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The Heavens Shall Pass

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35, KJV).

The passing away of the heavens is such an interesting topic in the body of Christ. In the entire spectrum of the body of Christ, you will hear varying views and opinions about the passing away of the heavens and the melting of the elements with fervent heat. Many preachers have trumpeted messages of doom and gloom in the church as a result of fear. But as we look carefully into the scriptures, we realize that there is more to the story than has been told.

2 Peter 3:10 asserts, “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 and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Before we can properly comprehend the intended meaning of Scriptures such as these, we first of all have to understand what the heavens are, and how they come about before we can talk about their passing away.

The word of God says in 2 Peter 3:7: “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.” The first thing to note is that the heavens and the earth are by the active agency of the word of God. This means, that which sustains the heavens and the earth is the word of God. Secondly, the heavens do not only refer to the skies or the dimension of space, neither do they only refer to the abode of God; it also refers to a people. This will be made clear soon. Jesus our Lord, said in Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” As it is evident that the continuity of the heavens and the earth is by the word of God, it behoves us to appreciate that there cannot be a passing of the heavens until every active word for the dispensation has been fulfilled. Accordingly, in the days of the rule by the Law of Moses, the present heavens were sustained by the Law! Jesus, therefore, indicated that heaven and earth could not pass until every bit (jot and tittle) of the governing law for the dispensation was accomplished. The jot in Hebrew is the “Yod”. It is the smallest inscription in the Hebrew alphabet. It is used together with the “tittle” to complement Hebrew letters. Jesus said, even the “Yod” and the “tittle” will be fulfilled before the heavens shall pass. And interestingly, Jesus said to the Jews, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17). Accordingly, the moment Jesus fulfilled the entire Law, there was nothing left to sustain the present heavens and the earth, hence, they passed away to make way for a new heaven and a new earth, which would be governed and sustained by the law of God for the new era.

Isaiah, the prophet, says in Isaiah 34:4, “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.” Some have taken a literal interpretation to this verse and have inferred that there shall be a cataclysmic event that would wipe away the entire earth. However, that is not the case, and Jesus, during his days on earth, depicted this in the most interesting way: in the services in the synagogue in his days, there was the reading for each day. One day, Jesus walked into the synagogue and read a portion of the book of Isaiah. Now, the principle of reading in the synagogue is that the scroll must not be rolled up until the entire service is over. But scripture asserts that the moment Jesus finished reading, he rolled up the scroll and handed it over to the minister: “And having folded the roll, having given it back to the officer, he sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing on him.” (Luke 4:20). What was he trying to say? According to Hebrew tradition, the rolling up of the scroll was just the same as the rolling up of the heavens because it contained the word of God. The moment Jesus rolled up the scroll, he was saying that the word of God had been fulfilled, hence, the heavens had passed according to the prophecy of Isaiah, the prophet. While the eyes of the people were fastened upon him, he said, “…This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:21). His communication was that forget about this roll and fix your gaze on me because I am the fulfilment of the content of this book. To them, this was a great blasphemy hence they decided to stone him to death.

Beloved, you have to get a new perspective concerning the passing away of the heavens. It does not have to do with a physical disaster on a global level as many purport, and for you as a believer, you should not have fear in your heart at all when you read such scriptures. David, the psalmist said, “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.” (Psalms 102:25-26). The heavens, to God, are as a vesture, which waxes old, and he changes them at his will. Indeed, in 2 Peter 3:5, we discover that such a thing has occurred before when Peter spoke of the old heavens which perished by water: “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.” Our present heaven is not the first, and neither shall it be the last! There are various heavens yet to unfold. When the apostle, Peter, spoke about the destruction of our present heaven, he said, “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 and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10). The old heavens were obliterated by water. This time around, we see that the elements shall be dissolved by fire. However, we must understand that when scripture speaks of the elements, the primary intent of communication is the Law of God and not any physical substance. Paul, the apostle, said, “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?” (Galatians 4:9). The weak and beggarly elements here, refer to the Law of Moses. Colossians 2:8 also says, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” The word used for “rudiments” is “stoicheion” which is the same as elements. It speaks of the ordinances. Therefore, when Peter says the elements shall dissolve, he is speaking of the passing away of the ordinances of men to give way for the new order of God. The new order of God is what ushers in the new heavens and the new earth!

The present heaven of the church is passing away and giving way to the new heavens of the Bride of Christ which is the New Jerusalem. This heaven is a city, and this city is a people. “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. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:1-2). It is sad to see many believers only craving to make it to heaven when heaven will pass away. That which should be your focus and utmost desire is to be a part of the Bride of Christ, which is the glorious church. As you go through the verities in this month’s shofar, know that you are being built up into a glorious edifice to reflect the glory of the Bride of Christ. Shalom!


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