In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say,” Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. “The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken. All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. – Micah 4:1-5
This passage is duplicated in Isaiah 2:2-4, a contemporary prophet to Micah. While it seems one copied the other, it’s difficult to say who said it first and who copied.
While not fully realized yet, this is an ideal that we may long for. Given the state of affairs in our world today it seems impossible to achieve. In a world of many cultures and religions, it is still a far-off vision that all will submit to the same God.
An all-powerful, world-ruling government is indeed coming that will solve all global problems fairly and righteously for all peoples – a government ruled not by carnal men, but by the living, all-powerful Creator of the universe.
When might be that time be when there is no longer any war?
The scripture indicates it will happen in the last days. There are different perspectives of the last days and is a cause of division within the Church. In the Old Testament, the last days refers to different things and apparently so too in the New Testament.
Are the latter days the days after Christ’s crucifixion when the spirit fell and the Church age began (Acts 2:14-21, Hebrews 1:1-2, James 5:1-9) – the epoch between Christ’s ascension and his coming again? Was Peter, James, and the writer of Hebrews telling the people they were now living in the last days?
However, you do have a very similar phrases, “last hour” in John 6:25-51 and 1John 2:18-23 and “last time” in 1Peter 1:3-5 that clearly refer to events yet to take place at the time of the apostles. Are these references to the end of the Jewish age in 70 AD and the beginning of the Church age, or is it some future time yet to happen?
I think it’s clear the Apostles saw the last days as the end of the Jewish age.
Maybe the last days refers to thousands of years following Christ’s first coming and continues through this day. Perhaps it’s talking about the present Church age when the Messiah comes the first time to set up His kingdom, as postmillennialism teaches, although this seems unlikely since throughout church history we have not witnessed the end of wars as prophesied here.
Or perhaps the last days are the ultimate restoration at some time in the future?
Jesus spoke of two ages (Mat 12:32), the Jewish age and the ensuing New Covenant age. Perhaps there is some room for another last day in the future. Premillennialism interprets the last days to encompass the time of future Tribulation followed by Christ setting up His earthly kingdom in the Millennium when the peoples shall flow to a restored and redeemed Jerusalem as the capital of the millennial earth.
The Kingdom of God is Here Today
Portions of this prophecy do seem to be at least partially being fulfilled in our day insofar as the gospel is being preached in the whole world and the Christian Church is being established. Where the gospel is preached and embraced, lives change. Verse 1 says, “the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains,” not necessarily the ONLY temple. Verse 2 says, “Many nations will come,” not necessarily every nation or all peoples but some people from all the nations. (The Hebrew word used here is “gō·w·yim” which is defined as 1) nation, people 1a) nation, people 1a1) usually of non-Hebrew people 1a2) of descendants of Abraham 1a3) of Israel, i.e., ethnic groups.)
Verse 5 tells us, “All the nations may walk in the name of their gods,” indicating there may still be competing religions as we see in our world today. This verse seems odd if we’re talking about a future Millennial kingdom and gives some credence to the idea these last days may be referring to the Church age before the Millennium or as some teach we are now living in the Millennium.
The Christians response, however, is to “…walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” Regardless of the condition of the present day world and regardless of our Millennial understanding, we can confidently continue the work God has for us on this earth… walk in His ways, preach the gospel, and know in the end our God prevails.
It’s difficult to foresee a time when “Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore,” until Christ returns to put an end to man’s folly (see Ps 46:9, Ps 76:3, Hos. 2:18) Ultimately, the work is not yet complete and likely won’t be until the Second Coming of Christ.
Who did Isaiah prophesy would rule over the earth?
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD — and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. – Isaiah 11:1-4
The prophecy in Isaiah 11 foretold, centuries in advance, through the lineage of David the ‘shoot’, ‘stem,’ ‘rod’ (KJV) or son of Jesse God will bring a savior to Israel, Jesus Christ who would one day rule the earth.
After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. – Acts 13:22-23
The Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah also referred to a ruler coming through David’s descendants – a righteous Branch, referring to Jesus Christ.
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD,” when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness. – Jeremiah 23:5-6