Isaiah’s Wonderful Prophecy
Revelation 18 clearly foretells the time when the glory of God’s character shall be revealed through His people as the final message to humanity. But is this just a message from the New Testament? Or does the Old Testament teach this same thing? Let’s look and see.
I have often wished that an opportunity would be there for me to meet the prophet Isaiah. I have read his book several times and each time I become more intrigued as he weaves history, current events and prophecy into his book. But I must admit, when studying Isaiah chapter 60 I had missed a very vital truth that helps shed further light on our last post. Let’s read it together.
“Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising (Isaiah 60:1-3).
Many of you will say as I did that these three verses apply to the work and ministry of Christ and you are correct in your understanding for they do indeed. However, when it is understood that the people of the last church on earth have to reveal the character of God exactly as Jesus did. We need to do this for humanity as Christ did it for the unfallen universe. Christ, by living the life He did revealed to the unfallen universe the true character of God and it is the work of the end time people to fully reveal the Character of Christ to all humanity so that they may see the true contrast between Satan and God the Father.
Yet the character or righteousness of God is not something that is simply credited to the person; it is actually built into the person. It becomes his or her own character, so that when others look upon him or her they see the glory of God’s character just as if they were looking at the Creator. When others look upon a true Christian, they will see the same love, justice, righteousness, peace, goodness, honesty; as Christ had and their desire is to see all mankind saved as it was Christ’s desire to see all mankind saved. Within them is no desire for any to be lost, even though the reality is many will not accept Christ as their Saviour.
There is a parable in the New Testament that helps teach this principle. The parable is of the Ten Virgins and it parallels the teaching found in Isaiah 60. The same darkness broken by clear light is presented. For the virgins are represented as sleeping until the midnight hour which is the darkest hour of the night. Then they arise with their lamps by which they light the way for the Bridegroom’s coming. Without lighting the path, the Bridegroom could not make His way. He is dependent upon that light to make His arrival possible.
Christ the bridegroom came and became betrothed to the church which is His bride. He then ascended to prepare a place for His bride. Therefore, since the Bridegroom has gone to prepare a place for His bride, then another must give the same light that was given when the Bridegroom originally came to become betrothed to His bride. Therefore, it is the power of the Holy Spirit, shining out from the virgins that illuminates or shows the contrast between the darkness and the light. This in turn enables the Bridegroom to find His way to His bride, the church. It is at earth’s histories darkest hour that the light will shine forth from Christ followers as they reflect His Character in their lives.
Through the holy spirit, God’s word is a light as it becomes a transforming power in the life of the receiver. By implanting in their hearts, the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God. The light of His glory – His character – is to shine forth in His followers. Thus, they are said to glorify God, to lighten the path to the Bridegroom’s home, to the city of God, to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
It is not enough to merely understand the theory of the truth and then preach it to others. God’s Word is a light as it becomes a transforming power in the life of the receiver. This speaks of an inner working by the transforming agency of the Holy Spirit. This is the changing of the person’s inward nature so that he or she becomes formed into the likeness of God.
By implanting in their hearts, the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God.” Of course, these attributes are to be understood as His characteristics. His glory, His disposition, and His qualities, through not His great dynamic powers to impart life, creative power.
You see, and I want us to be very clear about this, “The purpose of the great controversy cannot be fulfilled unless this demonstration of God’s character is given. Read the paragraph above one more time. Could any teaching be plainer than this? Do you desire to know the way in which you can glorify God and light the way to the Bridegroom’s home, to the city of God, to the marriage supper of the lamb?
The frightening thing is that you and I cannot wrap intellectual understanding of the theory of truth, nor can we attempt to wrap Christ’s covering around us through ceremonies, forms, adherence to codes, or practices of religion. It is by none of these, though portions of all these things may have their place in our lives. It is by having the Holy Spirit from the very character of God, His attributes, His righteousness, within the believer. By exactly the same means through which the Saviour accomplished His mission, the followers of Christ likewise must fulfill their commission in the final conflict.
Christ while on earth revealed through Christ that great love for God. It is on the earth that His children are to reflect this love through blameless lives. They must reflect this same love that Christ did for sinners to be led to the cross to behold the Lamb of God.
As true and necessary as these principles have been throughout history, they will be even more necessary in the coming of the darkest hour of all.
The coming of the bridegroom was at midnight – the darkest hour, so will be the coming of Christ which will take place in the darkest period of this earth’s history. This darkness will be brought about by Satan’s delusions, heresies, and false teachings. These teaching have since the fall been with us, but their strength will intensify until it would appear all will be deceived. It is as the exact nature of those delusions are unfolded that we understand the real cause for moral darkness in the world at the end. It is by those who’s lamps are brightly burning by the power of the Holy Spirit that these deceptions will be perceived.
It is the darkness of misapprehension of God’s character that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted.
This then is the great darkness that shall blanket the world in the last days as depicted in Isaiah 60:2. It is the misunderstanding of God’s character. Satan knows that rebellion against God is begun, developed, and sustained by this means. He knows also the great conflict can never be terminated until people are set free from erroneous ideas in respect to who God really is, so he puts forth superhuman efforts to lock humanity in the cross darkness of the misapprehension of God.
Therefore, the Lord will provide His answer to Satan’s deceptions. This is the time of human history that we should be looking, expecting to see the Lord providing the answer. And Indeed, he has for the time has come for the proclamation of a message about the character of God and His righteousness.
But this cannot be an idle expectation: at this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth.
This is the work outlined by the prophet Isaiah in the words, “O Jerusalem, that brings good tiding, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold Your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him (Isaiah 40:9,10).
Those who wait for the Bridegroom’s coming are to say to the people, “Behold your God.” The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character, they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them. (Ibid. Pp. 415, 416).
The final message is not a message to be argued, debated, or contested. It is a message to be proclaimed, not only by the lips but by the witness of the life itself; a witness made effective by the forming of the very character of God within, so that when people look upon the messenger they see the character of God revealed. Then they come to know God as God is as they see Him reflected from the transformed hearts of the believers.
The coming of this message from God is no longer a prophetic expectation but a present reality. It is a reality in your life, and in mine. It is my hope, that by this time you will have gained some concept of the vital importance of this theme to the point of earnest study and intense desire to understand and to possess the wonderful character of God.
I invite you to read the first three posts on this:
Posts on this theme will return on Monday February 19th. Till then,