Isaiah 66:22

From these verses, which present us with a glowing vision of future triumph and blessedness, we learn -

I. THAT GOD MAY CALL US TO UNWELCOME BUT EXCELLENT SERVICE. The Jews could not have anticipated, nor would they have desired, such a disposition of themselves, and such a use of their powers as is indicated in the nineteenth verse. It was strange to their thought, alien to their sympathy. Yet it was a most admirable service, with which they might well be contented. Thus God often blesses us now with opportunities we do not court, but which prove to be excellent and admirable indeed. Possibly he may deal with us in a way very similar to that before us. As the persecution of the early disciples resulted in their going everywhere, away from home and friends, preaching the gospel (Acts 8:8), so some providential ordering which is unpleasant at the time, removing us from scenes that are inviting or from persons that are dear to us, may place us in conditions of great usefulness and blessing.

II. THAT GOD INVITES US ALL TO A NOBLE VICTORY. There had been bitter hatred and bloody strife between Jew and Gentile; each had sought to triumph over the other on the battle-field; each longed to have his feet on the other's neck. The peaceful picture of the text (ver. 20) supplies a beautiful and blessed substitute. One is to bring the other, in friendly and honourable conveyance, and to present him in holy sacrifice to God. Not to wreak vengeance; not to obtain civil supremacy; but to bring to God's house and to introduce to his service, is to gain the true victory over our brother.

III. THAT GOD IS EFFECTING A WONDROUS AND LASTING RENOVATION. He is creating new heavens and a new earth which will endure (ver. 22 and Isaiah 65:17). He will make all things new. This kingdom of sin and folly which has so long prevailed shall disappear, and in its place shall be seen a kingdom of "righteousness, peace, and joy;" a far greater change, more wonderful, more difficult of accomplishment, more to be desired, than the displacement of the material elements and the substitution of others in their place. This new kingdom is one which will be essentially Divine.

1. It will be of God. He "will make it."

2. It will be characterized by reverence for him, and one of its main features will be regular and universal worship (ver. 23). It will be durable as the strongest of his handiworks. It "shall remain."

IV. THAT GOD WILL RECEIVE THOSE FURTHEST AWAY TO NEAREST INTERCOURSE WITH HIMSELF. Of the Gentiles themselves God would take "for priests and for Levites" (ver. 21). This was a startling promise, and never was literally fulfilled. But it finds a glorious fulfilment in the kingdom of Christ. Now we (Gentiles) who were afar off are brought nigh. We worship and serve in the sanctuary; we sit down at "the table of the Lord;" we have freest and fullest access to God; every harrier in the way of perfect intercourse has disappeared; we are admitted to the royal presence, and "stand before the King;" nay, we ourselves are "kings and priests unto God." That which once seemed hopelessly impossible has become a constant privilege under Jesus Christ. - C.

For as the new heavens and the new earth.
The bulk of the heathen world and also of Israel perish, but Israel's name and seed, i.e. Israel as a nation with the same ancestors and an independent name, remains for ever (cf. Jeremiah 31:35 f.; 33:20-26), as the new heaven and the new earth. And just because Israel's calling in regard to the heathen world is now fulfilled and all things are made new, the old fencing off of Israel from the heathen now comes to an end; and what qualifies for priestly and Levitical service in God's temple is no longer mere natural descent, but inner nobility The prophet thus represents to himself the Church of the future on a new earth and under a new heaven; but he is unable to represent the eternal in the form of eternity; he represents it to himself merely as an unending continuation of temporal history (ver. 23).

(F. Delitzch, D. D.)

The thought of Isaiah 56:7 is here (ver. 23) expressed by a figure, which, understood literally, involves a physical impossibility; but the prophet cannot altogether emancipate himself from the forms of the Jewish economy, and clothes a spiritual truth in a garb which in strictness is too narrow for it (cf. Zechariah 14:16-19).

(Prof. S. R. Driver, D. D.)

(with Isaiah 60:20, 21): — The Christian Church is not the conqueror of the Jewish polity, but the heir and successor. The new covenant has been developed out of the old. There was no break when Christ came, but a fulfilment and a completion. And so the promises were handed down in the Christian line, among which these from the latter part of Isaiah, relating to the "stability' of the ancient Church, are not the least remarkable. They declare that God is an "everlasting" light to His people, that their permanence is like the permanence of the creation of God.

(T. D. Woolsey.)

The permanence of the Christian Church in the world, if it be a fact, is unlike all facts of history. Everything human decays and passes away. All institutions, forms of government, civilizations, have their day and decline. No one doubts that the old religions of India and its castes are doomed to perish. We cannot, therefore, be assured from history that Christianity may not perish also. Still when you look at its origin, its power of growth, its vitality, when everything around was dead; its changes of form joined to unchangeableness of principle; its power to correct evils within its pale; its predominance among the influences that act on mankind; its universal character, and its consciousness — so to speak — that the world is its own, you cannot feel it to be otherwise than quite probable that it is to be man's guide to the end of time.

(T. D. Woolsey.)

Though history is not prophecy, though it cannot with authority predict the universal and final sway of Christ's Gospel and of Christian institutions, it reveals, at the least, a working power, a tenacity of life, a hopefulness, a benevolent energy which are not inconsistent with stability and with continuance until the end of time.

(T. D. Woolsey.)

I. WE SHALL LOOK AT SEVERAL CAUSES TO WHICH IT IS NOT DUE: but to which, on a superficial view, it might be ascribed.

1. It is not owing to strength borrowed from governments, the Church grew without help from the government; it grew also in spite of long efforts of the government to destroy it.

2. For is the stability of the Church due to the stability of its forms of discipline and order. These have passed through a great variety of changes, from the times of the nascent Church, when there was little of established order, down through the ages of hierarchy, to our times, when the Church thrives in a great variety of forms, and with varied theories of government.

3. Nor yet is the stability of the Church owing to the stability of theological systems. It grew, it almost reigned, before any received dogmatic statements of its sacred truth were current. It has outlived theories and expositions innumerable, and indeed nothing connected with Christianity has been more changing than the scientific arrangements of its truths.

4. Nor can the stability of the Church be explained by saying that it got the control of opinion and kept thought in leading strings, so that when science was emancipated, new conditions full of danger to the Church began. It arose in spite of a reigning heathen opinion and philosophy, which it overthrew and put another in the place. It has in its healthiest state favoured all knowledge in the confidence of being itself together with every other true thing from God.

5. Nor can the stability of the Church be attributed to the condescending patronage of large-minded men, who saw in its justice and humanity a help for the world to be found nowhere else, but yet did not believe in it themselves.

II. TO WHAT, THEN, IS THE STABILITY OF THE CHURCH DUE? To this question it is no sufficient answer that the Holy Spirit is ever in and with the Church. For the Spirit's office is to act on men according to the laws of character by Divine realities. It is due —

1. To this: that the Gospel, on which the Church is built, works out some of the great problems which lie on the heart of man, in a way to give lasting peace and satisfaction to the soul. I refer to practical rather than to intellectual problems, although even the restless questionings of the mind either meet with an answer from the Divine oracles, or are carried up into a higher realm of truth. The power inherent in Christianity itself, as a way of reconciling God and man, and of raising man above sin by great truths and great hopes, is a real and permanent power. It is suited to all natures and capacities, to all races and times.

2. To those permanent features of the Gospel, which bind men together in a brotherhood pervaded by the spirit of love and fellowship.

3. To its self-reforming capacity. The human and the Divine have ever mingled and will ever mingle in the historical progress of Christianity, as they mingle in the development of a Christian life. There are unavoidable sources of corruption in the revolutions of society, in the growth of wealth, in the love of self-gratification, in the increase of worldly comforts. There are other sources in the ignorance of untrained Christians, in the ambition of the clergy and their love of dominion, in the rewards offered within the Church to the aspiring, in formalism, in a dead orthodoxy. At the lowest ebb of Christian life and knowledge there remain within the reach of the Church the sources of a better spiritual state, so that it can reform itself as it has done more than once.(1) As long as the Bible is acknowledged as an authority, there is an appeal to it from all other authorities, from popes, and councils, and philosophers, and the current opinion of the time.(2) There are at the times of greatest declension men who arc somehow led, .as we believe, by the Divine Spirit concurring with the Word, into a deeper experience; they rise above their times, they reach convictions which are irrepressible, they must proclaim to the world at any cost what they found out as the resting-places of their souls; they become the starting-points of a reform which sweeps over all Christian nations.

4. The stability of the Church is ensured by the stability of Christ. "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day and for ever." Doubt is of to day, but He is of all time. He is a permanent possession for the soul. He does not wear out in a lifetime. He is the permanent possession of the Church in all its ages and changes He does not wear out while there are men to long for redemption.

(T. D. Woolsey.)

Isaiah, Israelites, Javan, Levites, Lud, Lydians, Meshech, Pul, Rosh, Tarshish, Tubal
Javan, Jerusalem, Lud, Pul, Tarshish, Tubal, Zion
Affirmation, Declares, Descendants, Endure, Heaven, Heavens, Making, Offspring, Says, Seed, Standing
1. The glorious God will be served in humble sincerity
5. He comforts the humble by showing the confusion of their enemies
7. With the marvelous growth
10. And the gracious benefits of the church
15. God's severe judgments against the wicked
18. The Gentiles shall have an holy church
24. And see the damnation of the wicked

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Isaiah 66:22

     4010   creation, renewal
     4203   earth, the
     4209   land, spiritual aspects
     4287   universe
     4909   beginning
     4915   completion
     5043   names, significance
     5477   property, land
     6201   imperfection, and God's purposes
     6698   newness
     8146   renewal, natural order
     9160   new heavens and new earth
     9411   heaven

Isaiah 66:22-23

     1355   providence
     6636   drawing near to God

A New Order of Priests and Levites
Think for a minute of the compass of this great promise. Evidently a high honor is here conferred. The connection leads us to see that not only a great promise but likewise a great privilege is herein implied. What is this privilege? It is that we shall be priests and Levites. Now, the priests or Levites were persons set apart to be God's peculiar property. When the firstborn were spared in Egypt, God claimed the firstborn to be his own, and he took the tribe of Levi to represent the firstborn; they
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Travailing for Souls
I. It is clear from the text, "As soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children," that THERE MUST BE THE TRAVAIL before there will be the spiritual birth. Let me first establish this fact from history. Before there has fallen a great benediction upon God's people, it has been preceded by great searchings of heart. Israel was so oppressed in Egypt, that it would have been very easy, and almost a natural thing, for the people to become so utterly crushed in spirit as to submit to be hereditary
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

"All Our Righteousnesses are as Filthy Rags, and we all do Fade as a Leaf, and Our Iniquities, Like the Wind, have Taken us Away. "
Isaiah lxiv. 6, 7.--"All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Not only are the direct breaches of the command uncleanness, and men originally and actually unclean, but even our holy actions, our commanded duties. Take a man's civility, religion, and all his universal inherent righteousness,--all are filthy rags. And here the church confesseth nothing but what God accuseth her of, Isa. lxvi. 8, and chap. i. ver.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

And what Members of the Holy Body, which is the Church...
40. And what members of the holy body, which is the Church, ought more to take care, that upon them the holy Spirit may rest, than such as profess virginal holiness? But how doth He rest, where He findeth not His own place? what else than an humbled heart, to fill, not to leap back from; to raise up, not to weigh down? whereas it hath been most plainly said, "On whom shall rest My Spirit? On him that is humble and quiet, and trembles at My words." [2157] Already thou livest righteously, already thou
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

The Universal Church. --Isa. Lxvi. 12, 23
The universal Church.--Isa. lxvi. 12, 23. Thus saith the Lord, "My Church, to thee Peace, like a river, I will send; The Gentiles, in a stream, shall see My mercy flowing without end. The isles, that never heard my fame, Nor knew the glory of my might, They shall be taught to fear my name, Call'd out of darkness into light. And it shall come to pass, that vows From sabbath unto sabbath-day, From moon to moon, in mine own house, All nations, tribes, and tongues shall pay."
James Montgomery—Sacred Poems and Hymns

Synagogues: their Origin, Structure and Outward Arrangements
It was a beautiful saying of Rabbi Jochanan (Jer. Ber. v. 1), that he who prays in his house surrounds and fortifies it, so to speak, with a wall of iron. Nevertheless, it seems immediately contradicted by what follows. For it is explained that this only holds good where a man is alone, but that where there is a community prayer should be offered in the synagogue. We can readily understand how, after the destruction of the Temple, and the cessation of its symbolical worship, the excessive value attached
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

Grace unto you and peace be multiplied. I Pet 1:1. Having spoken of the first fruit of sanctification, assurance, I proceed to the second, viz., Peace, Peace be multiplied:' What are the several species or kinds of Peace? Peace, in Scripture, is compared to a river which parts itself into two silver streams. Isa 66:12. I. There is an external peace, and that is, (1.) (Economical, or peace in a family. (2.) Political, or peace in the state. Peace is the nurse of plenty. He maketh peace in thy borders,
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Here Some one Will Say, this is Now not to Write of virginity...
52. Here some one will say, This is now not to write of virginity, but of humility. As though truly it were any kind of virginity, and not that which is after God, which we had undertaken to set forth. And this good, by how much I see it to be great, by so much I fear for it, lest it be lost, the thief pride. Therefore there is none that guardeth the virginal good, save God Himself Who gave it: and God is Charity. [2211] The Guardian therefore of virginity is Charity: but the place of this Guardian
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

Fifth Sunday in Lent
Text: Hebrews 9, 11-15. 11 But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, 12 nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling them that have been defiled, sanctify unto the cleanness of the flesh:
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

In the Dungeon of Giant Discourager
IN THE DUNGEON OF GIANT DISCOURAGER I feel very discouraged at times, and sometimes the spells of discouragement hang on for a long while. I wonder if I am sanctified. From unaccountable sources, bad feelings of every description depress my soul, and along with these bad feelings come doubts that cast gloom over me. I have prayed and prayed that these feelings of discouragement might leave me; but they have not done so. I despair of prayer bringing me the help I need. Really, I know not what to do.
Robert Lee Berry—Adventures in the Land of Canaan

How the Humble and the Haughty are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 18.) Differently to be admonished are the humble and the haughty. To the former it is to be insinuated how true is that excellence which they hold in hoping for it; to the latter it is to be intimated how that temporal glory is as nothing which even when embracing it they hold not. Let the humble hear how eternal are the things that they long for, how transitory the things which they despise; let the haughty hear how transitory are the things they court, how eternal the things they
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

The Knowledge that God Is, Combined with the Knowledge that He is to be Worshipped.
John iv. 24.--"God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." There are two common notions engraven on the hearts of all men by nature,--that God is, and that he must be worshipped, and these two live and die together, they are clear, or blotted together. According as the apprehension of God is clear, and distinct, and more deeply engraven on the soul, so is this notion of man's duty of worshipping God clear and imprinted on the soul, and whenever the actions
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"To what Purpose is the Multitude of Your Sacrifices unto Me? Saith the Lord,"
Isaiah i. 11.--"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord," &c. This is the word he calls them to hear and a strange word. Isaiah asks, What mean your sacrifices? God will not have them. I think the people would say in their own hearts, What means the prophet? What would the Lord be at? Do we anything but what he commanded us? Is he angry at us for obeying him? What means this word? Is he not repealing the statute and ordinance he had made in Israel? If he had reproved
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Bunyan's Last Sermon --Preached July 1688.
"Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God;" John i. 13. The words have a dependence on what goes before, and therefore I must direct you to them for the right understanding of it. You have it thus,--"He came to his own, but his own received him not; but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them which believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God." In
by John Bunyan—Miscellaneous Pieces

The Knowledge of God
'The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.' I Sam 2:2. Glorious things are spoken of God; he transcends our thoughts, and the praises of angels. God's glory lies chiefly in his attributes, which are the several beams by which the divine nature shines forth. Among other of his orient excellencies, this is not the least, The Lord is a God of knowledge; or as the Hebrew word is, A God of knowledges.' Through the bright mirror of his own essence, he has a full idea and cognisance
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Mr. Bunyan's Last Sermon:
Preached August 19TH, 1688 [ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR] This sermon, although very short, is peculiarly interesting: how it was preserved we are not told; but it bears strong marks of having been published from notes taken by one of the hearers. There is no proof that any memorandum or notes of this sermon was found in the autograph of the preacher. In the list of Bunyan's works published by Chas. Doe, at the end of the 'Heavenly Footman,' March 1690, it stands No. 44. He professes to give the title-page,
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

"So Then they that are in the Flesh Cannot Please God. "
Rom. viii. 8.--"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." It is a kind of happiness to men, to please them upon whom they depend, and upon whose favour their well-being hangs. It is the servant's happiness to please his master, the courtier's to please his prince; and so generally, whosoever they be that are joined in mutual relations, and depend one upon another; that which makes all pleasant, is this, to please one another. Now, certainly, all the dependencies of creatures one upon
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Union and Communion with God the End and Design of the Gospel
Psalm lxxiii. 24-28.--"Thou wilt guide me with thy counsel, &c. Whom have I in heaven but thee? &c. It is good for me to draw near to God."--1 John i. 3. "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."--John xvii. 21-23. "That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, &c." It is a matter of great consolation that God's
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

False Ambition Versus Childlikeness.
(Capernaum, Autumn, a.d. 29.) ^A Matt. XVIII. 1-14; ^B Mark IX. 33-50; ^C Luke IX. 46-50. ^c 46 And there arose a reasoning among them, which of them was the greatest. ^b 33 And he came to Capernaum: ^c 47 But when Jesus saw the reasoning of their heart, ^b and when he was in the house [probably Simon Peter's house] he asked them, What were ye reasoning on the way? 34 But they held their peace: for they had disputed one with another on the way, who was the greatest. [The Lord with his disciples was
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Necessity of Contemplating the Judgment-Seat of God, in Order to be Seriously Convinced of the Doctrine of Gratuitous Justification.
1. Source of error on the subject of Justification. Sophists speak as if the question were to be discussed before some human tribunal. It relates to the majesty and justice of God. Hence nothing accepted without absolute perfection. Passages confirming this doctrine. If we descend to the righteousness of the Law, the curse immediately appears. 2. Source of hypocritical confidence. Illustrated by a simile. Exhortation. Testimony of Job, David, and Paul. 3. Confession of Augustine and Bernard. 4. Another
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

The Great Teacher
Teaching was the great business of the life of Christ during the days of his public ministry. He was sent to teach and to preach. The speaker in the book of Job was thinking of this Great Teacher when he asked--"Who teacheth like him?" Job xxxvi: 22. And it was he who was in the Psalmist's mind when he spoke of the "good, and upright Lord" who would teach sinners, if they were meek, how to walk in his ways. Ps. xxv: 8-9. And he is the Redeemer, of whom the prophet Isaiah was telling when he said--He
Richard Newton—The Life of Jesus Christ for the Young

The Necessity of Regeneration, Argued from the Immutable Constitution of God.
John III. 3. John III. 3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. WHILE the ministers of Christ are discoursing of such a subject, as I have before me in the course of these Lectures, and particularly in this branch of them which I am now entering upon, we may surely, with the utmost reason, address our hearers in those words of Moses to Israel, in the conclusion of his dying discourse: Set your hearts unto all
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

How Christ is to be Made Use of as Our Life, in Case of Heartlessness and Fainting through Discouragements.
There is another evil and distemper which believers are subject to, and that is a case of fainting through manifold discouragements, which make them so heartless that they can do nothing; yea, and to sit up, as if they were dead. The question then is, how such a soul shall make use of Christ as in the end it may be freed from that fit of fainting, and win over those discouragements: for satisfaction to which we shall, 1. Name some of those discouragements which occasion this. 2. Show what Christ
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Epistle xviii. To John, Bishop.
To John, Bishop. Gregory to John, Bishop of Constantinople [1586] . At the time when your Fraternity was advanced to Sacerdotal dignity, you remember what peace and concord of the churches you found. But, with what daring or with what swelling of pride I know not, you have attempted to seize upon a new name, whereby the hearts of all your brethren might have come to take offence. I wonder exceedingly at this, since I remember how thou wouldest fain have fled from the episcopal office rather than
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

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