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Our Time A Scope III



Heavens and Earths





Our next consideration in building a scope of God’s Word is three heavens and three earths. No, I am not speaking about a new book by Robert A. Heinlein. That would be an amazing find since he died over thirty years ago. I am referring to the three heavens and earths in God’s Word. Haven’t heard about them before? Then you are in for a treat. Have heard of them before, then you might be in for a surprise.

This is not a word study discussing all the different uses of the words heaven or earth in the Bible. That would be a small book in and of itself. Nor will this be a study of the different atmospheres that science has observed with the Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, and the other spheres. Amazing insight and understanding but not part of our current study.

We can briefly establish what constitutes heaven and earth. The birds fly in heaven and the stars are in heaven. But where is the location of God’s throne? Are these heavens and earths vertical or horizonal? Too many have placed these one upon another, going upward. Do you really think we have two more earths over our heads? After all, it is three heavens and earths, not just heavens.

According to Genesis 1:6-8 God separated the waters that flooded the earth above and below the firmament. This tells us that outside of the firmament there is water. We can also see that all this water was not in God’s design since He very quickly removes water. Then in verse 8 we learn that the new name for the firmament is heaven. 

In Genesis 1:9-10 we learn the water under the firmament are called seas and they are in one place as is the dry land, identified as the earth in verse 10. This tells us that there is only one continent and anything above the earth and seas is rightfully identified as heaven. Which means any time you jumped above the surface of the earth; you were in heaven. Maybe you should write a book about going to heaven, it was popular for awhile.

Then in Genesis 1:14-18 we learn that the sun, and the moon, and the stars are placed in the heaven. While in Genesis 1:21 we learn God made the fowls and since the firmament begins at the top of the surface of the earth and the seas, the birds are flying in heaven.

Yet, other than the place where the birds fly, and the place for the sun, the moon, the stars, and the water above the firmament or heaven, where is the throne of God?

Deuteronomy 26:15
Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.

Sounds clear enough.

2 Chronicles 6:18
But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!

God’s throne in the heavens requires further study. Perhaps it is a quest you will decide to undertake.

Now that we have gone through a laundry list of what we are not looking at in this study, exactly what are we looking into?

Ultimately, we will be examining 2 Peter chapter 3 since it has all three heavens and earths in that one chapter of the Bible.

I said in an earlier teaching that you come to God’s Word with questions not with answers. This statement is in reference to studying God’s Word, not necessarily in reference to reading God’s Word.

Suppose we are reading 2 Peter chapter 3 one morning and when we reach verse 7 a question arises in the mind.

2 Peter 3:7
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

The heavens and the earth, which are now…” verses the heavens and the earth which were or are when? What other heavens and earths was there and when were they? This is the question that begins our study.

We came to God’s Word to read, and while reading 2 Peter 3 a question came to mind. God expects our minds to be fully engaged when we read or consider His Word.

So, we re-read the context, perhaps more engaged than moments ago.

2 Peter 3:1-2
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us [the text has the word “your” here, meaning your apostles] the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

So, Peter is telling the believers to remember God’s Word. Therefore, the answers we seek will be in God’s Word. 

A new question arises, exactly who is Peter addressing?

1 Peter 1:1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

So, this Epistle is addressed to the diaspora, the scattered abroad of Israel, which is obviously not you. However, even though it is not addressed to you, we can still learn from what God is communicating to these believers. We will discuss in greater detail about “to whom” something is addressed in a later teaching.

Now, back to 2 Peter.

2 Peter 3:3-4
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

These verses provide all kinds of knowledge and information to better understand what we are reading.

Knowing this first” is a phrase that is only used one other time in the Bible, also by Peter.

2 Peter 1:20
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 

The word "private” in the Greek is idios and means one’s own. So, you are not allowed to interpret God’s Word and I am not allowed to interpret God’s Word. Therefore, the only conclusions are that it has no interpretation, or it must interpret itself.

Since God wants all men to be saved and to come to a True Knowledge (1 Timothy 2:4) the only logical conclusion is God’s Word interprets itself. We will see that in this study. 

Logically, how can you know two different things first? These complement one another rather than contradict one another. We are to know first that we do not have the right to interpret God’s Word out of our own imagination. Then, in chapter 3 of Peter we are given an example of people ignoring this principle as they privately interpreted God’s Word to be unreliable and false.

So, these scoffers are wrong as they have used private interpretation to declare God’s Word is wrong and unreliable. Not because of personal study but because it interferes with their desires.

So, we are to realize when we come to the “last days” (short version – the end of this particular administration, which we will study in future teachings in this series) there will be scoffers. The Greek word for “scoffers” is the noun empaiktes. The verb form is empaizo. This is a compound word from the Greek words en which is a preposition and means in or by, and paizo which means to play like a child. Together they mean “in play like a child.” 

Sounds like a hard definition to describe a scoffer but consider children at play, hurtful play. After all, these are mockers. Suddenly, one wants a toy another has and when he will not give it up name calling begins. What comes to mind is how children will mock and tease one another. No logic, no rationale, no truth, just foolish belittling and picking on one other child. It is what the religious leaders and Roman soldiers did at the cross.

Matthew 27:39-43
And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise, also the chief priests mocking [empaizo - verb form] him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

These elders and leaders are acting like children. They were not so bold and brave when Jesus stood face to face with them. But they became real brave when he was nailed to a piece of wood. So, they stood by and ridiculed and made fun of Jesus, taking out of context things he had said in his ministry.

The definition gives a vivid mind picture of a bully belittling another when he has no real knowledge or understanding of the situation, just a selfish desire. These scoffers are in every administration and under every covenant.

Another aspect to this verse in Peter (2 Peter 3:3) the word “scoffers” is in the text twice.

2 Peter 3:3
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
New International Version

That this word for scoffers is used twice in the same verse, in different cases, is the figure of speech polyptoton and brings emphasis to and intensifies their mocking. The word “evil” added in the New International Version I understand but there is no Greek word in the text to back it up. I understand it because when you mock God’s Word to hold to your desires, your desires would be contrary to God’s Word and thus, you could call them evil.

The reason the word Version is used at the end of King James and the New International, and many other versions, is because it is the translator’s opinion, not a literal translation of the text. The same can be said when I define a Greek word into English. In most cases, a literal translation from one language to another would not make sense, so words are added and sometimes left out.

Let’s look at the verse again.

2 Peter 3:3
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

In the last days there will come those who mock God’s Word, walking in their mocking because of their own lusts. “Lusts” means passions or excessive desires that are in their minds.

2 Peter 3:4
And saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

They are mocking the promises of God saying since the fathers fell asleep (died) all things continue as they have since the creation of the world. Now our context takes us all the way back to Genesis. But we will hold off in going to Genesis for a bit while we continue our context in Peter.

Another point, are they mocking the first or the second coming of the Messiah? Since the context incorporates a heaven and earth that is still to come, and to be anticipated, they are mocking the return of God’s anointed, his second coming.

2 Peter 3:5
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 

This again sends us back to Genesis chapter 1, for that is the oldest heaven and earth and there were some water issues. So, in our study we make a note to review Genesis 1 when we are done in 2 Peter 3. We also will want to look at Psalm 24:2 as the center reference of my Bible wants to send me there.

At times, the center reference sends you to a completely unrelated verse, but at other times it is a valid reference. In either case, it will not hurt to check it out and see what God said in Psalms.

Our questions are increasing.

Who is willingly ignorant?
What does it mean to be willingly ignorant?
When was the world standing out of the water and in the water?

“Willingly ignorant” is two Greek words. Thelo, meaning it is out of their own will and lanthano which means it has escaped their notice or comprehension. It has escaped their notice because they came to God’s Word with selfish desires not questions. 

God’s Word is not of one’s own interpretation, idios. It requires meekness, humility to God, in order to receive.

2 Peter 3:6
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

What world perished and when did it perish? 
Why did it perish?
What exactly does perish mean?

When you study God’s Word you often find one question multiplies rapidly. Some are bunny trails that distract you from your main question. Note these questions in a separate folder and come back to them another day while you move forward with your main question.

Those that are willingly ignorant is easy to answer, it is those who scoff at the promises God has made in His Word. 

The word for world in 2 Peter 3:6 is kosmos, which we studied at another time, Mechanics of the Mind, and saw that kosmos refers to the order or arrangement of the world. Another aspect we need to remember when we go to Genesis.

The Greek word apollymi is translated perished in 2 Peter 3:6. Apollymi means to destroy, to render completely useless.

John 10:10
The thief cometh not, but for to steal [things like your joy and peace], and to kill [taking your physical life], and to destroy [apollymi – take your spiritual life, no reconciliation with God]: I [Jesus] am come that they [you and me] might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

This is the word apollymi. The order of this heaven and earth of old was destroyed, rendered useless by water. It is another important aspect to hold in mind as we continue to investigate what our Heavenly Father is teaching us.

Remember manthano, [Mechanics of the Mind] all of God’s children are to be taught by God.

2 Peter 3:7
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Now we have a distinction between the world that has perished and the heavens and earth which are now. The one that perished, rendered useless, happened because water flooded it, the current one is set to be judged by fire. Are these heavens and earths ending because they are being judged? Does God judge by water?

More questions can be added, like why by fire?
Do we know when this judgment will happen?

Once you begin to study God’s Word it becomes a never-ending quest for spiritual knowledge and understanding. Believe me, you never run out of questions to study and search out. But if you lose track of your original question you will lose the knowledge you were seeking. Yes, you will still gain knowledge, but it will be scattered and inconclusive pertaining to any one subject. You need to discipline your mind to stay with your original question.

Today, my subject is heavens (plural) and earths (plural). Exactly how many, when did or do they exist, how did they end, why did they end? 

One was destroyed by water; one will be destroyed by fire. That gives me two distinct heavens and earths so far. But my answers are still incomplete.

What is “kept in store?” The Greek word used here is thesaurizo and here could be translated preserved. It is a place whereby we store or preserve things that are good or precious to us, like in a safety deposit box. This heaven and earth are precious to God, for His family lives there, so He has preserved them.

The final thought to consider is the word “reserved,” tereo in the Greek. It means to guard or to care for carefully. Why then will it be judged? 

2 Peter 3:8
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

This is something we have spoken of in other teachings; God invented time for mankind, while He Himself is outside of time. We watch the clock, while God, viewing all of time at the same time, knows exactly when it is the perfect time for Him to take an action and thereby fulfill a promise. This gives us information about God’s ability to prophecy about the future but is also off subject, so it goes into the notebook for another day. 

Clock watchers become impatient, while those who put their trust in God’s integrity remain patient knowing He will do what He has promised.

Habakkuk 2:3
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

A verse for this thought in our notebook but also relevant considering the scoffers who mock the timing of the promises of God.

2 Peter 3:9-12
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the 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, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Again, we can add another dozen questions from these verses. But we also answered one of our last questions. We will not know the timing since the comparison is to a thief coming to rob you (in the night is not in the text). Thieves, by habit and necessity, do not announce when they are coming to rob you, therefore, you must always be prepared.

The translator that added “in the night” failed to keep his mind engaged. Because this would mean the thief is announcing when he is coming. You only must be prepared at night. Critical thinking is important when you come to God’s Word.

This also gives us more of an answer for the fire and burning up. It deals with the material things of this world. We should be setting our lives, our minds on spiritual things rather than material or worldly things that will be “dissolved” and “burned up” at the end of this heaven and earth.

1 John 2:15-17
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.

The reason or purpose of the judgment comes more into focus.

God’s spirit within you will bring back to your remembrance other verses in God’s Word as your knowledge of God’s Word grows. This is building a scope, one verse at a time. Just like an infant grows in knowledge, and thus scope, of what it means to be a part of its culture.

2 Peter 3:13
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Now, I have three heavens and three earths, and I need some answers to my questions. 

Also, it is time for me to move my study to Genesis 1. So, we collect our relevant notes from Peter and bring our notes and questions to Genesis 1.

What are the questions I bring with me?

The Bible speaks of heavens (plural) and earths (plural). Exactly how many, when did or do they exist, how did or do they end, why did they end? 

To know for sure the number of heavens and earths is limited to three a word study of the phrase and of the words heavens and earths should be accomplished. For this teaching we will skip that step and I will simply tell you three is the total number I saw in God’s Word.

Before I go to Genesis, I should stop in Psalm 24 to see if it adds to my understanding of the subject.

Psalm 24:2
For he [God] hath founded it [earth] upon [above or over] the seas and established it [made it firm] upon [among] the floods [poor translation should be rivers or streams].

Obviously, this took the context and some word studies to arrive at what is added in the brackets. But to add these word studies here would turn this study into its own book. This is something you will have to investigate as you have time.

Psalm 24 is telling us that God not only has water surrounding the dry land, but it is also under the land, with rivers and streams running through the land. Notice also that the dry land, earth, is fixed or set firmly in all this water.

So, even though it did not answer any of my specific questions, it was a relevant center reference.

Genesis 1:1-2
In the beginning God created the heaven [plural in the text] and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Now we have water with the Creation of the world and the world has water issues. But now I have another problem.

Did God create the heavens and the earth in this manner, or did it become like this? 

Peter said the heavens and earth of old were “made” useless not created useless. So, Peter points to a disaster rather than a method of creation. Psalm 24 also added that the earth had rivers and streams, but nothing about a flood.

Yet the scoffers said all things remain the same since the beginning of creation. So, their thought would be that it was created this way. But remember these scoffers lacked knowledge because of their own willful ignorance.

So, we continue to examine and investigate.

Why would God create a heaven and earth in such a mess that almost the entire first chapter requires Him to rearrange what He has created into a good (stated in verses 4,10, 12, 18, 21, 25) and ultimately very good order (in verse 31)? Why wasn’t His creation perfect from the very beginning?

Peter also told us we were dealing with the order or arrangement of the world. In this first chapter of Genesis God is bringing order to something that is in chaos.

Deuteronomy 32:4 
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Psalm 18:30 
As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

If God’s work is perfect than His creation should have been perfect!
If God’s way is perfect than His creation should have been perfect!

If God did not create His heaven and earth in disarray, then how did it become so? Now I have a new question that must remain part of my study since it deals so closely with why there is more than one heaven and earth. What happened to God’s creation?

While considering Genesis 1:1-2 a thought comes to mind about God creating anything in disarray. I am sure everyone is aware of the artist Pablo Picasso as well as some of the disfigured portraits he has painted of the human form. To accept that God created the heavens and the earth so haphazardly is like considering that when God originally formed, made, and created Adam his nose may have been on his neck, one eye in front of his head and another in the back of his head, and so on. 

God does not create monsters, for example Adam looking like a Picasso interpretation. Nor does God create things in disarray, like the earth is Genesis 1:1-2. God does not create a thing that then, after contemplation, the thing gets arranged in a new fashion because the original design was lacking. 

The Hebrew words for “without form” and “void” are indicative of chaos and confusion. Read through the entire Bible and you will never find God doing anything in either chaos. So, this becomes a major issue because, as I said before, the entire Bible must fit together from Genesis through Revelation.

1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

James 3:16
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

“Confusion” is the Greek word akatastasia and means instability or disorder. 

Again, God seems clear that something terrible happened between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 and the scoffers are simply to be ignored.

Genesis 1:2
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The first issue I come across in verse 2 deals with the word “was” hayah in the Hebrew. 

Blue Letter Bible defines hayah as, “to happen, fall out, occur, take place, come about, come to pass.”

Bible Hub defines hayah as, “to fall out, come to pass, become.”

Brown-Driver-Briggs uses the exact same definition as Bible Hub.

This helps answer my concern about God creating something that was not perfect. 
The earth became without form and void.

Now verse two would read, “and the earth became…” The next phrase about without form and void has more information in Isaiah.

Isaiah 45:18
For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else

While looking at the words “without form” and “void” one of the words was used in this verse in Isaiah. The Lord God who created the heavens and formed the earth established it to be inhabited. Unless God planned on having a family of fish, the extra water is from a catastrophe and not part of the original creation. Further, if all this water was supposed to be here, why did God get rid of some water when He re-orders the world?

So, for this to be God's method of creation He is not only sloppy, He is wasteful with His materials. You cannot make this declaration while giving the scoffers a hard time.

Then how did it become such a mess, who or what could upend something God created?

We saw in Genesis 3, in the Fall of Mankind that Adam overthrew a creation of God when he rejected God’s gift of holy spirit. He further upended God’s designed order of things when he gave his authority and dominion over to God’s enemy.

We need to consider God's enemy when we talk about trying to overthrow God's order of things.

Revelation 12:7-9
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

We understand we are looking at a time before the birth and ministry of Jesus Christ because Michael is doing the fighting. Had this been speaking of a time after the ministry, the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ he would be doing the fighting. So, the war we are looking at here deals with the time when Lucifer became Satan, the Adversary. Notice he is also called the serpent here, his designation in Genesis chapter 3. Therefore, this war must be before Genesis chapter 3.

There are no issues, wars, or confusion between Genesis 1:3 and Genesis 2:25. The Adversary shows up in Genesis 3:1 as the serpent. The only other place in God’s Word for this war in heaven is between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.

God’s Word does have answers for us when we are patient, allowing it to speak, and meek, allowing it to instruct.

But how could an angel overthrow a creation of God? Are not angels’ servants of God? 

To answer these questions, we need to look at Lucifer, before he became Satan, the serpent, and the Devil.

Isaiah 14:12
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

The name “Lucifer”, in Hebrew, means Light-bearer or morning star. Someone else carries that title later in God’s Word.

Revelation 22:16
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Lucifer was the morning star but when he rebelled against God, God stripped him of his title and authority, and he cast him to the ground.

How did he rebel? Lucifer had freedom of will. God has never looked for robots, as with humanity, He wants others to desire, to choose to be with Him.

Isaiah 14:13-14
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Five times in these two verses Lucifer declares, “I will!” Lucifer’s will was to overthrow God and to become God. To paraphrase a common statement of today, “He doesn’t have the brains he was created with!”

Ezekiel 28:12b-17
Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 

So much knowledge and all of it is important, although not to our study of heavens and earths. 

Lucifer was full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. The stones that covered him are the same stones on the breastplate of the High Priest, showing importance. 

Lucifer is called anointed, the only angel ever designated as anointed. The actual Hebrew word is mimshach. Many seem confused about its meaning being used only this one time. Its root word is mashach, used 69 times, and means anointed.

Lucifer was the only anointed angel, a cherub who stood by the throne of God, he was the morning star and after Genesis 1:1 he turned off God’s Light on planet earth. What exactly did he do to flood the earth? I cannot say, I have not seen that answer in God’s Word.

Jeremiah 4:23
I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

Then God-breathed in Genesis 1:3.

Genesis 1:3
And God said, let there be light: and there was light.

Now that is dramatic! That is power in manifestation! That is the One True God!

The very first thing God does to bring His creation back into perfect order is to introduce Light. Before there is a sun, God says, “let there be light.” God is Light! God reintroduces His essence back into what was His perfect creation!

Some of our questions are now answered. We know the first heaven and earth that was rendered useless after Genesis 1:1 not because it was created in this manner, nor was it through judgment. It was rendered useless by the rebellion of Lucifer. We can also see that the heaven and earth which are now are guarded and preserved until a time of judgment. A judgment that will come by fire.

2 Peter 3:7
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store [preserved], reserved [guarded or cared for] unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Why fire?

Fire purifies.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

That which is of the world will burn up but that which is of God receives a reward.

Since Genesis chapter 3 this heaven and earth, the second heaven and earth, have been under the rule, the dominion of the Adversary. He has corrupted and polluted the perfect creation of Elohim. 

Acts 13:10
And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

The Adversary, and those who stand with him, are filled with subtilty, meaning guile and deceit. They are filled with mischief, meaning they have no morality. They are the enemies of everything that is righteous, meaning they are hateful and hostile to everything that is godly. They pervert the right ways of the Lord, meaning they distort, oppose, and twist out of shape and context the right way to walk with God.

Yes, the second heaven and earth has become polluted. You talk about ecology! This is the spiritual pollution that must be removed to have a heaven and earth “wherein dwells righteousness.” Even the Adversary himself will be tried by fire.

Ezekiel 28:18
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

The fire the Adversary will encounter will leave nothing for there is no good thing in him. He does not make it into the third heaven and earth for there is no righteousness in him.

When will this happen? That is an answer known to God. An answer God did not share in His Word other than to say it will occur, and we know He is not slack concerning His promises. 

After the second heaven and earth are judged by fire, we will begin the third heaven and third earth wherein only dwells righteousness.

Isaiah 65:17
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

2 Peter 3:12-13 
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

So, what is the conclusion of this matter?

The first heaven and earth were created perfectly by God, as a home for His family. But was destroyed by Lucifer, the Anointed Cherub, the Morning Star.

The second heaven and earth are the ones we have today. They were described by God as Good, meaning excellent and valuable in estimation, something you would keep in a safety deposit box. But this “good” has the adverb “very” attached to it making this second heaven and earth exceedingly excellent and valuable.

The second heaven and earth will be judged by God by fire. The “elements will melt with fervent heat” and heaven will be dissolved. Whereby the corruption and spiritual pollution will be purged and eradicated. The planet that spews ash and magma into our air, that quakes without warning to kill and harm will be gone! These things were never of or from God.

Then, the final, or third heaven and earth, will have no end. It will be the home of God and His Family, those who have made the choice to be with Him for eternity. In this third heaven and earth all who are present will be in their spiritual, immortal bodies, a second spiritual birth like unto Jesus Christ when he was raised from the dead. 

There will only be righteousness in this third heaven and earth, the former things of the heaven and earth we lived in will be gone. No more sickness, or pain, no more death, or separation from God.

Three heavens and three earths, one after the other; one destroyed, one judged, one eternal.

“Whosoever” can make the decision to be included in this third and eternal heaven and earth. Therefore, choose by way of Romans 10:9-10 or stand with the scoffers of 2 Peter 3.

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