Isaiah13 The Last days
The Last days
Welcome and announcements
Doxology Hymn 61:1, 5
Call to worship and Greeting
Hymn no 63: “To God be the Glory”
Prayer of adoration and Confession of sins
Declaration of pardoning
Hymn no 506 (tune 621): “The Lord is rich and merciful”
Hymn no 455: “Onward Christian soldiers”
Offering and Dedication
While the Offering is taken up, all (remaining seated) sing) Hymn no 609: “For the fruits of his creation”
Prayer of Intercession Elder Ian Hutchison
Old Testament: Isaiah 2:1-5
New Testament: Revelation 21:9-27
Reader: Enid Hutchison
Dear brother and sister in the Lord,
Last week we dealt with the subject about the future of the church. It was the phrase "the last days" in those 2 of Isaiah 2 which focused our attention on what the Lord promises for his church. The phrase we used was eschatology. Eschatology is to study of the things concerning the last times.
They are theologians would take this phrase to mean only those things that will happen in the very end of the existence of the earth. We cannot understand the Bible determine close this way. The whole book of Isaiah points to the coming of the Messiah. We must therefore understand that when the prophet employs the term "last days", there is a twofold meaning of the term. First of all, the term is used to describe the time of the coming of Jesus Christ into the world to become the saviour of the people of God. He was promised Messiah. He would take upon himself the inequities of the world. By doing that, Jesus was the fulfilment of the promise made by God in the garden of Eden. We must understand the full significance of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and his resurrection out of the grave.
Jesus Christ the focal point of history
The Bible tells us about God's plan for the world. God created the world in six days, and after God finished his creation, he looked upon what he had created and declared it to be "good, very good indeed".
But man rebelled against God. As a result of his sin, God placed a curse on man and the earth. Man faced eternal death. He sins separated him from his creator. Further, sin credit into interpersonal relations. Further, a God had created for man to be a garden of beauty over which he would have dominion, now became his enemy. And there was nothing he could do to improve his own situation. The world became an evil place.
But God in his mercy appeared to Adam and gave him the promise of the Messiah, for one would be born to crush the head of the serpent. That would satisfy the righteousness of God. That would pay the price to open Eden's Gate once again. The blood of Jesus would take away the curse of sin and would in principle restore paradise.
Indeed, Jesus Christ is the focal point of all history. His cross and resurrection brought new hope for those elected by God. And it is of this coming of Jesus Christ, that the prophet Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 2:2. In fact, Jesus was the beginning of the last days.
The last days
So, in the narrow sense of the word for term "last days" refers to the first coming of Jesus Christ into this world. Furthermore, the same term refers to the period of Christian church under Jesus Christ. By and through the last command to go and disciple the world under Jesus Christ, the church now is called to, buy the gospel of Jesus Christ and preaching of the word, and under the blessing of God call was pleased with sacrifice of Jesus Christ, exercise a new dominion. We live in the time of the Holy Spirit made it possible for ordinary people become disciples and to be powerful in the word of God and to make it spread across the world, drawing people to God so that they will once again even in the light of God's word as God's people. Being redeemed by Jesus Christ, call was the fulfilment of law, they now live according to that law. And more people become obedient to this law, the more people and peoples will eventually bow before the cross of the risen Jesus.
And as such, under Christ, the church will be known as of the house of the Lord. The first Jerusalem was destroyed, the temple was destroyed, Mount Zion was destroyed. It or happen in 70A.D. Jesus was the fulfilment of all the Old Testament prophecies. He was the fulfilment of the Old Testament sacrificial system. By giving himself, his body became the temple. He was the last in final high priest. He was the last in final sacrifice. And by promising his church that he would be with him till the very last days of this world, and the authority was given to him in heaven and on earth, and by the fact that they were given the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses of the risen Christ into the very corners of this world, the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilment -- or should we say, is being fulfilled.
Therefore we said last week that the church under Jesus Christ has a bright future. Many peoples will flow into the church. They will turn away from their idols and from man-made religions. And their heart God will plant of the desire to find out more about the saviour of the world, Jesus Christ. It's the task of the church to provide and gospel of hope of forgiveness of love and of the future in Jesus Christ.
May I read from a commentary written by the Young:
"Those who proclaim the word of God must exercise supreme care that would take preaching is the word of God. It is only possible when the messenger bases his message squarely upon and making it consonant with the written word of God, the Bible. When the minister preaches God must be heard. This passage teaches that what unbelievers need above all else is teaching or doctrine. What blinds the understanding of men is ignorance, and ignorance can only be dispelled by truth."
The result will be the people walk in his paths, for out of the church, the new Zion, the light will shine for the world and they will walk in the law of the Lord. This will bring real peace on this world, as the Bible tells about what is usually use for warfare world now be used as instruments to fulfill the dominion task of culture and development of the world.
The New Jerusalem
How do we know these things and how do we read God's word to understand these things? Of course we look at the word of God self.
There are those who think that they must be a new Jerusalem as the people of Israel will be restored as national nation in the capital where Jerusalem will be restored and Christ will come and reign as a political and a religious leader of the world. But looking at Revelation chapter 21, which tells about a new heaven and a new earth, we see something different to this idea.
In line with the rest of the New Testament, this chapter tells us that God's chosen people are the new Jerusalem. After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there was no use for the temple or of the city of Jerusalem. The temple was destroyed, and so was the city. God's new people have now become the temple of the Holy Spirit. The church is a new Jerusalem. The church is the private Christ. Every member of the church becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit.
And in Revelation 21:9 we see the same. The aim to wonder to show John the Bride, the wife of the Lamb. Of course this refers to the church. John God carried away in the Spirit, and once a gain we refined reference to the mountain great and high. In this verse we see her reference to the Old Testament, the first coming out of Isaiah chapter 2:2. And here the bride is described as the Holy City. God's people is now the city. God City is not a place or a locality. It is a body, and organism, but people washed in the blood of the lamb. When they come from?
The reference in verse 12 of Revelation 21 to 12 gates and 12 angels at the gates and the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on the gates, and in verse 14 her reference to the 12 foundations and on and the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, is clearly a reference to the church of Christ of the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. All those elected from all eternity in Christ Jesus through all history, saved in Jesus Christ, make up the new Jerusalem. They shine of the glory of God and the brilliance of the church is like a very precious jewel, precious and clear as crystal.
The city is perfect. The reference to the 12,000 stadia in length, in width and in hight makes a perfect cube. It is made by God and therefore it is perfect. The material and on which the church is built and described by, Texas back to the picture of the garden of Eden.
Of course, because of the final and perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, there will be no temple. There will be no sun or moon. The glory of God gives its light and the lamb is his lamp.
All will be gathered in the New Jerusalem? The verse 24 helps us. It is those, the nation's, spoken of by Isaiah who gathered in the church, heeding to the gospel of Jesus Christ, responding by bowing to the King of all Kings. There will be no fear for any enemy that may attack by night, because they will be no night, and therefore there will not be any gates that need to be shut. As a result nothing in appeal whatever entry, not what anyone about what is shameful deceitful, but only those most names of written in the lamb's book of life.
Dear brother and sister,
Under the Lord Jesus Christ, and because of his victory, and because of the righteousness of the cross, and because of his promise that he will be with us, and because all authority in heaven and on earth are given to him, and because he has given us his Holy Spirit, the church has a bright future.
But not only does the future here on earth looks bright, we have a bright future into all eternity. The bride of Jesus Christ, who is referred to as the new Jerusalem, the city of God, is sure. It is not city made by hands or built by human effort, it is city bought by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is imperishable.
Do you look forward to be part of that city? Then, brother and sister, take hold of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Believe it with all your heart, turned away from what is wrong, repent onto the Lord, except his offer of salvation and the part of the church believe in the future not only for this world, but also for the world to come. Amen.