Truth you need to know NOW... The Heavens

Truth you need to know NOW…..
The Heavens
                                                                                                                                                     By Pastor F. M. Riley
                                                                                                                                               February 15, 2012
                                                                                                                                           Revised March 7, 2015
    The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork,” Psalm 19:1.

    “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain,” Isaiah 66:22.  

   Night after night people look up into the sky and see the Moon, the planets, the myriads of stars, and the constellations stretching out across the vastness of space.  This is such a “normal” thing that most people just take it for granted that the position and movement of these heavenly bodies in the sky above the earth is just the same today as it was when the Lord God created the heavens “in the beginning.”  Isn’t this correct?   It couldn’t be more WRONG!  
     But what difference does this make to mankind living on the earth today?  In view of where humanity is presently at in God’s great Plan of the Ages, this subject makes a great deal of difference.  Now I want to show our readers why……..
The First (original) Heavens
    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” Genesis 1:1.  
    This inspired Scripture sets forth the exact order in which the Lord God began the creation.  The heavens [stars, planets, constellations; etc.] and all of the angelic hosts inhabiting the heavens were created first.  Sometime later the earth was created.  The inspired Word does not tell us how much later, but it was after the creation of the heavens and all their hosts.  God’s Word does make it clear that the order in which the Lord God created was exactly as set forth in Genesis 1:1.
    Notice what the Lord God explicitly said to the patriarch Job in Job 38:4-7,
    “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?  Declare, if thou hast understanding.  
    Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest?  Or who hath stretched the line upon it?
    Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened?  Or who laid the corner stone thereof;
    When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
    These Scriptures alone [and there are others] make it clear that the heavens and all of the angelic hosts had already been created and were in existence before the Lord God created the earth and mankind upon it.  In fact, these Scriptures in the Book of Job make it clear that the creation of the earth was an event that brought great joy and rejoicing to all of the angelic hosts, for when the Lord God “laid the foundations of the earth,” the “morning stars” broke forth into singing and all the sons of God shouted for joy.”  This indicates that the angelic hosts were aware that the Lord God was creating the earth for a special purpose.  They apparently were aware of the purpose, and rejoiced in the Lord’s creation of the earth.  
    This passage in Job 38 also makes it obvious that “the anointed cherub” of Ezekiel 28:11-19 [one of a higher order of angels] had not yet rebelled against God at that time, and had not yet led one-third of the angelic hosts into rebellion with him, becoming the one we know today as
“Satan.”  Since the Scriptures here explicitly state, all the sons of God shouted for joy,” then it is obvious that at that time “the anointed cherub” was still in allegiance to the Lord.  
    The inspired Word does not tell us about the positions in space and the movements of the heavenly bodies as originally created in eternity past before the earth was created.  What the Scriptures do tell us is that the Lord God “…hath made every thing beautiful in His time:…..,” Ecclesiastes 3:11.   From this statement we have Scriptural reason to believe that the heavens as originally created were beautiful, and were set in their positions in space exactly according to the purpose for which the Lord God had created them.  Glory to God!  
    Then at some point in “time” after the creation of the earth, and obviously before the creation of Adam and Eve, the heart of the “anointed cherub” was “lifted up” in pride in his own beauty [Ezekiel 28:17], and he instigated an insurrection against the Lord God who had created him, leading one-third of the angelic hosts into rebellion with him. His insurrection against God resulted in WAR between the one-third of the angels who followed him, and the two-thirds of the angels who remained loyal to “Elohim,” their Creator.  In the war, fought by supernatural spiritual beings possessing supernatural spiritual powers, both the earth and the heavens came into a state of “tohu wa bohu;” “waste and desolation,” Genesis 1:2.  That this was not the state in which the heavens and the earth were created is explicitly stated in Isaiah 45:18, “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain [not in tohu…formless; waste], He formed it to be inhabited [a habitable place]: I am the Lord; and there is none else.”  
    I am well aware that some readers do not want to believe this; the Gap FACT: but their unbelief won’t change what God’s Word explicitly states.  Unless some reader can produce Scriptural proof [book, chapter, & verse] of the exact time and circumstances when “the anointed cherub” rebelled against the Lord God, then I will have to stay with what the inspired Word actually reveals about his past and the time of his fall.   Carefully study the passage in Ezekiel 28:11-19.  
     The Hebrew word translated as “was” in Genesis 1:2 is the word, “haya.”  See Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, pages 221-222, Strong’s No. 1961.  This Hebrew word can mean either “to become; to happen; to be done; change of state; the occurring of events,” or this word can also mean “a state of being; a state of existence.”  It is obvious that the King James translators chose to render the word as “was,” meaning a state of being or existence.  However, it is more than coincidence that the exact same Hebrew word occurs in Genesis 19:26 where the Scripture explicitly states, “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became [haya] a pillar of salt.”    Being a pillar of salt certainly was not the original state of Lot’s wife.  I also seriously doubt that the earth was originally a dead, dark, planet of waste and desolation.  In view of the plain statement in Isaiah 45:18, the earth as originally created was ready for habitation.    
     The point of these statements, for the purposes of this study, is that the original heavens set forth in the solar system above the earth by the Lord God were “CHANGED” and “passed away,” [Matthew 24:35] apparently during the time of the Satanic rebellion, and were  replaced by “new heavens.”  What makes me so certain about this?  I’m so glad you asked…….
The Second Heavens
    In Genesis 1:2 the Scripture explicitly states, “…and darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”  
    This Scripture makes it clear that at that point in time the entire earth [likely the entire solar system] was in total darkness.  A careful study of the root word translated as “waters” in this verse suggests that it speaks of frozen water.  In other words, earth at that point in time had  become a cold, frozen, dark, dead, empty, lifeless planet.  There obviously was no land mass above the waters.  The frozen water was covering the entire surface of the earth.  The earth at that time had truly become “tohu wa bohu” [waste and desolation], exactly as stated in this Scripture.       But it is also clear that “the Spirit of God” was not satisfied with that situation.  The
Hebrew word translated as “moved” in Genesis 1:2 literally is the equivalent of our English word, “brooded,” referring to a mother hen “brooding” over her eggs or young chicks.  See Strong’s No. 7363.  Compare the statement of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34.  We know that a hen “broods” over her eggs or young chicks in order to bring forth or preserve new life.  So it was with the “brooding” of God’s Holy Spirit.   The “Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” in order to bring forth new life.  Praise the Lord!    
    DAY ONE…….The first day of the “week” of restoration and creation in Genesis 1 then begins with the third verse of this chapter; Genesis 1:3.  The very first thing done by “God” [Elohim…the Triune Godhead] on this first day of a new week [Sunday] was to introduce “light” upon this chaotic scene, and He did so in order to dispel the darkness, 1:3-5.  “Light” not only illuminates, but it is also the source of heat, energy, and life.  Read John 1:1-4 and 1 John 1:5.
     While this was an event which literally occurred approximately 6,000 years ago, any true believer should be able to discern the spiritual type set forth in this account.  The resurrection      of the dark chaotic earth on this first day of the week [Sunday] in Genesis 1:3-5 typifies the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ which likewise occurred on “the first day of the week” [Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; 16:9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1; 20:19], and it also typifies what occurs in the dark fallen heart of every lost soul when one truly begins to seek the Lord for salvation, Ephesians 2:4-6. The spiritual light of Christ illuminates the soul, enabling the repentant seeking soul to call upon and receive the Lord for salvation.   Read 2 Corinthians 4:3-6.   Praise the Lord!  Glory to God!  Hallelujah!        
     Obviously the introduction of “light” involved high temperatures accompanying the light [the Scriptures do not reveal the temperatures involved], which brought about an immediate melting of the ice.   This “light” was obviously coming from out of the heavens above the earth, exactly as   the Lord Jesus Christ [John 8:12] came down from Heaven as “the light of the world” [John 8:12]    to redeem fallen mankind out of the darkness and depravity of sin, John 1:29; 3:12-15.
    It is then obvious that the work done by God on this first day of the week in Genesis 1:3-5 originated from the heavens above the earth.   Again, the spiritual truth set forth here is that the Lord God reaches down from Heaven seeking to bring fallen mankind to salvation.  It is never a case of fallen man lost in the darkness of sin reaching upwards seeking to find God!  Read 1 John 4:9-10.  
    DAY TWO…….On the second day of the week [Monday] in Genesis 1:6-8 the Lord God again worked in the heavens.  This time He literally removed some of the water from off the surface of the earth and suspended it in the heavens above the earth.  This suspended water at that time could have taken the form of “ice rings” around the earth, or even around other planets in the solar system.  Or, the suspended water could have formed a “canopy” over the whole earth.  Either method of suspension would have tempered earth’s climate, giving the whole earth an almost ideal climate for the growth of both vegetation, and human and other life forms which would be created before the conclusion of the week.   To say that our God is “awesome” is an understatement!
    DAY THREE…….On this third day [Tuesday] the Lord God gathered the waters of the earth into “one place,” and caused the “dry landto appear.  The Lord God then named the dry land, “Earth” [eres; erets].  This is what the earth, dry land, ground, or soil has been called ever since.  Likewise, the Lord God called the waters of the earth “Seas.”  Notice that this term is in the plural form.  Even though the Lord God at that time had gathered all the waters into one place [only one sea or ocean on the whole earth], He knew that there would be more division resulting in numerous “seas.”  Since the waters left on the earth were gathered together into only “one place,” it should also be obvious to our readers that there was only one great continent at that time.  This one huge continent was finally broken up “in the days of Peleg” many centuries later, Genesis 10:25.   
    Next a glorious event occurred.  The Lord God commanded the earth to bring forth grass, and herbs, and trees, each one bringing forth “after his kind.”  There was no “evolution of the species” involved here.  The earth itself, in response to the heat, energy, and light the Lord God had
provided on Day One, began to produce.  But pause and think seriously about this!  How could the
earth bring forth these things, unless the seeds and bulbs and roots which the Lord God had created at the beginning were already beneath the surface of the earth?  Well…???  
    Folks, what is seen here, setting forth a type, is a resurrection of that which had previously existed, and had been destroyed when the “anointed cherub” rebelled against God in eternity past, leading one-third of the angels into rebellion with him.  Back then, there was literally “war “ in the heavens, and the original creation came into a state of tohu wa bohu” [waste and desolation].  Here on this third day of the week this vegetation created by the Lord God in the beginning is being resurrected from beneath the surface of the earth, and  caused to grow again, and come forth from the earth because the Lord God produced the heat, light, and energy to make it so.  The inspired Word, in speaking of mankind, also clearly states that the time is approaching when “the earth shall cast out the dead.”  Look at this wonderful and amazing statement, “Thy dead shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise.  Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead,” Isaiah 26:19.  Glory to God!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!  Thank you Lord Jesus for providing salvation in this present life, and resurrection for your people in the future.        
    DAY FOUR…….This study is primarily concerned with the heavens.  Days three, five, six, and seven are concerned only with events on the earth.
    On the fourth day of the week [Wednesday] in Genesis 1:14-19 “God made two great lights” and “set them in the firmament [expanse; space] of the heaven.”  It is obvious to any true believer that these Scriptures are speaking of the Sun around which all the heavenly bodies in the solar system revolve, and the Moon which revolves around the earth.  In spite of the dumb  theories of unbelieving evolutionary scientists, the inspired Word clearly points out that these two heavenly bodies were “made” and set in place only approximately 6,000 years ago.  I don’t hesitate to say that men [and women] living on the earth today need to make up their minds as to “what” they are going to believe; the supernaturally inspired Word of Almighty God, or the willingly ignorant” utterances of some who call themselves “scientists.” Most “scientists” today won’t even lift a finger to read and study the Bible to see what it actually has to say, yet pretend  to be “authorities” on all the “errors” they imagine the Bible contains.  Carefully read one of Solomon’s inspired definitions of “folly and shame” in Proverbs 18:13. See also 1 Timothy 6:20-21 and “by faith” take it to heart!   It does make a difference what one believes, Matthew 7:13-14; Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 1:18.  
    Notice that these two great heavenly bodies were “made” from matter already in existence.  The Hebrew word is “asa…asah,” Strong’s No. 6213.  It is not “bara; barah,” the Hebrew word for “create.” There was no creative act being performed on this fourth day.  Rather, the Lord God took matter previously created, and formed, shaped, and fashioned these heavenly bodies, [the stars also, 1:16] and then set them in position in the sky above the earth exactly as He wanted them displayed.  
    Notice also that the Lord explicitly stated the purposes for these heavenly bodies…….
    [1]   “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament [space; expanse] of the heaven to divide the day from the night;…..
    [2]     ...and let them be for signs.....
    [3]     …and for seasons…..      
    [4]     …and for days…..
    [5]     …and years,” 1:14.    
    [6]    “And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so,” 1:15.
    [7]      “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day,
    [8]      and the lesser light to rule the night:....,” 1:16.  
    These are the explicitly stated purposes for these “two great lights” which the Lord God set in the heavens above the earth.  They were quite evidently to “mark” the passing of time; that is, days and nights, seasons, certain days within a season, and years.  They were also “to rule;” the
Sun “to rule the day” and the Moon “to rule the night,” Psalm 19:1-6.
     Once again there are some wonderful spiritual types set forth in this account.  It is a Scriptural truth that the Lord Jesus Christ is typified in God’s Word by the Sun.  See Psalm 84:11, Isaiah 60:19-20, Malachi 4:2, Matthew 17:2, Revelation 1:16, 10:1, and other similar Scriptures.  It is also a historical truth that the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world as “a man” 4,000 years after the creation of Adam, in other words, on Wednesday, the fourth day of God’s great week, 2 Peter 3:8.  Concerning Christ becoming “man,” read also Hebrews 10:5-7.  
    Also notice the order set forth in Genesis 1:14-16.  The Sun was made first, then the Moon.  Just as the Moon reflects the light of the Sun upon the earth at night, so the Lord’s church was brought into existence to reflect the light of the Lord Jesus Christ [Philippians 2:15] upon the earth during this present “dispensation of grace,” Ephesians 3:2.  Typically, this present dispensation is the “night time” of human history, with humanity headed towards the “day of God,” Romans 13:11-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7; 2 Peter 3:12-13.  The Moon is then a type of the Lord’s church, just as the Sun is a type of the Lord Himself.
     I would also point out that in spite of what some attempt to make the Scriptures say based on their own faulty reading of them, the Sun and Moon will endure “for ever.”  The 72nd Psalm is a prophetic Psalm looking forward to the righteous reign of the Lord Jesus Christ over the whole Kingdom of God.  Read the entire Psalm, noticing especially verses 5, 7, and 17.  Read also Psalm 89:36-37.  Then lift up your voices and give praise to the Lord!  Glory to God!  
    I ask our readers to keep these stated purposes for these heavenly bodies in mind as we continue this study, for I will refer to them again later in this study.                  
       It should now be glaringly obvious to any reader willing to deal honestly with the Scriptures, that in Genesis 1:3-5, 1:6-8, and 1:14-19 the Lord God was working in the heavens.  Therefore the first arrangement of the heavens as originally created, was “CHANGED,” and the second order [arrangement; position] of the heavens came into being.  
    This second order of the heavens functioned above the earth until the time of the flood in the days of Noah [a period of 1,656 years].  But preceding the flood great “signs” of the impending world disaster and God’s judgment upon wicked humanity began to appear in the heavens.  How do I know this to be true?  Because the Lord Jesus Christ Himself explicitly stated, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man,” Luke 17:26.  The context in which this passage occurs is clearly speaking of the end of this present age or dispensation, followed by the second coming of Christ.  Read it for yourself!  Notice also the Lord’s statements in Luke 21:11 and 21:25-28.    Are we who are living today seeing such “signs” appearing in the heavens?   Have we seen such “signs” and “fearful sights” appear in the heavens on an ever increasing scale since Israel was re-established as a nation again in 1948?   Every truthful reader knows the answer to these questions.  Since we are seeing these “signs” appearing in the heavens today, then it is obvious from the statement of the Lord Himself, that such “signs” also appeared in the heavens above the earth preceding the flood in the days of Noah.   God’s judgment of humanity by water in the days of Noah is only a type of God’s judgment of humanity by fire during the swiftly approaching Tribulation period.  
     Then the flood came, Genesis 7:11-12; 7:17-24.  In that terrible flood of God’s judgment upon  wicked pre-flood humanity who had turned away from Him, both the earth and the heavens in the sky above the earth were CHANGEDand “passed away” being replaced by a third set of  “new heavens.”  How do I know this to be so?   The inspired Word of God explicitly says so!   
    “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men,” 2 Peter 3:5-7.  
    These inspired Scriptures make it clear that the heavens preceding the flood “perished,” even
as did wicked humanity [the world] upon the face of the earth.  After the flood “new heavens”
were set in order [position; arrangement; movement] above the earth for the third time.
The Third Heavens
    This third set of heavens are the same heavens which were in existence when the Lord God brought Abraham “…forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell [enscribe; write] the stars, if thou be able to number [enscribe; write] them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be,” Genesis 15:5.  What did Abraham see in “the stars” that day that was so impressive that “…he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness,” Genesis 15:6?  Try “the gospel” [Galatians 3:6-9] written in “the Mazzaroth,” Job 38:32.  Yes, I deliberately used that word so some “hard headed” believers will have to look it up to see what it really means, 2 Timothy 2:15.  It should be highly enlightening!     
  These are also the same heavens which have remained from the time following the flood right to this present time.  These third new heavens remain right to this present hour because the Scriptures explicitly state that they are “kept in store” and “reserved.”  
    “Willingly ignorant”  evolutionary scientists [and equally ignorant “religious” scoffers] make their bold pronouncements that the heavenly bodies [planets] in the solar system have been there for umpteen billions of years never varying in their orbits and revolutions over a second or two in a thousand years or more.  Hogwash!  Balderdash!  Ignorance gone to seed!  Barf!  
    Why do these planets not vary in their orbits and revolutions?  Why are they so precise that mankind sets their clocks by them, and today calculates their space launches based on their precise orbits?  Let those who are truly “in the faith” believe what God’s inspired Word actually and literally says.  The heavens presently in the solar system do not vary in their orbits and revolutions because they are “kept in store” and “reserved” by the Lord God of Heaven.   I urge every reader to right now read Colossians 1:16-17 and believe what it says!  Hello!
    But will the present arrangement of the heavens continue to be so precise in their orbits and
revolutions?  Absolutely not!   The inspired Apostle plainly states that these present heavens “are kept in store, reserved unto fire…..,” 2 Peter 3:7, and “unto fire” they will go!  God’s inspired Word proclaims it and every reader can count on it!   
    This same beloved Apostle Peter, just three Scriptures later explicitly wrote,
    “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 elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also [in addition to the heavens] and the works that are therein shall be burned up,” 2 Peter 3:10.
    Could this be stated any plainer?  See also Isaiah 13:6-14 and 24:1-23.  Each of these Scripture portions are prophecies of the coming Tribulation period, and each explicitly point out that major upheavals will occur in the heavens, even to the extent that the earth itself will be moved out of its present orbit in the solar system.  See Isaiah 13:13-14 and 24:17-20.  Hello!
    When will these terrible things occur?  During the coming “day of the Lord” [Tribulation], exactly as stated in Isaiah 13:6, 13:9, and 2 Peter 3:10.  Since these things are to occur during the coming Tribulation period, our readers should also carefully study the Tribulation passages about the heavens in Revelation 6:12-17, 8:1-5, 8:6-13, 9:1-2, 10:1, 11:6, 11:12, 11:19, 12:1-5, 12:7-12, 13:13, 14:6-17, 15:5-8, 16:8-11, 16:17-18; 16:21, 18:1, 18:5, 18:20, 19:1-2, 19:11-17, and 20:1-2.  There are also many Old Testament prophecies that give insight into what is going to occur in and to the heavens during the coming Tribulation period.
    It is sufficient to say that during the seven years of the Tribulation period the present  arrangement and movements of the heavens above the earth will be totally CHANGED,and the present order of the heavens will “pass away,” Matthew 24:35.  
    Significantly, this is explicitly what is stated in Psalm 102:25-26, “Of old hast Thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of Thy hands.  They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt Thou
change them, and they shall be changed.”  Thus this third arrangement of the heavens above the earth will be CHANGED and “pass away” just like the previous two heavens in the solar system above the earth did!   
The Fourth Heavens
    After the Tribulation is concluded by the visible, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ in triumph and glory back to the earth, a new arrangement of the heavens above the earth will have taken place.  See Isaiah 60:1-3 and 65:17-25.  The Lord Himself will reign over redeemed Israel and all the surviving nations, from His throne in the city of Jerusalem, Ezekiel 43:1-7.  The entire city of Jerusalem and much [or perhaps all] of the land of Israel [all the land promised to Abraham by an everlasting covenant…Genesis 15:18; 17:1-8] will be “lighted” by the glory [shining radiance] of the Lord Himself, Isaiah 60:19-20.      
   This passage in Isaiah 60 and likewise the passage in Revelation 21:23 does not mean that there will no longer be a sun or moon in the heavens above the earth.  Such a theory totally contradicts the plain statements of the Lord set forth in Psalm 72, Psalm 89, and other passages in God’s inspired Word.  Some folks need to learn how to read the Scriptures, and pay attention to what they are reading.  The passage in Isaiah 60:19 simply says, “The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.”  Now does this Scripture say anything about the Sun and Moon going out of existence or ceasing to exist?  Well…??  The same thing is true of Revelation 21:23.  Neither of these passages state or even imply that the Sun and Moon will cease to exist.  What both passages do make clear is that neither of these heavenly bodies wil be needed to give light in the earthly Jerusalem where the Lord Jesus Christ Himself will be reigning, or in the New Jerusalem in Heaven where the glory of both the Lord and the Heavenly Father will “lighten” the city.   Is this too hard for some readers to grasp?  
    Tell me, when the Sun comes up in the morning do the planets, stars, and constellations in the heavens cease to exist?  Of course not!  They simply fade out of sight during the day because of the superior brightness of the Sun.  Hello!   Likewise, when the Sun by day and the Moon by night pass over the land of Israel during the future Millennial Kingdom of Christ, those heavenly bodies will simply fade out of sight due to the superior light coming forth from the glory of the Lord Himself.   Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!  Glory to God!   Thank you Lord Jesus!  
    What great things the Lord will show to His people “in the ages to come,” Ephesians 2:7.  Lift up your hearts and voices and give Him praise and honor and glory!

The Fifth (and final) Heavens
    This fourth set of heavens will continue in position and movement throughout the 1,000 years of the Millennial Kingdom, but at the end of the Millennial Kingdom they too will be “CHANGED” and “pass away.”  How can I be so sure of this?  The inspired Word of God says so!
    I have already referred to 2 Peter 3:10 in this study, but let’s look at it again.  This inspired Scripture explicitly states, “But the day of the Lord [Tribulation] 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, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”  This Scripture clearly predicts a cleansing of the heavens and the earth by fire during the coming  
Tribulation period.  But now let’s keep reading…….
    Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation [manner of life] and godliness.  
    Looking for and hasting [hastening] unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
    Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” 2 Peter 3:11-13.  
    Now those readers who seriously study the Scriptures should easily be able to see that these
inspired passages plainly point out that there are TWO CLEANSINGS OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH BY FIRE!  The “day of the Lord” and the “day of God” are not the same periods of time.  They are two completely different periods of time separated by a thousand years.   The “day of the Lord” refers to the seven year Tribulation period, but the “day of God” refers to the future eternal age which follows the 1,000 years Millennial Kingdom.   Hello!  
    Yes, I am well aware of what is traditionally taught; that the earth will be cleansed by fire only once!  Hang men’s traditional teaching!  It is time for true believers to get back to serious study of God’s Word and learn how to “rightly divide” it instead of glibly accepting what some boasted “scholar” would like to make it say.  Remember, Romans 3:4 is still in the Bible.    
    But why would the heavens and the earth need to be cleansed by fire a second time at the end of the Millennial Kingdom?   Yes, by the grace of God I do know the answer, but that question is a study within itself and I do not have the time or space to do justice to the subject in this present study.  I would suggest that any reader who wants to study this subject in more depth request my series of studies on The Ages to Come.  Read them and then ask all the questions you want.
    In the transition period between the end of the Millennial Kingdom and the beginning of the Eternal Age the inspired Word explicitly states,
    “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind,” Isaiah 65:17.
   For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain,” Isaiah 66:22.  
    “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,” Revelation 21:1.  
    These Scriptures make it clear that as mankind enters into the Eternal Age following the Millennial Kingdom the Lord will set in place a fifth set of heavenly bodies.  These heavens [planets, stars, constellations, etc.] will be different from all four of the previous heavenly systems which served their appointed purpose for their appointed time and then “passed away.”  This fifth set of heavens above the earth will NEVER “pass away.”  Rather, they will “remain” before the Lord forever, exactly as pointed out in Isaiah 66:22.  I urge our readers to carefully study Haggai 2:6-7 and Hebrews 12:25-29.  Glory to God!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!

Obvious Truth…….
    In this study I have set before our readers Scriptural evidence; book, chapter, and verse, that there has never been anything stable about the heavens above the earth.  Since “the beginning” the heavens above the earth have already changed twice, and we are presently living under the third set of heavens right now.  This third set of heavens, according to the inspired Scriptures, will be totally changed during the coming Tribulation period, which is staring humanity in the face even as I write, 2 Peter 3:10.  Then the fourth set of heavens [Millennial heavens] will be followed by a final fifth set of heavens [Eternal Age heavens].      
    In Genesis 1:14-18 the Lord graciously told humanity the exact purposes for which He had created and made the heavens.  Their stated purposes were: [1] lights to divide day from night, [2] signs, [3] seasons, [4] days, [5] years, [6] to give light on the earth, [7] to rule the day, and [8] to rule the night.  Now turn again and read the passage for yourself.    
   If our readers haven’t already figured it out, then I want to make it as plain as I know how.  
    This present third set of heavens above the earth is already beginning to show “signs” of “CHANGING” in view of the swiftly approaching Tribulation period.   The Apostle Peter explicitly declared in his second epistle, “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…….,” 2 Peter 3:10.  Do our readers believe this to be true?  Will this prophecy literally come to pass?  Don’t hem or haw around!  Just give an honest, straight forward answer.  Do you really believe God’s Word or not?

    By the grace of God, I KNOW God’s Word is true!  Therefore, just what makes some “professing Christians” so sure they can calculate the “dates” when events are going to occur during the Tribulation based on the present movement of the heavens above the earth?  Well…??
    There are at least two factors at work which many people have failed to consider…….  
    [1] It is obvious that during the Tribulation the heavens as they presently exist are going to be changed.  In other words, their positions and movements in the solar system and the sky above the earth will not remain the same as they are today.  Hello!  
    I suggest every reader carefully review those passages dealing with the heavens in the Book of Revelation.  Won’t the heavens be effected by the opening of the sixth seal in 6:12-17?  Well…??
How about fire being cast into the earth from the heavens in 8:1-5?  Then there is the sounding of the first four Trumpets in 8:6-12.  Aren’t every one of the four Trumpets dealing with judgments coming out of the heavens?  Well…??  Then there is the first woe recorded in 9:1-11.  Doesn’t the Scripture specifically say that a star falls “from heaven unto the earth”?  Well…??  How about the “war” taking place in the heavens in 12:7-12?  Won’t all of these things have some effect on the positions and movements of the heavenly bodies?   I think I have made my point!  There will be great “changes” in the heavens during the Tribulation, whether some want to believe it or not.
    [2]   The Lord Jesus Christ Himself explicitly stated, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened,” Matthew 24:22.   Yes, I do believe the Scriptures reveal how the Lord God is going to bring this to pass, but the Lord predicted it so that settles it!  The Lord Jesus whom I serve in truth is not a liar.  He stated that the days will be shortened, and therefore it will come to pass!  PERIOD!  I also add that it was the Lord Himself who explicitly stated in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.”

Obvious Conclusions
    Now in view of these inspired statements in the Word of God [2 Peter 3:10; Matthew 24:22; 24:35], it is obvious that any “changes” or unusual activity occurring in the present order or arrangement of the heavens above the earth are indeed the “signs” the Lord Himself predicted would precede His coming for His New Covenant people at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and also the “signs” announcing the SOON arrival of the seven year Tribulation period upon the earth, Luke 21:25-28.  
    For instance, the Apostle Peter was inspired of the Lord God to clearly state that the sun  shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE that great and notable day of the Lord come,” Acts 2:20.  The term, “day of the Lord” occurs over and over in both the Old Testament and the New Testament and always refers to the seven year Tribulation period.  Check it out!  
The Fulfillment of Acts 2:20
     Folks, let’s carefully examine the “signs” fulfilling Peter’s prophecy in Acts 2:20.
    MARCH 17, 2015…..The Israeli elections will occur on March 17, 2015.  The present administration governing the United States of America is doing everything in their power to see that Prime Minister Netanyahu is defeated in this election.  Is that really the business of our government?  To meddle in the internal affairs of other sovereign nations?   I remind our readers that Genesis 12:3 is still in the Bible, and it is still applicable today.  Americans in this country need to be praying hard, daily, and often, for God’s mercy upon this nation and upon the American people.   
    MARCH 20, 2015…….Is it then just “coincidence” that there will be a total “solar eclipse” on the Spring Equinox, March 20, 2015, plunging most of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East into 95 percent of total darkness?  Isn’t the Sun being “turned into darkness” exactly what Peter was inspired to predict in Acts 2:20?  Every honest reader knows it is!
    APRIL 4, 2015…….Then exactly sixteen days later [counting inclusive] on April 4, 2015, which “just happens” to be the Jewish Holy Day of Passover, there will be an eclipse of the Moon; literally a “blood moon,” the third blood moon in a series of four.  During a total eclipse of the Moon, it appears in the sky as being blood red.  Astronomers who are forecasting this eclipse of the Moon on this specific day, also say that this will be a  “Super Moon,” meaning that it will be as near to the earth as the Moon ever comes, causing it to appear really big in the night sky.  It should be needless to tell our readers that these two eclipses appear to fulfill Peter’s prophecy in Acts 2:20 to the letter!  But that isn’t the fullness of the matter yet…..
    APRIL 5, 2015…….More significantly, this third blood moon occurring on the Jewish Passover, occurs just the day before “firstfruits” on the Jewish calendar this year, which is Sunday, April 5, 2015.  And in addition, this first day of the week, Sunday, April 5, 2015, this year is Easter, the very day the “religious world” has set aside to give lip service to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!  “Firstfruits” is also the very day that Christ was resurrected following His crucifixion in 30 A.D.   
    Dear readers, is it even remotely possible that all of these events lined up in this month of March and the coming month of April are just “coincidence?”  No! They are not “coincidence,” and the Lord God is using these “signs” to warn His people that He is coming to resurrect and rapture them to glory, and that the “notable day of the Lord” [the seven yearTribulation] is about to begin?        
      BEWARE…..It is claimed by one theorist that there will be a solar eclipse on September 13, 2017, the eve of Rosh Ha-Shanah, and the next day the second coming of Christ will occur.   Hogwash!  We are now living in March of 2015.  The seven year Tribulation MUST occur before the second coming of Christ. But by counting backwards 1,260 days from September 13, 2017, this same theorist claimed that the anti-christ would come to power on April 3, 2012  Well golly gee whiz!  Here it is in March of 2015, three years later, and the anti-christ has not appeared on the world scene yet.  Folks, have you read the warning given by the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 2:1-2 lately?   If not, perhaps you should.  You might also want to read Jeremiah 23:28 again.  STAY with what the inspired Word of God actually and literally says and you won’t have to regret your departure from it later!  
   Gee, I wish I knew as much about God’s Word as this theoristthinks” he knows.   In view of both Peter’s statement and the Lord’s statement, I am made to wonder how this fellow knows that a solar eclipse will even occur on the eve of Rosh Ha-Shanah in 2017?   In fact, how does he know that Rosh Ha-Shanah will even occur on that “date” presently predicted for it during the Trib, based on the present positions and movements of the heavens?   The Scriptures still say the present order and movement of the heavens is going to be “CHANGED” and pass away” during the Tribulation period.  Don’t true believers have enough prophetic puzzles to deal with in this present “dispensation of grace” without trying to “date” every event in the approaching Tribulation period?  Hello!
The Solar Year
    I want to point out one more truth for our readers before concluding this study, a truth that most “prophecy students” today are either not aware of or which they simply ignore.
    It is a documented historical fact that every nation and people on earth in 701 B.C. adjusted  their calendars from a calendar year of 360 days to the year to a calendar year of 365.2422 days to the year.   Obviously, this was necessary because the orbit of the earth had slightly “changed” just enough to add 5.2422 days to the length of time it takes for the earth to make one orbit around the Sun.  Well, isn’t this interesting?
    Now, are those readers who claim to seriously study the Scriptures aware that the length of a year based on seven years consisting of 2,520 days is only 360 days to a year?   In other words, two periods back to back of 1,260 days to each period results in each year being just 360 days.
    Let’s make it simple!  2,520 divided by 7 equals 360.   It sure appears to me that the Lord God is going to change the orbit of the earth during the Tribulation period, bringing earth’s orbit back to a 360 day year, exactly as it was in ancient times.  Is that possible?  
    Look again at Isaiah 13:13, “Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.”  
    And again in Isaiah 24:18-20, “…...the foundations of the earth do shake.  The earth is clean
dissolved [broken up], the earth is moved exceedingly.  The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.”  
    Both of these Scripture passages plainly indicate that during [or perhaps right at the beginning of] the coming Tribulation period the earth is going to be moved out of its present orbit.   The
Lord God will slightly “change” the orbit of the earth once more so that it will revert back to a 360 day year.  360 is the number of degrees in a perfect circle.  The Lord God of Heaven is perfect
in all His ways, Deuteronomy 32:3-4; 2 Samuel 22:31; Psalm 18:30.  Glory to God!  Praise the Lord!  Hallelujah!  Thank you Lord Jesus!           
   Dear readers, by the grace of God, I have been enabled to set before you this study.   I hope this study has been enlightening and will be a blessing to every reader.  My prayer is that this study will help true believers to identify and avoid the many deceivers and “false teachers” who are sowing the seeds of confusion and division in the churches and among God’s people today.   May the Lord graciously grant His grace and mercy to every reader.  
    Folks, not even once did I “set a specific date” for the Lord’s coming in this study.  I have only pointed out the “signs” that are coming to pass right now, which were clearly predicted to precede the “great and notable day of the Lord.”  It is strongly believed by many serious Bible students today that each of these “signs” will come to pass IN THE NEXT THIRTY DAYS.  Are our readers READY to meet the Lord face to face sometime within the next thirty days?  Well…??  
    Folks, the prophet Habakkuk was inspired of God to see a vision of the Lord’s coming for His people.  His vision first spoke to modern man back in 1988, but the Lord “hesitated” to come at that time.  But the Lord told Habakkuk that the vision would speak again “at the end,” and when it speaks again “it will not be a lie.”  In other words, it will happen!  Well dear readers, the vision is speaking again loud and clear that the time for the Lord to come has arrived.  Are you listening?   Are you ready?  Are your loved ones, neighbors, and friends ready?  Are you witnessing to them and praying for them daily and often?  Well…???    
    If there are readers who need spiritual help, please feel free to contact me.  I will be glad to study God’s Word with you, pray with you, and help you in any way I can to find salvation and peace, or definite assurance of salvation, in the Lord Jesus.   Please read John 3:16, 3:36, 5:24, 14:6, Acts 4:12, 16:30-31, 20:21, Romans 10:8-13, Ephesians 2:8-10, and 1 John 5:13.  

   “Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” Revelation 22:20.  

<<<<<<<       O       >>>>>>>
    Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.  
    This ministry is supported solely by the freewill offerings of those who feel led of the Lord to help us send forth the truths of God’s wonderful Word.  
    Please address all comments, questions, or correspondence to:  Pastor F. M. Riley, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or email me at:
<<<<<<<       O       >>>>>>>


Featured Blogs

Who are you Amir Tsarfati? - My Brother in Christ or A Ravenous Wolf in 'Sheep's Clothing

CHRISLAM CONFIRMED: Led By Pope Francis, Leaders Of The World’s Religions

Rebuking Dr. Eugene Kim BBC INTERNATIONAL