Text: Isaiah 60
If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be this — “Arise! Shine!” Stand up! Become bright! O believer, Jesus Christ, your Redeemer has come!
This chapter speaks of the effect of His coming, and the effect of His Holy Spirit on the hearts of all who obey His command to stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). Beloved, it is then that you will surely stand up, and become bright with His very light!
Some of the prophecies given to Isaiah were applicable to Judah at the time he gave them, and also looked to the future. The Lord’s words through Isaiah in this chapter clearly speak of the future, when the Redeemer would come, when He would pour out His Spirit, and when the final judgment has been completed, at the end of things.
Surely, Cyrus, king of Persia, ordered his people to give silver, gold and other treasures to the returning exiles, for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. But the nations did not help them rebuild. Instead, they mocked Judah, and plotted to overrun them and kill them (Nehemiah 4:1-11)! When Darius, king of Persia, issued a decree that all the nations surrounding Judah cease from attacking them and pay the full cost of the rebuilding, or they would be impaled on a timber (Ezra 6:1-12). Needless to say, they stopped, and paid the full cost for the rebuilding!
The sons and daughters of the exiles did return and multiply. But again, this passage refers to sons brought from afar, just as in Isaiah 49:18-21. So it is a prophecy of the ingathering of the peoples (non-Jews)! And beloved, that ingathering has been happening since Acts 2!
So as with Isaiah 59:20-21 and other passages in Isaiah, this chapter prophesies the coming of Christ and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I will interpret it from a spiritual perspective. And Verses 11-22 pertain to the end times, after His final judgment is completed.
The Lord asks you to compare yourself with His words in this chapter, just as I always compare myself with His Word. Have you stood up? Have you become bright with His very light? Have you asked Him to make you shine with His light?
Verse 1 —
The LORD continues His announcement of the coming Christ and the coming infilling of the Holy Spirit, saying —
“Arise (stand up), shine (become bright); for your light has come, and the glory (brilliance) of the LORD has risen upon you (literally, illuminates, shoots forth beams).”
Jesus Christ, the Light of the world (John 8:12) will shoot His beams of divine light on you, so you see that He is your Savior, and then shoot them forth from you, when you obey His command to be filled with His Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). Then the Light of the world will permanently fill you with Himself, the Father, and the Spirit (John 14:23)! Then His light will shoot forth beams from you, illuminating everyone around you!
So stand up, O believer, repent for your sin, and ask your Father in heaven to fill you with His Spirit (Luke 11:13)! Listen to Paul’s words, as he exhorted the sleeping believers at Ephesus to be filled with the Holy Spirit so Christ’s light would illuminate them and shine from them —
Ephesians 5:14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.” (NKJV)
Verses 2-3 —
The LORD continues —
“For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep (thick) darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you (again, illuminate, shoot forth beams) and His glory will appear (be seen) upon you (literally, out of you). 3 Nations will come to your light (illumination, and kings to the brightness (radiance) of your rising (shining).”
Just as Isaiah prophesied earlier of the coming light of Christ and the coming light within Spirit-filled believers —
Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”
Jesus Christ was that light when He walked the earth, and now you are that light! His glory (His weighty presence) will be seen as a light that shines out from you! You will shine so brightly that all peoples will come to your illumination, and kings to the radiance of your shining! You will be His witness here, just like He promised to all who obey His command to be filled (Acts 1:8)! Oh, believer! Arise! Shine!
Verse 4 —
The LORD says, “Lift up your eyes round about and see; they all gather together, they come to you.
Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms.”
This passage refers to the ingathering of spiritual offspring from afar — from among non-Jews, just as Isaiah prophesies in 49:18-21. Surely, it happened when the 120 Jews who obeyed Jesus’ command were filled with His Spirit and went out to evangelize.
And it continues today with Spirit-filled believers, both Jew and non-Jew. Even to the ends of the earth, spiritual children are being born!
The LORD continues, “Then you will see and be radiant (sparkle like a running stream), and your heart will thrill (stand in awe) and rejoice (enlarged, i.e., bursting with joy), because the abundance of the sea (a metaphor for peoples) will be turned (turned over) to you, the wealth (resources) of the nations will come to you. 6 A multitude of camels will cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah (lands established by the sons of Abraham, by his second wife); all those from Sheba (Ethiopia) will come; they will bring gold and frankincense, and will bear (proclaim) good news of the praises of the LORD . . . All the flocks of Kedar (Ishmael’s descendants, nomadic wilderness tribes) will be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth (again, Ishmael’s descendants) will minister to you (serve you); they will go up with acceptance (will be acceptable) on My altar, and I shall glorify My glorious house.”
Again, Judah did not prosper in the way the LORD describes here, when they returned from exile, so this cannot refer to them, at that time. But the LORD promises that Spirit-filled believers will see all those who are gathered in, all their spiritual offspring, and will sparkle like running streams, for they are filled with streams of living water (see John 7:38)!
The hearts (innermost beings) of Spirit-filled believers will be awestruck over all their spiritual offspring who have come to faith and are filled with the light of Christ! Their hearts will be enlarged, swelling with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1Peter 1:8)!
The abundance of the sea — a symbol of all mankind — and the wealth of the Gentiles — a symbol of all nations — will be turned over to His kingdom, as members of every tribe and tongue and nation and people believe into Jesus Christ! The multitude of camels is symbolic of spiritual bountifulness. The gold and frankincense are symbols of purity and worship, respectively.
The lands in these verses refer to Jesus Christ’s sheep from among Ishmael’s descendants, who were enemies of Israel. They will be gathered together, as they hear His words through those who carry His gospel on beautiful feet! They will become humble servants and worshipers of the Lord. In view of the Lord’s great mercy to them, they will offer themselves to the Lord on a spiritual altar, as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable, which is their spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1).
By these means, the Lord will be greatly glorified, because what He does in human hearts can only be done by Him! And His beautiful houses — those in whom He fully and permanently dwells — will be glorified, filled with His glory!
Verses 8-9 —
“Who are these who fly like a cloud and like the doves to their lattices? 9 Surely the coastlands will wait for Me; and the ships of Tarshish will come first, to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, for the name of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you. 10 Foreigners will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you; for in My wrath I struck you, and in My favor I have had compassion on you.”
Again, spiritual prosperity and great numbers of spiritual children will be produced by those who are filled with His light and His glory! Many will fly to them, like a cloud of birds that settle among those who love and obey the Lord! Spiritual offspring will come and glorify and praise the Lord, and proclaim His good news, for they also have been glorified by being filled with His Spirit.
Spirit-filled non-Jews will build up each others’ walls, for they are living stones that are part of the spiritual house that the Lord is building (1Peter 2:4). Those who have been made a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1Peter 2:9) will minister to the Lord, for they have been made holy and pleasing to the Lord!
In His wrath, the Lord struck His people, and the nations, for the nations rejected Him and His own people rebelled against Him. But now, in the favorable day of the Lord announced by Jesus Christ (Luke 4:19), He has shown mercy to them by giving new, obedient hearts to those who stay and wait to be filled with His Spirit!
Verse 11-12 —
“Your gates will be open continually; they will not be closed day or night,
so that men may bring to you the wealth (power) of the nations, with their kings led in procession. 12 For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, and the nations will be utterly ruined.”
The gates of a city were always closed at night, to keep out animals and criminals. So, these verses pertain to the end times, when the Lord’s final judgment has been completed —
Revelation 21:25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed . . .
There will be no night, and the Lord God will be their light —
Revelation 22:5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.
Then all who love and obey Him and shine for Him will come — all the royal priesthood, the holy nation! But as for those who have rejected Him and rebel against Him, they will perish — they will be utterly destroyed.
Verses 13-14 —
“The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I shall make the place of My feet glorious. 14 The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you,
and all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet;
and they will call you the city of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”
The different kinds of wood described here are symbolic of the many nations that will be represented by Spirit-filled believers. It is because He has filled them that He says, “I will make the place of My feet glorious.” He will fill obedient believers with Himself. So they themselves will become the place of His feet, filled with His glory — that is, His Holy Spirit and His light!
Those who had persecuted believers will then come and bow down and humble themselves before these Spirit-filled ones. They will bow themselves at their feet and call these Spirit-filled believers the city of the LORD — the place where He dwells — the spiritual Jerusalem of the Holy One of Israel, for He no longer dwells in Jerusalem, but in the hearts of Spirit-filled believers!
Verses 15-16 —
“Whereas you have been forsaken and hated with no one passing through,
I will make you an everlasting pride, a joy from generation to generation.
16 You will also suck the milk of nations and suck the breast of kings. Then you will know (intimate knowledge, as in a marriage) that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Jerusalem and Judah endured great devastation. Most of the city was impassible, even by horse (Nehemiah 2:14). The LORD had forsaken Jerusalem and Judah because His people had worshiped false gods.
It is the same today, beloved. Many believers live in utter devastation, because they worship the god of self whose root is the sin nature they were born with. But when He fills them with His Spirit, He crucifies the sin nature (Galatians 5:24) and fully indwells them. By filling them, He will make them His everlasting pride, and a joy from generation to generation — that is, He will continually rejoice over the work of His Spirit in each believer’s heart, and so will the believers whom He fills!
To suck the milk is to receive nourishment. All Spirit-filled believers — kings and people from all nations — will be the source of spiritual nourishment for Jews who have not yet believed into their Messiah and been filled with the Spirit. When the Jews partake of the spiritual nourishment brought to them, they will be filled with the Spirit and know by experience that the Lord is their Savior and Redeemer, and the Mighty One of Jacob (Israel)!
Verse 17 —
“Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver, and instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron. And I will make peace your administrators and righteousness your overseers.”
Bronze is an alloy, an admixture, a combination of several metals. It is an admixture. Gold is pure when it has been refined. It is the same with iron, an admixture, versus silver, which is pure when it has been refined. Before you are filled with the Spirit, your heart is filled with an admixture — you have a form of love for the Lord, but your sin nature is alive and well. But after you are filled with the Spirit, the sin nature is crucified, and your heart is made pure! Who purifies your heart? Jesus Christ is your and my Refiner, beloved —
Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. 2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.
Gold, silver, bronze and wood were the materials used to build the temple. In light of that, again recall Peter’s words —
1Peter 2:4 And coming to Him (Christ) as to a living stone (1Corinthians 10:4) which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Verse 18 —
“Violence will not be heard again in your land, nor devastation or destruction within your borders; but you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise.”
At the end of things, after the final judgment, the new heavens and new earth will be a place of peace, and no evil will exist there. The apostle John writes —
Revelation 21:27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Walls of salvation and gates of praise! Those who love and obey Jesus Christ will be saved to the uttermost, and every time they open their mouths, praise comes forth!
Those who enter the kingdom of God will endlessly praise the Lord. David sings of the earthly Zion, with a prophetic view toward the heavenly city —
Psalm 9:13 Be gracious to me, O LORD; see my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, 14 that I may tell of all Your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion (Jerusalem), I may rejoice in Your salvation.
This is a great cause to rejoice, if you love and obey the Lord! Oh, my! Tell of all His praises, praise Him to the utmost, for He has saved you and made you arise and shine with His light! Indeed, O sinning believer, lift up your head, that the King of glory may come in (see Psalm 24:7)!
Verses 19-20 —
“No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory. 20 Your sun will no longer set, nor will your moon wane; for you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be over.”
This is a description of the new heavens and the new earth, as the Apostle John writes —
Revelation 21:22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
Verses 21-22 —
“Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. 22 The smallest one will become a clan, and the least one a mighty nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it (make haste to do it) in its time.”
After the judgment of the wicked, all that will be left are those who are filled with His glory (His Spirit), whom He has made holy and righteous on the inside. Paul gives us the reason why the Lord poured out His Holy Spirit —
Ephesians 5:27 . . . that He might present her to Himself a glorious church (filled with His glory), not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish (unable to be accused). (NKJV)
Those who are filled with the Holy Spirit will be the branch of the Lord’s planting, strong oaks of righteousness who will glorify the Lord because He is the one who planted them, and He is the one who has made them righteous on the inside, as the LORD says through Isaiah —
Isaiah 61:3b . . . So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
And they and their spiritual offspring will be a mighty (powerful and numerous) nation —
1Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Here and now, the LORD will make haste to bring it about suddenly and quickly, if you obey the essential and absolutely necessary command of Jesus Christ to be filled with His Spirit (Acts 1:4-5), just as when the first fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost, the infilling of the Holy Spirit happened (see Acts 2:1-3).
Beloved, many of you are sleeping! So repent!Arise! Stand up! Shine! Become bright by being filled with the Holy Spirit, as Jesus Christ commands! Stand up from among the dead ones, and Christ will shine on you, and then from within you! Do not be foolish, but recognize that the will of the Lord is that you immediately ask Him to do n you that which is described in this chapter!
Then you will glorify Him, and your heart will swell with joy unspeakable and full of glory! Do not be foolish, but recognize that the will of the Lord is that you immediately ask Him to do in you all that is described in Isaiah 60!
Lord Jesus, may those in Your sleeping church awaken, arise, and shine! Let it be so, I pray. Amen!