Does John the Baptist fully fulfill Isaiah 40?
Jesus’ use of Malachi 4:5-6, about the coming of Elijah, reveals into how we should approach Isaiah 40.
John had spirit of Elijah (Lk1:17). Yet Jesus said Elijah will restore all things (Mk. 9:11-13).
Yet Peter said the restoring of all things was after the deaths of Jesus and John (Acts 3:21).
Therefore the Spirit of Elijah was on John at Jesus’ 1st coming; but has to be on a people related to the 2nd coming/Restoring.
The rest of this post assumes 3 Key points about the End-Times
1. Mark of the beast was not fulfilled historically.
Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.
Revelation 16:2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
2. 2nd Thes 3:5‘s Apostasy and man of sin have not yet happened.
concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed
3. I do not want to stand before Jesus in heaven and say of Matthew 24:21 “I thought You were using prophetic hyperbole, I thought you were exaggerating.” Matt 24:21 “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
The End Times
The seals trumpets and bowls are quite similar to the plagues of Egypt. Yet the children of Israel were protected. I believe the end-time tribulation will cause many to fall, yet their will be greater miracles and protection than through church history. Considering the damage and fatality, and Jesus’ warning for love to grow cold, it is wise to search this; God always sends messengers to warn and prepare before Judgment to give opportunity to repent.
Matt 25:6 Features a way to prepare for the return of Jesus that was identical to John the Baptists. Behold the Lamb!!
John the Baptist calls Israel to Behold Jesus 5 times. Matthew 25:6′s cry is to behold the Bridegroom Jesus.
There are many other similarities to the forerunners of the end of the age and the forerunner of John the baptist. Isaiah prophesied about end-time forerunners who would prepare people by lifting a “banner message” to the ends of the earth that declares the full manifestation of Jesus’ salvation. Prepare the way for the people…lift up a banner for the peoples [the nations]! Indeed the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the world: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; behold, His reward is with Him…’” (Isa. 62:10-11)
Mal 3:1 speaks of preparing the way for both the 1st and 2nd Comings of Jesus, Malachi 3:2 on speaks of only the 2nd Coming:
“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the Lord of hosts (Mal 3:2).
John was in the wilderness led by the Lord, just as the Lord is calling many to the wilderness of fasting and ‘unplugging,’ to get free of the tentacles of our culture. If we can get in the wilderness and be shaped and prepared ourselves, we can then prepare others, to be burning and shining lamps like Isaiah 62:1 prophesies of us being in the end-times and like Gabriel said of John.
Just as Joel 2 properly belongs to the final generation in context, yet Peter identifies a downpayment and dual-fulfillment at Pentecost, so in the same way Isaiah in Isaiah 40 prophesied of forerunners who would prepare the way for the Lord in the End-Times or at the time of Jesus’ Second Coming when all flesh (all nations) shall see Jesus’ glory together. The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God…5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh (all nations) shall see it together (at Jesus’ Second Coming). (Isa. 40:3-5)
When John said “I am Isaiah 40” he was claiming an end-time verse for himself and in a way, rightly so, yet he confuses the chapter for many students of Isaiah, leading them to fully assign it to him. Therefore we can view John’s model of forerunner, preparatory ministry for Jesus’ first coming as a model for own our in Jesus’ Second, crying as a voice from the wilderness the ministry of the midnight hour of Matt 25:6 comes from years of preparation.
We will proclaim the 2nd Coming of Jesus to our generation with the same intensity and even greater power, Isaiah 40 and Mal 3 give us the path to prepare the way. But we also lead them to the sermon on the mount, of which Jesus said is the lifestyle that will stand, a house founded on the rock, that will stand greatest storm of all History, the coming end-time flood (Matthew 7). In Matthew 24 Jesus said the end times will be like the Days of Noah. Forerunners lead others to prepare and build the ‘ark’ of their hearts by doing the wisdom of Matthew 25, getting oil or getting the Holy Spirit, cultivating wisdom and revelation (Eph 1;17) and the knowledge of God.
29 He who has the Bride is the Bridegroom; but the friend of the Bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the Bridegroom’s voice…this joy of mine is fulfilled. (Jn. 3:29)
- John described what Jesus felt emotionally in saying “He who has the Bride is the Bridegroom”. To understand John, they had to know who He lived before.7 The marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. (Rev. 19:7)
- He that has the Bride – Jesus has a bride in His heart because God promised Him a prepared Bride at the end of natural history.
- He is the Bridegroom – He has tender love and burns with desire for His people.
- John described his ministry and lifestyle as a friend the Bridegroom who stands and hears Him.
- The friend of the Bridegroom – the best man in a wedding does not seek to draw the bride’s attention and affections to himself but to prepare her to receive the embrace of the Bridegroom. Paul spoke of ministries who preached or showcased ‘themselves’ (2 Cor 4:5; Phil 2:19-21). Friends of the Bridegroom prepare people to receive Jesus’ embrace as the Bridegroom God empowering them to walk out the first commandment.
- Who stands – diligent attentiveness to stand in God’s presence in prayer and the Word 18 For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it? (Jer. 23:18)2 The seven angels who stand before God…to them were given 7 trumpets. (Rev. 8:2)
- Who hears him – to respond with obedience regardless of the price
- John described the joyful emotional impact that hearing the Bridegroom’s voice had on him.
- Because of the Bridegroom’s voice – growing in revelation of Jesus as a Bridegroom
- Rejoices greatly…this joy of mine is fulfilled – empowered with joy by receiving the revelation of the Bridegroom even in the difficulty of a desert lifestyle