The subject of today’s blog is one that I find a bit exciting to consider. Closely associated with the saints being gathered by angels, darkness covering the earth and the descending of the heavenly New Jerusalem we have this concept of “a new heaven and a new earth”. We begin by going to Rev. 21 where we read:
1 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.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
The explanation for the “new earth” is far more obvious and easily documented in scripture than the “new heaven” is. However, the subject of the “new heaven” is far more interesting and intriguing. When my research on this subject began to yield some answers it was both surprising and delightful at the same time!
We start by considering a passage that helps us understand what is meant by “a new earth”. There are others that we could choose form but D&C 133 should be adequate for our purposes, we read:
16 Hearken and hear, O ye inhabitants of the earth. Listen, ye elders of my church together, and hear the voice of the Lord; for he calleth upon all men, and he commandeth all men everywhere to repent.
17 For behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of his coming is nigh—
18 When the Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
19 Wherefore, prepare ye for the coming of the Bridegroom; go ye, go ye out to meet him.
20 For behold, he shall stand upon the mount of Olivet, and upon the mighty ocean, even the great deep, and upon the islands of the sea, and upon the land of Zion.
21 And he shall utter his voice out of Zion, and he shall speak from Jerusalem, and his voice shall be heard among all people;
22 And it shall be a voice as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the mountains, and the valleys shall not be found.
23 He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land;
24 And the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided.
25 And the Lord, even the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh.
Timing wise, this passage primarily has to do with the Lord’s first appearance or when he appears to his saints as the Bridegroom. The Lord states here that he shall “stand upon Mount Zion” and that the saints should “prepare… for the coming of the Bridegroom” and go “out to meet him”. We also read, “And the Lord, even the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people”.
The changes to the earth are many for he shall speak as with:
“the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the mountains, and the valleys shall not be found… the great deep… shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land; And the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided”.
We could consider other references but the changes mentioned above surely qualify as “a new earth”, or at least they do in the mind of this author…
Now we move forward to consider the other half of the equation, even that of the “new heaven”… what could it be? We start with a passage from the 13th chapter of Isaiah where the condition of darkness is once again mentioned. It is a condition that will exist when the Bridegroom appears. (See And at midnight there was a cry made… for more information.) We read:
6 Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:
8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
9 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
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.
14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.
So in this day, or at this time when “the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light” and “the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine… the earth shall remove out of her place” and “it shall be as the chased roe”!
Wow! Does that mean what I think it means? Is the earth going to bug out and leave our solar system at this time? Hmmmm… lets consider another passage, we go back to D&C 133 and read:
46 And it shall be said: Who is this that cometh down from God in heaven with dyed garments; yea, from the regions which are not known, clothed in his glorious apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?
47 And he shall say: I am he who spake in righteousness, mighty to save.
48 And the Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat.
49 And so great shall be the glory of his presence that the sun shall hide his face in shame, and the moon shall withhold its light, and the stars shall be hurled from their places.
Again, it is when “the sun shall hide his face in shame, and the moon shall withhold its light” that the “stars shall be hurled from their places”! Somehow I rather doubt that stars will actually “be hurled from their places” but if the earth were to suddenly bug out “as the chased roe”, it could appear that the stars are moving or “hurled from their places” to those who are on the earth. Once the earth moves sufficiently, our perspective on the cosmos would be such that we would effectively be looking at “a new heaven”.
Another view might be that the Lord would leave the earth where it is and remodel the whole heavens around us… I know how absurd that sounds and so I mention it just for the sake of eliminating it as a consideration and thus strengthening our previously proposed position. Let us consider one more passage from JS Matthew:
33 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Again we learn that “ the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven”, depending on ones position on the earth when it bugs out, the stars could possibly appear to be falling. Now lets compare our hypothesis to a statement made by Brigham Young:
“When the earth was framed and brought into existence and man was placed upon it, it was near the throne of our Father in heaven. And when man fell…the earth fell into space, and took up its abode in this planetary system, and the sun became our light….This is the glory the earth came from, and when it is glorified it will return again unto the presence of the Father, and it will dwell there, and these intelligent beings that I am looking at, if they live worthy of it, will dwell upon this earth.” (Brigham Young, JD 17:143.)
So if the earth bugs out, leaving the sun and moon behind, that could be the reason why “the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light”. Keep in mind that angles will be gathering the remnant from the four corners of the earth and the sign of the Son of Man shall be manifest at this same time. If the cause of the darkness was atmospheric it would also impinge on our being able to see “the sign of the Son of man”, would it not?
Speaking of “the sign of the Son of man” the Prophet Joseph Smith said:
“read Matthew 24 Chap and all the Prophets. He says then shall they see the Sign of the comeing of the Son of Man in the clouds of Heaven. How are we to see it Ans. As the lighting up of the morning or the dawning of the morning cometh from the east and shineth unto the west—So also is the comeing of the Son of Man. The dawning of the morning makes its appearance in the east and moves along gradualy so also will the comeing of the Son of Man be. it will be small at its first appearance and gradually becomes larger untill every eye shall see it. Shall the Saints understand it Oh yes. Paul says so. Shall the wicked understand Oh no they attribute it to a natural cause. They will probably suppose it is two great comets comeing in contact with each other It will be small at first and will grow larger and larger untill it will be all in a blaze so that every eye shall see it.” (Joseph Smith, General Conference, April 6, 1843
The Prophet says here, “the wicked… will probably suppose it is two great comets comeing in contact with each other”. We know that the city of Enoch or the heavenly “New Jerusalem” will attend the Second Coming but what of the possibility of a second planet or star or whatever, what would be it’s purpose? Orson Pratt said of the city of Enoch:
“The throne of Enoch will also be in or near America, in the midst of his own city, Zion, which he built unto the Lord before the flood, and which fled from the earth to heaven, to be reserved until a day of righteousness should come, when it will come again in the sight of the astonished nations, and have place until the end shall come. This city will, most probably, not rest upon the earth but hover over it, and will be the abode of glorified immortal beings.” (Orson Pratt ,The Seer, page 285)
Orson Pratt says here that “This city will, most probably, not rest upon the earth but hover over it”. This view appears to be confirmed in Isaiah chapter four where we read:
6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.
For the present let us assume that we know what part the city of Enoch shall play, for it shall “be in or near America, in the midst of his own city, Zion” but “not rest upon the earth but hover over it, and will be the abode of glorified immortal beings”. And what purpose shall we assign to this second planet or star or whatever it might be? Might it be the source of light form which the “tabernacle” (city of Enoch) shall provide “a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge”?
If this be correct, it just might be that this second planet or whatever it be, will not only provide light but may take the earth in toe and attend our return to “the glory the earth came from”. Joseph Smith said:
“This earth will be rolled back into the presence of God, and crowned with celestial glory.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings, p. 181)
Try to picture the earth as it is “rolled back”, continuing to rotate and keeping time with it’s thousand year journey. At the 21-year mark or the end of the half-hour of silence it is transformed into a terrestrial sphere.
The earth shall continue on it’s journey, decade after decade and even centuries shall pass, “And again, verily, verily, I say unto you that when the thousand years are ended… the heaven and the earth shall be consumed and pass away, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth…But, behold, verily I say unto you, before the earth shall pass away, Michael, mine archangel, shall sound his trump, and then shall all the dead awake, for their graves shall be opened, and they shall come forth—yea, even all. And the righteous shall be gathered on my right hand unto eternal life; and the wicked on my left hand will I be ashamed to own before the Father”, for the Lord “shall deliver up the kingdom, ( the celestialized earth?) and present it unto the Father, spotless, saying: I have overcome and have trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.”
Hope you have found today’s blog to be stimulating, enlightening and uplifting. Please take a moment to leave a comment, like us on Facebook, share a link or subscribe. Until next time, may God bless and have a great Memorial Day weekend!