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Monday, December 18, 2017

Isaiah 4:5

And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense.

For further study - Isaiah 4:1-6

The passage chosen today for our devotional reading is actually a vision of the future kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. This is a vision that God gave to the ancient Jewish prophet Isaiah.

I chose this passage to confront the philosophy that is spreading among many churches and Christians today that we are now living in the kingdom here on earth. This "kingdom now" idea is totally contradictory to God's Word and plan for the Jewish people of the future.

For one thing, most "kingdom now" thinkers believe that the promise of the "kingdom" for the Jews has been negated and those promises now apply to the Church, Christians. That is not only anti-Biblical but it is very anti-Semitic.

Any thinking which says the "kingdom" promised to the Jews when Jesus Christ returns is not literal is saying that all of the covenants that God made with the Jews have been broken and basically the Lord is a liar.

We all know that God cannot lie so thus His "kingdom" promise to the Jews must be kept. Notice in verse 2 that the "Branch", that's Jesus Christ, in His beauty and glory will be back on earth and ruling from Jerusalem from a Temple He himself will build, Zechariah 6:12-13.

Verse 3 reveals to us that the "Kingdom" headquarters will be Mt Zion, Jerusalem. These two, Zion and Jerusalem, are synonymous terms, they are the same geographical location.

Verse 4 says the time of the Kingdom will be when Messiah, Jesus Christ, has cleansed the Jewish people. That is yet future, after the seven year Tribulation Period.

The word "tabernacle" used in verse 6 is "suca" in Hebrew which is actually a "thatched hut" used by the Israelites during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land.

Today during the "Feast of Tabernacles" Jewish people celebrate that "seven-day" Jewish feast by living, sleeping, eating and fellowshipping in a "suca" that they erect at their homes.

Remember Peter wanted to build three tabernacles, "suca's", on the Mount of Transfiguration, Matthew 17:4. Peter thought it was the "Kingdom" period and therefore the fulfillment of the Jewish "Feast of Tabernacles". Thus the three "suca's", would have been one each for Jesus, Moses and Elijah.

The "Kingdom" is yet future, howbeit, the near future. The "Kingdom" is not in operation now. That is a very dangerous theology. When Hitler wanted to set up the "kingdom" he had to slaughter the Jews first.

The promise of the "Kingdom" for the Jews is yet to be fulfilled. Isaiah's "vision of the Kingdom" in our reading for today is a "promise" of that coming Kingdom, in a near by tomorrow.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You, Lord, for the Biblical basis for understanding the "end times".