God's Word For You is a free Bible Study site committed to bringing you studies firmly grounded in the Bible – the Word of God. Holding a reformed, conservative, evangelical perspective this site affirms that God has provided in Jesus Christ his eternal Son, a way of salvation in which we can live in his presence guilt free, acquitted and at peace.



© Rosemary Bardsley 2024

As noted in earlier studies, Isaiah’s prophecies have various levels of fulfilment. In terms of what he says about restoration several possible levels of fulfilment are suggested:

[1] The restoration of the Jews to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. This included rebuilding both the temple and the city walls. That has already happened, and is reported in Ezra and Nehemiah. Note that this did not include the restoration of the Davidic line of kings, nor did it include the restoration of Israel’s national prestige or historic territory. It falls well short of many of the things that Isaiah says will happen.

[2] Because of this minimal restoration of Israel after the exile, and also because of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Rome in AD 70, some believe that Isaiah also referred to an as yet future restoration of Israel as a national and political power. For many in Israel, this includes the coming of the promised Messiah, the Davidic king for whom they are still waiting, having not recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah.

[3] Some Christians, expecting Christ to return and establish a literal millennial (1000 years) kingdom on earth, see the second concept above being fulfilled in that return and the establishment of a literal, physical kingdom. For those holding a ‘dispensational’ view, news events involving Israel are closely observed as they are seen as a necessary precursor of this millennial kingdom.

[4] Some Christians understand the restoration, which Isaiah often speaks of in physical terms, as a spiritual restoration resulting from the saving work of the promised Messiah, who came not in power and glory, but as a Suffering Servant. Through his substitutionary death those who believe in him, both Jew and Gentile, are restored to a right relationship with God. Obviously this spiritual restoration occurs whenever a person turns to the Lord in genuine faith and repentance.

[5] This spiritual restoration will be brought to its final and comprehensive completion, including physical restoration, with the return of Christ who will judge the earth and will create new heavens and a new earth, in which the perfection of Eden is restored – a perfection in which God and humans live together, and in which everything that entered the world in Genesis 3 will be no more. But it is even better than Eden. There, the possibility of death existed (Genesis 2:17), but here in the new reality, there is no more death. (Some debate whether or not this new heavens and earth is physical.)

See this study for further comment on the restoration.

This study focuses on this ‘new heavens and new earth’. While Isaiah mentions the ‘new heavens and new earth’ only in his last two chapters, there are multiple references to this eschatological reality scattered throughout his messages. It seems to be a major focus of his messages, looking beyond his own generation, beyond the first coming of Christ and the salvation he gives to those who believe in him, to his promised second coming and all that is involved in and beyond that.

When we look at the new heavens and new earth we are looking at the reality that God creates beyond the final judgement. That final judgement, that destroys God’s enemies, and eradicates evil, is essential, because in the new reality there is no evil, and no possibility of evil, of any kind.

A. ISAIAH 65:10 – 16

In 65:13 – 16 God describes the salvation that would come to the people who seek him – ‘my people who seek me’ – verse 10.

This salvation is the opposite of the judgement that falls on those who forsake the LORD (verse 11):

Those who forsake him go hungry: those who seek him eat.

Those who forsake him go thirsty: those who seek him drink.

Those who forsake him are put to shame: those who seek him rejoice.

Those who forsake him cry from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit: those who seek him sing out of the joy of their hearts.

Those who forsake him will be put to death: those who seek him are given a new name.

Read these New Testament verses. How do they express the same salvation as Isaiah 65:13 – 16?
John 6:35

Romans 5:1, 2, 11

1Peter 1:8, 9

Revelation 3:17b

It is these people, those who seek the Lord, who are the inhabitants of the new heavens and new earth.

B. ISAIAH 65:17 – 25

The phrase ‘new heavens and a new earth’ is found only in Isaiah 65:17, 66:22 and 2 Peter 3:13. But the concept is expressed elsewhere variously:

How do these verses refer to this future reality?
Matthew 25:34

Ephesians 1:14, 18

Colossians 1:12

2Timothy 4:1

Hebrews 11:10, 13 – 16

Hebrews 12:28

1Peter 1:4

2Peter 1:11

Revelation 11:15

Revelation 21:1

Revelation 21:5

The new heavens and new earth is the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which he has made everything new, and of which all believers, from every nation, are citizens. It is their ‘inheritance’ in Christ.

There is also a sense, as we will see below, in which ‘Jerusalem’, ‘Zion’, and ‘the mountain of the LORD’, are sometimes used as synonyms for this eternal kingdom, that is, for ‘the new heaven and new earth’, or, at least, are used to refer to the people who inhabit the new heavens and earth.

There are also references to the present heaven and earth passing away, and to the judgement bringing about the destruction of the present ‘heavens and earth’, which necessitates a renewal of the ‘heavens and the earth’.

Check these texts for the destruction and devastation that precedes the creation of the new heavens and earth:
Isaiah 24:1 – 6, 18 – 20

Isaiah 34:4

Matthew 24:35

2Peter 3:10, 12

Revelation 16:17 – 21

B.1‘Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth’ – verse 17
The question arises: is the new heaven and new earth physical? Will we have bodies? It is certainly described in very physical terms. But are those physical terms meant to be taken literally or symbolically? Personally, I believe the new heavens and earth are a physical reality, but that new physical reality is saturated with the unimpeded complete spiritual blessedness of life with God that God created us for.

Note: When the Bible speaks of the ‘heavens’ or ‘heaven’ it does so in reference to a number of different things: the place where the birds fly, the place where the stars, moon and sun are, the spiritual realm, and the place where God is.

When God says that he is creating a new ‘heavens and earth’, the two terms together could well refer to the whole created physical universe – not just the planet we call ‘earth’.

At the same time, that things are also ‘new’ spiritually because of Jesus Christ is unquestionable.

How do these verses indicate that the new reality includes a new or renewed physical ‘heavens and earth’?
Matthew 26:29

Romans 8:18 – 23

It also raises the question: Why do we need a new heavens and earth?

Isaiah uses the word ‘create’ twice in 65:17, 18, the same word used in Genesis 1 for the original creation.

The fact that God creates new heavens and a new earth indicates that there is something wrong with the present heavens and earth, and we don’t need anyone to tell us that. This ‘wrong’ factor is the curse that encompasses both us and the created world as a result of our Genesis 3 sin.

There God cursed the serpent.
There God cursed the earth.
There suffering and death entered, threatening life, not just human life, but all life.
There we were banned from the tree of life ... banned from the life-giving presence of God.

Here, in this new heavens and earth that God creates ‘no longer will there be any curse’ – Revelation 22:3. The Genesis 3 curse, as it applies to the physical universe, and to us physically, is reversed.

B.2 Joy – verse 17 – 19
The first thing that Isaiah mentions about this new heavens and earth is joy – both ours and God’s.

Our present life in this present ‘heavens and earth’ is characterized by suffering and sadness. In the new heavens and earth none of this will even be remembered.

We know that even now our sins are not remembered by God, as we saw in the previous study. But these verses indicate more than that – that we also will not remember them, nor anything else that causes us grief.

What do these verses say about this?
Psalm 116:8

Isaiah 25:8

Revelation 7:17b

Revelation 21:4

Instead of the sorrow that pervades our present existence because of the presence of sin and suffering, sin and suffering will be so totally absent in the eternal kingdom of Christ that they will not even enter our minds. We will not spend eternity looking back either wishing for or regretting things that were part of the old order. Rather, God exhorts us ‘be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create’ (verse 18).

Reflection: Think for a few moments of how different that life will be from the life we now experience:

There will be no regrets.
There will be no guilt, no shame.
There will be no sense of failure or inadequacy or unworthiness.
Our past will not bother us.
Our future will not threaten us.
What has been destroyed in the judgement will not bother us.
There will be nothing, absolutely nothing, in our thoughts and feelings that causes us tears of any kind.

And more than that:

There will be nothing to fear.
There will be nothing that threatens our life, our survival.
There will be no loss.
Everything that entered the world in Genesis 3 will be no more.

We have seen this joy commanded at the end of three of the four Servant Songs.

What else does Isaiah teach about this joy of those who are redeemed?

12:1 – 6









Some of these references are about a joy that has already begun because of the salvation that God has given to us in Christ. That joy continues into the new reality.

B.3 God’s joy over his people – verse 18 – 19
But there is another truth here – that God, himself finds joy and delight in the people who live in the new heavens and earth that he creates. God says:

‘I create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.
I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people’

‘Jerusalem’, along with ‘Zion’ and ‘the mountain of the Lord’ and ‘the holy city’, are ways of referring to the people of God. From the New Testament we learn that this includes all genuine believers from all ages, and from all nations.

In Revelation 21:9 one of the angels said to John ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb’, then, instead of showing him something that looked like a ‘bride’ or a ‘wife’ he showed John ‘the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God ...’ (verse 10, 11).

There are two images here that appear quite different – ‘bride’ and ‘city’. But if we study the New Testament we find that both of them are images of the church – the full number of all who have genuine faith in Jesus Christ.

What do these texts say about this?
Galatians 4:26 – 31

Hebrews 11:10

Hebrews 11:16

Hebrews 12:22, 23

Hebrews 13:14

Revelation 3:11, 12

Revelation 19:6 – 9

Revelation 20:9

Revelation 21:2

Revelation 22:19

With these New Testament concepts in mind, we can see in Isaiah’s messages regarding the future of Jerusalem, beautiful pictures of the church as it will be in the new heavens and new earth. Not just ‘the church’ as we understand it today, but all people, from Abel onwards, who have true faith in the One who alone is God. See Section C.1 below.

So here in 65:18 & 19, God is telling us that he rejoices over us, he delights in us.

Look at these other verses that speak of God’s joy in those he has redeemed:
Zephaniah 3:17

Matthew 25:21, 23

Luke 15:7

Luke 15:20 – 32

This joy and delight of God in us his people is part of this new world that he creates.

It replaces his disappointment.
It replaces his grief.
It replaces his wrath.
It replaces his judgement.
It replaces his separation from us.

What do these verses teach about the presence of God with us in the new heavens and earth?
Revelation 21:3

Revelation 21:22, 23

Revelation 22:3 – 5

B.4 The blessedness of the eternal kingdom – verses 20 – 25
In these verses Isaiah speaks in terms of the physical blessedness that was promised to Israel if they kept the covenant obligations to which they had committed themselves and their children. [See Study 10.] They had forfeited that blessedness because of their failure to keep those obligations; they had incurred the curses that were prescribed for those who broke the covenant.

The blessings listed here are a reversal of those curses:

Long life instead of early death.
Security instead of threat of war.
Productivity instead of failed harvests.
Blessing instead of misfortune.
Answered prayers instead of silence.

In other words, speaking in terms of the Sinai Covenant, the curses brought on by Israel’s sin are no longer applied. The blessings for obedience are applied and enjoyed.

As Paul states in Galatians 3:13, 14: ‘Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us ... he redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through faith in Christ Jesus ...’

But, as indicated above, back beyond that curse of the Sinai Law that applied to the people of Israel, was a greater, far broader, more devastating curse that impacted all the descendants of Adam and Eve – that impacted all of us.

That this curse which brought suffering and death into the world also is totally removed in the new heavens and new earth is evident in verse 25:

‘The world and the lamb will feed together,
and the lion will eat straw like an ox,
but dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain.’

In the new heavens and earth that God creates nature itself is set free from the affects of God’s curse on the earth because of our Genesis 3 rebellion.

What do these scriptures teach about this all-embracing blessedness?
Isaiah 2:1 – 5

Isaiah 11:6 – 9

Isaiah 33:17, 24

Isaiah 35:5 – 10

Isaiah 55:13
Hosea 2:18

Micah 4:3b

Romans 8:18 – 23


C.1 The City
To look further at the concept of the inhabitants of the new heavens and new earth as ‘Zion’, ‘Jerusalem’, the ‘City’, the ‘mountain of the LORD’, read these verses, and compare what they say about Zion with our present salvation in Christ and our future existence in the new heavens and earth:

Isaiah 1:26b, 27

Isaiah 2:2, 3

Isaiah 12:6

Isaiah 14:32

Isaiah 18:7

Isaiah 24:23

Isaiah 25:6, 10a

Isaiah 26:1 – 4

Isaiah 33:5, 6

Isaiah 33:20 – 22

Isaiah 51:3

Isaiah 51:11

Isaiah 62:1 – 5

Isaiah 62:11, 12

C.2 The nations
The whole book of Isaiah repeatedly mentions the nations. While some of this refers to God’s judgement on various nations, there are many, many texts that speak of the nations coming to faith in God and being included in the salvation promised to those who believe in him – both in this present life and in the age to come – in the new heavens and new earth. In Chapter 66:22 – 24 where God again mentions the new heavens and new earth that he makes, he says ‘all mankind will come and bow down before me.’ Just prior to this (verses 18 – 20) he says of all nations and tongues ‘they will come and see my glory’ and of people from ‘the distant islands’ and ‘the nations’ being told of his glory’ and being brought in to ‘my holy mountain in Jerusalem’.

We have seen this inclusion of the nations in previous studies, including those about the Suffering Servant, whose role included being the light of God to the nations. Now we see the inclusion of the nations in the new heavens and new earth, as part of the new Jerusalem, the city of God.

What does Isaiah teach about this inclusion of people from the nations in these verses?
2:2 – 3

11:10 – 12

24:14 – 16

25:6 – 8

42:1, 4, 6, 10

49:1, 6


52:10, 15

55:4, 5

60:1 – 3


These studies have sought to give insight into some of the more important themes that are found in Isaiah. Reflect on what you have learned about the following topics:

The nature of God.


The nature of sin.


The person and work of Jesus Christ.


The nature of repentance.


The judgement.


The Day of the Lord.


The new heavens and new earth.


How has studying Isaiah enriched your perception of God?


How has studying Isaiah impacted your understanding of Jesus Christ?


How has studying Isaiah impacted your understanding of yourself?


What questions has Isaiah answered for you?


What impact is Isaiah’s teaching having on the way you think and live?