An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 9 - Prophetic Truth - Page 174 of 223
as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but
Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail' (Heb. 1:10 -12).
Here 'they', hautoi refers to 'the heavens', hoi ouranoi, and not to
the earth.  The reference is to 'the firmament' of Genesis 1:6 -8, the raqia,
or something 'stretched out like a curtain or a tent' (Isa. 40:22).  Such a
'heaven' can be conceived as 'folded up' as a vesture, or as the LXX says of
these same heavens, 'till the heavens come unstitched' (Job 14:12),
surrhapto, see Genesis 3:7, 'sewed' = rhapto, and Ecclesiastes 3:7.  This
passage provides us with a word of caution.  The heavens that are to pass
away, are the limited heavens of Genesis 1:6 known as the firmament, but the
heavens of Genesis 1:1 may be referred to as 'the heaven of heavens' (Psa.
148:4; 1 Kings 8:27) to which Christ ascended when He 'passed through the
heavens' (Heb. 4:14 dierchomai) and was 'made higher than the heavens' (Heb.
7:26) or 'Heaven itself' (Heb. 9:24) or as Ephesians 4:10, 'He ascended up
far above all heavens'.  This feature has a bearing upon Revelation 21:1 and
the reader will find it discussed in the article, The New Heaven and the New
Earth (page 74).
At the Second Coming of Christ we read:
'Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be
darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall
fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken' (Matt.
Here is no 'melting', no 'fervent heat', no 'passing away' but enough
to warn the inhabitants of the earth that the Almighty who can do such things
is well able to do more.  The reference to the tribulation (see also verse
21) and the link with the Abomination of Desolation (verse 15) associates
this passage with pre -Millennial happenings, foreshadowing what will come
after the Millennium, but not in any way invading the prophecies of the time
of the end.  The passing of heaven and earth (Rev. 21:1) is at least one
thousand years later, and probably very much longer.  We find another
reference to similar phenomena in heaven and earth, at the opening of the
sixth seal, in Revelation 6:12 -17. Tabulating these events we have:
A great earthquake.
The sun black as sackcloth.
The moon as blood.
The stars fall.
The heaven departs as a scroll.
Every mountain and island moved out of their places.
It is the day of the wrath of the Lamb.
With this passage we should read of the pouring out of the seventh vial in
Revelation 16:17 -21.  Again we tabulate:
Voices, thunders, lightnings.
Unprecedented earthquake.
The great city divided.
The cities of the nations fall.
Great Babylon comes into remembrance.
Every island flees.
Mountains not found.
Plague of hail falls.