#0033 Isaiah Two: 2-4—the coming of the Kingdom iv

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 2: 2-4 (NIV)

Outline:

  • 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. 

Last time we left off still talking about Verse Four. specific a changing of  and today we’re going to move on; but before we do l  today we’re moving on to line 3.  Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Here, again the temptation is to go with the literal interpretation of this because this peace theme can be construed as normal Christian fare. But we will try to avoid this temptation and see if a bigger concept can be seen here.

Recap or Verse 4 so far:

Line 1: He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.

 This seems to depict something other than the usual win-lose Christian narrative—especially as lines 2 and 3 are brought in; if so the question remains of how God is going to manage this healing between nations. How will God un-ring the bell of the plan of salvation?

Line 2: They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.

Last time we observed that the scene was not an event but rather a multi-phased process—in this we were saying that the beating of the spears into plowshares is more than a general symbol depicting an end of the war scenario and the specific images of swords, spears, plowshares and pruning hooks might hold the key to this deeper meaning. The idea was brought forth that the plowshares would be used to break up the hard-packed soil of traditional thinking and cultural bias making it ready to receive the seeds of a new socio-political-spiritual message. In the same way when the time comes for harvesting the fruits grown from these new seeds, the spears beat into pruning hooks will be used.

And now Line 3: Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Keeping away from the theme of war in the literal sense, we can find other, bigger inferences to doing battle in other areas. Political battles for example. This arena is especially hot and heavy in the news as we are in the throes of the 2016 U.S. presidential race. Still other areas would involve: battles over beliefs (doctrines); ideologically-based contentions; power struggles; authority struggles; legal struggles; completive-based educational systems; worth of persons tracked on a scale of status and monetary success. The list goes on and on. All of these examples are working from a win-lose imperative. The old Christian model wholly embraces and promotes this win-lose narrative. And although we see this story spun in virtually every circle of life, it can reasonably be argued that the very origins of the likes of contention, one-upmanship, having to prove one’s worth and so on  live and flourish in the bosom of the traditional Christian narrative. This narrative says that at his very core—mankind is a loser and the only chance he has at winning is through Jesus Christ. From the Christians’ perspective, they might say, “Yeah, isn’t it great!? Not taking away from Jesus and His awesomeness, this portion of the story just plain sucks. Christians say, “Why?! Salvation is everything—it’s so worth doing whatever it takes to gain eternal salvation, yet He asks for so little from us!” It sucks because this narrative sells Him and His Father short on their actual awesomeness. Where the traditional narrative falls down is when you start adding up the billions and billions of souls who [it claims] will burn in hell forever, simply because they haven’t accepted Jesus as their personal savior, or its equivalent—regardless of the circumstances. This sort of concept doesn’t come from the mind of God, it comes from the left hemisphere of the human brain; it’s L-Directed; it’s petty; it’s pathetic. There is an old adage that really applies here: “liberals fall in love and conservatives fall in line.” According to this verse in Isaiah 2, a new world order is in the offing and it will arise out of a new religious and Christian narrative—one that no longer promotes the taking up of arms between nations (polarized individuals and groups); and one that no longer trains (teaches through its doctrines) war (the win-lose scenario) anymore.

Remember the end of days doctrine the Christians refer to as the Rapture? That narrative is the culmination of the win-lose imperative and it emits a whole other energy than the Isaiah scripture. Isaiah is an actual person, a prophet who was given inspiration by God to write the things we’re discussing here. The rapture myth was devised by someone misinterpreting something Jesus was talking about which is written in Matthew. The theory is very thin—it’s derived from a few lines of scripture—but its weight comes entirely from the fact that these few lines of monologue belong to Jesus. I have found that many Christian theologians have a hard time really understanding Jesus—and it’s because they don’t understand His message about the Kingdom. So when they are attempting to make sense of something He is saying which is referencing the Kingdom and they try to make it say something else, this is when their interpretation can really go awry. I don’t get the specific reference He uses in this scripture, but I do get what He’s getting at in scriptures all around this one. They are all referencing elements of His Kingdom in the last days. I get into it quite extensively in The Jesus Clone book (it’s not included in the preview, sorry).

The following link is a good example of the win-lose imperative that is in place in our country and within the world. Christian conservatism, by and large, supports political conservatism mostly because these conservative Republicans are vocal and quick to point out that God is on their side of these kinds of issues. Just because someone claims something doesn’t make it so. We are living in a time when people around the world as well as in America are starting to wake up and smell the coffee. In the clip that follows, Elizabeth Warren is describing a situation that we can categorize as hard-packed soil and it is in need of plowing and having new seeds of equity planted therein. Seen here is Congresswoman Warren beating the political sword into the plowshare we’ve been discussing.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/elizabeth-warrens-remarks-on-wage-growth-after-reagan/2015/10/23/a296ee9a-7991-11e5-a5e2-40d6b2ad18dd_video.html

Purchase or preview for free The Jesus Clone book here…

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