A question for Christians

by keyser soze 13 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • JCanon

    Hello Keyser. In answer to your question, the REALITY IS, that the term "heaven and earth" was a colloquial expression and concept the Jews used and is synonymous with similar terms such as: "system of things."

    Heaven and earth and the concept of the harmony of the universe connects to the idea of the "order of things" and the current world circumstances. So when the term "new heavens and earth" is mentioned, it just means the old world of Satan or the current world of doing things, the current system of things would be replaced by a new one.

    In the time of christ the focal "system of things" or current "heavens and earth" was the rule under the gentiles. Thus when the gentile times ended, it was seen as that "heaven and earth" passing away. It is interesting to see how this works well in Revelation where there are clearly different "system of things"/"heavens and earth" scenarios and it uses that concept of heaven and earth passing away or "fleeing" as the major change of circumstances occur. That is, when Satan is destroyed after the millennium all new rules are set up. There is a world without Satan. It is followed by the special period of Judgment Day, where the dead will rise and be judged. So to give the concept that this is a whole "new age" or new world, it speaks of heaven and earth fleeing...

    But Judgment Day would not last forever. This is a special time period with sort of its own special rules and focus. Once everyone is judged, then a "new age" can begin. Judgment Day and it's "system of things" ends. Thus again the concept of "heaven and earth" passing away. Here are those verses showing the use of this wonderful idiomatic expression:

    10 And the Devil who was misleading them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulphur, where both the wild beast and the false prophet [already were]; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

    11 And I saw a great white throne and the one seated on it. From before him the earth and the heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Ha´des gave up those dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds. 14 And death and Ha´des were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire. 15 Furthermore, whoever was not found written in the book of life was hurled into the lake of fire.

    21:1 1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more.

    See? Not hard to understand in this context. Everything there is a major change in "administration" or focus or something that can clearly signify a major change in the order of things or the "system of things", the way 'heaven and earth" are organized, then the expression is used to signify one "heaven and earth" passing away and another coming in.

    Thus this is an IDIOMATIC expression in those times that is used very generically. It is in no way a literal reference to the actual earth and heaven, just borrowing the concept of the order of the cosmology of the heavens and the earth and the order of the universe to apply to the concept of the state of the world at a given time.

    So, when you think of "heaven and earth" think of "system of things." When and "end of the system of things" occurrs it can be said that "heaven and earth" fled and a "new heavens and earth" arriving.

    EXPRESSIONS ESTABLISH STRICT CHRONOLOGY FOR JUDGMENT DAY: Note, as well, when this expression is used it requires the reference to the previous verses and circumstances. Thus when Satan is destroyed in the lake of fire and it notes that "heaven and earth" fled, it is a reference to the age of Satan and all that entailed. When it introduces a "new heaven and earth" then it introduces a new system of things, that immediately follows. One "heaven and earth" ends and another follows. Thus this means that Judgment Day and the resurrection of the dead are not part of the previous "system of things" or order of "heaven and earth" that existed before Satan was destroyed. Thus in no way can the "heaven and earth" of Judgment Day be retrodated to occur during the millennium as some try to teach, like Jehovah's witnesses. There is ZERO resurrection during the millennium! The Bride Class are resurrected before the millennium begins, and that is it. No one else is resurrected until Judgment Day begins. Thus clearly understanding the colliquial and idiomatic use of "heaven and earth" helps us to understand the "order of things" of this part of Revelation. Sometimes, indeed, some things are not in chronological order in the Bible, but in this case, the chronological order is specifically controlled by clearly separating Judgment Day as a different "heavens and earth" scenario than the one just preceeding it, which was the millennium and Satan's last test.

    Good question.


  • winnower

    The scripture does not say that the earth will be re-modeled! It says NEW. I know this is a harsh analogy, but bear with me. If your family was murdered in your house, do you think you could just repaint and throw out the bloody carpet, and that would make it all new? You think you could continue to live there and not have reminders of your loss everywhere around you? Do you think true happiness and "no more sorrow" could be found amongst the rubble of a disintegrated civilisation? Don't you see some sort of Mad-Max landscape left behind? Consider this. Since the JWs are told that it will take "about a thousand years" to restore the earth to paradisical conditions.....does this not seem like a very long time of dangling yet another carrot? Haven't we all had lives touched by misery, emotional and physical pain, and the whole gamut of emotions? Haven't you paid your dues in this lifetime? Would you expect a good god to put you on KP and clean up crew for yet another thousand years before keeping all those wonderful promises? Would you be truly happy working in a janitorial position for say, the next 800 years? Maybe you could tolerate it if you were told 4 times a week, "we're almost there". Can you imagine the work that would need to be done to make the planet into that ideal? The buildings, concrete, parking lots, nuclear missiles, massive pieces of industry equipment, fast food chains, etc etc...it would all have to go. Can you imagine how rat infested these cities would become in the event of chaos.... like no garbage pick up? It is just preposterous to think that this very planet will be restored. That is not what the scriptures say. A new earth is just what it says. There will be no remnants of this civilization as reminders of what was. We will not be "looking back" as did Lot's wife. We will be on to a completely new environment. I am glad that you are open to the idea that Jesus will return as a future event rather than believing the lie that he snuck into Brooklyn invisibly and is hiding out there. That lie is contrary to scripture as we are told that he will come in great glory. Also the scriptures say that every eye will see him. If he had already come....why did you nor I see this? He will not return until the very end after the darkest of days. According to Jewish custom, upon which this was referenced, the groom surprises the bride-to-be by coming to steal her away in the night. This is the basis for the "thief in the night" scripture. However, many people seem to misread this as there is also another scripture that states that he will not be coming as a thief in the night for those who are watching and expecting. (1 Thessolonians 5: 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.) When the "bottom falls out" with the crash of our political system and monetary system, many people will assume this to be the "thief in the night" because they did not expect it. They should have, but they have been in denial. But this is NOT the second coming yet. And Babylon does not completely fall until Jesus arrives and finishes it off. This soon occurring crash is not the true "thief in the night" spoken of in the scriptures, although many religions will try to make this out to be the event. This is part of the Great Deception. The transformation that you mentioned ("If the JWs are wrong about the earth being transformed") is right in line with the agenda of the united nations and all of the world wide religions. This transformation that is planned to be implemented will be brought about BY MAN. Oh sure, they will say they are "divinely inspired" but surely you have heard that lie before, have you not? Their idea of a "new earth" is actually a "new mind" or rather, a new way of thinking. It is thought reform gently brought about by the idea that mankind can be spared from this potential great destruction by uniting as a world wide oneness. All will be taught that it is the mind that will be renewed, not the physical planet. This is incorrect according to scripture. You said: "I've heard many Christians claim that Christ will return, and that the final battle of armageddon will ensue. The survivors will then be taken away to heaven. If this is the case, then what will become of the earth?" You have actually presented many questions in these three sentences. The answer is complicated and lengthy. It will require a lot of background information for the answers to make sense to you. If you will familiarize yourself with some of my past posts concerning the nephilim, I will try to answer these questions at a future time. I have been given a vision of the final event.

  • JosephMalik

    The scripture does not say that the earth will be re-modeled! It says NEW.


    True, as long as you do not mix up the earth with the planet as shown earlier in the discussion. The physical things upon it are not what is being discussed. This is also known as the new creation. 2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! This is the promise we look forward to attaining in the New Heavens to come.


  • peacefulpete

    Thanks Narkissos for the helpful answer. I guess this illustrates the hazards of imposing modern western literalism on an ancient religious text. Sorry to have taken so long to respond. We're doing well, Econaut is on her final semester and I got a new job (again) at a firetruck manufacturer. Hope your family is well.

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