Thursday, June 26, 2014, 8:11 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “His Tender Mercies.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 2:1-5 (NIV). This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: 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. 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. 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. Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord. The Last Days Many people ask, “What are the ‘last days’? When did they begin?” I believe that Peter gave us an answer to that question. We can read about it in Acts 2. It was the Day of Pentecost. All the believers in Jesus were gathered together in one place. The promised Holy Spirit came upon them that day and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. As the Spirit enabled them, all the believers began to speak in other languages (tongues) known to mankind, it would appear, since the people heard them speaking in their own languages. The people were amazed and perplexed at this, the scripture passage says. They wanted to know what all of this meant. Some scoffers were in the crowd, nonetheless. They made fun of Christ’s disciples, proclaiming that they had too much wine to drink. Nevertheless, Peter contradicted their accusations with the truth. He told them that the prophet Joel had foretold this day when he spoke about the ‘last days,’ saying that God would pour out his Spirit on all people and that men and women alike would prophesy, see visions and dream dreams. Yet, is that when the ‘last days’ began? Hebrews 1:1-4 (NIV) says this: In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. It would appear, then, that the ‘last days’ began with Jesus Christ – with his birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection, and then continuing on into the life of the church. All references to the ‘last days’ in the prophecies and teachings of scripture, thus, refer to the Messianic age and the church age before the return of Christ. The Mountain We must interpret this section of scripture in Isaiah 2, thus, with the understanding that this is speaking of the Messianic age and the church age, i.e. of the time beginning with the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and including his death and resurrection, ascension to heaven, the sending of his Holy Spirit, the life of the church, the judgments at the end of time, the time of his return when he comes back to receive his bride to himself, and continuing on into his kingdom reign on the earth. I would like you to follow with me here as we look at the grammatical structure, at least in English, of these following sentences. In verse three it mentions the “mountain of the Lord” and “the temple of the God of Jacob.” Then it says “He will teach us his ways…” Grammatically speaking, the “he” refers back to the subjects “mountain” and “temple.” As well, in verse four the “he” refers back to the “law” that will go out from Zion and the “word of the Lord” that will go out from Jerusalem (Ref: verse three). And, in keeping with the understanding that we are speaking of the Messianic era here, the “temple” of God is both Jesus Christ (See Jn. 2:19-21) and it is his church, the body of Christ (See 2 Co. 6:16). Zion is a reference to the church (See Heb. 12:22), as well as is Jerusalem, for physical Jerusalem is of Hagar, the slave woman, but we are of the free woman, and we, Christ’s followers, are the children of promise, the heavenly Jerusalem (See Gal. 4:21-31). So, understanding all of what we just discovered above, we can read this passage as thus: In the last days, i.e. in the days of the Messiah and his church, Jesus Christ will be established as superior to all other gods, and things that are worshiped, and also places of worship (Ref: mountains as high places of worship). He will be exalted above the heavens (See Heb. 7:26). In fact, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name…” (See Ph. 2:9). All nations will stream (run) to him. Many people will say, “Come, let us go to Jesus Christ. He will teach us his ways…” He (the law) will go out from the church, the Body of Christ. He (the Word) will go out from the church. Jesus Christ will judge between nations at the end of days, and wars will cease. So, “Come, let us walk in the light (truth, holiness and righteousness) of Jesus Christ our Lord.” The Only Way So, what does this mean for us today? Well, for one it means we live in the last days, so all this applies to us. Jesus Christ has been established as the only Way, Truth and Life. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ. Only through faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior can we have access to God and the hope of eternal life in heaven. There are not many ways to God and to heaven. Jesus Christ is the ONLY way! His Body, the true church, are the only true children of God. The Jews, unless they are believers in Jesus Christ, are not the children of God. They are not heirs of the promise. Only through faith in Jesus Christ are we made righteous with God and thus become the children of promise, the heavenly Jerusalem, the City of God. And, only His Word can teach us His Ways. Physical Jerusalem is no longer the “Holy City.” We, the redeemed of the Lord, are the temple of God; the City of God. The Holy of Holies now dwells within us. So, don’t give your support to physical Israel thinking they are God’s people, for the physical nation of Israel is antichrist. Give your support to Jesus Christ, to his word (teachings; commandments) and to his true church, the redeemed of the Lord. In supporting the physical nation of Israel you may unwittingly be supporting the antichrist. Beware! Walk in the Light In this Messianic age in which we now live, many people will come and say, “Come, let us go up to Jesus Christ. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” Jesus Christ and his teachings (instructions; commandments) will go out from the church. Yet, the sad reality is that, in America, this is not happening much at all. Instead many people are saying, “Come to my church because we’ve got a great band or a really cool (hip) pastor, and you will have lots of fun there because we play lots of games, and we are non-judgmental, laid back, and we don’t get in your face about anything, so the world can feel right at home here.” What’s wrong with this picture? Instead of Jesus Christ, his teachings and his commandments going out from the church, marketing schemes, trickery, gimmicks, games, feel-good and soft-sell gospel messages, worldly entertainment, and teachings of humans are primarily what are going out from the church. What is wrong with this picture? Instead of the church calling us to Jesus Christ and saying that Jesus Christ will teach his ways so that we may walk in his paths, much of the church is promoting the teachings, philosophies, values and culture of this sinful world so that we can learn the ways of the world and so that we can walk in its path. What is wrong with this picture? Is it any wonder that God must judge his adulterous church at the end of the age? Yet, I believe with all my heart that God will discipline his children for the purpose of bringing them back to him; to revive his church. And, when this happens, I believe many nations will flock to Jesus Christ and to his gospel, and that they will say “Come to Jesus Christ. He will teach us HIS ways, so that we may walk in HIS paths.” I believe this is happening right now in multiple nations throughout the world, and that many are coming to faith in Jesus Christ, and that many are being martyred for their faith, too. We need to wake up America or God will wake us up in order to get HIM to be the one who is going out from the church, and in order to get HIS WORD to be what is going forth from the church, so that we can learn his ways, and so that we can walk in his paths. And, I believe this will be God’s mercy come running to us to deliver us out of the grips of deception and to bring us back into his light. “Come… let us walk in the light of the Lord.” His Tender Mercies / An Original Work / January 26, 2014 Fear not! I’m with you. Be not dismayed! God watches o’er you. Trust Him today. He’ll lead and guide you; Give you His aid. He’ll love and keep you With Him always. Walk in His footsteps. He’ll lead the way. Trust in His love; Believe that He cares. He will not leave you. Faithful He’ll be. His tender mercies Now you will see. Fellowship with Him Throughout the day. Tell Him your heartaches. He’ll heal always. Rest in His comfort. He is your friend. Your faith He’ll strengthen, True to the end.