“..Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleths righteousness..”
“HEAVENS AND THE EARTH SHALL PASS AWAY”. 2PET 3:10 Part 10
“But that day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the HEAVENS shall pass away with a great noise; and THE ELEMENTS SHALL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT….” 2PET 3:10
From this passage, we can see that the Elements that shall be melted with fervent heat are in the heavens and not in the Earth. . Please keep this in mind as we progress.
One of the confusing aspects of the teaching of the church, in relation to the application of the word “Last Days” as it connects the so called ‘rapture’ is the belief that the PLANET EARTH will one day go up in SMOKE and the ELEMENTS in it such as Gold, Silver, Precious stones, Crude oil in our thinking will have to melt with fervent heat. But may I quickly draw your reverent attention to the fact, that the scripture just quoted above never say the Elements to be melted are in the Earth, but “IN THE HEAVENS”, and this fact makes a whole world of difference, to the meaning and thoughts revealed in the scripture.
Please read it again for yourself with the help of the Spirit of truth, and then you will see the fallacy we have embraced for this long in the church. This is because of the way we have chosen to interpret the word of God, to suit our narrow minded sectarian belief system, instead of looking at the scripture through the eyes of the Spirit in consonant with the plans and purposes of God in creation. Don’t forget that, the ‘Elements’ are in ‘heaven’ and that heaven speaks of a controlling power, a realm of authority in and over a people
WHAT THEN ARE THE ELEMENTS IN THE HEAVEN THAT SHALL MELT?
The Grk word for ELEMENT is STOICHEION, which means ORDERLY IN ARRANGMENT, FUNDAMENTAL, INITIAL CONSTITUENT, PROPOSITION-ELEMENT, and RUDIMENT.
People of God, the definition is clear, the elements have nothing to do with gold, silver, Bauxite, crude oil etc.in the Earth, but rather the elementary principles of life, that God set in place over man to live by until Christ is revealed.
And these includes the dietary and moral laws as found in the Book of Leviticus and the Ten Commandments, hence the “initial constituents”.
In the second place, these elements constitutes the wisdom of men, which has to do with his Educational and Religious attainments that he has fashioned out for himself that now controls him eg Psychology, Philosophy, Esoteric studies, Eastern religion, Yoga, Transcendental meditation, superstition, witchcraft, Masonic order, Rock and Roll, ESP, Crystal Ball gazing, Psychometry, Psychic, Horoscope, Pentagram, Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, etc, etc. which are all inspired means of living instead of through God’s Holy Spirit and life.
Thus, Paul in defining these elements says, “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them, which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” Gal 4:8-11. “..How can you turn back and become the slaves of those weak and pitiful powers? You even celebrate certain days, months,..” CEV.
Can you see something here? Those things, which Paul referred to as beggarly elements, in the King James Version, is herein referred to as weak and pitiful powers. And all these stand for modes and instruments of worships, outside of God, such as sun, moon and seasonal observance of religious rites and festivals. And of cause, as it relates to the Jewish order, it has to do with all the rituals and the Sabbath keepings. Do you understand what am talking about? These are the elements that Peter was talking about, and because they were the source by which man lived by, the controlling factors, that makes them elements in the heavens because the heavens do rule.
Let us see further, as to what these elements really are “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments (same as elements) of the world, and not after Christ.”(Col.2:8).
“ Don’t let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments. These arguments may sound wise, but they are only human teachings. They come from the powers of this world and not from Christ.” CEV.
“Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy, and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ” NLT
From the Amplified Bible we read “…See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human traditions-men’s ideas of the world-just crude notions following the RUDIMENTARY and ELEMENTAL teachings of the universe, and disregarding (teachings of) Christ, Messiah.”
So the elements have to do with the teachings and notions of men that keep people bound to earthly wisdom and knowledge. Indicating to us that, any philosophy or religious pursuit that is not Christ centered is completely part of this elemental ways of life that is passing away with fervent heat.
Explaining this elemental ways of life further, Paul declares “From now onwards, never let anyone else decide what you should eat or drink, or whether you are to observe annual festivals (Jewish yearly Sabbatths, Easter, Christmas?), New Moons (Jewish monthly Sabbaths), Sabbaths (Jewish weekly Sabbath). These were all pale reflections of what was coming. The REALITY IS CHRIST”.
Do not be taken in by people who are groveling to angels(Grovel -to ask to gain favour or be forgiven for something by angels) and worshipping them (the worship of the host of heaven is forbidden by God. Dt.17: 1-5,2Kgs 21:1-5,Jer.21: 18.which could turn out to be ministers of God who have exalted themselves so high among the brethren to be worshipped instead of the Christ speaking through them). People like that are always going on about some vision they have had, inflating themselves to a false importance with their worldly look. A MAN OF THIS SORT IS NOT UNITED TO THE HEAD…if you have really died with Christ to the principles (Elements) of this world, why do you still let rules dictate to you, as though you are still in the world? (Col 2:16-20. The Jerusalem Bible) See also Gal 4:1-10.
So you see that, the ELEMENTS are simply the ways of life, concepts, human imaginations about life and living mentality and otherwise, cultures,-extra vagrant social wake keepings, burial rites, naming, ceremonies, birth day ceremonies etc,educational philosophies, economic and social-political ideologies that are void of Christ’s leadership and inspirations. All these and many more constitute the ELEMENTS that shall melt, and are melting as we discover the fallacy that is in them, because they do not contain life.
For the Jews these elements of their Jewish worship, their heavens passed away, melted, when they were invade by the Romans in AD 70, noting that 2 Peter was written in AD 62-64 . Remember that the Day of the Lord is often associated with Christ judgment on evil and religion. See Lu 17:27, 1Th 5:2. Mt 24:43. He comes as a thief because of his sudden appearance through his agents, for the Jews, the Romans. This is a metaphoric language. As a thief—Peter simply remembers and repeats his Lord’s image (Lu 12:39,41) used in the conversation in which he took a part in.
So then, “..we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, (rudiments of the world) by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph.4: 14).because we now know that, all of these elementary principles find their fulfillment in Christ (Eph 1:10) the source of life (Gal 2:20,Rev 2:10).
To be continued…
(C) 2015 – Dr. David O. Ogaga