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Isaiah: Prophet of Salvation Book 1

Isaiah is the prophet of Salvation. He is also known as the truly "Universalist" prophet, by which is meant that He makes it clear that salvation is extended equally to all nations and not just to Israel. He lived to see the fall of Israel and the deportation of the Israelites to Assyria, and he prophesied of their "return" to God (through repentance). He is truly a "major prophet" whose prophecies greatly influenced the Apostle Paul in the New Testament.

Category - Bible Commentaries

Isaiah 2: The Universal Kingdom

Chapter 10: Why God Abandoned Israel

In our New Covenant understanding of Isaiah 2:3, appropriate for the end of the age, I see the house of God being the universal, spiritual temple made of living stones, described by Paul in Eph. 2:19-22. It is not composed of a single ethnic group, such as Israelites or Jews, but all people are welcome to worship with equal standing. No dividing walls are allowed.

Secondly, all are bidden to come and learn the law of God. The New Covenant did not do away with the law itself, but the Old Covenant has been rendered obsolete (Heb. 8:13). The Old Covenant was a covenant between God and our fleshly, soulish identity that we all received from our natural parents. It required one’s soul to obey the laws of God—something which was impossible, given its inherent mortal and corruptible condition.

The New Covenant made an alteration by requiring God Himself to make us obedient, so that we may indeed be His people and so that He may be our God (Deut. 29:12, 13). The responsibility is God’s alone to make whatever changes are necessary in our hearts. The New Testament shows that this is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit working within each of us. Hence, the Ten Commandments have become the Ten Promises of God, where God Himself promises such things as ‘You will have no other gods before Me,” “You will not steal,” and “You will not covet.”

Because of the spiritual nature of the Holy Spirit and His working, the priesthood was changed from that of Aaron to that of Melchizedek. The form of sacrifice was changed from the prophetic types and shadows (animal sacrifice) to the true Lamb of God, Jesus Christ Himself. Laws of purification were changed from physical types (water or blood) to spiritual realities (the word and the blood of Jesus).

In all of these changes, the essential principles of the law remained in full effect. It is only the form and manner of application that changed. For this reason, the law of God must still be studied, “eaten,” and assimilated, rather than discarded. This is what must be taught by the Melchizedek priests who minister in the house of God in Mount Sion, which is the mountain of the Lord in the New Jerusalem.

At the present time, few in the Church teach the law, focusing mostly on the New Testament. This has prevented most of today’s priests from comprehending the difference between the two covenants. They claim to be under the New Covenant, but in practice, they view the New Covenant as if it were just a renewal of the Old Covenant. Our salvation, they insist, is still with the fleshly soul. Its decision, they say, is what saves us, regardless of its failure to live up to its promises.

Hence, they believe that the Holy Spirit is called to help us fulfill our Old Covenant vows, which is no different from the Israelites who made their vow in Exodus 19:8. They too prayed that God would help them fulfill their vows of obedience in order to receive the blessings of salvation. But all men have failed to achieve salvation in this manner.

So Isaiah’s prophecy of an end-time establishment of the mountain of God cannot be fulfilled by lawless priests—those who despise the law or who cast it aside, thinking that they can properly love God and their neighbors without knowing the basic principles of love written in the law.

The Melchizedek priests who aspire to be overcomers ministering as the latter-day house of God cannot teach what they do not know or understand. That is why I began to study the law seriously in 1978 and to teach it when this ministry was established in 1993. My purpose is to train people to rule as king-priests (Rev. 5:10, KJV) and to judge the world in righteousness (1 Cor. 6:2).

The Result of Righteous Judgment

Isaiah 2:4 says,

4 And He will judge between the nations and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.

“He” is God, working primarily through His Agent, Jesus Christ. Christ is the highest Ruler in the earth. He is the Chief Justice of the Divine Court, but He also has many lower-court judges under His supervision. For this reason, Paul says, “the saints will judge the world” and even “angels” (1 Cor. 6:2, 3). Hence, they are called “kings” who rule under the authority of the King of Kings.

Many Christians abhor judgment, because they see all judgment as condemnation. They see Matt. 7:2 as a prohibition of any judgment at all, when in fact it is a warning not to judge hypocritically, for whatever is our standard of measure will be applied to ourselves as we have applied it to others. That is part of the law of impartial judgment.

God’s judges do not stand above the law. They will be judged by the same standard that they judge others. Righteous judgment is not prohibited but promoted in Scripture.

Hence, Moses told the people to appoint for themselves judges (Deut. 16:18). The world has long been in need of righteous judgment to restrain sin and injustice toward others. Nations have attacked and oppressed other nations internationally; nations have oppressed their own people; individuals have attacked and robbed their neighbors. The whole world groans from injustice.

But David prophesies in Psalm 67:4,

4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness [with equity] and guide the nations on the earth.

The nations currently groan under the weight of more powerful nations who do not often judge with equity but according to self-interest. Yet the righteous rule of Christ as the King of Kings, along with the subordinate kings under Him, will cause all nations to “sing for joy.” The world’s powerful national leaders and kings who love to oppress others will not be happy, of course, for their oppressive power will be taken away or greatly reduced. But the vast majority of nations will be glad to see the rule of Christ.

Psalm 96:12, 13 says,

12 Let the field exult and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy 13 before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness.

As this new chapter in world history dawns, the people will learn about true Kingdom government and its righteous laws which govern men’s relationships both domestically and internationally. Such studies from the 1600’s and 1700’s that were done by the Protestant reformers, resulting in the (original) American form of government had some major flaws, but its basic principles changed world history for the betterment of mankind. Those ideas will be refined and perfected in the Kingdom that is to come and will be taught to the people.

In the end, the purpose of righteous judgment is summarized in Isaiah 26:9,

9 … For when the earth experiences Your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

That, of course, is the ultimate purpose of all righteous judgment. It is not to destroy the sinner but to correct him and teach him to love his neighbor and “learn righteousness.” Christ’s international tribunal will judge disputes between nations and prevent the more powerful nations from oppressing or robbing the weak.

For this reason, the nations will find weaponry to be of no practical use, and “never again will they learn war.” Resources can be spent to prosper the people, rather than being spent on self-defense. Wealth and power will not be used to establish hegemony over other nations.

God Abandoned the House of Jacob

Isaiah 2:5, 6 says,

5 Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the Lord. 6 For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with influences from the east, and they are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they strike bargains with the children of foreigners.

The prophet appealed to the people to turn from their evil ways so that God might again deliver them. He calls them the “house of Jacob,” as if to emphasize that they had reverted back from Israel to Jacob.

The name Jacob was the nation’s carnal name, indicating that the nation was deceptive and had overstepped their bounds. As such they were not true Israelites, for Israel was a name testifying to the belief in the sovereignty of God, acknowledging Him to be the King of Kings and the righteous Lawgiver.

Just because one is descended from the man whose name was changed to Israel does not mean that he is an Israelite in the sight of God. Only those who have wrestled with the angel and learned that “God rules” is an Israelite by God’s definition. All others are Jacobites at best, following Jacob’s carnal example of thinking that God needed the help of the flesh to fulfill His promises. Jacob was a believer, but Israel was an overcomer.

The “house of Jacob” was not supposed to be influenced by ungodly nations but was supposed to influence those nations. Deut. 4:6-8 says,

6 So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. 7 For what great nation is there that has a God so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him? 8 Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?”

The laws of God are the manifestation of the wisdom of God. If Israel had fulfilled its calling, the nations would have looked to the laws of God and realized how wise Israel was in implementing these righteous laws. Instead, the Israelites were influenced by the unrighteous laws of the other nations, thinking that their laws were wiser than God’s laws.

This, in fact, is the problem that will be overcome when the mountain of the Lord is established above the hills (Isaiah 2:2, 3). What failed under Israel’s Old Covenant will succeed under the New Covenant and its righteous King.

Failing the Tests

In Isaiah’s time, God abandoned both Israel and Judah because they had both rejected God and His laws. The seeds of iniquity had been sown early in Israel’s history, most notably with their worship of the golden calf (Exodus 32:4) while they were yet at Mount Horeb. Later, after entering the Promised Land, God left foreign influences in the land to test the heart of the Israelites.

Judges 3:1, 4 says,

1 Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan)… 4 They were for testing Israel, to find out if they would obey the commandments of the Lord, which He had commanded their fathers through Moses.

Israel failed throughout its history, because their Old Covenant could only attempt to regulate their behavior. If hearts are not changed, even believers will be influenced by the world and its gods and will gradually degenerate into apostasy and sin. Leaving some of the idolatrous nations in Israel proved the point, for it was always in the plan of God to expose the flesh’s inability to fulfill its Old Covenant vow. The Old Covenant was never going to succeed.

It is the same today. God has left a host of spiritual Canaanites in America to test the Church and see if it will influence them or if the Canaanites will influence the Church.