Rebirth of Planet Earth

At the end of the book of Isaiah, the prophet describes the new heavens and the new earth, which would have been fulfilled in the history of literal Israel if they had been obedient to the commands of God. Since this never happened, a secondary application is necessary for the fulfillment of the prophecy in light of what the NT writers have to say.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11141

I believe this is talking about the condition of the translated redeemed in heaven during the 1000 years where like the angels they will not marry nor have intimate relationships. On the other hand, after they are brought back to the earth purified, undoubtedly marriage and family relationships would continue as was intended before the fall of man. If the sabbath were to continue, in the new earth, why not marriage? God said, it is not good for man to be alone. Now does he say, it is good for men and women to be single, and their children (saved) orphaned? Ellen White is not the final interpreter of the Scripture for us. Let the Holy Spirit enlighten us, guide us into truth.

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One just cannot make the statement, apart from the extra biblical source of EGW, that people will keep the sabbath in the new creation.

Isaiah’s vision is Israel centric, pointing to life after exile, and has all types of details in it, including continued death, the presence of the temple, and New Moon celebrations along with sabbath, that the article rightly points out are absent from the vision of the new heavens and earth in Revelation. The former is still rooted in Israel, the land, the temple, and the Torah. The latter vision is shaped by the apocalyptic expectations in Christ of the author of Revelation, and the new covenant communities to which he was writing.

If we are the multinational extension of that NT people of God, the fulfilled Israel, it is that latter vision that is to shape our expectation, beyond Isaiah’s for Israel. And, nowhere in Revelation 21-22 does it mention the temple or sabbath keeping, nor New Moon observances, as part of the worship of God and the lamb. In fact, it says that in the city there will be no night, even hinting at a new order of reckoning time. And, if sabbath would be celebrated then, why would New Moons be cut out, other than the fact that EGW doesn’t mention it?

The fact is, the apocalyptic vision of Revelation references none of the sacred times and spaces that were integral to worship in ancient Israel, other than there will be no more temple. New heavens and earth in these terms not only culminates the purpose and hopes of the old, it eclipses it. Just as the new covenant and new creation in Christ and the spirit have not only fulfilled, but also eclipsed the old.

This is once again using EGW as the last word read into the scriptures, rather than dealing with them contextually, and in the flow of history.

Thanks…

Frank

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Thank you. This helped connect the two for me.

Since God instituted the Sabbath at creation, not somewhere down the line, I do believe it will be continued in the earth made new. That there never was any building for congregating until the synagogues were brought about a few thousand years later I assume we will keep the Sabbath as Adam and Eve and their line did. At least there is none mentioned. The sanctuary in the wilderness and the temples later constructed were never for people uniting inside. They were only symbols of what was happening in heaven. Prophecy in visual form and practice.

I disagree that God the Father, and Jesus, would not be dwelling on the New earth with the redeemed. The bible seems clear that they will be. Perhaps in the same way the angels reside with God in God’s abode in heaven.

Again, thanks.

I would like to share a few thoughts regarding the book of Isaiah.
You’ll have to read with an open mind because they’re probably new to you. I believe they are scriptural.
First, a little background. I believe Adventism is correct in stating that there will be a judgment based on our works at the end of this age but wrong in assuming it is to determine our salvation. We are all naturally very concerned with our own fate and so it’s often difficult to think beyond our own salvation. Also, we seem to assume that strumming harps in the clouds is all God has in store for us. I believe He will want us to continue to actively participate in His plan for humanity on into the next age and one purpose of this judgment will be to select some believers for special roles in that regard.

Ellen White says only a few Christians will ‘pass’ this coming judgment. I think she is correct but in a sense she does not intend. I believe only a few Christians, the overcomers, will be granted immortality in this first resurrection to glory. Rev 20:4 says this first group is ‘blessed and holy’ and they will rule and reign over the earth’s peoples under Christ for a thousand years, the coming sabbath millennium (Rev 2:26; 20:6).

I believe this is ‘the prize of the upward call of God’ that Paul was striving for, and hoping he could attain, which he mentions in such passages as 1Cor 9:24-27 and Phil 3:11-14. Here Paul, the champion of righteousness by faith was not contradicting his teaching that salvation, the gospel, is a gift of God based on God’s grace and mercy and not based on our works. Rather I think he was talking about disciplining himself with the goal to be qualified for a position of authority under Christ in service to humanity in the next phase of the kingdom. Paul told Timothy, ‘If we endure we shall also reign with Him.’ (2Tim 2:12). The Bible mentions some other future roles such as judges (Matt 19:28), priests (Rev 20:6), and civic officials (Luke 19:17,19).

This understanding of the next age fits some of the statements in Isaiah:

In the next age life spans will increase (as medical science advances) so one hundred years will no longer be considered old, but people, including most believers who have yet to be glorified, will still die during this period. Not everyone will have been converted and so sin will also be present. There will be another judgment at the end of the millennium which will include those not chosen in the first resurrection. (John 5:28-29).

Isaiah wrote that leaders (kings) and nations will come to (the new) Jerusalem to learn the ways of the Lord. ‘In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established…and all nations shall flow to it…Many people shall go and say, Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths’. (Is 2:2-3). And, ultimately, ‘swords will be beaten into plowshares’. I believe this education of humanity will transpire during the millennium and some of us will be awarded the honour of teaching these people about God and Christ.

Concerning the marriage question, it is my view that since only a small number of Christians will attain to the first resurrection, Jesus was stating that only this group will not marry. (I have never considered Christopher’s fascinating idea that they can and might possibly marry again later.) I think the great majority of people will gain immortality at the end of the millennium and have God’s blessing to get or stay married.

I believe it’s all part of God’s plan to return to an earth like the one He originally created before it was marred by sin. So, I think Christopher is correct in saying that since marriage was instituted before sin it will remain, and children will continue to be born as they naturally result from marriage.

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If only some Christians would pass this judgment, what about millions of non Christians who would be found worthy to enter in through the heavenly gates?

Rule over whom? There remains none to be ruled upon the desolate earth during the Millennium except Satan and his fellow angels. Need some clarification please.

According to Bible the redeemed will be resurrected with the gift of immortality (raised immortal) and remain so through eternity.

I want to emphasize an aspect that seems to have been ignored throughout Isaiah’s Sabbath school lesson, particularly in chapter 13, Wednesday March 24: Community of Faith.

I mean that the Israelites were “a kingdom of priests, and holy people” (Exodus 19: 6), with special priests set apart to represent them as worship leaders. However, we know that later the people lose connection with the heart of God and are replaced by the “gentiles.”

This was prophesied by Isaiah 66:21:
21 And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites, saith the Lord.

The adverb also suggests that another sector would be designated the functions of the priests and Levites before the false religion of the Jews.

That situation can happen to us.

God has appointed us to be part of his people, to be light and salt before others, to spread his message, his promises, his truth, to have faith and teach the love of his son Jesus, to conform in our character the heart of God, the spirit of Jesus and the interpretation of the Holy Spirit,

However: what would happen if a part of that people, or metaphorically speaking one of the tribes of God’s people, cannot, due to their Laodicean condition, fulfill the designated functions?

God, he will call another people.

To another people or tribe that is willing to be part of the people of God, to have the spiritual conduct of the Churches of Smyrna or Philadelphia and then the prophecy will be fulfilled: Christ will return at his second coming.

[quote=“ABEN, post:6, topic:21517”]
There remains none to be ruled upon the desolate earth during the Millennium except Satan and his fellow angels.

Depends on whether you go by the Bible or you-know-who.

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The new" Heaven and earth " when used together in this way is best interpreted as " universe" since there is no Hebrew word for “universe” When you read other discriptions of the new “universe’” you will realize that the physics of our new “home” will be much different. Will this universe be 4 dimensional (3 space and 1 time) or are there hints it may be at least another time dimension ie time is a plane Will the laws be different, for instance the law of decay - 2nd law of thermodynamics - will it still be operational? If we will be able to “fly”, will gravity still operational as we experience it now. I look forward to the new universe with more than 3 spatial dimensions. This universe has served its purpose and it’s replacement will be " perfect" not just "very good
Dave Okamura

Hi Christopher,
My comment was to outline my own current understanding of future events based not only on Rev 20 but other passages such as the writings of Paul and Isaiah.

I tried to show that what I believe agrees with some prophecies of Isaiah concerning the next age and our progression toward a new heavens and new earth, which, it seems to me, the writer of the article cannot reconcile with Adventist eschatology.

I don’t know how much study you have put into this so I don’t know if you are aware that down through Christian history there have been three major schools of thought about the timing of Christ’s return wrt the millennium. They are premillennialism, postmillennialism and amillenialism. If you are not familiar with them, you can readily find information online on all three and their variants, for example:

I am not an expert on the Adventist position but I think it would be called a variation of historic premillennialism.

Rev 21 talks about the kings of the earth bringing into it ‘the glory and honour of the nations. But no unclean thing nor anyone committing abomination or falsehood’ shall enter it.

If Ellen White wrote that 19 of 20 Adventists (95%) will not be ready for the judgment at the end of this age, I would assume her position would be that virtually no other Christians (those of the ‘apostate’ Protestant churches) and certainly no Roman Catholics or nonbelievers will enter the city. I am not an expert on her writings so this is just my assumption.
My own view is that during the millennium, many people who have either never known of Christ or who have rejected him will become believers.

Your belief that the earth will be desolate during the millennium is the Adventist (Ellen White) position. Others, even other premillennialists, do not agree with this view. My comment implied I don’t either and I tried to show some of the roles or occupations (and the Biblical passages I referenced for them) that I think some believers will have during the millennium. Rev 20 states that those taking part in the first resurrection will be priests of God and reign with Christ during the thousand years. It seems clear to me there must be other people on earth to minister to and govern during this time.

Anyone who is given immortality will never lose it; my current understanding is that not all of the redeemed will be given immortality at the same time. That is why preparing himself to participate in the first resurrection was so important to Paul. He used a specific term for it, calling it the ‘out-resurrection from the dead’. This ‘upward call of God’ as he called it, explains his disciplining himself and striving for and hoping he could win some prize. (He cannot mean his salvation because he said that was a free gift of God to him, his old self had been crucified in Christ and he was already living the new creation life of Christ within.) I believe his goal was one of the positions of authority under Christ during the next age and phase of the kingdom that will be awarded to those few judged worthy and given immortality in the first resurrection.
Jesus had his inner group of disciples, Peter, James and John whom he confided in and took to see the transfiguration, and then the rest, so I don’t think my understanding is unreasonable.

Note: I know that adding to one’s comment after the thread has closed is unusual but I invited Jeremy to read my comments here because I perceived that in a comment on another thread he was struggling trying to reconcile Paul’s statements about the gospel (salvation by and in Christ) being a free gift of God to us claimed and given to us by faith, versus Paul’s statements about striving, struggling and hoping not to be disqualified from his goal of winning some sort of prize.
Jeremy, in his comment below, says that I misunderstood and he sees no contradiction in Paul’s statements and that all of them refer to Paul’s salvation, so, the error was mine in reading some confusion in his comment.

Plus, I think it important to correct a couple of things Jeremy said in his comment below about my theology.

First, my comments on this thread said nothing about all being eventually saved. Jeremy has read that into my statements here. So, to understand what I believe will transpire in the coming age, the sabbath millennium, one does not have to believe in the ultimate reconciliation of all to God.

Second, it is not true to say that the Biblical admonitions such as not hardening one’s heart are rendered ‘completely meaningless’ by what I have said or believe. Most Christians can’t seem to get past the idea that not all Biblical statements about reward and punishment have to be about salvation or final damnation. As I have stated several times in other comments, there will be varying rewards or punishments according to what we have done with what we had the opportunity to know. Christ said that it will be more tolerable in the judgment for Sodom than Capernaum, for Tyre & Sidon than for Chorazin & Bethsaida. Christ also said that the servant who knows his master’s will will receive more stripes of punishment than one who does not. To whom much is given much is required. I think one must ignore such statements if one is an Adventist because if they are accepted they would make Adventists believe that God will arouse the dead unbelievers from their soul sleep, make them bow down in some sort of demonstration of forced homage, and then put them through some sort of punishment before relegating them to death in the lake of fire. I don’t know how one can make such a view reflect positively on the nature of God.

I also believe that there is great advantage in coming to Christ and participating in His life, and doing one’s part to fulfill His will on earth now. God has provided this new creation life for us and we can partake of it in a certain sense now, before glorification. The sooner one does so the better. The earlier one does so, and the deeper one’s relationship to Christ becomes, the greater value is given to one’s life and to the advancement of the kingdom.
Plus, it qualifies one to potentially be chosen with Paul in the first resurrection to be of greater service to humanity, under Christ, in the coming age.

I am quite familiar with the subject we are dealing with. I respect your opinions, while I stick to my beliefs and opinions. Ellen White has nothing to do with my beliefs. I think it not necesssry to enter into agument over these issues.
Thanks.

dave, i believe your view, which appears to be a variation of post-millennialism, is not only incorrect, but dangerous…it effectively removes any urgency to respond affirmatively to the gospel…you are essentially saying that because it’s god’s will for everyone to be saved, 1Tim 2:4, everyone will be saved, regardless of their response to the gospel, since god’s will will always be done…

in effect you are giving permission to people to reject god for now, knowing that they will have further opportunity later on…when the bible says, “today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts”, you say, “go ahead and harden your hearts for now; you will have another opportunity later”…i think you are wholly out of harmony with not only paul and the other apostles, but christ himself…for instance, christ’s admonition to be “ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the son of man cometh”, is completely meaningless if your view is adopted…

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