Isa 2:1-4 They Shall Beat Their Swords into Plowshares 4/2/2000

Intro: A new vision (Isa 2:1)

 

 

#1. The Mountain of the Lord's House Shall Be Established (Mic 4:1-3,6-7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2. Let Us Go Up to the Mountain of the Lord (Psalm 27:4, 42:1-2, 84:1-2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3. The Result of His Teaching on the Mountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isa 2:1-4 They Shall Beat Their Swords into Plowshares 4/2/2000

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 2, verse 1. The title of today's sermon is: "They Shall Beat Their Swords into Plowshares". That sounds wonderful. That sounds like the beginning of a new millennium. But is that really so? Let's look at verse 1.

Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

 

The word that Isaiah saw? Isaiah received a message from God in words, but Isaiah saw that message in action, as if he saw it already with his inner eyes. God gave him a new vision here. It was again a message concerning Judah and Jerusalem and it reaches all the way to the end of chapter 4.

When we read these words, we have to keep in mind that God uses the history of Judah and Jerusalem as a picture of the N.T. Church. That is not a pretty picture. We have already seen in chapter 1 that Judah and Jerusalem were in a terrible shape, but so is also the Church of our days. Just like Judah and Jerusalem were teetering on the edge of destruction, so the Church of our days is on the edge of being overrun by the armies of those who speak in other tongues. It is only by the Grace of God that our Church is still faithful to the Word of God.

But here, in verses 2, 3 and 4, like in a grand sweep, God describes the condition of the Church during the entire N.T. time. The first point God describes is:

#1. The Mountain of the Lord's House Shall Be Established (Mic 4:1-3,6-7)

Verses 2, 3 and 4 are the introduction to the next three chapters of Isaiah. God begins to say:

Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

 

That sounds wonderful. That sounds like a story from another world. But keep in mind that God is speaking in parabolic language. Did you know that these words have been repeated somewhere else in the Bible? That happens more often in the Bible. For example, did you know that Psalm 14 and Psalm 53 are almost word for word the same? But did you know that these words in Isa 2:2-4 are repeated in Micah 4:1-3? Please turn to the Prophecy of Micah 4:1-3. It is on page 1435 in my Bible.

Micah 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

Micah 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Micah 4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

 

God has the history of this world in His hand. If God repeats this prophecy twice, then God emphasizes that it will surely come to pass. What is God saying here?

It seems as if God is saying that He has a glorious future planned for the nation of Judah. It seems as if God is speaking about a future millennium. But if we read a little further in Micah, we can see Who and What God has in view here in this Prophecy. Go to verses 6 and 7.

Micah 4:6 In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted;

Micah 4:7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.

 

God says "In that day", referring to "In those last days" He will gather the outcasts of society, and He will make them a Remnant. We have some similar language in the N.T. When the Lord Jesus told the Parable of the Great Wedding Feast, (in Matt 22 and in Luke 14) He said to His servants:

(Luke 14:21), Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

 

And what is God going to do with those people, which were picked off the streets? These are the Remnant chosen by Grace. Look again at those words in Micah 4:7.

"And the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever."

Is this speaking about a glorious 1000 years for the Jews in Jerusalem? No ! This earth will not exist forever. This earth is going to be destroyed on the Last Day. God is speaking about the Remnant chosen by Grace, over whom the Lord shall reign. And where does the Lord reign? In Mount Zion: The place where God resides. God reigns both in Heaven and on earth in the hearts of the Saints, in the hearts of those who truly have become saved, both Jews and Gentiles.

There is no future glorious 1000 years coming with Christ reigning from the city of Jerusalem. The glorious millennium is the Church age, the entire N.T. age.

Listen to how God describes the Last Days in Heb 1:1-2.

Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

 

When are the last days? According to Heb 1, and according to Acts 2, the last days of this earth began when the Lord Jesus Christ took on a human body as the Son of Mary.

Please turn back in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 2. God speaks about this period of time as a glorious period in the history of this earth.

Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

 

"And all nations shall flow unto it". This does not mean that everyone that everyone on earth has become a believer, because the Bible teaches that there is always only a Remnant chosen by Grace who will become saved. When the Bible calls Jesus "the Savior of the world" the Bible does not say that everyone in the world is going to be saved.

"And all nations shall flow unto it" means that out of every nation there will be a Remnant chosen by Grace who come to worship the only true Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. The parable that God uses is remarkable: The people of the world are compared to rivers, which are flowing together and they are flowing UP a mountain. That is a miracle. God makes us understand that Salvation is a miracle done by God.

Flowing uphill is totally contrary to our nature. Our nature is to flow downhill, away from the One who would be our Savior. This was our nature when we came into the world. God says that we "ALL were by nature the children of wrath, even as others" who never become saved. It was our nature to run away from God, because we were ALL enjoying our sins and living in rebellion against God. Therefore, it took an act of God to draw us to the Lord Jesus. That is why we are here today.

The reason why this Congregation is in existence today is because the Father has drawn us to Christ. This was not an afterthought in the mind of God. That is not the nature of our God. The Bible says that God knows the end from the beginning. The reason why we were drawn to the Lord Jesus is that God chose us before the foundation of the world, and God arranged all the affairs of the history of the world in such a manner that at a certain point in our life, in this century, we heard the Gospel and we were irresistibly drawn to believe this Gospel, this lovely Good News that the Lord Jesus came to this earth and took our sins and paid the penalty for our sins on the Cross of Calvary in our place, and made us heirs of eternal life with Him. What a glorious plan of salvation, and how amazing that only a few of mankind really believe it and thank God for this Great Salvation.

Look how clearly the doctrines of Grace are present in this passage. People do not decide to flow to the Mountain of the Lord's House. They do that only because God has worked in their hearts, making them see that they are sinners, and inclining them to seek for a Savior from their sins.

But God has more to say in Isa 2:2.

Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

 

Remember that this is a parable. What is the Mountain of the Lord's House representing?

In many churches this verse has been butchered because they do not understand what the Mountain represents. Hold your finger in Isaiah and please turn to Psalm 48:1-3

Psalms 48:1 <<A Song and Psalm for the sons of Korah.>> Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.

Psalms 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

Psalms 48:3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge.

 

This passage clarifies a number of terms used in the O.T. Clearly, the City of our God in this passage is identical to the Mountain of His holiness, which is identical to Mount Zion, which is identical to the Sides of the North, which is identical to the City of the Great King, which is identical to a Place for Refuge. If we apply this information to Isa 2:2 and 3, we can firmly conclude that:

The Mountain of the LORD'S house = the House of the God of Jacob = Mount Zion.

Can you clearly see now that Mount Zion is the place where God resides? God reigns both in Heaven and on earth in the hearts of the Saints, in the hearts of those who truly have become saved. They are the House of the God of Jacob, and they are the Mountain of the Lord's House, or the Kingdom of God, or the City of the Great King.

Isa 2:2 says that in the last days, in the N.T. time, the Kingdom of the Lord's House, or the Kingdom consisting of all the Saints, or that part of the Church that is truly saved, shall be exalted above all the other kingdoms of this world. How are we supposed to understand this? Again, we should not begin to think that there would eventually come a time when the majority of the world's population will become true believers of the Lord Jesus Christ. There will always only be a Remnant chosen by Grace who is saved.

How then can we understand that the Kingdom of the Lord's House shall be a greater Kingdom than all the other kingdoms of this world? Unfortunately, we humans tend to think of greatness in terms of numbers, or in terms of material wealth, or in terms of external power and might. But that is not how God measures Greatness. Let me give an example. Listen to what God says in Phil 2:7-11.

Philippians 2:7 But (Christ) made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (things) in heaven, and (things) in earth, and (things) under the earth;

Philippians 2:11 And (that) every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

God has highly exalted the Lord Jesus Christ. Can we see this externally in Church growth, or in some other external evidence? No ! But God knows. In the sight of God the Lord Jesus is highly

exalted already, from the time he ascended into Heaven and throughout eternity. That is exactly how we should understand Isa 2:2. In the sight of God, the Kingdom of the Lord's House is now a greater Kingdom than all the other kingdoms of this world, and people out of all nations and tribes of this world who have been redeemed when Christ died on the Cross, flow unto this Kingdom.

And many people shall say:

#2. Let Us Go Up to the Mountain of the Lord (Psalm 27:4, 42:1-2, 84:1-2)

Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

 

Is this not the common desire of all those whom the Father has drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ? "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob". Of course! When God the Holy Spirit has given us a new heart, our desires take on a whole new direction. Our gratitude is not an obligation, but our gratitude flows from the new desires that God has put in our heart. The Saints of God have expressed this throughout the centuries. For example:

Psalm 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

 

Another example in Psalm 42:1-2

Psalm 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

 

Another example in Psalm 84:1-2

Psalm 84:1 How amiable (How lovely) are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!

Psalm 84:2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

 

Is that also the cry of your soul on Saturday evening? Are we really looking forward to fellowship on Sunday with the Saints who are of like mind? Is this our heartfelt desire, or is it an obligation? Be honest with yourself. God looks upon your heart, and God knows the answer.

But we can learn from what the Saints have expressed in the Bible. Going through the Psalms teaches us a great deal about the honesty of our own heart. God says in Isa 2:3 

Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths

 

What are His ways? Well, let's take the example of an O.T. Saint who has fixed all his hope on the promise of Christ's coming. On Friday afternoon he laid aside his work clothes, he washed himself and prepared for the Sabbath. While he did that, he realized that during the six days of labor he had not loved the Lord His God with all his heart and soul and mind and strength. How could he possibly keep the Sabbath rest? How could he enter into the rest of his God?

There was only one way. His faith in God's unfailing promises that one day there would come the Messiah who would enter into the courts of God as his substitute, bearing his sins, and would bear the Wrath of God on behalf of all his sins, thereby atoning for his sins, so that God would look upon him as sinless. That was the only way he could enter the Temple on the Sabbath with a clear conscience.

And there he read in the Psalms, the same question and answer concerning his faith:

Psalm 15:1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

Psalm 15:2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

 

And then he went on to Psalm 24. The same question and answer:

Psalm 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

Psalm 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

 

Who is worthy? Who is fit to draw near to the only true and living God and enter into His rest? No one is worthy of himself. No one of himself "walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness". No one of himself "hath clean hands, and a pure heart". There was only one way he could enter into the rest that God has promised: Messiah has to meet those qualifications as his Divine Substitute. And that is why he came into the Temple: Out of gratitude.

What about you? Do you qualify? Why are you here? Obviously you are here because you were drawn to hear the Gospel preached. But did you come to get something out of it for yourself? I hope that this is not the reason why you came.

I hope you came to worship our God, to stand in awe before Him, to adore and praise His most glorious Name? I hope you came because you were filled with an incomprehensible gratitude.

Therefore, "He will teach us His ways" is pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ, because He said: I am the Way. He will go before us and we will follow Him.

So we read in Isa 2:3, "he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths".

In the Mountain of the Lord He will teach us His ways, and therefore we shall walk in His paths. God's irresistible Grace will cause us to do that. This is the nature of Salvation.

The amazing thing is that the Hebrew word "to teach" here is also the word for "to shoot", like to shoot an arrow. Let's see how this would fit the context. The next phrase in Isa 2:3 is:

Zion is the place where God resides, in the hearts of those who truly have become saved. Out of Zion, out of these people, shall go forth the Law. What is the purpose of the Law?

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

 

The Law is sent out as an arrow, piercing the soul of the elect of God, making him aware that he has a sin problem and that he needs a Savior.

Then the Word of the Lord, the Gospel of Salvation is proclaimed from Jerusalem. No, not the physical city of Jerusalem, but the City of God, represented by those who have been truly saved.

Therefore, in the second half of Isa 2:3 God makes the same statement twice:

The first is: He will teach us of his ways (how to shoot), and therefore we shall walk in his paths.

The second: For out of Zion shall go forth the law (like an arrow), and therefore the Word of the LORD is proclaimed from Jerusalem.

#3. What is the Result of His Teaching on the Mountain

What has the Lord been teaching us? He has been teaching us Evangelism so that we are prepared to go to war. Now read Isa 2:4

Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

 

"The Lord shall judge among the nations". When we bring the Word of God, the Word of God judges people anytime. Some will be saved and others, who do not believe, are condemned already. "And He shall rebuke many people". The Hebrew word for "rebuke" here is actually "reprove, or correct". It is the same word that was translated "reason" in Isa 1:18.

Isa 1:18, Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD; ..

Therefore we may translate the beginning of Isa 2:4 as follows:

Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall reprove many people: and they (who have been reproved) shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks:

 

For some who have been reproved by God, there is a wonderful thing happening in their lives. They shall beat their swords into plowshares. They are no longer at war with God. The only nation that is at peace with God is The Kingdom of God.

But why plowshares? When we become saved we become spiritual farmers. We have been assigned the task to be the farmers of this world, especially sowing the seeds of the Gospel, which comes right after plowing. This is what we are taught by God. Remember:

He will teach us of his ways (how to shoot), and therefore we shall walk in his paths.

But we will not be shooting with literal arrows, but with the seeds of the Gospel.

"Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

Therefore:

In The Gospel according to Luke, chapter 9, the Lord Jesus demonstrated this by sending out His disciples two by two. Then in chapter 10 the Lord Jesus sent out 70 disciples, two by two.

Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.

 

 

What was the purpose of sending out His disciples two by two? To demonstrate that we do not fight Satan with swords but with the sowing of the Gospel. What was the result?

 

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

 

 

And this is the wonderful privilege we have received to be the instruments through which God saves other people around us. After we have heard:

The Gospel of Peace (Rom 10:14-17)

We too are called upon to bring the Gospel of peace.

 

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.