This is the sixth in a short series of posts dealing with the proper interpretation of Old Testament Kingdom Prophecy (OTKP). If you’re new to this subject (or to my blog), you will want to read the essay with which I introduced the series (just click here).

My goal in this eschatological adventure is two-fold.

First, I want to open up something of the Christ-centered truth and beauty of OTKP to my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Secondly, I want to reason a little with my premillennial brethren. In particular, I want to make the case that we all will best understand, enjoy, and profit from OTKP when we see that its true sphere of fulfillment is: 1) Christ, 2) the New Covenant he instituted by his blood, 3) the two-staged spiritual Kingdom he has already introduced (and will soon consummate), and, 4) the New Covenant community he is creating out of elect Jews and Gentiles: the Church.

In short, I would like my premillennial brothers to reconsider the amillennial approach to the interpretation of OTKP.

Since the end of the age will soon be upon us, it is important that we stand together as much as possible. Seeing eye to eye on eschatology would definitely help. These essays—and the book in progress from which they are extracted—represent my best effort at contributing to that worthy goal.

Since the prophetic texts I deal with are quite long, I have not reproduced them here. You will need to bring an open Bible to each blog. My hope and prayer is that you will enjoy them all.

 

Prisoners in the Dungeon — Isaiah 24:21-23

 

(21) On that day, the LORD will punish (lit., visit) the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. (22) And they will be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in a pit (or, dungeon), and will be shut up in a prison. And after many days they will be punished (or, visited). (23) Then the moon will be confounded, and the sun ashamed, for the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem; and his glory will be before his elders.

——————

This short but challenging OTKP appears in the midst a long section of Isaiah devoted to the end-time judgments of God (24:1-27:13). In the verses immediately preceding our text, the prophet has spoken of the final destruction of the earth (vv. 17-20). Then, as the telltale phrase “In that Day” indicates, a new prophecy begins, a prophecy that only three verses later brings the entire chapter to a close (24:21-23).

Many premillennial interpreters find here an OT adumbration of the millennium of Revelation 20. In verse 21 they see the binding of Satan (and his demonic hosts) at Christ’s return (Rev. 20:2). In verse 22a they see Satan’s one thousand year incarceration in the abyss. And in the “visitation” of verse 22b they see his postmillennial release (Rev. 20:3, 7), followed shortly thereafter by his final destruction in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). Reading verse 23 literally, they assert that Isaiah concludes by depicting the glory of Christ’s earthly reign on literal Mt. Zion and in literal Jerusalem; his reign in a supernaturally transformed (but as yet unperfected) Palestine.

There are, however, some serious problems with this interpretation.

 

Read More

This is the fifth in a short series of posts dealing with the proper interpretation of Old Testament Kingdom Prophecy (OTKP). If you’re new to this subject (or to my blog), you will want to read the essay with which I introduced the series (just click here). My goal in this eschatological adventure is two-fold. First, I want to open up something of the Christ-centered truth and beauty of OTKP to my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Secondly, I want to reason a little with my premillennial brethren. In particular, I want to make the case that we all will best understand, enjoy, and profit from OTKP when we see that its true sphere of fulfillment is: 1) Christ, 2) the New Covenant he instituted by his blood, 3) the two-staged spiritual Kingdom he has already introduced (and will soon consummate), and, 4) the New Covenant community he is creating out of elect Jews and Gentiles: the Church. In short, I would like my premillennial brothers to reconsider the amillennial approach to the interpretation of OTKP. Since the end of the age will soon be upon us, it is important that we stand together as much as possible. Seeing eye to eye on eschatology would definitely help. These essays—and the book in progress from which they are extracted—represent my best effort at contributing to that worthy goal.

Isaiah 11:1-16

We must examine this OTKP at length, seeing that it is likely the single most popular OT bastion of premillennialism. Scofield asserts, “This chapter is a prophetic picture of the glory of the future kingdom, which will be set up when David’s Son returns in glory.” Walvoord agrees, saying, “Isaiah 11 paints the graphic picture of the reign of Christ on earth, a scene which cannot be confused with the present age, the intermediate state (i.e., heaven), or the eternal state, if interpreted in any normal literal sense.” Grudem advances the same argument, observing, “It does seem, therefore, that (here in Isaiah 11) the eternal state has not begun, yet the reversal of nature far exceeds anything that will happen in this present age. Does this not indicate a future millennial kingdom?” The answer to Grudem’s question is, “Yes, it might indicate a millennial kingdom, if Isaiah had said anything at all about one thousand years; if the NT had given us liberty to interpret this Kingdom prophecy in ‘any normal literal sense;’ and if we were not under strict NT orders to recognize that the true sphere of fulfillment of all OTKP is the New Covenant in Christ, the two-staged Kingdom it introduces, and the Church that it creates. Let us therefore once again take in hand the NCH, and let us see once again how illuminating and uplifting this approach can be for the NT people of God.

Read More

 

This is the fourth in a short series of posts dealing with the proper interpretation of Old Testament Kingdom Prophecy (OTKP). If you’re new to this subject (or to my blog), you will want to read the essay with which I introduced the series (just click here).

My goal in this eschatological adventure is two-fold.

First, I want to open up something of the Christ-centered truth and beauty of OTKP to my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Secondly, I want to reason a little with my premillennial brethren. In particular, I want to make the case that we all will best understand, enjoy, and profit from OTKP when we see that its true sphere of fulfillment is: 1) Christ, 2) the New Covenant he instituted by his blood, 3) the two-staged spiritual Kingdom he has already introduced (and will soon consummate), and, 4) the New Covenant community he is creating out of elect Jews and Gentiles: the Church.

In short, I would like my premillennial brothers to reconsider the amillennial approach to the interpretation of OTKP.

Since the end of the age will soon be upon us, it is important that we stand together as much as possible. Seeing eye to eye on eschatology would definitely help. These essays—and the book in progress from which they are extracted—represent my best effort at contributing to that worthy goal.

Isaiah 4:2-6

Viewed in NT perspective, this short, picturesque OTKP speaks powerfully of the election, redemption, regeneration, sanctification, and glorification of the Church. Alas, premillennarians like C. I. Scofield bar the way to such panoramic vistas, asserting that these rich promises belong exclusively to a latter-day Jewish remnant that will enter the Millennium immediately after Christ’s second coming.

Now this conclusion would be reasonable enough, if we could approach the text literally. We have seen, however, that the NT disallows it. Moreover, as soon as we do approach it literally, telltale problems immediately arise.

Read More

 

This is the third in a short series of posts dealing with the proper interpretation of Old Testament Kingdom Prophecy (OTKP). If you’re new to this subject (or to my blog), you will want to read the essay with which I introduced the series (just click here).

My goal in this eschatological adventure is two-fold.

First, I want to open up something of the Christ-centered truth and beauty of OTKP to my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Secondly, I want to reason a little with my premillennial brethren. In particular, I want to make the case that we all will best understand, enjoy, and profit from OTKP when we see that its true sphere of fulfillment is: 1) Christ, 2) the New Covenant he instituted by his blood, 3) the two-staged spiritual Kingdom he has already introduced (and will soon consummate), and, 4) the New Covenant community he is creating out of elect Jews and Gentiles: the Church.

In short, I would like my premillennial brothers to reconsider the amillennial approach to the interpretation of OTKP.

Since the dramatic closing scenes of the end of the age will soon be upon us, it is vital that Christians stand together as much as possible. Seeing eye to eye on eschatology would definitely help. These essays—and the book in progress from which they are extracted—represent my best effort at contributing to that worthy goal.

Since the prophetic texts I deal with are usually quite long, I have not reproduced them here. You will need to bring an open Bible to each blog. My hope and prayer is that you enjoy them all.

Psalm 72

This is another royal psalm, frequently cited as a bastion of premillennial truth.

John Walvoord writes, “Psalm 72 is an unusually complete picture of the millennial reign of Christ . . . The psalm as a whole pictures the peace and righteousness and universal rule of the King of whom it is predicted, ‘Yea, all kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall serve him.’”

Similarly, Wayne Grudem states, “(This psalm) speaks of an age far different from the present age, but short of the eternal state in which there is no more sin or suffering.” In other words, it speaks of the millennium.

However, a close look at the psalm itself seems to tell a different story.

Read More

 

This is the second in a short series of posts dealing with the proper interpretation of Old Testament Kingdom Prophecy (OTKP). If you’re new to this subject (or to my blog), you will want to read the essay with which I introduced the series (just click here).

My goal in this eschatological adventure is two-fold.

First, I want to open up something of the Christ-centered truth and beauty of OTKP to my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Secondly, I want to reason a little with my premillennial brethren. In particular, I want to make the case that we will best understand, enjoy, and profit from OTKP when we see that its true sphere of fulfillment is: 1) Christ, 2) the New Covenant he instituted, 3) the two-staged spiritual Kingdom he has already introduced (but not yet consummated), and 4) the New Covenant community he is creating out of elect Jews and Gentiles: the Church.

In short, I would like my premillennial brothers to reconsider the amillennial approach to OTKP.

Since the end of the age will soon be upon us, it is important that we stand together as much as possible. Seeing eye to eye on eschatology would definitely help. These essays—and the book in progress from which they are extracted—represent my best effort at contributing to that worthy end.

Since the prophetic texts I deal with are quite long, I have not reproduced them here. You will need to bring an open Bible to each blog. My hope and prayer is that you will enjoy them all.

Psalm 2

This is the first of several royal or Messianic psalms (Psalms 2, 18, 20, 45, 72, 89, 110). As a rule, they feature an immediate reference to an earthly king, subtly blended with eschatological references to the coming Messianic King. Such is the case here. Psalm 2 has an OT fulfillment, presumably in the person of King David. But as the NT makes clear, it also has a far richer fulfillment in Christ (Acts 4:25-27, 13:33, Heb. 1:5, 5:5, Rev. 12:5). Here, I will focus exclusively on the Messianic meaning.

Read More