Salvation for 'All flesh' and Isaiah 66:22-23

I've been reading Isaiah 40 to 66 recently, back and forth, because our church is preaching through this section at the moment. It turns out this part of the Old Testament prophetic literature is highly relevant for my studies into Universalism because it informs our understanding of a number of key NT passages in the debate.

Just as one example, this section defines a new concept of 'Israel' with its language of the chosen 'offspring' - which in turn should inform our understanding of the 'all Israel' in Romans 9-11 (cf. Isa. 41:8; 43:5; 44:3; 45:19,25; 48:19; 53:10; 54:3; 57:3,4; 59:21; 61:9; 65:9,23; 66:22).

And it is in this context that we get Isaiah 45:22-25: "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: 'To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.'"Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed all who were incensed against him. In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory."

The picture builds and crescendos right to the end of Isaiah, with judgment and salvation and a new heaven and a new earth and the new Jerusalem, and ending with this very significant conclusion:
Isaiah 66:15-24
"For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. (16) For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many. (17) "Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig's flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the LORD. (18) "For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, (19) and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. (20) And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. (21) And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD. (22) "For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. (23) From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD. (24) "And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

It's highly significant because these words (verse 24) are picked up by Jesus and quoted in his description of hell: (Mar 9:48) 'where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.' Rather than simply a 'metaphor', Christ was clearly pointing us back to Isaiah 66, where we see on the one hand 'all flesh' coming to worship him, and on the other hand these very ones looking in abhorrence upon another subset of humanity -- those who have rebelled -- who in contrast to those who like the new heavens and the new earth will remain before him forever (verse 22), will suffer irreversible ('undying' and 'unquenched') judgment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The prophecy tells about Ahmad; 'Servant of God' whom will war to correct the wrongs and bringing judgement based on the law of God. He will also liberate Arabia from worshiping molten images. Wilderness (desert), villages and cities will glorify God since then. As can be seen today, whole of Arabia are worshiping,praising God and singing words of God daily.

And we continue reading Isaiah 42:18 - 25; about Children of Israel, whom will still be deaf and blind neglecting the message brought by this 'Servant of God'.

In Isaiah 42:1, it is not a coincidence upon seeing the writing of both אתמך (Atmc) אחמד (Ahmd). And the word before אתמך (Atmc), is עבדי (Abedi~My Servant). For indeed, It is indicating Ahmad; Abedallah (Ahmad; Servant of God).

Not to mention אתמך (Atmc) is a special term foretelling the coming of a righteous man and is used only ONCE throughout the entire Book. [could this be a copying error or an intended error?]

Children of Israel have been foretold upon the coming of Ahmad but sadly, only a few accepts.