PMW 2023-037 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Isaiah is an important book in Scripture and an invaluable witness to the postmillennial hope. We may see the importance of Isaiah in the following.

Isaiah has been widely used. The book of Isaiah has long been important to God’s people. We see this in several ways. Among the Jews at Qumran, the second most cited book in the Dead Sea Scrolls is Isaiah, exceeded only by Deuteronomy. Not only do we find among these Scrolls a complete, well–preserved Isaiah scroll, but twenty partially-preserved copies. The New Testament alludes to Isaiah 411 times, directly quoting it over fifty times (e.g., Matt. 13:14–15; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:26–27; Rom. 9:29; Heb. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9).

The next three observations explain why Isaiah was so popular to New Testament writers.

Isaiah presents us with an exalted view of God. It especially emphasizes his sovereignty (6:1ff; 24:1–3; 37:15–20; 43:8–11) and his holiness (1:4; 5:16; 30:9–16; 37:23; 43:8–11). And in light of these glorious doctrines, it especially condemns human pride (2:11–18; 14:12–15; 37:23–25; 66:1–3).

Isaiah is strongly eschatological. With its strong emphasize on God’s sovereignty (see above), it repeatedly speaks of the future conversion of the Gentile nations (Isa. 2:2–4; 11:6–10; 19:16–25; 42:1–12; 49:5–6; 60:1–3).

Isaiah is strongly Messianic. Only Psalms has more references to Christ than does Isaiah. Of its many Messianic passages, we may include: 7:10–15; 9:1–7; 8:23–9:6; 11:1–16; 14:28–32; 24:21–23; 32:1–8; 33:17–24; 42:1–4; 49:1–6; 50:4–9; 52:13–53:12; 59:21; 61:1–3, 10–62:7; 63:1–6.

three views millennium

Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (ed. by Darrell Bock)

Presents three views on the millennium: progressive dispensationalist, amillennialist, and reconstructionist postmillennialist viewpoints. Includes separate responses to each view. Ken Gentry provides the postmillennial contribution.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com

And it is especially in Isaiah 2 that we are presented with a robust postmillennial hope. Let us survey a few verses here for our encouragement.

Isa. 2:2–4: This short introductory prophecy is confident (“it will come about,” v. 2a) and powerful (“will be established as the chief of the mountains,” v. 2c–d). It declares the glorious future of God’s people (see 1:27 Note). And it will come despite their present failure (cf. 1:2–31; 2:5–11). As such, it introduces the larger section of prophetic material to follow (2:5–4:6). This brief prophecy is almost identical to Micah’s (Mic. 4:1–3; cf. Joel 3:10). The prophecy was probably original to Isaiah since it is introduced as something which he himself “saw” (Heb., Haza, v. 1), whereas no such statement (“saw”) or personal claim (“the word which Micah saw”) appears in Micah, who apparently borrowed it from Isaiah.

Isa. 2:2b: it will come about that / In the last days. The phrase “the last days” is an important feature of biblical eschatology. The “last days” are the times initiated by Christ at his first coming “in these last days” (Heb. 1:1–2; cp. 1 Cor. 10:11; Gal. 4:4), which began at Pentecost (Acts 2:16, 17, 24). Significantly, this prophecy will transpire “in,” i.e., during or in the course of “the last days,” not after they have been completed. Thus, it is to occur in history during the last days that will end at “the last day” resurrection (John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24). They are the “last” days of earthly history, not the forerunner to a thousand more years of history, as per the premillennial scheme.

Isa. 2:2c–e: The mountain of the house of the LORD. The “house of the LORD” refers to the new covenant church (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19–22; 1 Pet. 2:5), which was “established” (Heb., kun implies of permanent duration) on earth “in the last days” (see 2:2b Note). It is a “mountain” in that it is a city set on a hill (Matt. 5:14; Heb. 12:22). It is to be “the chief of the mountains” (v. 2d) in that it will eventually be the world’s leading influence. Contrary to dispensationalism, this is not to be taken literalistically, as if Jerusalem will physically be elevated higher than Mount Everest (with all the health difficulties that would bring).

Isa. 2:2f: all the nations will stream to it. The final period of redemptive history (see 2:2b Note) that stretches from the first to the second comings of Christ will eventually see the church “established as the chief of the mountains” (v. 2d). Thus, “all the nations will stream to it,” making it a history-changing, international influence, as expected in both the Old Testament (Gen. 12:1–3; 22:17; Psa. 2:6–8; 22:27; 72:5–8; 87:4; 110:1–2; Isa. 9:6–7; Jer. 3:16–17) and the New Testament (John 3:17; Rom. 11:25–27; 1 Cor. 15:20–28; Phil. 2:9–10). This is what we pray for in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:10) and what Jesus teaches us to expect (Matt. 28:18–20; Luke 24:46–47; John 12:32). See 9:7a Note; 11:6–8 Note.

Isa. 2:3–4: That He may teach us concerning His ways. The victory of the church in history will not come about catastrophically as Jesus returns in glory waging war. Rather, it comes about gradually as victory is secured through the powerful suasion of God’s law-word (v. 3b–d) that “goes forth from Zion” (the city of God, Heb. 12:22–28; cp. Matt. 28:18–20; Acts 1:8). It will gradually exercise its influence over “the nations” ( v. 4a) and become the basis of justice among “many peoples” (v. 4b), bringing about an era of worldwide peace (v. 4c–3; see: Psa. 72:8–17; Isa. 9:6–7; 11:9; 19:16–24; Jer. 3:16–17; Dan. 2:44; Mic. 4:1–4).

Isa. 2:6–10
In this portion of the his prophecy, Isaiah draws six contrasts between the world’s glorious future (2:2–4) and Israel’s sinful present: (1) The world will be drawn to righteous Zion (v. 2f), but Zion is currently drawn to the sinful world (v. 6b–d). (2) Many people will gladly go up to the mountain of the Lord (v. 3a–b), whereas Israel will go into the rocks to hide from the terror of the Lord (v. 10). (3) The world will seek to know God (v. 3b–d), whereas God’s people are making their own gods (v. 8). (4) The world will seek spiritual instruction (v. 3d–e), whereas Israel trusts in material wealth (v. 7a–b). (5) The world will be received by God (v. 4a–b), while God’s people are currently abandoned by God (vv. 6a, 9). (6) When the world comes to Zion they will enjoy peace (v. 4c–e), but Zion is now full of the implements of war (v. 7c–d).

Isa. 2:11
“That day” (Isa. 24:21), “the day” (Eze. 30:3), “the day of the Lord” (Isa. 13:9), “the great day of the Lord” (Zeph. 1:14), “a day of reckoning” (Isa. 2:12), “a day of vengeance” (Jer. 46:10), “the last day” (John 12:48), and related phrases point ultimately to the final day of the Lord, i.e., the final judgment. All historical divine judgments are small, local precursors April 19, 2022of the final great day of global judgment. The Old Testament has many singular “day of the Lord” announcements in different historical contexts. Sometimes they are “near” in history (Isa. 13:6, 9; Eze. 30:3; Joel 2:1; 3:14; Zeph. 1:7, 14). Yet they are unified by the fact that they are all distant pictures of the final day of the Lord. In the OT we have several “Day of the Lord” events: against Babylon (Isa. 13:9–10), Jerusalem (Joel 2:1), and others. Each of these is a pointer to the final cay of the Lord (2 Pet. 3:10–12), though each OT version is spoken of as “the” (singular) day of the Lord. This is much like our spiritual resurrection in salvation (John 5:24-25; 1 John 3:14) pointing to our final resurrection at the end of history (Acts 17:30–31). Or like the Christian’s being a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15), which is a picture of the consummate new creation (2 Pet. 3:10).

Why I Left Full-Preterism (by Samuel M. Frost)

Former leader in Full Preterist movement, Samuel M. Frost, gives his testimony and theological reasoning as to why he left the heretical movement. Good warning to others tempted to leave orthodox Christianity.

See more study materials at: KennethGentry.com

THE TWO AGES AND OLIVET (advertisement)Goodbirth logo color
I am currently researching a study of the Two-Age structure of redemptive history. My starting point is based on the disciples’ questions to Jesus in Matthew 24:3. Much confusion reigns among those unacquainted with the Two-Age analysis of history, which was promoted by Jesus (Matt. 12:32; Mark 10:29-30) and by Paul (Gal. 1:4; Eph. 1:21). The Two Ages are not the old covenant and the new covenant, but world history since the fall and the consummate order following the Second Coming and the Final Judgment.

If you would like to support me in my research, I invite you to consider giving a tax-deductible contribution to my research and writing ministry: GoodBirth Ministries. Your help is much appreciated!

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