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.
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.