New Heavens and Earth?

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.

Larry_Stotle

Senior Member
Apr 28, 2014
504
8
18
#1
It is important to have a correct understanding of the terms "heavens and earth" when used figuratively in the bible or the theology we believe will be all over the place and essentially wrong.

There are a number of NT statement where the terms "heaven and earth" appear including:

(Mat 5:18 KJV) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

(Mat 24:34 KJV) Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

(Mat 24:35 KJV) Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

(2 Pet 3:13 KJV) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

(Gal 4:3 KJV) Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

Here is what Adam Clarke had to say in his commentary:

Galatians 4:3 "The elements of the world" - A mere Jewish phrase, enaae oaii äæä yesodey olam hazzeh, the principles of this world; that is, the rudiments or principles of the Jewish religion.
Adam Clarke again:

Galatians 4:9 "Now, after that ye have known God - After having been brought to the knowledge of God as your Savior. Or rather are known of God - Are approved of him, having received the adoption of sons.

To the weak and beggarly elements .

After receiving all this, will ye turn again to the ineffectual rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic law - rites too weak to counteract your sinful habits, and too poor to purchase pardon and eternal life for you? If the Galatians were turning again to them, it is evident that they had been once addicted to them. And this they might have been, allowing that they had become converts from heathenism to Judaism, and from Judaism to Christianity. This makes the sense consistent between the 8th and 9th verses.
When Peter spoke about the elements burning with fervent heat he was speaking about the destruction of the religious elements and principles connected to the old covenant and the temple in Jerusalem which was destroyed in 70AD.

Peter is not speaking about the heavens in the universe or the planet earth.

Peter and Jesus said the destruction of the Temple and the elements (stoicheion) would be destroyed in 70AD - they were not speaking of a global destruction of the planet earth or of the heavens as we generally have understood them.

Until we start to read the bible as it was written how how the Jewish people used language, idioms and ideas we will misunderstand the intent of the scriptures and their true meaning.

So are these things the literal heaven(s) and the planet earth?

How did the Jews understand the figurative usages of heavens and earth?

(Exo 25:8 KJV) let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

(Exo 25:9 KJV) According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

The patten where "I may dwell among them" is gone and replaced with the temple of believers:

(1 Pet 2:5 KJV) Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

(Heb 8:4 KJV) For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:

(Heb 8:5 KJV) Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.

(Heb 9:10 KJV) Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

(Heb 9:11 KJV) But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building.

(Heb 12:22 KJV) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

We can see from some of the above that the Jews understood the heavens and earth to be the temple where God dwelt among them prior to Jesus arriving on the scene.

How can we really be sure this is how they understood it in that way?

Here is what Josephus the 1st Jewish historian who had studied with the various sects of Jesus time wrote:

Antiquities Book 3 6:4

As for the inside, Moses parted its length into three partitions. At the distance of ten cubits from the most secret end, Moses placed four pillars, the workmanship of which was the very same with that of the rest; and they stood upon the like bases with them, each a small matter distant from his fellow. Now the room within those pillars was the most holy place; but the rest of the room was the tabernacle, which was open for the priests. However, this proportion of the measures of the tabernacle proved to be an imitation of the system of the world; for that third part thereof which was within the four pillars, to which the priests were not admitted, is, as it were, a heaven peculiar to God. But the space of the twenty cubits, is, as it were, sea and land, on which men live, and so this part is peculiar to the priests only.


Antiquities book 3 7:7

Now here one may wonder at the ill-will which men bear to us, and which they profess to bear on account of our despising that Deity which they pretend to honor; for if any one do but consider the fabric of the tabernacle, and take a view of the garments of the high priest, and of those vessels which we make use of in our sacred ministration, he will find that our legislator was a divine man, and that we are unjustly reproached by others; for if any one do without prejudice, and with judgment, look upon these things, he will find they were every one made in way of imitation and representation of the universe. When Moses distinguished the tabernacle into three parts, and allowed two of them to the priests, as a place accessible and common, he denoted the land and the sea, these being of general access to all; but he set apart the third division for God, because heaven is inaccessible to men.
That's an interesting statement - "he denoted the land and the sea," - two parts of the tabernacle called "land and sea" - which could easily substitute earth for land in Josephus's statement and it would accord with this:

(Rev 21:1 KJV) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Could John in the book of revelation have in mind "as a place accessible and common” the land and sea" when he states there was no more sea? - I think this is quite likely.

How does Peter understand the "heavens and earth"?

(2 Pet 3:12 KJV) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

(2 Pet 3:13 KJV) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Peter describes the heavens being on fire and the elements shall melt - is he speaking of the actual heavens and elements of the earth?

What is interesting to note is his use of the world elements - in the Greek the word is stoicheion

We find ii is used in only seven verses - twice in Peter's letter.

Col 2:8 KJV Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments (stoicheion) of the world, and not after
Christ.

Col 2:20 KJV Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments (stoicheion) of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

Gal 4:3 KJV Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements (stoicheion) of the world:

Gal 4:9 KJV But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements (stoicheion) whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

Heb 5:12 KJV For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles (stoicheion) of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

As can be seen from the above the usages of stoicheion (elements) all have to do with religious principles/teachings or philosophy and not atoms or elements of the physical world or universe.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
31,839
9,844
113
65
Florida
#2
The heavens and the earth will be melted with a fervent heat as stated in the book of Revelation and other biblical prophesies as well. Then God will create a new heaven and new earth as the old ones are no more. It really isn't complicated. It is part of the plan.
 
R

RachelBibleStudent

Guest
#4
i see you are no better at understanding josephus than you are at understanding scripture...

josephus was saying the holy of holies in the tabernacle was conceptually similar to heaven...it is a logical fallacy to suppose that josephus' statement proves that references to 'heaven' must hereafter be about the holy of holies...

'my painting is of a bird' does not imply 'all birds are paintings'

in fact this hermeneutic is scripturally absurd...there are -many- references to 'heaven' in scripture that bbviously have -nothing whatsoever- to do with the tabernacle...what do you do with all of those passages?

'in the beginning God created the holy of holies'?

or is this another example of selective spiritualizing?
 

Larry_Stotle

Senior Member
Apr 28, 2014
504
8
18
#5
Heb 12:26-28 KJV Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

The writer of Hebrews here is alluding to:

Hag 2:21 KJV Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;

Again from Adam Clarks commentary:

Hebrews 12:26 'Whose voice then shook the earth - Namely, at the giving of the law on Mount Sinai; and from this it seems that it was the voice of Jesus that then shook the earth, and that it was he who came down on the mount.

But others refer this simply to God the Father giving the law. Not the earth only, but also heaven - Probably referring to the approaching destruction of Jerusalem, and the total abolition of the political and ecclesiastical constitution of the Jews; the one being signified by the earth, the other by heaven; for the Jewish state and worship are frequently thus termed in the prophetic writings.
Heb 12:27 KJV And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Adam Clarke:

The removing of those things that are shaken - The whole of the Jewish polity, which had been in a shaken state from the time that Judea had fallen under the power of the Romans.

As of things that are made - That is, subjects intended to last only for a time. God never designed that the Jewish religion should become general, nor be permanent.

Those things which cannot be shaken - The whole Gospel system, which cannot be moved by the power of man.
Protestant writers knew this back in the 1800's yet modern "christianity" has lost touch with true biblical interpretation and is following the doctrines of man.

Modern evangelicalism has lost it's biblical understanding of the early protestants - here we have a noted scholar expounding on the various "Hebrewisms" such as "new heavens and earth", "coming with clouds", "The sun shall be darkened".

Joseph Barber Lightfoot (13 April 1828 – 21 December 1889) was an English theologian and Bishop of Durham, usually known as J.B. Lightfoot.

He was born in Liverpool, where his father was an accountant. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham, under James Prince Lee, afterwards Bishop of Manchester. His contemporaries included Brooke Foss Westcott and Edward White Benson. In 1847 Lightfoot went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, and read for his degree along with Westcott. He graduated senior classic and 30th wrangler, and was elected a fellow of his college.[1] From 1854 to 1859 he edited the Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology. In 1857 he became tutor and his fame as a scholar grew.

From Lightfoot's commentaries -

That the destruction of Jerusalem and the whole Jewish state, is described as if the whole frame of this world were to be dissolved. Nor is it strange, when God destroyed his habitation and city, places once so dear to him, with so direful and sad an overthrow ; his own people, whom he accounted of as much or more, than the whole world beside,— by so dreadful and amazing plagues.

Matt. xxiv. 29, 30 ; "The sun shall be darkened, &c. Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man," &c.; which yet are said to fall out, within that generation, ver. 34.—2 Pet. iii. 10; " The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat," &c. Compare with this, Deut. xxxii. 22 ; Heb. xii. 26 : and observe, that, by elements, are understood the Mosaic elements, Gal. iv. 9 ; Col. ii. 20 : and you will not doubt, that St. Peter speaks only of the conflagration of Jerusalem, the destruction of the nation and the abolishing the dispensation of Moses.'
 
R

RachelBibleStudent

Guest
#6
Protestant writers knew this back in the 1800's yet modern "christianity" has lost touch with true biblical interpretation and is following the doctrines of man.

Modern evangelicalism has lost it's biblical understanding of the early protestants - here we have a noted scholar expounding on the various "Hebrewisms" such as "new heavens and earth", "coming with clouds", "The sun shall be darkened".
it is ironic that you appeal to early protestantism since the preterist eschatology you cling to was invented by jesuit opponents of early protestantism during the counter reformation...

protestants have historically had a very dismissive attitude towards preterism...they only started paying any attention to the preterists after the infiltration of rationalism into the church led many protestants to forget about their predecessors' respect for scripture...and to try to impose anti supernatural assumptions on scripture...

it is also funny that you are referring to the 1800s as 'early protestantism'...you are only about 300 years off...

is all of your history of AD 70 this faulty too?
 

Larry_Stotle

Senior Member
Apr 28, 2014
504
8
18
#7
1800 is early compared to the "Christianity" today - and note I did not say the earliest or at the beginning of protestantism..

That gnat must be really irritating you -*shakes head* again...

More from Lightfoot:

Rev. vi. 12, 13 ; " The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, &c., and the heavens departed as a scroll, when it is rolled together," &c. Where, if we take notice of the foregoing plagues, by which, according to the most frequent threatenings, he destroyed that people, viz. the sword, ver. 4,—famine, vs. 5, 6,— and the plague, ver. 8 ; — withal comparing those words, " They say to the mountains, Fall on us and cover us," with Luke xxiii. 30 ;—it will sufficiently appear, that, by those phrases, is understood the dreadful judgment and overthrow of that nation and city.

With these also agrees that of Jer. iv. from ver. 22 to 28, and clearly enough explains this phrase. To this appertain those and other expressions, as we meet with, 1 Cor. x. 11, " On us the ends of the world are come:" — and 1 Pet. iv. 7, " The end of all things is at hand." 2. With reference to this, and under this notion, the times, immediately preceding this ruin, are called the " last days," and the "last times," that is, the last times of the Jewish city, nation, economy. This manner of speaking frequently occurs; which let our St. John himself interpret, 1 John ii. 13 ; " There are many antichrists, whereby we know it is the last time : " and that this nation is upon the very verge of destruction, when as it hath already arrived at the utmost pitch of infidelity, apostasy, and wickedness. '

With the same reference it is, that the times and state of things, immediately following the destruction of Jerusalem, are called, a " new creation," " new heavens," and a " new earth " — Isa. lxv.l7; "Behold I create a new heaven and a new earth." When should that be ? Read the whole chapter; and you will find the Jews rejected and cut off; and from that time is that new creation of the evangelical world among the Gentiles. Compare 2 Cor. v. 17, and Rev. xxi. 1,2: where, the old Jerusalem being cut off and destroyed, a new one succeeds ; and new heavens and a new earth are created.'

2 Pet. iii. 13; "We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth ;" — The heavens and the earth of the Jewish church and commonwealth must be all on fire, and the Mosaic elements burnt up: but we, according to the promise made to us by Isaiah the prophet, when all these are consumed, look for the new creation of the evangelical state.'

The day, the time, and the manner, of the execution of this vengeance upon this people, are called, "The day of the Lord," " The day of Christ," "His coming in the clouds, in his glory, in his kingdom." Nor is this without reason ; for from hence doth this form and mode of speaking take its rise : — ' Christ had not as yet appeared but in a state of humility; contemned, blasphemed, and at length murdered by the Jews : his gospel rejected, laughed at, and trampled under foot: his followers pursued with extreme hatred, persecution, and death itself.

At length, therefore, he displays himself in his glory, his kingdom, and power; and calls for those cruel enemies of his that they may be slain before him. ' Acts ii. 20 : " Before that great and notable day of the Lord come." Let us take notice, how St. Peter applies that prophecy of Joel to those very times ; and it will be clear enough, without any commentary, what that " day of the Lord " is. ' 2 Thess. ii. 2: "As if the day of Christ was at hand," &c. To this, also, do those passages belong, Heb. x. 37, " Yet a little while, — and he, that shall come, will come: " — James v. 9 ; " Behold, the judge is at the door:" — Rev. i. 7; "He cometh in the clouds : " — and xxii. 12 ; "

Behold, I come quickly." With many other passages of that nature, all which must be understood of Christ's coming in judgment and vengeance against that wicked nation: and in this very sense must the words, now before us, be taken, and no otherwise, " I will, that he tarry till I come:"—"For thy part, Peter, thou shalt suffer death by thy countrymen the Jews ; but as for him, I will that he shall tarry till I come and avenge myself upon this generation : and if I will so, what is that to thee ? " The story that is told of both these apostles, confirms this exposition ; for it is taken for granted by all, that St. Peter had his crown of martyrdom, before Jerusalem fell; and St. John survived the ruins of it.' (Exerc. in John xxi. 22.)

The works of Lightfoot:
 
R

RachelBibleStudent

Guest
#8
1800 is early compared to the "Christianity" today - and note I did not say the earliest or at the beginning of protestantism..

That gnat must be really irritating you -*shakes head* again...
you said 'the early protestants'...

the period of the 'early protestants' ended in the middle of the seventeenth century...lightfoot and clarke wrote in the middle of the nineteenth century...about 200 years after the last of the 'early protestants'...near the zenith of the 'age of rationalism' that largely represented an apostasy from the doctrines of traditional protestantism...

this fact alone helps show that preterism was not a view held by the 'early protestants'...but actually a later infiltration...so it is actually -you- who have lost touch with the biblical understanding of the early protestants...
 
R

RachelBibleStudent

Guest
#10
well let's just settle the dispute by revising your statement...something like this...

Protestant writers believed this back in the 1800's yet modern christianity has moved away from these relatively late doctrinal innovations.

Modern evangelicalism has rejected the interpretation of the rationalist era protestants - here we have a noted scholar expounding on the various "Hebrewisms" such as "new heavens and earth", "coming with clouds", "The sun shall be darkened".
 

Tintin

Senior Member
Jan 3, 2013
20,301
296
0
37
#12
I believe some of the events in Revelation have happened but certainly not all of them (the last few chapters or so).

Larry, if there's no New Heaven and New Earth, what happens when Christ returns a Second time? Where do His followers live? I suppose you don't believe in eternal life either.
 

Larry_Stotle

Senior Member
Apr 28, 2014
504
8
18
#13
well let's just settle the dispute by revising your statement...something like this...
What you need to dispute is what I've posted in regards to "new heavens and earth" and the scholars I've quoted.

I see Kerryatric, followed you over here from my other thread to give a pat on the back...
 

Jackson123

Senior Member
Feb 6, 2014
8,888
801
113
#14
I remember discuss with SDA fellow, about new heaven and earth.

They interpret the hell is not eternal.

Heaven and earth will perish and they put additional and become

Heaven and earth and hell will perish.
 

Larry_Stotle

Senior Member
Apr 28, 2014
504
8
18
#15
I believe some of the events in Revelation have happened but certainly not all of them (the last few chapters or so).

Larry, if there's no New Heaven and New Earth, what happens when Christ returns a Second time? Where do His followers live? I suppose you don't believe in eternal life either.
The common understanding of "new heaven and earth" is based on a woody literal "interpretation" of scripture Tintin.

Christ already returned in 70AD to deal with apostate Israel. It was a theopany a "coming on clouds" not a literal bodily return. He said it would occur in the generation that heard him.

How can the high priest and the council see Jesus "coming on clouds" if he did not return in the generation that the high priest and council lived:

(Mat 26:64 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall YE see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

(Mat 26:65 KJV) Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.

The reason that the high priest said he had committed blasphemy was because "coming in clouds" in the OT is spoken of deity in judgment - Jesus is equating himself with deity and threatening judgment - they knew exactly what he was stating.

We don't know how many of the council lived to see the 70AD destruction of Jerusalem - if some of them did not see the "coming in clouds" via the Roman army then Jesus becomes a false prophet.

(Mat 23:36 KJV) Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.


His followers when they die reside in the heavens in their spiritual bodies they don't dwell on earth - that's what the JW's envision for the followers other than the 144k.

How can there be a literal new earth when the scripture state that the earth abides forever:

(Eccl 1:4 KJV) One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

Paul states the ages continue and the world does not end:

(Eph 3:21 KJV) Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

The church is not "raptured" away and replaced by a new Jewish priesthood centred on dirt in Israel - it goes on and on and on...bit like me..
 

Tintin

Senior Member
Jan 3, 2013
20,301
296
0
37
#16
I see what you're saying but I think you're stretching the verses to say something other than what they do. You didn't answer my question sufficiently. Do we have eternal life? Will sin and its consequences linger forever?
 
K

Kerry

Guest
#17
What you need to dispute is what I've posted in regards to "new heavens and earth" and the scholars I've quoted.

I see Kerryatric, followed you over here from my other thread to give a pat on the back...
Thanks for the complement, But I give the glory to God and not that of my own. Have you got in line for that mark yet? I hear it's gonna be a long one.:p
 

Larry_Stotle

Senior Member
Apr 28, 2014
504
8
18
#18
I see what you're saying but I think you're stretching the verses to say something other than what they do. You didn't answer my question sufficiently. Do we have eternal life? Will sin and its consequences linger forever?
Sure we have eternal life - sin in this world continues, and people will continue to be brought in to the kingdom to be forgiven for it.

(Col 2:13 KJV) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;


If you look at revelation after the "new heavens and earth" sin continues:

(Rev 22:10 KJV) And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

(Rev 22:11 KJV) He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

(Rev 22:17 KJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

The water of life has been flowing since Pentecost:

(John 7:38 KJV) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

(John 7:39 KJV) (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

How can one claim to born again and received the HS if the water of life has not been flowing since the 1st century?
 

Tintin

Senior Member
Jan 3, 2013
20,301
296
0
37
#19
Good grief! I think you should just read Randy Alcorn's book "Heaven" that cross-examines all of the Heaven-related passages in the Bible and explores them in great detail. There's no way on God's green earth that the New Heaven and New Earth isn't literal. Revelation is made up largely of apocalyptic symbolic language, yes, but not wholly. A literal Garden of Eden requires a literal New Heaven and New Earth.
 
K

Kerry

Guest
#20
Good grief! I think you should just read Randy Alcorn's book "Heaven" that cross-examines all of the Heaven-related passages in the Bible and explores them in great detail. There's no way on God's green earth that the New Heaven and New Earth isn't literal. Revelation is made up largely of apocalyptic symbolic language, yes, but not wholly. A literal Garden of Eden requires a literal New Heaven and New Earth.
Tin, the dude is sold on it. All we cn do is present the word and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. I am not deterred by it and I pray that those reading this thread have better sense and get founded in the word before going after this lie of Satan. This is Satanic doctrine, It defies the bible and they will twist and turn like a politician meaning flop like fish. They pick and choose what is real about the bible and the rest is fantasy. Like God didn't have something to do that day so He made up some junk to fill the gaps. Reader beware, Do they mention the cross? If not then run.