Isaiah 2:2-3 ESV
“It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
and many peoples shall come, and say:
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
The Latter Days
The “latter days” are in the Messianic age, so all this must be interpreted in light of that. Not long ago, when I was reading through the book of Isaiah again, I realized how much of the book of Isaiah is about the Messianic age and is about Jesus Christ. And this, too, is about Jesus Christ, our Messiah. So, read all of these two verses in context and you should realize that Jesus is the mountain of the house of the Lord. He is Zion.
Jesus Christ has been established as the highest of the mountains, the highest place of worship, and He shall be lifted up above all previous places of worship, for we are to worship him in spirit and in truth. God alone is to have our worship, and no other. Jesus Christ is our ONLY Messiah and Lord. And all of the nations will flow to Jesus and not to a physical temple, for he is the temple of God, and we, as his body, are also his temple.
But the nations don’t flock to us, they flock to Jesus. And the peoples don’t say, “Come, let us go up to the body of Christ, his people,” but they say, “Come, let us go up to Jesus Christ, our Messiah, that HE may teach us HIS ways, that we may walk in HIS paths.” We don’t want people to walk in our paths but in the ways of the Lord. And out of our Lord shall go forth the perfect law, the law of liberty, i.e. the gospel of our salvation, his word.
And the “holy city” is no longer physical Jerusalem, and the Jews who do not believe in Jesus Christ are no longer God’s chosen people. For, the promises of God were spoken to Abraham and to his seed, and that seed is Jesus Christ. For not all who are descended from physical Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham just because they are his physical offspring. And it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God.
If we belong to Jesus Christ, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, then we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. For, in Jesus’ death on that cross he put to death the hostility that stood between Jew and Gentile and he made us both one people through faith in Jesus Christ. All those who deny Jesus Christ to be the Christ, the Messiah, the promised seed of Abraham, are not heirs of the promise.
So, now the “Holy City” is no longer a physical place, but it is the people of God who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, for now God’s temple, Jesus Christ, dwells within us, and we are his temple. And Jesus Christ is now the highest place of worship, not a physical temple. We the people of God are now the house of God in whom Christ dwells by his Spirit. We are his body, his church, which is not a physical place or a building, but people.
[Gal 3:16, 26-29; Rom 9:4-8; Gal 4:22-31; Eph 2:14-18; 1 Jn 2:22]
His Ways, His Paths
The object of our worship is Jesus Christ, and the purpose of our worship is that we may be taught the ways of the Lord and that we may walk in his paths. Worship of God is not just singing songs, although songs may be included in our worship. True worship of Jesus Christ is in the giving (surrendering) of our lives to Jesus Christ as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world.
Therefore, if we are in a song service in the gathering of the church (or what is falsely called “church”), just because we are singing songs, and we may be being stirred emotionally by them, it does not mean at all that we are worshiping the Lord Jesus/God. Singing doesn’t naturally equal worship. If our lives are not surrendered to Jesus Christ, and if we are not learning his ways, and if we are not walking in his paths, we are not worshiping Him.
Also, although Jesus Christ died on that cross that we might be forgiven of our sins and that we might have the hope of eternity with God, this is not the totality of the purpose for which Jesus died, and it is not the totality of our salvation from sin. For Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us.
When Jesus died on that cross, his blood was shed for us that he might buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would now honor God with our bodies. He died, not just to free us from the punishment of sin so that heaven would be our eternal destiny, but he died to free us from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. So, by faith in him, we forsake our sinful ways and now we walk in his ways.
And the ways of the Lord in which we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) are the ways of holiness, righteousness, honesty, integrity, moral purity, faithfulness, obedience to the Lord, and in submission to him as Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives. And we are to love him, and to love him is to obey him, and we are to love others, and to love others is to obey the Lord. And obedience is walking in his ways and in his truth in his power.
Obedience is not just following the teachings of the Scriptures under the New Covenant, but it is listening to the Holy Spirit within us speak God’s words to our hearts, teaching us the ways of the Lord he wants us to walk in day by day. He may prompt us to call someone, or to pray for someone, or to encourage someone with a song or a Scripture, or to move here, or to go there. And through the Spirit God will call us to specific areas of ministry, too. But we must test everything against the Scriptures, for God is not going to call us or lead us to something that is contrary to his divine nature.
But the way we get to know the Lord is not just through listening to the Holy Spirit, but it is through the study of the Scriptures so that we know the ways of the Lord so that we can walk in his paths, by his Spirit, and in his strength, wisdom, and power. And we need to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Head knowledge does us no good. We need to be applying the teachings of the gospel to our lives in daily practice. For this is God’s will.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!