The coming of a new heavens and a new earth.
156. The coming of a new heavens and a new earth: The coming of a new heaven and a new earth is openly proclaimed or hinted at in all of God’s religions, but the coming of the new heavens and a new earth does not necessarily mean the true physical destruction of the physical earth, but instead can be related to the ending of one spiritual cycle of laws and traditions and the coming of a new revelation from God: (See Latter days or last days or the end of the world for more information) Judaism: 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.” It is not the physical heaven that is being talked about here, but the spiritual, symbolic heaven of religion. Whenever a new manifestation of God comes to this earth the religious teachings, the laws and sacraments are out dated and the heaven of the old faith is symbolically rolled up and a new heaven of laws like a new earth of beliefs are laid down in its place.
It is with the coming of the new covenant that the heavens of the older religion, that is being replaced, are rolled up and a new heaven is laid down in its place. Christianity: Revelations 6:14 “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together.” Judaism: Isaiah 65:17 “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” The former heavens and earth will not be remembered or come to mind. Does this sound like the physical destruction of the heaven and the earth? Also just where will we be while all this change over is taking place? The bible doesn’t tell us, but if this is just the changing of a spiritual cycle, the bible doesn’t need to tell us anything because we will be right here while this is all happening, and only a few people will even realize this change is taking place so subtle is God when He wants to be. Christianity: Revelations 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” Passed away? This, again, does not sound like the major shift of land masses or the fire and destruction of our earth if it was hit by the moon or another planet. And, just the sheer time scale involved here with all of this. It would take billions of years before we would again have a habitable planet to live on. Our physical life spans aren’t that long and this is definitely something we would remember. Christianity: Matthew 24:3 “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” 24:4 “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” Matthew 24:5 “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Not only was Christ asked, by his disciples, about the ending of the world, which he didn’t even find the topic worthy of commenting on. He was also asked, by them, about the coming of the new earth? Thomas 2: 51 “His disciples said to Him, (Christ) ‘When will the repose of the dead come about, and when will the new world come?’” “He (Christ) said to them, ‘What you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it.’” (The Gospel of Thomas)
In other words, not only was the spiritual cycle ended with the spiritual end of the old world order, but, by Jesus Christ’s advent of a new dispensation, Christ brought about the coming of the new world as well; or he ushered in the new world order, or cycle, by revealing his new message to the world. And God’s message for mankind will be, it seems, without end, renewed, with the coming of a new heaven and earth, with the coming of each new spiritual cycle of God’s plan for mankind.
ISLAM: 104. “The Day that we roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books (completed) — even as We produced the first Creation, so shall We produce a new one: a promise We have undertaken: truly shall We fulfill it.”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 21)
Islam: 56. “But those endued with knowledge and faith will say: ‘Indeed ye did tarry, within Allah’s (God‘s) Decree, to the Day of Resurrection, and this is the Day of Resurrection: but ye were not aware!” (day of resurrection or end of the world) 25. “But it is to Allah that the End and the Beginning (of all things) belong.”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surahs 30 and 53)
(Hadith, Bukhari Vol 6, Book 60, # 264, 373)
ZOROASTRIANISM: “The world is the same old world as it had been, but thanks to the inspiration of the prophet, it has put on a new color. The out look has changed and the devotee now feels the blissful presence of Mazda (God) everywhere. The kingdom of heaven has come down on earth.” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan p. 833)
Zoroastrianism: Denkard. Zoroaster, “Man, therefore, ought to refrain and curb every tendency towards devilish actions, and (in his life) exhibit to his fellow creatures, till the end of this world’s existence, deeds that are worthy of the soul.” “A perfectly wise man remains everywhere mindful of the end of the world.” The end of the world, does not indicate the real end of the physical world here, but the end of events or occurrences, that go along with a fading system of laws and ordinances, which have long since lost their spiritual intensity and in turn are cast down while a new system of laws and ordinances or a new creation takes their place.
(Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr) chapter 13)
Hinduism: 2. “He stands behind all persons, and after having created all worlds He, the Protector, rolls it up at the end of time.” “The general destruction of created things as well as, that in the beginning of each new creation they are the propagators of the world and, being reborn, re-establish the sacred law. Though the wording differs, these passages fully agree in sense with Apastamba’s Bhavishyat-purana which says, They (the ancestors) live in heaven until the (next) general destruction of created things. At the new creation (of the world) they become the seed at the new creation.”
(Hindu, The Dharma Sutras, Apastamba Prasna 2, Patala 9, Khanda 24 Introduction to Apastamba
Hinduism: “He hath enveloped the sky, the atmosphere, He the heaven; He hath become all the worlds, He hath come to be. Up that. The radiant. Thou from of old with Thy new glory.” He hath adorned the heavens and the earth with new splendor and wonderment.
(Hindu, Vedas, Yajur Veda – Kanda II)
BUDDHISM: “All formations are impermanent all formations are subject to suffering.” “The word sankhara (formations) comprises all things which have a beginning and an end, the so-called created or formed things, i.e., all possible physical and mental constituents of existence.” “Knowing the destruction of all that is created, you know the Uncreated, Holy One.” 15. “Let us live in joy, not hating those who hate us. Among those who hate us, we live free of hate.” “23. “Even so will I endure abuse.” Like the events that come with the rolling up of the previous religion order and the coming of the new heavens and the new earth.
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 2 and 3 (tr. J. Richards))
The destruction of the heavens and the end of the earth seems to be part of a non-literal, spiritual process occurring with the coming of every new religious cycle, which none of the religions of God seem to be immune from. Buddhism: “The word sankhara (formations) comprises all things which have a beginning and an end, the so-called created, or formed things, (i.e., all possible physical and mental constituents of existence).” 25. “The mendicant who lives in friendliness with confidence in the doctrine of the Buddha will find peace, the blessed place where (the cycle) existence ends.” And the new one begins.
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 2 (tr. J. Richards))
Sabeanism: “And it was revealed to me (?) and to all of them in this book, and they acted upon this reliable baser acting according to this (its) light and removing nothing from this writing of great revelation that was given to Adam the first man and to his descendants (and to) all who bear witness unto this light and illumination until worlds end, (at the latter end of the age). Naught shall pass away from the Word of the great Father of Glory, praised be his name!” “Thy name, (O) Life (God), is excellent: its glory is great, its light abundant, its goodness came over (or overflowed), inaugurating the First Mystery, life which proceeded from Life and Truth which existed before the beginning. This is a wellspring of life which sprang forth from the Place of Life: we drink thereof, of this Fount of Life which Life transmitted was established in the House of Life, which crossed worlds, (leaving a new earth and heavens) revealed.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapters 45 and 75)
BAHA’I FAITH: “These foundations of the Religion of God, which are spiritual and which are the virtues of humanity, cannot be abrogated; they are irremovable and eternal, and are renewed in the cycle of every Prophet.” “For the independent Prophets are founders; They establish a new religion and make new creatures of men;” “They are the divine Gardeners Who till the earth of human hearts and minds.” “They change the general morals, promote new customs and rules, renew the cycle and the law.” “My laws appear like the sun in the heaven of Mine utterance,” “Their appearance is like the season of spring, which arrays all earthly beings in a new garment, and gives them a new life.” Thus establishing the foundations of a new heavens and a new earth.
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, pp. 47, 164 and The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 295 and Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 21)
BABI RELIGION: “There was a blast on the trumpet, and all who are in the heavens and all who are in the earth expired, save those whom God permitted to live.” “Once again the heavens had opened and that a new Dispensation had come to bless the sons of men.”
The Bab: (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers p. 41)
BAHA’I FAITH: “Verily, verily the new heaven and the new earth are come. The holy City, New Jerusalem, hath come down from on high in the form of a maid of heaven, veiled, beauteous, and unique, and prepared for reunion with her lovers on earth. The angelic company of the celestial Concourse have joined in a call that hath rung throughout the universe, all loudly and mightily acclaiming: ‘Hail, O City of God! Abide Thou, and make Thy habitation with the pure, virtuous and holy servants of Thine; for they are Thy people, and Thou art their Lord.”’
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 350)