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Church in the OT - I
Church in the OT - II
Church in the OT - III
Kingdom Hope in Hebrews
Daniel's 70 Weeks
Jesus & David's Throne
Intro: Couch vs. Warner
I. Opening - Warner
I. Rebuttal - Couch
I. Response - Warner
I. Closing - Couch
II. Opening - Couch
II. Rebuttal - Warner
II. Response - Couch
II. Closing - Warner
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Jesus & the Church in Isaiah 8
Copyright © Tim Warner
In Part II of this series, we examined Isaiah 28 and several quotations of it in the New Testament. In doing so, we saw that Paul and Peter quoted both Isaiah 28 and Isaiah 8 together in reference to the Church. In Part III, we will examine this link, and also connect it with Part I, where Paul quoted Psalm 22 in Hebrews 2, also applying it to Jesus and His Church.
The theme of Isaiah 8 is the same as Isaiah 28. It speaks of the birth of Jesus' Church, and the impending judgment on the part of Israel that refuses to accept Jesus. As in Isaiah 28, the judgment that would befall the Jewish leadership is again linked to the league the Jews had with the Romans. God warns His faithful remnant of Israel through Isaiah not to put their trust and security in the Romans (as their leaders did), but in Him alone. "Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread." (vss. 12-13).
Isaiah says the Living Stone will be "for a sanctuary" in Israel for those who believe. But, for those who refuse, He will be "a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (vs. 14). This division of Israel is clear in the following verse, where part of the nation stumbles, but not all. "And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken" (vs. 15).
In my opinion, the next
contain one of the most exciting prophecies in the entire Old
After describing the stumbling of the Jewish leadership, Isaiah writes,
"Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob,
and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath
given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of
which dwelleth in mount Zion" (vss. 16-18). This passage is the
place in the Old Testament where the word "disciples" is used. And
is no question that it refers to Jesus and His disciples. The words "I
and the children the LORD has given me" is a reference to Jesus and
the disciples, and all those who believed on Jesus. You can see clearly
in this passage how the birth of Jesus Church was from among the nation
of Israel. The believing part of Israel flows into the Church, while
unbelieving part is headed for judgment. That this is definitely a
of the Church is proven from Paul's quotation of it in Hebrews 2. If
remember, we dealt with Hebrews 2 in Part I of this series, showing
Paul cited Psalm 22 as a prophecy of Jesus' and the Church being united
in one. But, Paul didn't stop with citing Psalm 22. He also cited this
In Paul's quote of Isaiah 8, it is obvious that he used the LXX translation which includes the words "I will trust in him" (Isa. 8:17 LXX). These words are not part of the Hebrew text. Also, the Hebrew text says "the children whom the LORD [YHVH] have given me," while Paul clearly follows the LXX rendering, "the children which God [Theos] has given me" (Isa. 8:18 LXX).
It was a common practice of the rabbis, while teaching their disciples, to simply cite a short sentence or phrase from the Old Testament in order to bring to bear an entire passage on the discussion. The students, being intimately familiar with the Old Testament Scriptures, would immediately know the passage and the entire meaning of that passage in its context. Here we have Paul, a Messianic Jewish believer, employing precisely the same method in his Epistle to his Hebrew brethren. He was bringing this entire passage from Isaiah 8 into view in support of his main point in Heb. 2:9-13. That point is, both Jesus (the one who sanctifies) and those who are sanctified (believers) are all "of one." This is the Church, the Body of Christ. And in support, he cites two important prophecies from the LXX. Psalm 22 is about Jesus' sufferings followed by His rejoicing "in the Church." And Isaiah 8 is about Jesus and those given to Him, his disciples. This body of Christ, Jesus and the redeemed, "are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts" (Isa. 8:18). As we saw from Isaiah 28, some of those "signs and wonders" included the gift of tongues as a sign of Israel's impending judgment.
Another point worth noting here is that this prophecy in Isaiah 8 appears to be out of context. That is, the surrounding context seems to be a prophecy of Israel's impending defeat to the king of Assyria. Yet, without breaking the flow, we find this prophecy of Christ and the birth of the Church tucked away within the context of something entirely different. If we interpret this entire chapter using the grammatical historical method, this cannot be a prophecy of Christ because it would violate the context. But, this is just another example of the clever devices used by God to hide the "mystery" in the prophetic Scriptures. In Psalm 22, we say that he altered the grammar in such a way that David appeared to be speaking of himself, and something that had occurred in the past. Here, the device is to place a prophecy of Christ and the Church in the middle of an unrelated prophecy of Israel's destruction by the Assyrians. We have another example of this device in Isaiah 7:14, where the "virgin with child" appears to be a prophesy about Israel's in Isaiah's day. Yet, we know from Matthew and Luke that it was a prophecy of Jesus' birth. Abrupt and hidden changes in context, and changes in person, are two of the major devices used to hide the "mystery" in the prophetic Scriptures. Isaiah seems to favor the contextual change, while the Psalms seem to favor the person change. We will have more from the Psalms as we deal with Peter's sermons in Acts later in this series.
As in parts I & II, we see precisely the same thing. The New Testament writers freely quoted Old Testament prophecy and applied it directly to the Church. Therefore, these Old Testament prophecies are clear examples of the Church in Old Testament prophecy. That is, unless dispensationalists want to argue that the Apostles used faulty hermeneutics under the inspirtaion of the Holy Spirit.