Jesus: Tabernacling With Humanity

The traditional view in Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God is that Isaiah 11:6-9 is to be fulfilled in the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth, while Isaiah 65:20 applied to a judgment period described in Rev. 20:11-15. He hypothesized that the 100-year period apparently described in Is. 65:20 would be a typical lifespan, based on the King James version of that verse. He uses 65:25 to suggest that conditions are like those at the Millennium (The wolf and the lamb can lie together, etc.) where he places 11:6-9.

Part of the difficulty in interpretation of the language of that verse is cleared up in modern translations, which make it clear that this is not a period of judgment. What is going on is that what is now understood as a really long lifespan, 100 years, is but a drop in the bucket compared to what will be expected at that time. In other words, the [exceedingly unlikely] death of a 100-year old resident of that future Jerusalem would cause the same shock as the death of an infant would now. People’s lifespans are likened to that of trees in v. 22.

The main problem for Herbert Armstrong’s interpretation is that verse 20 follows verse 17, which places these events at the time of a new heavens and a new earth. Following the order in the Book of Revelation, this must be fulfilled after the judgment in Revelation 20, in the timeframe of chapters 21 and 22. Everybody alive at that time will live forever, making even a centenarian seem young.

Isaiah 11, on the other hand, is a prophecy about Jesus Christ’s overall ministry and not just what He does at His Second Coming. That bit about the wolf lying down with the lamb occurs at the end of a section showing the result of Jesus’ mercy and judgment – a completely new heavens and earth where peace dwells forever. We don’t have complete universal peace until the new heavens and earth. Satan even messes things up after the Millennium for a while, suggesting that the animals are not brought back into peaceful alignment until humanity is completely at peace first. See Romans 8:18-23 for why this must be so.

The key here is that Jesus Christ, the Root of Jesse (Is. 11:1) is the bringer of all this universal peace. First He lived as a human being among us, then He died for our sins, now He lives in us by His Holy Spirit, and He will return to bring an end to sinful activity in the world, reward the saints, and create a new reality for the entire creation to live in according to His will. At that time that the prophecy of Lev. 26:11-12 is finally and fully fulfilled, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God.” [Rev. 21:3, KJV].

Jesus is Lord! Now and forever!! Let’s not just live for the Millennium. Let’s live for Jesus and for the eternity He alone can share!

About John Valade

I facilitate and teach in Wascana Fellowship. I have been married to Wanda since 1984. M.Div. from Briercrest Seminary, SK in 2011 and B.R.E. Canadian Bible College (now Ambrose University College) in 2000.
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