it were) the list of problems which are in the Judah of his day and by their spiritual nature and reality will be in the end-times before the Millennial Era. Is this complicated? No, it isn't. Isaiah says, for example in these chapters, "I will make boys their officials; mere children will rule over them.5People will oppress each other -- man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The child will be insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable." No way we have seen that in our pop culture, society, and politics!!! But Isaiah is far from finished with these themes, which are so like Paul's writings to Timothy. We are only in the early part of chapter 3, and this very long book of Isaiah has 66 chapters, and it is generally considered to be the greatest of prophetic writings in all history!!! And Isaiah is going to "hit the nail squarely on the head" time and again from over 2500 years ago! (You talk about a lucky guy!)
Sinners parade, the Wealthy exploit the Poor, and Women & Children 'Rule' over them!
In chapter 3 Isaiah goes on, "They declare and parade their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it. [This writer has even been to some of those 'Sodom-parades'!] Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. [Then Isaiah adds, but]10Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. 11But woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. 12Youths oppress my people, (and un-Godly) women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the (true and truly good or wise) path. [Clearly this is Paul's false leaders and teachers from the Timothy letters which we see by the truck load in our day? But exactly as Paul's Bright truths of God make things right in the Second letter to the Thessalonians, so too in Isaiah, God's principles of truth, justice, and righteousness come to prevail and dispel the darkness of the end-times, etc., etc. And this is, of course, as in Malachi, also, with his Messenger of the Covenant coming suddenly to the Temple, etc. Here, similarly, Isaiah goes on,] 13The Lord takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. [My Goodness.] 14The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: 'It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. 15What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?' asks the Lord, the Lord Almighty. 16The Lord (then) says, 'The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles'."
BUT, of course, we today have no corruption of justice, no exploitation of the poor, and no "bad" women! No sexual provocation here in our times! No way! No immoral or wanton women strutting their stuff! (Not really talking exactly clothes or ornaments here?) And, no immodesty! (Mini-skirts did not even exist until the 1960s, whatever that means?). And, no angry feminists either (which also did not exist until the 1960s?). No rebellious, offensive youth (also pretty much a product of the 60s?). No way we have this social, cultural, moral disintegration, and provocation Isaiah speaks of! No way! No totally worthless movies and TV shows! No MTV as "normal"! No porn in our day almost everywhere you look? No sex-drenched society! No poor not having their cries heard! No rich and powerful taking advantage of people and perverting the law and justice! No way! Surely Isaiah is confused about these our dark end-times! Isaiah doesn't know what real 'fun' is, nor real 'justice,' nor real 'integrity,' nor real 'good'! Poor thing. BUT as Proverbs also says, "A virtuous or faithful wife, who can find one?!" Rare, rare indeed, is the man who can find one, but apparently in the Millennial Era finding a loyal and virtuous wife will be commonplace, as will be righteous and virtuous youth, and manhood, no doubt, and there will be justice for all! Interesting? (But, don't hold your breath waiting for some of these?)
No Justice, no Righteousness, and the Land is full of Crooks and Oppression!
In chapter 5 we have the same themes continued by Isaiah, just in case you missed them the first time!!! Isaiah says that there is no justice and the law is full of crooks! No way this could be our end-time!!! Isaiah says specifically of these horribly unrighteous and unjust times in which we are currently living: "The vineyard of the LORD Almighty is the house of Israel [that is, the people with good hearts toward God!], and [similarly] the men of Judah are good plants in the garden of his delight. (BUT) he looked for justice, but saw oppression; (he looked) for righteousness, but heard cries of distress. [Not in our world, buddy!]8 Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left, and you live alone in the land [in unjust and undesirable acquisition, monopoly, etc.]. . . [However, Isaiah then says,] the Lord Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will show himself holy by his righteousness. 17 Then sheep will graze as in their own pasture; lambs will feed among the ruins of the rich. [and as Micah says each in his own house under his own vine and fig tree, etc., but, again. . .] 18Woe to those who draw sin or iniquity along with cords of deceit, and wickedness as with cart ropes, [working hard in evil, fraud, or deceit, as it were] 19 (And, WOE) to those (proud) who (sarcastically) say, 'Let God's man hurry, let him hasten his work so we may see it. Let it approach. . . let the plan of the Holy One of Israel come, so we may know it.'" (I cannot imagine that sort of thing happening in our time to the Lord's counsel? Hit the deck?)
In any case, Isaiah is clearly saying to these mocking, unjust, unrighteous wise-acres, that they are going to be 'toast,' is he not? And for our more immediate purposes here, we have, clearly, again and again in Isaiah the Bad, Dark End-Times of Paul which also parallel spiritually the condition of ancient Judah before her downfall, and which must precede the coming good times or Promised Era, etc. (before we leave this spiritual desert, cross the spiritual Jordan, and take the land spiritually in and by the Lord's goodness, etc.). But things are so bad in Isaiah's time that "corporate scandal" was, apparently, the rule rather than the exception for them! Or, so it would appear anyway? BUT Isaiah says (as John does in the book of Revelation), some remnant of God's people remain faithful throughout these dark times! Still, the main subject of these dark-time, pre-Millennial Era passages is injustice, unrighteousness, corruption, greed, oppression, wickedness, bold immorality, bribery, and of course our old 'friend' or 'deception' of calling good evil and evil good! And of course (as Paul also says) the 'best' teachers, lawyers, legislators and judges and certainly the bulk of the populace are completely taken in by all of this total nonsense as supposedly being profound, wise, and good! (Crazy, man, crazy?)
On the Foolishness of thinking that Evil is Good and Darkness is Light!!!
In chapter 5 Isaiah even goes on to speak specifically about our old major theme, namely, calling good evil and evil good! That mistake is, of course, messing up on the ONE question of human existence and doing merely what is right in one's own eyes because one is so "smart" and "wise" about what is supposedly really "right" and "good"!!! Here Isaiah gives perhaps the most famous passage in the entire Bible on this subject in saying to these mockers of good and righteousness,"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put (spiritual) darkness for light and (spiritual) light for darkness, who put (unpleasant, undesirable) bitter for (for truly good and fulfilling) sweet and (who put) sweet for bitter. 21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and (who think they are) clever in their own sight. 22Woe to those who are (so-called) heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, (epicurean connoisseurs of decadence and self-indulgence, as it were). 23(You crooked judges, legislators, and lawyers) who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent. 24Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots (of the un-Godly and unrighteous) will decay and their flowers blow away like dust [as we have told you on this website repeatedly]; for they have rejected the law of the LORD Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel. [No way?] 25 Therefore the Lord's anger burns against his people; his hand is raised. . . (and he is covered symbolically in blood 'from trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored' and so forth, and so on)."
The Raised Standard or "BANNER"
At this point the text takes an interesting turn because Isaiah speaks of the coming consuming "banner" (historians correctly say) of the Babylonians (or others), but which in some ways at least is like the coming, consuming Banner of the righteousness One Isaiah speaks of in the end-times' "victory" of God or his Chosen One in history etc. Isaiah says specifically of the coming Babylonians, Romans or whichever invading army is seen most to fulfill this passage: (God's) "anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.26And He will lift up a banner to the nations from far, and He will whistle to them from the end of the earth: and, behold, surely they shall come with speed, swiftly: 27(Seemingly) No one (of these bad guys) will be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither will the belt of their loins be loosed, nor the strap of their sandals be broken: 28 (These are the ones) whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, (and) their horses' hoofs will seem like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind: 29Their roaring will be like a lion They will roar like young lions: Yes (indeed), they will roar, and lay hold of (you) their prey, and shall carry it away safe, and no one shall deliver (from their hands, etc.)."
HOWEVER, the end-time Deliverer ALSO has "a Banner" not of the destructive judgment of God (to be executed by evil men on the unrighteous, though the unrighteous are certainly judged by the good Deliverer) but rather the BANNER of God's chosen Deliverer is of truth, justice, and righteousness (even a cross?) which is the standard he uses to establish his people (and to judge the heart of mankind) in the famous Millennial Era of truth justice, and righteousness for all the peoples of the earth and which he uses to defeat the un-Godly, who live in injustice and in crooked ways, and who exploit the poor and innocent, mock the righteousness of God, live in drunken reveling, and call evil and doing what is right in their own eyes 'right' and 'good,' etc. Is this complicated? No, it is not. But you ask, "Who is this deliverer?" Well, Isaiah goes on to tell us, does he not?
Then comes, maybe, The Most Famous 'Connecting' Prophecy of All History
Quite possibly the most famous prophecy in the Bible which connects the Christ of Bethlehem with the coming of the Millennial Era of Peace, Justice, and Righteousness on earth is Isaiah 9:6-7. This prophecy is so transparent and unambiguous as to need no interpretation (most people would hold anyway). It says: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of his government and peace (thru time and the Millennial Era) there will be no end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom (of God's Promises) to order it, and to establish it with (good) judgment and righteousness from this time forth and forever more. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." No questions here, so let's 'move on,' shall we?
"With Righteousness he will judge (and make 'war') etc.. . . "
Isaiah is hardly finished in the above passage, in fact he is just getting started, no less. In something of a complex passage he connects the same themes of Christ's first coming to his return or, that is, to the nature of "Christ's reign" in the Millennial Era. In Chapter 11 in what could be called "The Great Prophecy" of History and the Bible, Isaiah goes on to say: "A shoot, a rod, will come forth from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2The SPIRIT of God will rest on him -- the SPIRIT of wisdom and of understanding, the SPIRIT of counsel and of power, the SPIRIT of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD -- 3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4but with (God's true) righteousness he will judge the needy, and with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. [these are also Paul's and John's themes and almost exact words of course] 5Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness (to his task, and to God's people and to God's truth, right, and good, etc.) the sash around his waist," and so forth. [One simply must ask how many of these 10 or 11 traits 'mark' our legislatures today? Almost none in any way whatsoever in many cases? But almost everyone has taken the mark of the PC beast? Just joking, lighten up, folks?]
[In any case, then in what seems to be mostly spiritual symbolism, Isaiah goes on to say in well-known words,]6The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 7The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. [All of which is presumably interpreted to mean that. . .] 9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."
Quite simply Isaiah is giving us the spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God, or the City of God, or the Millennial Era, etc., and it is certainly the same idea as other pictures in the Bible of Millennial-Era peace, justice, righteousness, etc., or of that particular time on earth in history in 'the bigger story' of man, etc. And rather obviously 'Satan' and his army of demons must be somehow 'bound' when this all takes place, or for this all to take place (as a slight understatement)?
BUT, this is hardly the whole of the matter!
FURTHER, Isaiah even says in the very next verse this will all take place WHEN the Jewish people come a "second time" to their land (could I make this up?), and further still more incredibly the Gentile nations will (then at that time, our time) be the followers of the Banner of the Root of Jesse on the throne of David, etc.! (My Goodness. Good Lord, God Almighty.) Specifically, Isaiah says: "10In that day the Root of Jesse (Christ and his righteous principles) will stand as a Banner for the peoples; (and) the nations of Gentiles will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. [And, believe it or not. . . ] 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant [of the Jewish people] that is left of (these) his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the (farthest) islands of the sea (or parts of the earth, etc.)." (No proclamation short of Handel's Messiah could possibly describe the obvious truth of the fulfillment of all of these 'unbelievable' prophecies in almost all of their aspects in our time?)
The BANNER of TRUTH of this Branch from the Royal line of David
Isaiah then describes in detail the end-time Great Triumph of this Branch from the Royal line of David and his BANNER of TRUTH, JUSTICE, and RIGHTEOUSNESS for the MILLENNIAL ERA. (Could I make this up?) And, further, he does it over 25 centuries ago, and about 700 years before Christ's first appearing! Isaiah, in effect, goes on to have in his prophecy the "bright" but "bloody" return with "the rod of iron," etc., (all which we have already seen in previous parts in this study from other places in the Bible). For example, Isaiah 40:10-11 & 42:1-4 say: "Behold, the Lord GOD will come with a strong hand, and his [strong, righteous] arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him [for those who love his truth and good in their hearts], and his work before him." [I'll say!]
BUT, not to worry. . . At the very same time he is destroying the enemies of truth, justice, and righteousness, Isaiah says, "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd (because). . . 'He is my servant (says God), whom I uphold, my Chosen One in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will bring forth justice to the Gentile nations. [but]2He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. 3A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice for truth. [Praise God.] He will not falter nor fail nor be discouraged [Praise God.] until he establishes justice on (the whole) earth. And the farthest most lands shall wait in hope (yes, hope) for his law (and for the judgments of his truth)'." (He must be on the internet or something?)
In any case, I do believe this might be The Triumph of the Truth of God in Christ in History? (Just a thought.) And, of course, this ushers in the Millennial Era in "the big picture" of history or in "the whole story" of mankind, does it not? And we all live happily ever after for the next thousand years? Or, at least clearly so Isaiah "seems" to be saying, no? BUT, again, let us not forget, first come Paul's very dark end-times (and the many years in the humanist, libertine, liberal, postmodern desert, etc.). However, some might say more correctly, in the big picture, we (as mankind, in the city of man) have been "in the desert" for some good number of millennia now? (I am totally convinced that future generations, let alone future centuries, will not even be able to imagine the spiritual pressures and temptations and seductive deceptions we have lived under in our many years since Adam to this our present hour, but that is another story for another day?)
More on Paul's very dark end-times (and our current years in the desert, etc.)
BUT, first, before our Deliverance, come Paul's particularly or exceptionally dark end-times or, that is, first comes the particular generation or the given years in the desert or spiritual wilderness, etc., which we must first go through before entering the Promised Era, etc.. . As we have said before, though a generation is very Biblical in this context, it is not necessary to get that precise here, though clearly, in the larger historical epoch of man, we have been in our own dark, deceptive, decadent desert in America at least for the past 40 years (or so) since the 1960s, when God was declared "dead." (Poor Thing.) And He was even thrown out of the schools, no less. (And the Pledge of Allegiance, I think?) But what I could never understand is, "If God does not exist, how can you throw Him out?" (Or at least, why bother?)
BUT to put these 40 years into the bigger picture, "a thousand years is as a day" (with God) and "a day is as thousand years," and the seventh thousand years in the recorded story of man in the Bible is said by some to be the day of rest or "of the kingdom of God," no? In this imagery the entire pre-millennial era is "a city of (fallen) man" in Egypt (so to speak), and we then leave Egypt (for post-modernism?) and wander around in the desert for a generation for not believing in God's (literal, fundamental or basic) promises and provisions. . . really for the Kingdom, no less, no? But now, at last, we cross the (spiritual) Jordan to the Promised Era of Truth, Justice, and Righteousness for a thousand years by following in our hearts the Banner of God's truth and goodness etc. And in this very imagery, just as the great apostle Paul said, Isaiah ALSO says specifically (in Chapter 59), that just prior to The Triumph of Good, Truth, Justice, and Righteousness on earth in Christ (our Deliverer, Redeemer, etc.), there will be unbelievably unrighteous, sick, wicked, and depraved times . . BUT (not to worry!) . . .
"1Surely the (mighty) arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. 2But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. 3For your (brain-sucking) hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies [recklessly and even compulsively], and your tongue mutters wicked things. [Been listening to our entertainers and demagogue politicians and watching TV again, have you, Mr. Isaiah?] 4No one calls for justice [you noticed?]; and no one pleads his case with integrity [more crooked lawyers? my, my Never heard of those?]. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies [and foolish nonsense! no way! We call it being "educated"!]; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil. [my goodness, Paul's false teachers, or perhaps more again to crooked lawyers, businessmen, and legislators and those who exploit the poor?] 5 [Poetically speaking or metaphorically speaking. . . ] They [these unrighteous, deceived, decadent foolish people and leaders] hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider's web. Whoever eats their eggs will die [no kidding?], and when one is broken, an adder is hatched. 6Their cobwebs are useless for 'clothing' (or much of anything else); (and) they (simply) cannot cover themselves with what they make. [Really?] Their deeds are evil deeds [No fooling? again?], and acts of violence are in their hands. 7Their feet rush into sin [like most all of our "entertainment" and "alternative lifestyles" today]; (and) they are swift to shed innocent blood [again, like today's brain suckers?]. Their thoughts are evil thoughts [and so is their entertainment! And they do not follow Philippians 4:8 in anything they do!]; ruin and destruction 'mark' their ways. [Isaiah, you noticed, again?] 8 The way of peace they do not know [Really?]; (and) there is no justice in their paths. [In fact according to relativism, positivism, and postmodernism, 'it' (that is, justice) does not even exist!!!] (And) They have turned the (good) ways into crooked roads. . . " in calling good evil, and so forth and so on. (As the Methodists and Massachusetts who just waylaid us?!)
Jesus as Isaiah, Paul, and John, ALL have the same central Message?
Jesus as Isaiah, Paul, and John, ALL have the same central Message? I wonder why? In short, for Isaiah, we are way off of the truly wise and narrow way-of-truth path with our wide, liberal or destructive paths as Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14! This teaching on the wide, foolish, deceptive, and destructive path versus the wise narrow way of truth and righteousness is from Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" which is, of course, his most famous teaching, and the Sermon on the Mount also has the same themes of false, deceptive teachers who are really wolves in sheep's clothing, and who do not build their house, lives, or society on the sure Rock foundation of real truth, justice, and righteous. My goodness. The more things change, the more they remain the same? BUT, as Isaiah also says (we paraphrase 59:8): "No one who walks in the crooked paths will know peace!" In fact none of the unrighteous ones on the wide or crooked liberal paths of ultimate self-destruction "will know true peace" whether spiritually, politically, personally, socially, etc., and this is quite apart from the question of whether such ones completely take over the society in the end-times or not? In any case as Jesus correctly says, as a matter of life principle more generally (no less) the wide, liberal, libertine, licentious path leads only to destruction and is seemingly made for the fool by God Himself! But, regardless, its wide tempting path seems "right" or "good" (as Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25 say) but the wide path leads only to destruction, and none will find life who enter therein?
There is NO JUSTICE in the world! And TRUTH has fallen in the streets!
One simply must ask at this point, "My dear, dear Isaiah, what is missing in these dark, crooked, evil, wicked, bloody, spinning-tales end-times?" I do believe it is the TRUTH, JUSTICE, and RIGHTEOUSNESS of God! My Goodness, our old 'friends,' that is, true 'friends'! In fact, Isaiah goes on to say in the very next verse of chapter 59, verse 9 (we stopped above in verse 8!) "So Justice is far from us, and Righteousness does not reach us. We look for Light [or true Light or true Enlightenment], but all is darkness; for Brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. [sounds like, Paul, no?]10Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like men without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight. Among the strong, we are like the dead. 11We all growl like bears; we moan mournfully like doves. We look for Justice, but find none [no kidding?]; for Deliverance, but it is far away [you noticed?]. 12For our offenses are many in your sight (O, God). And our sins testify against us. [Yes, they do.] Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities: (which are) rebellion and treachery against the LORD, turning our backs on our God, fomenting oppression and revolt, uttering the lies our (bad) hearts have conceived." This is clearly Paul, Paul, and more Paul on the dark/ false-light/ deceptive/ own-eyes/ sick end-times?! Maybe? Just maybe? No way!
And how does Isaiah conclude this dark, blistering attack on crooked ways, falsehood, and iniquity? By discussing our old friends TRUTH, JUSTICE, and RIGHTEOUSNESS, no less! He says, "14 So JUSTICE is driven back, and RIGHTEOUSNESS stands at a distance; TRUTH has stumbled and fallen in the streets, Honesty (and good faith) cannot enter (in these dark/ desolate and false-light PC times, and). 15 TRUTH is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey (for not taking evil as an un-Godly mark!). The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no JUSTICE. . " Displeased indeed. BUT, He raises up a BANNER of TRUTH against "no Justice," "no Truth," "no Honesty," "no Righteousness," etc.
The Great Triumph, revisited
And Isaiah then moves on in the very next verse of chapter 59 (verse 16) to the Triumphant Return and a 'trampling out of the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored," etc. Isaiah says: "16He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. 17He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head [in fact, this is the Christian's armor generally Paul says, no?]; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. [This sounds like Revelation 19:11-21, no? Or even like the gathering of the 'invincible' Babylonian horde of chapter 5? No way? I mean "bad"?] 18According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due. [the unjust, bad guys lose who, in their hearts, oppose or fight against a love of Truth, Justice, and Righteousness, etc., at the time of Christ's 'bloody' return, etc.] 19 [But in the Millennial Era] from the west, men will fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he (the Deliverer) will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the Lord drives along. 20 'The Redeemer will come to Zion [that is, the lands of the people of God], to those in Jacob [or, that is, to the people of God] who repent of their sins,' declares the Lord, God." [Just as Malachi said or prophesied, we could add here.]
God then continues to speak thru Isaiah, "21 'As for Me, this is My (New) Covenant with them,' says the Lord, God. 'My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,' says the Lord, God." Quite simply, we can say here, the Millennial Era establishes the New Covenant and the Word of God (philosophically or culturally/ socially in principle and practice), and, hence, the now triumphant GOOD, RIGHT, and TRUE forever as the basis for human existence on earth (both personally and socially). . . with of course the exception at the end of the Millennial Era when Satan and his demon hordes are released on earth and briefly take over the planet for a final time, etc. Prophecy indicates that particular so-called end-of-history at the end of the "thousand year Kingdom" will not be pretty, and God will literally zap them, apparently, in a dramatic fashion a la (in the manner of) Sodom and Gomorrah? (Too bad?) And at that time Christ returns in the clouds in glory and so forth. (And the wicked are presumably then either completely eliminated or "bound" forever with some sort of "eternal" punishment, but we are getting very far afield here, are we not?)
The TRANSITION out of the dark end-times to the MILLENNIAL ERA
Isaiah goes on in Chapters 60 and 61 to speak without question of The Transition out of the very dark end-times to the Millennial Era and of the total and complete victory of the saints in the Lord, as the people of God "arise and shine," etc. Isaiah says in chapter 60: "1Arise, shine, (ye saints of the Lord) for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 2See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and His glory appears over you. 3Nations will come to your Light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4 '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. 5 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'." (There will apparently be great economic prosperity in the Millennial Era.)
And in chapter 61 Isaiah goes back to the identification of this second coming of Christ's truth with the first coming of Christ which Jesus himself also used to identify himself, no less! Hence, this clearly ties the Millennial Era together with the 2000 year Church Era, and hence, Christ's first coming has its 'completion' or 'perfection' or 'fulfillment' in the Millennial Age. (This is not complicated, folks.)
Chapter 61 specifically says (in the well-known passage Jesus used to identify himself): "1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord, God is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion -- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes [yes, arise shine, etc., and] , the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness [not ruined lives of unrighteousness, etc.], a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." Or, in fact the Millennial Era is all a "display" of the fulfillment of all these historical prophecies in 'the big picture' of mankind's story, and indeed of the whole cosmological story of the universe? (And, they said it couldn't be done? 'O, ye of little faith!')
The Final Battle, and the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, etc.
As already suggested Isaiah in chapters 59-61 gives us a foretelling of Revelation 19, and this is not only of the Final Battle of Christ's return but also of the wedding feast or marriage supper of the Lamb in chapters 61:8 thru 62:5 of Isaiah. (Or, at least it sure looks like both of these things are going on?) God says through Isaiah in these verses: "'For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them.9Their descendants (of this covenant) 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.' 10I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord, God will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. . . 'For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake (for the sake of the people of God who love good and truth in their hearts) I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. 2The nations will see your righteousness (O Jerusalem, O Body of true Believers), and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. 3You will be a crown of splendor in God's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4No longer will they call you 'Deserted,' or name your land 'Desolate.' But you will be called 'My Delight,' and [you or] your land will be called 'Married to the Lord'; 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'."
The same Great Millennial Era Prophecy of Isaiah in Micah
But perhaps "the minor prophet" Micah says most classically and succinctly (Micah 4:2-5) what the Millennial Era of the nations of the world will look like in their spiritual truth, in their way of life, in their "marriage to the Lord," in their justice, in their peace, in their prosperity, in their safety, and in their true worship of God in His ways of truth, justice, and righteousness and in His good plans for man and history within His sovereign plan of the universe for all time. All of this is given by Micah in exactly the same themes as Isaiah in just a few verses which are perhaps the most famous words of all the centuries on this matter, of all the words which have ever been uttered about this Millennial time?
.Micah (4:2-5) says: "2 Many nations will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, God, to the house of the God of Jacob [that is, of the covenant people of God who love truth, justice, good, and righteousness in their hearts, etc.]. He will teach us his ways, so that we may (personally) walk in his paths.' For [God says] 'out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem [spiritually speaking, though perhaps literally as well?]. 3 He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. 4Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord God Almighty has spoken.' [Micah concludes this by saying] 5All the (unjust) nations may walk in the name of their (false) gods; (but) we will walk in the name of the Lord our God (of truth, justice, and righteousness, etc.) for ever and ever."
On 'The Great Prophecy' of Isaiah (and Micah & numerous others, of course)
Clearly these prophecies we have looked at here are almost all Millennial Era prophecies and have been so understood for over 2500 years, no? And clearly they are about a reign of God in Christ's truth who is a descendant of David, etc. One hardly knows where to begin with comments on this since so much of the book of Isaiah follows this clear pattern, so let's stay with our "big picture" method of Bible interpretation here, and simply zero in on the bottom-line (which is most relevant here) and ask from these classic passages: "What exactly is this well-known and long-proclaimed 'Great Prophecy' of the 'Reign of Christ' really about?" Simple enough question, is it not? Previously, in prior generations, we did not have to concern ourselves too much with these details, but now, today, in our time, they take on added significance in history, do they not? We may need to get down to work? (Just a thought.)
Isaiah, the Millennial Era, and the "Reign of Christ"
So, what is the long prophesied "Reign of Christ"? Well, politically, the Millennial Age is just a prolonged time of peaceful, free, just and righteous governments on earth, no? Not complicated? And, spiritually, the Kingdom of Christ is the Holy Spirit in our hearts, is it not? And that is what Jesus was trying to explain to us the first time around, and we sort of missed it? (Really?) And, I guess you could say the point of life is living or walking in the holy or righteous spiritual reality of the holy Spirit in all that we say or do, etc., personally, socially, culturally, politically, etc. And, again, not complicated? And, further, this in essence takes us forward to the broad, more general spiritual themes of Paul's letters to the saints on Christian living and on true spirituality and walking or living in the Spirit as a general state of our new being (but we digress). Certainly the over-all point of Isaiah's (and Micah's and others') prophecies is the coming age or so-called Millennial Era will be a time of great spiritual fulfillment both personally in the truth and righteousness (of God) as well as "politically" where there is an actual, historical, literal fulfillment of the prophecies by having God's truth, goodness, justice, and righteousness come to serve as the foundational principles for governments, and for life, and for society generally on earth. (And, again, we say this is when "Satan" or "evil" or "deception about good," etc., is somehow "bound."). And further the Millennial Era will be a time of true and great economic prosperity (Isaiah says) and not of exploitation of the poor, etc., as Malachi also says. And Micah says we will each have our own homes, "vines," "fig trees," etc. and will live happily in safety and security, etc.
However, some might hold a few passages (in Isaiah 11 especially) are problematic to this interpretation and approach. But, in fact, if our treatment of Paul's two letters to the Thessalonians is correct, or more generally if our treatment of the two end-times is correct (that is, the two end-times prior to the millennial era on the one hand and prior the end of history on the other), then Isaiah (in chapter 11 and elsewhere) is not much more obscure or complicated than Paul's letters to the Thessalonians? (Hello?)
Are there some Problematic "details" in Isaiah's Prophecies? Not really?
Are there some 'problematic details' in Isaiah's prophecies for the actual historical Millennial Era? Yes, maybe. But that is all the possible problems are, namely possible "details," especially in light of the overall bigger and much more important picture. In short, it is my personal view that some of the famous passages of Isaiah 11 (for example) may apply both to the Millennial Era and to the new heavens and the new earth at the end of history where all prophecy reaches its final culmination or fulfillment. But again, these problem passages are primarily in secondary details or spiritual aspects of the Millennial Era, OR, possible problems are in clear prophecies of the end of history with the new heaven and the new earth, etc., where, for example Isaiah 60:19-22 and 65:17 (about a new sun and earth, etc.) are seemingly clear parallels (about a new sun and earth, etc.) at the end-of-history in Revelation 21:23-27 where the prophecy is specifically stated to be after the Millennial Era in the book of Revelation (if not in Isaiah). All of these passages seem to be about a future time when there is no longer any sun or fallen fleshly nature, etc. But however one interprets such passages, they have almost never been construed to be necessarily a part of the literal Millennial Era, no? Nor, hence (as stated in an earlier piece in this series), should one hold the great Millennial Era hostage to a false bar of historical occurrence (of secondary matters) for that era at least?
The Point for us now is the larger important historical occurrences are the real issue of Bible-prophecy fulfillment on the nature of the True, Good, and Just actual or literal Millennial Era on earth, and these truly important and central and essential conditions seem clearly to be here with us now in the actual history of man, in ways not even imagined possible just a few short years ago in man's history! For example, a "remnant" of the Jewish people has returned to Israel from the 4 corners of the earth for a "second time," which is prophesied in Isaiah, and in the big picture this is also no small detail! And that occurrence is now bigger or more significant or important for the Jewish people today than God's deliverance thru Moses, just as Jeremiah adds, and Jeremiah also says it will happen at the time of the Messiah, who is our Righteousness, no less. See Jeremiah 23:5-8. Unfortunately, just after these passages, Jeremiah also seems to say quite clearly (as Isaiah does) that that time will be one of great sexual sin, religious phoniness, wickedness, and no fear of the judgment of God!!! In any case, who would have ever thought the Jewish return possible, and at the time of the New Millennial Era, which is to be for all mankind, including the Gentiles, etc., so the prophecies stress!
Regardless of its importance, timing, or significance, this 'return' was never even thought possible until recent decades, but it is quite "literal." On the other hand, the lion and lamb lying together (literally not symbolically), the non-poisonous cobras (literally not spiritually), the lions eating straw and so forth certainly sound like a new heaven and new earth to me at least, (or perhaps some very fancy and at this time very undesirable genetic engineering on our part?). But who really knows where this will all go in the coming 1000 years, no less. But at the very least even these secondary prophecies (of the Lion and Lamb together, etc.) could be seen as being fulfilled now in the most important spiritual aspects of these truths in the Millennial Era?
The MAJOR Point?
Apart from secondary type details or even the actual historical predictions by Isaiah concerning the Jewish people (as such), there is, to this writer at least, no ambiguity whatsoever about the "Spirit of the Lord" reigning in our time in the Branch or Rod of Jesse, potentially and literally, as the foundational principles of government. This is clearly the essence of Millennial Era prophecy where 'Christ rules' with wisdom, understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and fear of the Lord, and ultimately, he 'alone' is the one who decides matters in his pure heart and not merely with his eyes but with true righteousness, etc. And this is clearly and simply the prolonged era of God's or Christ's peaceful, just, and righteous reign on earth in the "millennial era" or "kingdom era" right here, right now, is it not, where these principles and the Spirit of the Lord prevail in government or societal affairs or, that is, serve as the foundation in principle and practice for governments and societies as well as for our individual lives! AND this is the MAJOR point of Isaiah without question, though, presumably, the millennial era will indeed find its ultimate, true, or final expression at the end of history in the new heaven and the new earth, etc., and when we have new bodies and so forth, and are not naturally in Adam and in need of salvation, and so forth, and so on.
The long and short of this is, if one accepts the two end-times as a tool of Bible interpretation (which is, more or less, undisputed) then Isaiah is pretty easy to unpack or, one might say, "unlock" using this "key" or "big-picture tool," at least in most all of the important elements? Quite simply Isaiah is without any question writing of the very real time on earth of the so-called "thousand years" of peace and justice in actual history and of "Christ's reign," or rule with a rod of iron, in righteous principles in the fear of God with wisdom and good judgments, etc. And, hence, Isaiah speaks of the actual or literal triumph of these spiritual principles and realities, etc. . . INDEED, no one disputes this, BUT we say here, apparently some (if not many) of Isaiah's prophecies may only come true symbolically or spiritually in the Millennial Era, because they seem without question to need quite literally a new heaven and new earth with new physical bodies and so forth when the physically dead are raised to new life, etc. And at that time we are not raised "simply" to new spiritual life (in or by Christ's atoning sacrifice, etc.) as in the Millennial Era but, presumably, to actual new bodies in a new heaven and a new earth, etc. In short, indeed, some of Isaiah's prophecies seem to be possibly about, and some unambiguously about, that later New Earth Era, one might say?
Bottom-line: Not to hit this too hard, but . . .
Not to hit this too hard, but I think that is about it, folks. I sure hope you were not expecting a whole lot more, or wanted to hold up the entire Millennial Era waiting for some lion to eat straw. (Give me a break, please!) Because, as we have said before, if we must wait on each and every literal detail of one particular Biblical interpretation to come true, we will, without question, miss "the big picture" and the point of the Bible, AND the point of ALL of HISTORY, no less! And we know, without question, that for some prophetic fulfillment, we have to wait 'a thousand years' anyway, so what is the big deal about some obscure or possible difficult details in secondary matters? (Please, chill out a bit, here, folks.)
Bottom-line: The relevant point at hand. . .
I think the more relevant point at hand for us today, and for history, and for the Bible, and for prophecy is that clearly Isaiah's prophecies of an era of good, just, and righteousness world government coincide with or actually fulfill God's promise to Abraham of a 'City of God,' or, that is, world governments based upon such Godly principles or foundations. And hence, our having such spiritual principles as the actual foundation of mankind's actual condition or being on earth will now occur in history, both personally and socially, as we each walk in his ways and establish these righteous principles socially in wisdom and fear of the Lord, etc. And as the ancient Greeks would say, "This is the Good Life and the Good Society," and the Romans would say, "A true Republic with true rights for all," and so forth. For Medieval man this becomes the "Natural Law" or right moral order of things, and for modern man it is the basis or foundation for Representative government and so forth, and for the Eastern man there is a certain universal or appropriate natural harmony of the various parts of society and our lives in these righteous principles and truths of life, etc.
And, further, for the Christian these personal and social truths, goods, principles, and prophecies coincide with Revelation 19 as well as Paul's numerous writings on this subject of the ultimate resolution of things in history in Christ, no? Not complicated? Christians, of course, see the promises to Abraham to have passed "spiritually" to them through the Jewish people, of course (what's new? Romans 9: etc.), and, hence, potentially the promises pass, therefore, from Abraham (the Father of the monotheistic faith) to all mankind for the prolonged Millennial Age of Truth, Justice, and Righteousness on earth in the so-called "City" or "Kingdom" of God, spiritually speaking. AND all of this is taking place within the actual current history of mankind before our very eyes, is it not? (At a later time we will look at how these various promises may, or may not, pass to the Jewish people, as such.)
In any case, in "the big picture" is this complicated? I do not think so. So, Sing Praises to God? (But, I say again, if you are looking for any more than this, you are going to be very disappointed, no? This writer, personally, cannot do anymore than decimate the army of the un-Godly, possibly bind Satan and his deceptions and destructions for a thousand years, set up worldly governments of truth, justice, and righteousness on earth for all mankind, and ultimately, call people to walk personally in the Spirit in the New Covenant, in God's ways of love, truth, provision, wisdom, righteousness, etc., . . . sorry, but that's about it. If you are looking for something else, you may have to wait 1000 years? But if you think about it, as we turn more and more to God, personally and individually with our lives, this in its own way "binds" Satan and certainly his effectiveness on earth, does it not? And this last 'walking' or 'living in the Spirit' personally and individually contributes greatly to an eventual world reality of peace, justice, and righteousness on earth for all, does it not? As much as anything possibly could?)
"BUT. . . "
"BUT, they said it couldn't be done?" Yes, 'they' did. . . But, 'they' (the doubters, skeptics, atheists, liberals, radical feminists, mockers, libertines, libertarians, etc.) were wrong, . . . again? The doubters, skeptics, mockers, decadent, etc., almost always are? Kind of sad really . . . about the unrighteous doubters, skeptics, and mockers (who do not really love good or truth in their hearts, nor really fear the Lord)? In any case, the moral of the story of all history for all mankind on this terrestrial ball flying thru space? "Stick with 'the believers,' those of good faith and with good hearts. . .the correctly-called 'followers of Abraham' in the faith for the promises of God," or, that is, "Stick with 'the army' of 'the shining saints'," as Isaiah would say?
"BUT, I'd rather be TOAST." No, my precious one, you wouldn't. . . So, Come now, let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow. . . . etc. (And now we are back where we started this writing! Isaiah Chapter 1!)