I am taking these articles from the internet version of my paper titled "Verse-by-Verse Studies of Selected Eschatological Prophecies from the Book of Isaiah: Most of These Prophecies Deal with God's Salvation Plans for the Remnants of Israel and of the Nations After His End-Time Judgment of the World." Isaiah chapters 24-27, which were included in the original version of the paper, are not included here. Those chapters are already included on this Christian article site under the title "Isaiah's Little Apocalypse." The paper was originally published in 2000, and the internet version of that paper, which was very similar to the original version, was put on my internet site (karlkempteachingministries.com) in 2007. The original version and the internet version are both 112 pages. I was able to use bold, footnotes, italics, underlining, and small caps in the original and internet versions of the paper, but not on the Christian article sites.
All Bible quotations were taken from the New American Standard Bible, 1995 edition, unless noted otherwise. Sometimes I use double brackets [[ ]] and (( )) to make them more obvious.
I am including the Contents of the version of the paper that is on my internet site, which includes a listing of the passages discussed in that version, and the Introduction:
CONTENTS (of the original version of the paper):
Isaiah Chapter 2..... 4
Isaiah 9:1-7..... 8
Isaiah Chapter 11..... 16
Isaiah 13:6-13..... 22
Isaiah Chapter 14..... 23
Isaiah 15:9-16:5..... 29
Isaiah Chapter 17..... 31
Isaiah Chapter 18..... 34
Isaiah 19:4, 16-25..... 39
Isaiah 21:6-12..... 43
Isaiah Chapter 24..... 46
Isaiah Chapter 25..... 51
A Study of Isaiah 65:17-25..... 56
Isaiah Chapter 26..... 60
Isaiah Chapter 27..... 70
Isaiah 10:20-23 and Romans 9:27-29..... 73
Isaiah 59:19-21 and Romans 11:25-27..... 75
Isaiah Chapter 29..... 79
Isaiah Chapter 42..... 83
Isaiah 44:1-5..... 89
Isaiah 45:14-25..... 91
Isaiah Chapter 49..... 98
Isaiah 66:9-24..... 105
Other Verses that Are Discussed in this Paper:
Exodus 3:13-15 and the names "Yahweh" and "I AM"..... 85
Genesis 32:28 and the name "Israel"..... 98
Isaiah 4:2..... 16
Isaiah 7:14..... 8
Isaiah 40:31..... 107
Isaiah 51:16..... 76
Isaiah 32:12-20..... 80
John 3:6..... 66
Revelation 21:2-4..... 54
INTRODUCTION for the 112 page version of the paper on Isaiah that is on my internet site:
I consider it a great privilege to be able to study the Bible, very much including the book of Isaiah. There is a reason that Isaiah is sometimes called the "Prince of the Prophets." The prophecies of Isaiah are full of important revelation. The prophecies regarding the Lord Jesus Christ, by themselves, and there are many of them, would suffice to make this a very significant book of the Bible. For one thing, the prophecies regarding Christ that have already been fulfilled suffice to confirm that the Bible is a very special book, a unique book, the Word of God. Also, there are significant prophecies in the book of Isaiah that don't directly deal with Christ that have already been fulfilled (cf., e.g., Isa. 44:28-45:7; 36:1-39:8).
The book of Isaiah deals a lot with eschatology (the study of the last things; for example, end-time judgment, resurrection, and glorification), and every passage we will study in this paper deals to a substantial extent with eschatology. The book of Isaiah deals extensively with mankind's one great problem, the sin problem, including God's ultimate solution to the sin problem in the unbelievable sacrifice of His Son, the Messiah (see Isaiah 52:13-53:12 [I had a footnote here: Many key verses from this very important passage are discussed in my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin."]). It prophesies of the ultimate glorification of God's people (the elect of true Israel and the elect of the nations) and the glorification of His creation through the Lord Jesus Christ, but it also speaks of His end-time judgment of the world through Him. (("True Israel" embraces all the believers from the Old Testament days (back to the time of the creation of man) and all true Christians (whether from Jewish or Gentile backgrounds), very much including the end-time remnant of the people of Israel (e.g., "all Israel will be saved" [Rom. 11:26]). Gentile Christians have been grafted into God's true Israel (Rom. 11:17-24). From the time that the end-time remnant of Israel submit to the Lord Jesus and become Christians, I don't believe there will be any distinction between Israel and Christians. Both will be part of God's true Israel, the woman of Revelation chapter 12, forever. (Revelation chapter 12 is discussed in my book, "The Mid-Week Rapture" and in article #s 7-12 in my "The Mid-Week Rapture" series on this Christian article site.) God will keep all the promises He made to Israel, and Jerusalem - eventually new Jerusalem - will be His city and the city for the people of true Israel.)) Almost every prophecy that we will study in this paper includes God's end-time judgment of the world.
In my eschatological paper dated November 1998 (that paper was split up into several papers on my internet site: "Matthew Chapters 24 and 25"; "1 Corinthians Chapter 15"; "Revelation Chapters 20-22"; and "More Regarding God's Salvation Plans for the Nations"), I dealt rather extensively with the important, but controversial, topic of God's salvation plans for the nations (the nations being distinct from true Israel). There is rather widespread agreement (but many Christians disagree) that God will leave a remnant of the nations after His end-time judgment of the world to enter the millennial kingdom. ((I had a two-paragraph footnote: A large numbers of prophecies in the Old Testament, including many of the prophecies of Isaiah that we will study in this paper, demonstrate this point (see section 1 of my paper, "More Regarding God's Salvation Plans for the Nations," which is available on my internet site [Google to Karl Kemp Teaching]; the other three papers are available on my internet site and on this Christian article site), but most such prophecies don't differentiate between the millennial kingdom and the eternal state that will follow the millennial kingdom.
The New Testament doesn't have much to say regarding God's salvation plans for the nations (Matt. 25:31-46 being one important exception) until we get to the last book, the book of Revelation. That book, which is so very important for the study of eschatology, makes it clear that God will leave a remnant of the nations (again, the nations being distinct from true Israel) after His end-time judgment of the world to enter the millennial kingdom (especially see Rev. 15:3, 4; 20:3). It also makes it clear that there will be a millennial kingdom before the eternal state with its new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem that are pictured in Revelation chapters 21, 22.))
In that paper ("More Regarding God's Salvation Plans for the Nations"), I also opted for the viewpoint (without being dogmatic) that the names of some of the peoples of the nations who are resurrected at the end of the millennial kingdom to be judged at the great-white-throne judgment (Rev. 20:5, 11-15) will be found in the book of life. (This would not include any people who had been adequately confronted with the gospel and rejected it.) In other words, they are chosen/elect of God for salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Rev. 21:27). They will have a place in God's glorified new earth in the eternal state as part of the nations (see Rev. 21:2-4; 21:24-22:3). (My paper on Revelation chapters 20-22 is available on my internet site and this Christian article site.) True Israel will reign with the Lord Jesus Christ, which includes reigning over the nations throughout the millennial kingdom (e.g., Rev. 20:4, 6) and apparently in the eternal state (e.g., Rev. 22:3-5). Revelation 22:5 makes it clear that we will reign forever and ever.
In sections 1 and 2 of my paper "More Regarding God's Salvation Plans for the Nations" (which is on my internet site), I leaned rather heavily on some of the prophecies of Isaiah, but I didn't discuss those prophecies in much detail; some of them I just listed. One primary purpose for this present paper is to take a more detailed look at some of those prophecies. The book of Isaiah is literally packed with important eschatological prophecies. Many of the prophecies center in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah. I'm not attempting to discuss all the eschatological prophecies of the book of Isaiah in this present paper, but we will study some of the most important prophecies that deal with God's salvation plans for the nations. Having studied these prophecies in more detail in this paper, I still believe (without being dogmatic) that what I said in the November 1998 paper is correct, as far as it goes; but I don't believe we have all the answers yet on this rather important topic, or the fully balanced truth. We don't really need to have all the answers on this topic; God will take care of the details.
The most important part of Isaiah regarding God's salvation plans for the nations is chapters 24-27, which is often referred to as "Isaiah's Apocalypse" or "Isaiah's Little Apocalypse," especially regarding His apparent plans to ultimately save some of the peoples of the nations; peoples who lived on the earth throughout the history of mankind; peoples who were not, and never will become, part of God's true Israel ((I had a footnote: I'm speaking of the elect among those who will be resurrected to stand before God at the great-white-throne judgment, who will have their names found in the Lamb's book of life, assuming that there are such people, which I do assume. The majority view among evangelical Christians is that none of the people resurrected to be judged at the great-white-throne judgment will have their names found in the book of life, but the trend has been changing.))
I suppose it could be said that Isaiah chapters 24-27 are at the heart of this paper (referring to the version on my internet site), but the other passages included in this paper include very much important eschatological information relevant to the topic of God's salvation plans for the nations (and relevant to other important eschatological topics), and they help interpret Isaiah chapters 24-27. For one thing, there is widespread agreement that Isaiah chapters 24-27 build on chapters 13-23. I have included at least most of the relevant portions of chapters 13-23 in this paper. Also, the content of Isaiah chapters 24-27 is closely related to most of the content of the other passages dealt with in this paper.
This paper is not at all limited to the topic of God's salvation plans for the nations. In these verse-by-verse studies we will deal with many other eschatological topics, especially God's salvation plans for true Israel. And we will study some of the most important Old Testament prophecies regarding the Person of the Son of God, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. (See Isaiah 9:1-7; chapter 11; 15:9; 16:5; chapter 42; chapter 49; and 59:19-21 [Some other verses are listed under Isa. 59:21; Isa. 59:19-21 are discussed in the chapter on Isaiah chapter 27 on my internet site.].)
Even though I deal with quite a few important eschatological passages from the book of Isaiah in this paper, the book of Isaiah is so filled with such passages that I didn't begin to cover all such passages - I didn't even cover half of them. Some of the passages I'm skipping in this paper are discussed to some extent in my paper "More Regarding God's Salvation Plans for the Nations." Also, other key passages from Isaiah are discussed in my two books. See the listing of the passages of Scripture discussed at the front of the books, "The Mid-Week Rapture" and "Holiness and Victory Over Sin."
May God's good will be accomplished through this paper and His people be edified! All glory to God, the triune God!
ISAIAH CHAPTER 2.
"The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. [[This heading apparently covers chapters 2-4 of the book of Isaiah. As we will see, Isaiah chapter 2 prophesies concerning far more than Judah/Israel and Jerusalem. In this chapter we see God's end-time judgment of the world. A primary point made in this significant prophecy is that the humbled, repentant remnant of the nations (the nations being distinct from true Israel) that are left after this judgment will turn to God, whose kingdom on the earth will be centered at Jerusalem (see Isa. 2:2-4). The humbled, repentant end-time remnant of Judah/Israel will have already turned to God and submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ. When the end-time remnant of Israel/Judah become Christians, they will be grafted into the tree of God's true Israel (cf. Rom. 11:23-27). ((I had a footnote: "True Israel" embraces all true believers from Old Testament days (who will, I believe, be resurrected and glorified at the time of Christ's mid-week return) and all true Christians (including those converted in time to be taken in the mid-week rapture and those converted after the rapture, very much including the end-time remnant of Israel: "all Israel will be saved" [Rom. 11:26]).)) By the beginning of the millennial kingdom, Jerusalem (along with all the members of God's true Israel of all generations) will have been glorified. ((I had a footnote: I'm not suggesting that the glory of Jerusalem during the millennial kingdom will be comparable with the glory of new Jerusalem as it will exist in the eternal state, as it is pictured in Revelation chapters 21, 22. For a discussion regarding the reign of true Israel and the time this reign will begin, see under Rev. 20:4 in my paper on Revelation chapters 20-22. Under Rev. 20:2-6 in that paper, I discussed God's salvation plans for the nations.)) All the members of true Israel will be reigning with Christ throughout the millennium, and forever.
If we were limited to the information contained in Isaiah chapter 2, we wouldn't speak of the millennial kingdom; we would speak of God's eternal kingdom that begins after His end-time judgment of the world. This same truth applies to many other prophecies by Isaiah and by other prophets. But there are several Old Testament prophecies that fit the idea that there will be an intermediate kingdom (or a preliminary stage of the eternal kingdom) before we reach the eternal kingdom/state (e.g., Isa. 65:20-22 [Isa. 65:17-25 are discussed in the chapter on Isaiah chapter 25 in my paper on Isaiah on my internet site]; Dan. 7:12), and Revelation chapters 20-22 show that there will be an intermediate kingdom (the millennial kingdom) followed by the great-white-throne judgment before we get to the eternal state, which is pictured in Revelation chapters 21, 22. Revelation chapter 20 is the only passage in the Bible that mentions that the intermediate kingdom will last for a thousand years).]] (2) [See Mic. 4:1-3.] Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD [Yahweh] Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. [[Much of the book of Isaiah is poetry in the Hebrew, including all of chapter 2, except for the first verse. The format of the NASB shows that it is poetry by printing each line separately, with each line beginning with a capital letter. With the format I'm using in this paper, I'm not able to print each line separately, but I do retain the capital letters that the NASB uses at the beginning of each line. There are six lines here in verse 2, starting with the words "Now," "In," "The," "Will," "And," and "And."
After God's end-time judgment of the world, the humbled, repentant remnant of the nations will turn to God. The "house of the LORD" refers to the temple at Jerusalem, which was the center of worship for Israel in Isaiah's day. Many Christians believe that there will be a literal temple in Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom. Some prophecies could certainly be understood in that literal sense (including the verse we are discussing and Ezekiel chapters 40-48), but I doubt that there will be a literal temple at that time. Revelation 21:22 shows that there won't be a temple in new Jerusalem in the eternal state that follows the millennium. God Himself (including God the Son) will be the temple. Isaiah (and Ezekiel in chapter 40-48) was apparently speaking of worshiping God in terms that would be appropriate under the old-covenant and would be understood. Even if there is a literal temple during the millennial kingdom, I feel confident that there won't be any literal sacrifices offered in it, including what some call memorial sacrifices. All such sacrifices have been rendered obsolete by the One Sacrifice on Mount Calvary.
It is true, of course, that a temple will be built in the last days at Jerusalem and that sacrifices will be offered in it (the temple will at least be rebuilt to some extent, if not fully rebuilt), but I don't believe that that temple will have any role in the millennial kingdom. We can see the rebuilt temple in Dan. 8:11-14; 9:27; 12:11; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4; and Rev. 11:1, 2. The temple must be there for Antichrist to enter and to stop the sacrifices at the abomination of desolation. Isaiah 66:1-8 are quite relevant regarding the rebuilding of the temple in the last days. (These verses are discussed in chapter 16 of my book, "The Mid-Week Rapture.")
All that some Bible commentators see here in Isa. 2:2-4 is Gentiles coming to spiritual Jerusalem/Zion during this present age as they become Christians. I might be able to leave some room for that viewpoint as a secondary interpretation, but it seems clear to me that these verses speak of the nations coming to God AFTER HIS END-TIME JUDGMENT OF THE WORLD, which is a very common prophetic theme, as this paper demonstrates. See section 1 of my paper "More Regarding God's Salvation Plans for the Nations." The heading there is "Some Passages that Demonstrate that God Will Leave Many People from the Nations After His End-time Judgment (at the end of Daniel's 70th week); this remnant of the nations will enter the millennial kingdom, and they (at least many of them) will be converted. Ultimately the nations will have a place in God's eternal kingdom (which starts after the millennium)." As I understand the Scriptures, the converted remnant of the nations will always be distinct from true Israel, which will be reigning with Christ throughout the millennium, and then throughout eternity. For one thing, true Israel will be reigning over the nations.]] (3) And many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD [Yahweh], To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.' For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD [Yahweh] from Jerusalem. (4) [["In its attempt to foster peace among nations, the United Nations uses verse 4 as a motto. From a different perspective, Israel sometimes displays part of verse 3 in front of the sacred Western Wall in Jerusalem: 'The Law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.' Both dreams will be fully realized only during the millennial rule of Christ" (Herbert M. Wolf, "Interpreting Isaiah" (Zondervan, 1985), page 77).]] And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples [[Compare Isa. 11:1-10; 51:4, 5. It will prove to be a great blessing for the "many peoples" (the remnant of "the nations" that will be left alive on the earth when God's end-time judgment is over, at the end of Daniel's 70th week) when they submit to God and His reign. God's end-time judgments will not be totally finished until after the great-white-throne judgment at the end of the millennium.]]; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war. [[Compare Zech. 9:10. Based on the subsequent, much-fuller revelation contained in the book of Revelation, we know that this prophecy regarding no more war won't come to pass in the full and final sense until after the millennial kingdom. (See Rev. 20:7-10; Ezekiel chapters 38, 39.) Many details regarding God's ultimate plans are revealed in more detail as time moves on, from prophet to prophet; His revelation is progressive.]] (5) Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD [Yahweh]. [[God's people of all generations are exhorted to be faithful to Him and His Word. He always takes care of those who stay faithful to Him (cf., e.g., Isa. 3:10), and they will have an exalted place (even a place of reigning with Him) in His eternal kingdom.]] (6) For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with influences from the east, And they are soothsayers like the Philistines [cf. 2 Kings 1:2; 1 Sam. 6:2], And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners. (7) Their land has also been filled with silver and gold And there is no end to their treasures; Their land has also been filled with horses And there is no end to their chariots. (8) Their land has also been filled with idols; They worship the work of their hands, That which their fingers have made. [[Isaiah 2:6-8 speak of sins that were common in Israel in the days of Isaiah. They learned many of these sins from the nations/Gentiles. Verse 7 demonstrates that financial prosperity doesn't prove that things are right with God (cf., e.g., Rev. 3:17, 18).]] (9) So the common man has been humbled And the man of importance has been abased, But do not forgive them. [[I'll give the translation of the NIV for this verse and comment on that translation because I believe it better communicates what was intended. (The Hebrew verbs are not easy to translate here.) "So man will be brought low and mankind humbled - do not forgive them." With this translation, the verbs look to the still future, end-time, worldwide judgment spoken of verses 10-22. One reason that God cannot just forgive them is that (the remnants of) Israel and the nations won't be ready to repent until after very intense judgment and the other things that God will do in His end-time judgment of the world to help wake up the remnant of man/mankind (for example, the rapture).]] (10) Enter the rock and hide in the dust From the terror of the LORD [Yahweh] and from the splendor of His majesty. [Cf. Isa. 2:19, 21; Rev. 6:15-17.] (11) The proud look of man will be abased And the loftiness of man will be humbled, And the LORD [Yahweh] alone will be exalted in that day. [[Compare Isa. 2:11-22; 13:11; 23:9; and 24:13-16a. The humbling of man is a big part of what God's end-time judgment of the world is meant to accomplish. Many (those who are unrepentant) will be removed by judgment, but many will be humbled through judgment (and other things, like the rapture), and they will repent and submit to God. This includes the conversion of the end-time remnant of Israel (they won't become Christians until after the rapture) and the remnant of the nations. (God's end-time judgment will also fall on Christians to the extent they are living in sin.) There will be no room for pride in God's eternal kingdom; God (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) alone will be exalted and worshipped.]] (12) For the LORD [Yahweh] of hosts will have a day of reckoning Against everyone who is proud And lofty and against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased. [Cf., e.g., Isa. 24:4.] (13) And it will be against all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and lifted up, Against all the oaks of Bashan [The "cedars of Lebanon" and the "oaks of Bashan" are used here as symbols of that which is lofty and proud (cf. Isa. 14:8; 37:24; Ezek. 31:3; and Zech. 11:1, 2).], (14) Against all the lofty mountains, Against all the hills that are lifted up, (15) Against every high tower, Against every fortified wall [cf., e.g., Isa. 25:12], (16) Against all the ships of Tarshish [["...the largest known ships, capable of the greatest voyages. Such ships demonstrated human triumph over environmental forces and human enterprise creating commercial empires (Ezek. 28:2-5)" (J. Alec Motyer, "Isaiah" [Inter-Varsity Press, 1999], page 54).]] And against all the beautiful craft. (17) The pride of man will be humbled And the loftiness of men will be abased; And the LORD [Yahweh] alone will be exalted in that day, (18) But the idols will completely vanish. (19) Men will go into caves of the rocks And into holes of the ground Before the terror of the LORD [Yahweh] And the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble. [Cf. Isa. 2:10, 21; 13:13; 24:1, 19, 20; Hag. 2:6, 7; Heb. 12:26-28; Rev. 6:12-17; and 16:18-20.] (20) In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats Their idols of silver and their idols of gold, Which they made for themselves to worship [[I'll quote part of what Page H. Kelley said regarding idolatry under Isa. 2:18-22 ("Broadman Bible Commentary," Vol. 5 [Broadman Press, 1971], page 197). "An idol has been defined as any philosophical concept or material object that becomes a substitute for God. The essence of idolatry, therefore, is the setting of something less than God in the place of God. It is the denial of God's claim to absolute lordship over one's life. Let us not delude ourselves into thinking that we can hold on to God with one hand and to some cherished idol with the other. At the heart of the Scriptures stands the injunction: 'Choose you this day whom you will serve.' "]], (21) In order to go into the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs Before the terror of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble. [See Isa. 2:19.] (22) Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; For why should he be esteemed?" [[Jeremiah 17:5 says, "Thus says the LORD, 'Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD.' " It seems that people are very slow to learn (many never do learn) that God requires His people to look to Him for what they need, and to worship Him, and Him alone.]]
This is one of the most important of the prophecies about the Messiah/Christ (the Anointed One) in the Old Testament. It builds on the prophecy of Isa. 7:14, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel [which in Hebrew means "God with us"]." (See Isa. 8:8; Matt. 1:23.) One thing that makes this prophecy of Isaiah 9:1-7 so significant is that it speaks of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ (Isa. 9:6).
Some other key prophecies concerning Christ in the Old Testament are GENESIS 3:15 (The Seed of the woman will totally overthrow [crush] Satan and his kingdom [cf. Rom. 16:20]); PSALM 2 (God's anointed Son will reign; we see His resurrection and birth into eternal glory in Psalm 2:7 [cf. Acts 4:25, 26; 13:33, 34; and Heb. 1:5; 5:5]); PSALM 16:8-11 (We see His resurrection [cf. Acts 2:22-28; 13:35]); PSALM 22 (We see His all-important crucifixion, including His being mocked [Psalm 22:6-8; cf. Matt. 27:39-44; Mark 15:28-32; and Luke 23:35-37], His hands and feet being pierced [Psalm 22:16; cf. Matt. 27:35; John 20:25], and lots being cast for His clothing [Psalm 22:18; cf. Matt. 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; and John 19:23, 24], and there is more); PSALM 110:1 (David's Lord sits at the Father's right hand until it is time for Him to return to subdue His enemies [cf., e.g., Matt. 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44; Acts 2:33-36; 1 Cor. 15:25; and Heb. 1:13; 10:12, 13]); PSALM 110:4 (He, the sacrificed Lamb of God, becomes, on the basis of that Sacrifice, our great high-priest according the order of Melchizedek [cf. Heb. 5:6, 9, 10; 6:20; 7:17, 21, 22]);
We will continue with this listing of prophecies concerning Christ in the Old Testament as we continue this study in Part 2.