Where Should I Start Reading?
The First Earth: Genesis 1:1, In beginning God created...the earth. There is no record that God ever created anything that was not perfect. And so in Isaiah 45:18, For thus saith the Lord...God Himself That formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain (empty), He formed it to be inhabited.
Now we wonder who those first inhabitants were. In Job 38:4-7 God asks question that Job could not answer; nor can the smartest scientists today find any answer. The question; Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
That earth was so perfect that God is looking for another like it some day. Ecclesiastes 3:15. It is gone. It perished 2 Peter 3:6. Also consider Genesis 1:2.
The Second Earth: Genesis 1:2-31 tells us of the restoration of the ruined earth for new inhabitants. And these were man and the animal kingdom. With all that restoration, it still bore the marks of the great destruction. There were mountains, seas, ground (ground up rock and organic matter), and there was death in the offing. So a warning about having anything to do with that which was forbidden.
There have been changes over the years and ages of this earth. That includes in round numbers, the past 6,000 years. Man has not improved this earth by any means. He was created upright, but sought out many inventions, so he would not have to rely on God. The earth is polluted with sin, and its atmosphere polluted with the output of man's inventions. But all the result of spiritual pollution.
Three great faults or cracks are known in this old earth. Parts of the crust are on the move and bodies of water slowly changing. The plates are sliding about and making many of these changes. And there are great convulsions to come before the dissolution of this earth.
It was peopled by nations which were given up (Romans 1:18-32) cf. Genesis 11.
Then Israel came on the scene, and they were divorced and set aside at Acts 28:28. The church began at Acts 28:28.
Then Israel and the great millennium will come and after that an unknown period.
Then the great fire. 2 Peter 3:12.
The Third Earth: Israel and the nations look for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. 2 Peter 3:13. Remember that the church which is His body has no part in any of the 3 earths. Their hope is far above all heavens.
This 3rd earth will be perfect, as the first one was. It will be the home of Israel in the New Jerusalem. Read Revelation 21 and 22.
The First Heaven: In (the) beginning God created the heaven ... (Genesis 1:1). And if the first earth was a paradise and perfect, then the heaven must have been wonderful. But we have no clues or descriptions of its glories. The capital of this original creation was the first earth. And Lucifer (Satan) was the supreme ruler over this creation, the heaven and the earth.
But in Satan's fall, the whole creation was ruined. Heaven and earth, the world that then was, perished by water (2 Peter 3:6). But man's wisdom has not figured out how all this happened. That is a great secret.
But with all that great creation for his rule, Satan was not satisfied and he determined to go even outside the universe into the heaven of heavens and establish his throne, which he had at that time, even above the throne of God. Read Isaiah 14:12-15. We are told that Satan will die like a man, and be no more. That is a comfort. Some more information can be gained from Ezekiel 28:11-19. Satan is spoken of under the cloak of a king, but the meaning is clear. But here we do find some information as to his past and connection with the first heaven.
The Second Heaven: How much was done to restore heaven when the earth was restored in Genesis 1, we cannot say with any degree of certainty. But at least Satan has maintained his dwelling there and is still ruler over those beings that rebelled with him and caused the great overthrow as tersely said in Genesis 1:2.
So he is still a ruler in the heaven above over the fallen angels. And this then shows to us that he .is not in control of all the heaven, but only where he and the fallen ones are at the present time. We are told that there are good angels in heaven, too. And they are the ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation, that is, Israel. And it is interesting to read thru the Bible and see the various times and places that angels did minister to Israel. They must have brot food and water to the Lord, both in the wilderness after the temptation, and also in Gethsemane after that awful trial there. Many times angels appeared in the OT.
But a day is coming when Satan and his angels will be cast out of heaven into the earth. We read in Revelation 12 that Michael, heading the angels of God, will cast Satan and his angels out of heaven into the earth, never to return again. And finally this heaven and earth, both will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:12.
The Third Heaven: In 2 Peter 3:13, there is a looking for a new heavens and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. Paul records the fact that John saw this 3rd heaven. See 2 Corinthians 12:2. And we have John's own account in Revelation 21 and 22.
It is from this third heaven that the New Jerusalem will come down to the earth. Revelation 21:2. (This is not from heavenly places, for Israel never had any part in it).
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