Which New Heaven and New Earth?

For, 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 for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath 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 long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

(Isaiah 65:17-24) KJV

Isaiah and others speak about a new heavens and a new earth, but he isn’t referring to the new heaven and new earth which are described in Revelation chapters 21 and 22.

There are a few clues.

  1. Death – We know that Isaiah is referring to the Millennial Kingdom as being a new heaven and a new earth because he says above that the child shall die and hundred years old. The new heaven and new earth in Revelation 21 and 22 are to be established after death has been cast into the lake of fire. Isaiah is obviously describing “A” new heavens and a new earth, but “THE” new heaven and new earth which are everlasting are to come after that.
  2. DIY – Isaiah also says that they, the people, will build houses, and inhabit them. On the other hand, Jesus, when speaking of the everlasting kingdom of God, said that in his father’s house are many mansions, and that he is to go and prepare a place for us (John 14:1-4). They are clearly two different things.
  3. The Temple – The Millennial Kingdom is described as a mountain that fills the whole earth the summit of which is the temple in Jerusalem. All nations will flow there to make their offerings to the Lord. The new heavens and a new earth in Revelation has no temple.
  4. New Moons – The Millennial Kingdom will have a sun and moon, although they will not be as bright as the ones we see. The new heavens and a new earth of Revelation has no sun or moon.

So there are four reasons to believe that Isaiah and the other Old Testament prophets referred to the Millennial Kingdom as a new heavens and a new earth.

However, in a parallel of the way in which the coming of the messiah has been manifested in two events, being born as a baby in a manger, and later to return as a conquering king, it would seem that the new heavens and new earth are not going to be truly new until we see the ones which God has prepared, that are not simply a modification of the corrupted world system of which we are a part.

Lastly, in our passage about the Millennial Kingdom today we have again the picture painted for us of the carnivores and predators being at peace with each other, carnivores will become herbivores, but snakes are still going to have to eat dust. As far as we can tell from Revelation 21 and 22, these animals are not part of the everlasting kingdom.


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