Written by Mr. Edward Howell of The Blue Point Bible Church
LIVING IN THE NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH
Starting with Isaiah 9:7 – There will be no to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and His kingdom – which is to say that there will be no end to evangelism. People will be getting saved on a continual basis. The age of grace and of the New Heavens and New Earth has no end.
Jesus and the Jews believed in two ages:
- The “present evil age” (which is of Moses and the Law/ Torah)
- The “age to come” (the Messiah, the New Covenant, & Day of the Lord)
The Jew’s hope was in the age of the Messiah and the Day of the Lord, and understood the “present evil age” would pass, and the “age to come” would be without end. The “present evil age”, was the old “heaven and earth” (Moses & the law of sacrifices). The New Heavens and New Earth is the age of the Messiah.
The age of the old “Heaven and Earth” did not end at the cross because the Law and the sacrifices were still in effect until A.D. 70 when Christ returned on the clouds as the Father did in time past, in judgment, on those who pierced Him, and in retribution for the martyrs who cried for vengeance. His reward was with Him in ushering in the Kingdom, New Creation, New Heavens and New Earth!
Daniel 12:3 – Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the firmament.
Revelation 21:1 – I saw a New Heaven and a New Earth: for the first Heaven and the first Earth were passed away.
In A.D. 70, there was found not one stone left upon another when the destruction of the Temple (which the Jews called “Heaven and Earth” and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed. Emphasize judgment.
UNDERSTANDING THE HEBREW/ HEBRAIC WORLDVIEW
VS. THE ALEXANDRIAN/ GRECIAN/ HELLENISTIC WORLDVIEW
The downside of adopting the Hellenistic/ Grecian worldview is a literal interpretation of Scripture which started in the 4th century B.C – when Alexander the Great’s conquering of the “known world” led to a misunderstanding of the Hebrew worldview.
By taking things literally, we fail to understand the following:
- Euphemism – a mild word replacing an offensive one
- Colloquialism – a style used in informal talk and writing
- Conundrum – a puzzle
We see these details in Scripture as apocalyptic language, cosmic language, parabolic language, and metaphoric language.
Sadly many in our modern time have adopted a Hellenistic method of looking at Scripture unwittingly.
To understand Scripture, being that it was written to and by the Jews (with the exception of Luke), we must look at Scripture through a Hebraic view.
Who is the original author?
To whom (what audience)?
What is the message?
Where is the location?
Why (what’s the reason)?
When (what was going on at that time)?
How would the actual audience have understood the message?
We need scholars that understand the Hebraic mindset, that are diligent in study, to give proper interpretation of Scripture. When we fail to understand this, and take things as we understand them – literally – which is “eisegeting” Scripture (using one’s own interpretation) – this leads to more questions and confusion. When letting Scripture interpret Scripture and “exegeting”(allowing Scripture to form the meaning) and understanding what was intended by the original author this brings clarity and answers.
LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS?
If in fact we are not living in the last days, all teachings on the “future coming of the Messiah” is false.
I submit to you that Paul himself said he was living in the last days in Hebrews 1:1-2:
“In the past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.”.
Remember, the phrase “this present evil age”/ “this age”, refers to Moses and the Law of sacrifices which was passing away. The Old Testament was a foreshadow of what was to come – Jesus Christ being the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. The last days were in effect while sacrifices were being offered, and the Temple was still erect – and through the Revelation of Jesus Christ – the hope of redemption has it’s start and end.
Believing in Jesus Christ we pass from death to life. Though we die yet we shall live. We have everlasting life/ eternal life.
Since Jesus Christ fulfilled all prophecy, what are we to do and how shall we live? Study to show yourself approved. Allow the Word of God to influence all decision-making. Honor God by giving Jesus Christ Lordship over your life.
ONE NEW MAN
The hope of the Jews was to be God’s people, in God’s land, under God’s rule.
Israel coming out of Egypt into Canaan was physical, then spiritual, from sin to life in Jesus Christ.
Two bodies, the Jew and Gentile, have become the “One New Man”/ The Body of Christ
The Law was a covering, which showed the hope to live eternally in the presence of God, as Adam once had. The Law was a type, a shadow. The anti-type, which is the fulfillment of the shadow, refers to our Lord Jesus Christ.
You need not biologically die before being in the presence of God, but by coming into the Body of Jesus Christ.
The body of corruption and ‘mortal body’ is in bondage to sin – putting on incorruption, immortality, is to put on Christ.
The “living”, “asleep”, and “dead” all enter into the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Living goes from death to life in Christ
- Asleep will be brought into the presence of God
- Dead (Old Covenant saints/ in Moses) will enter into the new Body which is of Christ
THE GLORIFIED BODY
Adam was made a living soul, carnal and natural. The covenant of Moses, the Law, was also carnal and natural. This was the covenant until Jesus Christ would reveal a ‘New Covenant’ through Spirit and power.
The Gospel is found in and based on the Old Testament. Any “gospel” not found in the Old Testament is a false gospel.
Resurrection of the dead was the hope of Israel. Under the Law, there was no resurrection for anyone. Those that were dead in Adam/Moses will be judged and brought into the Body of Christ. Baptism is being brought into the hope of the Old Covenant Jews – the fulfillment of the promises made by God.
- First man/ Adam – corporate/ natural – first covenant
- Last Adam – Spirit – New Covenant