29/03/20 – Micah 4:1-3
Jeremiah lived and prophesied 100 years or more after Micah, yet a lot of his prophecies appear to be repeats of what Micah said before him.
Jeremiah 23:20-28 – 20The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. 21I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 22But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. 23[Am] I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? 24Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. 25I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. 26How long shall [this] be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, [they are] prophets of the deceit of their own heart; 27Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. 28The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What [is] the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.
And because Micah and Isaiah were contemporaries, there are a few places where they seem to be saying exactly the same thing. Compare Micah 4:1-3 below with Isaiah 2:2-4.
And it is interesting in light of what we have been studying in Micah and in light of today’s church scene, to note that Jeremiah said (also in Ch.23).
Jeremiah 23:1-2 – 1Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. 2Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.
It also seems that today’s church is not all that different to what was happening in the days of Micah, Isaiah and Jeremiah.
Micah 4:1 – 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 (peoples; nations) shall flow unto it.
This is one of those places where Micah and Isaiah literally are saying the same thing.
Isaiah 2:2-4 – 2And 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. 3And 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. 4And 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.
in the last days – or “in the latter days”, as it is translated in Jeremiah 23:20 – The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
This is not a picture of eternal heaven, because it talks about God judging many people (Vs 3 below) and every person walking (or living; manner of living) in the name of his god (Micah 4:5). Clearly many people at this time are not all serving God but instead worshipping other gods. However, it does seem to be talking about a time when God rules the earth. This can only be the millennial reign of Christ where there will still be sin to judge, and where there is still the capacity for rebellion, for at the end of the 1000 years satan will be let loose for one last effort to gain the victory. He then gathers a huge number of people to battle, and is finally and utterly defeated, and locked away for ever and ever (Revelation 20:7-10).
This huge number of followers that satan gains must be from those who inhabit the earth during the millennium. This assumes that they are unsaved people. Some of those who go into the millennium to start with may not be saved but may simply be those who were permitted to enter because they assisted God’s people during the tribulation period. They are separated into the sheep and the goats, with the sheep entering the millennial reign. (Matthew 25:31-46). And while many of God’s people will enter the millennium with glorified bodies, many will enter while still mortal. They will be kept by God’s power but their children will not necessarily be saved and therefore could suffer death and will be capable of choosing to sin, thus able to be tempted by satan to follow him at the end of the 1000 years. God’s saved people will probably live out the 1000 years along with those who have already been glorified.
There would be a huge number of children born to mortal people during this time, all possible fodder for satan!
Revelation 20:7-10 – 7And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea. 9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Isaiah 65:17-25 seems to be talking of heaven after the millennium yet it mentions the possibility of death in Vs 20 and death will be absent from heaven in eternity. Therefore Isaiah must be talking about the millennial reign where mortality and death are possible, along with sin and rebellion.
shall be established – be firmly established; be secure; be enduring. The idea is of permanency, for ever.
The mountain of God will be up high and visible to all around.
Psalm 48:1-2 – 1Great [is] the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, [in] the mountain of his holiness. 2Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, [is] mount Zion, [on] the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
During the millennium the land all around God’s mountain will become a flat levelled-out plain, with Jerusalem lifted up and visible from all points of the compass.
Zechariah talks of a Jerusalem where justice is administered, thus assuming sin and rebellion, thus not yet into eternity in heaven; instead this is the millennial reign.
Zechariah 14:16-19 – 16And 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. 17And 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. 18And 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. 19This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
And Jerusalem has been set upon high with a plain all around.
Zechariah 14:10 – 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.
Yet the following is clearly speaking of eternity following the millennial reign, where there will be no more death (Revelation 21:4).
Revelation 21:10-11 – 10And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11Having the glory of God: and her light [was] like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
However, in today’s passage it talks of the last days, rather than eternity, thus indicating a period of time that leads up to eternity without time (without days).
Note Hebrews 1:2 – Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; where it mentions the last days (where “last” is eschatos from where we get “eschatology”).
People (peoples or nations, usually relating to God’s people, Israel) will “flow” to Jerusalem because it will literally become the centre of the known world. Three main religions have tried to rule Jerusalem (Judaism, Christianity and Moslem) because of its strategic position in the world geography. Even the antichrist sees Jerusalem as the most desirable of capitals throughout the world, unsuccessfully putting a lot of effort into obtaining Jerusalem as the place where he wants the world to worship him.
Micah 4:2 – And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
nations – goy (nations; people; can be used of descendants of Abraham but usually of non-Hebrew people, that is, Gentiles). In Vs 1 above a different word is used for “people” (or “peoples”; “nations”), ‘am, a word that means nations in general. In Vs 2 “nations” will refer more to Gentile nations, that is, non-Jewish. Thus, many Gentile nations shall come and say ……
Originally Israel was to be a priesthood to the nations, a kingdom of priests.
Exodus 19:5-6 – 5Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine: 6And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
And priests were to keep/distribute/teach knowledge for/to the people.
Malachi 2:7 – For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he [is] the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
And yet Israel failed in their calling to be a kingdom of priests teaching knowledge to the nations; in fact they even failed to teach proper wisdom to their own people.
Hosea 4:6 – My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
However, in the millennium, the redeemed remnant of Israel will finally take on their proper calling from God to be a kingdom of priests to the nations.
Zechariah 8:20-23 – 20Thus saith the Lord of hosts; [It shall] yet [come to pass], that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21And the inhabitants of one [city] shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. 22Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. 23Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days [it shall come to pass], that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard [that] God [is] with you.
Because the Jews failed to serve God as a kingdom of priests to the nations, they were rejected for a season; the Gentile church then was called to take up the calling of a priesthood to the nations.
1 Peter 2:5 – Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
go up – or “ascend” Once again the picture is of climbing from the surrounding plains into the mountain of God, to His city of Jerusalem, where God Himself will instruct all who come in His ways. Ways here clearly refers to the law of God because the law shall go forth of Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. This doesn’t prevent the Jews from being teachers; instead it is no different from Christians today preaching the Bible and God using that preached word for His purposes through His Spirit. Possibly God will teach them directly, or possibly He will teach them by His Spirit via His people. This verse doesn’t make it clear whether the teaching is direct or indirect. Barnes says: He does not say here, through whom God would so teach, but he does speak of a direct teaching of God. He does not say only, "God will give us a law," or "will make a revelation of Himself." He speaks of a Personal, direct, continuous act of teaching by God, carried on upon earth, whether the teacher be our Lord's word spoken once on earth, which does "not pass away" Matthew 24:35, or God the Holy Spirit, as teaching in the Church and in the hearts which receive Him.
No more will the people be destroyed for lack of knowledge, For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)
Also Isaiah 11:9 – They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
The teaching, the law, the word of God, will all come from God through Zion and Jerusalem. That is, if the source of the alleged truth is true, then the truth itself will be indeed true. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth (literally “the word that is Thine is truth”). (John 17:17) That is, the word that is not Thine is not truth!
Any other “truth” can never sanctify anyone! God’s word, and no other, is truth!
The truth shall set you free (John 8:32) but lies will tie you down; lies can never set you free.
Micah 4:3 – And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
people – here the more general term (‘am) as used in Vs 1 above for “people”, therefore not specifically non-Jew or Gentile.
nations – goy – as used for “nations” in Vs 2 above. A more specific term generally used for non-Jews, or Gentiles. Also used for “nation” twice in this verse. It is the Gentile nations who are rebuked. It seems to suggest that those at war are the Gentile nations called to battle for their destruction at Armageddon (see Joel 3:9-14 below). It is the Gentile nations who are told to turn their farming implements into weapons of war to come and fight in the battle of Armageddon. After the millennial reign is set up, the remaining people from those Gentile nations will be required to end all their fighting and war for there will no longer be a legitimate reason for war again. Thus their weapons are then returned to the farming implements from which they came (figuratively speaking).
The millennial reign of Christ will be a reign of peace which is ensured by rigorous judgment by Christ over the whole world. This verse is clearly a call to peace after a time of war. The war has ended and the reign of peace commences.
Zechariah 9:9-11 – 9Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion [shall be] from sea [even] to sea, and from the river [even] to the ends of the earth. 11As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein [is] no water.
This follows Armageddon where the wicked who oppose God and His people are destroyed, thus setting up the start of the 1000-year reign of Christ the Messiah.
Revelation 16:16 – And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Revelation 19:15 – And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
These wicked ones are called by God to war; they have opposed God and His people and now they are required to face battle. If God requires people to come to battle, He will ensure it; He is sovereign! His enemies will have no option to refuse God’s call when it comes. Note that the following probably occurs around the beginning to the 7-year great tribulation.
Ezekiel 38:1-4 – 1And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I [am] against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts [of armour, even] a great company [with] bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
Joel prophesied that God would call the Gentiles (here it is those who oppose His remnant who are called as per Joel 2:30-32) to war. They are called to battle at Armageddon.
Joel 3:9-14 – 9Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: 10Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I [am] strong. 11Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. 12Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. 13Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness [is] great. 14Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord [is] near in the valley of decision.
The Messiah will be known as the Prince of Peace; however, it doesn’t exclude judgment for those who oppose His reign in any way during this time.
Isaiah 9:6 – 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.
The millennial reign of Christ will not be without sin and rebellion to judge.
Zechariah 14:16-19 lays out some clear guidelines for some of the judgments of Gentiles that will take place during the millennium. Those Gentiles who do not come up to Jerusalem to worship God the King (especially at the yearly feast of tabernacles) will suffer drought; this may apply to nations because it is hard to envisage no rain just on individual offenders. The feast of tabernacles may symbolise Christian worship in general; this feast would have been similar to a thanksgiving festival for the produce of the land.
And if Egypt does not participate in the feast of tabernacles, they will suffer the plague like heathens should suffer, plus possibly drought as well, although this meaning is not clear.
Thus God will be worshipped by all the earth; those who refuse will be judged accordingly. Christ will rule with an iron rod (Revelation 2:27; 19:15; Psalm 2:9; Revelation 12:5). Note that the rod can also be translated the sceptre (of authority).