A NEW HEAVEN & NEW EARTH...SOON!
ALL of the text in the newsletter & pictographs above can be copied from the "COPY-ABLE" text below in the order it is given above. The "UN-COPY-ABLE" pictographs above have been kept because of the complex arrangement. (from the Mar-Apr 2012 Newsletter)
The New Heavens & New Earth
“in which Righteousness Dwells”
7 Years From Now?
Yes, it is possible that the New Heavens and the New Earth, promised throughout Scripture, could come as early as 7 years from now! If the Rapture came tomorrow, and if the New Heavens/Earth begin at the start of the Millennial Kingdom, then the 7-year Tribulation is the only event standing between the two. The chart below shows the sequence.
In the next several pages we will present the substantial evidence that the New Heavens and the New Earth actually begin at the inauguration of the 1000-year Kingdom of Christ (Millennial Kingdom) which occurs after the 7-year Tribulation. But first, let’s get a feel for what it will mean to live on the New Earth “in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13)
For over half a century now, I have started and ended each day with more bad news than good news. The newspapers in the mornings, the newscasts in the evenings. The bad-news headlines are constant; a listing of the deeds of the flesh from Galatians 5:19-21 sums up these daily reports— “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing…”
But the character of the New World “in which righteousness dwells” can be seen in the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the next two verses— “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
This is our Coming World, which according to Scripture, will be our Heaven on Earth!
Looking for a New Heavens and a New Earth
The world is going to be drastically changed at the time of the
Return of Christ. This dramatic transformation will also hold true for
the heavens, and the entire universe. Jesus called the time of His
Second Coming “the regeneration.” (Mat. 19:28) Peter called it “the
restoration.” Both “regeneration” and “restoration” refer to a “new
The changes depicted will be so great, in fact, that this event can
be none other that that foretold by the prophets which results in the
New Heavens and New Earth.
The earth and the heavens are not destined to be annihilated, but
to be renovated, as many prophecy teachers recognize due to the
weight of the Biblical evidence. And from the graphic descriptions
of the cataclysmic physical disturbances which accompany the Day
of the Lord (sun, moon darken, stars fall, heavens split open) it is easy
to see how a New Heavens and a New Earth come about at that time.
The Lord has declared that “yet once [not twice] more I will
shake not only the earth, but also the heaven” (Heb. 12:26; the first
“shaking” was at Mount Sinai, Exo. 19:18). There can be no question,
after an analysis of the Biblical data, that this “shaking” of the physical
cosmos occurs at the Return of Christ to the earth in the event known
as the Day of the Lord, and that this cosmic cleansing event is in fact
that which is described in 2 Peter 3:10. The time indicators, the fact
that Heaven and earth will be violently shaken at the Second Coming
of Christ, the fact that the institution of the New Heavens and the New
Earth is itself a ‘shaking” event, and the statement that this “shaking”
will occur only “once more,” places this event — the establishment of
The New Heavens and The New Earth — at the time of the Return of
Christ to the earth. And that could occur as soon as 7 years from now!
“... when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”
(2 Thess. 1:7-8)
We are a New
at new birth,
in this life
So also is the New Earth
a new creation
beginning of the Millennium
The “New Creation” is a process
The NEW MAN
If any man is in Christ, he is a new creat[ion];
the old things
new things have come.
2 Cor. 5:17
The NEW EARTH
And I saw a new heaven
and a new earth;
for the first heaven and the first earth passed away …
"Behold, I am making
all things new.“
We are a
(at rapture or
So also is the New Earth
end of the
The Present Heavens and Earth—Annihilation or Renovation?
When Peter says in 2 Peter 3:10 (see page 2) that “the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up,” is he saying that the heavens and earth (the entire universe) will disappear in a fiery ball, that is, will the old order be
totally annihilated to make way for a New Heavens and a New Earth?
Peter’s earlier testimony: Restoration, not Annihilation!
Peter had earlier declared that Jesus would remain in Heaven
“until the period of restoration of all things” (Acts 3:20,21). This
restoration will be one which “will include the redemption of nature
(Rom. 8:18-23) as well as the perfecting of human society” at the time
Jesus establishes His kingdom on earth.
Later Peter expanded the same theme in 2 Peter 3 (see page 2) where the “restoration of all things” is seen to be effected by the fiery judgment of
the Day of the Lord, with the restoration itself being a “new heavens and
a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (v13). It is significant that
in both of these prophecies Peter calls to mind the Old Testament
prophetic promises of just such a glorious age (Acts 3:21, 2 Pet. 3:13).
Paul and the New Creation: Liberation, not Annihilation!
Paul said all the creation would be liberated from its bondage
to decay at the time of the “revealing of the sons of God”
(Rom. 8:18-23). The liberation of all creation from corruption can
only mean the freedom of the New Heavens and the New Earth. The
time of the “revealing of the sons of God” is said to be the time of
“the redemption of our body” (v23), or the resurrection state, and
that happens at the time of the Return of Christ to the earth, when right-
eous people are raised, and saints from every tribe and tongue and
people and nation “will reign upon the earth” (Rev. 5:9,10; 20:4).
Therefore, the creation of the New Heavens and the New Earth does not
assume an annihilation of the old order. The Biblical data shows it is
in fact a re-creation of the old which makes it new; a transformation
of the old creation into a new creation. Paul said this present cre-
ation would be liberated, not annihilated only to be replaced.
The prophets affirm in many places that the present creation will
continue forever, both the earth (Psa. 78:69; 93:1; 104:5), and the hea-
vens (Psa. 89:34-37; 148:3-6, Jer. 3 1:35,36).
Jesus will restore all things when He comes again
The creation will be liberated when the saints are resurrected
More from Peter ...
Peter compares the destruction of the present Earth to the first global cataclysm in the days of Noah when “the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water” (2 Pet. 3:6,7).
The flood of Noah’s day didn’t annihilate the earth, and neither will the fiery cataclysms of the Day of the Lord. Rather, as the word “new” “ (Greek “kainos”) in both 2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1 means when it says “new heaven and a new earth,” it is not new in regard to a point in time (annihilated, then a totally new creation), but it is new in regards to a state or quality (divine fire-cleansing, then renovation). It is the idea of renovation of the old, not annihilation of the old, which is implied by the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21) and by the promise, “I am making all things new” (Rev. 21.5).
… and JESUS,
Regeneration, not Annihilation
Jesus Himself referred to the restoration as “the regeneration.”
And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)
This will occur when He “will sit on His glorious throne...,” a time the Bible specifically says will occur at His Second Coming.
But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him [Mat. 24:30,31; 2 The. 1:7; i.e., at the Second Coming], then He will sit on His glorious throne. (Matthew 25:31)
The regeneration will occur when I sit on My throne at My coming.
The graph below sums up the evidence in this issue for the timing of the New Heavens and the New Earth.
Note that Isaiah 65 & 2 Peter 3 explain the beginning, while Revelation 21 tells of the consummation.
The new heaven and the new earth are not the result of some unrecorded catastrophe, happening between the 20th and 21st chapters of Revelation. They are the result of the process of redemption and the reign of Christ for one thousand years. It is unthinkable that the redemptive work of Christ culminating in the reign of Christ, should result in such failure that total destruction would be necessary... For a thousand years, Christ and the saints have been working at the task of restoring all things... imagine the changes that would come in a thousand years of reconstruction under the personal supervision of Christ… Bloomfield, Arthur E. Before the Last Battle — Armageddon. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1971, pages 169-70,191
Do the heavens “pass away with a roar” at the Second Coming of Christ?
In 2 Peter 3:10 we read that the New Heavens and the New Earth begin when “the heavens will pass away with a roar.” Do the heavens pass away with a roar at the Second Coming of Christ?
Compare the description of the planetary and cosmic cataclysms in 2 Peter 3:10 with those in other passages which have clear reference to the Day of the Lord and Christ’s Return: First, in 2 Peter, “the day of the Lord will come in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat.” Now here is what ACTUALLY happens to the heavens when Christ comes according to other passages:
For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light; the sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will not shed its light... Therefore I shall make the heavens tremble... (Isa. 13:10,13)
And all the host of heaven will wear away, and the sky will be rolled up like a scroll; all their hosts will also wither away as a leaf withers from the vine, or as one withers from the fig tree. Isa. 34:4)
But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken... (Mat. 24:29)
And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars.. .for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up. (Rev. 6:12-14)
Is the Earth “burned up”
at the Second Coming of Christ?
We also read in 2 Peter 3:10 that the New Heavens and the New Earth begin when “the earth and its works will be burned up.” Is the earth judged by fire at the Second Coming of Christ?
Again, a comparison of Second Coming passages, here dealing with the effects on the earth:
And the earth will be shaken from its place at the fury of the Lord of hosts in the day of His burning anger.
(Isa. 13:13; 24:1-3)
For the windows above are opened, and the foundations of the earth shake. The earth is broken asunder, the earth is split through, the earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a shack...
A day of wrath is that day, a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness.. .and all the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealousy, for He will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth. (Zep. 1:15,18)
And upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world... (Luke 21:25,26)
And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. ... and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe. (Rev. 16:18-21)
The passage on the right below, Revelation 21:1, seems to contradict the possibility that the New Heavens and the New Earth begin at the start of the Millennium, since it follows Revelation 20 which describes the Millennium. However, if that is the case, then we must ask another “contradiction-question”— Why does the passage on the left, Isaiah 65:17-25, place the New Heavens and the New Earth at the start of the Millennium? (notice that some sin and death still remain, v. 20, child bearing is present, v. 23, and that the Millennial context is clear in verse 25.)
However, there is no contradiction. See the resolution below, which agrees with 2 Peter 3. (see graph page 2)
1 "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth…
20 "No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Shall be thought accursed…
23 "They shall not labor in vain, Or bear children for calamity; For they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD, And their descendants with them.
25 "The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain...”
There is NO CONTRADICTION ! The answer to harmonizing the two passages above is that the creation of the New Heavens and New Earth is a process. It begins at the start of the Millennium according to the Isaiah 65 passage. It is consummated at the close of the Millennium according the Revelation 21 passage.
Isaiah 65:17-25 tells of a creation which has had a brand-new birth.
Revelation 2l and 22 tell of a creation whose new birth has been consummated.
The New Heaven and the New Earth, then, emerge from the fiery cataclysms at the Return of Christ in the Day of the Lord, as depicted in many Old Testament passages and summarized in 2 Peter 3. They provide the backdrop for the glorious Kingdom of Christ for 1,000 years, after which all traces of sin, suffering, and death are removed forever. Then the New Heaven and the New Earth will constitute our perfect and eternal Heaven, and we “will shine forth as the sun forever.”
(Daniel 12:3:; Matthew 13:43)
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away...
Now, note carefully the parallel language between the description in 2 Corinthians 5:17 of the new creation of a person, “...the old things passed away; behold, new things have come,” and that in Revelation 21:1 and 5 describing the new creation of the universe “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away... Behold, I am making all things new.”
This is the answer to the “time” problem of the New Heavens and the New Earth! The dilemma is only an apparent dilemma. It makes sense that there should be a New Heavens and New Earth which contain traces of sin and death in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, as seen in Isaiah 65, and that there should also be the declaration of a New Heavens and New Earth which are perfect and eternal at the close of that Kingdom, as seen in Revelation 21. (see also Isaiah 66:22-24) One speaks of the new creation at its inauguration; the other pictures the new creation at its consummation. Theologian Robert Duncan Culver, in reference to the believer’s new creation that “the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17), reminds us that “Everyone knows, though, that even after new birth the believer still has sin in him. This will be removed completely at death or at the rapture of the saints” (1 The. 3:13).
See the graph at the bottom of page 2.
A DECISIVE PASSAGE
2 Peter 3: The New Heavens & New Earth...
…set in the context of the Second Coming of Jesus!
This is the premier New Testament passage on the New Heavens and the New Earth.
1. Notice the internal connection of the entire passage to the Second Coming of Jesus in verse 3. The “promise” is the key. The subject of the passage never changes from the “promise of His coming.”
2. Notice the external connection of the passage to the clear reference to Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ in Revelation 16:14-16. The terms “Day of God” and “Thief in the night” are the keys to the contextual connection of the two passages. Connect the highlighted words...
2 Peter 3:
3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation."
5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,
6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
7 But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
THE DAY OF THE LORD can be equated with the Second Coming of Jesus because of the Sky Signs that are a unique, one-time occurrence (Zec. 14:6-7). Joel 2:31 says these Sky Signs (black sun, blood moon, sky rolled back) introduce the Day of the Lord. Jesus says these Sky Signs introduce His Second Coming, “immediately after the Tribulation.” (Mat. 24:29-30)
Robert D. Culver on 2 Peter 3
“The immediate context of 2 Peter 3:10 indicates that Peter had in mind something which would occur at Christ’s second coming, and not in a period still remotely future [over at least a thousand years later.]
Peter did not question the possibility that people whom he then addressed might live to see the inauguration of the very things he describes in verse 10.”
Culver, Robert D., Daniel and the Latter Days. Moody Press, 1977.
The 2nd Coming in
14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.
15 ("Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest he walk about naked and men see his shame.")
16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.
Summing up the Evidence
Clearly then, at the time of the Return of Christ, in the Day of the Lord, or the Day of God (2 Pet. 3:10,12; Rev. 16:14), “all the host of heaven will wear away, and the sky will be rolled up like a scroll...”, while below ‘the Lord lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface...” in the very same event “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire...”, all of which couldn’t be more descriptive of the event portrayed in 2 Peter 3:10 as depicting the creation of the New Heavens and the New Earth (2 Peter 3:13).
Could the “New Heavens and New Earth” become a reality as little as 7 years from now? It could. Or it could be 7 years from tomorrow, or 7 years from any date in the future. Why? Because, if, as the evidence shows, the inauguration of the New Earth begins at the return of Christ at the end of the Tribulation, and since the Tribulation could begin at any time and since it is said by Scripture to be 7 years long, then the New Earth (and Heaven on Earth) could begin as little as 7 years from now.
Praise God, let Thy Kingdom Come!