Revelation is surely one of the most controversial and debated books of the Bible. It is visionary, it is fantastic, it is earth-shattering in its significance. And I had always assumed it was about the end of the world in our future. But I would eventually discover that it was not about the end of the world, but about the end of the old covenant and its earthly elements of holy city and temple in the past. It is earth-shattering in heavenly significance, but not in earthly geographic scope.
And I can prove that with one little word: earth.
To finish this article, please go here to GaryDeMar.com, where I published the article.
19 comments on “One Little Word Proves the Book of Revelation is NOT About the End of the Earth”
May I suggest that using the word “prove” isn’t appropriate for your argument? You are arguing a position based on evidence, yes, but you are suggesting a different interpretation of that evidence, one that you’re challenging us to consider. But you haven’t “proven” it, strictly speaking. Great word to hook the reader but it’s not what you’ve done.
Lora, Prove that I haven’t proven it!
Thanks for your concern.
I supposed I am a bit more confident in my evidence than you are. But I hope you at least considered the argument.
Mr. Godawa, here is the actual witness of “the Holy Scriptures”, on this particular matter :
2 Peter 3:7-13 New International Version (NIV)
7 “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
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. Instead 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 done in it will be laid bare.[a]
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.[b] 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, where righteousness dwells.”
a. 2 Peter 3:10 Some manuscripts “be burned up”
b. 2 Peter 3:12 Or “as you wait eagerly for the day of God to come” Matthew 24:35 New International Version (NIV)
35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 5:18 New International Version (NIV)
18 “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Revelation 20:11 New International Version (NIV)
The Judgment of the Dead
11 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.” Revelation 21:1 New International Version (NIV)
A New Heaven and a New Earth
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.”
New International Version (NIV)
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Hi, Tim. To be clear, I blocked you because I am paying for an advertisement for my products and you were hijacking my ad for your own purposes. But on this forum, not a problem. I only hope you are as willing to listen as you are willing to speak. For my part, I can say that I am, because I do not accuse people like you of being “false teachers” like you have accused me on that previous thread. It is not Christlike and divides the body of Christ. I can however call those who have made predictions about the end times of being false prophets because the Bible itself does so.
That said, I’ve written about this Peter passage in my book End Times Bible Prophecy. Now let’s take a closer look at that passage. We must remember our dictum to seek to understand the text within its ancient Jewish setting steeped in Old Testament imagery and symbols. I believe when we do this, we will have to conclude that the decreation of the heavens and earth is covenantal mythopoeia, not literal, physical, scientific observation. Peter wrote figuratively about the final ending of the old covenant, with God’s judgment on Israel for rejecting Messiah and the final establishment of his new covenant as a new world order, or, in their case, a “new heavens and new earth.”
As I’ve proven elsewhere, the day of the Lord is always used in the Bible for a localized judgment upon a people, which, by way of reminder, Jesus had already prophesied was coming upon Jerusalem to the very generation he spoke to (Matt. 23:36-24:2). But what makes some interpreters think this is the final judgment of the universe is the very bad translation of the Greek word stoicheion as “elements” in some English texts. This makes modern readers think of the periodic table of elements as being the most foundational building blocks of the universe. They conclude that the Bible must be talking about the actual elements of helium, hydrogen, deuterium, and others being burned up and melted!
But this is not what the Greek word means.
In every place that stoicheion shows up in the New Testament it refers to elementary principles of a worldview, sometimes a godless worldview (Col 2:8), but, more often, the elementary principles of the old covenant law described as a “cosmos” (Gal 4:3, 9; Col 2:20; Heb 5:12).
I have shown here how the cosmic language of creating heavens and earth was used to describe the cosmic significance of God establishing a covenant. And in the Old Testament, the destruction of covenants, nations, and peoples was described in decreation terms as the collapsing of the universe. I can tease that out more specifically if needed. I suspect it will be because most Christians simply misinterpret language of the “heavens and earth” in a modern western hyper-literal way. It’s actually first and foremost covenantal in meaning.
That is the case in these passages as well, with the term “cosmos” being used metaphorically for the “universe” of God’s covenantal order as embodied in the old covenant laws of Jewish separation: circumcision, dietary restrictions, and sabbaths. Paul was telling his readers that the stoicheion of the old covenant cosmos were no longer over them because the people of God were under new stoicheion, the elementary principles of faith (Gal 4:1-11).
Peter meant the same thing. When he said that the heavens will pass away and the stoicheion will be burned up, he was claiming that when the temple in Jerusalem is destroyed, it will be the final passing away of the old covenant cosmos. This would include all the elementary principles tied to that physical sacramental structure—the laws that once separated Jew and Gentile. The new cosmos would be one in which both Jew and Gentile “by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet 1:5).
As Gary DeMar concluded, “The New Covenant replaces the Old Covenant with new leaders, a new priesthood, new sacraments, a new sacrifice, a new tabernacle (John 1:14), and a new temple (John 2:19; 1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:21). In essence, a new heaven and earth.” Eminent Greek scholar John Lightfoot agreed, “The destruction of Jerusalem and the whole Jewish state is described as if the whole frame of this world were to be dissolved.”
Mr. Godawa, I see that you have “blocked” me from commenting on your postings, and deleted all of my previous ones. Exactly what are you so ‘afraid’ of? Perhaps the actual Scriptural “TRUTH” of this matter!
See my post above. I blocked you because It was a paid advertisement for my products and you were hijacking it for your own purposes. Sorry, I’m not paying to promote your view, only my own.
PS, I didn’t realize that when you block someone, it deletes all their responses. I thought it just stopped the person from posting anymore.
Be that as it may, you are welcome to discuss your issues with me here. Very welcome. Just don’t descend into childish name calling and irresponsible accusations of “false teacher.” It grieves the Holy Spirit to do so against orthodox Christians like me.
Have at it! There is alot that I’m sure will be very new to you, since most Christians do not explore other views outside of their own. So I will be happy to inform you on my position if you are open.
I did. I’m not “there” but I like having my precious assumptions challenged. I need to be forced to rethink what I hold so dear theologically. Which you did, so for that I thank you. Honestly, I think that all of us, no matter what we believe about Revelation, will be surprised when its truths are fully revealed.
Awesome wisdom once again, Brian. I keenly appreciate your postings because they provide contextual insight. A college Bible As Literature class exposed how little I knew about Scriptural context – it was never taught from pulpits I frequented. Our instructor (non-believing) insisted we understand that all scripture is Covenant POV. My head was spinning with a new understanding of passages I had read for years. I suddenly grasped the extreme risk to Jesus’ followers because they were in rebellion against religious/cultural laws. One rebellious act could get them killed by their own. I also understood more clearly what the Land means to Israel. It’s not just real estate! Interpretation/translation aside, in the end, the real question is: Do you believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior? Press 1 for yes. Press 2 for no.
Thanks for sharing that, Samii. Paradigm changes do tend to reorient our reading entirely! It’s still fascinating to me.
Covenant is always clearly explained! Your interpretation of SCRIPTURAL meaning resting mostly in one word is as flawed as your books. Confusing metaphorical with actual meanings is ridiculous and “well” wishing nonsense!
Your intellectual gymnastics and theoretical propositions are nothing but that. Mental exercises in futility.
Prove it. These are baseless assertions and insults, not Biblical arguments. Prove it, I say.
Don’t see the forest by the tree in your nose! Ever heard that before Mr intelligence? Sorry but your arguments are ridiculous, the context is much greater than your philology argument. This World is anxiously waiting for a physical real change, it will take place. You are denying Prophecy. No further need of a response. I rest my case. Period! Please take no offense, my words are not meant to insult your mental capacity. Shalom!
I really would like to know what you are referring to. Can you tell me one thing I’ve written that you think is wrong? I would be happy to engage in a discussion of Biblical proof of our views. Do you have any Biblical arguments against what I have written?
Sr Awa. I have already given you half a dozen arguments that you even deny to acknowledge or/and accept! My words obviously refer to the ENTIRE BIBLICAL CONTEXT! Among other things, and specifically to the PROPHETIC CONTEXT! You have decided to ignore my arguments based on your preposterous ideas of logical discourse. Please just at least acknowledge the BIBLICAL encouragement of not engaging in nonsensical babblings, and allow me to be excused from further comments. A little humility will serve you well. Thank you.
I’m sorry, R. Maybe I am too dense for you, and not very smart, but would you please tell me what one of your Biblical arguments was that disproved anything I wrote? I reread your comments and could not find one. Please forgive my inability to see. Help me by restating a Biblical argument against anything I have written, and I would be happy to listen to it.
Ok, courtesy is important to me. Argument one, but please don’t ask me to expand on the rest. As you know words both in Hebrew and Greek have always had several meanings, therefore rendering your principal argument “your little word” foundation immediately feeble and baseless. The Bible is always clear when using figurative or metaphorical meanings! In the case of “The End of the World” Jesus Christ is very clear and exact-precise-. He was NOT speaking metaphorically. He spoke of clear, real evidence. The only unidentified concept was the precise time, and He clearly said so. Maybe this could help you identify one of my several other implied arguments. Thank you.
PS. Prophecy is not a concept, tis a reality!
This is a bit more productive.
Ok, I’m sorry, where did Jesus says “end of the world”? He said “end of the age,” (matt 24:3) but I am not aware of anywhere he said “end of the world.”
And the “end of the age” in the NT meant the end of the Mosaic age with the coming of Messiah.
Here are Scriptures that show the NT writers all said the first century was the end of the age and they were living in it.
So the end of the age was the first century coming of Christ to end the Old Covenant, not a future “end of the world” as you are assuming:
Last Days is synonymous with End of the Age. The Last Days of the Old Covenant.
Context is king.
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son,…
but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
1Cor 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…
For [Jesus] was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you
Scripture says that the physical temple was symbolic of the “present age” that would be gone when the physical temple was destroyed in AD 70.
“By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section [earthly holy place] is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age).”
The words, “Which is symbolic for the present age” are in the Scriptures. I did not add those.
The context of Hebrews shows that the coming destruction of the earthly temple was the earthly elimination of the Old Covenant, the “present age” to be replaced by the New Covenant Age.
Praise God for the New Covenant of faith in Messiah!
I am afraid that my only recourse with you short of a discussion, that ii am not inclined -ever- to do. Is to warn you to remain ready to leave. The signs are clear and the evil alliances almost ready to head for destruction. “Fervent heat” can only mean one thing under the coming Apocalyptic scenario.
It was Prophetic utterance several times over throughout Scriptures and it seems entirely unavoidable and unfortunate for those remaining on Earth. We must for now do all we can to share the Gospel with anyone we can.
Thank you and Shalom!
Please do focus on sharing the Gospel, the actual Gospel of salvation in Christ Jesus.
But with all due respect, in another 5 or 10 years, after whatever you think will happen, does not happen, will you repent or will you change you theories to support a NEW conspiracy theory?
We must be accountable for the predictions we make and the words we speak. False prophecy is a serious evil to Yahweh.
But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously.