Have No Fear, the Kingdom of God Is Near!
Isa 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
I believe this passage in Isaiah 6 has an important message for us as Christians living in this end of the age. If you don’t believe we are in the end of an age, just look around you and see how many institutions and other things built up by humankind are crumbling and falling. We will find in the end of this era that the only things left standing are those that are rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ.
As bad as things may appear, God is on his throne and he is permitting all that we are seeing take place as a prerequisite for the coming of his kingdom on earth. God is not going to place his kingdom upon mankind’s broken foundation of idolatry, selfishness and materialism. God is permitting evil to be exposed and destroyed so that in its place we will see good prevail. It may take some time before we see the good, but good always triumphs over evil and in the end and we will see this come to pass in America and around the world.
We are living in the time of the harvest. The fullness of times is upon us. We are witnessing at this time the fullness of evil (human trafficking, child sex slaves, the murder of millions of unborn babies torn limb from limb or burned to death with salt in their mother’s womb, Satanism manifested in cannibalism and the murder of children to “harvest” adrenochrome, etc.) but we are not yet seeing its counterbalance which is the fullness of good in God’s people. Why aren’t we seeing this? Because it is hidden. It is not yet time for them to be seen but they are very much in existence—just hidden away being prepared without sound of hammer and chisel like the stones of the great temple of old were prepared underground (1 Kings 6:7).
I submit to you that there are two churches—one visible and one invisible. It is out of the invisible church that these people in the fullness of God will arise. Some of the invisible church is still within the visible church but for the most part they have withdrawn from institutional churches to meet as small groups in homes.
The true church is often too radical for the visible church to accept. This makes them unpopular because their zeal for God convicts other Christians of their lukewarmness and makes them uncomfortable. Much of the American church is waiting to fly away in a “rapture,” while others are being told that you can do whatever you want because God loves you and there is no such thing as a final judgment or hell. Many churches have become business enterprises with an emphasis on money and numbers of people. Others focus on the latest self-help fad so you can gain victory over your obesity problems, your marriage problems, your financial problems or whatever else is blocking your advancement in life. All these things have effectively set Jesus Christ over to one side. He gets mentioned from time to time but he is not lifted up and glorified or given his rightful place of leadership over his church.
Make no mistake about it, a great judgment of the church is coming very soon. People may mourn as they see churches lock their doors and lose their property and congregations, but it is all in God’s plan. Many church pastors are actually the wolves in sheep’s clothing the Bible warns us about. They will be exposed. God wants people to trust and depend upon him not on some big ministry or system of man that has infiltrated his church. He wants each of us to have a personal relationship with him where he can lead us and teach us himself. This will require that each of us take up our cross and follow him wherever he leads. The closing of churches as institutions will be a great blessing in disguise because it will sift the tares from the wheat and allow for greater fulfillment and maturity in those who choose to radically follow Jesus. Rather than depending on someone else to spoon feed them the Word, they will get into the Word for themselves and learn.
Relationships will develop in small groups whereas in large churches, people could come and go without really forming meaningful relationships. In small groups we get to know each other. When trials come we can encourage and help one another. It is in relationship with others that our rough edges get exposed and we learn to forgive one another and die to self. Without relationships we cannot press into the fullness of Christ. In the past, when people got offended in church, they just left and went to another church. That will not be as easy to do when the church is constituted in small, committed, accountable groups. Many home churches will be invisible or known only to a few, but it is out of these home churches that God is preparing his people to go out into the world and minister his love and truth to the lost.
The crumbling of life as we have known it, as difficult and frightening as this is, is actually the plowing of fallow ground making lives ready for the seed of the gospel. When people come to Jesus, he wants them in churches, but not institutionalized churches with the division of clergy and laity and its emphasis on rituals and programs. He wants them in small groups where believers are sincerely seeking God, studying their Bibles, praying for one another and helping each other.
At the same time, God will be bringing forth the people whom he has been preparing to minister to his church at this time. These leaders and overseers will minister in power and miracles such as Jesus displayed when he walked among us two thousand years ago. They will even do the greater works Jesus said his people would do in John 14. With this being said, let us take a closer look at Isaiah’s vision and see if the Holy Spirit will reveal to us some wonderful truths that have been hidden beneath the surface of the Word waiting to be revealed in the end times.
Isa 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. (ESV)
We can interpret this scripture literally or symbolically. If we choose the literal approach, then we would have to say that Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on a throne in a building called a temple and the Lord was wearing some sort of a robe with a train behind it that went down the steps of his throne, all around the room and into the next room, all over that room, and into the next, etc. until the tail end of this article of clothing he was wearing filled the entire building. Obviously this is not the best way to interpret this.
We could see what different Bible commentaries say about it and find some excellent historical insights, or we could do something more adventuresome by launching out into the deep of discovery for ourselves, examining each word in the original language and prayerfully seeking what God might show us personally. This is when Bible study gets to be fun and exciting. In this kind of study I am always looking for insights into the second coming of Christ, and I often find them just beneath the surface of the Word.
The following is what I have discovered about this verse that gives me hope for the future of humankind and this planet.
In my symbolic approach to this verse I believe Isaiah was seeing Jesus Christ and some things that are pertinent to what we are going to experience as his kingdom is fully manifested on earth. Much of this is tied in with the identity of the seraphim which I cannot get into without writing a book (which is in process now). But for now, I would like to say that I believe what Isaiah saw was the Lord in a place of complete authority (a throne) and the train of his garment symbolized something so important it filled up the place where he was. And where was he? He was in a temple.
We know that in the New Testament there was the literal temple in Jerusalem. We know Jesus alluded to his own body as being a temple. And in 1 Corinthians we read that our own body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The temple I am choosing to write about is the temple of our own body. Obviously my interpretation is not the only one, but it is one that can encourage us regarding what we are currently facing in our nation and the world.
I believe this passage shows us Isaiah, a man who lived about 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, having a vision about something the Holy Spirit would reveal to his people at the time of the second coming of Christ. He sees Jesus sitting in a place of authority in the lives of believers who have chosen to follow him to the extent that they have laid down their own lives to allow Christ to live in them in his fullness. In other words, Christ is high and lifted up in these people as individuals and also as the church corporately. Each individual is a temple and these individuals builded together in relationships are also a temple.
The Train of His Robe
So what is this train of Jesus’ robe that is in these people who are filled with the Holy Spirit? The robe and its train symbolize truth. Let me explain why this is so:
Everything in the universe that is good and true comes forth from God. Jesus is pure goodness and he is truth. Goodness and truth go together in what some call a divine marriage—like the horse and carriage in the old popular song—you can’t have one without the other. Wherever there is divine love (goodness), there is divine truth. Wherever there is divine truth, there is divine goodness. Both come forth from Jesus into the lives of sincere believers.
Truth apart from goodness is just information. By way of illustration I will mention an experience we had in one of our churches. There was a man in this church that knew a lot of the Bible by memory. Because of this, some people in the church looked up to him. However, we discerned something was not right with him because he was cold and harsh. He eventually caused trouble for us and tried to undermine our ministry and drive people out of our church. He appeared to have truth but it was only information because the goodness and love of Jesus was not in his life. If he had had real truth, the goodness of God would have been in him because the two go together inseparably.
Conversely in that same church there was a man who was very helpful for us. He had many skills in the areas of carpentry, plumbing, electrical work and machine repairs. He was most willing to help at the church building or parsonage any time it was needed. He praised my husband’s sermons and handed out cassette tapes of the Sunday service to people he knew. Always pleasant and helpful, and yet something was not quite right. When we would be in our small in-home midweek meetings where biblical truths were studied and shared, it was obvious he just didn’t understand. He would act like he understood and would try to contribute but whatever he said just didn’t make sense. This man was educated and intelligent, but when it came to biblical truth, he was not able to comprehend or articulate the simplest truth.
There came a day when one of his adult children came to us for ministry and related to us numerous accounts of extreme childhood abuse from his father. This was confirmed by another person. It turns out that his father was involved in Satanism. The helpful things he did were not coming forth out of God’s goodness but out of his own impure motives. This was why he was not able to comprehend truth. God does not permit truth to dwell alongside evil. When someone is involved in this level of wickedness, the Lord shuts down his interior mind such that he cannot comprehend truth.
This understanding that truth and good must be together or truth is only information and good is only spurious is invaluable for learning discernment.
This is why the Bible is of such extreme importance, for it is there that we learn truth. The more we learn of God’s truth, the more the goodness of God can pour into us from heaven, but this is only true if we live the truth that we learn. Truth must be incorporated into our life in order for goodness to flow into it. So we can see from this that divine truth is like a garment that is to be filled with God’s goodness once we incorporate it into our life.
So here in Isaiah we have divine good in the form of Jesus Christ seated in a place of authority in the life of a believer and this divine goodness is clothed with God’s truth as symbolized by his robe. This truth is so all pervasive that it fills the entire temple meaning the life of this believer.
Truth in the Form of Healing
One divine truth we all desire to believe and actually experience in our life is “by his stripes we are healed.” Or as seen in Malachi 4:2, “but unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of Righteous arise, with healing in his wings and you shall go forth…” The train seen in Isaiah’s vision may reveal the truth of divine healing that will become a reality in the lives of true believers in these end times.
A quick look at Old Testament Hebrew reveals this word for “train” means the hem of a garment. It is found in Exodus regarding Aaron the high priest’s robe which had pomegranates and bells interspersed around the hem. Jesus, our high priest, wore a robe, a very common looking robe that no one would really notice, and his robe had a hem.
There was something very special about the hem of Jesus’ garment. People who touched it got healed of their physical malady. There was the woman who had had the issue of blood for twelve years and had spent all her money on physicians who were unable to help her, who, when she touched the hem of his garment, was miraculously healed. This poor woman who had been isolated and ostracized from all human contact because of the uncleanness of her ailment was suddenly healed and once again permitted to feel human touch and acceptance. And not only that, but Jesus, when he knew she had touched his garment, called her daughter in front of the whole crowd. “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” (Matt 9:22) In an instant that woman went from being an outcast to being a woman people wanted to be with, a woman who had been favored by God for a miracle, and who had been praised by Almighty God for her faith.
In Matthew 14, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee and came to a place called Gennesaret. As soon as the people of that region heard that Jesus was there, all the sick people came to him begging to touch the hem of his garment knowing that if they did so, they would be healed. “And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.”
Isaiah saw that the train of his garment filled the temple. We have seen that this train, also meaning a hem, is symbolic of the truth of divine healing. When this train fills our whole temple, that is when it fills our entire soul and body, there will be no sickness or impairment of any kind in our body. This is a picture of the redemption of the body to come in the end times at the return of Jesus.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:18-23, NKJV)
Viewing Isaiah’s vision symbolically we can see that Jesus was the first temple and that healing was characteristic of his kingdom. Another temple was to come after his resurrection and that was the temple of the body of believers known as the church. We know that in the early church, miracles of healing were not uncommon. These were validations of the truth and power of Jesus Christ and his kingdom that were being preached by the apostles and others of the early church. In my interpretation, there is another temple to be seen in these end times. It is like the one of the early church; however, this time it will be absolutely perfect because it will be made of living stones that have come into the fullness of Christ. This is the church that will fill the earth and subdue all things under the feet of Jesus.
When King Uzziah Died
Isaiah had this vision the year king Uzziah died. This is significant for us to understand because until king Uzziah in us dies, we will not be able to walk in the revelation of God’s divine truth, goodness and healing. Uzziah represents pride. Uzziah accomplished many great things for Judah during his 52-year reign. However we read in 2 Chronicles that “When he was strong his heart was lifted up to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.”
Uzziah tried to take over the ministry designated by God to be done only by the sons of Aaron. When they resisted him, he became angry and in his rage the Lord struck him with leprosy on his forehead. After this, he dwelt in an isolated house and was cut off from the house of the Lord.
May this be a solemn warning for us all. As we move upward in Christ and perhaps experience success in ministry and even move in gifts of the Spirit, pride can always be lurking somewhere deep inside ready to hold us back and even cut us off from that heavenly realm we desire to walk and live in.
May this little study in Isaiah be an encouragement to us all to keep pressing into God because he will ultimately have the victory and our only safe place is in him. And after the dust settles in this great battle for humanity we are all in, our God is going to have a faithful people honed and prepared by adversity who are ready to go forth and restore and heal in the power of Jesus Christ.