My Thoughts on Isaiah 66


  I’m sure most of my friends and colleagues who read my articles have never thought much about 70 A.D. when discussing Isaiah chapters 65 and 66. Most of us, not part of the Max King movement, aka Hyper Preterist’s cult, rarely think much about 70 A.D. when we read 2nd Thessalonians chapter 1 or 1st Thessalonians chapter 4, or the resurrection of 1st Corinthians 15 yet we are told by those hyper preterists such as Preston and Sullivan all three of those chapters and verses and topics are a fulfillment of Isaiah 66 and 70 A.D with the destruction of the temple.

  I’ll begin where Isaiah 66 begins.  “Thus says the LORD:

“Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?

For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”

If you’ll remember, Stephen quoted this from Isaiah in Acts chapter 7 verses 49-50.  In both instances God was rebuking the nation for their useless and vain worship. Isaiah mentions their sacrifices as nothing but abominations. Stephen also calls the descendants of Isaiah’s time as a “stiff-necked and uncircumcised at heart and ears” who resist the Holy Spirit just as their fathers did. Look at Isaiah 66 verse 3 and 4. Isaiah says that since their souls delight in their abominations God would bring their fears upon them because when He called, no one came. And when He spoke no one heard. Likewise, in Acts 7 verses 51-53 Stephen is telling them how they still will not hear. “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, “who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”

Who is the Just One they rejected and refused to hear? And how are they just like their fathers? Well, of course the Just One is Jesus, their Messiah they have rejected and killed and His gospel they refuse to hear just like the prophets their fathers rejected and killed. In Acts 7 we read where they stoned Stephen to death. This is important to remember because the 70 A.D. doctrine teaches the Law of Moses was still in effect and judgment would not come on those who rejected and killed Jesus until A.D. 70. Think about that and “catch the power of that” as Preston says. At the time Stephen was giving his lecture there were two temples of God, two paths to the righteousness of God, two covenants in effect, two valid types of sacrifices for sins, and two types of messengers to listen to and hear with two distinct covenants to pick from and keep. One, Law of Moses and Two, Jesus and His gospel. More on that later.


 Isaiah 66 verses 5- 24 in my opinion are highly symbolic, figurative and although it has a lot to say about judgment of the wicked I do not believe it is talking about one day in A.D.70. Don K Preston says that since verses 15-16 says the Lord will come with fire and fury and by His sword He will judge ALL flesh, that Isaiah was talking about Titus and the Roman armies sacking Jerusalem and destroying the temple. Preston also claims that since Eusebius wrote a quote that one could suppose this was talking about 70 A.D. the Church has taught this for centuries. It hasn’t. I have read commentaries that claim it could be in these few verses but none I’ve read are dogmatic about it. Personally I don’t see the judgment of Jerusalem alone in verses 15 forward. I see the judgment of ALL nations just as the Church has taught from the beginning.

Look at verses 8-12 again. Is this talking about a carnal earthly nation, or the Kingdom of God which will bring in the glory of the Gentile nations? What nation was born in a day in history, ever? I know many teach this is talking about Israel and one day in 1948 when the UN declared Israel a nation once again. No, it’s not talking about Israel in the middle east. The Kingdom of God was born on the day of Pentecost. See in Acts chapter 2. What better way to be comforted in Jerusalem than to see the Kingdom of God come as the Messiah is reigning on His throne? Acts 2:33-36. Preston claims the “fire and chariots, and sword” of verses 15 and 16 is certainly talking about Titus and his armies because that’s when the “survivors” of verses 18-19 were scattered among the nations! No it wasn’t. Go back to Acts 2:8-11 where the Kingdom began. All those languages represented were people who would be leaving Jerusalem and spreading the gospel to their nations. Better yet read the book of Acts as a history of the early Church. Paul was spreading the gospel to the Gentiles throughout the known world long before A.D. 70. It’s true the Christians who listened to Jesus in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 fled Jerusalem when they saw the sign of judgement coming with armies about to surround Jerusalem, but that was about 3 years before the destruction. The gospel was being spread to the world before A.D. 70 and keep in mind Isaiah 66 says the Lord will judge ALL flesh. The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple was a judgement of the Jewish people, and NOT of the nations.

 If you read the New Testament passages on judgment notice how the Church uses the Word to Judge. Christ judges the nation By His Word! Judgment no longer means “fire, chariots, swords” as the prophets talked about. Remember the wheat and tares will grow together and be separated by the Lord who declares judgment by His word. I do not believe Isaiah 66 15 and 16 is about Titus and A.D. 70. We do know Jesus said in Matthew 24 the buildings and temple would be destroyed and He warned the disciples to flee when they saw the signs of His coming judgment on Jerusalem. Isaiah 66 is more about the New Covenant and the hope it brings and the judgment it brings to those who reject it, such as those Stephen preached to in Acts 7.

 Verses 21 through 24 talks about how God would make priests and Levites and how He would make a new heavens and a new earth. The hyper preterists claim this is talking about what happened on that day in 70 A.D. No, it’s not. Peter told us in his 1st letter how already the Christians were; “ a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” That was written before 70 A.D. Remember, these were Jews scattered out before 70 A.D. and Preston claims the scattering had to have occurred after 70 A.D. In order to fit Isaiah 66 verse 19! But Preston insists we think like an ancient Hebrew to understand the Bible. He doesn’t do it himself he simply pretends to. None of us can because we are not ancient Hebrews. We do see Isaiah 66 is highly symbolic, figurative, typological, and with knowledge of the gospel it’s not hard to understand UNLESS we do as the typical hyper preterist and force our own presuppositions on it.

I’m going to stop here. I could do a better job on this but I have been doing things with the kids and grandkids and I had to just put some of this hyper preterist nonsense out of my mind as best I could for a while. And I’m not dogmatic on my thoughts on Isaiah 66 in many parts of it. But I am dogmatic on the return of Christ, the judgment of all nations and the resurrection of the dead and the place prepared for All of us who listened to His word and were not stiff necked and open to any form of doctrine the wind blew in or the dogs dragged in, like the Max King movement has done.

 BTW, Homer Haley and also Ron Halbrook both see 70A.D in Isaiah 66 but do not insist on forcing it down anyone’s throats. I don’t see it because of the judgment of all nations and the order of when the gospel would be sent to the Gentiles. It does not fit the 70 A.D. doctrine and actually looks like a fatal flaw for it to me.

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