A Better Day

KEY VERSE: “Behold I create a new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind.” —Isaiah 65:17


THIS is another revealing prophecy of the kingdom of Christ, pointing out the great changes which it will bring about in human experience. In this chapter, Christ’s kingdom is symbolically described as “new heavens and a new earth,” and associated with this picture is another namely, a new “Jerusalem.” Through the prophet, the Lord says, “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”

The new heavens and new earth symbolisms are used in a number of the Bible’s prophecies, being introduced in the Book of Isaiah for the first time. As symbols, the heavens and earth, in their relationship to each other, are very meaningful. All life on earth is affected by the heavens. The seasons, the weather, the tides, etc., are all very directly related to the influences of the various heavenly bodies. The earth is not a law unto itself. This relationship of the two illustrates the spiritual and material aspects of Christ’s kingdom. Together, these two phases of the kingdom of Christ will constitute the Jerusalem which will be such a joy to all who become God’s people under the administration of that new kingdom.

The spiritual phase of the kingdom is thus symbolized by a city, the new Jerusalem. John gives us the key to this symbolism. In Revelation 19:7 we are told of the wife of the Lamb, and in chapter twenty-one, verses nine and ten, we are informed that the Lamb’s wife is the holy city that comes down from God out of heaven.

Now let us note the great changes which are to be wrought as a result of the coming into power of Christ’s kingdom, the new heavens and new earth. Continuing, the prophecy states: ‘There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall make them long enjoy the work of their hands.”—Isa. 65:17,22, Marginal Translation

The “elect” here referred to is Jesus. Associated with him will be his faithful followers. As we progress with our study we will find that these will constitute the new heavens; that is, the new spiritual rulers of the earth. On the other hand, those pictured as building houses and inhabiting them, and planting vineyards and eating the fruit of them, will be the restored human race.

The “elect,” the prophecy states, will “make them long enjoy the work of their hands.” This means, simply, that through Christ and his church everlasting life will be made available to all mankind. That is why one who continues in opposition to this rule of righteousness, and who dies because of his sins, will be only as an infant, even though he may not die until he is a hundred years old. Those who then accept the provisions of God’s grace, through Christ, and obey the laws of that new kingdom, will live forever.

It will be through the messianic kingdom arrangements, the symbolic new heavens and new earth, and holy city, that God figuratively speaking will dwell with men. Just as Jesus in the flesh represented God, the messianic kingdom arrangements will also be his representative. Through these kingdom agencies God’s promised blessings of life and happiness will be extended to the people.

Rotherham’s translation of our Key Verse reads: “For behold me, creating new heavens, and a new earth, and the former shall not be mentioned neither shall they come on the heart.” This does not imply that the evil ways of the former world as an object lesson will not be remembered, but rather by contrast they will have no part in the kingdom.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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