What is the “Plan of Salvation” – without God?


Isaiah, Chapter 2 

Isaiah speaks directly to Americans - and American Christians Today!

Satan has not ever had an original thought in his mind.  He is the ultimate counterfeiter: 

Satan’s Spiritual Counterfeit: 

Instead of a true personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Satan offers “organized churches” where a person has a relationship with the “church” – known as “churchianity” instead of Christianity. 

Satan’s Health Counterfeit: 

Instead of believing God’s promises of complete healing (Psalm 103:3) “if we follow His laws, commandments and decrees” (Deuteronomy 7:11-15) Satan offers Organized Medicine that prescribes Drug medication that God calls “Sorceries and Witchcraft” (Rev 18:23) because they make you “feel” better without really solving your underlying problems. 

Cocaine and Heroin do the same thing.  They make you “feel” better without really solving your underlying problems. 

One elderly gentleman has wisely said that “People take drugs because they don’t want to suffer the harmful results of their abuse of their own body.” 

Satan’s Political Counterfeit: 

God’s Plan of Salvation eventually will bring permanent peace in this world and in the universe.  There will be no more war. 

Satan believes he can achieve that result – without God – so Satan’s political counterfeit is - - atheistic Communism:  “salvation and peace” - - - but without God! 

Isaiah, Chapter 2 

1 The word that Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 

Once more we are reminded that Jerusalem, the city where the Temple was built, housing the presence of God, was in the land of Judah.  So those who lived in Judah, as well as those who worshipped the God in the Temple in Jerusalem, were called Judahites – the actual word in the Greek in the original manuscripts of the Bible that designated a form of worship, a word that has been incorrectly shortened by the translators to the word “Jew” fraudulently implying an ethnicity. 

2 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 (ALL the heathen – unbelievers, routinely, and incorrectly, translated “Gentiles”) shall flow unto it. 

Various interpretations have been given to the message in verses 2-4: 1)that it refers to a millennium when there will be peace on earth, when the Jews will be restored to their ancestral home and to their former status as God’s chosen people, and rule the earth and accomplish the conversion of the world; 2) that it describes a counterfeit religious revival to take place at the close of earth’s history, sponsored by apostate Christianity and designed to convert the world, such as is alluded to in 1 Thess 5:1-5; Rev 13:11-17 etc. 3) that it describes God’s original plan that literal Israel should become His agency for the salvation of the world, but that, owing to Israel’s failure and rejection, the prediction here made will be fulfilled by God’s chosen people today in the giving of the gospel message to earth’s remotest bounds. 

We must keep in mind however, the very important biblical interpretive principle proclaimed by Jesus, Himself, in John, Chapter 3, during His late-night meeting with Nicodemus, and by Paul in 1 Cor 15:44-49.  

That principle of biblical interpretation is that the FIRST is always physical and the Second is always Spiritual. 

In the Old Testament (the FIRST Testament), the things that happened were real – and physical.  In the New Testament (the SECOND Testament) we find the Spiritual or symbolic application of the physical occurrences in the Old (FIRST) Testament. 

The book of Isaiah reveals God’s plans for His followers, who at that time were called Israelites – worshippers of the true God – and looking forward to the first coming of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, so they were Christians.

But when they failed in their mission to take the character and disposition of Christ and the Good News of the Gospel of Salvation to the world, but instead exalted themselves, becoming arrogant and proud, Jesus Christ had to come into the world to do what Israel had failed miserably to do: demonstrate the character and disposition of God. 

To find the meaning of this passage “And it shall come to pass. . .” we can look to a parallel passage in Micah 4:1-3.  It should be noted that Micah 4:1-3 is practically identical, word for word, with Isa. 2:2-4.  

But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.”  Micah 4:1 

A study of the context in Micah will be found helpful in clarifying the parallel passage in Isaiah.  Isaiah and Micah were contemporary for a number of years. 

The last days.  The context of the parallel passage in Micah 4:1-4 mentions the time when “the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even forever (for the eons)., and refers to the time of restoration of the “first dominion” to Zion (v. 8) from Babylonian captivity (v. 10).  Hence the “last days” of Isa 2:2 immediately precede the establishment of the Messianic kingdom. 

God’s original plan for Israel was to have come as the climax to the period of restoration following Babylonian captivity.  But Israel failed to meet the conditions under which God could have fulfilled the many promises of national glory and universal dominion for Israel, and as a result the prediction of Isa 2:14 was never fulfilled to literal Israel. 

However, as we have learned, the FIRST is physical and the SECOND is spiritual, so this passage in Isaiah is a prophecy for God’s people in the End times, which are fast upon us now. 

The mountain of the Lord’s house.  The Lord’s house is the usual Old Testament designation for the Temple which was situated on Mt. Moriah.  This, the place the Lord chose as a center for His worship became the center and symbol of spirituality for the Israelites.  Their religious system was so intimately bound up with the Temple and its service that the desolation of the latter in 586 B.C. and again in A.D. 70 rendered the system largely inoperative. 

The same thing will happen in the near future.  Rather than Christians being One with Christ, they are “one with the church.”  When the U. S. Communist government – which is almost completely in effect in the present administration (in 2012), destroys all the Christian churches in America, those who claim to be Christians will be devastated and their system of religion will be rendered inoperative.  They will either lose all hope and give up on Christianity, or they will join another religious organization such as the New Agers, the Church of Scientology, or anywhere else where they can “fellowship” and be with other people, irrespective of the beliefs of the organization. 

Even back then, almost 2,500 years ago, God was showing His people that the only relationship that matters is a spiritually intimate relationship between each individual and Him – not a corporate organization – whether it be the Temple in Jerusalem or a present-day church. 

When Jeremiah foretold the desolation of the Temple, the religious leaders clamored for his death – another perfect example of “Don’t deal with the message – KILL the messenger.” 

The erroneous charge that Jesus had said He would destroy the Temple was the worst accusation the false witnesses could manufacture against Him (Mark 14:58; 15:29).  The inner courts of the Temple were the only places in Jerusalem from which Unbelievers (heathen – incorrectly translated “Gentiles”) were excluded on pain of death (see Acts 21:28-31). 

Thus, to say that “the mountain of the Lord’s house” would be exalted to “the top of the mountains” was equivalent to saying that the God of Israel would be honored above other religions and gods.  For the word “mountain” is a symbol of power, and thus of national power. 

Daniel refers to the kingdom of God becoming “a great mountain” that “filled the whole earth” (Dan.2:35). 

In the top of the mountains. This may also be rendered “on the top of the mountains,” “on the chief of the mountains,” or “as the chief of the mountains.”  If “the mountain of the Lord’s house” is a figurative expression for the religion of the true God, then “the mountains” must be the other religions of the earth.  The religion of the true God would be “established” above other nations of the earth. 

All nations shall flow unto it.  According to God’s ideal plan for Israel as His chosen instrument for accomplishing the salvation of the world, the time was to come when the nations of the earth would acknowledge the superior government of God exemplified by Israel as a nation.  The glorious picture of the exaltation of Israel as a nation is repeated again and again throughout the writings of the Old Testament prophets, especially in the prophetic messages of Isaiah.  He speaks of the unbelieving nations running to Israel because of the Lord their God (ch. 55:5), of the nations coming from afar (chs. 45:14; 49:6-8) to join themselves to Israel (ch 14:1) and to the Lord (ch 56:6), of God personally conducting them to His “holy mountain,” which would as a result become “an house of prayer for ALL people” (ch. 60::3-11).  Jeremiah speaks of all the nations coming “from the ends of the earth: (Jer. 16:19) and being gathered “to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem” (16:19).  Thus, eventually, the kingdom of Israel would embrace the entire earth (Zech 9:9, 10).  

This glorious picture of the eventual triumph of truth was never fulfilled to literal Israel, but will be to spiritual Israel.  Isa. 2:1-5 thus becomes a picture of the glorious triumph of the gospel through God’s chosen instrument in our own day, His true followers (Rev 18:1). 

3. 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. 

Many people shall go and say.  Here, as in the statement of v. 2 about “all nations – all unbelievers” flowing to Jerusalem, the Old Testament prophets repeatedly – sometimes in identical words – present what “many people shall go and say.”  In recognition of the obvious superiority of Israel as a nation (Deut 4:6,7; 28:10) and admitting that their “fathers have inherited lies” (Jer 16:19), the unbelieving nations would say to one another, “Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord” (Zech 8:21,22), and to Israel, “We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech 8:23). 

This promise of the ingathering of the nations to worship the true God was never fulfilled in literal Israel, owing to their failure to meet the requisite conditions, but will be fulfilled, spiritually, to God’s people in this generation. 

Come ye, and let us go.  Had Israel been faithful to God, these words would have been on the lips of the unbelieving nations, as men of other nations realized the desirability of honoring the true God.  Compare the words of Zech 8:21,23, “Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord… We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”  

The mountain of the Lord.  The same as “the mountain of the Lord’s house of v. 2.  This proposal is another way of saying, “Let us go to Jerusalem.” 

The house.  That is, the Temple in Jerusalem. 

The God of Jacob.  Equivalent to “the God of Israel.”  Israel was the covenant name of Jacob (see on Gen 32:28).  The fact that the nations do not merely say, “Let us go up to Jerusalem,” but rather, “Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob,” indicates a true understanding of the fact that the greatness of Israel is due to willingness of the people to follow the divine plan and that they worship the true God. 

He will teach us of His ways.  In ch. 55:5 Isaiah speaks of the nations hastening to Jerusalem “because of the Lord thy God.”  As they joined “themselves to he Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord” (ch 56:6-8), the Temple would literally become “an house of prayer for ALL people” – another reference to Universal Restoration. 

We will walk in His paths.  From all nations men would come to unite their interests with those of Israel, saying, “We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech 8:23).  Eventually, “he that remaineth” of all the peoples of earth, “even he, shall be for our God” (ch 9:7) and all nations “shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts” (ch. 14:16).  This state of affairs was to have come true after “all the nations which came against Jerusalem” (v. 16) had suffered divine retribution (vs. 12,13,19_ and the Lord reigned as “king over all the earth.”  

Out of Zion.  Jerusalem was to stand “forth in the pride of prosperity, the queen of kingdoms” and to be “established as the mighty metropolis of the earth.  Both the Temple and the city would have stood forever.  The nations of the earth would have honored the Israelites, and recognized them as the trustees and expositors of the divine law to all men (Deut 4:7,8; Rom 3:1,2).  The principles revealed through Israel were to have become the means of restoring the moral image of God in man.  And as the numbers of Israel increased, they could enlarge their borders until their kingdom could have embraced the whole world. 

4.  And He shall judge between the nations, and shall correct many peoples: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares (scythes): nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. 

He shall judge.  As we have learned, judgment turns one back to right-doing – righteousness (Ps 94:15; Isa 26:9). 

Correct many peoples.  The King James Version incorrectly translates this phrase “rebuke many people” but we know from the preceding phrase that God’s discipline is always remedial.  It is meant to correct a person’s behavior and turn them back to right-doing.  The word “rebuke” makes God look unnecessarily harsh and punitive.  “Correction” is a positive force.  “Rebuking” is punitive. 

Plowshares.  This next phrase, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks…” is a slogan of Communism. Satan and his followers, Marx and Engels, both Communist Jews, had the audacity to quote the Bible. 

The Slogans of Communism: 

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need is a slogan popularized by Jewish Communist Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program. 

“The Critique of the Gotha Program is a document based on a letter by Karl Marx written in early May 1875 to the Eisenach faction of the German social democratic movement, with whom Marx and Friedrich Engels were in close association. Offering perhaps Marx's most detailed pronouncement on programmatic matters of revolutionary strategy, the document discusses the "dictatorship of the proletariat," the period of transition from capitalism to communism, proletarian internationalism, and the party of the working class.

“The Gotha program presented a moderate, evolutionary way to socialism (Fabian socialism: infiltrate and take over from the inside), as opposed to revolutionary, violent approach of the "orthodox" Marxists (come in with tanks and guns and take over by force). As a result the latter accused the Gotha program as being "revisionist" and ineffective.

“The Critique is also notable for elucidating the principle of "To each according to his contribution" as the basis for a "lower phase" of communist society directly following the transition from capitalism, and "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" as the basis for a future "higher phase" of communist society. In describing the lower phase, he states that "the individual receives from society exactly what he gives to it" and advocates remuneration in the form of labour vouchers as opposed to money. The Critique of the Gotha Program, published after his death, was one of Marx's last major writings.

“The letter is named for the Gotha Program, a proposed platform for a forthcoming party congress that was to take place in the town of Gotha. At the party congress, the Eisenachers planned to unite with the Lassallean faction to form a unified party later to become the powerful German Social Democratic Party. At the congress held in Gotha in late May 1875, the draft program was accepted with only minor alterations.

“The letter was published much later, in 1891, when the German Social Democratic Party had declared its intention of adopting a new program and Engels got Marx's programmatic letter published.

“The conflict between "evolutionary" and "revolutionary" approaches later resulted in split of Communist international and accusations of the evolutionary (e.g. socialist democratic) movements of being "revisionist" or even social fascist.”  Wikipedia

When Jesus Christ has become “All in ALL” (1 Cor 15:18) then there will be peace in the earth.  Everyone will be saved.  Everyone’s heart will have been changed.

Nation shall not lift up sword against nation.  When the foes of God’s people are no longer foes, when they have all had their heart’s changed by the omnipotent Creator and Savior of the world, the heavenly Jerusalem will most certainly be a “foundation of peace” as its name states.  God’s ideal plan for Israel failed because of their apostasy, but God’s ideal plan for His followers will win in the end.

The Communists who now inhabit and control the U.S. government want to distort this passage to their own advantage.  They want to force disarmament on every nation in the world, so only Israel and the nations it controls, including the U.S., will be the only nations with weapons, including atomic weapons. They have taken over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, they are working on Syria, they want to attack Iran, and every other country they don’t completely control, as yet.

Neither shall they learn war anymore.  Again, the Communist Jews who run the United Nations from behind the scenes, are planning to disarm every country except Israel and the countries it controls, including the United States.  There certainly will be no war if no other countries have any weapons. 

5.  O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord. 

At the time the prophet Isaiah bore this message the northern kingdom, the ten tribes, had not yet gone into captivity.  Although Isaiah’s messages were addressed primarily to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, his appeal to “walk in the light of the Lord” is here extended to all twelve tribes.  Though the apostasy of the northern kingdom was all but complete, divine mercy still appealed to Israel to turn to God before the day of salvation should pass. 

Let us walk in the light of the Lord.  Obedience to known duty is the only valid evidence of the sincerity of a professed acceptance of God’s offer of lovingkindness.  Indeed, a profession of faith unaccompanied by the works of obedience is declared “dead” (James 2:26).  Those who hear the word of the Lord but neglect to do it are said to be like a man who builds his house upon shifting sand (Matt 7:26,27). 

In Isaiah’s day, the “light of the Lord” was the light of salvation in the promised Messiah, who, when He came, declared Himself to be “the light of the world” (John 8:12). 

6.  Therefore thou has forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they are full of divination from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they shake hands to make bargains with the children of foreigners.

Thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob.  They are no longer true, faithful, and obedient to the Lord, but cast off and forsaken, because of their gross iniquities.  God is neither with them nor for them, but against them, because they have turned against Him.  The inevitable result will be the “day of the Lord” when Judgment will come upon them and they will “reap what they have sown.” 

They are “replenished from the east” (literal: full of divination) and soothsayers like the Philistines.  To the east of Palestine was Babylon, noted for its astrologers, soothsayers, and sorcerers (Dan 2:2, 27; 4:7; 5:7,11).  It was because Israel had abandoned the Lord and turned to the false religious of the East that they forfeited His favor. 

The inhabitants of Palestine were driven out before Israel because of their many abominations, having “hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners” (Deut 18:10-14).  Like the Babylonians, the Philistines had their occult priests and diviners (1 Sam 6:2), and now the professed people of God were following their example.  Instead of going to God for light, they went to leaders who were in league with the prince of darkness. 

This is a perfect picture of American Christians today.  When Christians are sick, instead of going to God and following HIS ways – where He gives a 100% GUARANTEE that they will be well, they prefer to go to doctors who give out harmful medications that the Bible identifies as Sorceries and Witchcraft (Rev 18:23).  The Doctor who gives out these medications is identified in the Bible as a “POISONER” (pharmakon) or a Sorcerer is also in league with the prince of darkness because these “sorceries” DESTROY the wonderful immune system God has designed to get us well and keep us well. 

Just as the Israelites were consulting soothsayers and witches, today’s Christians are following the same path. 

They shake hands to make bargains with the children of foreigners (unbelievers).  Israel had entered into agreements with unbelieving nations, engaging in a common cause. Israel was no longer a separate and peculiar people; they were one with the world about them in politics, trade, religion, and wickedness. 

Christians of today have done the same.  They support war – which is nothing less than Corporate Murder.  They have become 501c3 corporations with the government as their head – instead of Jesus Christ – a situation in which the government can then tell them what they can and can’t say, teach, and believe. They adore the “Faith-based initiatives” where the government gives denominations money – thereby amalgamating Church and State.  They go to doctors and take drugs that destroy their body and cloud their mind so they are totally unable to hear God’s still small voice in their life. 

They bring rock bands, theatre, and insipid, supposedly modern “Christian” music into the churches to weaken the character and join with the world.  They extol the United Nations as a “hope for peace” when its primary goal is to destroy Christianity and Christians.  “Christian” universities accept federal funds either directly or by accepting students who have federal loans or grants, thus bringing themselves under government control that forces them to accept – and even promote – homosexual behavior on campus. 

Yet Christians are totally blind to the parallelism between their present behavior – both individually and corporately – with the Israelites of which Isaiah has written. 

American Christians refer to America as a “Christian nation” yet America has opened trade with Red China – an atheistic, morally corrupt country.  America has trade agreements with many countries who are openly persecuting Christians.  For at least the last 100 years, the Presidents of the United States and their cabinets – supported and elected, at least in part, by “Christians” - have been some of the most corrupt, degenerate, perverts that have ever lived on this earth, selling America down the river to destruction. 

7.    Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots: 

Land full of silver and gold.  Judah had become a commercial people, and their great interest in life was material gain.  They were rich in gold and silver, but poor in righteousness and faith.  With prosperity came luxury and moral decline.  Some idea of the extent of Judah’s wealth in the days of Isaiah may be gained from the tribute Sennacherib claims to have received from Hezekiah, which included 30 talents of gold (more than 2 1/4 tons), 800 talents of silver (more than 30 tons) precious stones, and many other kinds of treasure. 

Horses.  Through Moses the Lord had instructed Israel not to “multiply horses” to themselves (Deut 17:26), and through Samuel He had pointed out that the appointment of a king would result in provision for both horses and chariots (1 Sam 8:11,12).  Solomon had many horses and chariots (1 Kings 10:25-29), and Uzziah undoubtedly followed his example in this regard.  In Old Testament times horses were used primarily in warfare.  The multiplication of horses and chariots would turn the eyes of the people away from trust in God, to trust in materials things.  Micah 5:10,12,13 declares that the Lord will in vengeance cut off the horses and chariots, together with the idols, witchcrafts, and soothsayers. 

8.  Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made. 

Full of Idols.  The reign of Ahaz was characterized by a great moral decline in which king and people forsook the true God and turned to the worship of idols.  Images were made to Baal, human sacrifices were offered to heathen gods, altars were erected throughout Jerusalem, high places for the burning of incense to idols were erected in the Temple court, where Solomon’s brazen altar had stood (2 Chron 28:2-4,23-25; 2 Kings 16:10-14). 

Christians today worship “idols.”  They idolize their minister, their counselor, their doctor, the famous in Hollywood, and the very rich.  Christians offer human sacrifices by paying the doctor to give drugs to themselves and their children, including chemotherapy and radiation, both of which destroy the wonderful immune system God has given us to get us well and keep us well.  They are sacrificing themselves slowly – but just as completely as the human sacrifices that the Israelites were offering to Baal. 

They worship the work of their own hands.  Christians believe they have “freewill” and have the right to run their own life, rather than understanding that they do not own themselves.  They have been “bought with a price” – Christ’s death on the cross, therefore He owns them and has the right to make every decision in their life.

9.  And the people bow down, and each man humbleth himself: you must not be lifting them up.

The people bow down.  The meaning here is that men will be humbled and brought low before the Lord.  They do not humble themselves – they are proud and lofty now – but will be humbled at the coming of the Lord. 

10.  Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, from the aw-inspiring God, and for the glory of His majesty. 

Enter into the rock.  In Palestine there were many caves and caverns that provided natural places of shelter in times of danger.  In the great day of the Lord, people will flee in terror to any available place of refuge, seeking shelter from the calamities that will fall upon the earth. 

11.  The proud looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. 

The proud looks of man shall be humbled. Men have set themselves up in defiance against God.  They have exalted their own opinions above the decrees of God.  In the great reckoning day these proud and haughty men of earth will be brought low before the Lord of heaven. 

The Lord alone shall be exalted.  The Lord will be recognized in all His greatness and majesty for what He really is, the Creator and Sustainer not only of this earth but of the universe.  He sits exalted upon the throne of His glory, Judge of all the peoples of earth and Ruler of the universe. 

That day.  “That day” is “the day of the Lord” (v 12) when Jesus returns to reign, redeeming His people when those who are unsaved will be destroyed, to be resurrected again after the Millennium, for the Judgment.   

12.  For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon everyone that is proud and lofty, and upon everyone that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: 

The day of the Lord.  “The day of the Lord” referred not only to the fall of Jerusalem but also to Christ’s second coming. 

Proud and lofty.  “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov 16:18).  Pride turns men against God and leads them to oppress their fellow men, eventually resulting in their “reaping what they have sown.”  Isaiah saw the professed people of God vaunting themselves and glorying in their own achievements; he also saw them humbled in the dust before the Creator in the great day of the Lord. 

13-17.  And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, and upon every high tower, and upon every fortified wall, and upon all the ships of Tarshish and upon all desirable ships (literal), and the pride of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. 

The cedars of Lebanon.  In their pride and glory, nations and individuals are often compared to stately trees (Isa 14:8; Eze 31:3-14; Dan 4:10; Zech 11:1,2) that may be cut down and despoiled of their glory. 

The high mountains:  Mountains in Scripture are often figurative for kingdoms – that will be brought low and made desolate. 

Every high tower.  These are the defenses of human devising, in contrast with the defense God provides for His own. Uzziah had greatly strengthened the defenses of Judah, building strong towers in Jerusalem, adding to the walls of the capital, and building towers in rural areas.  These measures were continued by his successors (2 Chron 26:9,10; 27:3,4; 32:2-6; Isa 22:8-11; Hosea 8:14).  None of these defenses would stand in “the day of the Lord.” 

The ships of Tarshish.  These were great seagoing ships, carrying cargoes of metals in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea for commerce with distant lands (see 1 Kings 10:22; 22:48; 2 Chron 20:36).  The judgment of Heaven would rest upon these commercial enterprises, prompted as they were by selfishness and greed. 

All pleasant pictures (KJV).  This phrase should be translated “all pleasant ships” or “all desirable ships.”  

The loftiness of man.  Humiliation and shame will be the ultimate fate of those who think and act contrary to the purposes of the Lord of heaven..

18.  And the idols shall vanish. 

And the idols shall vanish.  Everything we hold dear – and above God – will be abolished, as part of God’s way of getting us to come to Him. 

19, 20  And they shall go into the holes of the rocks and into the caves of the earth for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to make the earth tremble.  In that day a man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship to the moles and to the bats. 

Make the earth tremble.  A great earthquake is to accompany the return of Christ.  Compare Isa 2:21; Rev 11:19; 16:18.  This will bring desolation to all the earth, engulfing large cities, removing islands out of their places and tearing mountains from their foundations. 

Idols of silver.  Men who have fled into the caves from the presence of God cast away their idols, which they now recognize cannot help them.  These are not necessarily literal idols, but may be treasures of gold and silver they have heaped together for themselves.  These now prove utterly useless and unable to provide relief, and are cast away as worthless.

Also, it can include all the New Age methods people use to handle stress, including meditation, visualization, biofeedback and other eastern medicine/New Age techniques that never work.  The ONLY thing that will bring peace at such a time is knowing the Lord.   

21.  To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the crags of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord and for the glory of His majesty when He ariseth to make the earth tremble. 

The clefts of the rocks.  Isaiah repeats the picture with certain additions and variations.  This is the climax of the view presented to Isaiah concerning the terrible scenes yet to come upon the earth. 

22.  Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for why should he be esteemed? 

Cease ye from man.  If such is to be the fate of men, why trust longer in them?  God’s people were trusting in their own cleverness and in the assistance of their heathen neighbors.  They ought to turn to God and find in Him their help and strength. 

The same is true today.  Virtually all people – including virtually ALL Christians – put their trust in “man” – self defense, pastors, counselors, doctors, presidents, the rich and famous, those who win Nobel prizes, etc.  Yet they will all come to nought. 

God warned Israel not to place their trust in human strength, either their own or that of such neighboring nations as Egypt and Assyria, but rather to have confidence in what He could, and would do for them, if they were faithful to Him.  As at the Red Seam at Jericho, and before the gates of Jerusalem in the days of Sennacherib, God proved the sufficiency of divine power. 

But Israel was soon to forget God’s power, and they chose to trust themselves.  

The same is true of the Christian church today.  They trust “man” (doctors, pastors, counselors, etc.) while claiming to trust God. 

Whose breath.  These words emphasize the frailty of the life of man.  It was God who gave man breath and life, and when his breath leaves him, life ceases.  Why depend upon frail, mortal beings for help when God promises to provide guidance and strength? 

Whom do you think is smarter:  your pastor - - - or God?

Whom do you think is smarter:  Your doctor - - - or God? 

Whom do you think is smarter:  Your counselor - - - or God? 

Whom do you think is smarter:  YOU - - - or God? 

Why should he be esteemed?  Or, “of what value is he?”  Who is man, and what can he do, that such great reliance should be placed upon him?  Men vaunt themselves and set themselves up in defiance against the great God of heaven, rejecting His word and refusing to walk in His ways.  Why turn to me who have turned against God?  Nothing in the vaunted civilization man has built and in which he takes such boundless pride is worth preserving. His high towers and walls, his ships of Tarshish, his treasures of gold and silver, will perish in the day when the Lord “ariseth to shake terrible the earth.” 

The proud and the lofty will be brought low (including the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, Goldman-Sachs, Kissinger, and every other banker and Federal Reserve board member) and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. 

Excerpts from SDA Commentary