FROM WEAPONS TO PLOWSHARES”
King's Addition Baptist Church Bible Conference
Elder David M. Green
04.01.2007

INTRODUCTION

"The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:1-4).

The subject assigned to me is "From Weapons to Plowshares." The first thing that some people try to do is figure out what a plowshare is. In case you are one of those people, Webster's 1828 dictionary defines it as “The part of a plow which cuts the ground.”

However, the first thing that comes to mind in the theological world is whether this is to be taken literally or if we should spiritualize it. Postmillenialism all but died out after World War I and II. Many of its followers then went to join the amillenial camp. The amillenialist tells me that this passage is speaking of heaven, but please tell me of what use will plowshares or pruninghooks be in heaven???. They tell me that there is no millenium on the earth, that all of this passage must be spiritualized.  Others try to say that the millenium will come but only after we have brought it about by our own evangelical efforts. But brethren, none of these teachings are consistent with Scripture. In fact, we need to make sure that our people understand that these differences in doctrine reach farther...much farther than just a small disagreement on Revelation 20.

The proper view of this passage is no different than any other passage of Scripture. I like what J.E. Cobb called the GOLDEN RULE OF INTERPRETATION:

"When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other
sense; therefore take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal
meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light
of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate
clearly otherwise."

This idea of spiritualizing prophecy has led to the current rise in liberal theology where men (and women) have become Bible critics. (If God really did not mean what He said about the future, then maybe He did not really mean anything else.) Brethren, God has called us to be Bible Teachers, NOT Bible Critics! We have God's Word, let us believe that God has said what He means and means what He says!

The Premillenial view is the Biblical view of this passage and others like it. By taking this view, we believe that there is a literal 1000 year reign coming to this world but before it can happen Christ must come back. He will literally stand on the earth. Satan will be literally bound for 1000 years. Our Lord will literally reign on the throne in Jerusalem.

Let us notice some things about this passage:

I. IT IS A FUTURE EVENT

Turn your attention back into our text. Notice verse 2: “And it shall come to pass in the last day...” We can gather that it was a future event when this was written. As we look at history we find that there has never been a time like this has been described. It must still be future!

If anyone doubts this fact, Wikipedia has a list of wars from very ancient history until the present day. I had a hard time finding even ten years of peace, but this will be 1000 years of peace!

"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:31-33).

Again, it was a future event when Christ was born. The angel confirmed that He would someday sit on the throne of David. As we look back from time now, we cannot see any period of time when our Lord has sat on the throne of David. Like I said in my introduction, in the past 2000 years, we cannot find any period of 1000 years when there was not a war of some sort or another somewhere in the world. In fact, from the time Christ walked upon the earth until now, there have been well over 600 major wars fought on this earth.

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." (Matthew 10:34).

"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:" (Luke 12:51).

When our Lord came the first time, He made it quite clear that He did not come to bring peace. That was not His purpose the first time.

II. IT IS A LITERAL EVENT

"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:6-8).

The early church believed this to be a literal event. This is evident from the Scriptures, and this one is no exception. And, their assumption that it would be literal is here confirmed by our Lord. He did not correct them, but He simply told them that the Father has the times in His own power.

III. IT WILL BE A TIME OF PEACE

"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:4).

The world has waited and tried to have a time of peace upon this earth. Yet time and time again, it has failed! And yet, flowing across the ashes of broken peace treaties and failed agreements we see that there has not been peace upon this earth such as what is spoken of in this passage. In all the history of the world, I have not found one period where we could say that the world has been at peace. Yet, this will be 1000 years of peace!

"In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him." (Psalm 72:7-11).

This has been called the "Millennial Psalm." We read of this peace happening only when all the kings of the earth will serve Him and when He will reign all over the earth.

"Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:8-10).

Notice how this peace will come about. The Lord will make desolations in the earth. To make something desolate means to lay waste, to ruin. Remember the Tribulation Period? Remember the Battle of Armeggedon? Yes, my friends, peace will come but it will come after some major changes are made. It will come when the Lord sets up His kingdom on the earth, at a time when the world's population is significantly smaller and the world's armies have conquered! It will come when Satan is bound for 1000 years. Notice:

"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season." (Revelation 20:1-3).

The book of Revelation has been compared to a union station in which all lines of prophecy have their destination. The word Revelation is apokalupsis in the Greek, which means “to unveil or reveal.” Unfortunately, Satan has made it into the opposite of that. To many people it has become an Apocrypha, something that is hidden.

It will be a peace that will last for 1000 years. I feel sorry for men who I consider to be great scholars of the Word in so many places of Scripture but when they came to prophecy, they had a level of uncertainty.

Six times in this passage, the Bible uses the term 1000 years. Once would be enough, but six times...how can men say that the length of time is unknown? Notice the words again "...that he should deceive the nations no more." There will be peace on the earth for 1000 years because of a lack of Satanic influence.

IV. CHRIST WILL BE CENTRAL TO THIS TIME

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:2-4).

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Notice that our Lord will be central to this time. There will NEVER be peace on this earth until The Prince of Peace comes. As I have already mentioned, the attempts by men to bring about world peace have failed. Even the attempts by those in the religious world to bring about world peace have also failed. The Lord will be the ONLY One who can bring peace to this war-torn world.

V. SOME WHO REBEL

"And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles." (Zechariah 14:16-19).

I read this to point something out. Even though Satan will be bound and there will be 1000 years of peace, mankind will still be depraved and there will be some rebellion. Yet those will be shortlived and will NEVER lead to a battle.

VI. CONCLUSION

"And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses." (Zechariah 14:9-10).

How great it is to know that peace is coming to this world. Interestingly enough, the time of peace will come when the center of the world government will be in Jerusalem, that city that is so hated now. But that peace will not come until Jesus reigns from there. May God bless you with this message!

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