THE RENOVATION
OF THE UNIVERSE
 


 

THE RENOVATION OF THE UNIVERSE

1. The basic definition is found at Revelation 21:1

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth;
for the first heaven and the first earth passed away."

A. Passed away: aorist active indicative of aperchomai, which means literally, to go away from. Thus the idea is that the old universe LEFT.

B. The FACT that it left is stated at Revelation 20:11, "from Whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them."

C. The MANNER in which it left is described at 2 Peter 3:10-12 as having been destroyed by extreme heat and burning.

 

2. The purpose for this renovation is explained at Hebrews 12:26-27.
Basically, so that the eternal and unspoiled might be showcased.

Verse 26

A. And His voice: this refers to the POWER from His spoken word.

B. Shook the earth then: This refers to the physical manifestation of God's presence on Mount Sinai at the giving of the law. Exodus 19:16-19

1. The word is saleuo as an aorist active indicative, which means to shake or agitate, and indicates an earthquake type effect. The verb at Exodus 19:18 in the Hebrew is ChArad with the adverb, meodh (greatly), "the whole mountain quaked greatly."

2. The other Greek word is seio, and it is used to describe this same event in the LXX at Psalm 68:8 and Judges 5:4-5. This word is used at Hebrews 12:26 for the future shaking.

C. But He has promised: this is a perfect middle indicative of epangellomai to indicate an established future action in the plan of God. He has promised with the present results that the veracity of His promise remains certain.

1. This refers to a future presence of God when His purpose will be to judge evil and all its production.

2. The promise is quoted from Haggai 2:6, where it serves as a summary statement concerning judgment on the earth during the day of the Lord. That judgment begins with the day of the Lord, but will finalized at the last judgment (2 Peter 3:7).

3. It thus, does not focus on the progress of judgment during that time, but simply on the final judgment in the removal of the old heavens and earth.

4. Haggai mentions several of the judgment factors for that time period, but not with the intent to establish a chronology.

D. Yet once more: This indicates a final manifestation of His presence and the promotion of divine standards (righteousness).

E. Will I shake: Here the verb seio is used to indicate divine power accomplishing His purpose. The verb means to really shake or agitate, as in a tree that is blown by the wind (Rev. 6:13), or an earthquake (Matthew 27:51). It is also used at Jeremiah 8:16 to indicate the effects from a military invasion.

F. Not only the earth: The judgment that begins at the Day of the Lord will not only render justice to the inhabited planet, but will also culminate in the destruction of the planet.

G. but also the heavens: This refers to the entire solar system, indeed, the entire physical universe.
(Every time the word, heaven occurs in the Old Testament it is in the plural.)

 

Verse 27, This explains the nature and extent of the renovation.
It takes the Day of the Lord judgments and extends them beyond the millennial kingdom to the renovation of the physical universe. This suggests that the time period known as The day of the Lord, should include the destruction of the old heavens and earth.

A. And this phrase, yet once more, denotes: the verb is deloo which means to show or indicate. The writer uses this verb to explain the extent and nature of the promise.

B. the removing: noun, metathesis, which means a placement AFTER. Thus, the idea of leaving or removing. Further amplified by the idea of "fleeing" and no place being "found for them," (Rev. 20:11).

C. Of what can be shaken: this is a present passive participle of saleuo = the shakable things.

D. as of CREATED things: this is a perfect passive participle of the verb, poieo, which means to do or MAKE. Thus it means those things that have been MADE - created things; the physical universe.

E. In order that: hina + the subjunctive = a purpose clause.

F. the UN-shakable things: this is another present pass. participle, but this time, with the negative (me) to indicate things that are not and can not be subject to physical destruction. It refers to that which has spiritual value and substance, starting with God's righteousness and extending to the new universe.

G. will remain: this is MENO as an aorist active subjunctive, which completes the purpose clause (hina), and establishes the permanence of that which has spiritual value and substance over what has physical limitations.

H. This language indicates a complete removal of the PRESENT physical universe in order that that which has spiritual value (including the new universe) will be promoted. The new physical universe will be superior to the old universe that was corrupted by the manifestation of spiritual darkness.

 

Verse 28 identifies these SUPERIOR things as the eternal kingdom, a kingdom that cannot be shaken. And the eternal kingdom begins with the resurrection of the bride of Christ (old testament and new testament believers) at the rapture.

A. since we receive: paralambano as a present active participle (concessive participle = SINCE), sets up the motivation for maintaining the grace perspective and consistent service to God.

B. A kingdom that cannot be shaken: This UNSHAKABLE quality begins for us at the moment that we receive a resurrection body, even though we do not officially begin to reign until Christ sets up his earthly kingdom.

1. It refers to our INHERITANCE, as described at 1 Pet 1:3-5.

2. Since the ULTIMATE reward and blessing for having trusted in Christ as Savior is our eternal life with Him, we should be motivated to maintain attitude and function that glorifies God during our life here on earth.

3. We see this same focus at 1 Corinthians 15:58, "THEREFORE, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord."

C. Let us have grace: this is the verb, echo as a present active subjunctive (hortatory), and it means to have. The hortatory subjunctive has the function of exhorting the hearers (readers) to join with the speaker (writer) in his stated intention.

D. GRACE: This is charis, and refers to the attitude and viewpoint of grace toward everything in life. Grace is the fact that God provides everything we need to fulfill His demands upon our life. God is the source and the object of all Christian activity. It INCLUDES gratitude, but should never be limited to gratitude. Grace is a viewpoint that recognizes the FREEDOM we have in Christ; freedom to live in this world and enjoy it as a gift from God (1 Timothy 6:17), and freedom to love and serve Him without threats and intimidations from Him (or others) that we might somehow lose what He has given to us.

E. by which: That is, through (dia + genitive case) the proper understanding and expression of grace.

F. Let us serve God acceptably: The verb serve is latreuo, which means to render priestly service TO. Such service is identified elsewhere as including praise, beneficent deeds and generosity (Hebrews 13:15-16).

G. Acceptably: this is the adverb, euarestos, and indicates that which is designed and mandated by God. At Hebrews 13:15-16, it says that "with such sacrifices God is pleased," using the verb, euaresteo.

H. With DEVOTION: this noun is eulabeia and is only used here and at verse 5:7, where it speaks of Christ's DEVOTION. The verb occurs only at Hebrews 11:7, where it describes Noah's DEVOTION.

I. and reverence: the word, deos, is a synonym to phobos (fear) and speaks of humility toward God that recognizes His authority, viewpoint and policy as having jurisdiction over one's life.

Verse 29 reminds us that God has uncompromising justice toward all people, both believers and unbelievers.
Fire always speaks of divine justice. The believer is warned several times throughout the book of Hebrews that God's justice will not be held back when it comes to disciplining erring believers, "for whom the Lord loves, He disciplines," (Hebrews 12:6).

 

3. This removal/destruction of the physical universe takes place when the millennial kingdom is over, right after Satan is cast into the lake of fire, and in connection with the last judgment, according to the chronology of Revelation 20:7-11 and 2 Peter 3:7.

A. Revelation 20:11

1. From Whose face: the presence of Jesus Christ brings about this destruction at the time of the last judgment.

2. earth and heaven fled away: the verb pheugo as an aorist active indicative indicates that this FLEEING occurs in connection with Christ sitting upon the great white throne.

3. The chronology is tricky here. At verse 13, it says that the sea gave up the dead that were in it, which suggests that the physical earth would not be destroyed until after the chemicals of the actual physical bodies were recovered. This might occur concurrently with the inception of the last judgment so that as the bodies of these unbelievers are raised up, the earth melts away behind them.

4. And a place was not found for them: the verb is heurisko as an aorist passive indicative, to indicate that the old universe "perishes" from the presence of Christ, and since there is no place found for them, it is clear that they are destroyed.

B. In 2 Peter 3:10 and 12, we learn that it is "by means of" (v. 10) and "because of" (v. 12) the day of the Lord, that the removal of the old universe will occur. This does not establish conclusively that the renovation is actually a PART of the Day of the Lord, but it is possible that, along with the last judgment, the day of the Lord includes this final expression of divine justice before the eternal state begins.

C. 2 Peter 3:7 associates the destruction of the old universe very closely with the final judgment of unbelievers.

"But the present heavens and earth, by the same word (the word of God)
are being reserved for fire, being preserved for the day of judgment
and destruction of non-worshipping men."

It seems best to take this as referring to the last judgment, rather than to any of the "temporal" judgments that occur ON the earth after Christ returns.

D. Peter describes the MECHANICS of the destruction, while John simply records the FACT of it.

4. Jesus also taught about the future destruction of the universe.

A. Matthew 5:18
In this verse, the word, heos, occurs two times. The first time it refers to the law in GENERAL, and the second time, to SPECIFIC factors within the law.

1. Until: heos an (plus the subjunctive mood of the following verb), introduces an unknown time factor, although the event that is in view is specific and certain.

2. heaven and earth: the PRESENT physical universe.

3. Pass away: the verb is parerchomai as an aorist active subjunctive to indicate a future reality but with an unknown time for its occurrence.

4. the smallest letter or stroke of the law:

a. The negative (not) is with the verb.

b. This is hyperbole to indicate that the law as an entire entity or whole unit, will be pertinent until the renovation of the universe. (smallest letter = yodh; stroke = any mark made by a stylus, or other writing implement)

 

5. Shall not pass away: the negative is doubled (ou me) to indicate certainty (shall not ever), and the verb is parerchomai again, in the same form.

6. Until: heos an + pas (all) to refer to the specific details of God's plan for the human race as taught in the Mosaic law. There is still the same UNKNOWN time factor indicated by the subjunctive mood of the verb.

7. Be fulfilled: The verb is ginomai which means to become something that it was not before, thus the idea of COME TO PASS. The physical universe will remain in place until God's entire plan for the human race is brought to completion. That means it occurs AFTER the millennial kingdom of Christ.
However, various details of the law will be ACCOMPLISHED before the entire WHOLE is accomplished. For example, based on the book of Hebrews and Paul's writings, the worship system of the law was fulfilled by Christ and is not in operation during the time period known as the church age.

B. Luke 16:17

"But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away
than for one stroke or letter of the law to fail."

It is EASIER only because in fact, God's plan has the renovation of the universe as the FINAL item of the law to be fulfilled.

C. Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33

Illustration of priority in permanence and pertinence.

"Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not ever pass away."

1. The verb is parerchomai again, first as a future middle indicative, and then as an aorist active subjunctive plus the DOUBLE negative (ou me = not ever). But Mark and Luke both have the future middle with the double negative instead of the aorist.

2. My words refers to the divine viewpoint that Christ taught, which revolved around relationship with God, first, and then the principle of beneficent love as the core factor for how creatures are to relate to one another.

 

5. The "idea" of the renovation of the universe is first mentioned at Isaiah 65:17, where God reveals millennial blessings as a foretaste of eternal blessings.

     A. The renovation of the universe does not take place until AFTER the last judgment, which is AFTER the MK.
Certainly there are changes made at the start of the MK, but it is not a COMPLETE new earth. There are still changing weather conditions that occur during the MK and death.
 
     B. The fiery events that occur during the DOL judgments are not TOTAL destructions or changes in the condition of the earth. They don't have anything to do with Rev. 21:1 and 2Peter 3:10-12.
 
     C. The "event" of renovation (new heavens and new earth) is a PROCESS that actually begins with the Messiah's FIRST advent establishment of righteousness (justification through faith in Christ), extends to the establishment of RIGHTEOUSNESS all over the earth when the MK starts along with  changes made in the ecology (lions, lambs, snakes, length of life, health, etc). But there will still be physical death of people and animals.
And then ultimately to the total PHYSICAL renovation. But Isaiah's focus is on the Mil kingdom rather than the eternal heavens and earth.
 
     D. The focus in Isaiah 65-66 is a HUGE period of time viewed as one event in the ENDTIMES, that begins with Messiah's first advent.
 
 
     E. That event begins with the establishment of the new covenant after Messiah's salvation provision of righteousness (justification) through faith in Christ. Basically, it involves
          1. The first advent provision of salvation (Is. 65:1-5; 66:1-3).
          2. The judgment on Israel in 70 AD (65:6-12; 66:4-6)
          3. The new evangelistic agent; the church: 65:13-16; 66:7-11
          4. Day of the Lord judgments: 66:15-18
          5. Evangelism before and during the day of the Lord:  66:19
          6. The Mil. Kingdom: 65:17-25; 66:20-24
 
Please see commentaries:
Isaiah 65
Isaiah 66

6. Isaiah 65:17

A. For: explains the basis for focusing on the faithfulness of God in verse 16.
It is because He will bring to fulfillment the land blessings given to Abraham, and it will be a new heavens and earth because "the former things shall not be remembered." This refers to a new spiritual reality in which divine righteousness is showcased on the earth as never before.

B. The new heavens and earth describes the millennial earth because there will be a change in the physical laws so that people will live much longer. Also wild animals will be tamed as at verse 25.

C. The following verses in Isaiah 65, all describe this as referring to the millennial earth and not the renovation of the universe that takes place at the end of the millennium.

D. But New Testament revelation tells us that the new heavens and earth will begin with the resurrection of believers at the 2nd coming of Jesus; will include the 1000 year earthly kingdom; and culminate in a total physical destruction and renewal of the universe at the end of that kingdom. All that Isaiah has in view is what occurs at the millennial reign of the Messiah, and is not aware of the total physical renovation such as is described at Revelation 21:1, Hebrews 12:26-27 and 2 Peter 3:7-12.

E. This KINGDOM phase of the renovation is also seen at Isaiah 66:22.
We know that this is referring to the millennial kingdom because of verse 22-24, which describes that kingdom.

F. This has led to confusion between the millennial kingdom and the renovation, but if one keeps the chronological key words in focus, everything falls into place as I have explained.

7. What was not revealed in the Old Testament, is that the renovation of the universe has three phases to it (1) the RESURRECTION phase in 3 stages (Rom. 8:18-25; 2 Peter 3:13-14), (2) the KINGDOM phase, which involves a renewed environment during Messiah's earthly kingdom (Isaiah 11:6-8; 65:25; Ezek. 34:25; Hos. 2:18), and (3) the ETERNAL phase, which includes the final complete physical destruction and renewal of the heavens and the earth (Heb. 12:26-27; 2 Peter 3:7-12; Rev. 20:11; 21:4).

8. The renovation is also proclaimed at Psalm 102:25-26

A. This passage contrasts the eternal existence of Messiah with the temporal existence of the physical creation.

B. It is quoted at Hebrews 1:10-12

1. the heavens will perish: apollumi as a future middle indicative
This of course indicates a destruction as at Hebrews 12:27.

2. become old like a garment: palaioo as a future passive indicative. When a garment becomes old, it falls apart or is simply thrown away.

3. As a mantle, you will roll them up: elisso as a F. A. Ind.

a. Peribolaion is an outer garment that is often removed and rolled up in order to get it out of the way.

b. At Isaiah 34:4, the universe is rolled up like a scroll.

c. In either case, the picture is of something being visibly removed; rolled up so that it is no longer seen.

4. Like a garment, they will be changed: allasso, f. pas. ind.
Another image, Taking off one garment and putting on another.

 

9. Orientation to God's past dealings with the earth. 2 Peter 3:3-7

A. The earth has been destroyed before, and this refutes the scoffers who claim no changes and no fulfillment of God's promises.

B. Not only was the earth destroyed and replenished, but its now secure and stable because of the power of God's word.

1. The heavens: reference to the original creation of Gen. 1:1.

2. existed: eimi as an imperfect indicative = were.

3. long ago (ekpalai): context indicates the original creation.

4. by the word of God: the mechanics of the original creation.
Hebrews 11:3, worlds (aion) prepared by the word of God.
(Aion is sometimes used for the physical universe: Heb. 1:3

Prepared: is katartidzo (aorist pas. indicative) which means to be EQUIPPED. The worlds were EQUIPPED, decked out with all their various characteristics. Ie, all the details of the creation, as in "all its fullness," (Psalm 24:1).

Indeed, it was the divine LOGOS (the word) who did the actual creating (John 1:1-3).

5. And: kai - introduces a new and separate focus than the original creation.

6. the earth: a specific reference to Genesis 1:2

7. Was formed: perfect active participle from sunistāmi, which means to be placed or stationed (with) together.
Thus the idea of a physical creation and organization.

8. out from water: preposition, ek, to indicate the prior state before the actual habitable environment existed. Genesis 1:2, the surface of the deep and the surface of the waters.

9. And through water: preposition, dia, to indicate a massive amount of water that was incorporated in the formation. Probably a reference to the canopy of water (Gen. 1:6-7), the seas (Gen. 1:10), and the water in the "fountains of the deep," which we see at Genesis 7:11.

 

C. 1656 years after Adam was created, that physical world (antediluvian), was destroyed in the flood of Genesis 6-8.

2 Peter 3:6

1. through which: plural relative pronoun. This is a reference to all the water that was just mentioned in those 3 places.

2. the world at that time: The days of Noah as Jesus put it at Matthew 24:37.

3. was destroyed: aorist middle indicative of apollumi.

4. Being flooded with water: katakludzo as an aorist passive participle. This incorporated the waters from above and below as at Genesis 7:11, as well as the obvious contribution from the water that was already there.

 

D. The mockers of verse 4 are thus exposed as being ignorant of several items.

1. God's word created the universe.
2. God destroyed the world by a flood.
3. God's word is maintaining the present universe
4. God is moving His plan toward a future judgment of both the universe and all unbelievers.

5. So in view of their ignorance, their skepticism is understandable, but not excusable.

6. And they have no business commenting on Divine timing, purpose and policy when they are ignorant and unreceptive to the reality of His sovereignty and power.

7. If they continue in their spiritual rebellion, they will be viewed as without excuse (Romans 1:18-20) and continue to have the wrath of God abide upon them (John 3:36).

 

 

10. Orientation to divine timing concerning the future: 2 Peter 3:7-9

A. While the earth has been judged before, the solar system (heavens) in which the earth exists has not.

B. The post-diluvian earth is our current one (verse 7), and is held in is current status by the power of God's word.

1. The earth is no longer filled with water as it once was, for most of the water remained on the surface after the flood.

2. Instead, the earth is filled with fire which causes a heat and gas build up that applies pressures on the earth's outer crust.

3. The gas build up and the heat is currently attacking the earth's surface causing volcanos and earthquakes that threaten to break or blow the planet to pieces.

4. But God's power is holding everything together in the person of Jesus Christ (Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3) until the perfect time in His plan.

 

C. That perfect timing in God's plan is just before the great white throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15 (2 Peter 3:7).

1. The present heavens and earth: establishes without question the subject that is in view.

2. by the same word: The word of God of verse 5, which is actually the reincarnate (before He became a man) God (John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:2, 10; Col. 1:16; 1 Cor. 8:6).

3. is being reserved: thāsauridzo, as a perfect passive participle plus the present indicative of eimi (the "to be" verb) indicates that they are in the status of having an appointment that cannot be broken except by the one who made it (God).

4. for fire: locative case of the indirect object to indicate the nature of the appointment.

5. being kept: This is a present passive participle of tāreo, to indicate the means by which the appointment will be kept.

6. unto the day of judgment: the preposition eis, indicates the time when this appointment will be fulfilled. It is at the time of the day of judgment, which is consistently referred to in Scripture as the time when unbelievers will appear before God for evaluation and the assignment of their eternal destinies (Romans 2:16; Rev. 20:11-15).

7. And the destruction: the word apoleia refers to the spiritual ruin that occurs when a person is thrown into the lake of fire. This word does not mean destruction as in "annihilation." But rather, the destruction of QUALITY of life so that one's existence is now characterized by pain and misery (Rev. 14:10-11). This is the second death, the lake of fire, Revelation 20:14-15.

8. of un-worshipping men: The word is asebes, which is an adjective that describes someone as NOT bending in worship. Thus, the idea of rebellion against God or "ungodly."
This refers to someone who has never trusted in the Messianic promise, that God sent the the Savior to pay for sins, and whoever trusts in Him receives forgiveness of sins, and everlasting life with God (John 3:16; Acts 26:18; 16:31). These are described at 2 Thes. 2:10-12 as ones who "did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved," and "who did not believe the truth."

9. See Topic: JUDGMENT: Lake of Fire

D. Man, using human viewpoint is not aware of God's time table and that 1000 years to humanity is nothing to God - it is like a day (2 Peter 3:8). This statement is not designed as a system for evaluating the time and history of the human race, as though for every 1000 years of human history, it is a DAY in God's plan.
There is no indication anywhere that such a "formula" is intended. Rather, it is a simple comparison between finite man and the infinite God; temporal man and eternal God. Man thinks that 1000 years is a terribly long time, but to God it is simply a "drop in the bucket." And the progress of human history; of life and death through all the many years, is not so much that God loses track or interest in what is going on - but indeed, has a very specific plan that "desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4).

E. Another reason for the delay is that millions of unbelievers will die in the second advent judgments (trumpets and bowls), and at the end of the millennium. But this is not what God really wants to happen (1 Timothy 2:4). 2 Peter 3:9

1. God is not slow about His promise: this counters the impatience and accusations of the mockers.

2. As some evaluate slowness: This refers to human viewpoint that does not consider the wisdom and love of God.

3. But he is patient: This is a present active indicative of makrothumeo, which means to be long before one expresses the negative passion of anger.

4. Toward you: This is directed to the mockers specifically, but in general applies to all unbelievers.

5. Not willing: this is a present middle participle of boulomai, which means to desire or have intent. The negative in front of the verb indicates that God DOES WANT all people to respond to Him in a positive way.

6. For anyone to perish: the verb is apollumi as an aorist active infinitive, and refers to the last judgment that was mentioned at verse 7. It is the word used for undergoing the penalty of God's justice (John 3:16; 1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 4:3). Paul writes of God at 1 Timothy 2:4, that He "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Accordingly, God will do everything within HIS POWER, to bring about His desire, except that He cannot and will not make anyone THINK what they do not want to think. That means that God always honors the free will of every person so that "whoever wants" can be saved (Rev. 22:17).

7. but for all to come to repentance: the noun, metanoia refers to a change of mind, which must take place for anyone to trust in Christ as Savior. Repentance and faith are ALMOST the same thing, but not quite.

a. Repentance is the change of mind that LEADS to faith, but is not identical to faith. Mark 1:15 summarizes the message of Jesus, "repent and believe in the gospel." And Paul's summary of his own ministry explains it perfectly at Acts 20:21, "testifying to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

b. The verb, come, is choreo as an aorist active infinitive, and means to have room for. In this case, the issue is having room in your soul for a change of mind toward God.

 

11. The destruction of the 2nd earth and its solar system is described at 2 Peter 3:10.

A. The day of the Lord: The period of time that begins at the return of Jesus in the clouds of the sky (Joel 2:30-31; Mat. 24:29-30) at some unknown time (Mat. 24:44) after the midpoint of Daniel's 70th week (2 Thes. 2:1-3). It is announced through the signs in the sun, moon and stars (Joel 2:30-31; Mat.24:29; Rev.6:12-17), which is portrayed at the 6th seal, and is characterized by God's judgment upon the unbelieving world and the kingdom of the beast via the trumpet and bowl judgments of the book of The Revelation in preparation for the Messiah's 1000-year reign upon the earth.

The Day of the Lord extends AT LEAST through the 45 days of evaluation that follows Armageddon, because this also involves great judgment (Ezekiel 34:17-22). But there is question whether or not it extends to the end of the Millennium and even to the last judgment at the great white throne, at which time all unbelievers will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15).

B. Will come like a thief: this is the image first taught by Jesus at Matthew 24:43-44, and found with Paul at 1 Thes. 5:2, which would be Peter's frame of reference (2 Peter 3:15-16). It communicates unexpectedness, but within a certain context.

1. Jesus talks about not knowing "what hour of the night" the thief would come, and in the context of his teachings clarified that we can know when the season (summer) for His coming is near, but we cannot know the day or hour (Matthew 24:32-36).
Later, the book of The Revelation records, "Behold, I am coming like a thief," (Rev. 16:15).

2. The "season" for the return of Jesus is when the man of lawlessness is reigning and administrating his wrath and Satan's wrath toward God and God's people during the tribulation (Matthew 24:9-29; 2 Thes. 2:1-4; Rev. 12:7-12).

C. in which: this is the preposition, en + the instrumental case, to indicate mechanics; by means of.

1. It could also be rendered, "in the sphere of" by viewing the word as in the locative case (both case functions have the same form in the Greek).

2. However, I suggest that because of verse 12, which reads, "THROUGH which" (the day of God), and is very clearly a MECHANICS issue, that the case of the noun here at verse 10 was intended to be instrumental.

3. Thus, this is saying that by means of or because of or through - - the day of the Lord, the heavens and earth are going to be destroyed. However, it cannot be determined by this whether the Day of the Lord extends to the destruction of the old earth or ends at the start of the millennial kingdom.

4. This is probably what is referenced at Rev. 20:11, as having occurred in connection with the last judgment. For it says, "And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. The image of "fleeing away" communicates a disappearance, which is what happens when the fire of God's power LOOSES (destroys) them.

D. the heavens: the same heavens mentioned at verse 7, that are being kept for the day of judgment.

E. shall pass away: the verb is parerchomai as a future middle indicative to indicate a yet future event to take place at the time that Jesus sits on the great white throne (Rev. 20:11).

F. with a great noise: roidzedon means a loud wind or a rush of wings. Here and at verse 12, we are told that this occurs through an act of burning that will melt the very physical elements that are the foundation for the structure of the universe. The great noise is simply the audible side to the destruction, which is of such suddenness and force to cause a loud wind-like noise.

G. and the elements: stoicheia refers to something that is the foundational essence of something. Colossians 1:17 tells us the Jesus Christ holds all things together, and that would include these foundational elements of the universe that will be destroyed by Him as well.

H. will be destroyed: this is luo as a future passive indicative which means to be loosed (let go). Rev. 20:11, says that they FLEE from the face of Jesus. This would be the effect of the intense heat producing a great noise and sending the physical elements off into nothingness (for no place was found for them).

I. with intense heat: the Greek has only one word. It is a present passive participle of kausoo, which means to consume something with HEAT. The participle is instrumental to indicate the means by which the loosing takes place, and should read, by being heated, to reflect the passive voice. At verse 12, it reads "melt" by being heated, using the very same participle.

J. And the earth: the specific planet earth, in contrast with the stars and planets of the outer universe.

K. And its works: the Greek word is ergon and refers to something that someone accomplishes or produces. The WORKS of the earth refers to everything and everyone on it. But since "everyone" is dealt with on a different level (spiritual judgment), this should probably be seen as referring just to all the physical things on the planet.

L. will be discovered: There are different readings in the manuscript evidence for this word. The word, "discovered" is in the oldest of those manuscripts. One of the techniques for evaluating which reading is most likely the original, is the principle that "the more difficult reading is most likely the original."

Since the word, "discovered" is the most difficult to understand, it is the one that is most likely to have been altered or changed altogether. We thus accept it as original (being supported by Sinaiticus, B, K, P and a few minuscules). The majority reading has the verb, "shall be burned," and this poses no problem for the interpretation at all. But again, this is what the verb "discovered" would be more likely changed to, rather than the other way around.

What then is the meaning of this verb, "discovered," in this context? The verb is heurisko as a future passive indicative. In the active voice, it basically means to find or to discover. In the passive voice, the idea is to be found, found out, discovered, exposed. This then is what will happen when the justice of God destroys the physical earth so that all of its physical weakness will be exposed (which includes the things of the sin and the curse. The idea is as expressed at Hebrews 12:27, "the removal of those things that CAN BE SHAKEN." Thus, they are exposed and discovered as "able to be shaken," and will thus be destroyed. This would include the final judgment on sin, which casts all spiritual rebels into the lake of fire for all eternity. This is why the destruction of the physical universe occurs in such close connection with the last judgment (2 Peter 3:7; Rev. 20:11).

M. This judgment on the physical universe is too complete to be connected with the trumpet or bowl judgments that do damage to the earth, sun, moon and stars. Furthermore, verse 7 makes it clear that this is talking about the destruction that occurs at the last judgment.

N. Of course, this destruction is followed by the creation of a New heavens and earth that will reflect the perfection of God's creation for all eternity (Rev. 21:4).

 

12. The reality of this future activity by God should elicit from the believer a specific grace attitude and action.
2 Peter 3:11

A. Since: this word comes from the concessive use of the participle (destroyed) and communicates that the nature of the case should promote the attitude that the earth and its production are temporal and not of eternal value (Heb.12:27).

B. all these things: reference to the physical world and the physically inadequate things of that world, including the manifestation of sin through both man and fallen angels.

C. are to be destroyed in this way: the verb is luo as a present passive participle (concessive participle, which is the basis for the translation - since.)
All the temporal things will be discovered (exposed) AS temporal and of no eternal value. And the believer who understands this, should then change his viewpoint toward all the "physical" and "material" things of the world, and instead, focus more consistently on promoting the things of God.

D. What sort of people ought you to be: this is an interrogative adjective of quality PLUS the obligatory particle, dei (it is necessary - followed by an infinitive) PLUS the verb huparcho as a present active infinitive (which means to exist), with YOU as the subject. Thus, the CT = "of what quality is it necessary for you to be existing?"

Peter brought this out in his first letter without an "end times" focus (1 Peter 1:13-17 and 2:11 - 3:8).
But the Christian life is to be lived the same no matter what time in history a person may live in.

"And if you address as Father, the one who impartially evaluates according to each man's works, conduct yourselves in REVERENCE during the time of your stay upon the earth" (1 Peter 1:17).

"Beloved, I exhort you as aliens and strangers
to abstain from the fleshly lusts (of the sin nature)
which wage war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:11).

E. In holy conduct: this is the preposition, EN, to indicate the sphere of character that the believer should be living within. The adjective, HOLY, describes a quality of life that is UNIQUE because it reflects the character of God (love and righteousness). See 1 Peter 1:15-16, "You shall be holy for I am holy."

The word, conduct, is anastrophe and refers basically to one's way of life. In this case, it should reflect God's righteousness.

F. And godliness: the word is eusebeia, which means good worship. It reflects the attitude and action that recognizes God as the creator and the source of every thing we need for our life here on earth. It is thus, living under the umbrella and NAME of Christ, and refers to anything that would be "distinctively" Christian.

2 Peter 3:12

A. looking for: The verb is prosdokao, which means to expectantly anticipate or look forward to something, and is used only here with the return of Jesus as the object. It occurs as a present active participle, which communicates an ongoing, continuous attitude of looking FORWARD to the arrival of Jesus. This is not a word for imminence, but for anticipation. CT = "expectantly anticipating," or simply, "looking forward to."

B. And hastening: This verb is speudo, which means to be zealous about something, to exert oneself, be industrious and to strive for. Since there is nothing that the believer can do to HURRY the return of Jesus, as it will come in the Father's own perfect timing (1 Timothy 6:15), this means to be diligent in living in view of and promoting the return of Jesus. That includes not only giving the gospel, but also warning believers of the need to be prepared for the return of Jesus at the day of the Lord. This verb is also a present active participle to indicate continuous activity so that we have, "and diligently promoting."

C. the coming of the day of God: the word, coming, is parousia, which means to be (or exist) beside or AT THE SIDE of something or someone. This word is used 13 times in the epistles and overtime refers to the ONE and only second coming of Jesus for His church. But in that connection, it is described as a visible, physical presence of Jesus in the sky with GLORY. This word also occurs four times in Matthew 24 to refer to the very same second coming as an unexpected event (any day or hour) within the context of the SEASON of the tribulation (Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39).

D. The day of God: This is the only place this term occurs, and it is clearly used as a synonym for the day of the Lord in verse 10. We know this because of the context in each verse, which is the destruction of the universe.

E. There is another term that is used only 3 times and only in Philippians. It is The day of Christ, which occurs at Phil. 1:6; 1:10; and 2:16. It also refers to the very same parousia of Jesus in the clouds of the sky, when He will gather together all the Christians. There is no STATED reason for using these different terms. At the same time, the use of these three terms does provide a certain understanding concerning WHO is involved at the second coming. This then identifies "the Lord" with "God" and with "Christ." But NOT to make a statement concerning Christ's deity, but rather to indicate that BOTH God the Father and the Son are actively involved with the second coming and the events that will occur at that event. At Revelation 6:16-17, BOTH the Father and the Son are in view as the world dreads the impending wrath and judgment.

"Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne,
AND from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of THEIR wrath has come;
and who is able to stand?"

F. Because of which: this is the preposition, dia Plus the accusative case of the relative pronoun (which), and indicates the cause or means by which something occurs. It is this construction that convinces me that the case with EN at verse 10 should be viewed as instrumental (by means of which).

G. the heavens: The physical universe outside the earthly atmosphere.

H. will be destroyed: this is the verb LUO again, as a future passive indicative, which means either to "let loose" or destroy, but both ideas communicate the ENDING of the present physical state.

I. by burning: this is the verb puroo as a present middle participle, and means to be burned by fire. Whereas, kausoo, which occurs next and in verse 10, means to be consumed by HEAT.
There is no significant difference except that the FIRE is directed against the universe, and the HEAT is directed against the foundational elements.

J. and the elements: stoicheia, as above in verse 10, the foundational elements of the physical universe.

K. will melt: the verb tako, means to melt or dissolve. It occurs as a future passive indicative and indicates a cessation of existence.

L. by intense heat: The verb, kausoo is repeated as a present passive participle, to indicate a total dissolution of the foundational structure of the physical universe so that nothing is left. It literally reads, "by being heated." As mentioned earlier, this is exactly what the language at Revelation 20:11 indicates, when we see that the physical universe "fled" from from the face of Jesus and "there was no place found for them," which indicates that they were no more.

M. It has been suggested that this language is symbolic and that there will not be any real PHYSICAL fire and heat. My answer is that the language uses specific terms (such as MELT, HEAT, BURNING) that are UNNECESSARY in a symbolic context, and therefore establish the LITERALNESS of this physical destruction.

N. It has also been suggested that this destruction only refers to a "breaking down" of the structure rather than an annihilation of the very atoms involved. To me, this is a moot point and has no bearing on the reality of the event one way or the other.

 

13. The creation of the new:

A. 2 Peter 3:13

1. But: de serves as a mild transition (now). But it still provides a contrast between the destruction of the universe, and God's plan for "eternity" afterwards.

2. According to his promise: reference to Isaiah 65:11 and 66:22, which looks directly to Messiah's kingdom on earth, but has application to the new earth created after the Great White Throne judgment.

3. We are looking: prosdokao as a present active indicative means to be expecting and anticipating. The functional believer is occupied with the character and plan of God so that he is "excited" about the advance of that plan. Of course, for the church, that promise will be realized when we receive resurrection bodies. Romans 8:18-25 relates the expectation of receiving a resurrection body to the removal of the curse upon the physical creation. The resurrection body is received immediately at the return of Jesus, but the "initial" new earth and heavens are not realized until He sets up His earthly kingdom, and the "final" renovation does not occur until after that earthly kingdom is completed.

4. New heavens and earth: that which follows the destruction as already mentioned by Peter. But as already suggested, this "promise" involves three phases (1) the RESURRECTION phase, (2) the KINGDOM phase, and (3) the ETERNAL phase.

5. In which righteousness dwells: no unrighteousness, no darkness viewpoint and influence; no sin, no evil, etc.

a. The foretaste of this "righteous reign" occurs during the Millennial earth in Palestine through the righteous reign of Christ.

b. But during that time there will still be sin and the influence of darkness viewpoint even though Satan is bound.

c. Total removal of sin and total promotion of divine righteousness is not fully realized until after the Great White throne.

B. It is best to view this as taking place after the Great White Throne, for it is not until then that all enemies are put under Christ's feet and every tongue acknowledges His sovereignty.

1 Corinthians 15:24-26

"then {comes} the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father,
when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
The last enemy that will be abolished is death."

C. Thus, at the conclusion of the millennial kingdom, the process of destroying the old includes -

1. The removal of the old heavens and earth: Hebrews 12:26-27; 2 Peter 3:7-12; Revelation 20:11.

2. The removal of all unbelievers from God's presence and their placement in the lake of fire at the Great White throne. Revelation 20:11-15; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Rev. 14:9-11

D. The creation of the new begins with a completed resurrection program prior to the destruction of the universe. ICor. 15:23-24
The stages to the resurrection program are seen as a single event "at His coming," but Scripture makes it clear that there are three phases to the resurrection of the righteous.

1. Those at the rapture: Old testament believers and the church.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Ephesians 2:11-20; Rev. 21:9-14

2. Martyred believers at the end of the Day of the Lord judgments. Revelation 20:4b

3. All others at the end of the millennial kingdom (not mentioned, but an obvious event).

E. It is finalized after the Great White Throne in two stages.

1. Creation of the new physical universe. Rev. 21:1

2. Establishment of the eternal DIVINE authority structure according to I Corinthians 15:28.

F. Description of the New Universe:

1. There is no description of the new earth except the brief statement at Revelation 21:1, "and there is no longer a sea." This indicates that the new earth will be primarily land. If there are to be any bodies of water, they would be lakes and rivers. The idea of "no sea" does not exclude lakes and rivers, but we have no further information.

2. There is no information about the new heavens. The only thing we have is a description of the new Jerusalem, which will apply to it both during the kingdom and the eternal state.

 

G. The way of life in the new universe is described at Revelation 21:1-8. Although this describes life in the new Jerusalem, it is that life that will be characteristic throughout all eternity. There is no information or hint of what the purpose of the new earth and heavens might be, so it is best to leave it to the adventure of discovery when we are there.

 

14. Discussion of the chronology of Revelation 19-22.
Chapter 19, 20 and 21:1-8 are chronological bringing us to the eternal state that begins at 21:1 and describes that eternal state in the new Jerusalem at verses 2-8. Then at 21:9 through 22:5, the description of the New Jerusalem continues but with a different focus. Here, life in the new Jerusalem is related to the life of non-resurrected humanity living on the earth during the millennial kingdom. The "retrospect" idea for verses 22:9-22:5 is not unusual for the book of The Revelation, for we see the same thing in other chapters. For example, chapters 12 and 13 back up to the midpoint of the week and move forward from there.

On this chronological issue, Walter Scott wrote:

"The eighth verse of chapter 21 should have concluded chapter 20. Then verse 9 of chapter 21 should have begun that chapter and closed with verse 5 of chapter 22. The remaining 16 verses of the Apocalypse might have formed the concluding chapter." (Exposition of the book of Revelation, pages 416-17).

There are two other views held by noted premillennialists.

1. Those who see 21:9 though 22:7 as describing the actual millennial kingdom.

2. Those who think that the same passage describes the eternal state.

The truth is just in between, for the passage describes life FOR THE RESURRECTED ones who are living in the New Jerusalem which is their eternal state. And it relates that existence with what is happening on the earth during the millennial kingdom.

J. Dwight Pentecost wrote:

"The survey of the arguments on the question as to whether Revelation 21:9 to 22:5 belongs to the millennium or in the eternal state has revealed a wide divergence of opinion, supported by sound arguments both for and against both positions. The study has led to the conclusion that the mistake lies in trying to establish an either-or proposition. A mediating view, that the eternal state of the resurrected during the millennium is seen in the passage, is suggested as a better view. When the occupants of the city are described it must be seen that they are in their eternal state, possessing their eternal inheritance, in eternal relationship with God who has tabernacled among them. There will be no change in their position of relation whatsoever. When the occupants of the earth are described they are seen in the millennial age. They have an established relationship to the heavenly city which is above them, in whose light they walk. Yet their position is not eternal nor unchangeable, but rather millennial" (Things to Come, page 580).

 

15. Exhortation to righteous living: 2 Peter 3:14-16

Verse 14

1. Therefore beloved: introduces a conclusion based on faith anticipation of God's fulfillment of his promises

2. Since we look: prosdokao (present active participle), since we are expectantly anticipating God's fulfillment of his plan. But for us, the fulfillment of that plan begins with the rapture.

3. for these things: refers to the second advent events

a. From his coming for us as a thief at the rapture, verse 10
b. To the establishment of the Messiah's kingdom
c. To the destruction of the old universe (Hebrews 12:26-27).
d. To the creation of the new universe, verse 13.

4. Be diligent: spoudadzo (aorist active imperative) means to make every effort; to be diligent in promoting something. This is a word for dedication to spiritual value via growth and fellowship and then application as we saw at verse 12.

5. To be found by Him: heurisko (aorist passive infinitive) discovered when he appears.

6. In peace: eirānā means the absence of enmity. It refers to the reality of the abundant life. It is usually associated with joy, and both together result in the confidence and inner stability that is seen at 1 John 2:28.

7. spotless and blameless: these two words indicate the basis for experiencing the peace of God in our soul.

a. aspilos: No human viewpoint pollution (knowledge accuracy)

b. amōmātos - No compromise in character or behavior.
This is a Testimony and service issue. (irreproachable).

8. Spotless:

a. James 1:27, unspotted by the world is a reference to being influenced by human viewpoint from the sin nature.

b. 1 Timothy 6:14, keep the commandment without stain (used with a word that indicates character consistency in the testimony of life and word. The word is, anepilāmptos, which also occurs at I Tim. 3:2 and 5:7.

c. spotless corresponds with purity of viewpoint indicated by the word unmixed at Philip. 2:15 and Rom. 16:19 (Also at Philip. 2:15, the only other occurrence of amōmātos is used to indicate consistency in testimony as at 2 Peter 3:14.

 

9. Blameless: in the sense of irreproachable in testimony.
There are five words which all mean basically the same thing.

a. anepilāmptos, which we saw above.
b. amōmātos: which occurs here and at Philippians 2:15
c. aproskopos: 3 times, Phil. 1:10; 1 Cor. 10:32; Acts 24:16
d. anegklātos: 4 times and means beyond accusation.
1 Timothy 3:10; Titus 1:6-7; Colossians 1:22-23;
(I Corinthians 1:8, refers to the believers status in union with Christ and not quality of life here on earth.)

e. And, amomos: which occurs 7 times.

10. When Christ appears He will find a minimum amount of divine viewpoint being proclaimed. The question is asked at Luke 18:8,

"However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find THE faith on the earth?"

This applies to both the number of believers as well as the number of functional believers (those who are being expectant and diligent in promoting the truths of Christianity). This recognizes that there will be a maximum amount of failure in both preparation and application. As Jesus said at Olivet,

"And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. . .
"And because lawlessness is increased, the love of many will grow cold" (Matthew 24:10-12).

But the exhortation is still given so that living believers might be confident and not shrink away from Him in shame at His presence (1 John 2:28).

Preparation for the WORSE possibility of pressure, is accomplished through spiritual growth (2 Peter 3:18)..
This is the only means for preparation once a person joins the family of God through faith in Christ. And it is possible for the believer to be "carried away by the error of unprincipled men," and to "fall from your own position of strength," (2 Peter 3;17).

There are two ways for mankind to be prepared for the arrival of Jesus at the Day of the Lord.

SALVATION PREPARATION: This refers to those who have trusted in Christ as savior and thus are secure in the family of God. Paul refers to them at 1Thessalonians 5:4,

"But you brethren are not IN darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief."

In other words, because of their "positional" union with Christ, they are IN THE LIGHT (Ephesians 5:8) and are called at verse 5, "sons of light and of day." Accordingly, when the "day" arrives, it will not be "sudden destruction" for those who are believers in Jesus.
(See doctrinal development of SALVATION SECURITY)

However, if the believer is not "walking in the light" then he will be "caught off guard" when Jesus returns and will experience initial "shame" and remorse before Him at His presence. Thus, the need for -

EXPERIENTIAL PREPARATION: This refers to being "in fellowship" with God; Being a believer who is actively pursuing the things of God; who is "walking in the light" as a growing and productive believer and has no sin in his life. This is called "abiding in Him" by John. Thus we have the warning given to us by John at 1 John 2:24-29.

1 John 2:28,

"And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears,
we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him
in shame at His coming."

This does not mean that the "out of fellowship" believer will be left behind at the rapture but simply that his initial reaction will be great shame and remorse. Later, at the justice seat of Christ where all his works as a Christian will be evaluated, he will suffer loss of reward for his times of unfaithfulness on earth. But he himself will be saved.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15.

We have a similar warning given by Jesus at Luke 21:34-36,

"Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with carousing and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

 

1. Strength to escape: refers to endurance during the specific time of tribulation which will begin at the mid-point of the 70th week.

2. And to stand before the Son of Man: refers to "not shrinking away from Him in shame at His appearing," as we saw at 1 Jn. 2:28. The emphasis, in view of the amplification in the New Testament, is that the believer can stand before the Son either -

IN FELLOWSHIP with God (abiding in Him) and have initial great joy (Jude verse 24).

OR The believer can stand before the Son

OUT OF FELLOWSHIP with God and experience great shame and remorse.

At 1 Thessalonians 5:6-11, Paul continues by exhorting the believers to "reflect" their "positional" union with Christ "IN THE LIGHT" by living the Christian life not as those who are "asleep" and in darkness.

The exhortation through all the New Testament is that the believer should be living like a child of God and not like a child of the darkness. This of course, takes growth and consistent volitional decisions to apply the word of God to every area of your life. However, if the believer fails to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" he will fail to experience the true joy and peace of the Christian life as well as fail to serve God as a faithful ambassador for Christ. In such a condition, that believer will be "walking in darkness," not abiding in Him, and will be unprepared for the events of the tribulation and the arrival of Jesus.

Thus, in view of God's plan for a new heavens and earth, which will begin with the return of Jesus at the day of the Lord, the believer should be learning and using God's word so that he can -

"Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, {as it were,} with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person" (Col. 4:5-6).

"So that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life" (Philip 2:15-16).

 

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