I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the incredible beauty, literary genius and historical accuracy of the book of Isaiah, which I’m slowly working through here on weekdays, Monday through Thursday. I think it’s going to take a long time.
Anyway, there is a question about how we know which of Isaiah’s prophecies have already been fulfilled. Some of them are quite obvious: The birth of Jesus Christ, and His suffering and death on the cross. Chapters 7 and 53 are just two of the places that deal with these topics.
Some have confused the Millenial Kingdom prophecies as dealing with heaven, but those prophecies differ widely from descriptions of heaven in the book of Revelation. Those who believe Isaiah’s Millenial prophecies are about heaven generally tend to be amillenial in their theology, meaning they don’t believe in the millenial reign of Jesus here on earth. To accept that position is to ignore Isaiah’s clear foretelling of Jesus’ rebuke of many, and of the rebellions that He deals with quickly and severely during the Kingdom here on earth. The Millenial prophecies also deal with people from nations all over the earth coming to Jerusalem, to the Temple (Isaiah 2). That’s here on earth, not in heaven.
I read once that there is a far future verb tense in the Hebrew language, but further study has convinced me that no such thing exists. Rather, it is the context of the passage and the use of a perfect tense that is the clue to prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled.
I am not a Hebrew scholar. At all. I have to rely on those who are, and who have written textbooks and commentaries explaining all this. What I do know is that taking most of the far future prophecies in Isaiah as referring to the Kingdom rather than to heaven makes the whole book make a lot more sense. Otherwise, we’d have children being born and reared in heaven, and the Bible makes it clear that there will be no marrying or giving in marriage in heaven. Therefore, no babies being born (Matthew 22:30).
As I browsed through some websites this morning, I found several that addressed the topic of verb tense in the Hebrew language. I don’t have the time to read them all, so will not recommend any of them for you. If you’re interested, though, here is what I typed into my Chrome browser: Does the Hebrew language have a far future prophetic tense?
The article I saved for future study is by Jim Haeffele on the website lifehopeandtruth.com. This is not a personal recommendation. I know nothing about this writer, but what I picked up on a scan through his article seemed to make a lot of sense.
One last thought. I do not believe that differing views on eschatology is a matter of salvation. Whatever you and I may disagree on here and now, one of us is going to be very surprised in the long run; however, if we have trusted only the blood of Jesus and His resurrection for our salvation, we’re going to be in heaven together, and we won’t be arguing.
So please, if you don’t agree with me here, and feel you must say so, do it kindly and courteously. And if your comments are longer than my blog post, you may want to consider opening your own blog 🙂