#0031 Isaiah Two: 2-4—the coming of the Kingdom ii
2 In 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.
3 Many 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.
4 He 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 2: 2-4 (NIV)
- 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?
- Maybe 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.
In the last post we left off talking about what God desires—what’s at the top of His list of must-haves. Continuing on, I must point out that there’s something conspicuously absent from this list; a litany of conditions or prerequisites from those of us who are asking Him for stuff. There is one line in there that Christians would perhaps skew into a condition; but it’s far from definitive: “Thy will be done”. In the last post, I was asserting the notion that God’s will (aka: adherence to His demands, His whims met or His wishes fulfilled) wasn’t something we give to Him, it’s a circumstance wherein He is freed up to do things for us in the same way He is free to do things (bless) people in heaven. Let’s assume for a minute this isn’t what Jesus means at all; that His Father’s will is looking for something completely different—something more akin to what the God of Moses was looking for. The God of Moses was a demanding individual indeed. He had a set of 613 laws known as the Law of Moses these were very black-and-white and specific in design. They were definitely crafted from an L-Directed brain and some carried harsh consequences indeed. But what we come to is the big question of which of these might Jesus have had in mind while he was praying this prayer? I think Matt: 22 might be helpful here.
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matt. 22: 36-40
In this we see Jesus trying to downplay the Law of Moses and create a new narrative—one much more heart-felt and R-Directed in its perspective.
In the last post we left off with this line of the Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread…” I’ve always viewed this in a very straightforward way: the petitioner is asking the Father for enough to eat every day. This sounds reasonable enough; but in The Jesus Clone book, I assert that this a global petition which makes it a Kingdom directive—one specifically asking The Father to end world hunger. I extrapolate the notion further by using a reference of enough food to eat the principle can very easily be expanded further to include water, clothing, shelter, tools etc. until you can imagine the request to include enough of everything for everybody. What’s more, Jesus’s prayer is more all-inclusive (as is the whole concept of the Kingdom) than only to incorporate the circle of all born-again Christians—it has to include—for He is asking these things on behalf of everybody, everywhere and for all time.
The next line of the prayer builds upon the previous lines: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” There’s that principle of reciprocation once again. The way this concept is presented might be misconstrued as a conditional forgiveness; that is: God won’t grant forgiveness until/unless forgiveness is shown by us humans to each other. I don’t think this is the case because it would go against the overall message of the Kingdom. Think of forgiveness as a tag-along companion to the love of God. Remember we said that God IS love? In saying that, we could just as easily say that God IS forgiveness and it would serve to color in, fill out and substantiate the kind of love that God IS. I think that Jesus is saying that forgiving others is conceivable and even possible once we have received God’s forgiveness for ourselves. It similar to what John is saying in I John 4: 19-21:
19 We love because he first loved us.
20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4: 19-21 (NIV)
We forgive because He first forgave us. And evidently the Father is waiting for us to simply ask Him for forgiveness so that we can assimilate its energy which will enable us to first conceive of then actually forgive our enemies. There is more to be said about this; but I feel like I already wrote about it—that’s right I did in The Jesus Clone book (p. 116-120).
Writing about this has been more extensive than I thought it would be, but instead of winding up just here, I want to at least start the next segment of the outline: Focusing on verse 4. This verse in Isaiah 2 is familiar to many Christians but it is most often presented as wishful thinking and can never occur in the real world. Other interpretations talk about this as a description of a post rapture period. Two things wrong with this post-rapture theology:
- It puts all of the doing, the establishing as the highest mountain (verse 1), all the building of the Kingdom into the hands of Jesus and the angels.
- It infers that all of this will happen after the work of purging the earth of the evil non-believers has been accomplished and leaving only the L-Directed and religiously oriented Christian types left to partake of the fruits of this new world.
This is so off the beam of Jesus’s prayer and Kingdom blueprint. For starters, these verses are symbol-based and not unlike the symbols Jesus used in telling parables. The mountain is symbolic of a government or a socio-political system. This system will be higher (more divinely accurate in its design) than anything else in existence at the time—or ever before. There will be something about it that will attract people of all nations to it. It doesn’t say all the people of those nations will be attracted to it, but it does say all nations will stream to it. This could be a physical streaming; indicating the movement of peoples to it; or in a more practical sense it might mean that people of all nations will begin adopting its policies and practices which will, in turn, unlock the Kingdom Jesus talks about in His prayer. A third possibility might be that all the nations streaming to it are streaming as in data streaming all sorts of positive elements of their own cultural backstories for everyone to share in and partake of. In this sense, peoples of these nations are motivated by what they can bring to—not take away from this mountain. TBC.