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Milepost 78: End of Existing Creations

Milepost 78: End of Existing Creations

Primary References: Revelation 20:11

 

A great white throne, the scene of mankind’s final judgments replaces the present earth and heavens. The implication of the phrase ‘fled away’ is unclear until other verses are considered. Psalms 46:2 suggests there will be an end to the earth. Isaiah goes further by saying that the earth will burn up (Isaiah 51:6) and is replaced by new heavens, a new earth, and New Jerusalem (Isaiah 65:17-18). Peter went further in explicitly declaring that fire destroys the current earth and heavens (2 Peter 3:5-10). This destruction occurs during the day of the Lord. Since Jesus rules earth throughout the day of the Lord, the earth’s destruction can only occur at its conclusion, precisely when Revelation shows earth and heaven fleeing away. Therefore, ‘fled away’ must refer to the fire’s consumption of the present creations.

What happens to the billions of people on earth when fire destroys it? The presence of only the dead at the coming great white throne judgments implies that the entire population of the earth perishes at this time and people will never again possess mortal corruptible bodies. If true, only those taken by the rapture, the 144,000, and Enoch appear to avoid the first death[1] .

The great white throne is located somewhere other than heaven or earth since neither now exist and it occurs in a pause of unspecified duration prior to the creation of the new heavens and earth. The only recorded holdovers from the old creation are hell and the lake of fire. Hell exhausts its usefulness when it finally yields all its inhabitants during the second of the great white throne judgments. There is no evidence that it exists (or is destroyed either) after these judgments but unfortunately, the lake of fire is never exhausted as it continuously burns forever. While it is already occupied by the unholy trinity and Satan’s legions it will but soon overflow with the wicked of all generations.

[1] This assumes Elijah is one of Revelation 11’s two witnesses and ignores the healthy debate over John the Beloved’s final disposition (some believe John 21:22-23 suggests John never died)