Daniel testified unto King Nebuchadnezzar that although the king’s soothsayers and astrologers could not interpret his dream “there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.” (Dan 2:28) Thus Daniel, by the grace of HIM who orders all things from the beginning to the end, set forth a prophecy which in great measure was still shrouded in mystery, but set forth the intent of the LORD to send a REDEEMER KING into the Earth.
Many have taken these prophetical utterances of Daniel, Ezekiel, and others and woven narratives with which to regale us with their wisdom and ability to interpret obscure references into tales which are quite fanciful and appealing to the curiosity of those who desire to look into the future and speculate what is to occur in great detail. While we make no attempt nor profess to have the ability to weave such tales or enter into such bold speculation, we are quite certain that the purpose of GOD in the exaltation of HIS SON, the LORD JESUS CHRIST, is the theme of all of the prophecies found in the scriptures, both Old and New.
From the very beginning, the LORD would reveal the glory of this REDEEMER, when HE said, “Let there be light: and there was light.” (Gen 1:3) for HE is the LIGHT of the world. When the sinfulness of Adam and his acquiescence to Satan, was made manifest, HE testified to Satan of that ONE who would crush him and be the DELIVERER of HIS people. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen 3:15) Though CHRIST was born of a woman, HE was not born of Adam’s seed, since HE came from the womb of a virgin. HE “knew no sin”, “neither was guile found in HIS mouth.” (see II Cor.5:21 and I Pet.2:22)
Throughout the Old Testament and the annals of time the LORD has seen fit to reveal HIMSELF in various ways through the mouths of HIS prophets. All of them spoke in a fashion which was shrouded in mystery even though now in hindsight we can see that they spoke quite plainly of the GREAT PROPHET who was yet to come. Those are the days which the scriptures speak of as the “former times” or “times past”. A new era has been unfolded now which is not shrouded in mystery nor is there any doubt as to who the SPOKESMAN of GOD is. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (Heb 1:1-4) If any one scripture contains the essence of the revelation of GOD’s purpose in the Earth from the beginning to the end, this would be the one.
John carries on this very theme when he says, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:17-18) GOD has revealed HIMSELF in JESUS CHRIST. In the unfolding of HIS redemptive work which spans HIS conception and birth in the womb of the virgin Mary to HIS ascension into the heavens, the LORD has made HIS eternal purpose to manifest the glory of HIS grace in the redemption of that people which HE has loved with an everlasting love, known unto HIS creation.
HE sent an angel to testify to Joseph what HIS NAME was to be and the mission which HE would accomplish. “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Mat 1:20-23)
Such an occurrence as this defies the ability of men to believe and receive it, yet the HOLY GHOST does create faith in the sons of GOD and operates in them in such a fashion that they not only believe it, but they cannot in any wise deny it. Rather they become consumed with a desire to know HIM who has revealed HIMSELF as the SAVIOR of sinners, BREAD for the hungry, WATER for those who thirst after RIGHTEOUSNESS, and PEACE for those who long for it, having been rebels against HIM by nature. HE is the RECONCILER and they have gladly thrown down their arms of rebellion and desire HIS rule over them.
The LORD has come into the world to establish HIS everlasting Kingdom and HIS subjects delight in HIS KINGSHIP. Isaiah prophesied of HIS triumphant installation as the KING of TRUTH when he said, “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.” (Isa 59:19-20) This “STANDARD” of which he speaks here is one and the same with that “ENSIGN” which he mentions in Isaiah 11:10.
When armies went into battle they had the “flag” (standard or ensign) held up before them. CHRIST is the ENSIGN of HIS people. HE is STANDARD which they will gladly follow, being the RIGHTEOUSNESS of GOD. It is here behind that glorious REDEEMER that they find courage in the midst of their fear and strength in the midst of their weakness.
Isaiah says that the “earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as waters cover the sea.”
This is not some vision of an era which is yet to occur but is the description of the establishment of HIS Kingdom in the present age. This is the “last day”. This is that time which the prophets desired to see but could not. This is the “day of SALVATION”. This is the fulfillment of the prophecy which the LORD gave to Jeremiah. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer 31:33-34) Who among the saints (to whom HE has revealed HIMSELF) do not “know HIM.” Is not HIS knowledge the foremost object of their desire even as Paul testified, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” (Php 3:8)
This is the “RESTING PLACE” of the sons of GOD. It is here that they can turn aside from the cares and temptations of this world. There is no condemnation here. They look to that bloody hill of Calvary and believe that HE shed HIS blood for the remission of their sin. They take no solace in the law which demands perfection but rather in the ONE who has kept the law in its every jot and tittle in their behalf and rejoice that it is in this satisfaction of the law that they are hereby justified. “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins.” (Luke 1:76-77) Do you know HIM?