Good afternoon everyone and welcome to today’s online fellowship gathering. I am going to begin the study today by reading Isaiah 24:1-12:
Behold, JEHOVAH maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for JEHOVAH hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh. The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.
We will stop reading there.
We have been studying the book of 1st Peter for several weeks and we will continue in that study but, I thought that it is important that we take a look at this particular chapter.
In this chapter of Isaiah 24, the emphasis cannot be mistaken. We know exactly, what God is talking about. We know who is in view and it is, “the earth”. It is “the world”.
Actually, our English word “earth” is found 15 times in Isaiah 24 and the word “world” one time. Of those 15 times, for the word “earth”, 13 times are one particular Hebrew word and it is often translated “earth”. It is the word that is found in Genesis chapter 1. The 13 times it is found in this chapter is no coincidence, as we know, the number 13 points to the end of the world, which comes after 13,000 years of history and that is right where we find ourselves. It is clear as we read this chapter, that God is referring to His punishment for the world.
And yet, it seems very strange. It seems unusual as we read the chapter because the language here, is similar to God’s language of judgment when He is referring to “Israel” or “Judah” which spiritually typify the New Testament churches. And yet, He is not referring to “Israel” or “Judah”.
Actually, the word “Israel” is found only once in Isaiah 24 and that is in Isaiah 24:15, where it says:
Wherefore glorify ye JEHOVAH in the fires, even the name of JEHOVAH God of Israel in the isles of the sea.
It is simply identifying God. It is “the name of JEHOVAH God of Israel”. It is not referring to “Israel” as being the one under judgment.
We find the name “Jerusalem” once, in Isaiah 24:23:
Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when JEHOVAH of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
There again, it is speaking of God reigning in “Zion” (which is also a synonym for “Jerusalem”) and in “Jerusalem”. But it is not saying in any way that the judgment of this chapter, is upon “Jerusalem”. No, in both cases (the reference to “… the LORD God of Israel …” and here, “when the LORD” reigns “in Jerusalem”.), it is not referring to the awful (ugly) language of judgment that is found throughout the chapter.
Clearly and without any question (no one could argue this in any kind of real way), the judgment found in Isaiah 24 is the judgment of God upon the whole world (earth). And yet, it is very similar to language that describes God’s judgment on the churches. We could find chapters similar to this, in Jeremiah or other places of the Bible, where God is referring to bringing His fury upon His own people.
Why is this? If it is true (and it is not), that the judgment of the world is that Christ comes on the very “last day” and then, the world ends—that is false. That is not true at all and we can prove that from the Bible because there is a time (Matthew 24 and Mark 13:24 help us to understand) that is identified in the Bible as “those days” “after the tribulation” and there is a period of time which comes “after the tribulation” and it is during this period of time that God judges the world—known as “those days”.
It just cannot be that God will utterly destroy the world. Isaiah 24 would make no sense if God were to come and destroy the world in a moment and this language would not fit. But, once we understand that it is God’s plan (and He lays out this plan in the book of Jeremiah 25) to first judge “the city which is called by” His “name” (historically—Judah, which typified the New Testament churches and congregations) and then, He judges the world in a very same way, in a similar manner and Jeremiah 25 tells us that.
Let us look at Jeremiah 25:28-29:
And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith JEHOVAH of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink. For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, …
That is important language. Notice, God says in Jeremiah 25:29:
… I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, …
That would be a reference to “judgment” beginning “at the house of God”, as we read in 1st Peter 4:17 and that is the beginning point of God’s final judgment on this world. It starts with His own people, as we have seen. The churches were under the judgment of God and that judgment was 23 years, from May 21 1988 through May 21 2011.
Well, someone might say, “are the churches no longer under the judgment of God, since that period of time has ended?” The answer is no. We cannot say that. We would never say that. Actually, the judgment expanded.
May 21 was the day of transition from the judgment of the churches and it expanded to all the world. So, since those in the churches, by that day, were not saved and then, the judgment expanded to all the earth. The churches are part of the world and continue under the judgment of God as now that judgment is on all the earth and it is the same judgment. As we continue to read in Jeremiah 25:29-30:
… the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith JEHOVAH of hosts. Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, JEHOVAH shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
So, this is the transition. It begins with “the city” “called by my name”. They “drink of the cup” of His wrath and once they have drank, He will give “the cup”. It is the identical “cup”. There is nothing in this chapter to indicate that it is a different “cup”. It is the same “cup”. God takes it from “Israel” or “Judah” and he gives it to the world.
And yet, we correctly understood that God’s judgment on the churches was spiritual. We understood the true nature of “the cup” that God would give the churches to drink. It was all the removal of His Spirit and of the Gospel blessings.
But then, we made an error and we assumed that once “the cup” was transferred and this transition was made to the world, that it would then become physical in nature. Part of this assumption could be seen with the “great earthquake”. We were thinking outwardly, literally and physically.
If we had read Jeremiah 25 carefully enough, we would realise that it is the same Hebrew word—“cup”. It is the same language as God makes the transfer. There is no difference. We have no call (reason) to say that “the cup” on one hand is spiritual, but when it is given to the world, it will become a physical, outward, literal judgment that will be evident to all. No, it is identical in language and identical in the word used.
We find that we should have and now we have made this correction and we understand this that “the cup” is spiritual. This is why Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, when he went to pray said, “… O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” What “cup” was that? It was the “cup” of God’s wrath.
Could you see thunderbolts coming down from Heaven in furious wrath upon Christ, as He suffered in the garden? No, you could not see anything. He was drinking of a spiritual “cup”. There was no outward evidence that He was under the wrath of God.
By the way, He was under the wrath of God. He was experiencing punishment for sin, although He was not making payment for sin. There was no need for that, since He had paid the penalty in full, “before the world began”.
But, if you would have looked at Jesus drinking the “cup” of God’s wrath in the garden, you might have seen someone distraught, as He was “in an agony” and this was the reason for His prayer. But you would not have seen any outward sign (or evidence) that would have indicated that God was punishing Him.
Like we could not see any outward visible sign (or evidence) that God was punishing the churches for 23 years. You could not see that the Holy Spirit was removed from the congregations. It was a spiritual judgment. What about when this same “cup” is given to the world? Suddenly we think that it will be very evident and we will be able to see all these things take place and we were dead wrong. We were incorrect. This is where we must make correction, in order to begin to understand what God is doing and the day that we are presently living in.
Once we understand this, all the things of the Bible, except for the duration of this time—we do not have understanding of that. We do not know how long this “day of judgment” will last, but everything else falls into place and fits. Once again, we have harmony with the whole Bible.
The Biblical Timeline of History is right there still in place. May 21 was Judgment Day and all the indicators that pointed to that were correct and so on. We have great harmony or the Scriptures fit together in a tremendous way once we understand that Judgment Day has begun and “the cup” of God’s wrath has now been given to “all the inhabitants of the earth”.
In Revelation 8, we read in most of that chapter, where God brings His “judgment” (and this is referring to “judgment” beginning “at the house of God” on “the third part”). Again and again, from Revelation 8:7 through Revelation 8:12, God speaks of His wrath on “the third part of the waters” and “the sea” and “the third part of the sun”, “and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars;” and that is because “the third part” is language that identifies with the people of God and therefore, identifies with the churches and congregations. The “waters” was the Gospel water and the light of “the sun” and “the moon” and “the stars” was the Gospel lights, in the churches and God “darkened” them.
It says in Revelation 8:12:
And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
The first four “trumpet” sounds of these angels had to do with God’s judgment on the churches and on the congregations and what does it mean? We understand this. What does it mean when it said, “… the third part of the sun” and “moon” and “stars” “was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, …” What does it mean?
Well, we rightly understood that God is talking about the Gospel light that was in the churches and when “judgment” began “at the house of God”, He put it out. He removed His Spirit. Therefore, He removed the light of the Gospel and when the light of the Gospel is removed, He removed salvation from all churches and congregations and God is letting us know that this only affects the churches because it is “the third part.”
It is not the whole “sun” or the whole “moon” or the whole “stars” of Heaven. It is only “the third part” and that was very important and very significant for God to let us know that, because He had a plan during this time to evangelize the world once again, by pouring out the “latter rain”, by saving “a great multitude of people” in the world.
So, even though “the third part of the sun”, “moon” and “stars” “was darkened” and there was no salvation within any congregation in all the world, still the Gospel light shone. They shine brilliantly, outside of the churches, for over the 17 years or about 17 years of the “latter rain” until May 21 2011, when the “great tribulation” came to a close and what does the Bible’s language say then, happens “Immediately after the tribulation”? Please keep your finger in Revelation 8 and let us go to Matthew 24. In Matthew 24:29, we read:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days …
“the tribulation of those days” means “Immediately after” “the third part of the sun” “was darkened” “and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars” because they were “darkened” during “the tribulation of those days”. But, in Matthew 24:29, we read:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened (It does not say “third part,” so we understand it to mean the entire “sun”), and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, …
It is now complete. It is not just “the third part” of these things. It is the totality of “the sun”, the totality of “the moon” and the totality of “the stars” because it is the day of expansion. It is the day of transition from judgment upon “the third part” (the churches) to judgment upon “all the inhabitants of the earth”—the complete “sun” and “moon” and “stars.”
Once again, God uses identical language because it is the same “cup” of wrath. The “cup” given to the churches “darkened” their “sun” and their “moon” and their “stars”. The “cup” given to the world darkens its “sun” and its “moon” and its “stars.”
When judgment was upon the churches, God’s people could “flee” out of them and experience the wonderful blessing going on outside of the churches. But once the judgment increases and covers all of the world, there is no more place and there is no more area to go to. It is now a total judgment upon the whole earth. Let us go back to Revelation 8 and after God speaks of “the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun” and so forth, being “darkened” and we know that the first four trumpet sounds indentify with God’s judgment on the church. It says in Revelation 8:13:
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, …
By the way, three woes identify with the last three trumpet sounds. When you read of “the fifth angel sounded”—that would be the first “Woe” and “the sixth angel sounded”—that would be the second “woe” and “the seventh angel sounded”—that would be the third “woe.” The woes are synonymous with the trumpet sound. It continues:
…, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth …
”… the earth …”. Why “… the earth …”? Because it has expanded. If you remember, in Jeremiah 25, God said that two times. He said at the end of Jeremiah 25:29:
… I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, …
This is right after He says, in Jeremiah 25:29 that:
…, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, …
And then, in Jeremiah 25:30, we read:
…; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
God wants us to know, here in Revelation 8:13, as we enter into Revelation 9, that this is the transition. It is May 21 2011 and it begins the woes upon “all” “the earth”. This is also what we read and we will not get into this verse right now, but it says in Isaiah 24:17:
Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.
This is judgment day for the world. God warned us, did He not? God warned the whole world. He told all the nations what He was going to do—May 21 2011—Judgment day and what was the chief characteristic that we were telling people? Yes, the “earthquake” was referred to and regretably, we were completely wrong about that.
We were in error about a physical “earthquake”. We were in error about any sort of physical judgment. The physical destruction of the world will come on the very “last day” of this “day of judgment”. At “the end of all things”, God will utterly destroy man and destroy this world and universe. That will come.
But judgment day, in this period of time, is spiritual in nature and what did God make a point of having His people share to all the world, from whatever point they heard it? (Because this was trumpeted for quite some time, leading up to that date.) “You have from now (whenever you are hearing this) until May 21 2011, to find salvation (and of course, in order to do that, you must go to God and beseech Him for mercy and cry out that He might spare you before this day come upon you) because on that day (on the date of May 21), the door to Heaven shuts”.
That was the key. That was the main point that was gotten out to all the world. “Heaven shuts to sinners”, “salvation comes to a close on that day” and that was correct. That was fully in line with God’s judgment on the churches because when He began the judgment on the churches, He shut the door. There was no one saved, anywhere, in any church in all the world, throughout the entire “great tribulation”.
When we say about that first 2300 evening-mornings. We only allow this because of the wording of the word “silence” in Revelation 8:1, where we read that, “…, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”. We say that there could have been, possibly, a small handful of people that became saved during that time, even though that is unlikely. It is only a result of that particular word “silence” that allows for the littlest bit of sound.
And yet, if anyone were saved, which is unlikely, but if they were, it would not have been within any church. That is an utter impossibility because God’s Spirit was gone from the churches. God “darkened” the churches—they had no “light.” You cannot have salvation without “light.” You cannot have salvation without God’s Spirit present to bless His Word in order to create “a new heart”; and so, it would have been some individual (if any), outside of the church, during that 2300 evening-mornings.
But now, you see the dilemma we are in. Now you see the awful nature of this “day of judgment” (of this day of punishment for the world). The Bible says that “the sun” is dark, “the moon” is not giving “her light, and the stars” have fallen. So, the light keepers for all the world now, are in spiritual darkness and God made a point of stressing to all the world—the significance of May 21 2011, by having it fall on the Hebrew calendar date of the 17th day of the 2nd month, which identifies with the very day that God “shut” the door to “the ark” and thereby, guaranteeing the safety of all those within (8 souls), but also thereby, completely shutting out all those without, when the flood began to come. This is the terrible nature of our present time.
Let us go back to Isaiah 24 and look at verse 1 and we will try to just, look at some of these verses today and then, LORD willing, we will stay in Isaiah 24 for a little while. It says in Isaiah 24:1:
Behold, JEHOVAH maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
The word “empty” is also found twice in Isaiah 24:3:
The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for JEHOVAH hath spoken this word.
The two words there, “utterly emptied” are the same word “empty”. Actually, the word “utterly” is the same word and the word “emptied” is the same word. It is found twice back-to-back. I do not know how, really we would put that into English. But, it should read, “The land shall be empty emptied, …”.
That is why you can see that they used the word “utterly”. God wanted to stress this so much that He used the same Hebrew word twice and definitely, He is leaving no doubt, that “The land” will be “emptied”. This particular word can be found in Jeremiah 51:2.
In Jeremiah 51:2, we read:
Thus saith JEHOVAH; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind; And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, …
The word “fanners” is only translated here as “fanners”. 90 some percent of the time, it is translated as “strangers”. It continues, so:
… I … will send unto Babylon , that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.
There is the word “empty”. God will send “strangers” to “Babylon” that will “fan her” and thereby “empty her land” and that is, this word “empty” here.
Now, as we go on in Isaiah 24:1 and look at the word “scattereth”, I think we will understand what God means by “empty” a little bit better. So, we are going to leave this word and continue on, in looking at the rest of Isaiah 24:1. In Isaiah 24:1, we read:
… JEHOVAH maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, …
That word “waste” is only found in one other place, in Nahum 2:10 and it has a negative connotation. It is definitely pointing to God’s judgment.
… and turneth it upside down, …
Now, God is speaking of the “earth.” It is language, again, pointing to His judgment. The word “upside down” is a compound word and it can be found used in 2nd Kings 21 and it is in verse 13. In 2 Kings 21:12-14, we read:
Therefore thus saith JEHOVAH God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down. And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies;
This is language which we are used to. This is language which we are familiar with. Again and again, we read in the Bible of God’s plan to judge His people and here, He is using identical language, in Isaiah 24. But, He is not referring to the churches any longer. He is referring to the earth (the world) because it is their time and they are not going to get away with anything. They are going to be “utterly” punished (according to Jeremiah 25).
And so, God will take the world and turn “it upside down”, just as He took “Jerusalem” (in a figure of speech), like “a dish” and turned “it upside down”, wiping it, like a plate. Notice the language before, in verse 12 and after, had to do with bringing His judgment and forsaking His people, delivering “them into the” hands “of their enemies; and” making them “a prey and a spoil”. It is language where you have been given up and turned over, just as the churches have been turned over during the judgment which began “at the house of God.” Let us go back to Isaiah 24. In Isaiah 24:1, we read:
… JEHOVAH maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
Now, scattering “the inhabitants”—we read this actually in many places in the Bible, where the LORD speaks of people being scattered. Sometimes, He is referring to His own people and He will say things (I think we find this in Ezekiel 34) where, He will pronounce a “Woe” upon “the pastors” because they have “scattered” His sheep; and so, it is the same word.
Sometimes, God’s people are “scattered”, but it is not by the action of God. When the elect are “scattered”, it is by the action of the enemy—by these “pastors” that did not teach the truth. But the same Hebrew word is used at other times, where God speaks of bringing judgment and He is the one who is doing the scattering of the unsaved (or of the “ungodly.”)
For instance, if we go back to Genesis 11, you remember the tower of Babel and when you read there, of the people of the world, that was “the whole earth”, that were of “one language” and “one speech”—what was God’s judgment upon them because of their sin? It is all a result of man’s sinfulness. In Genesis 11:7-9, it says:
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So JEHOVAH scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because JEHOVAH did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did JEHOVAH scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
So, this act of scattering the people of the world of confounding (confusing) “their language” was a judgment of God and it was used of God, as a form of punishment to those that had built this tower of Babel. Well, that is not the only place where we read of God scattering people. It says in Psalm 68:1:
Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.
And in Deuteronomy 30, we also read of God scattering. It says in Deuteronomy 30:1-4:
And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither JEHOVAH thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto JEHOVAH thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then JEHOVAH thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither JEHOVAH thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will JEHOVAH thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
Now, to be gathered is the opposite. It points to the mercy of God and to the Grace of God. He is gathering us unto Himself (unto the Lord Jesus Christ). But, to be “scattered” relates to the judgment of God; and so, we see this in many places in the Bible. I think that that is clear enough. You could also look at Nehemiah 1:8, where the “law of Moses” is referred to (which could be what we just read) and it says there:
… If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
That is a definite reference to the penalty for sin. If you sin (transgress the law of God), you will be “scattered” in the world. But now, in Isaiah 24, God is scattering “abroad the inhabitants thereof”, “of the earth”. We can understand if God scatters “Jerusalem” or if He scatters “Judah”, or if He scatters the people at the tower of Babel. They go to other places.
Where will “the inhabitants of the earth” go, if they are “scattered”? Well, this is just a figure of speech; God is using, to indicate that “the earth” is under His wrath. He is scattering them (in a spiritual sense), where they are not experiencing His Grace. It is when an individual or a people are gathered, that they experience His Grace.
It goes on to say in Isaiah 24:2:
And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.
This is language, really, that is pointing to all “the people”—all these different groups and occupations and God is making sure that we know that everyone is in view. It is six pairs—twelve groups are mentioned and they are paired, so the number six is in view (or 2X6) and this has to do with “all the inhabitants of the” world. It is another way of saying, what the focus is on.
No one of the world (no matter if you are poor or rich, no matter your stature or your position) escapes the judgment of God, except of course, for God’s elect. Just as the judgment came upon the Egyptians—from Pharaoh who sits upon the throne, to the captive in the dungeon. Their firstborn died. No one was able to escape (or avoid or get away from) the judgment of God; and so, it shall be with all these people groups. They are just representative.
I suppose we could look at the number 12 as the fullness of all the people of the world and also, all those that are involved in works, since it is six pairs. These are not individuals that are saved by the Grace of God in any way. They think that perhaps, they can get right with God through their own efforts and through their own good works and all are under His wrath. It says in Ezekiel 7:12-13 (and this is how we can understand what is being said, back here in Isaiah 24:2. It mentions here, “the buyer” and “the seller” which is one of the pairs that are found.):
The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof. For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, …
So here, God uses one of those pairs and then emphasizes, “Look, it is not just “the buyer” and “the seller”. It is everyone. It is “the whole multitude””, and that is exactly the point in Isaiah 24:2, with these six pairs of groups that are mentioned. They are representative of all the unsaved people of the world.
Then, it says in Isaiah 24:3:
The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for JEHOVAH hath spoken this word.
And again, now, we can understand this emphasis on “emptied”, when we realise that God is speaking of scattering “abroad the inhabitants”. Just as He sent “fanners” (or “strangers”) to “fan” Babylon and to scatter “the inhabitants of Babylon”, God is scattering “the inhabitants of the earth”.
Let us think about it one more time. If a city, like Jerusalem has its “inhabitants scattered,” that means, that is language that indicates that the city of Jerusalem is under God’s wrath and has no salvation there.
So, even though the churches continue to act as if all was well—spiritually, all “the inhabitants of Jerusalem” or “of Judah”, were “scattered” because God’s wrath was upon them, and likewise now, God is judging the earth; and of course, “all the inhabitants of the earth” are still present. We are still here. The unsaved are still here. It is not a literal scattering. But in God’s sight, it is as if, “alright, there is not an inhabitant”—is a way of putting it. “There is no longer His mercy available to “Jerusalem”, when it is “scattered” or to “the earth.” He has “utterly emptied” “the inhabitants of the earth”, as far as He is concerned, in relationship to His Gospel message of salvation.”—I think, is how we can understand this. And then God says, at the end of Isaiah 24:3:
… for JEHOVAH hath spoken this word.
We read and we think, “of course. Obviously, the LORD spoke “this word”—this is the Bible.” Well, God is very condescending. He is very gracious and very kind to us. But, of course always in the Bible, He makes a point, from time to time, of letting us know of just how “True” and “Faithful” He is. For instance, remember in Hebrews, God says in Hebrews 6:17:
Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Now God did not have to take an oath. But He did, in order to help us, who are in the weakness of our flesh. God did it for our sakes, in other words. He does things like this to remind, to encourage and to assure us, and here in Isaiah 24, when He is speaking of the judgment coming on “the earth”, He guarantees this by this statement:
… JEHOVAH hath spoken this word.
We find similar language in Isaiah 1:20, where it says there:
But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of JEHOVAH hath spoken it.
Well, you better believe it. We had better trust it, because “the mouth of JEHOVAH hath” declared “it.”
And then in Isaiah 25:8, we read:
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord JEHOVAH will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for JEHOVAH hath spoken it.
So, God (you can see) is saying, “Look, I know what I am saying. I realise the statements that I am making are just extraordinary. They are incredible. They are just amazing at times and you look around you, in your present situation and you see the world and you see how it always seems to be the same.”
How can it be, for instance, as Isaiah 25 tells us that, the day will come, of the resurrection and the day of receiving new spiritual bodies and all “tears” are wiped “away” and God realises, how incredible a statement that is.
But, He wants to assure us, “look I am the God of the Bible. I am the Almighty, the Everlasting God. I have spoken it and it is absolutely “true and faithful” and you can trust it completely.” Likewise, when God says in Isaiah 24 these things, about emptying “the earth” and turning “it upside down” and the additional things we will learn as we continue. It is all coming from “the mouth of” God. He has “spoken it.”
We are going to stop here.