He Will Swallow Up Death in Victory

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 14
There would seem to be a difficulty from the position which the words “He will swallow up death in victory” occupy in the strain of the prophet Isaiah, which, containing many subjects, begins with chapter 13, and ends with chapter 27. But, as usual, every difficulty of Scripture serves only as an occasion to discover its perfection. The difficulty is that, according to the order in which the prophet brings the statement into his strain (Isa. 25:88He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 25:8)), the event would seem to follow the great crash of universal judgment related in Isaiah 24, embracing, as it does, the world and all its systems, the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. Yet we know that St. Paul applies the passage to the resurrection of the Church, or first resurrection, embracing, of course, the saints of the OT days. This event we know happens previously to this crisis of judgment detailed in Isaiah 24, introductory of the kingdom — a clear proof, by the way, that the Church does not pass through the tribulation: her promise being that she would be kept from the hour of temptation which comes upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth (Rev. 3:1010Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10)).
It would seem to mean that, in a general way, without giving the order of the events, the first resurrection would take place at such a time as that spoken of in the group of chapter 24-27, and without pointing out the order of the occurrences, or the moment of time for their fulfillment — a general thing with this prophet.
1st. Those who are received up when the Lord comes, that is, the OT saints and the Church.
3rdly. Those who had not worshiped the beast, etc. The last two classes would, of course, lose their lives, and with their lives the earthly blessings of the kingdom about to be established; and they receive, instead, a heavenly blessing, and a place in the first resurrection, having loved not their lives unto death. All three classes enumerated compose the first resurrection, which, as we know, is not a period of time, but a class of persons, although not raised at the same moment of time but within a period extending from the taking up of the saints at the Lord’s coming (the rapture), and through the period of judgment which passes over the world, (the tribulation) and till the eve of the kingdom.
Now the last two classes not being raised at the same moment with the former, and being comprised especially of the slain remnant of the Jews, it is towards those the Prophet Isaiah has his attention specially directed, forming as they do the prominent subject in his burthen. Hence the order in which we find them in Isaiah 25, after the judgment of the world, and at the time when the Lord establishes His kingdom in Zion. This answers so beautifully to the word in Revelation 20:44And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4), “They lived (this word applying especially to the two latter classes) and reigned with Christ a thousand years”; while the first mentioned class who raised previously to the time when the crisis or tribulation took place.
The mind of the Spirit in the prophet is chiefly occupied with these last mentioned classes, while Paul, who is the instrument used in the revelation of the higher and subsequently revealed truth of the Church, uses the same passage when speaking of the resurrection of the saints who compose it when Christ comes; the passage thus embracing all those of the first resurrection, and the order of resurrection of the Jewish prophet having in primary view the slain ones of the Jewish remnant who are raised last in order of time, and at the closing moment of the events related in Isaiah 24-27.
Bible Treasury 6:292, 293.