Isaiah 35: Glorious Gospel, Millennial Problem
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;  then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert – Isaiah 35:5,6 (ESV)
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. – Isaiah 35:10 (ESV)
What a glorious display of the Gospel in the Old Testament is Isaiah 35! It is a short chapter, but the glimpses of coming redemption with the first advent of our Lord and His triumph over sin and death by His life, death, resurrection and ascension are clearly marked and written with illuminated expressions of joy by the prophet.
The first 34 chapters of Isaiah are a record of gloom and doom failures and rebellion, but in chapter 35, hope springs eternal in the promise for the ransomed of the Lord.
Look at the above quoted passage Church, and relish this!
We are told of blind eyes opened, deaf ears unstopped, the lame leaping like deer and the mute singing for joy. Our Lord Jesus performed these miracles throughout the Gospels, and on multiple occasions, giving full confirmation that He was the promised Messiah who was to come. Faithful is our God who promised a Savior, and delivered!
We are also told here that the “ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away”.
The phrase ransomed of the Lord needs no explanation here, but what of Zion? It says the ransomed of the Lord will come to Zion. What is Zion? Where is it? Is it earthly Jerusalem in Palestine? Is it heavenly Jerusalem? Let those who have ears to hear do just that, for God tells us from His Word precisely it’s meaning and location:
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. –Hebrews 12:22-24 (ESV) [emphasis mine]
Did you get that? Hebrews was written to believers, and thus you, Christian, have come to Mount Zion. The promise of Isaiah 35, that the ransomed of the Lord should come to Zion was written for you, none other.
The verb have come intimates that the readers of Hebrews have arrived at a permanent place. That is, the temporary conditions of the old covenant have ended, and the everlasting terms of the new covenant now prevail. That the expression Mount Zion ought to be understood spiritually and not literally is evident from the explanation “the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.” The new Jerusalem is the place where Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, dwells.
Zion, founded on the mountains,
God, thy Maker, loves thee well;
He has chosen thee, most precious,
He delights in thee to dwell;
God’s own city,
Who can all thy glory tell?
It should be obvious by now the answer as to when the ransomed should come to Zion. Upon regeneration under the preaching of the Gospel.
Yet there are many who have been led to believe otherwise. There are preachers and teachers throughout this land, and worldwide, who declare this passage is not for those gloriously redeemed under the New Covenant preaching of the Gospel. No, they have taken this passage and many others like it and applied it to those who do not believe in Messiah at all – unbelieving, so-called natural Israel. They declare Zion to be earthly Jerusalem, and there, in a future restoration of the jewish people, shall be an entire generation who after 2000+ years of Gospel preaching are waiting for the greatest evangelistic service the world has ever seen.
Nonsense. Let no one deceive you. God has not misspoken in Hebrews 12:22-24. He has spoken clearly, and to the Church , the bride of Christ!
For our millennial friends, here are a few questions for your consideration:
1) If Zion is, as God says
- the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22)
- the Jerusalem above (Galatians 4:26)
- the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God (Revelations 21:10)
Then how is it that Zion in Romans 11:26 is the earthly Jewish nation known as natural Israel and not also earthly Jerusalem in Palestine which, as we’ve clearly demonstrated earlier has lost all spiritual significance under the Gospel age?
How can you continue to claim the Zion of Isaiah 35 is the Redeemed Church and the Zion of Isaiah 59:20 and Romans 11:26 is not the same Zion, but belongs only to the Jew?
You have quite a hermeneutical problem on your hands my friends.
Listen brethren, this is serious business, and it has been my attempt to be edifying in this post. Before I close, think on this: If Isaiah 59:20 and Paul’s quote of it in Romans 11:26 belongs to the Jewish nation, then you must, of necessity, take the entire Old Testament with all it’s promises, blessings and Gospel teachings out of the hands of the Redeemed Church and declare it to belong only to natural Israel.
Are you prepared to declare such? Before you do, may I suggest you read all of the Apostle Paul’s epistles? If you say afterward that these passages do indeed refer to Zion as the Jerusalem above, as God has declared, I urge you to cease your propagation of millennial teaching.
Does The Old Testament Apply To Christians The Same Way It Did To The Jews?
Preach it, brother. Dispensationalism is not for Christian propagation or consumption. Period.
Thanks for the post. Although I am not well educated, I adhere to what I believe is sound doctrine. Regarding eschatalogical issues, I am not “sold” on any position. That being said, I have always had the most trouble identifying with dispensationalism, for many of the reasons herein given.
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There is little doubt that when scripture is allowed to speak for itself all dispensational ism must fall
You cited Isaiah 35:8 but it is really Isaiah 35:10
“And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:10
You’re right. My apologies. Corrected, and thanks!