Every knee will bow

It certainly is interesting when NT authors quote the OT. In studying Philippians 2:10-11, it may seem like Paul is quoting a passage that we are familiar with, but he does not write "as it is written" or "for he saith" or "Esaias is very bold and saith".  The passage in Philippians seems to allude to Isaiah 45:23.  In Romans 14:10-12 we DO have the statement "For it is written" and then the quotation of Isaiah 45:23. So I think we are on good ground to say that Paul was quoting or at the very least alluding to Isaiah 45:23 in Philippians 2:10-11 and bringing out the truth that Jesus is the Saviour that was prophesied of in the surrounding context of Isaiah 45.

Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Isaiah 45:17 But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. 18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. 19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. 21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

To study the passage in Isaiah 45 we see a time when Israel will be saved with an everlasting salvation, 45:17. This is not a doing away with the earth altogether (vs. 18), but the establishment of His rule over the nations (vs. 22). Isaiah’s original context in writing this was the future salvation of Israel at the time when all the ends of the earth would look unto the LORD for salvation. This would be a willing submission to God by bowing the knee before Him and swearing an oath of allegiance to Him. What is meant by the oath is explained in the next verse. They will swear, or confess, that only in the LORD do they have righteousness and strength. The Apostle Paul places the Judgement Seat of Christ at this point in time when we study the Romans 14:10-12 passage. Those who belong to the church will certainly partipate in this submission and oath, otherwise, why would Paul apply this verse to the church?  So, far from the judgement seat of Christ being some pie-in-the-sky in the by-and-by type of thing, it is the throne that Christ will sit on when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ.  He will sit on this throne and pronounce judgement on all, even on those who belong to Him.  We will receive rewards when we are judged because we have acknowledged that we only have our righteousness in the LORD.

Israel will be saved, the nations will be judged with wrath, and those who remain will be allowed to be saved by the God of Israel. They will be allowed to bow the knee before the LORD and confess Him as the only Saviour. Paul was saying that we would be right there as well entering the Kingdom of Heaven based on our submission to Christ by bowing the knee and our confession of Him as the only Saviour. This is the time when we will appear before the Judgement Seat of Messiah and give an account of ourselves. We will be presented with our place of authority (which is our reward) as Messiah judges us based on our faithfulness.

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

But what about Paul’s greater point in Philippians? Paul has in mind the incarnation, humiliation, and death here.  Messiah was more humiliated than any other man throughout the course of time. No one had further to travel downward than He since no one was higher than He (it was not robbery to be equal with God). He also humiliated Himself to the point of death, that death not being for Himself, but for mankind. Since He was obedient in this humiliation, God has highly exalted Him. His position is above any other position. Messiah’s position as the ultimate Saviour to whom all the ends of the earth can look is equaled by none. Every knee will bow (still applies to the establishment of the kingdom in my view) and every tongue will confess that He alone is Saviour, and "to Him shall all men come". Some take this "every tongue will confess" to mean that even those in hell will confess Him as LORD; I don’t know if we can draw this conclusion due to the rest of Isaiah 45:24, "all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed." That seems to draw a distinction between those who are confessing Him as LORD and those who resist Him.

Sometimes I just post what the scriptures are saying without drawing attention to differing positions, but at the end here, I want to make it plain that God has a future plan for ethnic Israel that includes this nation not being ashamed or confounded anymore, world without end.  God’s revelation through the church did not negate His promises to Israel, but proved them to be true, since all the ends of the earth currently have the plan of salvation before them.  God is currently calling out a people for Himself from among the Gentiles who have the opportunity to take an oath of allegiance and bend the knee to the God of Israel.  When Christ came as Isaiah’s suffering servant, He brought the Kingdom of God with Him, also known as the Kingdom of Heaven.  The nation of Israel did not become humble like their king and receive the kingdom of God as a nation, but a remnant did receive and enter the Kingdom of God by repenting.  God is currently using this Israelite remnant with believing Gentiles grafted in.  He has not cast His people aside.  He plans on fulfilling these words in Isaiah 45 as He institutes the Judgement Seat of Messiah to His people Israel (and all nations) as is evidenced by Paul’s references to this passage in multiple places.  When Christ comes, it will mean salvation for all nations.

I know that many Post-Mills and A-Mills would agree with most of the above whole heartedly.  But I believe there are some PreMillennial distinctions here.  God intends to fulfill the Davidic Covenant by establishing the Messiah on the throne of Israel as a part of this salvation of the nation of Israel.  All nations will flow unto Israel.  Messiah’s earthly rule is yet future when those who are resurrected will rule and reign with Him for a thousand years.  At the end of the thousand years is an epoch we know very little about.  Yet we know it is there.  The nations are currently being deceived by Satan, but during the thousand years will not be deceived by him.  This is a part of that salvation for all nations.  Finally, we can just be a nation without any deception from the evil one!

I’ll quit now.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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