Up to this point, the bulk of what we have covered in Isaiah has pertained to the latter-day events that will transpire in America. Now we expand the scope of Isaiah’s vision beyond America’s shores. As we mentioned at the beginning of this section, Isaiah wrote about all things touching the House of Israel. Therefore, he also wrote regarding the events surrounding the Jews in the last days.
The Lord has now gathered the Jews. They have a new homeland after more than 1,800 years. However, despite being the covenant people of the Lord, in general, today’s Jews tend to be less influenced by religion than the average American. According to an article published on www.Haartez.com, an Israeli website, only 38% of Jews consider themselves to be religious. Furthermore, only 16% of Jews attend a religious service at least once a month. Many Jews have greatly struggled trying to reconcile the existence of a loving God. I have heard it said that for many Jews, God died in the holocaust.
There is no doubt that the Jews have had a difficult time over the course of history, but Isaiah tells us it will not always be so. There will come a day that the Jews will be a glorious and holy people, but unfortunately, circumstances will get much worse before they get better.
In the first section of this book, Ezra’s Eagle, it was demonstrated that apart from Zion, all the Gentile nations of the earth would be gathered together against Israel. Furthermore we saw that these countries would be lead and excited by what I interpreted to be a Russian lead coalition, with an antichrist speaking out great blasphemies against God. This antichrist was referred to as a “mouth” by John, and as both a “little horn” and a “stout horn” by Daniel.
Since the founding of Israel, the Jews have lived on an island in a turbulent sea of open hostility. Their enemies surround them. Comparing Israel’s population to those of the Arab states that share a physical border with them, Israel is out numbered by more than 20 to 1. Expanding this comparison to all Arab states, this jumps to more than 70 to 1. These are not good odds for Israel, add to this all the Gentile nations, and Israel is in serious trouble. In light of these sobering circumstances, Isaiah foresaw the following:
And [the Gentile nations] shall pass through Judah; [they] shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.[i] In mine ears, said the Lord of Hosts, of a truth many houses shall be desolate, and great and fair cities without inhabitant.[ii] For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen, because their tongues and their doings have been against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory.[iii]
Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury—thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling wrung out.[iv]
From other prophets, we learn that Israel will be besiege for three and a half years.
And there was given me a reed like unto a Rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.[v]
The devastation from this siege will be horrific, the Jews will be in dire circumstances, starving, destitute, and at some point, the Jewish state will be left leaderless. It appears that the country will be on the verge of total collapse. Consider the following verses from Isaiah:
For behold, the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem, and from Judah, the stay and the staff, the whole staff of bread, and the whole stay of water- [Judah will be starving for lack of both food and water] the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient; the captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counselor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. [Judah’s leadership will have been decimated, they will be on the brink of annihilation].
When a man shall take hold of his brother of the House of his father, and shall say: Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let not this ruin come under thy hand—In that day shall he swear, saying: I will not be a healer; for in my house there is neither bread nor clothing; make me not a ruler of the people.[vi] [Judah will desperately be looking for someone to lead them, guide them out of their dire circumstances, to give them hope.]
And none to guide [Jerusalem] among all the sons she hath brought forth; neither that taketh her by the hand, of all the sons she hath brought up.[vii] For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counselor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.[viii]
Isaiah plainly states that the Jews will lose their leaders. Given the list of leadership voids, it would appear that only the common citizenry will remain at that day. This is indicative of a war of extinction as, in traditional wars, the leadership is kept alive to be able to surrender and negotiate terms. These wicked hordes are interested in extermination, not negotiation.
These will be desperate times. If Israel is to survive, they must receive assistance, and that assistance must come from outside their desperate boarders. The prophet Zechariah gives further insight into the horror that will rage amongst the Jews in that day. Consider the following verses:
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.[ix]
The suffering of the Jews in that day will be beyond comprehension. Horrific slaughter of almost 70% of the population, the starvation, the deep and dark hopeless state our brothers will find themselves in is awful to consider. But as Zechariah noted that there is a purpose behind their suffering. They, like the American Zion, must be refined. The Lord is making something of them that we must conclude would not be possible through any other method. As a diamond can only be formed under intense pressure, so will it be with the Jews in that day. In the end, the remaining third will remember and keep their covenants made of old.
As desperate as those days will become, the Lord will provide an escape for His people as they turn to Him. As we have seen, in those days Israel shall be bereft of internal leadership, Isaiah therefore speaks of external leaders that will come unto Israel. We have already learned of one such leader, The Branch. The Branch will not be alone however, we also learn of two mighty prophets that will come unto Israel to comfort her. Let us now consider these two prophets.
These two sons are come unto [Israel], who shall be sorry for thee—thy desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword… Thy sons have fainted, save these two; they lie at the head of all the streets; as a wild bull in a net, they are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God.[x]
These two sons that “come unto Israel” are from some other location. They are called “sons”, so it is reasonable to assume that they are Israelites, perhaps even descendants of Jesse as we have seen the other three mighty latter-day leaders will be. I believe that these will arrive, at the same time the Remnant of Jacob arrives to liberate America from the filth of the “stout horn”. Their purpose is clear, these three are to preserve Israel until the Messiah comes. These two sons are the same two witnesses identified by John the Revelator. John’s testimony of these individuals adds valuable insight to Isaiah’s prophecy. Consider the following verses from Revelations:
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.[xi]
According to John, the mission of these two witnesses corresponds with the length of the siege on Jerusalem noted earlier – 42 months. Furthermore, the siege happens outside of the temple,[xii] so we can assume that the temple will have been rebuilt in Jerusalem prior to this event. Who knows but that the building of the temple will be the spark that ignites the powder keg? We do know that The Branch is associated with the rebuilding of the temple, and therefore likely will preceded the arrival of the two prophets.
Regarding the powers given into the hands of these two sons, it appears that they will hold the sealing power. Elijah and Nephi – the son of Helaman, both were given the sealing power and were able to seal the heavens, and perform acts similar to those described of these two sons. In order for these two witnesses to have the sealing power, they must have the Melchizedek priesthood. Perhaps these two will be one of the many missionary companionships sent forth from the ranks of the 144,000. The hunters, sent to witness to the world one last time prior to the Lord’s coming. As noted, the whole world will be watching the activities of these two witnesses. The fact that their deaths will be celebrated is a telling sign of the ripened condition of the world.
Isaiah also makes further reference to the Branch, who will come to Israel in her desperate times. From previous verses we have noted that the Lost Ten Tribes will return from the North. We have also noted that they will first come to America. With this in mind, consider the following verses from Isaiah:
The first [Judah – the first to receive the Gospel originally] shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: [The Remnant of Jacob in America] and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings.[xiii]
I have raised up one from the North, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay.[xiv] And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the Rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.[xv]
This great leader who brings good tidings to Israel from the north has definite messianic qualities. However, I am not aware of any prophecy that states that Christ will come from the north, His return is associated with the east. We saw in the previous chapter, that it is not uncommon for the Lord’s leaders to exhibit messianic aspects to their ministries. Such will be the case for the Stem, Branch, Root, and Rod of Jesse.
In other words, this great leader will have many wonderful Christ-like attributes. In the prior chapter we learned that The Branch was described as growing up in “his place”, I concluded that this linked him to the Remnant of Jacob. In these verses we receive further confirmation of that assumption – “his place” is in the North. As the Lost Ten Tribes first come to America/Zion[xvi], so The Branch is noted in these verses as having been seen first in America.
The timing of David’s coming is not clear, I do not know if he will precede the main body of Jacob, or come with them. We know that he will rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. We know from scripture that the Lord was able to lift up the entire city of Enoch, and that we will return that city to the earth during the millennium. As such, if it was the will of the Lord, the same could be done with the temple in Jerusalem. I doubt that the Arabs would sit idly by while the Dome of the Rock was destroyed and the temple rebuilt in its place. My feeling is that that temple will be constructed very quickly, because the scriptures say that once built, it will be under siege.[xvii] I have speculated that the temple’s appearance may end up being the spark that lights the tinder box.
Howl, O gate; cry, O City; thou, whole Palestina art dissolved [Palestina is Palestine, Judah’s symbolic enemy]: for there shall come from the North a smoke, [the reference to the North is again a reference to the Lost Ten Tribes] and none shall be alone in his appointed times.[xviii] [After the arrival of the smoke, Israel is no longer alone nor leaderless in its fight] But thus saith the Lord, even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.[xix]
Regarding the timing of these events, we learn from these verses that the arrival of this smoke from the North ends the conflict with finality; Israel’s enemies being dissolved. Regardless of how dire the Jew’s circumstances are, or how powerful their enemies are, they are delivered. A careful reading of the above verses identifies the Lord’s presence among the returning Remnant of Jacob – “for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children”. From a previous verse, we know that this is not a reference to the symbolic presence of the Lord, but His actual presence. Let us revisit those verses from the book of Revelations now.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which were in heaven [the smoke from the North- the Remnant of Jacob] followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a Rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.[xx]
This is an awe-inspiring description of the long awaited Messiah, the one true “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS”. With eyes aflame, and cloaked in red He comes to liberate His desperate people, the Jews. The description of the armies that follows the Lord agrees with that of the Remnant of Jacob – who are likewise described as horsemen, as we shall see in future chapters. Christ himself further expounds upon this matter when he was speaking to his apostles regarding the last days. Consider the following verses:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.[xxi]
Christ does not imply that armies of angels will surround him, but rather that he will send his angels to gather his elect “from one end of heaven to the other”. On numerous occasions I have shown that this phrase is also associated with the return of the Remnant of Jacob. For further corroborative evidence that the Lost Ten Tribes will arrive in Jerusalem with the Lord at their head, call to remembrance Isaiah’s reference that Palestina would be dissolved at the arrival of the “Northern smoke”.[xxii] With this in mind consider the description of the curse that will come upon the enemies of the Jews at the arrival of the Lord.
And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.[xxiii]
The description from this verse sounds very similar to the description of Palestina being dissolved by the Northern Smoke. There are too many similarities between these different prophecies regarding the same events to be insignificant.
The prophet Zechariah provides additional information regarding the salvation of Jerusalem. His prophecies are harmonious with the message shared up to this point, and words expound certain portions of the message beyond what we have hitherto done. Consider the flowing verses from his prophecies:
In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the House of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the House of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for [me], as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.[xxiv]
Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the North, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains…and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.[xxv]
Zechariah’s amazing prophecies add tremendous insight to those already provided by Isaiah. Zechariah mentions that even the feeble among the Jews in that day will be as David. With David’s strength likened to the strength of God, and the Angels of God. I interpret this as meaning that the Jews in general will be as strong as David of old in that day, and that The Branch’s strength will be likened unto God. What an amazing prophecy! Another interesting insight that these events will take place in either summer or in winter; note that these two seasons occur simultaneously depending upon which hemisphere one is in, a reference to the universal knowledge of the happenings of these events in that day.
After the Jews have been saved, and the Lord has returned, Isaiah makes mention that the lands of Israel, once destroyed and desolate, shall again teem with Israelites. To the point that Israel must, of necessity, expand her borders just to accommodate the arrival of the mighty host. There will not be enough space for all of them. Consider the following verses:
Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.[xxvi] [Again, this verse alludes to the fact that the returning tribes will come from America] Lift up thine eyes round about and behold; all these gather themselves together, and they shall come to thee. And as I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on even as a bride.[xxvii] For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants; and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.[xxviii]
The children whom thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the first, shall again in thine ears say: The place is too strait for me; give place to me that I may dwell.[xxix] Then shalt thou say in thine heart: Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? And who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where have they been?[xxx] Then shall their watchmen lift up their voice, and with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye.[xxxi]
For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land; and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the House of Jacob. And the people shall take them and bring them to their place; yea, from far unto the ends of the earth; and they shall return to their lands of promise. And the House of Israel shall possess them, and the land of the Lord shall be for servants and handmaids; and they shall take them captives unto whom they were captives; and they shall rule over their oppressors.[xxxii]
Then will the Father gather them together again, and give unto them Jerusalem for the land of their inheritance.[xxxiii] And then shall that which is written come to pass: Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child; for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.[xxxiv] For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.[xxxv] And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.[xxxvi]
These verses describe in plain language a host of the children of Israel coming unto Jerusalem and overflowing all her borders, causing all the desolate places of ancient Israel to be inhabited once more. They speak of Judah’s surprise, after they have suffered so much loss, to see so many of their righteous brothers and sisters inhabiting their ancestral lands once again. These verses are beautiful.
The events in Jerusalem will conclude the world-wide purification process. The process that began in America will end in Jerusalem, thus fulfilling the saying, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. The wicked will have been destroyed and the Lord of Lords will have returned. The New Jerusalem shall be established in Zion, the temple rebuilt in Jerusalem, and the Lord will usher in the great millennial day. It will be glorious beyond description! Isaiah attempts to describe it in the following words:
And it shall come to pass, they that are left in Zion and remain in Jerusalem shall be called holy, every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem—When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.[xxxvii] I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.[xxxviii]
And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall give thee rest, from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve.[xxxix] Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.[xl]
Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of those who are in the east shall be established; [Referring to the Jews finally becoming firm in the faith.] and break forth into singing, O mountains; for they shall be smitten no more; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.[xli] And in that day thou shalt say: O Lord, I will praise thee; though thou wast angry with me thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.[xlii]
The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet; they break forth into singing.[xliii] And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks—nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.[xliv]
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.[xlv]
Hasten the day of this glorious rest! Horrible will be the crucible that refines the world, but how glorious the residual peace. If there is a correlation between the intensity of the darkness and the brilliance of the peace, between sorrow and joy, pain and pleasure, how unfathomable will be the millennial day!
Thus concludes this review of the words of Isaiah as recorded by the hand of Nephi. The scope of Isaiah’s sweeping visions of future events is magnificent. From the scattering to the gathering, he saw it all. He saw the restoration and rise of the glorious gospel ensign, the Book of Mormon, and the life and works of Joseph Smith. He saw the founding of the greatest nation the earth has ever seen. He saw that nation begin to canker and decay. In the midst of that decay he saw another ensign raised, to which the Lost Ten Tribes would rally, and consume the dross. The vessel will be thoroughly cleansed both within and without. He saw the nation returned to its intended majesty, and the founding of Zion within its borders, the building of the New Jerusalem, and the coming of the millennial Messiah, and much more besides.
It is my testimony that Nephi also saw these things, but was forbidden to communicate them to us in his own precious and plain words. The Lord, in His wisdom, however, prepared a way. In the context of the covenants of the Lord, and the House of Israel, the words of Isaiah ring clear and true. The message related in this section of this work is incredible, fantastic, and even unbelievable. With good reason, this topic is not one that is taught in such detail in Sunday School. It is too incredible to be taught by anything other than a deep study. As such, the burden of understanding, learning, and discerning these things is where the Lord intended that it should be, between Him and the individual.
[i] 2 Nephi 18:8
[ii] 2 Nephi 15:9
[iii] 2 Nephi 13:8
[iv] 2 Nephi 8:17
[v] Revelations 11:1-2
[vi] 2 Nephi 13:1-3 & 6-7
[vii] 2 Nephi 8:18
[viii] Isaiah 41:28
[ix] Zechariah 13:7-9
[x] 2 Nephi 8:19-20
[xi] Revelations 11:3-11
[xii] Revelations 11:1-2
[xiii] Isaiah 41:27
[xiv] Isaiah 41:25
[xv] 2 Nephi 21:2-5
[xvi] D&C 133:26-31
[xvii] Revelations 11:1&2
[xviii] Isaiah 14:31
[xix] 1 Nephi 21:25
[xx] Revelations 19:11-16
[xxi] Mathew 24:30-31
[xxii] Isaiah 14:31
[xxiii] Zechariah 14:12
[xxiv] Zechariah 12:8-10
[xxv] Zechariah 14: 3-8
[xxvi] 1 Nephi 21:22
[xxvii] 1 Nephi 21:18
[xxviii] 1 Nephi 21:19
[xxix] 1 Nephi 21:20
[xxx] 1 Nephi 21:21
[xxxi] 3 Nephi 20:32
[xxxii] 2 Nephi 24:1-2
[xxxiii] 3 Nephi 20:33
[xxxiv] 3 Nephi 22:1
[xxxv] 3 Nephi 22:3
[xxxvi] 3 Nephi 22:13
[xxxvii] 2 Nephi 14:3-4
[xxxviii] 2 Nephi 23:12
[xxxix] 2 Nephi 24:3
[xl] 3 Nephi 22:4
[xli] 1 Nephi 21:13
[xlii] 2 Nephi 22:1
[xliii] 2 Nephi 24:7
[xliv] 2 Nephi 12:4
[xlv] 2 Nephi 21:6-9