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Study Notes: Hebrews 1. 12 – 14 – 22nd April 2015

Hebrews 1: 12  and like a cloak you will roll them up, as a garment they will be replaced, but You are the same and your years will not come to an end. 13 And to which of the angels has He ever said: Sit on my right until I put your enemies as a footstool for your feet. 14 Are they not all divinely authorized spirits being sent out to serve the ones about to inherit salvation? Recap Last time we saw that the heavens and the earth are coming to an end, and that end is not pleasant. We remember that Peter wrote these words: 2 Peter 3.7-10 [7] By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. [8] But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. [9] The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. [10] But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. The destruction of the heavens and the earth is to be sudden, and it is to be by fire. We saw that this is confirmed in the revelation that John received.

  1. Heaven and earth to be replaced

Verse twelve tells us that the heavens and the earth, which are the work of God in Christ Jesus, are to be changed. The word changed also means to be transformed, it also mean to be replaced. Perhaps we are better to understand that they are to be replaced, since they are to be engulfed in flames. This is also consistent with the word of God. We read in God’s word that there is to be a new heaven and a new earth. In the New Testament there are two words for new: kainov –  kainos = recently made, a new species, something novel. neov – neos = rescent, new, fresh, young, youthful. The word that is used in the New Testament is the word: kainov –  kainos The New Heaven and the New earth will be freshly made. The Greek translation of the Old Testament passages also uses the word: kainov. We can buy or make bread and place it in the freezer. When we take it out and defrost it we are able to eat it, but, good though it is it is not freshly made. The people of Israel were able to collect enough manna for each day. If they tried to keep it for another day it would go rotten. The only time they could collect enough for two days was the day before the Sabbath, so that they did not have to break the Sabbath by collect the manna. The manna had a short life span, and it had to be replaced by more manna. In the same way the present heavens and earth have a limited time span, and they will be replaced by the freshly made new heaven and earth.

  1. Prophesied in the Old Testament

God spoke about this through the prophet Isaiah: Isaiah 65.17: “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” Also: Isaiah 66.22: “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the LORD, “so will your name and descendants endure.” The vision of the Old Testament prophet was of the new age where the Messiah would reign in a totally different environment. Both these scriptures look forward to the new heavens and earth where there is no more sin, no war. They prophecy of a time when there is to be peace, and the earth is to produce plenty. These are some of the things that Isaiah prophesied about earlier in his ministry. Isaiah 11.6-9

  1. And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,          And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,          And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;          And a little boy will lead them.
  2. 7. Also the cow and the bear will graze,          Their young will lie down together,          And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
  3. 8. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,          And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
  4. 9. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,          For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD          As the waters cover the sea.

What a wonderful vision of the new earth, which is yet to happen. And this new earth will replace this old earth.

  1. Spoken of in the New Testament

The New Heaven and New earth are spoken of by Peter in one of his letters: 2 Peter 3.11-13: [11] Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives [12] as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. [13] But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. Peter appears to speak of things that his readers are aware of. Maybe we can assume that these are things that Jesus would have spoken to His disciples about, and which they would have passed on to others. In verse 13 Peter is referring to a promise that seems to be known. He states that the new heavens and new earth will replace the old heaven and earth, since they will have been destroyed by fire. He probably knew of the prophetic words of Isaiah, and he may have had these in mind, but it is also probable that Jesus would have revealed more things to him than we have recorded. However it is sufficient for us to know that the promise is that there is to be a New Heaven and a New earth. In the revelation that Jesus gave to John we also read of the New Heaven and New Earth: Revelation 21.1: Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. The old earth and heaven (sky) has gone. We read about this is Revelation 20.11: Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. That which God created through Jesus is to disappear and be no more. This is a concept that we may find difficult to understand. However, God in Christ created all things out of nothing, and to nothing they are to return. Once again there is to be a new creation of a new heaven and earth. This is not a refurbished heaven and earth; it is not a renovated heaven and earth. Instead it is a completely new creation of a heaven and earth that has never been seen before. Scientists are able to delve further and further into the universe and reveal some of its wonders. Yet all these wonders will flee from the presence of Jesus and will be replaced by His creation of a new heaven and earth, which will far surpass what now is. In the new heaven and earth there is to be no sea. There will be no need of the sea to help in the sustaining of the planet, since the earth will be a completely different planet. We see that there will be water, the river of life, Revelation 22.1-2: [22:1] Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb [2] down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. However, there will be no sea. It has been suggested that the reference to there being no sea, refers to there being no separation between heaven and earth. There are those who do not accept this as being literal. However, this is to bind the new heaven and earth to our present understanding of God’s created order, but God will not be bound and the new creation is one without sea. We recall that it was from the sea that the first wild beast came in Revelations 13.1: And I saw a wild beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on the horns were ten crowns (diadems), and on his heads were blasphemous names. The second beast came from the earth. With the passing away of the old heaven and earth it also means the end of the old habitat of those beasts. They have been thrown into the fiery lake, no more to trouble the people of God. In the New Heaven and the New earth there is no place for the beasts. They are to be the place of righteousness and habitat of His people.

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