One of the most interesting allusions that I have seen that points to a spiritual Kingdom of God rather than a physical one, which all futurists need to have in order to prove their eschatology, is the theme found in Isaiah 35. Here we find people in a wilderness, but the desert blossoms and is full of life. The strong are to help the weak and encourage the fearful, saying: “God will come… and recompense; he will save you.” (Isaiah 35:1-4). It is a time for opening the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf (Isaiah 35:5). Then the prophet says a highway will been there—The Way of Holiness. But the unclean are unable to pass over it. “And He Himself is by them, Whoso is going in the way–even fools err not” (Isaiah 35:8 – Youngs Literal Translation). The ransomed of the Lord return, and come into Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads (Isaiah 35:10).
The question is this: is this a literal highway? The redeemed of the Lord walk upon it and come to Zion, the capital of the Messianic Kingdom. It is a highway upon which the blind see, and the deaf hear, the weak are made strong and the fearful are encouraged. Is the ‘Way of Holiness’ a literal highway?
Later the prophet says of Zion, for her sake the Lord won’t hold his peace. until her righteousness and salvation shine forth, and the gentiles see her glory. At that time the Lord will give her a new name (Isaiah 62:1-2), and again he says:
Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. (Isaiah 62:10-12)
Notice that the prophet isn’t speaking of the salvation obtained at the cross, but vindication. It tells of a coming judgment, wherein the righteous will be rewarded, and at that time she will be known as “A City Not Forsaken.” The implication is that this occurs after persecution, and its fulfillment would have occurred in 70 AD. Yet, a literal city was never built, and a literal highway was never built. So, if the city is spiritual and the highway is spiritual, what sort of Kingdom of God is this?
Through Isaiah God promised to gather together all those of Israel and Judah who are scattered abroad (Isaiah 11:11-12). Then he says there would be “a highway for the remnant of his people… as it was in the day Israel came out of the land of Egypt” (Isaiah 11:16). Is this speaking of a literal highway? Isaiah often spoke of this highway (Isaiah 40:3), and it was this prophecy that pointed to the ministry of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:3). John preached in the wilderness, saying the Kingdom of God was near (Matthew 3:1-2). Did John build a literal highway? Did he command anyone to build a literal highway? Yet, it was prophesied of him that he was to prepare the way (highway) of the Lord, and Jesus said of him that no prophet was greater than John (Matthew 11:11), so apparently John did build a highway. Was it a literal highway that led to Zion? If the highway wasn’t literal how could Zion be literal (cf. Revelation 21:1-3)?
Believers were often referred to as of “the way” (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4) – Jesus is the Way (John 14:6). The Way was called heresy (Acts 24:14). So, is it a literal way? If it isn’t a literal way that leads the redeemed to Zion, the city of God, than how could Zion be a literal city. Moreover, if the Lord claims to be the Way upon which the Redeemed travel to Zion, how could the Way be a literal highway that must be built for the gathering of Israel’s elect or remnant to God?