Isaiah 29:14 is a specific forecast about these latter days—the times we are living in right now—regarding a terrible tragedy and a stunning success.
Both the tragedy and the positive news involve God’s own people, those whom He has called to do His very work in this world. But the lessons of this powerful prophecy apply to anyone willing to listen.
The tragedy is that most of God’s own people would turn away from Him. This teaches us something crucial about the human nature we all possess.
However, Isaiah also foretold that there would be a small remnant of faithful saints with whom God would be pleased. That remnant would accomplish something supremely important.
Notice what Isaiah wrote about these people: “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid” (Isaiah 29:14). God is talking about His own Church here. He tells us that He is going to do something extraordinary with this little remnant.
He is putting dual emphasis on what this remnant Church would do by calling it not just a work—but also a wonder.
The word wonder means something stupendously done or accomplished; a phenomenon; a miracle or act of God; an event causing astonishment, admiration and joy. It can refer to a feeling of amazement or wonderment. As a verb it means to be awestruck, to stand aghast, to be seized or filled with wonder. If something is wonderful it is awe-inspiring, extraordinary, astonishing, spectacular, magnificent, divine. The thesaurus gives several synonyms: thunderstruck, spellbound, amazement, startling, staggering.
The Bible is filled with wonders. And so is God’s work on Earth today! God calls the work of His Church a wonder! This work causes joy and wonder in people’s lives. God isn’t just saying that—He means it. His work is full of spectacular wonder!
We need this wonder in our lives. God has created man to be successful, doing amazingly good deeds and accomplishing great things. Look at the Seven Wonders of the World. Yet they are physical wonders. We need God’s spiritual wonder in our minds to be galvanized to do the great deeds God expects His people to do.
You can prove where this “marvellous work and a wonder” is. In fact, God expects you to prove it.
A Sealed Book
The context of Isaiah 29:14 is about the great majority of God’s people going astray. “Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink” (verse 9). This is about God’s people, who were spiritually sober but have become “drunk” on false doctrines. They are in a terrible spiritual condition in these latter days.
“For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered” (verse 10). Their eyes were once opened to God’s marvelous truth—this wonder! But God has closed their eyes because they are far from Him. This is a colossal change in God’s own people that deeply disturbs Him.
“And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed” (verse 11). These people did understand God’s Word; they had His revelation. But they turned away from Him, and the Bible became sealed to them. After they had known so much, they could no longer understand it!
When you have the Bible sealed, that is the ultimate catastrophe! So many people today are confused, for example, about all the prophets of the Old Testament—the former prophets, major prophets and minor prophets. One man who was an evangelist in God’s own Church said the prophets were mainly history. That is not true! Prophets wrote those books for the purpose of prophesying. They are filled with prophecy! God desperately wants us to understand this because, as Herbert W. Armstrong always taught, those books are for our day. Ninety percent of prophecy is for today! It is occurring right now. Yet right at the time when it is more relevant than ever, that truth has become sealed to many people who at one time understood it.
What a tragedy! In Revelation 5, there is a vision of the Bible being sealed, “And no man [one] in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon” (verse 3). And the Apostle John wrote, “And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book …” (verse 4). Yes—the Bible being sealed is something to weep about!
But then, in verse 5, “one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” The Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ, could unseal the book. And He promises to do so in this end time.
Did you know that the book of Revelation has been unsealed? God has revealed the meaning of this book. If He hadn’t, we wouldn’t be able to prophesy from Revelation as we do. (Request a free copy of our booklet Unveiled at Last: The Royal Book of Revelation.)
Where has the Bible been unsealed? God says it is your responsibility to prove this to yourself. It’s in the Bible. And the Bible interprets itself, so people can prove these truths if they are willing.
You are going to be a much more motivated person if you have this magnificent wonder. You will be inspired, stirred and moved to do something terrific in your life and for God!
Full of Wonder
Now notice the verse right before Isaiah 29:14: “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men” (verse 13). These people were close to God, but then they “removed their heart” from Him. This is terribly upsetting to God! Then He says, “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people ….” Now, only a little flock, a small remnant, is doing God’s work. Despite so many people leaving Him, God is still going to do amazing things with that group—so amazing it will be a mind-staggering wonder to your mind!
Are you a part of a marvelous work and a wonder? God’s work is filled with excitement, vision and a vivid picture of the future! This is a spiritual phenomenon, and it should fill you with 10,000 times more wonder than the Seven Wonders of the World.
In the first-century era of God’s Church, there was a deacon named Stephen who was “full of faith and of the Holy [Spirit]” (Acts 6:5). This man did a great work for God. Notice: “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people” (verse 8). Stephen was full of faith and God’s power! He was a human being, yet God was able to do great wonders and miracles through him!
God wants to fill you with wonder. That is what He did with Stephen, and that is what He does with His people today.
Do you have wonder in your life? Are you doing a work that fills you with magnificent vision and wonder? If you do, you become a visionary in the right way. We should want to understand Bible prophecy and all the visions of the Bible.
God’s work is a wonder work. This wonder is so much greater than even the Seven Wonders of the World because it inspires and motivates you to do great things for God and yourself all the time.
What a tragedy that so many of God’s own people have lost that wonder in this end time.
Habakkuk’s Double Wonder
Jesus Christ prophesied that there would be seven eras of God’s Church from the time of Christ in the first century down to this last century. You can read about these eras in Revelation 2 and 3. (Prove this truth by reading my book The True History of God’s True Church. All of our literature is free.)
Today we are in the last era, known as the Laodicean era (Revelation 3:14-22). God’s people in this end time have become Laodicean, or spiritually lukewarm. God is going to correct them severely if they do not heed His message.
These lukewarm people rejected the revelation that God had given to Herbert W. Armstrong. We fought a six-year court battle with them to receive the copyrights for Mr. Armstrong’s works, primarily Mystery of the Ages.
Mystery of the Ages is the most important book on Earth next to the Bible because it is a synopsis of what is in the Bible. It reveals seven great mysteries that this world doesn’t understand. The Bible is a mystery to the world. God wants to remove those mysteries. He wants everything to be unsealed. He wants to give us the truth—if we will only accept it! He wants to fill our minds with these visions and these wonders in His work and in the Bible. That is wonderful understanding, and it is made plain in Mystery of the Ages.
The copyright battle we fought for Mystery of the Ages was specifically prophesied in the book of Habakkuk, one of the minor prophets. This book is not just history—it is for our day! As it says in Habakkuk 2:3, “… at the end it shall speak.”
Habakkuk wrote, “The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity [lawlessness], and cause me to behold grievance [injustice]? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife [or, a lawsuit] and contention [a personal or legal contest]” (Habakkuk 1:1-3). The language in this passage is that of a legal battle—a lawsuit. For six years, we had to strive at the law with the organization that owned the copyrights to Mr. Armstrong’s works. Righteous men were being encompassed by unrighteous men, led by an evil man within God’s own Church (verse 4). That was a contentious battle! And for six years, justice was perverted just as Habakkuk prophesied.
Yet in the midst of that contention, God’s little flock, led by a man who was following God, did amazing wonders! The very next verse reads, “Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you” (verse 5). This verse is an important and inspiring verse. And remember, it is within the context of the legal battle over God’s truth.
The Hebrew expression translated “wonder mavellously” means “wonder, wonder.” It is about a double wonder! God’s faithful remnant could not receive justice from the courts—so God delivered it personally!
God is telling His rebellious Church that He will use a faithful remnant to deliver this “double wonder” in the last days—but they won’t have the faith to believe it! That is how alienated they are from God. God is warning them, and they ought to heed!
Habakkuk 1:5 is a fulfillment of Isaiah 29:14! It is a powerful message for all of us about a wonder work.
The Two Wonders, Explained
Another scripture expands on these wonders and helps you understand them more deeply. “For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it” (Habakkuk 2:11). Physically, this verse doesn’t make sense; you can’t even understand it. But God’s faithful remnant does understand it!
Habakkuk 2:11 is very important to comprehend. God has to reveal to us what all this means. It is the single greatest revelation God has given to His Church during this Laodicean era. It inspires and stirs us as perhaps no other verse in the Bible!
As I wrote in my booklet on Habakkuk (request a free copy), the “stone” in this verse is Jesus Christ; He is “the stone of Israel” (Genesis 49:24).
Jesus Christ is the Head of His Church, and He is crying out to His faithful remnant. From where is He crying? “Out of the wall.” Stone, wall, beam and timber are all building materials. God actually has a physical house on Earth today from which He is crying out—but this is primarily referring to the spiritual house of God, which is the Church of God.
The Hebrew word translated “beam” means to join together or connect; it is derived from a root that means “to fasten” and signifies “a connecting girder.” The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary says it is “the cross beam or the main rafter connecting the timbers in the walls.” The beam brings everything together.
Prophetically, the “beam” in this verse is referring to Mystery of the Ages. Everyone needs to read and study Mystery of the Ages because that is how important it is!
The story of how we received the copyright to that book is truly a wonder! (You can read about it in our free book Raising the Ruins.) In fact, that copyright victory is the second of the “double wonder” of Habakkuk 1:5.
The first part of that double wonder relates back to the “stone” of Habakkuk 2:11. Right at the end of our six-year court case we received a physical stone—a rock that Mr. Armstrong had used as a “prayer rock” at the beginning of the Philadelphia era of God’s Church. As I explain in my book The New Throne of David, that stone is a symbol of Jesus Christ. It is closely associated with the throne on which Christ will sit as King of kings, called “the throne of David” (Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32). That stone, and the vision it symbolizes, is truly a wonder!
For generations, God preserved the throne of David in a royal line that ruled over some of the physical descendants of Israel. In this end time, however, God moved that throne to His own Church. He saw corruption and pollution in that throne, and He had to give a new throne of David to His Church to prepare for the return of Jesus Christ! Now, God’s own people will be able to present Christ with a throne, not from a corrupt source, but a throne that has been ruled from righteously and lawfully. That is how God wants it, so it can be presented properly.
The new stone is a symbol of the very throne of David. (Request my book The New Throne of David for more information. It is the most inspiring book we have ever written of the truths God has revealed.) Mr. Armstrong explained the “stone of destiny” in The United States and Britain in Prophecy (which we will send you free at your request), but you must follow that up with The New Throne of David to get the whole story.
This understanding, combined with Mystery of the Ages, fulfills the inspiring prophecy of Habakkuk 1:5. We are talking about a double wonder: Mr. Armstrong’s most important life’s work, Mystery of the Ages, and a new throne for Jesus Christ to sit on!
Read Mystery of the Ages together with The New Throne of David, and this will all be clear to you. I assure you it will. If you read and study these two books and truly understand them, it will fill you with an unparalleled wonder!
This is what God wants us to have: a life full of wonder! He wants each person to be motivated, stirred and moved to declare this magnificent message to God’s people and anyone who is willing to hear it.
God’s faithful remnant today has the answers everybody should be looking for. God has removed all the mystery from the Bible. He has done that now as part of the final preparations for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! We are in the gun lap of this race to the very end! Jesus Christ is about to return! He must return to stop all of the devastating destruction and hate that is overtaking this world. And the wonders He is working within His faithful remnant today are a big part of the solutions He will bring to save all mankind!