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Conclusion: Journal 2.102

By Christina M Wilson

The New Dispensation

22 For as the new heaven and the new earth, which I make, remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your seed and your name continue. (LXE, Septuagint in English, Brenton Americanized)

God declares in Septuagint Isaiah 66:22a that the new heavens and new earth “remain” before him. The word which the Greek Septuagint text uses is “menei, μένει”. The tense is indicative present, which demonstrates continuous action. This word, which various New Testament versions translate as “abide,” appears to be one of the Apostle John’s favorite words. He uses it in his gospel and letters several times. See, for example, 1 John 4:16 ESV in which it appears three times (including once as a participle).

1 John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (ESV)

For those who “abide” in God, “the new heaven and the new earth” which God makes differ spectacularly from the old. The new order includes an open heaven rejoined to earth by God’s Spirit (see Devotional 2.101). The Servant’s incarnation, death, victorious resurrection, ascension, and sending of his Spirit accomplish these changes. These changes are eternal. The Old Testament is complete; humankind now lives in the New.

Eternal Changes

In the same way that the new heaven and new earth abide before God, Septuagint Isaiah 66:22b announces an eternal worship of God. The descendants of God’s believing Old Testament remnant continue to “stand” before him. Old Testament Israel’s destiny is thereby fulfilled. Abraham produces a singular Seed. He is God’s Servant, his Son (see Septuagint Isaiah 52:13-53:12; 7:14). God by grace also preserves a remnant of national Israel. This “seed” (plural) remain faithful to God (Septuagint Isaiah 4:2,3; 10:20-22; 28:5; 37:32; and 46:3-4) throughout the Old Testament and into the New. This faithful remnant believes and obeys all God’s words, including those of Isaiah 53.

When the Servant appears, the believing remnant recognize him and receive him gladly. For example, there are Mary in Luke 1:38, Elizabeth in Luke 1:41-45, her husband Zechariah in Luke 1:67-79, Anna in Luke 2:37-38, the eleven faithful disciples in the four gospels, the three thousand Israelites who believed on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:41, Luke the gospel writer, Saul the Pharisee in Acts 23:6, who became Paul the Apostle, referenced in Acts 9:17-20 and Acts 13:9, and nameless others.

God’s faithful remnant of Israel go out and preach the good news of God’s Servant Jesus Christ to Israelite and Gentile alike. The new heaven and new earth begin. Spiritual Jerusalem, God’s people, (Galatians 4:26-27) explodes overnight. They begin to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 66:22b. That prophecy continues to be fulfilled today, as it splashes over into verse 23.

23 And it shall come to pass from month to month, and from sabbath to sabbath, that all flesh shall come to worship before me in Jerusalem, says the Lord. (Septuagint Isaiah 66:23)

The seed of those first believers continues to gather together before the Lord to worship him Sunday by Sunday, holy day by holy day (Christmas, Easter), and communion by communion. These worshipers do indeed constitute “all flesh,” both Israelite and Gentile believers joined in the peace of God’s Servant (Ephesians 2:14).

The Last Verse

God has and always will have the last word concerning his creation.

24 And they shall go forth, and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched; and they shall be a spectacle to all flesh. (LXE)

Septuagint Isaiah 66:24 states, “And they shall go forth… “. Who are “they”? The subject “they” refers to the worshipers of verses 22 and 23. These in turn are the children, both Israelite and Gentile, of the woman, Sion, who travailed and brought forth a nation in one day (Isaiah 66:7-8). She is the “barren woman” of Septuagint Isaiah 54:1.

In this final verse, Isaiah returns to his theme of two peoples, two choices, and two outcomes. On the one hand, he presents the remnant of Israel with her Gentile children. These faithful worshipers exercise freedom to come and go before God. On the other hand, Isaiah describes those who transgress against God. Again, as with the faithful group, ethnicity bears no importance. Isaiah specifies none. Readers can interpret these transgressors as having come from the whole world. These are dead people. See Isaiah’s use of the word “carcasses,” or corpses.

The “worm”, or maggots, that eat these dead remains will never die. Nor shall the fire that burns to consume them. Forever and ever, these rotting remains will persist as a grim reminder to the faithful that the trials and tribulations they endured, as they remained faithful to their God and his Servant, were well worth the cost.

New Heaven/New Earth: Journal 2.101

By Christina M Wilson

22 For as the new heaven and the new earth, which I make, remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your seed and your name continue. 23 And it shall come to pass from month to month, and from sabbath to sabbath, that all flesh shall come to worship before me in Jerusalem, says the Lord. 24 And they shall go forth, and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched; and they shall be a spectacle to all flesh. (Septuagint Isaiah 66:22-24)

New Heaven and New Earth

Before being able to recognize a new heaven and a new earth, readers must understand the major characteristics of the old heaven and the old earth.

Old Heaven and Old Earth

The defining moment of the old heaven and old earth occurred when God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden. The first verse below indicates that before that moment, the Lord habitually walked in the garden in the cool of the day and spoke with Adam and Eve.

 Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (ESV)

When he cast them out of the garden, certain changes occurred. The first change was the introduction of death for human kind.

Genesis 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (ESV)

Second, death spread to all creatures and plants when God cursed the ground and sent Adam and Eve away from his presence.

Genesis 3:17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (ESV) (See Romans 5:12.)

Finally, an impassable chasm separated God from man when Adam willfully disobeyed God.

Genesis 3:24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (ESV) 

The entire Old Testament bears witness to the mighty separation between God and humankind. Even those who remained faithful to the intent of God’s law knew nothing of a “personal” God. Occasionally, by God’s choice alone, God spoke to prophets and commanded them to relay his words to others. Further, the offering of a countless number of animals over the course of millennia brought a temporary respite from God’s impending judgment. Nevertheless, the wrath of God towards his creation hung over the Old Testament like a clinging veil of death.

People for the most part walked alone, unaware of God. All evidences of God’s presence remained outward. The outward evidences of God’s presence among them included the Law of Moses, the words of the prophets, the signs and symbols inherent in the structure of the tabernacle and later the temple, the celebrations and observances of holy days, and finally, the events of history itself, as God repeatedly rescued the Israelites from the hand of their enemies and from natural disasters, such as drought and famine. Relatively speaking, those days were dark.

New Heaven and New Earth

Even two thousand years later, it remains impossible to overstate the magnitude of the changes the advent, sacrificial death, resurrection, and ascension of God’s Servant, his Christ, his Son, effected. No millennial kingdom is necessary to complete the work of this amazing being. As Jesus of Nazareth God’s Servant himself spoke from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Listed below are the major changes.

  1. First, God bestows a permanent holiness upon believers in his Son (Hebrews 10:10).
  2. Second, the veil of separation between people and God’s throne in heaven has been torn asunder and permanently removed. The chasm separating God and humankind has been bridged. God encourages all believers in Christ to boldly approach  his heavenly throne to ask for grace and help (Matthew 27:51; Hebrews 4:16).
  3. The veil of death hanging over all life has been lifted now, already, for those who believe in Jesus Christ (John 3:15-16; 6:54; 10:28; 17:2, 3; Acts 13:48; Romans 6:23; 1 John 2:25).
  4. Most wonderful of all, God is now “with us.” The very name Immanuel means, “God with us.” During his incarnation, Christ, God’s Servant in Isaiah, lived “with us.” After he ascended, he sent his Holy Spirit, the third Person of the triune God, to live within and among believers. This is incomparable treasure for all who believe. God now lives within human hearts.
    Acts 19:2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit”… 5 they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. (ESV) (See also John 14:18; Acts 1:8; 2:38; Colossians 1:27; Jude 1:20).


All the blessings listed above are those we have in Christ now. These already constitute a “new heaven” and a “new earth.” To summarize, for everyone who believes–and all are welcome, “whosoever will” (Revelation 22:17 NET, Matthew 11:28-30)–the following are “new”.

  1. Heaven is now open in Christ, not shut.
  2. Earth and heaven have been joined in Christ by his Holy Spirit living both within and among each and every believer in him.
  3. Humankind are no longer separated from the presence of God. In Christ, God, as a loving Father, welcomes all  to approach his throne of grace.
  4. The curse has been declared null and void for those who believe and receive God’s Servant. Eternal life is here now.

… Not Yet

Some of Isaiah’s promises remain to be fulfilled. One day, this last age of history will end. A final judgment will come. And, the earth itself, all creation, will be reborn into the glorious liberty of the children of God. The earth itself will be “new.”

Romans 8:19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. (ESV)

And those who live now in accord with God’s ultimate plan of salvation in his Servant, his Son, will receive new, eternal bodies.

Romans 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (ESV)

1 Corinthians 15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (ESV)

Your Name and Your Seed

In the next post, Lord willing, we will continue the discussion of Septuagint Isaiah 66:22.

Fulfillment of Isaiah: Journal 2.100

Christina M Wilson


Our detailed study of Septuagint Isaiah has take us up to Septuagint Isaiah 66:18a (see Devotional 2.98). There in the first sentence of verse 18, Isaiah writes, “And I know their works and their imagination.” The third person “they” and “their” refers back to verse 17 and previous. In those verses, God describes those in Israel who “have chosen their own ways, and their soul has delighted in abominations” (Isaiah 66:3b). He also includes “all the earth” in his “flame of fire” and “his sword” (Isaiah 66:16). These are the ones of whom God knows “their works and their imagination” (verse 18a).

The Switchback

In order to identify where the switchback occurs, let’s look first at the text of 17 through 19.

Isaiah 66:16 For with the fire of the Lord all the earth shall be judged, and all flesh with his sword: many shall be slain by the Lord. 17 They that sanctify themselves and purify themselves in the gardens, and eat swine’s flesh in the porches, and the abominations, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, says the Lord. 18 And I know their works and their imagination. I am going to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. 19 And I will leave a sign upon them, and I will send forth them that have escaped of them to the nations, to Tharsis, and Phud, and Lud, and Mosoch, and to Thobel, and to Greece, and to the isles afar off, to those who have not heard my name, nor seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. (LXE, Septuagint)


The verses just above specify two groups. The first group are the willfully disobedient, whom the Lord will judge and slay with fire and sword. The text indicates that the Lord will judge them for the cause of both “their works and their imagination.” We today would say, “for thought and deed.”

But then the text states that “all nations and tongues” shall come and see the Lord’s “glory.” Seeing the Lord’s glory in this context is a blessing. The words “my glory” occur two more times with a positive connotation in verse 19. Now, the Lord is not about to bless with a vision of his glory those whom he has just condemned. No, but rather, the Lord abruptly turns to his second audience, those who willfully obey him.

Upon this group, the Lord will “leave a sign” and “send [them] forth.” Where do these missionaries come from? They come from all nations and tongues. They are the ones who have “escaped.” Escaped what? Presumably, the judgment of verses 16-18a. After they have seen his glory, the Lord sends them out as missionaries to all parts of the earth. The Lord sends them to all those who, he says, “have not heard my name, nor seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.”

After this (verse 20), the missionaries will take the new converts from among the Gentile nations all over the world to the “holy city Jerusalem” as brothers (1) This is the Gospel era, the age in which we are living today.

Influx of Gentiles

Verses 19 through 21 of this last chapter of Septuagint Isaiah describe the results of the Lord’s missionary activity, as described just above. Verses 20 and 21 below indicate full inclusion of believing Gentiles among the faithful of God’s people of old.

19 And I will leave a sign upon them, and I will send forth them that have escaped of them to the nations, to Tharsis, and Phud, and Lud, and Mosoch, and to Thobel, and to Greece, and to the isles afar off, to those who have not heard my name, nor seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. 20 And they shall bring your brethren out of all nations for a gift to the Lord with horses, and chariots, in litters drawn by mules with awnings, to the holy city Jerusalem, said the Lord, as though the children of Israel should bring their sacrifices to me with psalms into the house of the Lord. 21 And I will take of them priests and Levites, says the Lord. (Septuagint Isaiah 66:19-21)


When is the timeframe of all this prophesied missionary activity? It occurs during the only timeframe Isaiah knows–his own present and near future (the advent of God’s Servant/Son). For Isaiah, the first coming of God’s Servant is so marvelous that he consumes chapters and chapters exploring this once and forever occurrence. There is never any indication of any time marker or named event in the book of Isaiah to reference a “second coming/millennium” that involves the glorification of national Israel. On the contrary, in this chapter alone, the Lord through Isaiah firmly condemns those national Israelites who reject him (Matthew 3:10).

But the Lord receives those of his people who yield, believe, and obey his word. These he honors as “Sion” (Isaiah 66:8) and “Jerusalem” (Isaiah 66:10). These are the faithful branches of the rooted olive tree which persist into the New Testament. To this faithful tree he attaches an amazing influx of believers from among the Gentile nations (Romans 11:17).


Many commentators have suggested various answers to the question, What is the “sign” the Lord leaves upon those he sends out to the Gentile world to declare his glory? My thought is that the “sign” the Lord gives is the seal of his Holy Spirit (2).

Historical Fulfillment

Historically, God judged the earthly Jerusalem and Israel’s religious system in 70 CE. He allowed the Romans to obliterate both the temple and the city of Jerusalem. It is difficult, however, to see how this destruction would include his judgment “with fire” of “all the earth” in Isaiah 66:16. That prophecy does seem still to be future. However, as indicated in a prior post (Devotional 2.98), the mention of “all the earth” serves the function of combining into a single group the unfaithful of both Israel and the entire world (3).

Also historically, a tremendous explosion of missionary activity began among the Israelite followers of Christ, almost immediately after the Servant’s ascension. God joined Gentile believers to Israelite believers to form an expanded congregation. Believers from all nations and tongues have subsequently gone out into the most remote regions on earth continuously to this day. They tell of the “glory” of the Lord.

New names have been given. “Israelite” became “Jewish.” Believers from among the original Jewish followers of Christ and from all kinds of Gentile peoples became known as Christians. They form a group whose core comprises those of Old Testament Israel who “escaped” their God’s wrath. But the larger portion of believers in God’s Servant came from Gentile nations, just as Isaiah the prophet foretold.

New Testament Fulfillment

As equally amazing as historical fulfillment of Isaiah’s word, the New Testament stands as a second witness.


Acts 1:4 And while staying with them he [the Lord] ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; (ESV)

Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (ESV)

Ephesians 1:13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit… 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (ESV)

The presence of the Holy Spirit among the Lord’s people is the source of the love that establishes the unity among them. This love is also a “sign” to the world that God has sent the Savior (John 17:21).


Isaiah’s Servant himself commanded the missionary activity his followers have been fulfilling constantly down to this very day.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)

On the day of Pentecost, the day that the Lord sent his Holy Spirit as an amazing sign for all to witness, people from all over the world were visiting Jerusalem for the festival. Three thousand believed that day (Acts 2:41). A new “nation” of believers was born all at once, in one day (Isaiah 66:7-8). As a further witness, compare the list of countries the book of Acts gives with that of Isaiah in Isaiah 66:19.

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven… 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians– we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” (Act 2:4-11 ESV)

The Apostle Paul fulfilled the Lord’s geographical commission to a greater extent than any other of the first disciples of Isaiah’s Servant, Christ.

Acts 28:16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him. (ESV)

Romans 15:24 I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. (ESV)

Notice the similarities between Paul’s statement in Romans 15 and Isaiah’s in 66:20.

20 And they shall bring your brethren out of all nations for a gift to the Lord with horses, and chariots, in litters drawn by mules with awnings, to the holy city Jerusalem, said the Lord, as though the children of Israel should bring their sacrifices to me with psalms into the house of the Lord. (Septuagint Isaiah 66:20)

Romans 15:15… because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)


Old Testament believers in the God of Israel flow directly and uninterruptedly into the New Testament. Elizabeth and Zechariah (Luke 1:5), their son John the Baptist (John 1:15; Matthew 11:11), Mary and Joseph (Matthew 1:18), Simeon (Luke 2:25-32), Anna (Luke 2:36-38), Nicodemus (John 3:1-10; 19:38-39), the woman at the well (John 4:4-29), and of course, the original disciples (minus Judas) all believed the God and the Scriptures of Israel’s past.

Nevertheless, the names Israel and Israelites did not persist as a description of Jewish and Gentile believers together after the day of Pentecost.

Two names, however, did persist as part of the inheritance of New Testament believers in the God of Israel and his Servant. These names are Sion and Jerusalem.

Galatians 4:25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. (ESV)

Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, (ESV)

Revelation 3:12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. (ESV) (See also Revelation 3:12; 21:2; and 21:10.)

Matthew 21:5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'” (ESV)

1 Peter 2:6 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (1Pe 2:6 ESV)


Isaiah writes that some of the Gentile “brethren out of all nations” (Septuagint Isaiah 66:20) shall become priests and Levites. This in itself is an enormous change from Old Testament law, since priests and Levites came from the tribe of Levi alone.

Isaiah 66:21 And I will take of them priests and Levites, saith the Lord. (LXE)

The Apostle Peter and the book of Revelation speak of the “priesthood” of believers.

1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,
5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:4-9 ESV)

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from … 5… Jesus Christ… who… 6… made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:4-6 ESV)


Jesus Christ, God’s Servant (Isaiah 52:13), burst into history with great glory. The immediate aftermath fulfills Isaiah’s prophecies in Septuagint Isaiah 66:1-20 (verse 16 appears to be as yet unfulfilled).

Next post, Lord willing, we will consider the last three verses of the book of Isaiah. 

1 Some may maintain that the “brothers” are Israelites. But these “brothers” have just been evangelized by missionaries. I highly doubt that Israelites would be scattered all over the world who had never “heard my [the Lord’s] name nor seen my glory.” No, but rather the word “brothers” refers to the converted Gentiles.

2 Scripture to support this statement will be included in a subsequent section. 

3 See the second paragraph of the section in Devotional 2.98 titled “Shift One: Inclusion of Gentiles.”

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