We have now arrived at the foundational text which describes God’s Strange Act, which many believe is God’s last act of destroying sinners and sin. The text in question is found in Isaiah twenty-eight, verse twenty-one:
For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon—that He may do His work, His awesome [STRANGE – KJV] work, and bring to pass His act, His unusual [STRANGE – KJV] act (Isaiah 28:21, emphasis added).
In the first part of this verse there is a synonymous parallel structure “in which the same sentiment is repeated in different but equivalent words.” This means that one thought is expressed two different ways:
For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon (emphasis added).
If the reader recalls, in the introduction of this book we showed how the Greek word for “wrath,” , is related to the obsolete word , which means to “rise” or to “rear.” This bit of information confirms the idea that “rise up” and “will be angry” are parallel expressions meaning the same thing. So then, when we read the beginning words of this verse in Isaiahthe Lord will rise up”—we know that this rising up has to do with “the wrath of God” which is indeed confirmed by the very next parallel sentence: “He will be angry (“WROTH” IN THE KJV) as in the Valley of Gibeon.”
Furthermore, the parallel verbs here are to rise and to be angry. What this means is that these two idiomatic expressions have the same meaning. They both amount to “the wrath of God” as explained in Romans chapter one. In literary construction, this would be similar to us saying: “Carl’s business is worth peanuts; it is not worth a cent.” Both “worth peanuts” and “worth a cent” are idiomatic expressions, and yet they both convey the same idea that “Carl’s business” is worthless.
We have seen that “the wrath of God” is simply God’s act of letting go, giving over by giving freedom to those who leave Him for the gods of reward and punishment. “The Lord will rise up,” therefore, must have the same meaning. This will become more and more apparent as we go on.
If we look up the word “rise up” in Hebrew, we will see that it has many applications besides its obvious and literal meaning. Notice the many meanings of the Hebrew word , which means to “rise up:”
to rise (in various applications, literally, figuratively, intensively and causatively): abide, accomplish, be clearer, confirm, continue, decree, be dim, endure, enemy, enjoin, get up, make good, help, hold, (help to) lift up (again), make, but newly, ordain, perform, pitch, raise (up), rear (up), remain, (a-) rise (up) (again, against), rouse up, set (up), (e-) stablish, (make to) stand (up), stir up, strengthen, succeed, (as-, make) sure (-), (be) up (-hold, -rising).
As the reader can see, there are many ways in which this word can be used. Besides meaning “to rise,” it can also mean to “abide,” “accomplish,” “be clearer,” “confirm,” “continue,” “decree,” “establish,” “strengthen,” etc… and even “succeed.” This is not an easy word!
The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) also has a lengthy entry for this word’s many applications and usages, but it ends with the following application, which seems to be the most relevant to this context:
Finally, our word is frequently used in martial contexts. It refers to preparation for (Jud 7:15), engagement in (Ex 2:17), and victory in war (or struggle, Josh 7:2). Sometimes, connotes anticipated or realized victory. When God engages in combat victory is certain. the word may denote his creative, saving, and judging action. Pious men frequently beseech him to rise in their behalf (Num 16:35). This enlightens many Psalm texts in which this idea of victory is not immediately apparent (Ps 3:7 [H 8]); 76:9 [H 10]); 35:2). When God is on one’s side he prevails over his enemies. Those who are against God are warned of immediate (Ps 89:43 [H 44]) and ultimate (Ps 1:5) failure.
To “rise up,” as it pertains to God, means that He is preparing for war. But we must not forget that when God engages in war, He does so “in righteousness”—from His principle of agape love:
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war (Revelation 19:11, emphasis added).
God’s methods of war are not the same as what we would normally think. His methods are always in harmony with His character of agape love, and as we have seen in the context of “the wrath of God,” this means letting go out of respect for freedom—this is how “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven.” Regardless of what happens in this war down here—even if we think God appears to be losing—in the end we can be assured that God will win, because when God engages in combat, victory is certain” and “those who are against” Him “are warned of immediate and ultimate failure.” “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13: 8), therefore love will win.
There are a few occasions in the Bible when God rises up, but two come readily to mind. One is in the New Testament and the other in the Old. In the New Testament, Jesus stands up when Stephen is stoned to death; and in the Old Testament, He rises up during the final events of this earth’s history, when His people are being persecuted. After He rises up, then there will be “a time of trouble such as never before.”
THE STONING OF STEPHEN
After Jesus’ ascension, the apostles were doing great wonders and signs among the people, declaring that Jesus had fulfilled all the prophecies of the Old Testament. Stephen was preaching that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. Some members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen—“, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia”—began disputing with him, but they were no match for Stephen’s wisdom. Since they couldn’t win the argument, they then began spreading lies about him—a not so unusual strategy for those who oppose the truth and feel impotent to rebut it.
Soon they managed to bring about Stephen’s arrest. Stephen was taken to the Council where he began to expound on the history of the children of Israel. Point by point, he took them from Abraham to Joseph, to the slavery in Egypt, to Moses and the rebellion in the desert. He recounted the history of the Children of Israel step by step in order to show that Jesus was the prophet that Moses had spoken of:
This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear’ (Acts 7:37, emphasis added).
Stephen’s speech was a denunciation of the Chosen People’s hardness of heart. It was an indicting oratory pointing out how they had turned from the “living God” to the worship of the gods:
And they made a calf in those days, offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
Then God turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the Prophets:
‘Did you offer Me slaughtered animals and sacrifices during forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? You also took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, images which you made to worship; and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.’
Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen, which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with Joshua into the land possessed by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David, who found before God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob.
But Solomon built Him a house.
However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:
‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for Me? says the Lord,
Or what is the place of My rest?
Has My hand not made all these things?’ (Acts 7:41-50, emphasis added).
When Stephen arrived at this point in his oratory, “God does not dwell in temples made with hands,” he touched upon a very sensitive spot—a much-treasured idol, which was their temple. We see a sudden change in his speech. It is as if the Jews became infuriated, menacing. Perhaps they were already picking up stones to throw at him, because Stephen then exclaims:
“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”
When they heard these they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep (Acts 7:51-60).
Stephen “gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right of God.” And he exclaimed aloud, for all to hear: “Look! I see the heaven opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Jesus had risen up. This was a highly meaningful act. Christ was standing to go to war—but He would do so “in righteousness.”
The stoning of Stephen became greatly significant as far as the Jewish nation was concerned, because by stoning him to death, they showed that they had fully rejected Jesus’ teaching and revelation of His Father—the God of agape love. Jesus had been patiently teaching them step by step that God is not in the business of condemning or destroying sinners. Every word from His mouth, every action of His being pointed to a God of infinite love, grace, and life. He came to bring them “grace and truth” (John 1:14, 17) so by killing Stephen, they fully rejected “grace and truth.”
In this act of destroying one of Jesus’ followers, the Jewish nation completely rejected Jesus himself. By rejecting Jesus, they also rejected the gospel of Jesus, which was the good news about God which Jesus came to share with them.
The rejection of the light Jesus had shed about God set them on a course that took them to Satan’s side of the great controversy between God’s principles and Satan’s principles. It was a path from which they themselves, as a nation, would never choose to return. It was as if their minds were sealed, set in stone, never to be changed again.
By the time of Stephen’s stoning, the Jews had already rejected and killed the very Son of God three and a half years earlier. That was the greatest sign that they had rejected Jesus and His teachings. But God does not give up on us easily. What is strange for God is to give up on us, and more specifically to give us up or hand us over to someone as cruel as Satan. He does not do this easily or hastily. God could have let go of His protection of the Jewish nation right there and then when they handed His Son over to the Romans to be crucified. But His infinite heart of agape love is filled with mercy, compassion, and pity. He patiently waits and sends more messengers so that their disaster can be averted. Stephen was one of these messengers.
In the act of killing one of Jesus’ messengers, the Jews showed undeniable evidence that they had irretrievably distanced themselves from the principles of God’s law—unconditional love, grace, impartiality, mercy, goodness and freedom of choice. In rejecting God’s law, they had rejected God Himself, because the law of agape love is the very essence of God’s character—it is who He is, for “God is love.”
But even then, there was still mercy, because Stephen, inspired by the Spirit of God, intercedes for the very people that are killing him. He “stands in the breach” (another biblical term we will explain shortly) and pleads, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” The same intercessory prayer had escaped Jesus’ dying lips three and a half years earlierFather forgive them for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
God is the God of many chances; over and over we read in the Bible that He is long-suffering. And His patience was not in vain, for there were many individuals that did turn to the truth, like Paul for instance, at whose feet those who stoned Stephen placed their overcoats.
Stephen’s intercessory prayer brought many individuals to the truth, for they saw in him something unusual, something peculiar, something heavenly. But as a nation, the Jews had made their choice. That choice stands even to this day, and while there are many individual Jews who are accepting Christ, the nation of Israel still stands firm in its rejection of Him.
By fully rejecting Christ, the nation had therefore sealed its own fate. Jesus declared that it was left “desolate,” without God’s presence. God respected their freedom, and as a result He had to give it up. He handed it over to the Destroyer, who incited the Romans against it. Thirty-six years after Stephen’s stoning, in AD 70, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman armies led by Titus.
Jerusalem suffered the true “wrath of God,” the true letting go. It was not God who destroyed Jerusalem. It was not God who punished Jerusalem. But it was God who let it go; it was He who gave it up, gave it over, and handed it over to Satan’s jurisdiction. Jerusalem was destroyed because of its own choice to live by the principles of the Destroyer; therefore, God had to let it go where it wanted to go.
In this tragic history we can see that it was a persistent rejection of the truth—a step by step closing of the heart and mind—that led to a final destruction.
When Jesus came into the scene, He began shedding the full light of God’s character and the principles of His kingdom. Jesus’ life of constant love, mercy, compassion, goodness, in which there was not mingled one particle of evil, malice, force, or violence (Isaiah 53:9), should have turned the nation to the light. But they refused it, and with each refusal, they became more and more settled in darkness. This is a sealing process.
The Jews knew that there was something particularly different about Jesus. They knew that He was unlike anyone they had ever seen—there was a purity about Him that was not earthly. Not only that, but no one could do the miracles He did unless they had a connection with a superior, supernatural power. The problem was that His teachings didn’t agree with their perception of what the Messiah should be like.
Jesus was too humble, too peaceful, too forgiving, too kind to the masses whom they despised and considered accursed of God. They expected a mighty warrior who would come into the scene with power and pomp, ruthlessly trampling down their oppressors. And as they became more and more settled in darkness, they were paving the way to their eventual demise, whereby God would have to let them go to the leader they had chosen. Sadly, we see the same false expectations today.
We are all sinners. We are all born into a sinful world. “The wrath of God” is not revealed from heaven against us because we are sinners. God does not fault us for having been born into a sinful world; this was not our choice! Nobody chose this!
Rather, “the wrath of God” is revealed from heaven when light—the truth—is given to us and we persistently reject it. God lets go only when the truth He sends is fully rejected by us, and the evidence of our rejection is clearly shown through our words and actions. Light brings judgment, because if we reject it, then we have made a choice against it. God’s letting go is a response to our choice. He lets go only because He respects our freedom.
We should pay very close attention to any light the Lord gives us. Because the moment we reject it, we will walk into darkness, and if we continue to reject light we will eventually pass fully under Satan’s control, which translates into certain destruction.
If we continually reject Jesus Christ and His principles—which is God’s Spirit of agape love—we will eventually be left wide open to Satan’s attacks. Then there will be no one to protect us, not only from his evil principles working in our own hearts, but also from his and his followers’ own personal, satanic cruelty. We will have to reap what we have sown.
It was at the very moment when the Jews were mercilessly stoning Stephen to death—proving by their words and actions that they had clearly rejected God’s agape love— that Christ stood up.
The other clear example of the Lord standing up is recorded in the Old Testament, in the Book of Daniel, chapter twelve, verse one:
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book (Daniel 12:1, emphasis added).
Before we can understand these passages, we need to understand their context. In what context is Michael standing up here? If we look a few verses back in chapter eleven, we will see that there is a king who “exalts” himself above God and His principles, and who persecutes the people of God:
And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days…
Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain…
But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him (Daniel 11:32-33, 36-39, 44-45, emphasis added).
It is when the king who exalts himself goes forth “with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many” that Michael stands up. What does it mean “to utterly make away many?” Notice the meaning of the Hebrew word , translated in the KJV as “to make away many:”
to seclude; specifically (by a ban) to devote to religious uses (especially destruction); physically and reflexively to be blunt as to the nose: – make accursed, consecrate, (utterly) destroy, devote, forfeit, have a flat nose, utterly (slay, make away) (emphasis added).
It is very interesting that this king will “seclude” or “ban” those that do not conform to his “foreign god.” Could this be a parallel to Revelation thirteen, where those who do not conform to receiving the mark of the beast are “banned,” ostracized, kicked out of the economic system, by not being able to buy or sell? It is when the king “who exalts himself” goes forth “with great fury to destroy” and ostracize many that Michael stands up. This appears to be directly related to Revelation 13:
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name (Revelation 13:16-17, emphasis added).
In this passage we see a world power enforcing a “mark” on the “right hand” or “forehead” of the peoples of the world, and anyone who does not bow down to this power will be kicked out of the system and will be banned, secluded, as it were. They will not be able to participate in the world’s economic system of buying and selling.
When this begins to happen, according to the twelfth chapter of the Book of Daniel, Michaelthe great prince which stands for the children of thy people—will stand up. Michael will stand up to go to war “in righteousness.” This means that His victory is certain, and “those who are against” Him “are warned of immediate and ultimate failure” because Michael is about to let them go, He is about to hand them over.
The Hebrew word “stand” used in Daniel chapter twelve verse one is not the same as the word “rise” found in Isaiah chapter twenty-eight, verse twenty-one. Here the word is , and Strong’s defines it like this:
A primitive root; to stand, in various relations (literally and figuratively, intransitively and transitively): abide (behind), appoint, arise, cease, confirm, continue, dwell, be employed, endure, establish, leave, make, ordain, be [over], place, (be) present (self), raise up, remain, repair, serve, set (forth, over, –, up), (make to, make to be at a, with) stand (by, fast, firm, still, up), (be at a) stay (up), tarry (Strong’s Concordance).
The Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon indicates that this Hebrew word——has its original roots in the Arabic language, and means to “set firmly, to sustain, to prop.” This is the second meaning of Jesus’ act of “standing up.” Jesus is not only about to let the persecutors of His people go, but He stands up to “sustain,” to “prop” His people up.
When those who oppose God persecute those who teach and share God’s light in the world, it is the same as if they were persecuting God Himself. and this is to them a “proof of perdition.” Note the verse below from the Book of Philippians:
Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof [TOKEN, KJV] of perdition, but to you of salvation and that from God (Philippians 1:27-28, emphasis added).
What is to the adversaries “a proof of perdition”? The “proof of perdition” is the fact that they, the adversaries, are terrifying. They terrify God’s people by persecuting them. That in itself is to them a “token,” an indication that they are in the wrong path, on the wrong side of this war. They are walking in the path of “perdition.” Those that persecute God’s messengers would persecute God Himself if He was in their midst—which in fact is what they did when God was on earth in the person of His Son.
The very act of persecuting—using violence and terror—is a sign, a token, a proof, an evidence that they have rejected the true God, for these are not God’s methods or character traits.
Persecutors in general, by definition, are working for the god of this world—regardless of who they claim to be or what righteous they claim to uphold. One could stand for the greatest cause in the world, but if he/she is using cruel methods to enforce his/her agenda, persecuting those who oppose them, they are on the wrong side of the controversy between God and Satan. They are on the losing side.
Likewise, those who suffer persecution without retaliating—as Jesus we should do—can be assured that their peaceful ways are to them a token “of salvation and that from God.” They have been saved from Satan’s tooth for tooth moral law of Good and Evil.
Many who don’t even consider themselves to be Jesus’ followers, but who stand for the right without using force and violence against their opponents will suffer persecution for Jesus’ sake. As Paul says in Romans chapter two:
…for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them… (Romans 2:13-15, emphasis added).
Those who are persecuted for “righteousness sake” may know that their persecution is to them a token of “salvation.” Rather than being discouraged, they should jump for joy—they are in the right camp:
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:10-12, emphasis added).
When Michael stands up in Daniel chapter twelve, we see the same pattern of persecution taking place as during the stoning of Stephen. Note how the Lord had also given a certain message for His servants to declare in Daniel chapter eleven, just as in the case of Stephen:
And they that understand among the people shall instruct many (Daniel 11:33).
The king who blasphemes against God and who exalts himself persecutes the people, those “that understand” and who “instruct many.” He persecutes them “by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days” (Daniel 11:33). Then God completely surrenders him to Satan, and he suffers “the wrath of God”:
yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him (Daniel 11:45).
By persecuting the people of God, this king completely rejects Jesus’ gospel of peace—he seals himself in the rejection of the God of agape love. Then sudden destruction comes upon him and those who have aligned themselves with him:
And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time (Daniel 12:1)
At that time, Jesus’ standing up is not only a sign that the king who exalts himself has finally sealed his fate and God is about to let him go—as He is about to do also to those who follow the king—but it is also a sign that He is going to sustain His persecuted people:
And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1).
There will be “a time of trouble, such as never was” because destruction will happen on a global scale. So far, every example of “the wrath of God” has taken place on a local scale—in small pockets of the human race. But here in Daniel chapter twelve, we see a whole world that has rejected God and His principle of agape love. By persecuting Jesus’ followers, those who persecute them show that they have rejected God and His principles. They have passed entirely under Satan’s jurisdiction, that they have fully become subjects of his government and its principles of Good and Evil, reward and punishment.
What then is the meaning of the Lord’s rising up? God’s act of rising up is a sign of two things: first, it indicates that those who persecute and murder God’s true followers have sealed their minds against the gospel; the evident proof is that they attack them. It means that God can no longer intercede with those who reject Him and His gospel of peace, because they have closed their hearts and minds to Him. Their rejection of His principle of agape love is made evident by the fact that they persecute and destroy His followers—those who choose to live by His nonviolent principle.
Thus, the Lord’s standing up is a sign that He is about to exercise “the wrath of God,” which means He is about to give them up and hand them over to the ruler they have chosen. This means that they are about to become completely exposed to Satan’s fury, without God’s protection, and as a result, their destruction is certain for Satan is merciless.
Secondly, the Lord’s rising up means that He is going to “sustain” His people in whatever way He deems necessary. He will either give them the strength to face pain, suffering, and even death, or He will find a way of escape for them. His people will understand this, and just like Daniel’s three friends, who when they were under Nebuchadnezzar’s threat of being thrown into the fiery furnace and face certain death, exclaimed:
O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18, emphasis added).
The certain assurance that God was sustaining these three friends in Babylon is the fact that although they were thrown into the fiery furnace, Jesus joined them there, and not even one hair of their head was burned:
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”
They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:24-25).
And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them (Daniel 3:27).
In the case of Stephen, when the Lord stood up so that Stephen could see Him, Jesus was supporting Stephen firmly, He was sustaining him, propping him up, so to speak. The act of standing up was a sign that Christ gave to Stephen himself—to show him that he was not forgotten. It was a gesture of support, encouragement and vindication. It was as if Jesus, seeing what was happening to Stephen, stood up to help him through this excruciating experience. When Stephen saw Christ standing at the right hand of God, his faith was strengthened, he was sustained, given strength to go through his tragic martyrdom. The evidence is in his demeanor and words of forgiveness toward his killers.
Jesus’ standing up in both the stoning of Stephen and Daniel twelve is the equivalent to the Lord’s rising up in Isaiah chapter twenty-eight verse twenty-one—they all mean the same thing.
The sustaining of the persecuted coincides with the sealing of the persecutors—when they become sealed in Satan’s ways, they will unfailingly rise against the people of God—those who are living by the law of God’s agape love. By their very action of persecuting them, they show that they have rejected God and His agape principle. The Jews sealed themselves in opposition to God by the very act of stoning Stephen; the same will happen to the king who persecutes those “who understand” and who “instruct many.” The fact that they persecute the people of God is to them a token, a sign or the proof of their “perdition,” and to the people of God it is a token of “salvation, and that from God.”
As we continue, we will examine the two instances where the prophet Isaiah said that God rose up: Perazim and Gideon. As we look at these examples, we must keep two things in mind. First, they are historical accounts of people and events that happened in real life. Secondly, they are also types, or examples. Remember how Isaiah chapter twenty-eight verse twenty-one begins: “For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon.” The word we are trying to bring to the reader’s attention is the little word “as.”
God is saying that “as” it happened in the past with people and events, so it will happen again in the future with other people in similar events. However, the people who were involved with these events in the past were motivated by partial knowledge, since truth is progressive. Full truth didn’t arrive on our planet until two thousand years ago, with the First Advent of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, types are imperfect, but the future ones will be the actual thing. Types are only templates, not the actual fulfillment itself. As a result, types cannot fulfill all the requirements that antitypes, who have greater knowledge, must fulfill. We hope to make this clearer as we proceed.