After issuing a series of denunciatory woes upon his national vineyard, in the concluding verses of the 5th chapter God indicates the means by which his judgments will ultimately be executed. He will acquisition the armies of a far away empire, whistling for them, as it were, to hasten to carry out his destructive work, saying of them: “And he has raised up a signal to a great nation far away, and he has whistled to it at the extremity of the earth; and, look! in haste it will swiftly come in…The roaring of theirs is like that of a lion, and they roar like maned young lions. And they will growl and grab hold of the prey and bring it safely away, and there will be no deliverer. And they will growl over it in that day as with the growling of the sea. And one will actually gaze at the land, and, look! there is distressing darkness; and even the light has grown dark because of the drops falling on it.”
In actuality, God does not cause the calamity to occur, he simply does not prevent it from taking place. He allows his people to suffer the consequences of losing his favor and protection.
Noteworthy in this connection, in his prophecy concerning the conclusion of the system and the distress to come upon “Jerusalem” during the world’s greatest tribulation, Jesus used similar symbolisms as the growling of the sea and the heavens going dark, foretelling: “Also, there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation, while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
Since before the prophecy of Isaiah was written there has been an imperial system on the earth under Satan’s control and each has oppressed God’s people in varying degrees, as God has permitted. The Egyptian, Assyrian and Babylonian empires gave way to the Persian and Grecian empires, which gave way to the Roman and Byzantine empires, which eventually morphed into the European feudal and colonial imperial system, and finally the British Empire; which is expressed today in the London-based, global, financial/monetary empire over the nations. Over the past two centuries, the American system and British imperial system have fought for domination of the world; being symbolized in the prophecy of Daniel as an incompatible iron and clay amalgam and as the rival kings of the north and south.
At this stage London’s monetary system is imploding and its collapse is leading to the impoverishment of nations and ultimately global war and the destruction of modern civilization in the coming short term. It will seem as if the very luminaries in the heavens have gone into eclipse and the vast sea of humanity is being buffeted by a terrifying tempest. The collapse of the present system will provide the backdrop for the emergence of the short-lived eighth king of Revelation. In that setting, Jehovah’s judgments will be accomplished in connection with the Watchtower Society.
After being made aware of the certainty of the expression of God’s anger against his fellow countrymen Isaiah is privileged to see a vision of Jehovah himself and seraphs ministering to him in his temple. Isaiah fears for his life due to his unworthiness in the midst of God’s holy presence. But a seraph flies to Isaiah with a lump of glowing coal that the angel had taken with tongs from off the fiery altar and he touches Isaiah’s lips with it, saying to him: “Look! This has touched your lips, and your error has departed and your sin itself is atoned for.”
Next Jehovah speaks and poses the question: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” To which Isaiah promptly responds: “Here I am! Send me.”
In view of the fact that the Law and the Prophets were a preview of various facets of what has now been given to the holy ones in Christ, Isaiah’s symbolic presence before God in heaven was a foregleam of the position anointed individuals occupy in Jehovah’s spiritual temple. As Paul said, though formerly anointed Christians were dead in God’s sight, through God’s undeserved kindness, together with Christ, they have been seated in the heavenly places. And their sins have been atoned, as portrayed by the seraphim touching Isaiah’s lips with the purifying coal.
However, the drama played out by Isaiah does not seem to typify all anointed Christians, in that, Isaiah volunteers to go for Jehovah and the unnamed Christ (“who will go for us?) to the unresponsive people of God.
One striking feature of the book of Isaiah, even a reoccurring sub-theme, is the impenetrable blindness of those whom God calls my people. For example, in the 42nd chapter of Isaiah the blunt question is posed: Who is blind as the servant of Jehovah?
So, it is for the very reason that those who are the servants of Jehovah, but who exist in a spiritually blind condition, that Jehovah asked for a volunteer to represent Heaven’s interests to them; the commission being set forth at Isaiah 6:9-10: “Go, and you must say to this people, ‘Hear again and again, O men, but do not understand; and see again and again, but do not get any knowledge.’ Make the heart of this people unreceptive, and make their very ears unresponsive, and paste their very eyes together, that they may not see with their eyes and with their ears they may not hear, and that their own heart may not understand and that they may not actually turn back and get healing for themselves.”
Reasonably, if the Watchtower Society is to be the object of God’s denunciation in the near future, as the case is here being made, then who serves as a modern Isaiah?
Just as Isaiah answered the call to go to the covenanted people of God and layout before them Jehovah’s issues, in recent years I have served in a similar capacity relative to the Watchtower Society. After receiving a heavenly calling more than 15 years ago that involved a sudden opening up of the meaning of the prophecies, such as Isaiah, I have also unequivocally responded to an implied invitation: “Who will go for us?” Over the past decade through massive mail-out campaigns to thousands of kingdom halls and the more modest distribution of the first edition of Jehovah Himself Has Become King among dozens of branch offices of the Watchtower Society and various individuals and offices of Bethel, and via the constant global reach of the Internet, the words of Isaiah’s prophecy have been fulfilled, in that, I too have gone “again and again” to an unreceptive and unresponsive people of Jehovah.
Although the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses boast of having unique spiritual insights into prophecy, as Christ said of certain anointed individuals in Revelation: ‘You do not know that you are pitiable and blind and naked.’ Certainly, the Society’s doggedly clinging to their invisible parousia is exactly the sort of blindness Jehovah is addressing in Isaiah.
Next, Isaiah asks: “How long, O Jehovah?” The response being: “Until the cities actually crash in ruins, to be without an inhabitant, and the houses be without earthling man, and the ground itself is ruined into a desolation; and Jehovah actually removes earthling men far away, and the deserted condition does become very extensive in the midst of the land. And there will still be in it a tenth, and it must again become something for burning down, like a big tree and like a massive tree in which, when there is a cutting down of them, there is a stump; a holy seed will be the stump of it.”
The “cities” in this instance are not to be understood as being the literal cities of the nations, but rather, the city-like congregations and houses of worship. As presented in the previous article, the similarities between this portion of Isaiah and Joel are inescapable. And in Joel it is evident that the prophecy betokens the crash of the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
But if the sub theme of Isaiah is an indictment of the blindness of God’s people, in keeping with the very meaning of Isaiah’s name (Salvation of Jehovah), the overriding theme is the complete accomplishment of God’s purpose in connection with those who are blind prior to the unveiling of God’s judgments. How is that? As the closing words of the 6th chapter reveal, although the nation-like tree is destined to be burned down, a holy seed and stump will remain – the holy seed and stump representing the chastened chosen ones who will ultimately become the seed of the woman – the very kingdom of God.