Whence the Words of Ephesians 5:14? Part 9

b.  We refer Revelation 21 and 22, not to some glorious state of the militant Church yet to be expected on earth, but in these chapters we believe a vivid delineation of the Church gloriously triumphing in heaven is represented; after the holding of the final, universal Judgment, and through that the delivery of the enemies of the Church to eternal destruction, which from the very vision exhibited in chapter 20 John has most clearly described. But if in depicting these things the Apostle John borrowed some phrases from Isaiah, and he is here to be designated as an Interpreter of Isaiah; one may retort that John thus attended to the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, not begun in this world sooner or later, but final, perfect, and consummate in heaven: as thus many prophecies of the Prophets are fulfilled by parts, in a prior and latter time, partly on earth and partly in heaven, which the Most Illustrious VITRINGA also teaches, when he dwells upon the reconciliation of the text of 2 Peter 3:13 with Isaiah 65:17; 66:22.  Let us hear that Most Illustrious Man speaking in his Commentario on Isaiah 65:17:  “Certainly (says he) I do not deny that Peter among other places had this, our passage also before his eyes:  but I definitely think that Peter did not take the passage according to the primary Prophetic sense, upon which we are chiefly intent, but according to every sense and emphasis that it is able to be thought to lie hidden in the words of Isaiah (as the Writers of the New Testament also model repeated elsewhere):  when truly, and I do not deny it, that which he teaches concerning the physical obliteration of the heavens and the earth is involved in the Isaianic sentence.”  Unto the same purpose the same Illustrious VITRINGA wrote, in his Observationum Sacrarum, book IV, chapter XVI, § 23:  “I do not deny that those passages of Isaiah, first of all, are to be understood of some Economy or condition of the Church in this world, to be changed into another, better Economy or condition….  But this is to be observed, that Peter, according to the custom received by the Writers of the New Testament, considers the Blessedness of the Church, promised in these passages, in its τελειώσει/fulfillment, without which τελειώσει/ fulfillment that blessedness could not consist, and without respect to which that could not have been promised to the Church in that fullness and abundance of predictions that occur in Isaiah.  Evidently all the benefits that God furnishes for the Church in this world to perfect and bring to completion its state will receive their ἀποτέλεσμα/fulfillment in that most perfect and consummate state of the Church, which is to be revealed in the last time.  Therefore, whatever is promised to the Church in this world with great fullness and majesty of expression, truly it is promised to it with respect to that state of τελειώσεως/fulfillment:  and in short it appears thus to us, that the Holy Spirit was not going to make use of such full and emphatic expressions in describing those benefits, as He has done in these Chapters, as well as in Isaiah 32; 35; 49; 60; 61, and in many other passages of Prophecies both of the Old and of the New Testaments, unless the Spirit had had regard to this τελείωσιν/fulfillment.  While Peter certainly saw it much more clearly than we now understand that:  it is not to be marveled at that he relates this prophetcy to the ἀποτέλεσμα/ fulfillment of that state, to the beginning of which this prophecy is properly to be referred according to the mind of Isaiah.”  Thus the Most Illustrious VITRINGA supplies for us what things are able to be given in response to him, when elsewhere in reconciling Isaiah 60 with Revelation 21 and 22, expounded according to our opinion, he hesitates; and at the same time what things are conducive to commend our thoughts just now proposed concerning the sense of Isaiah 60, consult the Most Illustrious MARCKIUS’ Commentarium in Apocalypsin, and the Most Illustrious WESSELIUS’ Præfationem ante Analysin Belgicam Apocalypseos ex Marckii Commentario concinnatam a Reverendo Cornelius van Santvoort, **** 1-3.

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