The Controversy of Zion

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The coming glory of our Lord Jesus Christ as set forth in the Scriptures is of profound interest to every believer who loves His appearing. There has never been a time so filled with foreshadowings as this very moment. We do not look at these as signs, because before any can be fulfilled, the true church, composed of all believers, shall be safe at home in the Father's house, having taken part in the rapture or first resurrection. Moral and spiritual decline give surer predictions.
Could we speak of the sufferings of Christ without thinking of the full, final results so gloriously set forth in the inspired Word of God? Prophecy gives the dignities of the Son of man who took a low place to have us for Himself. These dignities shall be shared by the companion of the King. (See the account of Joseph and Asenath in Gen. 41:4545And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:45).) The Scriptures teach that since Christ shall be manifested, a Man supreme in the government and administration of all created things, as Man He is to have a bride to share His throne and be His helpmeet. (Eph. 1:1010That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (Ephesians 1:10).)
In the light of these grand truths we become increasingly interested in the development of the teachings concerning that which introduces the coming age as outlined in the prophets.
The portion of the church is one glorious theme in itself, and these are family secrets. Another subject is the heavenly blessings of others who are in Christ, the "friends of the Bridegroom". Also, angels will have their place as servants who keep the gates of the heavenly city, and lastly, Israel and the nations. This last is not a secret but has been revealed in the Old Testament prophets, the background, setting, and developing of the theme being found in Isaiah. These blessings shall last for one thousand years on earth, and the church shall reign with Christ over it all from heaven.
The coming age is sometimes spoken of as "Solomon's Porch", the entrance to the eternal state for earth. The change which takes place in heaven and earth before the millennial day is of a moral character, although there will be some physical changes of the land, climate, bent of all creatures, etc. Before the eternal state the change will be physical in the sense that the elements will melt with a fervent heat.
The prophets were sent after failure came into Israel, Samuel being the first. They gave prophecies which were applicable not only to the time in which they lived, but also to the last days as to a kingdom yet to come. Thus we have Isaiah's prophecy, which is one of the richest and fullest that have been given to us. Isa. 7:1414Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14) shows that in order for blessing to come to man, the virgin's Son had to die and be raised so that a new life on the basis of resurrection should be the portion of those blessed. The Messiah would have restored all to Israel upon their obedience at His first coming, but He was rejected. (The church is heavenly—not spoken of in the prophets.)
Isaiah's prophecies, for the most part, seem to be concerned with the time when the Lord deals with His people in restoring them physically and morally to their land the second time. The first was in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. This will magnify the grace, wisdom, patience, love, righteousness, justice, and majesty of their God when "He is known by the judgment which He executeth" upon His and their enemies. (Psa. 9:1616The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. (Psalm 9:16).)
Having rejected the Messiah, the house of David in responsibility was set aside, but a remnant shall be called out to wait for their Messiah to return. His return to the earth will be under different circumstances from the first advent. He shall break the power of the Gentiles who hold His people in captivity. Riding on a swift cloud He shall make a short work in the consumption which shall put down all pride, power, pleasure, and resource of man in order to establish His kingdom on a secure basis of righteousness and happiness. His feet shall then stand on the Mount of Olives. Also He shall have aroused the conscience of His people. Later He will appear, to the wonder and terror of the whole world. Sitting between the cherubim to rule Zion, then founded, and manifesting His heavenly saints as associated with Himself, at His appearing, He will show to His people Israel His hands and His feet that they might know "that the LORD of hosts hath sent Me unto thee." (Zech. 2:1111And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee. (Zechariah 2:11).) The showing of His hands and His feet will identify Him as Jesus. While "He rests in His love," Israel will go out in rule and blessing to the whole world.
In the first thirty-nine chapters, Isaiah gives the scope of God's ways with Israel and the nations of the prophetic earth, from the time of the apostasy of the nation under their last kings until the time of their Messiah when the desert blossoms as the rose (narcissus). (Isa. 35.) Chapters 40-66 will be used, we believe, to restore the remnant morally by bringing before them their past conduct so as to arouse their consciences.
The events concerning the beast are not set forth by Isaiah because our prophet presents, in the main, what concerns Israel when owned of Jehovah as His people. The kingdom of the beast and Babylon are then in ruins. Thus it is the Assyrian who is the principal enemy in Isaiah.
The question may arise in our minds, "What interest have we, the church, in prophecy, since our portion is heavenly and we will already be at home in the Father's house when these things take place?" The answer to this is found in Rev. 19:1010And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10), "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Paul teaches that the saints shall judge the world. "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? " Eph. 1 tells us that in Christ we have an inheritance. Isaiah shows the development of the earthly part of this inheritance until the appearing when we shall reign with Christ. The subject at hand is "The Controversy of Zion," with which no mystery is connected. That we shall be coheirs with Christ when He reigns is made known to us through the revelations given to the Apostle Paul—the mystery, Christ and the church. God has made known to us the mystery of His will. (Eph. 1:99Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (Ephesians 1:9).)