What Lies Ahead
By Jack Kelley
Isaiah 63:1 - 6.......
God’s Day of Vengeance and Redemption.
Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson?
Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his
“It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.”
Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?
“I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I
trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered
my garments, and I stained all my clothing. For the day of vengeance was in my
heart, and the year of my redemption has come.
I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support;
so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled
the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on
the ground.” (Isaiah 63:1-6)
Looking Eastward, Isaiah saw with His mind’s eye a powerful figure striding
resolutely toward the Holy City. He challenged the figure, and the response
could only have come from the Lord. Who else speaks in righteousness? Who else
is strong enough to save us?
And yet His garments are obviously stained red as if someone had drenched them
in wine. It’s the blood of His enemies. Standing alone against them He has
defeated them all, powered by the wrath He has held in check for so long, now
released in its full measure.
John saw Him too, and described Him this way:
His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name
written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped
in blood, and his name is the Word of God. (Rev. 19:12-13)
Today Edom is called Southern Jordan, and Bozrah is about 25 miles east of the
southern end of the Dead Sea. Its Greek name is Petra, and it will be the refuge
of the believing remnant of Israel. Two thousand years ago the Lord Jesus warned
them to flee into the mountains as soon as they learned of the Abomination of
Desolation. (Matt. 24:15) When it happens He’ll take them there, as if on
eagle’s wings. (Rev. 12:14) He’ll protect them there for 3 ½ years, and will
defeat the enemy forces that are arrayed against them.
Isaiah 65:17-25. New Heavens and a New Earth
“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not
be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)
John used this verse to open Revelation 21, and because of an incorrect
understanding people have assumed for centuries that it applies to eternity.
They’ve overlooked 2 details that in my opinion place Rev. 21-22:6 at the
beginning of the Millennium, not at its end.
The first detail is that the context of Isaiah 65:17-25 is clearly millennial.
People are living and dying, time is being measured and the effects of sin are
still evident in their lives. The phrase “new heavens and a new earth” is
intended to show us that all the effects of the curse have been removed, and the
creation has been restored to its original condition, both physically and
spiritually. (Jesus spoke of this time, calling it the restoration of all
things, in Matt. 19:28.) And the second is that Rev. 20:7-15 is what we would
call a parenthetical insert that John used to reveal the ultimate destiny of
Satan and all of mankind’s unbelievers while he was on the subject of the second
Briefly, at the end of the Millennium Satan will be released from his 1,000 year
prison term and will mount up a final rebellion that’s immediately crushed.
He’ll be thrown into the Lake of Fire to join the anti-Christ and the false
prophet who will already be there.(Rev. 19:20) Then the unsaved dead from all
ages will be raised up for judgment, and they’ll be thrown into the Lake of
Fire. As if to prove the point, John concluded the passage by saying that the
Lake of Fire is the second death.
Then he began Rev. 21 with the quote from Isaiah 65:17 to show that he was going
back to the beginning of the Millennium to give us details of our home, the New
Jerusalem. Rev. 22:1-5 follows with a summary of Ezekiel 47:1-12, which gives us
a glimpse of life in Israel’s Kingdom Age on Earth. The Bible, which chronicles
the Age of Man, ends at the end of the Millennium and offers no specific
description of Eternity. It only says that there is one...
"The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind."
Here’s God’s promise that in addition to making everything in creation new, all
of the misery and suffering of this age will be erased from their minds, along
with the memories of lost loved ones who refused to believe the truth and be
saved. Anything they carry in their heads that would impede the steady flow of
peace and joy in their lives will be taken away. It’s a little like virus
infected software being deleted and then reinstalled to work the way it was
originally designed to. (This will have already happened for us, at the
Now let’s read the rest of the passage and see how Isaiah saw life on Earth in
Israel’s Kingdom Age.
But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create
Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard
in it no more.
“Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old
man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a
mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.
They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat
their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant
and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my
chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands.
They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will
be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them. Before
they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the
ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on
all my holy mountain,” says the LORD. Isaiah 65:18-25
The phrase “dust will be the serpent’s food” is reminiscent of Genesis 3:14 and
tells us that out of the entire creation, only the serpent will retain the
effects of the curse God pronounced upon him in the garden.
Isaiah’s contemporary Micah added a few details to this description of
uninterrupted peace and prosperity.
Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one
will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken. All the nations may
(now) walk in the name of their gods; (but) we will walk in the name of the LORD
our God for ever and ever. (Micah 4:4-5. I’ve inserted the words “now” and “but”
to give you a better understanding of Micah’s intent.)
It was the Lord’s reference to Micah 4:4, by the way, that caused Nathaniel to
exclaim upon first meeting Him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; You are the King
of Israel.” (John 1:47-49) In effect, Jesus had said that He “saw” the perfected
Nathaniel in the Millennium. Only God could do such a thing.
Peace For His People, Fury For His Foes
For this is what the LORD says: “I will extend peace to her like a river, and
the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on
her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I
comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the
hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown
to his foes.
See, the LORD is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he
will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For
with fire and with his sword the LORD will execute judgment upon all men, and
many will be those slain by the LORD. (Isaiah 66:12-15)
If you’re comparing this study with current trends in the Middle East, you
realize that the Lord’s plan for Israel is the opposite of what the world is
pushing for. This is because the world has been duped into adopting Satan’s
plan, which calls for Israel’s demise. It will take the full measure of the
Lord’s fury to convince them that they’re on the wrong side of the issue. By
some accounts, fully half of the world’s post rapture population will die in the
“As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,”
declares the LORD, “so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon
to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down
before me,” says the LORD. “And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies
of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire
be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”
In his book entitled “Biblical Basis For Modern Science” Henry Morris wrote,
“When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her
young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so
firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited
beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to
enter their own life cycle.”
As the mother died, she excreted a red fluid that was used to make the crimson
dye used in Biblical times. This makes a powerful illustration of what the Lord
has done for us. He attached Himself to the cross, and shed his blood there as
He died. Because He did we can be born again and receive eternal life. It’s
interesting that in Psalm 22:6 David quoted the Lord calling Himself a worm and
not a man.
Perhaps Isaiah had this in mind as He wrote his last verses. If so He was saying
that those who rebel against God do so by not accepting His death as payment for
their sins. The “worm” they choose instead will not (can not) die for them, and
there’s no other way for them to be born again to to escape the unquenchable
fire. They’re physically dead, but their spirits have not been released, so
they’re trapped in their dead corpses, tormented by the fire.
It’s no surprise that we learn more about the Millennium from Isaiah than we did
from the chapter John devoted to it in the Revelation. It’s not called Israel’s
Kingdom age for nothing. It’s on Earth and it’s for Israel. And that’s another
good reason to take the Church off the planet to the New Jerusalem. This way
each can enjoy its own destiny without distracting from the other.
From John 14:1-3 we learn that the Lord Jesus was going away to prepare
a place for us, and would come back to take us to be with Him in Heaven,
where He is. From Ezekiel 43:7 we learn that God would someday return to
Israel to live among His chosen people on Earth, where they are. Both
prophecies are true, making it clear that the Church and Israel are
different entities with different origins and different destinies. To
say that one replaced the other is to deny the obvious truth of the