#0030 Isaiah Two: 2-4—the coming of the Kingdom
2In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
3Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will 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.
- Isaiah is foretelling the coming of the Kingdom in the last days (the time we’re living in). Jesus said it like this: “Thy Kingdom come…”
- Focus on Verse 4
- Contrast this against the conservative Christian rapture myth. Can both of these narratives be describing the same period?
- Christian evangelicals better rethink the whole Donald Trump ploy.
- Is it time to start promoting a new Isaiah/Jesus kind of end of the world narrative? Yes it is.
This scripture is a familiar one as are many scriptures that come from the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah was an Old Testament Prophet and scriptures that are arguably his most beloved are ones that seem to foretell (for those in Isaiah’s day) the coming of the Messiah (Jesus)
5But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:5 NKJV)
As nice as this scripture might be, it’s telling Christians who believe in Jesus something they already know; as such, it’s an affirmation of their faith—in the belief that Jesus is the messiah. The narrative depicted in chapters 1 and 2 is outlining new material and it’s tied to us (living today) in a very deep and intimate way. Unlike much of the usual Christian fare, it’s not weighed down by a bunch of ultimatums and the like; in this it doesn’t come across real churchy in its message. In fact, it is more political in nature than spiritual, per se. Today we are witnessing, almost daily, stories from the world stage of events that are leaving more and more people in a state of greater and greater disadvantage. As this trend continues; we, as a world community will be looking more and more for the sort of global resolution Isaiah is describing in chapter 2. Our political and cultural realities carry within their very genome erosive conditions, patterns and practices which that seem irreversible and unstoppable. In the words of Ozzie Osborne: [We’re] going off the rails on a crazy train. As a prophet, Isaiah’s job wasn’t merely to predict future events so that we who live to see them come to fulfillment can sit back and marvel at what a clever man he was. Isaiah was God’s prophet and he was gifted with a divine inspiration which had its focal point in his future (our present) and because he was given insight into our time, he—that is to say God had a message for us. God in His eternal wisdom wanted to impart some bits of information that would possibly make sense to some who are driven to and possess the intuitive wherewithal to understand them. And although it’s true that his prophecies of the future were given to Isaiah for the edification of the Hebrews at that time and for others in the in-between times, they were also given to speak to us, in our time and against the backdrop of these latter-day global realities and circumstances. Let’s further consider that if we choose to believe in God, it serves us best to remember that He is smarter than us and He sees the big picture. He always has and still does.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is conjuring a similar scene as is being described by Isaiah in chapter 2. In His prayer Jesus entreats His Father for specific blessings which by definition are Kingdomesque in nature. In The Jesus Clone book (p. 116-120) I break down the Lord’s Prayer and present it as a blueprint of the Kingdom of God. It’s very similar to and, in fact, is an abbreviated version of Isaiah’s prophetic depiction of it. Some of the points I raise there are that the Kingdom is a socio-political arrangement that is designated for earth. When Jesus is referring to the Kingdom of God or to His Father’s Kingdom or to His Kingdom, the term is NOT synonymous with heaven. The conventional Christian perspective of the Kingdom is that it is the same thing as heaven and preachers tend to use the two terms interchangeably. In the section of the book that gets into the Lord’s Prayer, I suggest that if you consider the prayer as a unit—one concept—and think of each item Jesus lists as building upon the one before it. Let’s take as an example: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In this example “Thy Kingdom come” is the main idea and “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is a descriptive statement that supports, explains and expands it. The very next line is “Give us this day our daily bread” and it serves to support, explain and expand the two previous lines. So the narrative goes like this: Jesus is asking for His Father’s Kingdom to come and saying that in order for this to take place His Father’s will will have to be satisfied in the same way it is satisfied in heaven. Are you still with me? The next line starts to explain in what specific ways His Father’s will must be satisfied and it’s something that is surprising to us humans, especially conservative Christians who believe that God the Father is the same God who is depicted in the Old Testament; the giving to people, His children—all of His children—every day their daily bread. The thing uppermost on the Father’s wish list is to give everyone what they need and desire the most. The reason He is unable to do this in the present (sin-filled) reality is because the Kingdom protocols require a reciprocating dynamic to be in place and activated before it will engage or work. The word reciprocating usually means that something must be given back, like in: one hand washes the other; or tit for tat; or what goes around, comes around. This Kingdom arrangement is a bit different; what’s holding God back from giving us our heart’s desires is that He waiting for us to also give—not back to Him—but to each other.