The Book of Isaiah
KINGDOM BLESSINGS TO FOLLOW GREAT TRIBULATION
Text: ISAIAH 35:1-10
1. Isaiah 35 is poetic. There is a stark contrast between Isaiah chapters 34 & 35. Chapter 34 stresses God’s judgment upon Israel’s enemies (cf. 34:8), typified by Edom (34:5).
2. Chapter 35 stresses God’s deliverance of Israel (35:10).
3. Isaiah 34 deals with the judgments of God carried out during the great tribulation – “the day of the LORD’S vengeance” (34:8).
4. Isaiah 35 deals with the blessings of the millennial kingdom, which will follow the great tribulation.
5. Isaiah 35 contains some of the greatest descriptions of the millennial kingdom in the Bible.
6. In contrast to the barren conditions vividly described in chapter 34 (cf. 34:8-17), during the millennium, “the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose” (35:1, 7).
7. The distressful conditions of the great tribulation will be succeeded by the glorious and joyful Messianic kingdom (cf. 35:10).
8. J. Vernon McGee wrote, “The fires of judgment have now burned out, and the sword of justice is sheathed. The evening of earth-trouble is ended, and the morning of millennial delights has come” (Thru the Bible).
I. IT WILL BE A TIME OF REJOICING (35:1, 2, 10).
1. Note the repetition – “glad…rejoice” (35:1), “rejoice even with joy and singing” (35:2), “come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness” (35:10).
2. These Scriptures predict the physical restoration of Israel and the spiritual restoration of Israel.
3. Lebanon, to the north of Israel is today a hotbed for terrorism. But when Christ returns, it will be part of His glorious kingdom (35:2; cf. 60:13, 14).
4. Carmel (35:2) literally means, “the garden with fruit trees.” But during the tribulation period Carmel will not be fruitful (cf. 33:9).
5. But when the Lord returns, Carmel, along with Sharon and Lebanon will be fruitful once again (35:2).
6. Sharon is the fertile coastal plain famous for its pastures, farms, and wild flowers. Sharon will be “like a wilderness” (33:9) during the tribulation, but will be beautifully restored during the millennial kingdom (35:2).
7. HA Ironside wrote, “Every fruitful field or orchard, every lovely garden, presents a foretaste of what in Messiah’s day will be everywhere prevalent, when the parched deserts will give place to verdant meadows, and the thorns and thistles brought in by the curse will vanish, and trees and shrubs bearing fruits to appeal to the appetite and flowers to delight the eye, will spring up instead” (Isaiah).
8. Because of wonderful prophecies like Isaiah 35 some people believe that the curse will be lifted during the millennial kingdom.
9. It will be partially lifted, but not totally lifted until the eternal state (cf. I Cor. 15:24-26; Rev. 20:14).
10. The pronoun “they” in Isaiah 35:2 refers to the lands of Lebanon, Carmel, and Sharon. In other words, Isaiah is poetically personifying the land.
11. Isaiah 14:7, 8 says, “The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.”
12. Isaiah 55:12 says, “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.”
II. IT WILL BE A TIME OF ENCOURAGEMENT (35:3-7).
1. During our Lord’s earthly ministry, the signs of His coming kingdom were manifested as He went about preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
2. To a certain extent these signs followed the preaching of the apostles. Acts 5:2 says, “And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people.” These miraculous signs were foretastes of what will happen when the Lord returns to establish His kingdom.
3. There is a big controversy today over these signs and wonders. Pentecostalism is the fastest growing movement in Christendom. Pentecostalism is based upon the belief that the signs and wonders performed by our Lord and the apostles should be normative today.
4. It should be understood that the healing ministry of Jesus and the apostles was unique. If you carefully study the Bible, you will note that signs and wonders were not done by Christians in general, but were the signs of the apostles. When the apostles died out, the miraculous signs died out (cf. II Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:4).
5. A study of church history indicates that the genuine miraculous gifts ceased and have not reoccurred. Biblical evidence indicates that these gifts ceased with the apostolic age.
6. It has been my observation that the Pentecostal (charismatic) movement has not produced Christians who are more spiritually mature, as would be expected if their claims were true.
7. Furthermore, there is a dangerous similarity to heathen and occultic practices. Since evidence points to the cessation of the miraculous gifts in the apostolic age, no one can be certain if the alleged miracles in Pentecostalism are from God.
8. It is very strange indeed that this movement has swept through the RCC. RC’s claim to be “filled with the Spirit” and they still pray the rosary, go to mass, worship Mary, etc.
9. The Bible warns us to be careful in this matter. We are to avoid close contact with false religion. Isaiah 8:20 says, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
10. First John 4:1 says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (cf. Matt. 24:24; II Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:11-18).
11. As we draw nearer to the second coming, I think we can expect more and more religious deception. In Matthew 24:3 our Lord’s disciples asked Him, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
12. He answered and said unto them, “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matt. 24:4).
13. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to establish His kingdom, the blind shall see, the deaf shall hear, the lame shall leap, and the dumb shall sing (35:5, 6).
14. These are words of great encouragement. Our Lord sent this message of encouragement to John the Baptist when he was in prison (Luke 7:18-23).
15. Isaiah applied these words to the Jews of his day. Our Lord applied these prophecies to His day. We can apply them to our day: the Lord is coming back. We will not have to endure the horrors of the Great Tribulation.
16. First Thessalonians 4:17, 18 says, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
17. Vengeance and recompense are joined together in Isaiah 34:8 and in 35:4. It will be a time of deliverance for the righteous, but a time of judgment for the wicked.
18. These are encouraging words for the saved, but words of warning for the lost.
III. IT WILL BE A TIME OF HOLINESS (35:8-10).
1. Isaiah 11:16 says, “And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.”
2. Isaiah 19:23 also refers to this highway from Egypt to Assyria.
3. Isaiah 40:3 says, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
4. We know from the NT that this voice crying in the wilderness was John the Baptist (cf. Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6; John 1:23).
5. Isaiah prophesied that the redeemed of the LORD would travel on this highway of holiness. This highway is not just for Jews.
6. Zechariah 14:16 says, “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
1. There will be unclean sinners and errant fools in the millennial kingdom but they will not be allowed on the highway of holiness (35:8).
2. In fact, they will not want to be on that road.
3. I was driving through the Bronx yesterday on my way back from Bible Camp. While driving down the Major Deegan Expressway, I saw a billboard for a rock-and-roll radio station. On this billboard there was this message in big letters: “THE HIGHWAY TO HELL.”
4. I was once on the horrible “highway to hell.” I’m glad I am not on that highway any more. I prefer to travel on the highway of holiness (Isa. 35:8).