Heaven & Earth Have Passed Away

Many Christians are disadvantaged in that we are not well grounded in the Old Testament scriptures.  We have been taught for so many generations that as we are now under the new covenant of Christ, that the old covenant is then no longer relevant.  This leads many to assume that there is no need to study the Old Testament.  That assumption is incorrect.

We do understand that the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed; that the New Testament is the Old Testament fulfilled.  But, for some reason many Christians rely only upon the words of the New Testament, without reading and understanding their origins found in the Old Testament.

This lack of understanding of Old Testament scriptures prevents many from fully understanding the completed prophesy revealed in the New Testament.  This lack of knowledge of Old Testament figurative prophetic language prevents many Christians from seeing that same figurative language when it is used again in the New Testament scriptures.

If we understand that the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, then we must make an effort to study the Old Testament.  The New Testament cannot be lifted away from the Old Testament.  They are joined.  You cannot understand one without the other.

That means that we have to go back to the Old Testament to get the full meaning of what Jesus and the Apostles said, and the Holy Spirit recorded in the New Testament in the first century A.D.

Let’s look at the phrase “heaven and earth”.  It has an original use in the Old Testament.

In Leviticus God is setting out His commandments for the children of Israel.  In Chapter 26 he tells them of the benefits of following His commandments, and then of the results if they do not. Look at Lev. 26:14-20 carefully.

14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; 15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: 16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. 18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:   20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.” (KJV,  all bold emp. mine throughout)

Notice the “your” before the heaven and earth in verse 19? Remember that God is speaking to the children of Israel.   Then their heaven and their earth, specifically theirs, must be for the tribes of Israel.  So, Israel was a type of “heaven and earth”. The words “heaven” and “earth” as used in Lev. 26:19 are figurative for their land, and not the literal heaven and literal earth.

Look at Deut. 4:26 where Moses is speaking to the children of Israel while still in the desrt.

 I have caused to testify against you this day the heavens and the earth, that ye do perish utterly hastily from off the land whither ye are passing over the Jordan to possess it; ye do not prolong days upon it, but are utterly destroyed;” (Young’s) or

I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.” (KJV)

Moses is reminding them of the covenant God has made with them, and reasoning with them to keep that covenant.

Lev. 4:23, Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee.” (KJV)

What is the witness against the children of Israel?  Isn’t it the covenant God made with them?  What else will convict them of their wrongs, and testify against them but the commandments He gave them?  Then, isn’t the “heaven and earth” of Deu. 4:26 the “covenant” of Lev. 4:23 which was made specifically with Israel?

24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, 25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, 26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.”  (Deu. 31:24-26, KJV)

God said that the book of the law, Moses’ book, for the covenant with Israel would witness against them.  As Deu. 4:26 said that “heaven and earth” would witness against them, and Deu. 31:24-26 said the book would witness against them, then the Mosaic covenant was also called “heaven and earth.”

Again, as when used in Is. 1:1-2, 1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.(KJV)

Who is the prophet addressing?  The children of Israel!  Hear and listen, he says.  Who is listening but the tribes of Israel?  Here, “heaven and earth” = Israel, a nation.

Look now at Is. 13. 1,  The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.  The first verse establishes that the prophet is speaking to Babylon.  Remember that when a prophet speaks he is going to use some figurative language, and it is not literal.

Is. 13:5, “They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.(KJV)

The word country we know is a land, and it is a far land, “from the end of heaven”.  In the figurative prophetic language country is land and is also heaven.

Is. 13:10,  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.” (KJV)

In prophetic language “stars” and “sun” and “moon” are rulers, kings and princes.  The “sun” is a greater ruler than the “moon” which is lesser.  The moon does not shine as brightly as the sun.  Rulers rule over countries and nations.  So, when they do not give their light, they are no longer ruling.  God has taken away their power, and their light does not shine any more over the nation.

Is. 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.

What is God shaking?  The prophet is speaking of the destruction of Babylon, of the judgment against Babylon, which occurred in 539 BC when the Medes destroyed Babylon.

Is. 13:19-20, “19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.” (KJV)

When God shook the “heavens” and moved the “earth” out of her place, He was not speaking of the literal physical cosmos, but of the nation of Babylon.  He shook their world.  He destroyed their world in judgment delivered by His rod and messengers, the Medes.

We can see that in figurative judgment language used by the prophets of God, that “heavens and earth” are nations under judgment.  The phrase and words are used the same way all throughout Isaiah in the prophetic judgments against all of the nations God warned.  God was going to change their “world”, or His covenant with them.  How then shall we understand this same language when we see it in used in the New Testament?

Heb. 12:26-29, “ 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.” (KJV)

Do you recognize now the prophetic figurative language?  It is the same that was used in Isaiah, and the other prophets in the Old Testament.  Shaking the earth and the heaven must be understood as the destruction of a nation and the change in God’s agreement with them, in the same way that it was used in the Old Testament.  It is the judgment of Israel once more, and specifically Jerusalem of the first century A.D that is spoken of in Heb. 12.

In verse 27, what cannot be shaken?  The answer is in verse 28, the Kingdom, which is everlasting.  It is the Kingdom of the New Testament, the never-ending, everlasting, spiritual Kingdom.  The New Testament, the new covenant brought by the blood of Christ, bought by the sacrifice of Christ in place of all of us, fulfilled the Old Covenant which God had made with the children of Israel.  The New Covenant would be with spiritual Israel, the new Jerusalem, all those that are in the body of Christ.

The Old Covenant was removed, shaken, taken out of the way, and replaced with a New Covenant that would not be shaken.  The last days spoken of in the New Testament were the last days of the Old Covenant.

2 Pet. 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.” (KJV)

Peter wrote this letter sometime before 68 A.D., most probably between 64 – 66 A.D. It predates the destruction of Jerusalem, and the temple.  The reference in verse 7 above is to the then future destruction of Jerusalem, and not to the literal physical cosmos as most people try to make it say.  The verse specifically states “against the day of judgment”.  So, we need to immediately associate judgment language with this verse.

All Old Testament prophesy of “fire” was judgment figurative language of destruction against a nation or land, against a group of people.  Judgment was brought against a sinful people who would not repent and turn back to God.

What was being kept in store and reserved unto fire, that is destruction, was Jerusalem.  That destruction occurred in A.D. 70, and the “heavens and earth” of the land of Judea, the remaining two tribes of the children of Israel, and the covenant with them, passed away.  The destruction of the temple which Jesus foretold in Matt. 24, was the destruction of the Jewish world.  It was the destruction of the Old Covenant sacrificial system that passed away.

Now look at Matt 5:17-18, 17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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.” (KJV)

Paraphrasing… “till [the Mosaic covenant] pass…”; and “till [the temple] pass…”

Are we still under the law of the Old Covenant?  Most people will agree that we are not!  Then, working back through the scripture, “heaven and earth” must have passed.  Today, some 2,000 years later, we still see the literal heavens and the literal earth.  So Matt. 5:18, recorded in the first century A.D., is not speaking of the physical cosmos.  It is the same figurative OT language of prophesy.  It is speaking of the land nation of Judea and old Israel, and the covenant under which it still operated.  That land and that nation whose capital was Jerusalem was going to have to pass away before the New Covenant with spiritual Israel could be completely probated and set firmly in place.

If you believe that the heaven and earth of Matt. 5:18 means the literal physical cosmos, then you must also believe that the Old Covenant, the old law is still in place.

I submit to you that the figurative “heaven and the earth” were always the nations who came under judgment of God for breaking His laws and commandments in both the Old and New Testaments; that the heaven and the earth of Matt. 5:18 was the Old Covenant God had established with the tribes of Israel; that they were the land of Judea and the two tribes remaining, and the surrounding nations that would come under judgment with her in A.D. 70; and that they have indeed passed away with the destruction of Jerusalem.

As we are under the New Covenant, the New Testament, then all has been completely fulfilled as Jesus stated would happen in Matt. 5:18.  The New Heavens and the New Earth are the New Covenant, and the way God is now dealing with His people.  They are the spiritual Jerusalem, and the spiritual Kingdom of Christ.

Is. 65:17,  For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”

Rev. 3:12, ” Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Rev. 21:2,  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

For more study please see my posts titled “It’s Not The End of The World, Parts 1 – X”.

(Updated Sep. 6, 2022)

9 thoughts on “Heaven & Earth Have Passed Away

  1. Trew

    Hi Gina,

    I have come across your articles and just now starting to read! Thank you for your insight as I am really struggling with the Mosaic Law. I have some people telling me I need to follow it and some that tell me I do not. I just want to please God and his Son and follow the commandments. I just don’t know which ones to follow! I would appreciate any advice as I am really confused and don’t want to feel this way anymore.

    Thank you so much,


    1. Trew, the old Mosaic law that was the “fence” laws and ordinances surrounding the worship at the temple and the animal sacrifices were all removed at the destruction of that temple in Jerusalem in AD 70. They were legally removed when Christ was crucified in AD 30-31, but in practice Jesus told them that not one jot or tittle would pass until “all these things” had happened (Matt. 24:34). All these things were the prophesies that Jesus foretold regarding the destruction of temple, the question He was answering from the disciples in Matt. 24: 3.

      Paul became so angry with Judaizer infiltrators who were trying to get the new converts to The Way to go back under the law by teaching they had to be circumcised that he wished they would be castrated for their false teaching. Gal. 5:12, ” I wish the people who are bothering you would go the whole way and castrate themselves!” From the CJB, which verse the KJV politely uses “cut off”.

      As Jesus became the last blood sacrifice necessary / required by God for remission of sins, then we are not to go back under the fleshly system, which circumcision was a sign of the cutting off of the flesh; a precursor to the circumcision of the heart which was the cutting off of living to the flesh (Rom. 2:28-29).

      But, God’s laws against murder, theft, lying, covetousness, gossip, false accusers, etc… these all still stand. Christ fulfilled the laws of the animal sacrifice and fleshly worship system of the temple. His sacrifice completed those laws. He did not do away with the moral laws set out in Exodus.

      So beware of the Judaizers who are still trying to keep a fleshly worship system which Christ Himself replaced.


  2. Don

    I just read recently that the term “heaven and earth” also referred to the temple in Jesus time, and once it was destroyed in 70 AD it was the end of the transition to the new covenant….

    That made so much sense to me and everything became clearer, at least during that time frame…. Thanks for adding to and clarifying my search for the truth…



  3. Gina,

    I’m reading a number of your articles with great interest and may be asking you some questions, here and there. But, for right now, I can only point out that it appears that, from time to time, you take the scriptures “literally” in some parts and then “metaphorically” in other parts as it “suits” or “upholds” your beliefs. As one Methodist “holiness preacher” once put it,

    “Consistency, thou art a jewel!”

    In other words, you can’t just “pick & choose” how you want the scriptures to “speak” depending on your current perception or understanding of them.

    So far, this has been the only “hesitation” in absorbing what you’ve been writing.



    1. God used many styles of communicating in His word: poetry, literal records, metaphors, similes, hyperbole, etc. The context of the scriptures tells us when and what method He was using. Prophesy always used a great deal of metaphors, similes and symbols. Some things were literal, but much of prophesy is symbolic. The context of the scriptures is our guide, and is not subject to personal interpretation of picking and choosing.

      All those who insist that everything is literal are not using a proper hermeneutic. When we begin reading prophesy we have to switch gears from literal to symbolic metaphors, and all of those metaphors and symbols were previously defined in the OT poetry and parallels.


      1. Understood. But I wasn’t saying to take the Word of God literally at all points. The metaphors and symbolic language in scripture is usually obvious to someone who has studied the scriptures for a number of years. I was referring more to your apparent “picking and choosing” what is metaphorical and what isn’t. To say that the “new heaven and new Earth” is a metaphor for the New Covenant (and thereby everything in Matthew 24 has been fulfilled) is a giant leap into possible error. Also, just because certain phrases and words were used in the Old Testament doesn’t mean that they carry the same exact meanings in the New Testament. The Hebrew and Aramaic languages were much more diverse in “word usage” and subtle meanings than have been able to be translated into English … which has been the cause of much dissension among Bible students and scholars over numerous Biblical subjects.

        God Bless,


      2. I still deny the charge of “picking and choosing”, and encourage you to take a look at the post “Frequent Mistakes Part V: Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue…” at the right margin. It will provide more evidence for this metaphor as well.


  4. Greetings sister, I’d come to this conclusion myself recently after only reading scripture for 6 or 7 years mainly Old Testament. I always wondered when the former heavens and the former earth passed away and then a few days ago I read it in scripture. Psalms 104:29 when God takes away their spirit they expire and return to their dust. Also Icobod, I’m sure you know what that means.
    You get great picture of this in Ezekiel chapter 1 and also chapter 10 God takes his glory from the fallen creation and rest on his new creation


    1. Gina

      Yes, if we just let the Bible define its own words and terms then it is easy for everyone to see. Ezekiel chapt. 5 is also a good one for the parallels with Revelation.


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