Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Isaiah 66:22, 23 - Sabbath In Heaven?

22  "For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me," says the LORD, "So shall your descendants and your name remain.
23  And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me," says the LORD (NKJV)
This expression "new heavens and earth" has to be defined by the context in which it is found. For example, in 2 Peter 3:1-13, the usage of it is clear that it is referring to the next era of time in heaven where there is absolutely nothing that exists as sinful. But the context of Isaiah in which Isaiah 66:22, 23 is in disallows such a meaning. Please consider that Isaiah is speaking of the same "new heavens and earth" in chapter 65 which helps us determine the meaning of it:
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind" (65:17)
Now note what all is in Isaiah's "new heavens and earth":
  • Levites (66:21)
  • New Moon (66:23)
  • Sabbath (66:23)
  • flesh (66:23)
  • wolves, lambs, lions and serpents (65:25)
  • children who die at 100 years old (65:20)
  • building houses and planting vineyards, work with hands (65:21, 22)
  • bringing forth children (65:23)
Now when you compare what is actually taught about the New Testament's "new heaven and earth" you can readily conclude that Isaiah's "New heaven and earth" cannot be speaking about the heaven where God's literal throne exists today, but most probable of the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity--which was a new era in their existence as a nation.
  • Christ is our priest in heaven and is not of Levi. The law was changed (Heb. 8:1; 7:11-15)
  • New Moon and Sabbaths are done away and a mere shadow of things to come (Col. 2:14-17). Besides, there is no sun or moon in heaven (Rev. 21:23, 22:5). This fact makes it impossible to have a regular Sabbath keeping as well as a the "new moon."
  • no flesh shall inherit it (1 Cor. 15:50ff)
  • no death exists there (Rev. 22:4)
Following are some charts that deal with typical arguments that Adventists give regarding Isaiah:
I hope this helps.
Steven J. Wallace