This morning we were enjoying the verses in Isaiah 11:6-9 that refer to the condition of the creation at the time of the restoration of life – so peaceful, so normal, yet so different from what we see today:
6. And the wolf will dwell with the lamb; And the leopard will lie down with the kid, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a young boy will lead them about.
7. The cow and the bear will graze; Their young will lie down together; And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8. The nursing child will play by the cobra’s hole, And upon the viper’s den The weaned child will stretch his hand.
9. They will not harm nor destroy In all My holy mountain, For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah, As water covers the sea.
According to what we know as being the normal situation today, most of these pairs of animals are “enemies”, some of them “eat the other”, and as for their reaction to man, let’s just say that they are not friendly to man’s appearance / intrusion. This situation as described in these verses is what will happen when the restoration of life will be brought in by Christ – in the next age. There are two sides to this:
- On the one hand, this will literally happen. God did not create the animals with an evil element in them – He created all the animals and the “beasts”(as we know them today) pure, to live in peace with one another. But after man’s fall, something happened: sin got into man, and since man is the head of all the old creation, something evil got into the animals also. Now there is no peace in the creation, rather, the inward nature of the plants and animals has been changed in evil – enmity exists and rules today. But as we are being inwardly restored and recovered back to God by daily eating Christ as the tree of life and drinking Christ as the water of life, there is an inward change happening to us as believers! We are being restored and recovered – and if we, men, the head of the old creation, are being restored, then the whole creation will be restored! In the age of restoration the negative element in all the old creation will be removed, causing a change not only in the outward actions of the whole creation, but also a change in their nature! And this is what really impressed me: the reason for this change within that manifests without is that the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah(Isa. 11:9)! The knowledge of Jehovah restores all creation, starting with man and continuing with all the animals and plants. Christ’s restoring power will deliver all the creatures from the poisonous element of Satan – the result is that the whole situation among the animals and the plants in the creation will be pleasant, peaceful, and loving. Wow, this is something to be looking forward to…
- On the other hand we, as the new creation, can be those who have a “foretaste of the powers of the coming age”(Heb. 6:5). Even though there will be such an age called “the age of restoration” after “the age of the church“, we today can have a foretaste of this restoration of life in the church life! We were born in sin, we are brood of vipers, and the evil nature of Satan dwells in us – yet through receiving and enjoying the divine life in us, through our knowing God in a subjective and personal way, we are being recovered, restored, and inwardly changed. Because we in the church life have a foretaste of the “coming age”, all the “wolves”, “leopards”, “bears”, “lions”, and “vipers” should have their nature changed. By daily enjoying the Lord in His Word, calling on His name, experiencing Him, and praying unceasingly – our inward evil nature is being more removed / changed, and we’re being restored/recovered! In this sense, the church life today may be considered as a “zoo” of the restoration of life, where we all have our nature changed through the Spirit and by Christ as the sprout(the restoring power of life in freshness) and the branch(the growing power of fruitfulness).
Amen, Lord, today we just want to enjoy You and exercise our spirit to touch The Spirit – to be inwardly changed, restored, recovered! Thank You Lord that today in the church life we can have a foretaste of the coming age – we can have our inward nature changed, we can be transformed and conformed to Christ! [further reference: see the Life-Study of Isaiah msg 11, also: the Crystallization-study of Isaiah(1), message 7] – read this portion in Spanish via ¡hoy en la vida de la iglesia tenemos un anticipo de la era venidera, estamos siendo cambiados y restaurados interiormente!