The Gospel of John
J. Deering, AncientPath.net
Notes on John the Baptist and Prophecy, Herbert Henry Ehrenstein*
Isaiah 7:14 - behold the virgin
Heb ALMA - young woman
Gk PARTHANOS - Virgin Matthew 1:23
Levels of prophetic fulfillment
1. Near View - Fulfilled in Prophet's time - usually physical fulfillment. The immediate future. Fulfillment in part.
2. Far View - Fulfilled later in time - usually spiritual fulfillment. The distant future. Fulfillment in part.
3. Very Far View - Fulfilled finally - usually final physical fulfillment. The Final future. Fulfillment complete.
An Example of a Two fold fulfillment
Virgin shall conceive - passage
Immanuel - God is with us.
Generally applied to the Birth of Jesus.
Matthew 1:23 - decidedly applied to Jesus birth of the virgin Mary.
But... Isaiah did not have any indication that the prophecy was that of the birth of the Messiah. He was encompassed by two mighty forces around the city. King Ahaz was the receiver of Isaiah's prophecy. Essentially a local prophecy and fulfillment. The arrival of a son to Isaiah's wife. Verses 15-16, before the child was older the threat would be gone.
However that same prophecy had a long range fulfillment - Jesus (Matthew) PARTHENOS as a substitute for ALMA. Virgin, not just a young woman, but BOTH.
An Example of Triple fulfillment
Comfort to the prisoners of Babylon. More than comfort ... he was guaranteeing the freedom of the prisoners at the end of the 70 years and allowed to go home. He said to them that when they were allowed to return to Jerusalem their joy would be so great that their travels over mountains and valleys would be as though the mountains were made level and the valleys filled in. A voice of one calling, in the dessert prepare a highway our God, make straight his paths.
This prediction was fulfilled when King Cyrus of persia released the Jewish people and made them free.
This prophecy was again fulfilled in Jesus day. Luke 3, John the baptist, the forerunner, in captivity to Rome. John was appointed to introduce Jesus. When John denied this they thought "then Jesus must be Elijah."
Still a third time - future even to us to day Malachi chapter 4.
But Elijah himself will come back before the Second coming of Jesus Christ. God promises to send the great prophet elijah to earth again during the great tribulation. Once more a voice crying in the wilderness. The people knew that Elijah was going to return to introduce the Messiah and that's why they were asking John the Baptist if He was elijah. (John 1:21)
He will point the people of Israel to their Messiah at that future time. The third fulfillment of "the voice of one crying in the desert ... prepare ye the way of the Lord."
*A very special thanks is due to the late Dr. Herbert Henry Ehrenstein, of Philadelphia, for his original work. Dr. Ehrenstein has many Bible study books on the market, and co-authored and edited many of the Donald Grey Barnhouse books, Dr. Ehrenstein also produced a recommended series of Bible study audio cassettes which are available through the mail by writing:
Dr. Herbert H.
Ehrenstein Bible Studies,
C/O Charles A. Wormsley
1716 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA. 19103-6716
Herb was a dear friend and wonderful teacher of the Bible, He went home to be with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Christmas Eve, 2003