IN THE DAY OF CHRIST - Part One
By John Aldworth
Published 20 March 2013
Isaiah 42:1: Behold my servant whom I uphold: mine elect in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my spirit upon Him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Isaiah 49:6: And He said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth.
Isaiah 66:18: … It shall come that, I will gather all nations and tongues and they shall come; and see my glory.
We live in the dispensation of the grace of God and today God’s ministry is toward Gentiles. And grace would teach us that tomorrow in the “day of Christ” (Phil 1:6, 2:16) Gentiles will still be the first to benefits from the “times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19).
As seen from the verses above it is a scriptural fact that Gentiles on earth in that day will receive their greatest blessings ever from the hand of God. And the Gentiles, indeed all men, will receive blessings first before the Lord sets His hand to redeem and restore Israel.
This is why Isa. 42:1 uncompromisingly proclaims that God’s servant“… shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles”. And why Isa. 49:6 says the servant will be a light to the Gentiles and God’s salvation to the ends of the earth. It is also why in Isa. 66:18 it is all nations and tongues, not Israel, that are gathered to see the glory of the Lord.
Israel at that time will not count as a nation, any more than it does so in God’s eyes now. Prophecy makes clear that only the Israel that God redeems and restores to their ancient land will be counted by God as Israel and that hasn’t happened yet.
Gentiles will be first to receive the Lord’s judgement and that’s a good thing because Gentiles have so long been trodden down by oppressive spiritual forces they no longer know what true judgement is. Mention the word and immediately it prompts a picture of a judge dealing out harsh punishment. But that is not what is meant by judgement in Isa. 42:1.
Rather it’s a matter of “putting things right”. A New Zealand businessman built his large appliance dealership on just those words. His slogan was: “It’s the putting right that counts”. And “putting it right” is exactly what judgement means in Isa. 42:1. Judgement in the Day of Christ will put right what’s wrong with mankind, with the world and with the earth itself.
As to mankind our biggest problem has long been blindness and deafness toward God and His word. But in the Day of Christ every Gentile on earth will be given light to see (see Isa. 49:6 above.
But how will this be achieved, you ask? The answer is that in the Day of Christ, the Lord will shut down the world’s noisy, blatant chatter so that nothing is seen but His glory and nothing is heard but His word. That word on the “breath of his lips” (Isa. 11:4) will destroy the wicked but bring great blessings to the poor, to the oppressed, and to those who hear and believe His word. Consider these verses:
Isaiah 29:18: And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and darkness.
Isaiah. 40:5: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Numbers 14:21: But as truly as I live all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.
Habakkuk 2:14: For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Sing hallelujah won’t you? Because all these verses are promises, not to Israel, but to “all flesh” and “all the earth”. The blessings of the Lord in His pre-millennial reign during the Day of Christ will abound to all peoples with Gentiles receiving first priority, since the first order of business will be to “bring forth judgement to the Gentiles”.
What a huge difference it will make when the glory of the Lord is revealed and all flesh shall see it together. Darkness will flee away and the curse of unbelief will be banished. It will be unthinkable to do anything else but worship and obey the Lord.
Importantly, His salvation will be sent “unto the ends of the earth”. Geographically New Zealand might be considered an end of the earth; it’s just about as far as you can get away from Jerusalem without turning back but that is not what scripture means.
In Bible truth “the ends of the earth” are people, people farthest out from God, those most in need of salvation. They are the desperate, poor, oppressed and hungry … for God, though they may not know it. It is they who will hear, see and rejoice in the Lord’s salvation in the Day of Christ.
Think of the masses held in cruel darkness in the “ends of the earth” where Islam, communism, Buddhism, Hinduism and other “works of darkness” hold sway. These are the captives who need to be set free, the blind who need to see the Lord’s glory in heaven. And they will see and will be set free in that day.
I truly believe that the billions in the world now blinded by Satan to the wonders of God’s grace in our present dispensation would have their eyes opened to see the glory of the Lord and hear His voice were they to live in the Day of Christ. I also believe the time for that day is very near and some alive now may well live on to see the Lord’s appearing (1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1,8; Titus 2:13).
What’s more the Lord’s promise to put things right reaches beyond people. “All flesh” will see the glory of the Lord and that includes the restoration of the animal kingdom and all creation.
Yes, under the Lord’s future rule from heaven all people on earth will be blessed and from them the King will then begin His work of calling out His people Israel and restoring them to their land. Those who respond will comprise the true Israel of biblical prophecy. Again it should be noted that the present “state of Israel” is man’s contrivance, not God’s work. It isn’t to be found in the book, its people don’t believe God or His word and still reject their Messiah.
As to the world, there will be huge change for the better. Eph. 2:2 informs us that right now, the world’s course runs “according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience”. In the bright new day of Christ to come it will be run by “the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2.13) from heaven. This is the same Lord who in Isa. 66:1 says:
The heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool…”
As to the earth, in our time its original beauty has been all but destroyed by man’s sin, greed, destruction and exploitation. Only in the last rain forests, on rocky islands and in the icy wastes of Antarctica do the rarest animals survive. Defiance of God and wicked idolatry have turned most of Africa into desert and evil has wrought famines, earthquakes, poverty, tempests and tsunamis around the globe.
But the Day of Christ will change all that. Our great King will restore nature to its original pre-flood glory.
Isa. 351-2: … the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing … they shall see the glory of the Lord and the excellency of our God.
Isa. 7-9: The wolf will also dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together: and a little child shall lead them.
And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
All this and more will be accomplished in the Day of Christ which begins with the Lord’s appearing in heaven in all His glory. Thus in his letter to Titus the Apostle Paul says the very reason that “the grace of God which bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men” in our day is so that:
… denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope and the appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:12-13).
I believe that three things will move the Lord to bring in his bright new day. The plight of the poor and oppressed is one (Ps. 12:5); the ruin of His once beautiful creation is another. But the greatest motivation for Him will surely be when His people believe His word and understand the huge blessings the Day of Christ promises. Then they will cry out to the Lord to bring in “His day” (John 8:56). Then they will pray and look daily for Him to do so.
As I write a long drought has just ended in New Zealand’s North Island. For months we have been looking daily for clouds and rain as the sun baked both garden and field brown. Now, as I write, the rain has finally come and “renewest the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:30).
Just as the parched earth cries out for the rain, so we must be looking for His appearing. One reason to do so is that judgement in the day of Christ will be a joyful thing. Our Lord Jesus Christ is a God of equity and justice. This is why Ps. 98:4-9 summons all the earth to:
Make a joyful noise before the Lord the King … for He cometh to judge the earth; with righteousness shall He judge the world and the people with equity”.
In His judgment our Lord will kill the wicked and ensure that the poor and the humble get what is right and fair, arguably for the first time in history. It will be as He promised in Matt. 5:5: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”. They will inherit the earth because the Lord will first destroy those who would keep it from them. Thus in Isa. 11:4 we are told:
“But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.”
If like me you’re sick of the lies, repression and cruelty of this world and your trust is in the Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, then it’s wonderful to know those following Paul will be revealed in glory to have a part in governing it.(see Col. 3:3-4). Right now the going is tough but as 2 Tim. 2:12 says:
If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He will also deny us.
GENTILE BLESSINGS IN THE
DAY OF CHRIST - Part Two
Isaiah 24:21-22: And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall punish the host of high ones that are on high and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered together in the pit and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.
By John Aldworth
Published 27 March 2013
Why is it that evil spiritual powers from high can bedevil this world with apparent immunity? “The rulers of the darkness of this world” (Eph. 6:12), have been deceiving and destroying mankind for thousands of years. Yet to date they go unpunished by God.
Granted, the sons of God that “kept not their own estate but left their habitation” (Jude 6) to go in unto women (Gen. 6:2) are held in chains in darkness, reserved unto the day of judgement. But the Lord has not so punished those angels who stopped short of this crime but committed many others against humanity.
He has not taken vengeance upon them. Indeed for almost all of human history the “principalities and powers” seem to have gotten away with mismanaging the nations and committing wicked spiritual misdeeds.
In our day far from tolerating these dark rulers, we are called to “wrestle against” the authors of “spiritual wickedness in high places”. So successful are these “seducing spirits” (1 Tim. 4:1) that almost the whole world is immune to the gospel. Furthermore, in these “latter times” there is widespread departure from the faith within the ranks of professing Christendom.
Indeed billions have been seduced by “doctrines of devils” into rejecting the very truth that could save them. Having abandoned biblical doctrine they can be found “speaking lies in hypocrisy, their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:2). Observing this we know we are in the last days of the Mystery dispensation.
What’s more, the devil continues the terrible work he began by corrupting mankind in the Garden of Eden nearly 6,000 years ago. And, helped by a host of renegade evil angels, he still corrupts them today. Make no mistake, “this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4) is ruled by Satan through his dark cohorts. Believers must take the whole armour of God to “withstand in the evil day” (Eph. 6:13), because Satan’s forces still hold sway and still go unpunished in this year of 2013.
But all this is about to change. Very soon these dark satanic rulers will get their comeuppance. This will happen in the Day of Christ, that great event marked as “next” on God’s calendar. The good news today is that by faith believers can lay hold of and personally experience in advance the scriptural truth of this imminent occurrence (Col. 1:13).
The Lord Jesus described this coming time as “my day” (John 8:56) and Paul urged believers to “look for” it (Titus 2:13). It is the day of our Lord’s “glorious appearing” which will close the present “dispensation of the grace of God” and “the Mystery” (Eph. 3:1-4).
When we think of all the misery and murder, the blindness of heart and rejection of God that the devil’s angels have caused throughout history we should be very angry. They have deceived the whole world and brought unspeakable evil and suffering on every generation of mankind.
They control the governments, banks, armies and thinking of this world and condemn many of its inhabitants to poverty. In the name of religion they have murdered and tortured untold millions down the ages. Through the teaching of evolution they blindsided the whole world into ignorance of their Creator and his blessings.
To date God has not punished these dark forces for what they do. Granted long ago those wicked angels who “came in unto the daughters of men” (Gen. 6) were incarcerated but today the bulk of Satan’s host are still free. Of course, it is acknowledged that the Lord Jesus Christ “bruised” Satan’s head at the cross, but evidently it was not a fatal blow and the devil continues his evil work today.
Thank God that tomorrow in the Day of Christ due sentence will be pronounced and executed against the evil powers that are on high. Their punishment in and of itself will be one of the greatest blessings ever extended to Gentiles, indeed to the whole world, in that day.
By the way, to avoid confusion it is important to understand that the words “in that day” comprise a code for the “day of Christ” when found in the psalms and prophetic scriptures. Occasionally, however, the phrase is used of the Lord’s future 1,000-year reign on earth and where that is so the words “day of the Lord” will be found in the context. See the writer’s study, In That Day on the website day-of-Christ-ministries.com for further detail.
Bear in mind that the “day of the Lord” is when the Lord personally visits the earth and its rebellious people with fiery judgement and war (Joel 2:3-11 and 2 Thess. 1:7-8). As such it sharply contrasts with the “day of Christ” in which mankind will be blessed with seeing and hearing the Lord revealed in His kingdom glory. While there will be judgement in the Day of Christ there will be much blessing. The earth, for example, will be restored to its pre-flood beauty and plenty and be filled with the glory of the Lord.
Another important difference between these two great “days” of God - each lasting for around 1,000 years (2 Peter 3:8) - is that while rebellious man is destroyed in the “day of the Lord” it is the wicked heavenly host that is severely punished in the “day of Christ”.
In the first paper of this study series we saw that God’s servant will “bring forth judgement to the Gentiles” (Isaiah 42:1). Also this servant will be given “for a light to the Gentiles that thou mayest be my salvation to the ends of the earth”.
Perhaps we can now see that without punishing Satan and his evil hordes no such blessing could be brought forward to the Gentiles. Consequently I believe it is at the Lord’s actual “appearing” (Titus 2:13 and Phil. 3:4) that the process of punishing the ones on high will begin.
Traditional interpretations of Isaiah 24:21 connect this “punishment” with Satan being locked up (Rev. 20:1-7) during the Lord’s future 1,000-year reign or associate it with the battle of Armageddon.
But this cannot be so for Isaiah 24:23 specifically refers to the Lord of Hosts (who is Jehovah, i.e. Jesus Christ) reigning “gloriously”, that is, in glory, and there is no mention of Him doing so in either Rev 16 or Rev. 20. Furthermore the Lord’s glorious rule must be in heaven and not on earth since it will confound the moon and make the sun ashamed (Is. 24:23).
It is thought by some that the words “…the Lord of Hosts shall reign in mount Zion and in Jerusalem” refer to the Lord’s coming (parousia), i.e. his personal return to reign at His personal, physical return to earth. But actually it is his rule from heaven that is in view. “Mount Zion and Jerusalem” are employed to figuratively depict the effect of His heavenly kingdom as He rules over the earth in the “day of Christ”.
In Isaiah 66:1 the Lord Himself states of this period: “The heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool”, and that should settle that matter. In sharp contrast in the “day of the Lord” we are even told where the Lord’s feet will physical stand at His coming to earth (see Zech. 14: 1,3,4 and Acts 1:11).
We should understand that it is the Lord’s pre-millennial kingdom, the Day of Christ, that comes into force at His appearing not the “day of the Lord” and it is important to note that this takes place in heaven and in glory, not on earth.
Importantly, 1 Tim. 6:14-16 states that this “appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” is an event “which in His times He shall shew”. At a time of His own deciding He will show all those in heaven and on earth the extent of His power as the one and only King over all.
To help our understanding 1 Tim. 6:15 makes clear that it is as this all powerful Sovereign of both heaven and earth that He will show Himself:
Which in His times He shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
While this will have hugely beneficial effects upon earth, it is actually in the glory of heaven that the Lord will appear. There He will show who He truly is to the utter consternation, I believe, of those ruling in that lofty realm now. This is why 2 Tim. 4:18 states that His is a “heavenly kingdom”. It is why 2 Tim. 4:1 firmly links His appearing to this kingdom. Meanwhile we present day believers learn in Col. 3:3-4 that at present we are dead and our life is hid with Christ in God. But:
When Christ who is our life shall appear, then ye (we) shall also appear with Him in glory.
One can only try to imagine the effect the Lord’s appearing in heaven in his fullest power and glory will have on principalities and powers that now rule over nations and keep mankind in darkness. Suddenly, after some 6,000 years, their reign is over, their authority gone. For them this will be severe punishment.
And it will be made worse by the fact that their positions of power will be taken over by what to them are the lowest and most despised of creatures - redeemed men and women, saints who have been promised that if they suffer and die with Christ they will also reign with Him in the Day of Christ (2 Tim. 2:11-12).
This, I believe, is what is meant by the Lord punishing the host of the high ones that are on high. Their power will be stripped from them, their place in heaven will be forfeit and they will be herded into a prison from which there is no escape. For such lofty spiritual beings the shame and ignominy will be unbearable. The sheer light of the Lord’s glory will drive them into a dark place. In fact so bright is the Lord’s glory that, though sinless themselves, even the moon and sun blush as they are put in the shade by His appearing (Is. 24:23).
As to the effect down “here below”, it is no wonder Isaiah 24:1 says the Lord “…maketh the earth empty, maketh it waste and turneth it upside down”. For as the Lord’s shining forth in heaven banishes dark spiritual rulers from their thrones on high, so it also pricks like a balloon the power they exercise on earth through their appointed evil human rulers. Bear in mind that “mountains” in scripture depict earthly kingdoms and “valleys” those that are oppressed by them.
To “prepare the way of the Lord … every mountain shall be brought low and every valley shall be filled”, scripture says. This road making will happen on an enormous, epoch-changing scale in the “day of Christ”. The Lord will harshly punish earthly rulers who derive their power from the evil principalities on high.
While the key verse in this study, Isaiah 24:21-22 clearly marks out “the host of the high ones that are on high” and their puppet rulers, “the kings of the earth upon the earth”, for drastic punishment, it should not be thought that the devil escapes unscathed:
Isaiah 27: 1: In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.”
My understanding of this verse is that it speaks of the devil, the serpent that deceived the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden. However, the serpent is seen here as leviathan, “the dragon that is in the sea”. The picture is that of the serpent as it slithers among the seething mass of humanity (the sea), deceiving here, corrupting there and blockading people from the truth and work of God.
Isaiah’s words bring to mind Israel’s ancient enemies, Assyria, Babylon and Egypt, depicted by the serpent resident in their respective rivers, the Tigris, Euphrates and the Nile. Thus there is the “piercing serpent” of Assyria, the “crooked serpent” of the winding Euphrates of Babylon and the “dragon that is in the sea”, the crocodile of the Nile.
But the wider picture is that of the serpent’s work in the world as a whole. The Apostle Paul in Eph. 2:2 describes him as “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”
In the Day of Christ the serpent’s power and work will be cut short by the sword of God. His lies will be exposed as God’s truth blazes forth to all mankind; his punishment will be to lose power over the kingdoms of this world, as both he and they are eclipsed by the Lord’s “appearing and His kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1). He will be so cut to the quick he will have no influence on earth for hundreds of years.
For us it is hard to see the full power and the irresistible effect the Lord will have when He fully shows forth His glory power and truth in the Day of Christ but the following verses give insight into how our Lord will bless Gentiles at this time:
Numbers 14:21: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.
Isaiah 11:9: They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
GENTILE BLESSINGS IN THE
DAY OF CHRIST - Part Three
'And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will
draw all men unto Me’
By John Aldworth
Jn 12:31:32: Now is the judgement of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.
Isa. 6:1: In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
1 Tim. 6:14-15: …until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in His times He shall shew who is the Blessed and Only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Isa. 40:5: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
This third paper in the series Gentile blessings in the Day of Christ, looks at that soon coming time when the Lord will “draw all men” unto Himself. “All men”, of course, means Gentiles, all people in fact.
Calvinists quibble with the “all” in Jn. 12:32 and assert that since God only saves those whom He chooses “all” here does not mean all. But it does. Their error stems from a refusal to recognise the clear dispensational differences in the word of God. Consequently they must alter Christ’s very words to fit their doctrine.
But we as serious Bible students believe the Lord said what He meant and meant what He said. Therefore If Christ said that if He is lifted up He will draw all men unto Him, then that is what He will do. That is what will happen. The important question is, when?
John 12:33 tells us that the Lord’s saying, “If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me”, signified what death He should die. And the unbelieving Jews He was addressing took it to mean just that. They said (vs. 34): “We have heard that Christ (i.e. Messiah) liveth for ever and how sayest Thou, the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?” Clearly they understood that He meant he would be “lifted up” by being crucified and they could not conceive of the Messiah dying at all. Therefore, they concluded, Jesus could not be the Messiah and they simply ignored His words about drawing all men unto Him.
But does our Lord’s death on the cross exhaust the meaning of “I, if I be lifted up”? No, it does not. This is made clear if we consider His plain statement that “I will draw all men unto Me”.
When were all men drawn unto Christ? Was it at the cross? No. There the people and the rulers derided Him, saying He saved others, let Him save Himself, and the soldiers also mocked Him (Lk. 23:35-36). Perhaps the only ones truly changed in their heart by His death were the thief on the cross and the Roman centurion who said “…surely this was the Son of God”.
Many would spiritualise the phrase “I will draw unto men unto Me”, and say that Christ even now is drawing all men unto Him by His cross. But this cannot be true because in every generation since that of his death for our sin, the vast majority of mankind has shunned the loving Saviour and His offer of salvation.
So were “all men” drawn at His resurrection? No, because actually no one saw Him rise. Were they then drawn when He appeared after His resurrection? No, because Paul in 1 Cor. 15:5-8 states that the Lord was seen of the apostles, of Paul himself and “of above five hundred brethren at once”. Clearly, that does not amount to “all men”.
Nor was there mass conversion of people at His ascension. Actually only his apostles actually saw Him ascend to heaven (Acts 1:2-10). True, a little later the Lord appeared on earth to call Paul as the Apostle to the Gentiles (Acts chapters 9, 22 and 26), but all men were not drawn at this time, nor have they been since.
Fact is that never once in all human history to date has the Lord drawn all men unto Himself. Of course, you could argue, and many would, that the Lord indeed draws all men to Himself but most won’t respond. But Jesus did not say He would draw all men only to see the majority refuse. He said: “I will draw all men unto Me”. And indeed He will.
To “draw” means to exert force to pull an object or person towards a stated destination, in this case “all men unto Me”. In Jn 21:6, 11 it is used of drawing a net full of fishes. In Jn 6:44 Jesus explains how salvation was effected at that time: “No man can come unto Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him…” Acts 16:19 speaks of Paul and Silas being forcibly seized and taken before magistrates. However, the force our Lord will exert in drawing all men is His grace, kindness and overwhelming love. This is prophetically spoken of as a future event for Israel in Jer. 31:3:
“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee”.
Consider the words, “And I, if I be lifted up”. The Greek word for “lifted up” is hupsoo which, like its Hebrew equivalent in the Old Testament, is mostly translated as “exalted”. So does this mean that our Lord will draw all men unto Him when He is exalted? Indeed, it does. (The serious Bible student will find that hupsoo appears as “exalted” in Acts 2:33, 5:31, Matt. 23:12, 12; 11:23 and Luke 1:52. It appears as “lifted up” in Jn 3:14, 12:31-32, 8:28 and James 4:10).
Now in Jn 3:14 the Lord stated that “…as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have eternal life”. Here lifted up certainly refers to His death on the cross and its saving power, particularly for the nation Israel But, please note, very significantly the Lord does not talk about His drawing all men unto Him in this passage. Rather He says:
“That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life”.
Now it is no coincidence, but a divine arrangement by the Holy Spirit that those same English words,“lifted up” , are also used in Isaiah 6:1 where the great Hebrew prophet tells of seeing the Lord “… sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up.” And here the words do speak of an event which will draw all men unto Him.
Here the Lord is not seen on the cross but on a throne and, since the throne is “high”, it must be in heaven. Therefore it must refer to the Lord’s yet to be revealed “heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18). This kingdom, in which Christ rules from heaven, precedes that of the Day of the Lord in which Christ will rule “with a rod of iron” from His throne in Jerusalem. This future time is described as “the day of Christ” seven times in Paul’s epistles: 2 Thess. 2:2, 1 Cor. 1:18, 1 Cor. 5:5, 2 Cor. 1:14, Phil. 1:6, Phil. 1:10, Phil. 2:16.
This yet to be dispensation, which Jesus Christ said is “My day” (Jn. 8:56), is the glorious age in which the Lord will show that indeed He is “the blessed and only potentate” (1 Tim. 6:15). He will do this “…at his appearing and His kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1). Amazingly, the glory of this soon to be event was what Isaiah foresaw (Is. 6:1) some 2700 years ago.
Let’s see what he saw. The words, “His train filled the temple”, speak of the Lord as King having conquered all his enemies. It was an ancient eastern custom for conquerors to cut off not only the heads of kings they defeated but also the “train” of their ceremonial robes. The snipped off “train” of cloth would then be sewn on to the conqueror’s own mantle to add to its length.. In Isaiah’s glimpse of Christ ruling in glory from heaven, the Lord is seen as having conquered or "drawn" if you will, so many enemies at his appearing (Titus 2:13) and enthronement that His long flowing train fills the temple.
And truly here He is seen drawing all men unto Him, His greatest conquest of all. His glory shines forth from heaven and is irresistibly revealed to all men (Isa. 40:5):
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
In this there is the fulfillment of God’s wonderful promise in Phil. 2:8-10:
… He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore also God hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every other name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
The words “highly exalted” in this passage translate the Greek word huperupsoo, which means to exalt above any other. This is what our Lord meant when He said “I, if I be lifted up, will draw men unto Me”. He would draw all men unto Him when He was lifted above all principality and power, above every name on earth and in heaven, now and in the age to come.
Phil. 2:9 makes plain that Christ Jesus has already been highly exalted by the Father. And believers taught by grace know they have been exalted with Him; that is, they have been “made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 2:6). But as of now this truth is hid from the world. “Our life is hid with Christ in God” and will only appear when we appear with Him in glory (Col. 3:3-4).
So we see that “all men” will only know of Christ’s exaltation, and that of the believers chosen to rule and reign with Him, at “His appearing and kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1). This is when his Divine Majesty will be revealed; His glory will shine forth so powerfully not a person will be able to turn their eyes from the sight, nor stop their ears to its message. Then truly “…every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father”.
But, I hear someone ask, how is this Pauline prediction linked to Isaiah’s prophecies of the glorious kingdom to come? The short answer is: because it is based upon them. True the dispensation of grace and of the Mystery were hid in God” and unprophesied in Isaiah’s time, but the truth of the “day of Christ” and His ruling from glory was not. Actually the theme of the Lord’s kingdom runs throughout the Bible. In Acts 3:21 it is described as the:
Times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the word began.
Thus, if we turn to Isa. 45:22-23 we find God vowing that all men will be drawn and in doing so using the very words quoted by the Apostle Paul in Phil. 2:10-11:
“Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”
And in Isa. 40:5 we are told that the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and “all flesh shall see it”. This truth is echoed in Isa. 6:1 in the seraphs’ cry that “the whole earth is full of His glory”. Clearly then, only when the Lord is fully revealed in all His kingdom glory and that glory shines out for all on earth will all men are drawn unto Him. And, thank God, it is is the very next thing on His dispensational agenda.
Isa. 6:1 records a unique event. Isaiah becomes the first and only man to date to see the Lord (the Jehovah, or Yahweh, of the Old Testament and the Christ Jesus of the Pauline revelation) sitting upon the future throne of His glory. Isaiah was divinely transported far into the future to see Him appear in glory. For even now, in this current dispensation of the grace of God (Eph. 3:3), the Lord has yet to be enthroned in his glory.
Consider these facts. Jesus at His trial told the high priest: “Hereafter shall ye (meaning Israel as a nation) see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power…” (Matt. 26:64). The Apostle Peter said God that had raised up Jesus, to “…sit Thou on my right hand until I make They enemies Thy footstool” (Acts 2:34). The martyr Stephen saw “…Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56). The Apostle Paul in Rom. 8:34, Eph. 1:20, Col. 3:1 confirms that still as of now “Christ sitteth on the right hand of God”, “in the heavenly places”.
But Isaiah saw the Lord “sitting upon a throne high and lifted up”, not at the right hand of a throne. He saw the Lord, not sat at the right hand of the Father, but sat upon His own throne in glory in the heavenlies. What’s more “His train filled the temple” and when a seraphim cried “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory”, “the house was filled with smoke”. Now the latter phrase means that Isaiah saw the incense of His presence, that is His glory, filling that earth just as the Lord vowed it would in Num. 14:21:
But as truly as I live all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.
What’s more in the scene Isaiah saw sin is purged. Just as the Prophet Isaiah’s “unclean lips” are cleansed in Isa 6:5-7) so will the unclean lips of all those who confess the Lord’s name in His Day. The purging comes from a coal taken off the altar of incense, which in the Day of Christ will be the glory of His presence made manifest throughout earth and, indeed, unto all men.
Thus the picture we should see in Isaiah 6 is that of our Lord Jesus Christ being enthroned as Jehovah Sabaioth (the Lord of all the hosts of heaven and earth) and filling the earth with His glory. Isaiah saw the Lord of Hosts sat upon His own throne. He saw Jehovah (who is Jesus) keeping covenant with His creation and filling the earth with His glory.
The seraphims (verse 2) are “burning ones” and cry “holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts”. The door posts move at their cry and the house is filled with smoke or cloud.
This teaches us that the Lord is not pictured here as the Shekinah presence between two cherubims on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant but in glory upon his own throne and attended by seraphs, winged serpent like creatures. As ones that burn they evidently tend the altar of incense from which one of them takes a live coal with tongs and touches Isaiah’s lips with it.
This is suggestive of the effect the revelation of the Lord’s glory will have upon all men. They will be purged of speaking and believing the devil’s lies about God. They will be drawn irresistibly to the brightness of His glory. In this way they will be convinced of the truth of the gospel and saved.
As Isaiah 49:6 specifically states: “I will give thee also for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth”.
More truths about the wonderful coming Day of Christ can be found on day-of-christ-ministries.com