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Isaiah’s End-Times Earth – By Ed Wood

 

A Ravaged World

            Of all the ancient prophets of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament in the Christian version, Isaiah (circa 8th Century B.C.) was clearly the most prolific. Some of what he had written has already come to pass, perhaps the most spectacular example being this:

Isaiah {44:28 – 45:4} That saith of Cyrus, [He is] my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call [thee] by thy name, [am] the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

When one realizes that what he related here was not to happen until the 6th Century B.C., his incredibly accurate account, even to the actual naming of the Persian king Cyrus the Great, certainly gives him credibility. That being said, it is probably safe to assume that what he said about events in advance of our own time over 2700 years later will be similarly reliable – and remarkable!

Since the mid 1960’s the environmental movement has flourished, its premise being that the earth and its resources are finite. The images from space of our fragile world seen at a distance floating alone in the blackness of space have no doubt reinforced that reality. (Along those lines, take a look at Isaiah 40:21-23 and Job 26: 7-10 for a “modern view” of Earth.) All the indications are pointing to the reality that this is true and that our unwise use of our world is having increasingly pronounced consequences on all levels. Did Isaiah see this coming as well? Judge for yourself:

Isaiah {24:1-3} Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.

In the passage above, Isaiah details a wholesale wasting of the earth that ultimately will affect everything and everyone, regardless of location or economic status. He is not alone because even a cursory reading of the book of Revelation affirms this repeatedly with graphic clarity depicting the earth as being subject to great upheavals, some due to our own actions, most, however, due to God’s direct intervention as a kind of last-ditch effort to get wayward humankind’s attention.

But at this point most of our problems seems to be the result of our own actions. God called upon us humans to take care of the planet he had made and blessed with life in all its diverse forms (Genesis 1:26-29). Quite frankly, based on the alarming rates of species extinctions in this time, we’ve done a lousy job of it. The next verse is clear enough about that:

Isaiah {24:4} The earth mourneth [and] fadeth away, the world languisheth [and] fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

            The passage above goes far beyond the idea of just breaking the physical laws God set forth under which our living world functions to a more fundamental concept – we have broken God’s moral rules as well and it is no doubt that this is the prime and underlying reason we are in trouble environmentally. Isaiah says as much below:

Isaiah {24:6-12, 17-20} Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh. The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. [There is] a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction . . . Fear, and the pit, and the snare, [are] upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, [that] he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.

            You’ll notice there is a gap in the above. The reason for that is that the intervening verses jump ahead in time before Isaiah returns to his theme of a ruined Earth.  Also, note the concluding references to the earth being “shaken.” According to USGS data, earthquakes have increased dramatically in both frequency and intensity worldwide since 2002.

Since the Bible follows its own rules of evidence (two or more witnesses – see Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; John 8:17), we see repeated confirmations of the world being damaged in the Book of Revelation. Some of this again is no doubt done by our own hands, up to and including what might be the deployment of a nuclear device (Revelation 8:10-11), while such “natural” disasters such as earthquakes might truly be “Acts of God” in response to evil. Jesus has said that the last days of earth would be as the “days of Noe (Noah),” [Matthew 24:37]. Then, as it will also be in the future, there was just no other remedy to human sin but God’s profound intervention.

Right now, God is restraining himself from drastic actions, but this will not last indefinitely:

Isaiah {42:14-15} I* have long time holden my peace; I have been still, [and] refrained myself: [now] will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. * God.

Why such restraint? The answers may be found here:

2 Peter {3:9} The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

2 Thessalonians {2:7} For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he* who now letteth** [will let***,] until he**** be taken out of the way. * God ; ** withholds; *** withhold (from the Greek word katecho, Strong’s Concordance);  **** the Holy Spirit. The reasoning here is that every believer is a temple for the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 3:16) and in the removing all believers from the earth at the Rapture, God also removes the Spirit’s present restraining influence of evil, allowing the Antichrist to come to power.

It is important to realize once again that God sent the warnings to Isaiah sometime during the Eighth Century B.C. Here we are over 2700 years later and for the most part his message has been ignored.

Yet despite the inevitability of the deterioration of Earth, I believe that we still have a responsibility to do whatever we can not to make the situation worse. God gave us this marvelous world as a gift, the only one we know for sure is capable of supporting life in this entire universe. To purposely abuse it even at this late stage in history is, to my mind, showing ingratitude. This is certainly not to say we should buy into the “new world order” philosophy that the more extreme segments of the environmental movement are currently pushing to usurp national sovereignty for their own purposes of gaining influence and power. It is more a case of having the common-sense attitude of not trashing our own “living room.”

I believe we have arrived at a unique time when the convergence of stresses in the political, religious, economic, and environmental conditions of our present day are unprecedented in human history. Yet Jesus told his disciples that what we are experiencing today is but the “beginning of sorrows:”

Matthew {24:3-8} And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom*: and there shall be  famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these [are] the beginning of sorrows. *Military conflicts in the 20th Century killed more people and caused more damage than any other time in history. Revelation reveals that warfare will continue ultimately culminating at the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-14; 19:11-16).

            The Lord also told us what we should be doing right now:

Luke {21:28, 36} And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh .  .  . Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

 

The Light in the Darkness

As bleak as things look right now, it will soon get a lot worse. However, this is not the end of the story because with the physical return of the King of Kings, everything will begin to change:

Isaiah {11:1-9} And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

When Jesus, the Word of God through whom all things were made (John (1:10), comes back with his saints (Daniel 7:18-22; Jude 1:14-15) to put an end to the Battle of Aramageddon and initiate his rule upon the earth (Revelation, chapter 19), not only will those mortals that remain alive after the Tribulation experience true and pure justice for the first time since the Fall of Man (Genesis, chapter 3), but the planet itself will be restored to a near-Eden state. Isaiah reveals more of what life will be like on Millennial Earth:

Isaiah {35:3-10} Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them [that are] of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come [with] vengeance, [even] God [with] a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame [man] leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, [shall be] grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it [shall be] for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err [therein. ] No lion shall be there, nor [any] ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk [there:] And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

             Isaiah {55:10-13} For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.

             As wonderful as life will be during Jesus’ 1000 reign on a renewed Earth, even this will pale in magnificence compared the eternal realm to follow:

Isaiah {65:17} For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Revelation {21:1-4} And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

  

Conclusion

             It seems as if the philosophical battle between faith and science has always been a part of human culture. Until Jesus returns it is likely to remain this way. Perhaps the basic reason is the rigidity of the most zealous proponents of each viewpoint. Neither side willing to consider that maybe, just maybe, the other might have some valid points.

I have personally found that, more often than not, agreements between what the Bible teaches and what modern science expresses are much more common than one would think. Science accurately points to the incredible order and design of the universe, the Bible accurately points to the One who caused it to exist in the first place.

In short, science tells us the “How,” the Bible tells us the “Who.”

In our brief study of Isaiah’s prediction of the kind of world that will exist at the end of this present age, it seems that one indeed does complement the other. But unlike the fearful and dark future science envisions, the Bible tells us that ultimately the best is yet to come!


3 Comments

  1. Wayne Broadstone says:

    Isaiah not only provides a prophetic window, but also opens a corridor through time giving us God’s history before it occurs. Only a sovereign Creator could do this……..literally declaring the end from the beginning. Isa. 46:10. Evan so, come Lord Jesus.

  2. Martlet says:

    Just curious…what is it that we have done and are doing to waste our resources and destroy the planet?

    • Terry James says:

      I think that it is very clear that something negative is happening to earth’s ability to support life, especially its higher forms:

      “It’s frightening but true: Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals — the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years. We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day [1]. It could be a scary future indeed, with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century.” Source, http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/

      As we can see in the excerpt above, there is a big difference between the rate which is considered natural and what we presently see. In my opinion, the only major change in the distant past and now is the presence of man, and, within the past two centuries, the explosive increase in population and advent of advanced technology. When it comes to global warming, I believe the facts indicate that is a reality, not a theory. The increase of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is also factual (source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-hits-record-levels/)

      While one may argue as to the primary cause of this rise being natural or human-caused, the point is that it is happening. This is in addition to habitat loss, industrial and agricultural pollution which are clearly the result of human activity exacerbated by increasing population on a world of finite surface area.

      Because CO2 is a greenhouse gas, our planet’s temperature must rise as a result. If pushed past a certain threshold which we may of may not reach, the greenhouse effect can reach an irreversible runaway point which could produce the kind of conditions the planet Venus experiences today – and 800 degree F. surface temp on both the day and nights side and permanent toxic cloud cover.

      Of course, this whole subject can barely be covered in my brief response so I hope you will do your own research and come to your own conclusions. That Isaiah revealed such a world would exist near the end of the age in no small way does support what we are experiencing today, and that we humans are indeed responsible for a lot if not most of it. Thanks for your inquiry and keep asking those questions!

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