Isaiah - Lesson 20

New Heavens and New Earth

In this lesson, you explore a spiritual journey, like climbing a ladder with stages symbolizing human virtues and flaws. You encounter depictions of virtuous foreigners, Israel's struggles, and grace gifted to the remorseful. The focus is on Israel's failings - their struggle to be righteous, their self-serving rituals obstructing justice, sinking them into obscurity. The lesson expands into the transformation of God's people, eventually illuminating like beacons. The Divine Warrior incites a change, turning you into a light-bearing individual, the light being God's glory, not your own. This change empowers you to embody God's character, living a life of integrity, purity, and truth in a deceitful, shameful, dark world. Lastly, the Divine Warrior is depicted as the Messiah, His mission is to bring good news to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, declare freedom for captives, provide comfort, and replace sorrow's ashes with beauty's crown.

Lesson 20
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New Heavens and New Earth

OT650-20: New Heavens and New Earth

I. The Context of Isaiah

A. The Prophet Isaiah

B. Historical Background

1. The Time of Isaiah

2. The Geopolitical Situation

C. The Book of Isaiah

1. Authorship and Date

2. Literary Style and Language

II. Prophecies of New Heavens and New Earth

A. The Promise of New Creation

B. Imagery and Symbolism

C. The Significance for Israel

III. Interpretation and Theological Implications

A. Interpretive Approaches

B. Theology of New Creation

C. Relevance to Contemporary Readers

  • Through the in-depth study of Isaiah, you'll gain understanding of its purpose, authorship, key themes, structure, and its significant contributions to the Old Testament, shaping your comprehension of prophetic literature.
  • In studying this lesson, you gain an understanding of the concept of servanthood in the Book of Isaiah, exploring its societal, literary, theological, and personal implications.
  • In the lesson, you explore Isaiah's divine vision, understand his servanthood in a biblical and cultural context, and reflect on its contemporary relevance and implications for today's believers.
  • By exploring trust as the basis of servanthood in this lesson, you gain a deeper understanding of biblical teachings, the role of Isaiah, and the practical implications for modern Christian life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the significance of trusting Yahweh, the invisible God, in difficult times and the consequences of relying on human conspiracies and seeking guidance from mediums. By choosing to trust God and follow His light, you will find hope, experience His strength, wisdom, and peace.
  • This lesson, spanning chapters 13 to 35, delves into various aspects such as oracles against the nations, God's rule of history, Judah's situation, and the repercussions of placing trust in the nations.
  • In this lesson, you learn about trusting in God even in the midst of chaos and to not rely on worldly powers. By waiting expectantly and trusting in God's sovereignty, you can find peace and security amidst a turbulent world.
  • The lesson offers deep insights into trust from a biblical perspective, drawing on case studies from Isaiah and giving you practical applications for contemporary Christianity.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain insight into the message of trust in Yahweh presented in Isaiah chapters 13 through 35, emphasizing the contrast between human power and God's sovereignty and discussing the ultimate victory of God in eschatological literature.
  • This lesson highlights the theological impact of the exile and the questions it raises about God's promises and His power. It explores the issue of trust and warns against relying on worldly solutions, using the example of seeking help from Egypt. Isaiah challenges the people to wait for the Lord and defines trust as confident expectation.
  • In this lesson, the consequences of trusting in worldly powers like Egypt and Assyria are emphasized, highlighting their limitations compared to God's power. The lesson stresses the need for repentance, rest, and trust in God for salvation and strength. It calls for addressing the present condition of the people and the land rather than being complacent. The promise of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit is mentioned, which will lead to transformation and the establishment of peace.
  • This lesson introduces Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, and his dire dilemma on whom to trust—God or humanity—in a situation rife with political and personal peril. By examining Hezekiah's predicament, you will grapple with the notion that trust is the foundation of servanthood to God. The concepts of power, authority, and faith are analyzed through the lens of Hezekiah's interactions with Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. Ultimately, this lesson presents a thought-provoking exploration of trust in divine power versus human power, faith in the midst of desperation, and the implications of such trust for leadership and servanthood.
  • You will delve into the unique prophetic style of Isaiah, understanding his future-oriented prophecies, and the challenges brought by the exiles. You will explore predictive prophecy and how God's transcendence enables accurate predictions. Further, you'll examine the book of Isaiah's authorship, its implications, and the context of Assyrian-Babylonian transition.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about the themes of grace, servitude, and the promise of God's deliverance in chapters 40 to 55. You will understand the meaning behind the denunciation of idols and God's sovereignty, in addition to the assurance that even amidst fear, God is present and will aid His people.
  • This lesson analyzes the role of a witness, God's omnipotence and His role as the sole deity, His promise of deliverance and transformation, and the continuity of faith across generations through His spirit. The key message of this lesson is that God is the Creator and Savior, the only true God, and our role as His witnesses is to testify to His reality and His power in our lives and in the world around us.
  • In this lesson, you grasp the profound concept of God's grace, witnessing how He reclaims His chosen despite their sins. You delve into the biblical view of cause and effect, discovering God's principles at work. Moreover, you gain insights into the suffering servant, embodying true Israel, fulfilling what Israel couldn't. This figure vividly portrays divine calling, struggle, and unwavering trust in God. The lesson ends by revealing the promised restoration of Israel, instilling hope in God's unwavering promises.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain knowledge and insight into the concept of grace, the anticipation of God's saving work, the revelation of His victory, and the transformative power of Jesus' servant hood.
  • Through this lesson, you'll explore the significant role of justice, righteousness, and servanthood in the Book of Isaiah, showcasing the transformative power of God's grace in redeeming and restoring His people.
  • In this lesson, you journey through spiritual growth, witnessing human virtues and flaws, Israel's struggles, and divine grace. The Divine Warrior transforms God's people into beacons, illuminating God's glory. Finally, the Warrior, as the Messiah, brings comfort, freedom, and beauty amid sorrow.
  • This lesson provides a detailed exploration of the struggles of God's people, their plea for God's intervention, and their accusation towards God for their hardships. It calls upon you to reflect on the human condition and our inherent need for divine intervention. Lastly, the lesson underscores the importance of a relationship with God, not merely seeking righteousness but seeking Him and His presence in one's life.

Diving into this course by Dr. John Oswalt, you will find yourself immersed in the study of the Book of Isaiah, particularly focusing on its purpose, authorship, major themes, structure, historical context, author, and time of writing. The major themes like redemption, restoration, and the holiness of God will be unraveled, along with an examination of the book's literary style and chapter breakdown. Additionally, you will gain insights into the concept of servanthood within the context of ancient Israel, exploring its historical, literary, and theological perspectives. Isaiah's vision and his divine calling to servanthood will be thoroughly discussed, revealing the challenges he faced in his role and the contemporary relevance of his servanthood. You will delve into the relationship between trust and servanthood, with trust being a prerequisite to becoming a servant, as demonstrated by Isaiah. The class culminates in providing you with the knowledge of the transformative potential of trust, its importance in the biblical narrative, and its role as a cornerstone for faith and community development. Lastly, you will understand the message of trust in Yahweh presented in Isaiah, learn about the contrast between trusting in human power and glory versus living by faith, and gain an understanding of the importance of trust and the dangers of relying on worldly solutions.

Recommended Books

The Holy One of Israel: Studies in the Book of Isaiah

The Holy One of Israel: Studies in the Book of Isaiah

Growing out of the work that the author did in preparing two major commentaries on Isaiah, these essays range from comprehensive to specific, and from popular to scholarly....

The Holy One of Israel: Studies in the Book of Isaiah

Dr. John Oswalt



New Heavens and New Earth

Lesson Transcript


We're looking at chapters 56 to 66 righteousness, the character of servant hood. And I've been arguing that this. Division. Is arranged. Kayaks. Stickley That CASM is a pyramid structure. Where the first statement is duplicated at the end of the structure, and then the second is duplicated and so forth and so forth. As you climb a kind of a ladder to a pyramid, the apex being in some ways the climax. Why would you use a kayak stick structure? The purpose is. Not to lose the original statement in the climax. If you simply go up the ladder, then the end of the statement is in the climactic statement and the original statement is forgotten. On the other hand, you don't want to lose the climax. How is it possible for that original point to be achieved? It's because of the climax, and so you must read the entire section. In this case, division. You must hold it all together in order to get the full picture. So in this case. We don't want to allow the revelation of the Spirit anointed Messiah. To cause us to forget what was the purpose of his spirit anointing? His spirit anointing was that for the sake of the nations, for the sake of the world? And in that sense, then we hit the climax. But we remind ourselves, What is this all about? What is the purpose of this? We also remind ourselves along the way. What's the issue? What might prevent? The Spirit anointed Messiah from achieving that goal. What was it that was the problem along the way? And we're reminded of that. And so it is here. Chapter 63, verses one through six. Are. The Divine Warrior. We are back to DX Prime. Now, are we indeed talking about a duplicate to the divine warrior that we saw in chapter 59? The descriptions are somewhat different.


There's a picture of a warrior. But here the heavy emphasis is borne the destruction of the enemies. But I would say, yes, we are. Look at 63 versus five. I looked, but there was no one to help. I was appalled that no one gave support, so my own arm achieved salvation for me, My own wrath sustain me. Now turn back to chapter 59. Look at verse 16. He saw that there was no one. He was appalled that there was no one to intervene. So his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. Same words. The one difference is. RATH In 63, righteousness in 59. I think that is intended by the prophet to signal to us we're talking about the same person. We're talking about the same point being made here. So what about this warrior? Who is this coming from? Adam. Do you remember what I said about Edam? Back when we were looking at chapter 34, The desert that in the Bible, in the Old Testament, Edam is the symbol of the world. The world that is in defiance of God and God's plans. So it's not accidental that that item and its capital, Basra, appears here. Who is this coming from? Item from Basra, with his garments stained crimson. Who is this robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? It is I. Proclaiming victory mighty to save. Why are your garments red like those of one treading the wine press? I have trodden the wine press alone from the nations. No one was with me. I trampled them in my anger, trod them down in my wrath. Their blood spattered my garments. I stained all my clothing. It was for me the day of vengeance.


The year for me to redeem had come. Chapter 61. Proclaiming the Day of Salvation and the Year of Vengeance. Same language. I looked. Here's the verse. But there was no one to help. I was appalled that no one came to support. So my own arm itches. Salvation. For me, my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger, in my wrath. I made them drunk, poured their blood on the ground. Yes. This divine warrior has attacked the world. And he's defeated the world. He's defeated that which stands in opposition to God. He has made the nations drink that cup that we talked about again earlier, the cup of drunkenness, the cup that is filled with the sins of the world. And his garments are stained with the blood of the world. Who is the enemy? In the context of this entire division. Who is the enemy? The enemy is the sin which has held his people in captivity, which has held them in darkness, made them unable to be the light. The sin is the world. If you look, for instance, at the letters of John. Don't love the world. The world is passing away. The world. The world is. The sins of the world. Now I ask you. Whose blood is it that stains the garments of the warrior? The blood of the nations. The blood of the enemy world. His own. Because he. Who knew? No sin has become sin. For the sake of the world. You say, Well, wait a minute, that's kind of a stretch. Again, I urge you to think of the context that we're talking about here. Who is this divine warrior? Who is it that defeats the sin of his people? And I think Chapter 61 then is identifying the divine warrior on both sides.


So I don't think it's a stretch. Yes. Yes. His garments are stained with the blood of a lost damned world. But it's his own blood. He's made them drink the cup. No, he has drunk the cup. He has indeed defeated sin. There's a sense in which in 59 he's defeating the sins of the people, the sins of the very sick Israelites here. It's become. Wider angle. What are those? Since they are the world? The world that stands in opposition to God. The world that says I will have my way at all costs. But he has become the world. For the sake of the world. I think that's what's going on here. But I would say to you, in any case, we have chasm at work. With the Divine warrior on either side of the picture of the people of God as light and the people of God as righteousness with the Messiah at the top of the angle. So. I think it's quite interesting the next verse in chapter 63 after that picture as we're returning now to be to prime. I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord. Hmm. Yes. He's defeated my enemies. He's defeated those who would break me down. He's defeated those who would darken me. The deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us. Yes, the many good things He has done for Israel, according to his compassion and his many kindnesses. So we detail here in verses seven, eight, nine and seven, eight and nine. God's goodness. God's grace. God's mercy. Verse ten, yet they rebelled. Verse 11. Then his people recalled the days of all the days of Moses and his people. Where is he? Who brought them through the sea? With the shepherd of his flock.


Where is he? Who set his Holy Spirit among them? Who sent his glorious arm of power to be at Moses right hand. Where are you now? God. What are you doing now, you lettuce. You've been so kind and gracious, but. Look at the reality of our lives. Verse 15 Look down from heaven and see from your lofty throne. Holy and glorious. Where are your zeal and your might? Your tenderness and compassion are withheld from us. Right through this section. Chapter 63. 64. 65. Isaiah is speaking for the people most of the time, and most of the time they are accusing God of not having made them repent. Most of the time they're saying it's your fault. Where are you? Why haven't you made us the kind of people you want us to be? It's your fault. And God says no. We're going to see how that develops again. And in pretty pungent language in the early part of Chapter 65. Verse 16 of 63. But you are our father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledges you, Lord, our father, our redeemer from old is your name. Why, Lord, do you make us wander from your ways and hard in our hearts so we don't revere you? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes that are your inheritance. God, if. If we're not acting right, it's your fault. Again in the light of the Divine warrior. We're coming back down the ladder now. In the way the division is structured. God has acted. He will act. It's not his problem. Verse 18. For a little while. Your people possessed your holy place. Now our enemies have trampled down your sanctuary. We are yours from of all. But you haven't ruled over them.


They've not been called by your name. Straight on into 64 O that you would rend the heavens and come down. That the mountains would tremble before you. As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil. Come down to make your name known to your enemies. Cause the nations to quake before you. For when you did awesome things that we did not wait for. Expect is the number. And it's that's a good translation. You came down and the mountains trembled before you. So yes. God, when you act. And again, you see, we're coming down the other side. Act Lord. And there's a sense in which, yes, I have acted. I have acted in the person of the Divine Warrior. But here the plea is, unless you act, nothing's going to happen. God. We're going to continue in our sinfulness. Verse five of 64, you came to help to the help of those who. Excuse me. You come to the help of those who gladly do, right? Who remember your ways. Yes, he does. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean. All our righteous acts are like filthy rags. We all shrivel up like a leaf and like the wind. Our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name. We're duplicating chapter 59, aren't we? This is our condition apart from you. This is who we are all the time. Apart from your intervention. So he goes on. Verse 12 of 64 After all this, Lord, will you hold yourself back? Will you keep silent and punish us beyond measure? After 65, God finally answers. I have revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.


I was found by those who did not seek me to a nation that didn't call on my name. I said, Here am I, here am I. All day long, I've held out my hands to an obstinate people who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations, a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil, who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose potholed broth of impure meat, who say, Keep away, don't come near me, I'm too holy for you. Such people are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire burning all day. Wow. Again, we're repeating what we've seen before in what I've called be to. Our inability in ourselves to do righteousness, our inability in ourselves to live your life. God, you've got to do something. Now, that point is clearer here in the second iteration than I think it was in the first. In the second iteration, it is being driven home. This is going to have to be the work of God in us. And God says, Do you really want me to work in your lives? You say you do. But in fact. You have been trying to make yourselves holy. And again, I think I think that's mockery. I don't think they really were eating pig. But God says you might as well have been. You didn't get the point of that. You're trying to make yourselves wholly. Buy your. Quote, righteous behavior. You say you want me to act, but I don't think you do. So he goes on through strong words there in 65. But then in verse eight. This is what the Lord says.


As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes and people say don't destroy it, there's still a blessing in it. So will I do in behalf of my servants? I will not destroy them all. I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, from Judah, those who will possess my mountains. My chosen people will inherit them. Their will and their will. My servants live. Sharon will become a pasture for Fox, the Valley of Acre resting place for herds for my people who seek me. So the real issue here is. Who are God's servants? They are the people who acknowledge their own inability. And who earnestly want. Hear me. Not his righteousness, but him. The holy life is not in it to be sought. The Holy life is a hymn to be cherished. I am. It's a relationship. And that's what he's getting at here. You don't really want me. Oh, you want to be better people? You want to be upright people, but you really don't want me. But for those who want me. Yes. Sharon will become a pasture for flocks. The valley of acre arresting place for herds. For my people who seek me. But as for you who forsake the Lord and forget my Holy Mountain, who spread a table for fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for destiny. And again, I think this is mockery. I think. They weren't really serving a table for Fortune. They weren't really filling bowls of mixed wine for destiny. But he's saying your religious behavior, all it amounts to is that you might as well be doing just straight up flat paganism because your religion is, in fact, pagan in art. I will destine you for the sword. All of you will fall in the slaughter.


Four. I called, but you didn't answer. I spoke, but you didn't listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what? This displeases me. Therefore, this is what the Lord Yahweh says. My servants will eat. But you will go hungry. My servants will drink. But you will go thirsty. My servants will rejoice. But you'll be put to shame. My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts. But you'll cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit. You will leave your name for my chosen ones to use in their curses. The Lord Yahweh will put you to death. But his servants. He will give another name. Whoever invokes a blessing in the land will do so by the one true God. Whoever takes an oath in the land will swear by the one true God. For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes. So there is the question. There's the question, do I truly want God? Do I truly want him to come in his power? It is cleansing power. In his destructive power. Do I truly want him to come in my life or do I want his blessings? God says. For you. It's not going to be good news. But for you who want me. Who want my life. It's good news indeed. And that then brings us to what I have called Section G. Here's a new piece in the Chasm, a piece that didn't appear. Going up the ladder. The new heavens and the new Earth. And there's a sense in which what's happening here is he's saying. This is where we're headed. This is what all of this servant hood wants to issue in a new heaven. In a new earth where all people.


Israelites and foreigners live in the presence of God. And interestingly, once again, we have a verse pulled straight out of Chapter 11. The messianic kingdom. In all. It's the last verse 25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together. The lion will eat straw like the ox. The dust will be the serpent's food They will neither harm nor destroy. In all my holy mountain, says the Lord, taken right out of Chapter 11. So this downward side of the chasm puts much more specific emphasis on God. You have to intervene. You have to do something in our lives. If we are to be that kind of person and this passage versus 17 through 25 of 65 is sort of the ultimate intervention of God. Brought here for us. Again. Beautiful, beautiful passage. I'll create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create. I will intervene. I will break into the world. I'll break in intermediately in your lives as you live them. But in the end, I will break in. Finally. I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people. A sound of weeping, of crying will be heard in it. No more. So we go through God's promises for what He will do as he intervenes in this broken world in a final, climactic way. The wolf and the lamb will feed together. The lion will eat straw like the ox. The dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy. In all my holy mountain. Come quickly. Come quickly. Lord Jesus. We come then to chapter 66.


And here in verses one and two we have see prime. Shalom for the contrite. This is what the Lord says. Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things? And so they came into being, declares the Lord. These are the ones I look on with favor. Those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at my word. And then we come back to be one. The further statement of the present condition of the people. Whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a person. Whoever offers a lamb is like one who breaks a dog's neck. Oh, my. Whoever makes a great offering is like one who presents pig's blood. Whoever burns memorial incense is like one who worships an idol. And I like this statement. They have chosen their own ways. And they delight in their abominations. Oh, God, you mean. A sacrificial bull is an abomination. A sacrificial lamb is an abomination. A grain offering, a memorial. Incense. Yes. Yes. You're not doing that for me. You're doing it for yourself. You've chosen your own way and your own way is what in the end will destroy you. So I will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring on them what they dread for When I call, no one answered, Oh God, you got to help us. You got to help us. You're not calling on me. I call on you to repent, to surrender your own desires and your own ways. Is there somebody else there? Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at his word, your own people who hate you and exclude you because of my name, have said, Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy, yet they will be put to shame.


Hear that uproar from the city. Hear that noise from the temple. It's the sound of the Lord repaying his enemies all they deserve from the temple. Reminds us of Ezekiel and is equals picture of the corrupted temple in his eight, nine, ten and 11 of his book. But in the midst of this. We see again these bits of promises before she goes into labor. She gives birth before the pains come up on her. She delivers a son who has ever heard of such things. Who can ever, who's ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery? Says the Lord. Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery, says your God. Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her. What we see here in Chapter 66 is a bit like what we saw in chapter one. That. Interchange. We begin with contrition and then we move to people who are making worthless, defiled offerings. Then we talk about the way in which the righteous are mocked by the wicked. But the promise that. Jerusalem is going to give birth to righteous people. Verse ten Rejoice with Jerusalem. Be glad with her. All you who love her rejoice greatly with her all human mourn over her for you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts. You will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance. But then. Look at verse 15. See the Lord is coming with fire and his chariots are like a whirlwind. He will bring down his anger with fury, his rebuke with flames of fire.


Four with fire and with his sword. The Lord will execute judgment on all people, and many will be those slain by the Lord. Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens. Chapter one Following one Who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats, and other unclean things. They will meet their end together with the one they follow, declares the Lord, and die because of what they have planned and done. And I am about to come. You wanted me to come? I'm coming. But it might not be really good news. So it's fascinating in this segment that I'm calling B one prime parallel to chapter 56. Verse nine through 57 5859. It's fascinating that it is set up with this similar interchange to chapter one. And and it's possible that that's done intentionally to call our attention back. Yes, there's hope. But it's through judgment. There's hope, but it's true contrition. There is hope, but it is through truly seeking him and not merely his blessings. And then it concludes, as we've already seen with this picture, I will gather the people of all nations and languages and they will come and see my glory. What's the goal of it all? That the world might come to God and see again. Forgive me for repeating this, but I want to be sure you've gotten it. To see his glory. The glory that fills the earth. To see the reality of the Divine Creator, Savior, the Holy one of Israel. That's God's goal. He wants to be known. He wants to be known as He is in the reality of his holy character. How will it happen? Oh, it will only happen through him. It will only happen because he has given his life to bear the sins of the world.


It will only happen because his spirit has come to earth through the sun. To end. Well, people who will be, in fact, the bearers of the light. I hope you. As you have studied, Isaiah with me have gotten that sense. That you want to be a light bearer. You want to be a servant of God. Not. Not exalting yourself. But allowing him to exalt you as you humble yourself at his feet. I hope that you. Will indeed choose servant hood. I hope you'll trust him. I hope you can trust him with your life. Regardless of what happens. Confident that he is able to take even evil. Ra that which is bad and use it for good. Not only in your life, but in the life of all those whom you encounter along the way. Servants of the Lord. Trusting him. Servants of the Lord receiving his undeserved grace. Servants of the Lord empowered to serve Him through the servant. Servants of the Lord. Lanterns of righteousness for the world sake. Thanks so much.