As Christians of the 21st Century, our vantage point as interpreters of prophecy is radically different from believers in the Old Testament (Matt. 11:11). From the mighty loft of the New Covenant, we must look back upon the vast terrain of valleys and mountains that has led hereunto (Heb. 11:39-40). In doing so, one prophet will stand out among the rest: Isaiah. Of all the Seers of bygone ages, Isaiah stood the highest and looked the furthest from the prophetic perch of mountain peaks. This makes him a truly marvelous prophet. Somehow, or someway, the man even sees beyond our current dispensation of the Gospel - which only temporarily exists according to the mysteries of the Gentile Church Age (Rom. 11:25).
In retrospect, upon discovering the shortcomings of the 1st Restoration Generation & 2nd Restoration Generation, it is apparent that a far greater percentage of Isaiah is exclusively eschatological in comparison to all other prophets. Meaning, Isaiah’s prophecies are strikingly illustrative of otherwise unconveyed details that will be ultimately and exclusively fulfilled in and around the 7th Vial, the 2nd Advent War that follows, the Regathering & Restoration of the Jews to Jerusalem, and the Millennial Reign thereafter, according to the Prophetic Calendar set forth by all the prophets. Isaiah does prophesy about the Day of the LORD through Spiritual Babylon and the Great Tribulation brought about by the Antichrist, but his address of these subjects is minimal compared to his focus on the End of the World from the 7 Vials and onward.
Unlike Isaiah, other Old Testament Prophets focus on the Day of the LORD through Babylon & the Great Tribulation as a primary burden in a single-sensed and or a double-sensed fashion. Therefore, Isaiah stands alone in the mantle of prophecy divinely bestowed upon him: namely, in that his eyes are made to look more frequently beyond the foresight of others, and in the looking after these things he glances backwards much less than others. Isaiah’s prophecies of the calendared events of the Last Days exhibited greater detail in longer durations of unintermittent renderings of future happenings. However, this does not mean that there aren’t inferior and pastime fulfillments of many of Isaiah’s prophecies, some of which are exclusively historical, but it is resoundingly evident that many if not most of these pastime fulfillments were not the literal, physical, and ultimate aim of the word spoken! My reader, please understand: what I am trying to communicate is utterly inconceivable without first understanding the situation in, around, and following the 7th Vial of Revelation 16:17-21.
Amidst the ongoing divine utterances of Isaiah a strictly historical message was certainly delivered. Pointed prophecies which are exclusively historical (or exclusively futuristic) were uttered interchangeably throughout prophetic utterances that mostly describe events of futurity (or that of history). This being the case, let the reader understand that the interchangeableness of prophetic objectives in any single utterance is nothing new. This is a well-established custom of Biblical Prophecy; a means for God to hide the truth only to expound it further at a later time. As students of Biblical Prophecy, we must discern the content that is prophetically historical and thereby be enabled to realize the cohesive message of prophetic futurity reaching into and beyond the 7th Vial, as seen by John in Revelation 16-22. My reader, permit me to elaborate further on the actual content of the Book of Isaiah in an introductory fashion.
Isaiah, a prophet of Judah, prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, all of which were Kings of Judah (Isa. 1:1). Of course, it is important to know their lives, what took place during each man’s reign, and the status of the Kingdom of Judah in their times, and thereby understand the historical significance of the prophecies of Isaiah in due order. However, upon a quick reading of Isaiah it is strikingly apparent that Isaiah’s prophecies do foresee things far beyond the short span of history from Uzziah to Hezekiah. Indeed, one should studiously discover every historical application possible in the progress of Isaiah’s prophecies from Chapter to Chapter and from King to King, but it is all too obvious that the scope of prophecy looks into events that are greater and more terrible than what took place in the short lifetimes of these four Kings of Judah. My reader, this mighty scope of foresight simply cannot be ignored! Isaiah’s prophecies, which by and large transcend history in the foretelling of things in the future, must be viewed as a cohesive revelation of the future even though there are sporadic applications made to the past.
Of the four Kings during the days of Isaiah’s prophesying, Hezekiah is the focal point. Why? He was a righteous man and a timely reformer. If Hezekiah wouldn’t have suddenly arisen in righteousness to turn the tide of Jewish wickedness and impending woe, it is certain that the Book of Isaiah would have been radically different from what it is now. Indeed, Uzziah and Jotham were righteous men, but their righteousness was woefully short of perfection. They soon rebelled against the God of Israel (Ezek. 18:24)! Even worse, Ahaz was a follower of the Kings of Israel – all of whom were snared in the sins of an arch apostate named Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an inventor of False Judaism (1 Kings 11-12)! Hezekiah, however, was a righteous man who persevered in reforming the Kingdom instead of making shipwreck of it, as his predecessors. Yet, even for him, it was a race against time in the approaching of divine woe and judgment. Because of the status-quo apostasy and rampant iniquity leading into Hezekiah’s reign, the Kingdom of Judah deserved the likes of Assyria to punish them. The prophet Micah saw the soon-to-be future of the Kingdom of Judah during Hezekiah’s reign, saying,
“Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.” – Micah 3:12
We know for certain that this was directed to the Kingdom of Judah during Hezekiah’s time, and that Hezekiah’s response is what turned the tide, because this very event was rehearsed in Jeremiah 26:17-19.
“Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying, Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.” – Jer. 26:17-19
Evidently, because of Hezekiah’s leadership in repentance and the subsequent reformations, the onslaught of Assyria was stayed at the neck of the Kingdom of Judah, the City of Jerusalem, which was the last remaining fortified City of the Land. Assyria was stopped! The mighty hand of God intervened and did so gloriously! Notably, and to Hezekiah’s honor, this event of divine intervention was recorded three separate times in Inspired Scripture: Isaiah 36-38, 2 Chronicles 32, & 2 Kings 18-20. Nevertheless, let the reader understand that there’s no stopping historical or future Babylon. Assyria was stopped, but Babylon cannot be stopped!
Isaiah, whose intercessory cry was heard on high at the vital stopping point of the Assyrian Army (2 Chron. 32:20-21), did solemnly foresee the unstoppable rise of a greater adversary than the likes of Assyria in Isaiah 13:1-14:27, 21:9, & 39:1-8. Who? BABYLON. Why? Well, even though the Assyrian Captivities of Israel and the near annihilation of Judah is the main historical application of the judgments uttered in the Book of Isaiah, the coming of historical Babylon is anticipated. Furthermore, in retrospect - at the coming and going of historical Babylon - we know that God was not merely speaking of historical Babylon in these prophecies. In these very same prophecies (double-sensed prophecies) God was simultaneously foretelling the rise of future Babylon, or “Mystery Babylon the Great” (Rev. 17:5). Hence, no small portion of the Book of Revelation is occupied by the subject (Spiritual Babylon: Rev. 14:8, 16:19, 17:5, 18:2, 10, 21; the Beast: Rev. 9:1-2, 11, 11:7, 13:1-10, 15-18, 14:9, 16:2, 10, 17:3-5, 8; for more information, see Introducing Babylon). Of equal importance, the foretold regathering and restoration that was calendared to take place at the completion of the 70-year Jewish Captivity in historical Babylon was also recasted to the Last Days, seeing that all of it didn’t amount to what was foretold in prophecy.
Conclusively, what was done through historical Babylon and the regathering and restoration of the Jewish People thereafter (the 1st Restoration Generation) did not amount to the fulfillment of the glorious prophecies of Isaiah. Therefore, the eyes of all readers should pan from history to futurity to discover what is soon-to-be accomplished in the Last Days. One should gaze upon the record of futurity declared by Isaiah and keep looking until the sights of the Seer are personally realized. One should keep looking until the sights being declared are clear and in focus, as divinely intended, knowing that none of Isaiah’s words are misplaced or unnecessary. The prophetic storyline of this Visionary is totally free from the exaggerations of poetry or the unreal imagery of human fantasy. These aren’t the idle tales of Greek philosophers! No. These are shocking revelations from Heaven given to a holy prophet of God, such that require voluminous prophetic descriptions that span many pages of inspired Scripture.