Friday, May 21, 2010

A New Earth

No, this is not a review of Eckhart Tolle’s (New Age spiritual teacher) popular book, but what I am doing is trying to make sense and put into perspective the rapid succession of natural disasters that have plagued Earth since the beginning of this year. Who can forget the large earthquake in Haiti, which was followed afterwards by earthquakes in Chile, Turkey, Indonesia, and other countries around the world, all within the first six months of this year? What about the volcanic eruption in Iceland, which is still a threat to Europe, and which has caused the shutting down of airports and air travel within and to and from Europe? How about this latest oil ‘spill’ where man has tapped into an underwater resource of oil, which has gushed out of control? I tell you, none of these events are just happening by coincidence. In my mind, they are all a part of a larger picture – a new Earth.

In several places in the Bible, many references are made to a new Earth coming. We read in Isaiah 66:17, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Again, we read in Revelation 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” In order for God to create this new earth, the present earth must pass away – it must be done away it! Contrary to popular belief, God is not coming to take us to heaven for us to live there; rather, He is going to re-create this planet Earth we live on, for us to live here. Read what it says in Isaiah 66:22-23.

“For as the new heavens and the new earth which I shall make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that form one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me saith the LORD.”

People will be actually living on this new earth, and living productive lives. It will not be a metaphysical environment where we will live as disembodied spirits floating around on clouds – all flesh, meaning people with bodies, will worship God in this new Earth (Isaiah 66:23). It will not even be a place where only those who are recipients of eternal life and salvation will live; rather, it will be place where all people – saved and sinners -will live out their lives under a new era and system of things. Isaiah gives us a glimpse of what life will be like in the new Earth.

And they shall build houses, and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat (Isaiah 66:21-22a).”

The lifespan of man will be increased. The sinners will be live to be 100 years old, and the lifespan of the saved will be as “trees,” meaning, several hundred years old, perhaps I believe to 1,000 years (vss. 20, 22). Already we have seen that the lifespan of man has increased to 100 years, up from 70 years. I did a post  about the lifespan of man here to document this change. It should be noted that the increase in life span is NOT due to better health care or modern medicine, for it is IMPOSSIBLE for one to increase one’s lifespan. The lifespan of man is a pre-determined limit of how long man is supposed to live, under FAVORABLE conditions. This is different from life expectancy, which takes into account variables such as health status, hygiene, sanitary practices, lifestyle choices, and the availability of health care, and hence can be less than the life span IF those variables are unfavorable.

I know we have been taught that when Jesus comes back we will live forever, and the sinners will suffer eternally in hell, and the saved will live forever in heaven. What I am describing in this article is not eternity, but a transitional stage, before eternity. The earth must go through this transitional stage before eternity, and like all transitions, it can be painful. The Earth is right now undergoing ‘growing pains’. Paul, the writer of the book of Romans, compares the Earth’s transitional status with the labour pains a woman experiences while giving birth. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8;22). Jesus uses the same metaphor of pain and sorrow in describing this age we are living in. He says, “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8; John 16:21). Jeremiah writes that the Earth shall “mourn” in these last days.

For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. For this shall the earth MOURN, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it (Jeremiah 4:27-28, capitalized italics supplied).

Earth is under construction my friends. God is constructing and re-creating a new Earth right before our very eyes. As in construction, things have to be broken down, and torn apart to make room for the new; and so this world is being broken down, and torn apart to make room for the new Earth. The old things are passing away, so that we can experience the new (Revelation 21:4-5).

So, are you ready for the new Earth? A new era in time – a new age if you will? Where will you be in this new earth? Will you be one of the saved who lives in peace and harmony with your Creator in this new Earth? Or will you be among the unsaved who will live a shortened, accursed life in the new Earth (Isaiah 65:20)? To live successfully in this new Earth, change and transition must also start within you. You will need a new heart, or as Tolle puts it, a new level of consciousness, to enjoy the utopia of the new Earth. In any case, that new level of consciousness or new heart cannot be achieved by our own efforts. It must come from God. He wants to change our old stony hearts (the selfish, hard-hearted, egotistical self) and give us a new heart, or a new level of consciousness, that will be in harmony and at peace with Him, and the planet; because there is no way we can enjoy the new Earth, if we take with us our former ways of thinking and attitudes into it. It would just be more of the same heartache, anguish, despair, and distress, we are experiencing now in this dispensation, but only in a different setting. For utopia to be utopia, we have to learn how to relate to each other, and our planet, in a positive and loving way. God is willing to give us this new heart if we so desire to have it. Below, I have taken the liberty to amplify Ezekiel 36:26-28 to make it relevant to our modern way of thinking, as these verses speak very much to the necessity of us having a new heart, or new level of consciousness for a better world.

“A new heart [level of consciousness] also will I give you, and a new spirit [attitude] will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart [ego/selfishness/hard-heartedness] out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh [new level of consciousness]. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave your fathers [the new Earth]; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Words in square brackets supplied).

So we see, a change of heart and attitude is essential for us to enjoy life in the new Earth, for it will be a time of great peace upon the Earth. Finally, the Earth will be at peace.

“They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like a bullock; and the dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 65:22-25).

Thursday, May 6, 2010

More Earthquakes!

Indonesia hit by an earthquake on Wednesday, May 5 2010 for the second time this year.  Please see this blog post I did on March 6, for a running list of earthquakes for this year.  I am trying to keep up.  Not easy!

ADDENDUM:  Okay, I have now given up on keeping a current list of natural disasters and earthquakes.  Too many to list, and happening too fast!  But at least we all have an idea of the times we are living in.  Keep safe, and be blessed.