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The Earth Will be Full of The Knowledge of the Lord

by David Johnson

IMG_0666 Headline today across our planet and into our living rooms via often live TV, are usually exceedingly bad news: crisis after crisis both natural and human causes.  From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, death, destruction, hatred and havoc, escalating and exasperating it seems to never end.

So, instead of all the bad news of the world, we as Bible believing Christians, can turn to the Scriptures for exceedingly great news for persevering Christian believers into eternity. Future.   For example, coming from our text: Isaiah 11:1-9 and verse 10 the crowning cream of it all.

In verse one it says: A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse, from his roots a branch will bear fruit. Well, what does that mean? This is revealed in symbolic imagery here referring to the royal, Davidic dynasty, that seemed destroyed by the Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians, just a stump left of David’s family tree.

However, the prophet Isaiah about 700 BC predicted by the Holy Spirit that a shoot or a sprout of life that would come up from that stump of the lineage of Jesse, the father of the great King David. From that shoot, would grow a great branch, the greatest descendent of David, branch which is a messianic title.  Messiah means anointed one, anointed not just with olive oil as were kings and prophets, but anointed with power of the Holy Spirit of God Almighty:  Anointed as the king of kings, the perfect prophet and our great high priest.

“Branch will bear fruit.”  Well, what fruit as Messiah-king?  here referred to in Isaiah 11:2 “the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of power, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord.  That is “branch” (Messiah) will exhibit and exercise the fullness of the Holy Spirit in his power, person, and personality here detailed in this 7-fold ministry beginning with the fullness of the Holy Spirit of the Lord resting in/thru him.  Seven in the Hebrew mindset, being the number of completeness, thru to the fear of the Lord in perfect trust and obedience in Messiah’s humanity.  These attributes will especially enable Messiah to reign and rule effectively.

Note also in Isaiah 11:2 the entire Godhead (Trinity of God) “the Lord (Father) “the Spirit” (Holy Spirit) and on him refers to the Son of God (Messiah).  Our one-triune God is also revealed in the Old Testament.  These seven attributes can also to a lesser degree be ours as born-again, Spirit indwelled believers today.  As we yield to be filled (controlled by the Holy Spirit, with wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge and the reverential fear of the Lord, as we yield, continuously strive, surrender to the Holy Spirit working within and thru us.  In Isaiah 11:3 “and he will delight in the fear (deep reverence) of the Lord…”  Delight, as Messiah, in his Father God, in perfect trust, obedience and surrender, to the Father’s will.

In verse three it says, “He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes or decide by what he hears with his ears.” Why not?  Because Branch (Messiah) has omniscience, all knowing, as Deity in bodily form.  He will not merely judge, discern, perceive by his natural senses but also with supernatural perception and power.  Branch into eternity future is God incarnate:  fully God and fully man (without ever sinning) and he’s coming back for his own.  All who are in Christ Jesus and that’s great news!  We long for his appearing.

This text, Isaiah 11:1-3 impress one of our former U. S. Presidents: Ulysses S. Grant so profoundly that he placed his hand on this passage in an open Bible as he took his presidential oath of office in 1873.  Oh!  That God would raise up more leaders I high places I our nation that would genuinely “fear the Lord and even delight in the fear of the Lord.”

In Isaiah chapter 11 and verse four it says: But with righteousness he will judge the needy. With justice, he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.  The rulers of Isaiah’s time lacked righteousness, as do the majority of the rulers today.  Especially vulnerable are the needy and poor who often do not get justice.  Messiah is coming again to this earth to finally and firmly bring genuine, consistent righteousness and justice, not just in heaven, but notice “of the earth”.  That’s great news.

Verse four continues “He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, with the breath of his lips, he will slay the wicked.  At Messiah’s first coming to earth he came as a suffering servant to give himself as an atoning sacrifice for the sin of mankind.  However, at Messiah’s second coming he is returning to rule and reign with rod of iron the symbol of his authority with justice and power.  Figuratively “rod of his mouth” means he need only say the word and it will happen, immediately and thoroughly.  No longer ruthless injustice but he’ll come as a righteous ruler to judge mankind with perfect and holy justice.  And the whole context is this earth

Finally, the wicked will not escape justice, just get a slap on the wrist, or released due to technicalities but instead stopped, silenced.  That’s great news!

And then in verses six through eight of Isaiah 11 “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with goat, the calf and lion and yearling together; and a little child will lead them.  The cow will feed with bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.  The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.”  What a beautiful, ideal snapshot of a restored, renewed earth when Messiah returns to this earth and his second coming and we his church in glorified bodies with our Lord to reign with him.  In Revelation 5:10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on the earth.”  When we realize our glorious future, we should find strength to face our present difficulties.  And this is certainly great news to comfort and fortify us now.

Yet many Christians today just interpret verses 6-8 as hyperbole, exaggerated, symbolic, figurative language, representing peace with God, that is to showcase the effects of righteousness and justice imparted by Messiah and the gospel.  One such commentator writes “the wolf shall dwell peaceably with the lamb; men of the most fierce and furious dispositions shall have their temper so strangely altered by the grace of Jesus Christ that they shall live in love even with the weakest and such as formerly were an easy prey.  This is fulfilled in the wonderful effect of the gospel upon the minds of those that sincerely embrace it; it changes the nature, and makes those that trampled on the meek of the earth, not only meek like them, but affectionate towards them.”

But why not accept this passage in its literal plain language.  When I read figurative interpretations, I feel like my German chocolate cake. Has been replaced with mussy Brussel sprouts!  Yes, there is a lot of symbolic language in the scriptures, however it still has a connected literal meaning.  Moreover, we have supportive scripture that verifies that Isaiah 11:6-9 is going to come to pass literally on this earth, that is restored to an ideal state.  God originally created a perfect garden paradise in perfect harmony and peace without bloodshed, including the animal kingdom.  Because of our sin, God placed a curse on all he had created, which became our fallen world with bloodshed, disease and death and predatory animals.

Yet certainly God can reverse his curse with paradise again, not perfect yet, but this earth renewed, regenerated, restored, especially needed after the horrific seal, trumpet and bowl judgements of the seven-year tribulation or Jacob’s Trouble in Jeremiah 30:7.  In Isaiah 11:6-8 instead of claiming predatory animals becoming pacified, represents inner peace with God thru the gospel, notice that only a “little child” and an “infant” are included, who are not even old enough to understand or personally receive the gospel.  Yet Jesus said in Matthew 19:28 “…I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”  Other translations state “at the regeneration or restoration of all things.”

In Acts chapter three and verse 21” he must remain in heaven until the time come for God to restore everything as he prophesied long ago through his holy prophets.”  As like prophet Isaiah in Isaiah chapter 11, to restore does not mean brand new as in the eventual new earth, but to restore as in bring back to a previous existence.  Such as to restore and old car or antique chair.  In Messiah’s messianic physical, political kingdom on this earth, this planet will need to be purged of the terrible effects of the great tribulation and return to an Eden like existence when mankind and animals lived in perfect peace and harmony.  Not carnivorous, not flesh eating, not predatory.  God can do that.  In Romans 8:21 “that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”  So as believers we have a fabulous future which includes renewal, restoration, and liberation which will eventually in the new earth be perfected permanently.

That’s all really great news but we must persevere in Christ Jesus.  It’s always scripture that clarifies scripture being careful to keep it all in the same context.  In Isaiah 11:9 “They will neither harm nor destroy on my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”  The Lord’s holy mountain is Mount Zion in Jerusalem and according to Ezekiel 5:5 “…this is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.”  So, from God’s perspective, Jerusalem is the center of the earth, the epicenter, the focus of God’s master plan in spite of Israel’s rebellion.  A righteous remnant will receive their Messiah.  These details “no harm, no destruction on Mt. Zion, full knowledge of Lord as waters cover the sea” Did not come to pass with the proclamation of the gospel at the first coming of Jesus or even the church age.  In fact, a great deal more harm and destruction came to Mt. Zion, Jewish Temple and Jerusalem in AD 70 under General Titus and his Roman Legions in which according to Jesus in Matthew 24:2 “…I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another, everyone will be thrown down.”  Early church suffered unspeakable persecution.

The details of Isaiah 11:1-9 will come to full fruition at the second coming of Jesus Christ to this earth and his Messianic kingdom according to Revelation 20 for 1000 years.  The reason harmony, tranquility and justice will finally prevail is because all the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord.  But finally knowing Lord himself personally, intimately from their hearts, minds and wills.  This will be the case at the beginning of the marvelous messianic, millennial phase of God’s kingdom.  Messiah’s subjects will be saturated in the Lord living according to his commandments, principals and precepts.  The church in our glorified bodies will live and reign with him in perfect obedience.  What a tremendous contrast to this wicked and crooked world today.  This is great news!

The next verse is special to us:  Isaiah 11:10 “In that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be forever.  “In that day” what day?  The day, the time just detailed in Isaiah 11:1-9 time of earth wide peace, prosperity, harmony and righteousness when the Messiah King is ruling on this renewed, restored, regenerated earth.  “The root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples.”  The root of Jesse corresponds closely with Isaiah 11:1 “stump of Jesse from his roots a branch will bear fruit.”  So, meaning Messiah himself, he will be like a banner, signal, standard, ensign for the peoples, the nations will rally to him.  So, Messiah King is not just for the final righteous remnant of Israel but for all people, all nations, gentiles allowed by God to enter into the messianic millennial kingdom.  That includes of course the church, us of every native tribe, language and people group.

In Isaiah 52:10 “The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.  Not just the Roman world, but to the ends of the earth.  See by sight and rejoiced, that’s great news.  That’s our future in Jesus Christ.

From Isaiah 66:18 “And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory.”  Glory of God, sight will replace faith, great news.

In the New Testament, Luke 13:29 Jesus affirmed “people will come from the East, West, North and South and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.”  Jews and Gentiles together worshipping, serving, our great God, feasting together!  So, think of it!  Finally, righteousness and justice, no more mistrials, no reversal of sentences because of legal technicalities rather than justice, no more plea bargains, no more endless appeals because Messiah will rule with perfect omniscience and omnipotence.  No more doctrinal differences, no more denominational separations or splits or spats because the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord!

Peace and prosperity east, west, north and south for 1000 years!  Tremendous tranquility to replace crisis after crisis.  Great news to replace bad news ad nauseum.

A fabulous future, eternal eventually for all God’s people next to the subject of faith and salvation.  The event of the second coming of Jesus is most prominent in the New Testament.

Jesus Christ is coming again to judge the living and the dead is an effective evangelistic tool.  Are you in Christ? Are you ready for his coming?  Are you longing for his appearing?  This is a rich subject!

We can all share our own personal testimonies of our faith and relationship in Jesus Christ, the gospel, the good news in a bad news world.


David Johnson is minister of Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN.

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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10