Quote from: 4WD on Today at 15:30:53
I found "heaven and earth" in 26 instances in the [NASB] Bible. I do not see that even one of them is speaking about Israel.
Another example of "heaven and earth" being referent to the Covenant World of Israel and not literal creation is Isaiah 51:16.
"I have put my word in your mouth and have covered
you with the shadow of my hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, 'You are my people'". [NASV]
What is the point? Notice that God is speaking to Israel. He says he gave them his law, the Mosaic Covenant, the same law Jesus is speaking about in Matthew 5:17-18, to establish heaven and lay the foundation of the earth! Clearly Jehovah is not saying he gave the Mosaic Covenant to Israel to create literal heaven and earth! Material creation existed long before Israel was ever given the Mosaic Covenant.
The meaning of the verse is that Jehovah gave his covenant with Israel to CREATE THEIR WORLD--A COVENANT WORLD WITH JEHOVAH!
God created Israel's "heaven and earth" by giving them his Covenant. Now if he destroyed THAT Old Covenant heaven and earth and gave a NEW COVENANT, would he not thereby be creating a NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH? This is precisely the thought in the NEW COVENANT SCRIPTURES!
Old Israel's covenant was about to pass away, II Corinthians 3:10ff; Hebrews 8:13; 12:25ff. The New Covenant of Christ was being given, Ephesians 3:3ff; Hebrews 2:1ff. Since the giving of Covenant created "heaven and earth" the New Heaven and Earth of Christ would not be completed until the New Covenant was completely revealed. It therefore follows that if the New Heavens and Earth of Christ has not arrived then CHRIST'S NEW COVENANT HAS NOT YET BEEN FULLY REVEALED! If Christ's New Covenant has been fully revealed then the NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH HAS FULLY COME! Consider this carefully in light of II Peter 3 and Revelation 21-22, passages written as the process of revealing the NEW COVENANT was yet incomplete.
In Isaiah 51:5-6 God predicted the "heaven and earth" would vanish. This is the same "heaven and earth" he had established at Sinai. This is not a prediction of the passing of literal heaven and earth--it is a prediction of the passing of the Old World of Israel so that the New Covenant World of Messiah would be established. We believe this heaven and earth that Isaiah said would perish is the same heaven and earth Jesus said must pass before the Old Law would pass.
Isaiah 65-66 also predicted the passing of "heaven and earth" but as with the other prophecies noted above it does not refer to the passing of physical creation. In chapter 65 God predicted that Israel would fill the measure of her sin, vs. 7; he would destroy them, vs. 8-15; create a new people with a new name, vs. 15-16; create a new heaven and earth with a new Jerusalem, vs. 17-19. The creation of the new heavens and earth would follow the destruction of the Jews after they had filled the measure of their sins and been destroyed at the coming of the Lord in fire with his angels, Isaiah 66:15ff. The new creation of Isaiah 66 is depicted as a time of evangelism and Jew and Gentile being brought together under the banner of God, vss 19ff.
Now Isaiah 65 said the new creation would come when Israel had filled the measure of her sin and was destroyed. Do we have any clue as to when this was to happen?
In Matthew 23:31-39 Jesus said Israel would fill up the measure of her sins IN HIS GENERATION! In chapter 24 he predicted the passing of Israel's heaven and earth at his coming, vs. 29-36. Now notice:
1.] Isaiah said Israel's old heaven and earth would not be destroyed until Israel had filled her sin;
2.] The new heaven and earth would not come until Israel's old heaven and earth was destroyed;
3.] Jesus said Israel would fill up the measure of her sin and be destroyed at his coming in his generation;
4.] Therefore Israel's "heaven and earth" was destroyed at Jesus' coming against Israel, when the measure of her sin was full, in that generation.
In Matthew 24 Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. This Temple was the very center of the Jewish world. This is where the sacrifices for sin were offered by the genealogically confirmed Levitical priests. For Jesus to predict the utter desolation of this temple was the same as saying their world was about to come crashing down around their ears!
In graphic detail Jesus chronicled the events to occur before that disaster and the signs indicating its imminence, vss. 14-15. In highly apocalyptic, [symbolic] language he described the fall itself:
"The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory". ~eschatology.com