Thank ‘Em!

 

My grandson Eli and his papaw played a game the other day that Eli called “gameball.” The “ball” was a pumpkin. Papaw set up blocks at the end of a ramp attached to a moving van. Eli stood in the van and flung the pumpkins down the ramp, trying to knock over the blocks.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Eli as excited as he was that day. His face was bright. He was flailing his arms. He jumped up and down and danced all around. Finally his excitement became so strong that he looked up at the roof of the truck and said, “THANK ‘EM!” I think this little two-year-old boy was so full of joy and gratefulness that he could not stop himself from staring into the heavens and praising God.

As I watched that scene unfold, I thought about how that is exactly the worship God wants. He doesn’t want Sunday-only, ritualized, repetitive “guide, guard, and direct us” prayers or even “Thank you for our many blessings.” He wants honor, worship, and adoration like my little grandson gave Him. He wants joyful, exuberant, heart-felt praise and adulation. He wants us to be so filled with thankfulness that we cannot help but scream our gratitude toward the sky.

I am grateful to Eli for giving me an amazing and awesome demonstration of the joyful exaltation that I myself want to give to my Father. May my own feet dance for the Lord! May my arms automatically fling themselves high up into the air! And may my lips shout to the heavens, “THANK ‘EM!”

12.18.11

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The Gentiles Come to the Light

I think most of us accept that when the Old Testament speaks about the bringing in of the Gentiles it is talking about the coming of Christ when all people would be gathered together as one in Him. We understand that gathering, but somehow we are looking for another, different, better gathering sometime in the future. Let’s take a closer look at the bringing in of the Gentiles and see what else was to happen when they were to be accepted by God.

Isaiah 42

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

We all recognize that this has happened. We know the Gentiles have come to God. The time of their fulfillment is past (Luke 21:24).

Isaiah 42

9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.

A new song? Where do we see this in the New Testament?

Revelation 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Revelation 14:3  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

Isaiah said the new song would be sung when the Gentiles came to Christ.

Isaiah 42

16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.

18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.

Judgment was coming on those that trusted in graven images, but God was going to open the ears of the deaf and the eyes of the blind.

Isaiah 49

6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

What? Raise up the tribes of Jacob? Raise up? That is a resurrection, isn’t it? God was going to raise up Jacob and restore Israel when the light came to the Gentiles and salvation came to the earth.

Isaiah 49

7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.

8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

At the acceptable time God would send His Holy One and establish the earth when He made a covenant with the people. What earth was going to be established? Obviously the new one!

Isaiah 49

9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

No more darkness (night), no more hunger, no more thirst. The people would have springs of water to guide them.

Isaiah 49

13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

18 Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.

Sing, heavens and earth! Sing, for God has comforted you! God has gathered you together and you are clothing Him as an ornament that a bride wears! What amazing imagery for the people of God! God has glorified us and makes His home with us and we are His temple!

Isaiah 49

22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

God was going to live among His people and they would be rulers above all men in God’s eyes. They would never have to be ashamed before God again. And that time was when the Gentiles came to the light.

Isaiah 60

1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

Arise! Resurrect!

2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

When would the Israelites arise? When would they be resurrected? When the Gentiles came to the light! Some people will agree that these things happened, but they think surely we will see a double fulfillment in the future, after we die maybe. But how are the Gentiles to come to the light again in a double fulfillment? God said nothing at all about any double fulfillment.

Isaiah 60

4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.

5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. [See Rv 21:1.]

6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.

7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.

The Gentiles (the sea) would be coverted to God and God would glorify the house of His glory. That is God’s house, the house of God, the one that has many mansions.

Isaiah 60

8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?

9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.

10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.

11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. [See Rv 21:23-27.]

Please think about these words and consider what they mean. The people fly like a cloud. The gates are open continually as the Gentiles and kings come in.

Isaiah 60

14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

15 Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.

16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

What is this describing? The assembly of the Lord!

Isaiah 60

18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.

19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.

The sun would not go down. It would always be day. Why? Because it is always light now that we have Christ and the Father dwelling with us. We are not in darkness any longer. We have come to the light. The Jewish system is dark, totally dark–outer darkness.

Isaiah 62 (ASV)

1 For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burneth.

2 And the nations [Gentiles, KJV] shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory, and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name.

Here we see a new name being given. Revelation talks about this new name too.

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

This is the city of God (the assembly of Christ) that came down out of heaven. It is the bride. But let’s see what Isaiah says the new name is.

Isaiah 62

3 Thou shalt also be a crown of beauty in the hand of Jehovah, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah; for Jehovah delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.

Hephzibah and Beulah. God was going to marry the people. He was going to divorce and destroy His old bride (Judah, whom He could not divorce when He divorced her sister Israel because the Messiah had not come) and He was going to take a new bride.

Isaiah 62

5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that are Jehovah’s remembrancers, take ye no rest,

7 and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

In the earth. Jerusalem (Christ’s people) would be a praise in the earth, not in heaven.

Isaiah 62

11  Behold, Jehovah hath proclaimed unto the end of the earth, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.

12 And they shall call them The holy people, The redeemed of Jehovah: and thou shalt be called Sought out, A city not forsaken.

I think this is very clear. When the Gentiles came to the light, a new city of new people with a new name, married to the Lord, would dwell upon the earth and be a temple to the living God to shine a light to the rest of the world and be a beacon calling the lost to Christ. The passages above all find their fulfillment in the following verses of the New Testament.

Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Acts 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

Acts 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

This is all a part of the gathering of God’s people in the last days, when He said He would gather both Israel and Judah into one.

Isaiah 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

The End of What?

Matthew 24:14 (WEY) And this Good News of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed throughout the whole world to set the evidence before all the Gentiles; and then the End will come.

The Scriptures talk about an end that would occur when the gospel was preached to the world. What was the end that was to come once the gospel was preached? Has the gospel been preached to the world and has that end therefore come?

Matthew 28 (WEY)

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations; baptize them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit;

20 and teach them to obey every command which I have given you. And remember, I am with you always, day by day, until the Close of the Age.”

Christ said He would be with His apostles always. They were to preach the gospel to the whole world and He would be with them, while they carried out their commission, until the close of the age (the KJV says “end of the world”).

Mark 16 (WEY)

15Then He said to them, “Go the whole world over, and proclaim the Good News to all mankind.

16 He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who disbelieves will be condemned.

17 And signs shall attend those who believe, even such as these. By making use of my name they shall expel demons. They shall speak new languages.

18 They shall take up venomous snakes, and if they drink any deadly poison it shall do them no harm whatever. They shall lay their hands on the sick, and the sick shall recover.”

19 So the Lord Jesus after having thus spoken to them was taken up into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

20 But they went out and made proclamation everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming their Message by the signs which accompanied it.

Many signs were to accompany believers as the apostles of Christ taught and converted them. If this great commission had been spoken to you and me, then the signs would accompany those who believe us. But they do not because the commission was not spoken to us. Since it was spoken to the apostles and they are dead, did they fulfill the commission before they died?

Romans 10:18 (WEY) But, I ask, have they not heard? Yes, indeed: “To the whole world the preachers’ voices have sounded forth, and their words to the remotest parts of the earth.”

Within the first century the apostles fulfilled the commission Jesus gave to them. The world heard the gospel. Now that the gospel had been preached, the end could come.

Remember:

Matthew 24:14 (WEY) And this Good News of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed throughout the whole world to set the evidence before all the Gentiles; and then the End will come.

Jesus told His apostles to preach the gospel to the world and He would be with them until the end of the age. He said that when the gospel was preached to the world (by them), the end would come.

The end of what? The age that was closing! What age? The age to which Jesus said He would be with the apostles until the end. That would have to be the Jewish age.

Since the Jewish age did not end until the gospel was preached to the whole world, the Jewish law also did not end until the Jewish age ended. That is why the apostle Paul said that when the law ended, death would be over. Without law sin has no strength and death has no sting (1 Corinthians 15:56).

What else was to happen at the end or close of this age?

1 Peter 1 (WEY)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His great mercy has begotten us anew to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance imperishable, undefiled and unfading, which has been reserved in Heaven for you,
5 whom God in His power is guarding through faith for a salvation that even now stands ready for unveiling at the End of the Age.

Matthew 13 (WEY)

49 So will it be at the Close of the Age. The angels will go forth and separate the wicked from among the righteous,
50 and will throw them into the fiery furnace. There will be the weeping aloud and the gnashing of teeth.”

That is the only end we read about in the Scriptures. The Christian age has no end. God is to be glorified in the assembly of Christ “world without end” (Ephesians 3:21)

Moonbeam