From One New Moon to Another,

All Mankind Will Bow Down Before Me

66: 22-24

   DIG: What clear distinction does this passage make? What is the status of the Jews and believing Gentiles during the Great Tribulation? Why are the dead bodies of unbelievers visible in both Babylon and Edom? Do they die? What are they examples of? Why do they find themselves in the state they are in? Who do they symbolize? Why would this be good news for the believing remnant at the end of the Great Tribulation?

   REFLECT: God had promised children to Abraham (Genesis 15:5). But the sin of Israel and the pride of the world rulers made it seem as if even God could not keep His promises. However, ADONAI is greater than human sin and human pride. He is the faithful Covenant Keeper, El Shaddai, God Almighty (Genesis 17:1). The very work that the LORD has begun in you, He will finish (Philippians 1:6). As you look back on your life, what evidence of this have you seen?

   The fervent prayer of the believing remnant in Chapter 64 is answered by God in Chapters 65 and 66. ADONAI makes it very clear that their sins and unfaithfulness were responsible for the judgment they had endured during the Great Tribulation. But their sins had not frustrated His promises and purposes concerning Isra'el; therefore, He gives a vision of the messianic Kingdom and her position in it.

    In these final three verses the link between judgment and hope reaches its final climax. Here the issues of the book come to light in their clearest simplicity. For Isaiah, ADONAI is the sole Creator. He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth . . . He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in (40:22). The LORD created the first heavens and earth, and He will recreate them at the beginning of the Dispensation of the Messianic Kingdom (see my commentary on Revelation Fh – The Dispensation of the Messianic Kingdom).

    There is no other god; all others are merely imposters who cannot make good on their promises (17:7-8). Just as there are only two families in the world (the family of God and the family of Satan), just as there are only two kinds of spiritual food (angel’s food and devil’s foot), there are only two categories of people on the earth; those who fall down before the LORD and worship Him, and those who are fool-hearty enough to rebel against Him. As a result, there are only two fates awaiting mankind. Those who worship ADONAI will live forever, their seed and their name secure. But those who defy Him will be tormented forever.

    ADONAI describes the condition of three groups of people in the society of the messianic Kingdom. First, He describes the status of the Jews in the Kingdom. “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before Me,” declares the LORD, “so will your name and descendants endure” (66:22). Isra'el will have the same permanence, eternal security and assurance as the new creation itself. She will no longer find herself suffering, no longer find herself expelled, no longer find herself a foreigner to the Promised Land, but shall dwell permanently there in peace. God’s purposes and promises for Israel are as eternal as the new heavens and the new earth.

    Secondly, He describes the status of the believing Gentiles in the Kingdom. “From one New Moon to another all mankind will come and bow down before Me,” says the LORD (66:23). The Gentiles who accepted Yeshua Messiah as their Lord and Savior before their hundredth birthday (60:20) will worship God in the Kingdom. There will be monthly worship, weekly Sabbath worship will be observed, and the Feast of Tabernacles will be observed as well (Zechariah 14:16-19). Worship will not be confined to specific days, but will be continuous. The redeemed (see my commentary on Exodus Bz – Redemption) of all ages will worship ADONAI throughout all eternity. That will be the most engaging and important aspect of eternity.

    Now everyone in the Kingdom will be able to see God face-to-face and live. This was the goal for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; this is why ADONAI met Abraham in Ur of the Chaldeans; this is why He spoke to Moses from the burning bush; this is why the Servant of the LORD, Jesus Christ, came to live and die and rise again. His enduring sacrifice made it possible for Him to proclaim the Good News to the brokenhearted, the captives, and prisoners (61:1), so that every tribe and language and people and nation (Revelation 5:9c), could worship the one true God.

    Thirdly, He describes the status of the wicked. The dead bodies of unbelievers will be visible in both Babylon (Isaiah 13:1-22 and Revelation 18:1-24) and Edom (Isaiah 34:1-17). And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against Me (66:24a). The reason that the wicked have no peace (48:22 and 57:21) is because their bodies will be burned, but will not be consumed. They will face continuous torment for all eternity where their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched (Isaiah 66:24b; Mark 9:48). And my friend, eternity is a long time. There will be no peace, no contentment, and no God. They will be loathsome to all mankind because they are examples of rebellion against the LORD and unbelief concerning ADONAI (66:24c). The Hebrew word loathsome is a very special word only used twice in the entire Old Covenant. This is one time and the other time is in Daniel 12:2, emphasizing the ugly state that the wicked will find themselves in because they have failed to accept the grace, mercy, and salvation that was clearly offered to them. Babylon and Edom will be perpetual burning wastelands throughout the Kingdom period. The wages of sin is certainly death (Romans 6:23). While Satan is confined in the abyss during the Millennium, all demons are divided and confined in these two areas on the earth. Whoever has ears, let them hear (Matthew 11:15).

    There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked (57:21). Like gravity, this is an axiom of life. In contrast with the abundant peace promised to the righteous, unrest like that of a troubled sea with its mire and dirt is the lot of the wicked. Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:10-14 is an excellent illustration of this fact. There is no rest for the wicked in this life, and there will be no peace in the next life. Each of the three-fold messages (That Her Warfare Had Been Completed – 40:12 to 48:`22; That Her Sin Had Been Pardoned – 49:1 to 57:21; and That She Had Received from the Lord Double for All Her Sin – 58:1 to 66:24) ends with one verse that describes the condition of the wicked, and that is what we have here. And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against Me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind (66:24).

    This awesome way in which the majestic book of Isaiah concludes points to the need for unrepentant people to turn to the LORD, the only God, the Holy One of Israel.260 We must always remember the greatness of our salvation and the terrible fate from which we have been saved. What can we do but thank ADONAI and worship Him! Amen.

 

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