By David O. Ogaga
AGE is from the Greek word “AION” and may refer to a period of time in man’s history, whether having or not having specific dates of demarcation. Greek lexicographers have shown the word, to mean “space of time” “clearly defined and marked out epoch” “age” and also “life time”, “life” and generation”. For instance, when we read that Christ” will rule as king over the house of Jacob forever” Lk 1:33,it literally means “to (for) ages”. And the “fig tree” that was also cursed “forever” Math. 21:19 is also for the ages “or “age abiding” which is actually the house of Jacob (Jer. 8:13) which is referring to the Old Covenant that shall pass away forever. Heb.8: 13.
Another good example, of the meaning of the word, is found in Lk. 20:34-35 which says, “The sons of this AGE marry-but those worthy of that AGE and the resurrection – neither marry nor are given in marriage”. Compare Mk. 10:30.
In scripture, it often denotes a long period of time as we can see in Acts 2:21, 15:18, Lk 1:33. Referring to the time of the prophecies about Christ, before the final fulfillment.
So we can see that, the basic sense of “AION is “AGE” or “PERIOD of EXISTENCE” and it often denotes a long space of time. (Jn.1:45).
Liddell and Scots “A Greek-English Lexicon” (P 45) List as a definition of AION: “Space of time” clearly defined and marked out epoch, age, and era. It signifies a period of indefinite duration, or time viewed in relation to what takes place in the period”.
And in this sense, the word AION is very close in meaning to the word WORLD (KOSMOS) which means “an order, SYSTEM OR ARRANGEMENT OF THINGS” In Gal. 1:4 we read of our being “delivered from the present evil world” KJV. “Present evil age” RSV. “Rescued us from the present evil world order” JP Philips. “Present age of wickedness” N.E.B. “Present wicked world” (Jerusalem Bible) “Present wicked system of things” (Int. Linear Trans.)
So you see, what is meant by the WORLD is not the globe, the stars in the galaxy or planets known and unknown. It is not referring to the universes, but rather to the way of life, social structures, cultures, philosophies, political ideologies, religion and the economic lifestyle of humanity, devised by man himself outside of God. It speaks of the products of the carnal mind of man, which is enmity and death, Rom. 8:7-8 “for the whole world system, based as it is on MEN’S PRIMITIVE DESIRES, THEIR GREEDY AMIBITIONS and THE GLAMOUR OF ALL THAT THEY THINK SPLENDID” but “not derived from the father” “and we also know that the world around us is under the power of the evil one? 1 Jn. 2:16; 5:19 (Philips).
Therefore when Paul wrote “quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over” (Rom. 12:2 (Int. Linear Trans) it was not the time, period of itself that set the fashion, pattern or models for the people of that time, that he was saying they should change from. But the standards, practices, manners, customs, ways, outlooks, styles and other features that formed the life style of that age. Walking in the way of the world, is what the bible says in Eph. 2:2 as “following the course of this world “RSV. “Following the way of this world” Jb “when you followed the evil ways of this present age” N.E.B. “that you drifted along on the stream of this world’s ideas of living, and obeyed its unseen ruler (who is still operating in those who do not respond to the truth of God” .. (Philips).
So, to walk after the pattern of men in this age and still claim to be delivered-saved is a lie, because it is the system of this “evil world” Gal. 1:4 that God is delivering us from through His truth-the son Why? Because the present world order is in direct opposition to His life, which is “righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost” Rom. 14:17. See Col. 1:13. Eph. 5:5. “For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of ALL MEN, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, for he gave Himself for us, that He might rescue us from all our EVIL WAYS and make for Himself a people of His own, clean and pure, with our hearts set upon Living a life that is good” Titus 2:11, 12, 14 (RSV, Philips).
So what are we saying? The word WORLD (Kosmos) should be seen appropriately as “the system of THINGS” For we are still Living in the present age, but not affected by the “system of things” that characterized the period of the time. Therefore note that “The course of a world which is evil is itself evil and to live in accordance with it is to live in trespasses and sins” – The Expositor Greek Testament (Vol. 111,pp 282, 283), on the word AION.
A FURTHER LOOK AT THE WORDS AGE (AION) AND WORLD (KOSMOS)
From the analysis above, we were able to see the true meaning of the words Age (Aion) and world (Kosmos) as specifying periods, ages, time and the state of affairs (system of things) that characterized that period of existence. May we now look at some Scriptural implication of these words as used in the Bible.
ACCORDING TO HEB. 1:2 WHAT DO WE UNDERSTAND BY THE
WORLDS THAT JESUS CREATED? “God…
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir
of ALL THINGS by whom also HE MADE THE WORLDS. KJV. Notice that, the worlds
here is plural, so it is not one world as if referring to our globe as people
commonly believe. He has ordained that ALL CREATION shall ultimately belong.
“(Philips)” …. through whom He created ALLL ORDERS OF EXISTENCE.”
From the critical comparison of the above translations, the “WORLDS” as used here, means that all prevailing states of affairs or the various “systems of things” that existed, are existing and that will exist are the direct creation (ordination) of God in Christ. Hence we read “He created everything there is – nothing exists that He didn’t make; Christ Himself is the creator who made everything in heaven and earth, the things we can see and the things we can’t, the spirit world with its kings and kingdoms, its rulers and authorities, all were made by Christ for His use and Glory”. Jn. 1:3, Col. 1:16. Tlb,. See also I Cor. 8:6, Rom. 11:36, Rev. 4:11, Eph. 2;7.
So, we can see that, everything in existence, the state of affairs, even in the AGES-AION to come are the direct creation and in control of God’s power – His Christ.
“For them must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the END OF THE WORLD hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself”.
First of all, note that this chapter of Hebrew 9 is dealing with the priesthood ministry of Jesus, with the shedding of His blood, foreshadowed by the blood of bulls and the tabernacle arrangements. The fact is, through the law covenant by God with the children of Israel, God initiated a Jewish Epoch, with all that the law stood for, that mapped out that period of history, as regards God’s relationship with mankind; the characteristic features of which includes, a priesthood, a system of sacrifices, dietary regulations as found in the book of Leviticus and of Tabernacle and Temple worships, with festivals and Sabbaths that were all “a shadow of the things to come; but the body (fullness, reality) is in Christ”. Col. 2:17.
Therefore, with the coming of Christ, and the nailing of these laws and ceremonies to His cross, by the offering up of His blood, as the ultimate sacrifice, thereby introducing a New Covenant according to Col. 2; 13-17, Heb. 8:13, Mk 14:22-24, He made the Old Covenant with its ritualistic systems of worship to terminate-end, and this is called “the WORLD” (Heb.9: 26) thereby making all sacrifices to come to an end through Christ singular sacrifices. In other words, that was the climax of history, of the Jewish age of ceremonies and mode of worship. Compare Gal. 4:21-31, 2 Cor. 3:6-16.
But it should be noted, that, this Jewish system of worship and doing things, did not actually end until AD 70, when the temple worship was destroyed by the Romans and so completely terminating the priesthood, the sacrifices and the laws that pertains to it, with the Jews completely scattered. This is the true meaning of the answer Jesus gave to His disciples, when they said, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming and THE END OF THE WORLD?” Matt. 24:3
“close of the age?” RSV.
“End of the age?” NEB.
“Conclusion of the system of things?” Int. Linear Trans.
As it ought to read instead of “the world”. Like we have extensively stated in Chapter Two.
“The abomination of desolation, spoken of by
Daniel…. Stand in the holy place” verse 15. Dan. 9:27, was the Roman soldiers
who moved into the Holy place in the Temple, destroying and dislodging all the
Jews that took refuge there during the siege. Quite an abominable thing for the
Jews, that a Gentile should enter the most Holy place, which only the Jewish
high priest is qualified to enter therein once a year, to offer sacrifices for
the sins of the people. In the true sense of it, all the areas surrounding the
Thank God, that in inaugurating the New Order, He is creating a New People for Himself through the Spirit. Heb 8:7-13, 1 Peter.2:5. But may we heed the word of the Spirit “ALL these happened to them (the Jews) are examples…. as objects of lessons to us… to warn us against doing the same things, they were written down so that we could read about them, and learn from them IN THESE LAST DAYS AS THE WORLD (system of things, the age) NEARS IT END” I Cor. 10:11 Tlb. Compare I Tim. 6:17, 2 Tim. 4:10, Matt. 13:22, I Cor. 7:31. For “the fashion of this world (age) passeth away”.
The lesson drawn from the above analysis is that, the present world order can affect a person’s spiritual life, which the Bible refers to as “the cares of this world” (Matt. 13:22); an example of whom was Demas “please comes as soon as you can, for Demas has left me. He loved THE GOOD OF THIS LIFE. (Present system of things)… :2 Tim. 4:10, Tlb, Int. Linear Trans.
BUT WHO IS THE CONTROLLER OF THIS PRESENT EVIL WORLD? The word says, “And if indeed our gospel be found veiled, the only people who find it so, are those on the way to perdition. Their unbelieving minds are so blinded by the god of this passing age” 2 Cor. 4:3-4. This same god of this world is identified in John 12; 31 as “the prince of this world’ seen also as the unseen ruler in the heart of men, “To you, who were spiritually dead all the time that you drifted along on the stream of this world’s ideas of living, and obeyed its unseen ruler (who is still operating in those who do not respond to the truth of God) “Eph2: 1-2, Philips.
Now, it is this unseen controlling power, in the heart of men that makes them enemies of God, for “you yourselves who were strangers to God, and in fact, through the evil things you have done (are) HIS SPIRITUAL ENEMIES…” Col. 1:21. Philips.
But how did man become the spiritual enemy of
God? It is as
man in Adam became one with Satan – evil, by partaking of “the tree of
knowledge of good and evil (for) “to whom you yield yourselves servants
to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death…” (For)
“to be carnally minded is death…” (Gen. 3:1-6,
This is made plain by the parable of the WHEAT and TARES. Matt.13: 24-30; 37-43. In the interpretation given, the FIELD IS THE WORLD (KOSMOS) – ‘the system of things’. The GOOD SEED – WHEAT are the TRUE DISCIPLES – Children of the kingdom. The TARES are the EVIL ONES – Children of the devil – the enemy that planted them. The HARVEST is the END OF THE WORLD. Now notice something, the parable states clearly that “the wheat” and “the tares” shall be here till the end of the world, so it is very erroneous to teach that some people would be “raptured” before the end of the world. It is also clear that what the reapers gathered to be burnt are the tares – weeds “system of things” (aion) verse 30 and not the world (Kosmos).
“Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be AT THE CLOSE OF THE AGE” Matt. 13:40 RSV. The Greek word used here is SUNTELLEIA, which means the consummation of a dispensation. That means the harvest is the bringing to an end the age of evil works under the power of Satan. It is this understanding of the words of Jesus, referring to the close of the age, that made the disciples to ask the question “ …. What will be the sign of your coming and the close of the age” Matt 24:3 RSV.
Since the Grk word “coming” in the Greek is “PAROUSIA” which means “PRESENCE”, literally it should read, “What will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things”? In other words, all the signs (symbols?) He gave in the entire Chapter 24, are the things that signal the conclusion of the age of evil, realizing that, He also spoke of His presence, till the end of the age when He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all nations…. Teaching them to observe all the things I have command you. And look! I AM WITH YOU ALL THE DAYS UNTIL THE CONCLUSION OF THE SYSTEM OF THINGS (close of the age).” (Math. 28:19-20). Int. Linear Trans.
And you know what? He is here with us right from the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2.), right from when He asked the disciples to “wait for the promise of the Father”. (Acts 1:4). For the Apostles saw Him come, in the upper room. And His presence in the saints, shall be intensified at the conclusion of things, just as the Spirit puts it “And to grant rest with us to you who are afflicted, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in FLAMING FIRE, INFLICTING VENGEANCE UPON THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW GOD AND UPON THOSE WHO DO NOT OBEY THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS. They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the PRESENCE of the Lord and from the glory of His might, when he comes on that day to be GLORIFIED IN HIS SAINTS.. (The reapers – angels)” 2 Thes 1:7-10 RSV.
From 2 These 1:5-10, we have been able to see that, the wrath of God awaits those who do not know and refused to believe the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, when he comes to be glorified in His saints. Which also corresponds to the harvest of the age. Math 13:40. The weeds being the wicked unbelievers.
SO HOW LONG HAS THIS UNBELIEF BEEN AROUND AND WHAT IS THE CONSEQUENCE OF IT? In Math 12:22, is a record of the story of Jesus healing a blind and dumb fellow and how the Pharisees derided Him by saying “This man is only expelling devils because he is in league with Beelzebub, the Prince of devils”. In Verse 32 we are told, Jesus said “And whoever says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, EITHER IN THIS AGE OR IN THE AGE TO COME” RSV. “..neither in this world, neither in the world to come” KJV. “not in this system of things nor in that to come” Int. Lin. Trans.
Looking at the above scripture and the various translations so compared, one might think that, it is referring to the age of the Jewish law and that of the Grace that will be ushered in by the Christian era. But the fact is, this really goes back to the wilderness world, that is the nature of the people’s heart towards God, and the New Order, that will be introduced thereafter. Now look at it, why did He make the statement? “…He said this because THEY WERE SAYING, HE IS IN THE POWER OF AN EVIL SPIRIT.” Mark 3:22-30.
So you see, “the world” there refers to the age of unbelief in the power of God, knowing that the promise and plan of redemption was made unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Gen 15:13, Acts 7:17, 26:6. So despite these promise and the miracles performed on their behalf by God, in the wilderness through the Holy Ghost, their hearts was still hardened. Hence Stephen told them “Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, YE DO ALWAYS RESIST THE HOLY GHOST: AS YOUR FATHERS DID, SO DO YE”. Acts 7:51, Matt 21:33-41. And this their inability to acknowledge the power of the Holy Ghost made it impossible for them, to enter into the rest of God. “For good news came to us just as to them; but the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith in the hearers--, as He has said, -- as I swore in my wrath. They shall never enter my rest…. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and THEY TO WHOM IT WAS FIRST PREACHED ENTERED NOT IN BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF.” (Heb.4: 3-6).
And it was this world of unbelief, which extended to the time of Jesus; and so He spoke to the Pharisees who will not believe on Him for healing a blind man. “ ….If ye were blind, ye should have no sin, but now ye say, we see, therefore your sin (unbelief) remaineth.” See John 9:39-41. In other words, as long as your sin (unbelief) remaineth, you cannot acknowledge the Holy Ghost, which is the outworking, and saving power of God. The work of the Holy Ghost is to” … Convince the world of the meaning of sin, of true goodness and of judgment. He will expose their sin because they do not believe in me;” Jn 16:8-9, Philips.
“If any of you should see his brother committing a sin (I don’t mean deliberately turning his back on God and embracing evil), he should pray to God for him and secure fresh life for the sinner. IT IS POSSIBLE TO COMMIT SIN THAT IS A DELIBRATE EMBRACING OF EVIL and THAT LEADS TO SPIRITUAL DEATH – that is not the sort of sin I have in mind when I recommend prayer for the sinner…. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,….. if they shall fall away (apostatize), to renew them again unto repentance; SEEING THEY CRUCIFY TO THEMSELVES THE SON OF GOD AFRESH, and put Him to an open shame”. I Jn. 5:16, Heb. 6:4-6. Philips, KJV.
But why is it impossible? It is because “if any one sin deliberately by rejecting the saviour after knowing the truth of forgiveness, this sin is not covered by Christ’s death; there is no way to get rid of it… Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled underfoot the Son of God and treated His cleansing blood as though it were common and unhallowed, and insulted and outraged the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to His people.” Heb. 10:26-29. Tlb.
So what are we seeing here? The unbelieving, rebellious hearts of these people is what keeps them bound from enjoying the “rest” of the Lord (Mt 11:28) to which He has called us into, and so their sin is unforgiven in this age until they come again to this realization through the ministration of the sons of God. (2 Tim. 2:24-26), for the Lord said “… Receive the Holy Spirit; if you forgive any one’s sins, they are forgiven. If you refuse to forgive them, they are unforgiven.” Jn. 20:23. And again, “Your own Wickedness will punish you. You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is to rebel against the Lord your God, fearlessly forsaking him….” Jer. 2:19. This will lead to sufferings, befalling the rebellious, like the prodigal son. (Lk. 15:11-32). For “The way of transgression is hard…” (Prov.13: 15). But whenever they confess the Lord again, their sin shall be forgiven “for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Because “death and Life are in the power of the tongue… “Prov. 18:21, Phil 2:10-14. Therefore unbelief is the cause of the unforgiveness all through the ages.
So far we have been able to see that, the use of the
word “WORLD” is not in reference to the planet earth and her neighbours, but
rather, to humanity with his system or arrangement of things’ that involves the
way of life, social structures, culture, political ideologies etc, that is
being fashioned and operated by man independent of God’s life and Spirit. I Jn.
This state of affairs, which is a reflection of the state of the mind of humanity/ and its manifestations in all facet of human endeavour, is what constitute “the world” which the Bible says is “the fashion of this world (that) passeth away” I Cor. 7:31. “AND THE WORLD PASSETH AWAY, and the LUST THEREOF” I Jn. 2:17a.
WHAT THEN IS THE FIRST WORLD? (2 PET. 3:6)
“For just as life went on in the days of Noah so will it be at the coming of the son of man. In those days before the flood people were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage until the day that Noah went into the ark, and knew nothing about the flood until it came and destroyed THEM ALL. So will it be at the coming of the Son of man.” Matt. 24:37-39.Lk.17: 26-27.
Here, we are told that the life of man in the days of Noah was fully preoccupied with self-indulgence, completely involved in the gratification of the self appetite, and worldly cares, just like we are having in our age today, without taking heed to the warning of God that He will put an end to the wickedness of man. Gen. 6. And the Bible records that only Noah heed this warning of God in his days, ‘ in preparing an ark to the saving of his household. This action of faith condemned the UNBELIEF OF THE REST OF THE WORLD (mankind) and won for Noah the righteousness before God which follows such a faith”. Heb. 11:7, Philip. Therefore the FIRST WORLD here speaks of mankind in the days of Noah, for when we talk of “the world that then was…. “ 2Peter 3:6, it is evidence that it was not referring to the physical globe or planet earth, even as the scriptures confirmed that Noah inherited the physical earth after the flood. Gen. 9, rather it was the wickedness in man, the full manifestation of the flesh that was destroyed, hence we read “And knew not until the flood came, and took them (wicked) ALL AWAY’ KJV.
“..swep them all away” RSV “…destroyed them all… “Philip. Compare Gen. 6:5-8, 7:6-24
Again, this is made plain in the words of Peter that, the word ‘world’ means ‘mankind’ “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. And spare not the OLD WORLD, but saved Noah the eight person – BRINGING IN THE FLOOD UPON THE WORLD OF THE UNGODLY… making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly” 2 Pet. 2:4-6 KJV “making them an object-lesson for godless men in future days” NEB “. …..as a fearful example of those who wanted to live in defiance of His laws. Philips
For the “Lord knows how to rescue a good man (such as Noah and Lot who believe in God’s word) surrounded by temptation, and how to reserve His punishment for the wicked (unbelievers in God’s saving power and mercies through the Holy Ghost in His messengers) until His day comes. Particularly for those who walk after the flesh and indulge in the lust of polluting passing, and scorn and despise authority, presumptuous and daring, self willed and self loving (creatures). They scoff and revile dignitaries (glorious ones) without trembling” 2 Pet. 2:9-10. Philip Amp.
So what are we saying? The world is always ending for the wicked and they are the ones that are always taken away through judgment and not the righteous, like the rapture teachers will want to make us believe.
From the record of Math. 24:37-39, it is crystal
clear that the wicked – unrighteous ones in the “days of Noah” were the people
that the flood took away, leaving behind Noah, the family and all living
creatures, through the means of the ‘Ark’, to repopulate the same earth. “And
the LORD said unto Noah, come thou and all thy house into the
Therefore, for Jesus (Matt. 24:37-39) and Peter (2 Pet. 2:5) to allude to this particular account is a clear indication that “THE DAYS OF NOAH” is a PROPHETIC PATTERN of the “coming of the Son of man” and the “day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” 2 Thes. 1:6-12.
People of God, let us understand that, the person that is coming is “the Son of Man” and not “Son of God”, and you know why? Because “… the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, BECAUSE HE IS THE SON OF MAN” (Jn. 5:22,27).
But who is this “Son of Man? This is the visible manifestation of ‘the Christ’ in power and glory through His Body, the overcoming church “the man Child” Company (Rev. 12:5) to execute judgment upon the world of the ungodly, as He “comes to be glorified IN HIS SAINTS, Look at it “… and ye shall see the SON OF MAN sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN” (Mk 14:62).
Here the “right hand of power” speaks of the authority that He wields, while the “clouds of heaven”, speaks of the “Saints” through whom this authority is manifested. Hence we further read “… Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His Saints to execute judgment upon all, and convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” Jude 14:15. Compare Math 19:41, 16:27, 25:31. Lk 12:8. This “son of Man” is one person because “he that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit”. “Now the Lord is that Spirit”. I Cor. 6:17, 2 Cor. 3:17. And because He is one, and in His Body the church, He identified Himself with the Saints when He said to Saul, “Saul, Saul, WHY PERSECUTEST THOU ME? This is because, Saul was killing the Christians and He, and Christ was in them.
Please may I be bold to declare to you that, it will be misleading to expect a physical “Son of Man” from the sky, for it is only through the church that Christ can be seen and known “… According to the power that worketh in us… “See Eph. 3:8-20.This may be a hard saying, but it is the truth nonetheless.
This is the meaning of “… Out of
CONFIRMATION IN SCRIPTURES AS A PROPHETIC PATTERN
That “the days of Noah” is a prophetic pattern for the judgment of the ungodly is evident when we read “And He did not spare any of the people who lived in ancient times before the flood except Noah, the one man who spoke up for God, and his family of seven. At that time God completely destroyed the whole world of ungodly men with the vast flood…. And continue to punish the ungodly until the day of final judgment comes” 2 Peter 2:5-9 Tlb. But as for the Saints, the righteous believers “if we would judge, ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” I Cor. 11:31-32 KJV.
Judging ourselves here, is our believe and acting on what the Lord is saying and not just following traditions of religion, even as Noah believed and his faith condemned the world. The “days of Noah” are therefore cited as examples of God’s judgment against ungodly men, to show that those walking on the part of unrighteousness will not escape God’s wrath, as certain as what befell the world of Noah’s day. Compare Isa. 54:9, Ezek 14:14, 19-20.
With the understanding in Chapter Two of the “two that shall be on the bed, one taken, the other left. Two in the field one taken and the other left, two at the mill, one taken and the other left”, it becomes clear that “the days of Noah” is a prophetic pattern of the righteous judgment of God upon the world of the ungodly through His enchristed company.
“But the heavens (plural) and the earth which are now, by the same word (Heb1:1-3) are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” 2Pet 3:7 KJV.
Now in dealing with the second world, we should bear in mind, that just like it was in the “days of Noah” (eating and drinking, which we know by now to mean living in an erroneous life of the flesh without the Holy spirit’s leadership), is still the same with us today. Therefore whatsoever made that world-system of man evil that, qualified it for destruction, is also present with us today. Here we can also see that, the “heavens” speaks of the “ruling powers”, and the “earth” the people that are earthly – carnally minded; hence the destruction is that of “ungodly men” (more on the ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’ later). May we not also forget that, in Noah’s days, he inherited the renewed earth after the flood. Gen 8:22,9:1-2. While the ungodly were “swept away” by the flood (Math 24:38 +), and this is the first world as described in verses 5-6 of 2 Pet 3.
Whereas verse 7, now talks of another world, THE WORLD THAT NOW IS. The question then is, HOW DID GOD REFER TO THIS “WORLD THAT NOW IS”?
In Gal. 1:4, we are told, Christ “. …gave (yielded)
Himself up (to atone) for our sins (and to save us and sanctify
us), in order to RESCUE AND DELIVER US FROM THIS PRESENT WICKED AGE AND
WORLD ORDER…”AMP. In the sight of God therefore, the
world is wicked, (evil). So what
constitutes this wickedness? It is
simply because man’s economy and social structure is out of balance without
God. Politically God is not a Democrat, neither a Republican, He is not a
Socialist (Communist) which has even denied God’s existence (Ps. 14:1) God is a
sovereign theocratic ruler through “priest” and “prophets”, though He is
revealed in the scriptures as a “King” because He has a “kingdom” and mankind
and especially the saved are His subjects. More also, when
Now every king demands obedience, this is where we are all failing, right from the Garden of Eden, and of course the word is clear that “if we be willing and OBEDIENT we will eat the fruit (riches) of the land”, for “the earth and the fullness thereof belongs to God” Isa 1:19, Ps.24:1.
It is a known fact that, all economic and political concepts, are the by products of our educational system, “the high places” where man’s ideas are being idolized, a high ground for “secret societies”, to which one of the vice chancellors recently agreed that the ‘cults’ in our universities is only a carry over from the homes, meaning that the home which is the foundation of the child’s moral and spiritual life, up to the university level, overflowing to the society is stinking.
When we come to area of religion, what we have is ‘Pentecostal rascals’ (ministers) with mind full of religious racketeering (lead a gay social life) with all perfected psychological methods of preaching and persuasion. The other face of which is the Orthodox “ white collar priest” with heads full of dogmas of “tradition of elders”, that have refused ground, for truth, thereby producing spiritual dwarfs who cannot grow up to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ.
So what we see everywhere is a system of worship that is empty of true piety (devotion of God and good works), one can go on and on. The truth is, we are all without God and so wicked in our ways. Are we not therefore qualified for God’s holy fire to burn off this ugliness in the land? (2 Pet. 3; 7).
But what is responsible for this, you may wonder? “We know that, we are children of God and that ALL THE REST OF THE WORLD AROUND US IS UNDER SATAN’S POWER AND CONTROL” (1 Jn. 5:19.tIb) “… The spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). Therefore “… all that is in the world (system of man) The LUST OF THE FLESH (cravings for sexual gratification etc), and THE LUST OF THE EYES (greedy longings of the mind) and THE PRIDE OF LIFE (confidence and assurance in one’s own resources or in the ability of earthly things)-these do not come from the Father, but are from the world (itself). 1Jn. 2:16 AMP. So the natural man without God’s mind is “… spiritually dead … drifting along on the stream of this world’s ideas of living and obeying its unseen ruler who is still operating in those who do not respond to the truth of God” Eph. 2:1, Philips.
In addition to this, the world is still directly under the influence of the law, without realizing that it is not obeying the law that, can save us from ourselves, but rather our faith in the promised seed, Christ. “Well then, why were the laws given? They were added after the promise was given to show men how guilty they are of breaking God’s law. But this system of law was to last only until the coming of Christ, the child to whom God’s promise was made…” Gal. 3:17-19 TLB. But men in their political and religious zeal have not still seen this, and the need to embrace the Son for total liberty in the world.
And all of these attitudes and character, outside of God, is what is called “the image of the earthy” 1 Cor. 15:47a, 48a, and 49a. Jn. 3:31. This earthly nature is summed up in Rom. 8:5-8. “ For those who are according to the flesh and controlled by its unholy desires, set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh… Now the mind of the flesh (which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit is death-death that comprises all the miseries (sickness, poverty etc) arising from sin, both here and thereafter… (That is)…because the mind of the flesh-with its carnal thoughts and purposes- is hostile to God; for it does not submit itself to God’s law… so those who are living the life of the flesh – catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature -cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him “AMP.
So the heavens (controlling factors) and the earth (people in their earthly nature) which are now, by the same world are kept in store, reserved unto FIRE AGAINST THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT and PERDITION OF UNGODLY MEN” 2 Pet.3: 7
again, it is evident from the above fact that, the present human ways of life
are evil because his ways and thoughts are not godly. But that since “God in
Christ” is the saviour of ALL MANKIND, (2 Cor.5: 19, 1Tim. 2:4, Lk. 3:6, Ps.
65:2, 1Jn. 2:2, 4:14). He has ordained in His Programme to get the lost man
back to Himself by having the factors of man’s enemy in their mind and spirit
dealt with as by fire.
“Therefore, since we are now justified- (believers) acquitted, made righteous and brought into right relationship with God – by Christ’s blood, we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God (that will come upon the ungodly)-we shall be SAVED (DAILY DELIVERED FROM SIN’S DOMINION) through His (resurrection)” Rom. 5:9-10 Amp. For “…the Bread that I shall give for the LIFE OF THE WORD is my flesh” Jn. 6:51.
sin’s Dominion to which we are being delivered from daily is the “ life of the
world,” that constitute THE EARTH (earthly nature-the old man). Hence we
read “MORTIFY (KILL) YOUR MEMBERS WHICH
ARE UPON THE EARTH, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection” etc.
Now, you can agree with me that these evils can only be found in the nature of man and not the physical earth, where your mango and guava trees are grown. Again, notice that, these natures are called “MEMBERS” meaning they have power and alive, so where you cannot destroy them through your faith in Christ, then eventually God’s fire will come in do it Then there will be no more earth -mankind of sin. Hence we read “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them” Rev. 20:11.
So what is
it that is required of us in this matter? The word of God says, “so kill
(deaden, deprive of power the evil desire lurking in your members – those
ANIMAL IMPULSES and all that is EARTHLY IN YOU that is employed in sin; sexual
vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and
covetousness, (don’t worship the good things of life.) For that is idolatry
(the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).. It is on
account of these (very sins) that the (holy) anger of God is ever coming upon
(those who are obstinately opposed to the divine will) the sons of
disobedience; among whom you also once walked, when you were living in and
addicted to (such practices). But now put away and rid yourselves (completely)
of all these things; ANGER, RAGE, BAD FEELINGS TOWARDS OTHERS, CURSES and
SLANDER and FOULMOUTHED ABUSE AND SHAMFUL UTTERANCES from YOUR LIPS: Do not lie
to one another, for you have stripped off the old (unregenerated) self with its
But when you follow your own wrong inclinations your lives will produce these evil results; impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, spiritism (that is, encouraging the activity of demons), hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group-and there will be wrong doctrine, envy, murder drunkenness, wild parties, and all that
sort of things. Let me tell you again as I
have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the
The question then is, with all that we have enumerated above, is it true to the nature of man’s life today? So you see, the removal of those things through the control of the Holy Spirit is what produces a New Earth, in other words, a New Race of people or social order. For as you can see, all these works of the flesh, being energized by “the prince of the power of the air” that makes up the daily life of mankind-world, is what Christ’s life in us is delivering us from, having acquitted us from our inherited sin in Adam. For “…by one man, sin entered the world (mankind) and death by sin “…Rom. 5:12. KJV. Please see Eph. 2:2, 6:16, 1 Cor. 7:30-32.
course, when David declared, “…I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my
MOTHER conceive me” Ps. 51:5. This should be seen as Bathsheba, his biological
mother. The real mother is but EVE, for Eve is THE MOTHER OF ALL LIVING” Gen.
3:20. Even as the
order for us to inherit the
BUT HOW ARE WE ESCAPING THIS EVIL WORLD AND THROUGH WHAT MEANS?
Just as Noah ESCAPED the destruction in his days, finding grace in the sight of God (Gen.6:8) through his belief in God’s word, and eventually sailing through the storm in the Ark. Mind you, Noah was in the midst of the storm, not up somewhere in heaven, so also are we getting saved today through our faith in Christ (1 Jn. 5:4) our ‘Ark of safety’ and by our putting on God’s divine nature. Look at it “… He promised to SAVE US FROM THE LUST AND ROTTENNESS ALL AROUND US, and to give us His own character” 2 Pet. 1:4 TLB. Please read verses 4-10.
With the imparted Divine Nature of His, we will be able to live a godly life in this present evil world. (Tit 2:12, Phil. 2:12-15, Math 5:14-16) with the darkness of all sort all around us. Isa. 60:1-2.
So our escape is not through any form of ‘rapture’ out of the world. Therefore the prayer of Jesus to the Father is that, His followers be kept safe in this world from the influence of Satan and his power. They are not part of this world any more than I am: make them PURE and Holy through teaching them your words of truth” Jn. 17:15:17, Tlb.
Again, the destruction is upon the ungodly, the desires of men.
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the HEAVENS shall pass away with a great noise, and the ELEMENT SHALL MELT with fervent heat, the EARTH also and the WORKS that are therein shall be burnt up” 2 Peter 3:10.
Looking at the above Scripture, what are these heavens and earth that shall pass away?
THE LANGUAGE OF THE PHYSICAL HEAVENS.
Reading Ps 69:34, it says “Let the heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moveth therein” See also Ps 19:1-4, telling us of their declaration of God’s power, wisdom and majesty as long as they continue to exist.
In other words, their existence reveals the glory of God in creation, and so the Gospel of God’s creative power is found in His creation – the heavens and the earth, (Rom. 1:20) and they all depends on God for their existence as part of His creation (Ps 148:5-6).
Hence the heavens
is used as a simile, relating to things that are everlasting. Therefore, they
constitute the best things to describe the peaceful continuous reign of the
And so, in text like Ps. 102:25-26 describing heaven as “perishing” and as “being replaced like a worn out garment” should not be understood in a literal sense, otherwise that will also mean that the reign of Christ will “wax old like a garment” However, may we be mindful of the word “AS LONG” in the passage, Ps 72:5-7, suggesting to us, the possibility of change at the will of God, because we do know that through the fall, creation including the physical heavens are all under corruption (state of imperfection), hence we are told “ … that creation is groaning and travaileth in pain together until now, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, so that creation can be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of God’s children, besides we do know that , “that which is seen is temporal… “Rom. 8:20-22, 2 Cor. 4:18.
CAN WE SAY, “HEAVEN” IS A FIGURATIVE EXPRESSION IN THE BIBLE?
God’s warning to the children of Israel, through Moses as they approach the land of Canaan says “But beware that your hearts do not turn from God to worship other gods, for if you do, the anger of the Lord will be hot against you, AND HE WILL SHUT THE HEAVENS – there will be no rain and no harvest, and you will quickly perish from the good land the Lord has given you”. Dt. 11:16-17tlb. And again “And if you still disobey me, I will punish you seven times more severely for your sins, I will BREAK YOUR PROUD POWER AND MAKE YOUR HEAVENS AS IRON, and YOUR EARTH AS BRONZE” Lev. 26:19tlb. Please compare Dt. 28:23-24, I Kgs. 8:35-36, 2 Chron. 7:13-14.
Considering the above Scriptures, it is self evident that the “heaven” as used here is a symbol of the controlling power of the life of a people, for if the heaven causes the rain to fall upon the earth it will result in its fruitfulness and so a blessing of abundance will follow, whereas the “shutting of heaven – brass” will cause the earth to be hardened – iron, resulting in famine as a result of a sinful life (please se Jer. 14:1-9), to which only a heart searching repentance prayer to God can turn around. 2 Chron. 7:13-14. Meaning that, man’s heaven (true spiritual source of life) has been shut up as long as he abides in Adam, resulting in a “cursed ground” (Gen. 3:17) speaking of man’s poverty stricken conditions, as the ground (human labour) will yield nothing but “thorns and thistles: Gen. 3:17-18.
And this is the true picture of humanity without Christ, for “thou oh man art that earth!” for the earth (you) which drinketh in the rain (Spirit from heaven) that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs (fruits of righteousness) meet for them (God in His ministers of God and) by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God; But that which beareth thorns and briers (fruits of unrighteousness) is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned”. (Heb 6:7-8)
“The earth also and the WORKS (of the flesh. Gal. 5:19-20) THAT ARE THEREIN SHALL BE BURNED UP” 2 Peter 3:10b.
Can you now see, what causes the burning up of the earth? Because, man has rejected the sacrificial work of Christ, our propitiator and the redeeming power of the Holy Ghost sent by the Father, in order that our “shut up heaven “might be opened up again. Just as the word declares, “such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and IRON, because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the Most high; Therefore, He brought down their heart with labour,.. Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works (sacrifice of Christ) to the children of men! For He hath broken the gates (heavens) of brass and cut the bars of iron in asunder.(These are bondages that have caused our true life to be sealed up S of S 4:12) but have now been opened up, through the finished work of Christ, that once again we might enter into the inheritance ordained for man, from the time of creation – “let them have dominion” Gen. 1:26-27. But unfortunately “fools (those who will not believed into Christ Jn. 3:17-18) because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are still under affliction” Ps. 107:17.
So you can see that “heaven” figuratively is a realm of life, therefore when we read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” 1 Pet. 13-4. What we are saying, is that, our true life “inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away. (Is) reserved (means -to guard from loss or injury by keeping the eye upon, in the Grk) in heaven (realm of God’s Spirit)...”
In other words, our life is being preserved from the spirit realm of God’s heaven. See this;- “ If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God”, Col.3: 1-3.
Now, that is where you are if you are truly born again. You are in Christ in God, who also is in Heaven; so we do not necessary have to go to a place called heaven to receive our inheritance. Our incorruptible inheritance is the life of God, just in case you may be confused about that. And that is the life that is being guarded in the Heavens.
But let me ask you this simple question, when you preserve your food in the freezer in the kitchen, do you end up eating it there or you bring it out where it has to be used or eaten? So you see, God’s life in man is to be revealed on Earth.’Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,’ and ‘the Heavenly Jerusalem is seen coming down out of heaven from God’. It is here that God’s life in man is to be consummated just like it was with Adam in the Garden before the fall. Please don’t you think we need some wisdom in our beliefs?
“Fear before Him, all the EARTH: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved” I Chron 16:30 KJV please read from verses 23-33.
Again “O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the EARTH” Ps. 96:1 KJV. “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass” (Deut. 32:1-2) Compare Ps. 50:4.
As you sit back and meditate, it will become clear to you that, the word “EARTH” refers to a society of people, this is the fact revealed in the above scriptures, especially in Deut. 32:1,for Moses was not intending to teach a physical heaven up there or a literal earth, but rather, the PRIESTHOOD-heaven and THE PEOPLE- THE REST OF ISRAEL-the earth.
Even in Rev 17:5, we are told
And again to say that the “inhabitants of the EARTH have been made drunk with the wine (doctrine) of her fornication” (religious perversion) verse 1, indicates the group of people (men) who are still earthly in their nature, the low realm of the beastly Adamic- life.
Apostle Paul explained this when he said, for “the first man is of the EARTH, EARTHY” And “As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy” which is a true “image” as well. I Cor 15:47a, 48a, 49a. These are they who cannot discern the things of the Spirit because of their earthly – carnal mindedness, who “sleep” and are “drunken in the night” of the religious system of men. See I Cor 2:4, Rom 8:5-7, I Thes 5:7.
Furthermore, when we read that an “… angel came down from heaven, having great power and THE EARTH was lightened with His glory” Rev 18:1. This is no other person than Christ in His redemptive glory lightening up ALL MANKIND-EARTH, for “In Him (The Word) was life and the life was the LIGHT OF MEN (EARTH-MANKIND); that was the true light, which lighteneth everyman that cometh into the World” (Humanity) Jn 1:1-4, 9.
Even the dream of Nebuchadnezzar that he had, wherein he saw a “Tree in the midst of the EARTH” Dan 4:10-11, was interpreted to mean his “Dominion over the nations”-earth. Dan 4:20-22. It is therefore self evident from the above analysis that the “EARTH” speaks of a society of people.
HEAVEN, A RULING POWER OVER A PEOPLE
In the same vein “heaven” symbolizes the superior ruling power or government over such a society of People- earth.
In the book of Daniel chapter four, is the account of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar wherein he saw a “tree that reached up to heaven”, but eventually was commanded to be “hewn down” leaving only “the stump”, furthermore that the tree be given the heart of a beast for seven years until he acknowledges that “the most high ruleth in the kingdom of men…”. Daniel in his interpretation, indicated that Nebuchadnezzar to whom the tree symbolized shall be driven from among men with the heart of a beast for seven years, and the kingdom will be taken from him, only for it to be restored back, which is the meaning of “the stump that was left”, only when he “... shalt have known that the “HEAVENS DO RULE” see Dan 4:16-26.
So, here the rulership of God, over the kingdom of men is termed “Heaven” for “God” is one with “Heaven”. “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself” Heb 6:13. Compare Deut 32:40, Gen 22:16-17.
Heaven is also used to describe other ruling powers, that are exalted or lifted up (imaginations 2 Cor 10:5) and are proud above their subjects- people (earth). The account in Isa 14:12-13, though men have used this passage to mean Satan-Lucifer, it is actually describing the very ruling power that Nebuchadnezzar (Isa 14:4,22) represented as being “star like” “son of the morning” “morning star”, as a result of his conquest of Jerusalem in 607 BC, when that Babylonian Kingdom exalted its “throne above the stars (children) of God (verse 13).
The Davidic line of the kings of
This becomes expressly clear, when we observe that “the mount of the congregation” to which he said he will “sit upon” (control) is to “the sides of the North” (verse 13) which is no other mountain but “MOUNT ZION”- the Body of Christ, even as the record shows “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness, beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is MOUNT ZION ON THE SIDES OF THE NORTH, THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING” (Ps 48:1-2) Now see; “Ye are come unto mount Zion… the city of the Living God…Church of the first born” Heb 12:22-23.
So what are we seeing here? Nebuchadnezzer was only saying that he will “sit” rule, over the children of God (Israel), even as “Babylon the great” with her kings, the harlot church system is controlling God’s people in captivity to her religious tricks and false teachings today, as she says to the “souls” (Intellect, will, emotions, mind) of God’s children “Bow down that we may go over; and thou hast laid thy Body as the ground, and as the street, to them (False ministries) that went over” Isa 51:23.
In other words, God’s children, have lost their true sense of direction as they are no longer in touch with God’s leadership through the indwelling spirit of sonship Rom 8:14, I Jn 5:10. They are being completely manipulated by the false system of man. So they are continually “babes” and cannot grow to be able to have “their sense exercised to discern both (between) good and evil” Heb 5:14.
Now, hear God’s word: “for the time is surely coming when I will punish this great city and all idols, her dead shall lie in the streets; Heaven and Earth (all realms of creation that have been wrongly programmed by idolatrous life) shall rejoice; for out of the north (Mt Zion Ps 48:1-2) shall come destroying armies (Joel 2) against Babylon, says the Lord”, “for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities” Jer 51:47-48, Rev 18:5, see also Rev 19:1-3, Isa 44:23; 49:13.
So you see, the removal of this false controlling power (Ideas, systems, human wisdoms) over God’s people is the “passing away of the heaven” so that God’s true control over his creation might be re-established, that they might live their lives of true reality, face to face with God in true righteousness and holiness.
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens (plural;?) Shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Pet 3:10 KJV.
HEAVEN A REALM OF EXISTENCE. We want to further look at the application of the word heaven in relation to why and which of the heavens is to pass away”. In Eph. 1:9-10, we read: “For God has allowed us to know the secret of His plan, and it is this: HE PURPOSED IN HIS SOVEREIGN WILL THAT ALL HUMAN HISTORY SHALL BE CONSUMMATED IN CHRIST, THAT EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS IN HEAVEN OR EARTH SHALL FIND ITS PERFECTION AND FULFILMENT IN HIM. (Christ)” Philips Oh what a will! It gladdens my heart to know that all creation irrespective of their position now, shall find their way back to the father because He (God) “hast created ALL THINGS FOR HIS PLEASURE” Rev. 4:11
Now the question is: WHAT ARE SOME OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE HAVING THEIR EXISTENCE IN THE HEAVENS? Again we read: “For our fight is not against any physical enemy, it is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil.” Eph 6:12. Philips. Another translation puts in this way: “For our fight is not against human foes, but against cosmic powers, against the authorities and potentates of this dark world, against the super-human forces of evil IN THE HEAVENS” NEB.
It simply shows that, there is a whole realm of organization, and structural powers in the spirit world that are warring against us. These are the powers that keep people bound to religious attitudes and other forms of evil, using human agents. The point here is, the Scripture says, they have their existence in the heavens.
But can we truly say God created all these as well? “For by (in) Him (Christ) were all things created, that are IN HEAVEN and that are IN EARTH, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or power: ALL THINGS WERE CREATED BY HIM, and FOR HIM” Col 1:16 KJV. Is it plain enough? Please also see Rom 11:36, 1Cor 8:6, Isa 45:7,54:16. 1 Cor. 5:5.
It may interest you to know that in God’s sovereign will, all these agents are created for a definite purpose in His plans. Realizing that this realm that we are now in, is training ground, with these forces combating us daily, and this is what calls for overcoming. Therefore by the sacrifice of Jesus, as we believe into and in union with Him, all of these powers are brought under our feet as we become partakers of His victory, even as we are seated with Him.
Listen,” … Even though we were dead in our sins God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love He had for us, GAVE US LIFE TOGETHER WITH (in union) CHRIST… it is, remember, by grace and not achievement that you are saved … and HAS LIFTED US RIGHT OUT OF THE OLD LIFE (Adam) TO TAKE OUR PLACE WITH HIM IN CHRIST JESUS IN THE HEAVENS” Eph. 2:5-6. Philips, compare 1Pet. 3:22. “ … For IN HIM we live and move and have our being” (existence). Acts 17:28.
So where is Christ sitting today? The answer is” … On the right hand of God” Col 3:1 KJV. And that is exactly where you are also sitting (reigning with Him in measure until His full manifestation in us) right now, if you are truly IN CHRIST. The “right hand” speaks of the authority and blessings of God. Ps 48:10, 98:1-3 and because you are possessing this authority through your union with Christ” (He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” 1Col 6:17), those powers in the heavenly realm are all subject unto you; therefore you can cast them out.
How is this happening? Because as a result of His death and resurrection” ..God has now lifted Him so high (do not forget that you are in Him 11 Cor. 5:17. So both of you are being lifted) and has given Him the name beyond all names, so that at the name (nature) of Jesus “every knee shall bow” whether in heaven or earth or under the earth. And that is why in the end, “ Every tongue shall confess” that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of God the father” Phil 2:9-11 Philips. Because in God’s own will “ it was in Him that the full nature of God chose to live, and through Him God planned to RECONCILE (11 Cor. 5:19) in His own person as it were EVERYTHING ON EARTH and EVERYTHING IN THE HEAVEN by virtue of the sacrifice of the cross” Col 1:20 Philips. And when this is done, then the “former heaven” and “earth” is “passed away” in Him. (2 Cor 5:17).
In other words, everything that was controlling man, outside of the will of God, is being removed, that the power of God may now be the ultimate controlling factor in man-creation.
So when Moses called on “…. heaven and earth to witness against you” (children of Israel) Deut 4:25-26, just like Isaiah did too (Isa. 1:2), it was simply a universal appeal, to all things having their existence in the realm of spirit, humanity and all that have their existence on the earth, to bear witness against the children of Israel in their covenant relationship with God and to justify God’s position of righteous judgment against them for violating His words.
what are we seeing here? The heavens speaks of a realm of existence of both
good (angels, “spirits of just men made perfect” 1 Pet. 3:22. Heb. 12:23) –
“HEAVENS AND THE EARTH SHALL PASS AWAY”. 2PET 3:10
“But that day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the HEAVENS shall pass away with a great noise; and THE ELEMENTS SHALL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT…. 2PET 3:10
As can be seen from this passage, the Elements that shall be melted with fervent heat are in the heavens and not in the Earth. . Please keep this in mind as we progress.
One of the confusing aspects of the teaching of the church, in relation to the application of the word “Last Days” as it connects the so called ‘rapture’ is the belief that the PLANET EARTH will one day go up in SMOKE and the ELEMENTS in it such as Gold, Silver, Precious stones, Crude oil in their thinking will have to melt with fervent heat. But may I quickly draw your reverent attention to the fact, that the scripture just quoted above never says the Elements to be melted are in the Earth, but “IN THE HEAVENS”, and this fact makes a whole world of difference, to the meaning and thoughts revealed in the scripture.
Please read it again for yourself with the help of the Spirit of truth, then you will see the fallacy, that is in the church today, because of the way we have chosen to interpret the word of God, to suit our narrow minded sectarian belief system, instead of looking at the scripture through the eyes of the Spirit in consonant with the plans and purposes of God in creation. Don’t forget that, the ‘Elements’ are in ‘heaven’ and that heaven speaks of a controlling power, a realm of authority in and over a people
The Grk word for ELEMENT is STOICHEION, which means ORDERLY IN ARRANGMENT, FUNDAMENTAL, INITIAL CONSTITUENT, PROPOSITION-ELEMENT, and RUDIMENT.
People of God, the definition is clear, the elements have nothing to do with gold, silver, Bauxite, crude oil etc.in the Earth, but rather the elementary principles of life that, God set in place over man to live by until Christ is revealed. And these includes the dietary and moral laws as found in the Book of Leviticus and the Ten Commandments, hence the “initial constituents”.
In the second place, these elements constitutes the wisdom of man, which has to do with his Educational and Religious attainments that he has fashioned out for himself that now controls him eg Psychology, Philosophy, Esoteric studies, Eastern religion, Yoga, Transcendental meditation, superstition, witchcraft, Masonic order, Rock and Roll, ESP, Crystal Ball gazing, Psychometry, Psychic, Horoscope, Pentagram, Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, etc, etc. which are all inspired means of living instead of God’s true Spirit.
Thus, Paul in defining these elements says, “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them, which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” Gal 4:8-11. “..How can you turn back and become the slaves of those weak and pitiful powers? You even celebrate certain days, months,..” CEV.
Can you see something here? Those things, which Paul referred to as beggarly elements, in the King James Version, is herein referred to as weak and pitiful powers. And all these stands for modes and instruments of worships, outside of God, such as moon, sun and seasonal observance of religious rites and festivals. And of cause, as it relates to the Jewish order, it has to do with all the rituals and the Sabbath keepings. Do you understand what am talking about?
Let us see further, as to what these elements really are “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments (same as elements) of the world, and not after Christ.”(Col.2:8). “ Don’t let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments. These arguments may sound wise, but they are only human teachings. They come from the powers of this world and not from Christ.” CEV. “Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy, and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ” NLT
Let me quickly look at this passage from the Amplified Bible “…See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so- called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human traditions-men’s ideas of the (rather than the spiritual) world-just crude notions following the RUDIMENTARY and ELEMENTAL teachings of the universe, and disregarding (teachings of) Christ, Messiah.”
It is therefore plain that, the elements have to do with the teachings and notions of men that keep people bound to earthly wisdom and knowledge. Indicating to us that, any philosophy or religious pursuit that is not Christ centered is completely part of this elemental ways of life that is passing away.
Explaining this elemental ways of life further, Paul declares “From now onwards, never let anyone else decide what you should eat or drink, or whether you are to observe annual festivals (Jewish yearly Sabbatths, Easter, Christmas), New Moons (Jewish monthly Sabbaths), Sabbaths (Jewish weekly Sabbath). These were all pale reflections of what was coming. The REALITY IS CHRIST.
Do not be taken in by
people who are groveling (Grovel - to speak to somebody or behave in a very
humble manner in order to gain favour or be forgiven for something) to
angels and worshipping them (the worship of the host of heaven is forbidden
by God. Dt.17: 1-5,2Kgs 21:1-5,Jer.21: 18.which could turn out to be ministers
of God who have exalted themselves so high among the brethren to be worshipped
instead of the Christ speaking through them). People like that are always
going on about some vision they have had, inflating themselves to a false
importance with their worldly look. A MAN OF THIS SORT IS NOT UNITED TO THE
HEAD…if you have really died with Christ (on the cross Gal.2: 20) to the
principles (Elements) of this world, why do you still let rules dictate
to you, as though you are still in the world? (
So you see, the ELEMENTS are simply the ways of life, concepts, human imaginations about life and living, mentally and otherwise, cultures,-extra vagrant social wake keepings, burial rites, naming, ceremonies, birth day ceremonies etc,educational philosophies, economic and social-political ideologies that are void of Christ’s leadership and inspirations. All these and many more, constitute the ELEMENTS that shall melt, and are melting as we discover the fallacy that is in them, because they do not contain life. So then, “..we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, (rudiments of the world) by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph.4: 14).because we now know that, all of these elementary principles find their fulfillment in Christ (Eph 1:10) the source of life (Gal 2:20,Rev 2:10).
“But that day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise; and.. THE EARTH and THE WORKS THEREIN SHALL BE BURNED UP. 2PET 3:10
The “EARTH” which we already know by now to mean a society of people” contains WORK that must be BURNED UP” So, it will now be necessary for us, to understand what exactly are the works in the earth that must be burned up. Heb 6:4-7 gives us a clear picture as to what the EARTH and the works therein stand for. Here we are told that, “the EARTH” (man) that receives the outpouring of the holy Spirit that comes often upon it and bringeth forth herbs (righteous life of Christ) meet for them (ministers-dresser) by who it is dressed, receive blessing from God; But that which beareth ‘thorns’ and ‘briers’ (works of unrighteousness) is nigh unto cursing (See Gen 3:17-18) WHOSE END IS TO BE BURNED”.
A parallel comparison of other translations of the
word “Burned up” in 2pet 3:10 will help
our understanding of the mind of God in this case. e.g. “The earth and all that
it contains will be burned up “-Greek in the margin is “UNCOVERED” (the
Jerusalem Bible.) “… and earth and the works in it be DISCOVERED”. (Linear
Trans.) “… the earth with all that is in it will be LAID BARE”
So what is “laid” “uncovered” “burned up” discovered in the earth? It is simply the WORKS IN THE EARTH. The “thorns” and “briers”, compare Nub. 33:51-55.
And the word of God says, “Now THE WORKS OF THE FLESH (fleshly-carnal nature earthly. Rom 8:5-7, 1Cor 15:47) are manifest which are these: fornication, gross indecency and sexual irresponsibility, idolatry and sorcery; feuds and wrangling jealousy, bad temper and quarrels; disagreements, factions; envy drunkenness orgies and similar things … “Gal 5:19-21 KJV-Jerusalem Bible .so the works to be “burned up” are man’s carnal nature, whether religion or otherwise.
The word “Burned up” is from two Greek words “kata” – down, and “Kaio”- to set on fire, i.e kindle or (by imp) consume bring light. And these two words put together is “katakaio (2 pet 3:10) which means to burn down (to the ground) i.e consume wholly – burn (up, utterly).
Similarly, the word used in Heb 6:8 is “Kausis” … burning (the act) be burned. Now, is this not what Jesus said in Lk 12:49 “I am come to send Fire on the earth, (mankind) and what will I, if it be kindled?
How is this been done? “Through the words – light – truth which he sends forth, for “every wrong doer hates (loathes, detests) THE LIGHT and will not come out into the LIGHT, but shrinks from it, lest his WORKS – his DEEDS, his ACTIVITIES, his CONDUCT – be EXPOSED and REPROVED” Jn 3:20 AMP. The word “reproved” is the same as “discovered” in the margin of the King James Translation.
So, are we surprised then that, “our God is a consuming fire” who sits to purify us as sons”? Heb 12:29, Mal 3:1-3 … The fact of the matter is, God has determined in Christ, to expose every man’s work and have them dealt with in judgment even as we find in 1 Cor 3:11-15. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abides which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” Therefore, there cannot be any deception, unbelief of religions spirit, or hiding place from the truth that burns off these wicked works even as Paul in the spirit declares “some men’s sins are open before hand, going before to judgement (which must begin in the house of God – the church – as the word expose the sins of His people as the true word is being preached) and some men THEY FOLLOW AFTER. Likewise also, the good works (life of Christ) of some are manifest beforehand AND THEY THAT ARE OTHERWISE CANNOT BE HID” 1 Tim 5:24-25.
Meaning that, there is no one that shall not be exposed to the searchlight of God’s word in His people “true sons” even as it searches the “inward parts of the belly” (heart) because HE desires truth there. Prov. 20:27, Ps 51:6 Do not forget that, these WORKS that God has to deal with, are both Adamic and religions in nature, hence we are told that, we cannot lay other foundation – beliefs, doctrines, concepts except that of Christ for “ … every man’s work shall be made manifest (shown for what it is) for the DAY shall declare it, because it shall be revealed (exposed) by FIRE.” 1Cor 3:11-15 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now, if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
Are we surprised therefore that, all religious craftiness is being exposed daily, even among those so-called “men of God”? The fire is at work, judgment is going on, the demons of religion in men are being forced to cry out, no matter who they are, and you will truly “know them by their fruits” as they manifest. Math 7:20. “For” “Every tree (people) that bringeth not forth good fruit (the life of Christ. Jn 3:21) is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Math 7:19.
Great religious men in the Days of John the Baptist, and Jesus lose their significant because of the light – truth, that came out of them, even so shall it continue until the demons of religion will have no hiding place in men.
Don’t forget that “the day of the Lord” shall so come as a thief in the NIGHT” why? Because it is an unexpected sweep of God upon those who are “drunken” and are “asleep” in the NIGHT of religious ease 1The 5:7. So “Watch (be sober) therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come, But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come (Christ coming in judgment to take away your man made comfort), he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up (burned up?). Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the son of man cometh. “Math 24:42-44.
“..Yet once more I shake not the EARTH only but also HEAVEN, … The word, .. Yet once more signified THE REMOVING OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE SHAKEN, as of THINGS THAT ARE MADE (rudiments, elementary principles and man’s ways of life, principalities and powers), that those THINGS WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN (principles of true spiritual worship through the leadership of the spirit Jn 4:24, Rom 8:1-2,14) may remain, wherefore we receive a kingdom which cannot be moved,..” Heb 12:26-28.
In the book of Isaiah, we are told, this shaking is to be done”… in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger” wherein “the heavens shall vanish way like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, (the old covenant which was also a principle of life is also “wax old” and” ready to vanish away” Heb 8:13, meaning that, this language of things ‘vanishing away’ is not dealing with literal objects – planet earth and skies). And they that dwell therein (that is those, still engaged in religious activities and elementary principles of life) shall die in like manner”.
Why? Because their source of life – heaven is gone, and he that have his life – things of the world, shall loose it, but he that loose his life now in Christ shall find true riches in Him. Lk 9: 24 12:15. This is because ”… my salvation (in Christ) shall be for ever; and my righteousness (God’s way of true worship, right standing with God) shall not be abolished”. Isa. 13:13,51:6 KJV.
IS THIS SHAKING NECESSARY? It is because
man has placed his confidence on other gods, such as wealth, education,
politics, economic system, spiritual advancement on the negative side,
Therefore, when we read of He that sat on “a great white throne “from” whose face THE EARTH and THE HEAVEN fled away; “Rev 20:11. It is simply Christ in His righteous judgment (white throne) from whose presence (face) all that are made – heaven and the Adamic man -earth cannot stand, even as He rules over them by setting His right foot upon the sea (mankind) and His left foot upon the earth (Adamic carnal nature). Rev 10:1-2, thereby removing from all realms of creation, all that man has cherished and has been bowing down to, elements in heaven.
This is why the Spirit is saying “seeing then that all these things (mode of worship, carnal nature, customs etc) shall be Dissolved (Luo-loosed, destroyed, dissolve, melt, put off etc). what manner of person ought ye to be in all holy conversation (manner of life) and godliness” 2 Pet 3:11.
move of Christ upon the people, is unexpected, hence it is “like a thief in the
night” for not being mindful of the type of life they are living. Just like it
was with the church in Sadis, Rev 3:3. The candlestick being the source of life
and illumination. So the shaking of the heaven and earth is the dethronement of
that which is highly exalted even as: “ heaven” represents that which is
elevated. Hence we read that God, in His anger” cast down from heaven unto the
earth the beauty of
beauty of which is its kingdom, the principal rulers and their powers, that
were destroyed as by fire by
WHAT THEN DO WE MEAN BY THE “DARKENING OF THE HEAVEN”?
It is simply the failure, of all sources of life and power that man relied upon instead of God. As a matter of fact, in the Bible language, it is often used to represent the removal of prosperous favourable conditions and their replacement by adverse, gloomy prospects and conditions.
So it is
truly God’s time of judgment that cannot be pinned down to one particular year
or period, but rather as God deems fit when sin and rebellion must have reached
its height in a particular age; Therefore in applying this language, we have
the prophecy against the enemies of Judah “… the sun and the moon shall be
darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining; The Lord also shall roar out
of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and earth (all
realms of life) shall shake. But the Lord will be the hope of His people, and
the strength of the children of
Therefore, we can see that, the “Darkening of the heaven” is a symbolic language of the removal of favourable seasons and the sources of life as a result of God’s judgment. So, when Peter on the day of Pentecost quoted the prophecy of Joel to the people “… saying save yourselves from this untoward generation” Acts 2:40. See Verses 1,16-21. Those who did not hearken to the voice in that generation saw a time of the “darkening of the heavens” in the hands of the Romans, as they completely ravaged Jerusalem less that 40 years later. Fulfilling the words of Jesus in Math 24: 29-31, in reference to the Old Covenant, with all its rituals-elementary principles, source of life that they held so dear. With that order out of the way, His disciples – “clouds of heavens” – will go forth into all the earth (world) with a new message (of the kingdom) “… send His angels with a great sound of the trumpet” Compare Rev. 6:12-17.
God’s desire is to remove man’s strongholds of confidence, so that, He can totally be our God; that is the shaken of the heavens and the earth
“….We, according to His promise; look for new heaven and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness “2 Pet 3:13.
Let us first of all understand that, the coming into being of the New heavens and Earth is as a result of the dissolution of the former heaven – the elements thereof and the earth and the works therein through the revelation of the day of the Lord. Verses 11-12.
Now, Peter took his quotation in the Scripture above about the “New heaven and earth” from Isa 65:17; 66:22. And Miclintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia (Vol.. 10 PP 122-127) commenting on this verse indicates that a new heaven and new earth signify a new government, new kingdom and new people”.
course, this is the truth of what Peter himself was portraying. For we already
know that the earth speaks of a society of people (Ps 96:1) and heaven a ruling power of
government over such earth. This is made plain when we discover that Isaiah’s
prophecy of a new heaven and earth deals firstly with restoration of
words, God now had a new generation of people to Himself from the power of
was the cause of this great voice? It was because, apart from the fall of
Babylon, the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8)
is now standing up again in the midst of His people (Zion, the church)
and “with him an hundred forty and four thousand (the multiple of twelve,
which is the prosperity of God’s Kingdom) having His Father’s name written
in their forehead” (i.e. they are now having the character and nature of
God. 2 Pet 1:1-11). These are they, which were not defiled with women (not
corrupted by the teachings of men – daughters of
see, people of God, it is not Jesus so called second coming that will bring in
the “New heaven and New earth” but rather this has been accomplished through
the sacrifice of His blood with which we (believers) are redeemed from the
slavery of sin, the Adamic nature and religious
Now, through the release of the Spirit of the Father, God is now having a people over whom He is controlling “… as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God (Rom 8:14,) and these are they who now constitute the “New Jerusalem” (a people).
when we read in Rev.12: 1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the
first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
It is simply that, the former heaven and earth which is the nature of Adam, the
wages of sin, and all that is contrary to God’s life should have been dealt
with as by fire. For we are told, “the Sea (mankind) gave up the dead which
were in it” (those dead in sin and trespasses) and “death and hell” have been”
cast into the lake of fire” which is the second death” Rev. 20:13-14. Please
read from 1-15. Those who believe in the finished work of Christ now, have
partaken of the first resurrection from the effect of the sins of Adam, and so
the second death (lake of fire) have no power over them Rev. 20:5-6. They have
been raised with Him into a heavenly life. Eph 2:6
And since God’s government has started in and through His people, it shall increase (Isa 9:7) until it fills the whole earth. Dan 2:44. Since, the life of God is what destroys sin and its wages – death. THE 3RD WORLD IS A GOVERNMENT, A PEOPLE THAT HAVE COME OUT AND ARE SEPARATED UNTO GOD FROM THE PRESENT (2ND) EVIL WORLD THROUGH THE REDEEMING POWER OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS 2Cor 6:12-16, Gal 1:4, Eph 1:7
In the light of the above I will like to quote the words of Bob Torango here as I round up “We must get back to the true plan of God for mankind! The plan is not for an escape out of this world, but the true plan of the Ages deals with the transformation of mankind from a creature of the dust into a creature of spirit life…what God is after is simply a NEW CREATURE! That is the whole point of making God’s plan for mankind. Change is an intrinsic element in God’s nature, and everything that comes into contact with the Spirit of God cannot remain unchanged. Everything must give way to God’s vivifying Life, and whatever is lowered out of Him must be raised up again in a greater life. All that we see in this existence came from God and was lowered out of Him. Everything had its beginning in God, so everything and mankind is in a state of progressive transformation…The only hope for all creation, natural or spiritual, is the transforming power of the life of God…. The PLAN isn’t to pray to be taken off this dying and planet earth and escape into outer space, the PLAN is for a people to come into the fullness of Christ, to have that life infused within them rise up and fill the house with its glory and consequently for that to become the agents of a Greater Life, the Life of God, and to begin to sound forth in the earth and heaven the glorious sound of the New Man, not angel, not man, but a New Species of God Substance, filled with the full counsel of the Father.
We are not here to live out a miserable life and then pray we can get to heaven someday, but we are to be CHANGED, from corruption into incorruption, from mortal into immortal, from earthiness into heavenliness, we are to BE changed and to have the power TO CHANGE everything else. That is the True Plan as Paul wrote in his epistles to the elect of God.
Now, to those that are held captive to the five senses of the natural man, these words will sound like a story of fiction, but to those that have had a visitation from the invisible spirit of Christ, this will ring true and will enlarge our purpose in life…
So, for us that are walking in the Light of the Lord, our focus must be on those invisible, spiritual elements of our purpose for coming into this earthly life. WE ARE HERE TO BE CHANGED!.” End quote.
And so in the words of the wisest king that had ever lived, Solomon “Any story sounds true until someone sets the record straight” [Prov.18: 17] NLT.
Math.24 is not dealing with the Rapture of the church. Neither was the Rapture a true story as it was not a personal revelation from the Lord.
The Book of Daniel neither was not dealing with a supposed Antichrist that will emerge one day on the world scene. While the Book of Daniel is a closed Book, the Book of Revelation is an open Book.
The statement of Jesus in John 14 have nothing to do with a physical mansion up in heaven, rather the preparation was His death and resurrection in order to get a people unto God as a dwelling place: The effect of the work of Redemption.
The Book of second Peter chapter three, is not talking about the explosion of planet Earth and the Heavens, but the system of spiritual authority over man and negative demonic powers in man called the Earth.
Please don’t forget this “Intelligent people are always open to new ideas. In fact, they look for them.” [And so]. “The wise are known for their understanding, and instruction is appreciated if it’s well presented” [Prov.18: 15; 16:21] NLT. Have we done that in this study? Then be wise and go for the truth henceforth as we Re-examine our beliefs
DAVID O. OGAGA
OGAGA O. DAVID
DIVINE ENCOUNTER MINISTRIES INT'L