A Voice in the
"These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God was making the earth and the heavens..." (Gen2:4)
This is an interesting expression God uses, primarily in Genesis: "THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS OF..." It is a kind-of 'legal' genealogical term used when naming the various family trees: of Noah (6:9), sons of Noah (10:1), Terah (11:27), Ishmael (25:12), Jacob (37:2), Aaron & Moses (Num3:1), the Messianic line through Perez (Ruth4:18) The following of the line of the woman's "Seed" (Gen3:15) was of great importance, as Jesus' lineage is listed through both Joseph and Mary (Mt1:1-17, Lk3:23-38) This is an expression that would be found on today's equivalent documents one might find by going to one's local court-house and searching through official records, etc. Names of people are documented. Land ownership is documented.
God proclaims, "Everything under the heavens is Mine" (Job41:11) "Heaven is My throne, and earth My footstool." (Is66:1) And God has documented the title deed and official description of that which is His; at the very beginning in Gen2:4. In the series (in the Library) "Covenants and Dispensations" we observed how 'this' heavens and earth has aproximately a 7000 year lifespan. 'Not going to cover all those details here. But we are currently right about at the end of 6000 years, corresponding to the end of God's creative 6th day. (Remember: the prophetic "day" corresponding to "1000 years" -2Pt3:8) On the "seventh day..God..rested" (Gen2:2) Thus, the O.T. observance of "Sabbath" (which means "rest"). And creation is presently poised to receive God's judgment, to "winnow" (Is41:16) away the "wicked..chaff" (Ps1:4), and usher in the prophesied thousand year reign of Messiah (Rev20:4,6) from Jerusalem, on David's throne, in justice and peace. He will "rule..with a rod of iron". (Is9:7, Ps2:9, Rev2:27, 12:5, 19:15) And with God's justice prevailing, the earth and all creation will again be at peace. (Is11:7, 65:25)
But what comes -after- the 7000 years are finished?
As regular readers and subscribers know, I don't usually spend time naming everybody out there who proclaims false doctrine. If I were to spend all my time doing that (like some 'discernment' entities do), there would be no time left to proclaim "Thus says the Lord Jehovah". (Eze2:4) But every once in awhile, something specific comes to my attention, which the Lord says to address. On Sunday evenings, after the late news, Jack Van Impe is on one of the local TV stations; and I watched their little show a couple weeks in-a-row here recently. Their little snake-oil doctrine needs to be refuted, here, for a moment. The one evening Jack was proclaiming that -this- earth is going to last indefinitely..."forever, and ever and ever..." Vehemently proclaiming that this earth is NOT going to ever be destroyed. That Christ is going to reign on -this- earth "forever and ever and ever and ever!"
After that show I found their website, and e-mailed them, showing them some Scriptures (that we will take a look at here in a moment) that proclaim that this earth will be burned up. While I did not receive a reply, I know they read it, because by the next show, they had taken note of another comment I had made, and made a little change in their presentation. But in the 'next' show, they were even MORE ADAMANT about this false doctrine, ignoring the Scriptures they had been given, but with even raised vocal decibels, eyes opened wider, pounding/slapping the desk. Of course, this time they were not giving any 'supportive' Scripture references like they had before (in my e-mail I had shown how the word they were reading as "forever" was a mistranslation, and really should be rendered as "perpetually", "always", etc), but rather, pushing their "Rapture" video, for people to buy it...because this matter is "documented in the video", they said.
Now, in their adamancy about a "forever-ness" for -this- earth, their true colors also came out. One of their reasons was not from Scripture, as a Believer would have hoped; but (of all things!!) from the Catholic "catechism"! Speaking of the Catholic "Eighth Day".
Since this was the first I had heard the expression "eighth day" spoken of in quite that way, I went and did a little bit of web surfing, hoping to find the catholic catechism somewhere, and read up on this matter. But before I ever found anything 'catholic', I found tons of other stuff. And actually, with everything else I was seeing, I didn't bother pursuing to the 'catholic' further. There is a whole genre out there of metaphysics and spirituality around this one lone concept.
At one website was an explanation of "Sukkot" (booths). After the 7th day of Sukkot was the 8th day. They would come out of the booths. The seven days representing the "natural" world, the 8th day, the "world to come". A deliverance like the "8" in the ark. Jesus rose the 8th day. The number "7" is "completion", and "8" is what follows. There might actually be -some- 'elements' of truth in this one (Does not most false doctrine also contain elements of truth?)...as we will see as we close this discussion. The Jewish feast that all nations will observe during the coming Millennium is Sukkot (Feast of Booths). (Zec14:16-19)
Another was called, "Eighth Day Fellowship". (That's what their church was called) Dealing in a lot of numerology. They even proclaimed that the events of 9/11 were of significance, because, they say, Jesus was born on Sept 11, 3BC.
There was an "Eighth Day Faith Community" in Washington DC. One of their photos showed them in some sort of peace march, toting a huge (occult) "peace symbol" made up with flowers. Judging by their ages, they would have been some of the original "flower children" of the 60s and 70s.
Some of the teachings out there: 1) The world was created in seven days...8th is beyond -physical-...."metaphysical". 2) An "eighth day life center" (interdenomination/episcopal) was proclaiming a "new day of creation" 3) There was a: transcendental day "morning star" proclaiming, "enter the feminine door".
Another website: Why circumcision on the 8th day? "7days represents the earthly, natural. The 8th on the eighth day, the child reaches the level of the soul that is capable of connecting with the G-dly light that transcends nature. Thus, through the act of circumcision, the Jew is given the power and ability throughout life, to overcome all obstacles in his service of G-d; he is able to rise above his own natural limitations."
See why, after seeing all these things, I didn't feel the need to keep looking to find the 'catholic' one? In any other doctrine, catholicism's traditions are typically just as non-Scriptural as all these things. I had seen 'enough'...more-than-enough, thank you very much!
after the Millennium of Christ's rule, when satan is released from his 1000 year captivity in the pit, where he again stirs up the earth's unbelievers to come against Christ and the Believers, and they are destroyed (Rev20:3,7-10); what comes after that? Does -this- earth continue on, as Van Impe says, "forever and ever and ever and ever"?
What does Scripture say? It says that the earth is "passing away".
Jesus says, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will by no means pass away." (Mt24:35) In fact, the passing away of the earth won't happen until all Scripture has been fulfilled. (Mt5:18) One reason we don't know much about what follows is because the Scriptures are, specifically, God's Document regarding the "generations of the heavens and earth". When you go to your local court house, you find documents dealing with -that- court house's jurisdiction. If you are from small-down, USA, you will not find titles, deeds and birth/death certificates dealing with Russia, China, Canada, etc. In fact, your "small-town" documents will not even cover "big-city" USA. They are specifically for 'your' municipality and/or county. In similar fashion, the Scriptures are God's Document regarding 'this' -present- "heavens and earth". That's why this earth won't pass away, until the title/deed Document for earth, the Scriptures, have been fully fulfilled. (Mt5:18)
After the flood, when the annual earthly seasons become established, God says, "While earth remains..." (Gen8:22) Such an expression suggests that at some point in time, there will be an 'end'. Those are the kind of words "while" and "remain" are. "While" is some period of time; which, depending on the context, its length may be specified or not (for this earth, it's on the order of 7000 years). But then, when the period of time "while" is concluded, and it stops "remaining", that is its 'end'.
"And all the host of the heavens shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; and all their host shall wither, as a leaf withers off the vine, and as fruit falling from the fig tree." (Is34:4) "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall become old like a garment..." (Is51:6)
"Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They shall perish, but You will endure; yea, they shall all grow old like a garment; like clothing You will change them, and they shall be changed; but You are the same, and Your years shall not be consumed." (Ps102:25-27)
So, if this present creation is going to get "old" and be destroyed, but Believers have Eternal Life with God, where will we spend eternity?
God says, "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth. And the former shall not be remembered, nor come to mind." (Is65:17)
Peter explains how this will happen: "But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same Word (Scriptures, its title/deed), are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men....the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with intense burning; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up...the Day of God...through which the heavens will be dissolved, being set on fire, and the elements will melt with intense burning... Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." (~2Pet3:7-13)
And John is given a brief vision of the 'new'. "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Rev21:1-2)
Aside from the Scriptures saying so, there's a couple of reasons why, as things exist now, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for this present earth to remain "forever". Eventually, earth's resources would run out. Eventually, the elemental 'fuels' of the sun would get used up. While, compared to man's infinitesimal-ness, the sun and earth's resources seem 'vast', a finite amount of their resources will not last "forever".
In addition, the "New Jerusalem" and this present earth are a totally IMPOSSIBLE mismatch. There is no possible way the New Jerusalem could come down out of the heavens and be 'planted' on -this- earth. Let us observe:
The city is a 'cube'. "Its length, breadth, and height are equal." (Rev21:16) The walls are a little over 200 feet (72m) thick. (vs17) And the city is 1363 miles (2180km) cubed. That's a size that would take up the entire eastern half of the United States, from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean. Or, looking at it another way: slip a cube inside the moon, strip away the convex surfaces, and that's how big it is. (Seems to me we've addressed this before a couple years ago?) There is no geophysical way in which such a cube could 'sit' on this earth, without the earth's crust/mantle buckling in, and the 'cube' ending up half-way into the earth's molten core...if the two didn't explode first due to the effects gravitation and Roche's limit. Trying to put the New Jerusalem on 'this' earth would be like taking a chicken egg, strip off the shell, but leave the membrane on it around the 'fluid' interior, suspend it in space, and expect it to hold an automotive wheel lug nut on its surface. Folks, it's just not going to happen!
In addition, even if it were possible, the earth's atmosphere only extends upwards a very limited number of miles. The 'cube' would be extending upwards clear into the Van Allen radiation belts. Not only would there be no air to breathe, the radiation would be deadly. So, we will have new bodies...but still...you get the picture being drawn for you here. The earth that hosts the New Jerusalem cannot possibly be 'this' earth we 'now' live on. Physically impossible. It will HAVE TO BE an earth built according to totally different design parameters.
Now, certainly, during the Millennium this earth is going to be "healed". (Ez47:12, Zec14:8) Nature will be at peace. (Is11:7, 65:25) It would seem that the earth will be moved into a different orbit, farther away from the sun. (Is13:13, Zec14:6-7) But it is still an earth with the sun.
But the 'new' heavens and earth will not have a sun. Jesus will illuminate it. (Rev21:23, 22:5) There will be "no more sea". (Rev21:1) This present earth is 70% covered by seas, and its water mass is its primary climate control.
Is it not clearly seen, that something totally 'new' is coming, after this present has been destroyed. Yes, 'this' heavens and earth make up "seven days", and then comes the "eighth day".
The eighth day will not be like Star Trek's "Borg" cube, flying through space, dark and ominous, coming to new 'species' and announcing, "You will be assimilate; resistance is futile." with a goddess-like queen who invites the prey to join her to become like her...in essence, to become little gods...but when her shell is stripped away, what remains is a pitiful writhing serpent-like essence. (You see, folks, the world understands Godly, Scriptural historic/prophetic symbolism quite well. Better than many who claim to be "christians"!)
But the New Jerusalem is brilliantly dazzling in beauty. Read about it in the last two chapters of Revelation. In stark contrast to satan, who seeks to imprison his subjects with Borg-like shakles into his 'collective' against their will, God INVITES....
When Jesus came to earth He invited "Come to Me...I will give you rest" (Mt11:28) Not, "you will be assimilated...you will service us" And regarding the New Jerusalem, it is a similar invitation: "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take of the Water of Life freely." (Rev22:17) It is the ultimate fulfillment of what Jesus promised the woman of Samaria, the waters overflowing to Eternal Life. (Jn4:14) Where Adam and Eve sinned and were banned from the Tree of Life, those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Rev7:14) will have healing from its leaves, as there is no more curse (vs2-3) to those who have received "right to the Tree of Life" (vs14) Outside are "dogs" and every perverse thing. (vs15) But the Water of Life is available freely (vs17), with "no money". (Is55:1) After all, the money that is so valuable on 'this' earth, its gold, will be the 'streets' there. (Rev21:21)
No, this earth is not so "terra -FIRMA-". In fact, what a cruel joke it would be, for God to promise the glories of Eternal Life in His presence, if eternity was going to be spent on -this- ol' world! Who would 'want' to? Tears are going to be wiped away (Is25:8), there will be no more tears, crying or pain (Rev21:4), as "the former (where we are now) shall not be remembered, nor come to mind." (Is65:17)
But other than a slight glimpse at the end of our Scriptures, we are not told much about the coming "eighth day", because the Scriptures are the "generations" (the official Document) of -this- heaven and earth. Anything more that other people might proclaim is mere human conjecture, and does not come from God; certainly nothing around which to be creating new cults! This so-called "eighth day" (Eternity) is for those who have come to God in 'repentance' and to Jesus in 'faith' (Ac20:21), having "received" Jesus (Jn1:12) and been washed in Jesus' blood. (Rev1:5) And it is SO MUCH -BETTER- THAN -this- earth! Just as the resurrected/changed bodies are so much better, in incorruption, than these bodies (1Cor15:42-54), so too will be the living environment for those new bodies, and those whose spirit/souls inhabit them. As Jesus spoke of the seed that is planted, and sprouts (Jn12:24); a tiny insignificant seed sprouts and grows into something so much more, and fantastic. On -this- earth we are yet 'seeds'. This earth is "dust", and so are these bodies. (Gen3:19, Ps103:14) But that which is to come is the "Lord from Heaven" (1Cor15:47), as "we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is..." (1Jn3:2)
Paul expresses it: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it dawned upon the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (1Cor2:9)