I create new heavens and a new earth - This has been variously understood. Some Jews and some Christians understand it literally. God shall change the state of the atmosphere, and render the earth more fruitful. Some refer it to what they call the Millennium; others, to a glorious state of religion; others, to the re-creation of the earth after it shall have been destroyed by fire. I think it refers to the full conversion of the Jews ultimately; and primarily to the deliverance from the Babylonish captivity.
For behold - The idea in this verse is, that there should be a state of glory as great as if a new heaven and a new earth were to be made.
I create new heavens - Calamity and punishment in the Bible are often represented by the heavens growing dark, and being rolled up like as a scroll, or passing away (see the notes at Isaiah 13:10; Isaiah 34:4). On the contrary, prosperity, happiness, and the divine favor, are represented by the clearing up of a cloudy sky; by the restoration of the serene and pure light of the sun; or, as here, by the creation of new heavens (compare the notes at Isaiah 51:16). The figure of great transformations in material things is one that is often employed in the Scriptures, and especially in Isaiah, to denote great spiritual changes (see Isaiah 51:3; Isaiah 35:1-2, Isaiah 35:7; Isaiah 60:13, Isaiah 60:17). In the New Testament, the phrase used here is employed to denote the future state of the righteous; but whether on earth, after it shall have been purified by fire, or in heaven, has been a subject of great difference of opinion (see 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).
The passage before us is highly poetical, and we are not required to understand it literally. There is, so far as the language is concerned, no more reason for understanding this literally than there is for so understanding the numerous declarations which affirm that the brute creation will undergo a change in their very nature, on the introduction of the gospel Isaiah 51:16.
Look up, look up, and let your faith continually increase. Let this faith guide you along the narrow path that leads through the gates of the city into the great beyond, the wide, unbounded future of glory that is for the redeemed. “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:7, 8. PK 732.1
The nations of the saved will know no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy, while God and Christ will unite in proclaiming. “There shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death.” PK 732.2
“And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord.” “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” “The Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” “In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of His people.” PK 733.1Read in context »
Celestial Music—Oh, what music! There is not an inharmonious note. Every voice proclaims, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain” (Revelation 5:12). He sees of the travail of His soul and is satisfied. Do you think anyone there will take time to tell of his trials and terrible difficulties? “The former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17). “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4).—Manuscript 18, 1894. 3SM 431.4Read in context »
The two Adams will meet in Paradise and embrace each other, while the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, and all who have refused the opportunities and privileges given to them at such infinite cost, and have not returned to their loyalty, will be shut out of Paradise (Manuscript 33, 1897). 6BC 1093.1
42-52 (ch. 13:12). Personality Preserved in a New Body—Our personal identity is preserved in the resurrection, though not the same particles of matter or material substance as went into the grave. The wondrous works of God are a mystery to man. The spirit, the character of man, is returned to God, there to be preserved. In the resurrection every man will have his own character. God in His own time will call forth the dead, giving again the breath of life, and bidding the dry bones live. The same form will come forth, but it will be free from disease and every defect. It lives again bearing the same individuality of features, so that friend will recognize friend. There is no law of God in nature which shows that God gives back the same identical particles of matter which composed the body before death. God shall give the righteous dead a body that will please Him. 6BC 1093.2
Paul illustrates this subject by the kernel of grain sown in the field. The planted kernel decays, but there comes forth a new kernel. The natural substance in the grain that decays is never raised as before, but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him. A much finer material will compose the human body, for it is a new creation, a new birth. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body (Manuscript 76, 1900). 6BC 1093.3Read in context »
One of these fanatical persons labored with some success to turn my friends and even my relatives against me. Because I had faithfully related that which was shown me respecting his unchristian course, he circulated falsehoods to destroy my influence and to justify himself. My lot seemed hard. Discouragements pressed heavily upon me; and the condition of God's people so filled me with anguish that for two weeks I was prostrated with sickness. My friends thought I could not live; but brethren and sisters who sympathized with me in this affliction met to pray for me. I soon realized that earnest, effectual prayer was offered in my behalf. Prayer prevailed. The power of the strong foe was broken, and I was released, and immediately taken off in vision. In this view I saw that if I felt a human influence affecting my testimony, no matter where I might be, I had only to cry to God, and an angel would be sent to my rescue. I already had one guardian angel attending me continually, but when necessary, the Lord would send another to raise me above the power of every earthly influence. 1T 67.1
*****Read in context »