The book of Isaiah is like a miniature of the entire Bible: it has 66 chapters(just as the Bible has 66 books), the first 39 chapters talk mainly about the old creation(and they correspond to the Old Testament, which has 39 books), the last 27 chapters talk about the new creation(corresponding to the New Testament with its 27 books), chapter 40 starts with John the Baptist(the New Testament starts with John the Baptist), etc. This morning I was particularly impressed with the fact that both in Isaiah and in the entire Bible we have two main topics – the old creation and the new creation. The Old Testament deals mainly with the old creation, and the New Testament introduces and deals with the new creation. The new creation is the old creation with God added to it – when God works Himself into man, the man in the old creation becomes a new creation in Christ! God is outside the old creation – even in the Old Testament with the prophets, God was not “in them, in their spirit”, but He was outside of them(since He was not yet processed and consummated to be the life-giving Spirit). In the new creation everything is new because God, the NEW ONE, is in it! Today, we still have the old creation with us – God did not immediately end the old creation as the new creation was brought in. Rather, after our regeneration, there is a long process of transformation, where we the believers are being transformed from being the old creation into being fully the new creation! The old creation will eventually be finished at the end of the millenium / the age of the kingdom, when God will bring in the new heaven and the new earth with the New Jerusalem! Until then we will still have the old creation with us – but we are in the process of transformation, conformation, and glorification, to be fully made God’s masterpiece: His New Creation!
I also enjoyed the steps God takes to at least innitiate and start the process of our being made the new creation in full – this process is revealed in Isaiah in miniature and in the New Testament in its fullness:
- Isaiah 40 starts with the word of comfort spoken to the heart of Jerusalem, the good news that our sins were taken away by Christ on the cross, and now we are forgiven! Christ already paid the price for our sins, all we need to do now is to believe into Him and receive His forgiveness! This speaking of the word of comfort to the heart of Jerusalem is actually the announcing of the gospel!
- The first step of announcing the gospel is the coming of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ(Isa. 40:3-4) – he prepares the way before the Lord’s coming, reminding us to deal with our heart and make straight the way of the Lord! For the Lord to come into our spirit and from our spirit into every part of our being, we need to deal with our heart to make it the proper ground!
- The center of the gospel is the glory of Jehovah – for the new creation! We see that the appearing of Christ as the glory of Jehovah in Isa. 40:5 is the center of the gospel – Christ is the effulgence of God’s glory(Heb. 1:3) and this effulgence is like the shining of the sun! Christ came as the rising of the sun(Luke 1:78), and then He appeared as the glory of Jehovah to be seen by the God-seekers and Christ-believers.
- After this announcement of the gospel, we see that men is like grass and the flower in the field – withering and fading, but the word of God remains forever(Isa. 40:6-8)! All men of flesh, all human being, need to receive Christ, the glory of God, who comes to us as the living and abiding word of God – so that we may be regenerated and have eternal life to live forever(1 Pet. 1:23)!
- Those who receive the word and have been regenerated now are waiting for Jehovah(Isa. 40:29-31) – after we are regenerated, we are “fired” by stopping ourselves with all our doing, living, and activities, and we receive Christ as our replacement! When we wait on Jehovah in such a way, we become like eagles – not just walking and running, but also soaring and transcending! When we are “fired” and replaced, we become the new creation in full!
Lord Jesus, thank You for coming to us as the New and Living One! You are the Living and Abiding Word of God! Thank You for regenerating us, Lord! Thank You for the divine life operating in us to make us new every day! Lord, make us Your new creation in full! We want to stop ourselves from all our doing, our activities, and our struggling! Replace us, Lord, with Yourself! Have a way to resurrect our whole being to make us the new creation!