Will there be a Renovation or Recreation of the planet Earth?
Find out with guest Lee Brainard and hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Tim Moore: Greetings in the Name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy!
Nathan and I are delighted to welcome back Lee Brainard to our program. Many of you are familiar with Lee from his past appearances with us and his insightful books delving into God’s Word. Lee is a self-taught expert on ancient languages—including Greek and Hebrew. And yet he has the ability to convey incredible insight in a way that is clear and concise.
Lee, I’m just so grateful for you to be with us here today. Thanks for coming back to Christ in Prophecy.
Lee Brainard: Well, amen, Tim and it is always a pleasure to be here with you and Nathan and the whole Lamb & Lion crew.
Tim Moore: Well, we are glad you are here.
Nathan Jones: Well, folks Lee is one of my favorite authors, not only does he write fiction as they relate to Bible prophecy like the Planet Shaken series, but he gets really deep into certain biblical studies like the Apostasia and he really knows his languages.
But his newest book is what we are going to be talking about today, The New Heavens and Earth.
And Lee, if we go to Revelation 21:1 it reads, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.
Also, there was no more sea.” And it is a similar passage to Isaiah 65:17 which talks about at some point the Lord is going to make a New Heaven and a New Earth. But the question that Christians often have is does that mean a renovation of the existing heavens and earth, or is He going to obliterate it all and create a brand new heavens and earth? And that is what your book address correct?
Lee Brainard: Absolutely, yes. It’s been a thought that’s been an exercise of mine for quite a number of years to approach this subject with actually going broader and deeper in the Scriptures then men usually do.
Nathan Jones: Well, yeah, I’ve never heard of someone writing a book about just this topic, usually it’s reference, or maybe a page or two, but you have an entire book. And I’ve got to say it is very well organized, and you have a tremendous amount of evidence. What side did you take, renovation or recreation?
Lee Brainard: I took the renovation side, decisively.
Nathan Jones: Okay.
Tim Moore: You know I found a lot of great quotes in your book. I’ll open just the very Preface and you say as the opening words a quote from Proverbs 18:17, “The first one to plead his cause seems right until his neighbor examines him.” And you really challenged me to think about what positions I hold, perhaps, that I’ve just kind of adapted, or adopted from the world around me, or even from other Christian friends, but I’ve never gone to the Word of God. And we always challenge our viewers, our readers to challenge everything we say against the Word of God, so you dive deep into the Word of God, and not just in our English translations, but in some of the original transcripts to come up with these points that you make throughout your book.
Lee Brainard: Yes. Yes. Well, it’s always been my ambition, since I was a young believer, to make sure that I gather what ever I am going to embrace and teach from a Berean perspective. That we want to actually examine, not only to see if what the Apostle Paul thought was true, but the teachers of our day. There is always a temptation for us to do a little short cut and probably lean on our favorite teachers more than we ought to, they are there for a reason, but they are not there to tell us what to believe, they are there to sharpen us.
Nathan Jones: Why do you think the church has traditionally held to a recreation idea, this idea that okay we get to the end of the Millennial Kingdom and then Jesus holds the Great White Throne Judgment, and then everything that He has ever created is eradicated and then He creates everything ex nihilo so to speak, out of nothingness, kind of like going back to the Creation again. And you read a lot, and you cite in your book quite a number of major Bible prophecy teachers that hold that view. Why do you think that is so popular?
Lee Brainard: Well, I think the underlying idea is they look out there and they see a pollution problem in the universe, and we feel it, this universe is polluted, it is defiled. And there has to be a solution to this. And somewhere along the line they idea that God’s perfect solution is to annihilate the universe and start over has come into their mind. But as we are going to see in my book, I point out that God’s solution that He uses is not annihilation but He loves to fix everything that can be fixed, clean everything that can be cleaned, sequester what can only be sequestered.
Tim Moore: You know I always go to the passage in Revelation 21:5, it’s my favorite scene from Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” although it is not accurate within that setting, where Jesus says then, “Behold I make all things new.” And He says that in Revelation 21:5 and I always thought, wow, He’s going to make everything new. And that may have leaned me toward and expectation that He is going to obliterate that which his old and polluted, kind of like tearing down an old house, it’s always easiest to build from scratch as opposed to renovate an old house, and yet the Lord in His miraculous power renovates us when I put my faith in Him, He didn’t say, alright, Tim, boom your gone, I’ll create a new Tim that now has a clean heart, no He cleansed me and all of us who put our faith in Him. And so, I’ll use another analogy that you made in your book, you said you are going to take a deep dive. And we encourage people even in our Lamplighter Magazine to dig deep into the Word of God. So, explain to us as you took this deep dive, what you found in some of those ancient texts of Scripture that points to the idea that the Lord is not just going to obliterate everything but He’s going to restore through His miraculous cleansing and healing power.
Lee Brainard: Well, for instance you will find in the 104 Psalm that the heavens that we see are eternal. And we see in Deuteronomy chapter 4, the heavens that we see are eternal. And I believe there is a reference in Ecclesiastes 4:1, for the land, I have it written here, yeah, Ecclesiastes 1:4, that the generations are going to change, but the earth is not going to change.
Nathan Jones: The earth remains forever.
Lee Brainard: Yeah. Yeah. And so, there are a number of references of this kind in the Old Testament, and we could cover the Kingdom, we could cover the Temple Mount, we could cover Jerusalem, there are promises that they are all eternal.
Nathan Jones: You have different chapters that talk about the eternality verses. You apply them to heavens, so the Bible teaches that the heavens are eternal. That the earth, this earth is eternal. That the land of Israel is eternal. That Mount Zion, Jerusalem, David’s throne, the Eternal Kingdom, and all of these things whenever it is prophesied, I particularly love the Davidic Kingdom passages where it says that Jesus Christ will rule and reign from Jerusalem on this earth forever, and ever. Now, if God destroys everything and rebuilds it from fresh does that negate that, or does He have to be on this physical earth that exists forever, and ever?
Lee Brainard: And that is one of my very favorite arguments myself, because when the Lord has promised the Land of Israel and the Mount Zion, and the Temple to Israel He’s not promising a similar piece of dirt on a similar planet, in a similar solar system, in a similar galaxy, in a similar creation, He has owned that exact piece of dirt for eternity.
Nathan Jones: So, if we go to Jerusalem today that Jerusalem will be here 1,000, 10,000, a million, a billion years in the future?
Lee Brainard: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Tim Moore: You know we recently did a Jesus in the Old Testament series, we have been going through that for some time, when we were in Ezekiel we talked about in chapter 36 that the Lord tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the mountains of Israel, these inanimate objects making promises to the mountains.
Lee Brainard: That’s right.
Tim Moore: And so, He fulfills His promises to us, He’s going to fulfill His promises even to those mountain ranges that are there today in Israel.
Lee Brainard: Absolutely. And you know there is an interesting thought that a lot of people don’t take into consideration, this planet is actually, in a sense, you can say sacred even though it is defiled. This planet was walked by hundreds of prophets. There is blood of hundreds of prophets here. This soil was walked on by the Lord Jesus Christ. His tears were mixed with the dirt of this earth. His blood was mixed with the dirt of this earth. There is a whole history of God’s involvement with this planet. And when He put Adam and Eve in the Garden if there hadn’t been a Fall, God and Adam and Eve and their people would have walked together on this planet, in this creation for eternity. And the plan of redemption isn’t just the redemption of the human race, it’s the redemption of God’s entire program with this creation.
Nathan Jones: Yeah, what blew my mind when I was reading this and this is the first I ever considered it, is that we know when Jesus Christ returns the earth is going to be devastated; 21 judgments of God are going to devastate the earth.
Lee Brainard: That’s right.
Nathan Jones: And the Tribulation time period will leave the earth a wasteland. So, we know that when Jesus comes back, you know people say, well, how are we going to live in a Millennial Kingdom if the earth is a nuclear wasteland? No, when Jesus returns He renovates the world and builds it to the garden paradise that it is supposed to be. And then well Satan is released at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, he causes destruction and well, then Lord just annihilates everything and rebuilds it. And that is kind of what I’ve been working off based on the chronology of Revelation. But you say that the Lord’s, the only renovation is actually the renovation at the Second Coming, which puts it 1,000 years earlier than most scholars would put it. Why is that?
Lee Brainard: Well, I believe what the Lord is doing during the 1,000 years is we have the last dispensation of salvation, overlapped with the beginning of the Eternal Kingdom. And the reason for this is of course we know that every dispensation elevates man’s, the light that he is given, and his privileges, but it also elevates his responsibilities. So, when we were in the Mosaic dispensation there was the Shekinah Glory presences of the Lord in the Temple, and He was present in a lesser degree speaking through His prophets. We come to the New Covenant era we have the Shekinah Glory dwelling in every believer, that is amazing in and of itself. When we come to the Millennial Kingdom we have the Lord Jesus Christ present here on earth, with Kingdom blessings, the blessings of eternity. So, when we go through the Kingdom what a proof of depravity that we have, because here’s people with perfect government, perfect economic opportunity, perfect climate, perfect education, everything is perfect, a perfect society, and yet men still rebel against God. So, when you give them the blessings of eternity in the presence of God manifested in the flesh and they still rebel that is the definitive proof of man’s depravity.
Tim Moore: You know I think the Lord proved His ability to address not only spiritual pollution and corruption, but physical corruption.
Lee Brainard: Absolutely.
Tim Moore: He did that dramatically when He told a young man, “Your sins are forgiven.” And the Pharisees said, “Hey what power to you have to forgive sins?” He said, “Well, which is easier to say your sins are forgiven, or to say take up your bed and walk?” And so, He demonstrated powerfully that He has the power in both regards. And so, I accept obviously that all of us who have put our faith in Him are new creatures, new creations, I’ve been given a new heart. I still have aspects of my natural self that He is continuing to eradicate and to purify. Someday we will be glorified, both our bodies, minds, souls, every aspect. But the idea that He’s going to also purify and cleanse this planet, I think I do agree there has to be some purification before we go into that Millennial Kingdom, otherwise what a mess it would be.
Lee Brainard: That’s right.
Tim Moore: And yet, what about this rebellion at the end of the 1,000 years, what damage will it do? Will there need to be another dose of purification or cleansing at that point?
Nathan Jones: Yeah, help me understand that, because that is the part I am trying to understand with your theory.
Lee Brainard: Yeah, absolutely. We do read that there will be a rebellion. There’s going to be these people gathered around the New Jerusalem, and fire is going to fall from heaven and consume them. So, that problem is also fixed by fire. Now, whether that fire ends up being broader than just consuming those gathered around there? The Scriptures doesn’t really say. So, we couldn’t say positively or definitively there isn’t anything beyond that because this might be representative of a bigger issue that is being dealt with, but it might also be really the summation of the whole thing. I haven’t really dived into that book. And I wouldn’t fault a brother which way they went on this issue. But clearly God’s pattern for dealing with sin at the beginning of the kingdom was with fire, and that is the same thing He uses at the end of the 1,000 years.
Nathan Jones: So, does He have to fix up the earth at the end of the Millennium just like He did at the end of the Tribulation?
Lee Brainard: My gut sense, as I deal with the passages on the subject is, the rebellion at the end is very limited.
Nathan Jones: Just outside of Jerusalem.
Lee Brainard: Yeah, because what we have is we have the Kingdom of God controlling the entire earth. So, instead of the earth being controlled by the Devil and defiled by the Devil, the Devil is let out of a little while. And the way I picture what is happening here, this isn’t going back to what we know in this world now where the Devil has control of the entire world, he’s got control of, I would guess, whether it is 50% of the world, or 60% or 10% I have no idea, but we are probably going to be very much speculative there if we try to even guess. But some worthwhile segment of the world is going to follow Him in His rebellion, and I think this is going to be less of the world rebellion that we are familiar with, and more like a gigantic protest, and the Lord is going to deal with it.
Nathan Jones: And so, there is no worldwide destruction that He needs to refurbish, He just needs to clean up this area and then we move on into the Eternal State.
Lee Brainard: Right because this is a rebellion, like a protest.
Tim Moore: Almost what you would call an insurrection?
Lee Brainard: Yes, against the established government. I don’t think it’s going to be allowed to defile the entire world. They are going to come and lodge their protest.
Tim Moore: So, we can—I agree with you, it is speculative to determine how many people, what percentage, what role they play. We know that Jesus Christ eradicates those who are in rebellion against Him. But the point is that whenever it occurs, and I do think that you have a great point, if we are going to live on an earth that is restored to absolute perfection, like it was in the beginning. Everything is good, the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom is restored, it is relieved from the curse of sin, then much of that renovation has to happen at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom in order for the people who live on this earth under the administration of believers in their glorified bodies, the earth has to be restored. And Jesus has, we see examples of this, you know Jesus cleansed the Temple, but the Temple was cleansed at other times, even though it had been defiled. They use the example of Antiochus Epiphanes who came in and tried to slaughter a pig, well they went through a rededication ceremony to sanctify the Temple, in that case Jerusalem will be resanctified, and of course all of us. The Dead Sea itself will be restored and the stream of water flows from the throne of Christ there on Mount Zion.
Lee Brainard: I love that fishing story.
Tim Moore: Yeah, you love that fishing story. We see that the power of God to restore is true every time a person puts their faith in Christ.
Lee Brainard: Absolutely. Absolutely. And the principle for restoring human beings, the principle for restoring the Temple Mount, the principle for restoring creation very similar.
Nathan Jones: Fantastic. Well, let’s switch gears a little bit, and let’s go into the Eternal State.
Lee Brainard: Okay.
Nathan Jones: There are two chapters, Revelation 21 and 22 that most people point to as what life will be like in the Eternal State. Since you researched so much about the New Heavens and the New Earth, I’m excited, tell us what will life be? After the Millennial Kingdom now, what will we be doing in the Eternal State? What is life like?
Lee Brainard: Well, I think for the believer, for the Christian believer.
Nathan Jones: And that is all who are there.
Tim Moore: That is the only people in the Eternal State right?
Lee Brainard: Right. Right. Yeah. I was thinking in technical sense the redeemed Gentiles of the Christian age are distinct from the redeemed of Israel, but we are all under Christ we are all believers under the Messiah, we are all one big family of God. But anyway going down that path, we are going to have job obligations during the Kingdom, doing Kingdom work, but once we come out the other side of the Kingdom, I like to say we have two obligations for Eternity: formal worship, and informal worship. Formal worship will be our regular times of gathering around the throne of the Lord, as kings and priests worshipping the Lord. But informal worship we are going to be going about indulging all that God has given us in creation. Enjoy being a human being, and we are going to have spontaneous worship coming out of our heart, day after day, and it won’t matter if we are into art, or music, or we are motorhead, or we are geologist, it won’t matter what we are, we will never uncover the last cool thing in creation, and we are going to say, wow!
Tim Moore: And I think also, we can’t imagine. I mean there is a song, “I Can Only Imagine” what it will be like. And sometimes I realize that my imagination fails me. I remind myself of my six-year-old birthday party, the only one I can really remember from my childhood, but it was the anticipation I remember. The night before I knew my parents were creating party favors, and little decorations, and a cake. And just my mind ran wild about how wonderful that party was going to be, at six years old. I am sure the party was not as grand, in spite of my parents’ efforts as my anticipation made it out to be. And yet, it’s exactly the opposite for us as Christians, no matter how much I can anticipate and speculate Heaven is going to be even greater, the Eternal State that we are with Christ is going to be even better. And yet, I think there is one aspect sometimes we miss.
And we had recently Joni Eareckson Tada on our program, and what a joy she was, just overflowing with hope and joy. And I have a quote I want to share with you, because people would tell her, and she cites, they often ask: “You must be looking forward to Heaven.” Thinking she is finally going to get out of the wheelchair. And she said, “I am looking forward to Heaven, after more than 25 years in a wheelchair, it is true that I am, but more than that I am looking forward not just to my new body, but I’m looking forward to a heart without sin, and being able to see God and worship Him with a clean heart.”
And boy, what a statement of joy and hope that is, because yes, all the wonderful things about the world, but for us to be able to be in the presence of our Lord and have a truly clean heart. No stain of sin. No even pull or temptation toward sin. What a joy that will be.
Nathan Jones: That is why we were created, we were created to worship the Lord, to have fellowship with Him.
Tim Moore: Exactly.
Nathan Jones: It’s like, we talk a lot about how disconnected, where is God, we pray, we sometimes we feel like we are praying to the air, but that is because our sin is blocking us from Him, but one day we’ll stand with Him face to face. In the Millennial Kingdom we will see Jesus, but in the Eternal State where God is omnipresent, He’s everywhere, He’s always with us, and we have that perfect relationship, I think that is what really defines Eternity. I mean you read about the New Jerusalem and it is filled with all this pure gold, and all these jewels, and materialism, and that’s fine, that is kind of from a secular mindset, like Islam that is paradise, but the real treasure of Heaven is our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Tim Moore: And we are not suggesting that our sins are still weighing us down, we are forgiven, but yet Paul said, “We see through a glass dimly,” because we are trapped in this particular world and body, we are not yet seeing face to face as we will in our glorified state.
Lee Brainard: In a lot of my ministry I tend to point out that there are gifts involved, and not just a Giver in eternity, but the truth is, and this is the point you gentlemen have been making you take the Giver out of the picture this will not be Heaven to have all those cool gifts without the Giver, it would be empty.
Nathan Jones: That is the Islamic view of Paradise that Allah is not even there. You are there with your 72 virgins, and enjoying a sensual eternity, and Allah is not there. And the Bible says, no that is not what eternity is about, it is not about yourself, and fulfilling your lust, it is about having that perfect relationship with your Creator again. Well, we talked about what we will be doing in the Eternal State, and a little bit about the New Jerusalem and the supercity in a New Earth, but you also talk about the New Heavens. And I think that is confusing for a lot of people, what does it mean the New Heavens? Are there many heavens? Is there one heaven? Will we be in heaven? What is that?
Lee Brainard: Well, obviously in the Scripture we read about three heavens, there is the heavens that the birds fly in and the clouds float in, there is the heavens that involves all the heavenly bodies that we see, the third heaven in the New Jerusalem, and that is where Paul went he said he went up to the third heaven. But when we are talking about the New Heavens I believe this is talking really in reference to all the stars, the planets, the constellations, everything that we see. Well, how is there going to be a new heavens? Are they going to cease to exist and then there is a new heavens up there, and is that new heavens going to bear an analogy to the one that we see right now, or is it going to be completely different? Well, I think really what it comes down to is at the Second Coming the New Heavens and the New Earth is something that man can see with his eyes. And I suspect that what we are going to have is the globe is going to roll, and when it rolls there will be a polar shift, this is going to take artic climates more temperate, it is going to take Antarctica into a temperate climate. It’s going to be involved in making this globe inhabitable to more people.
Nathan Jones: Like Genesis again.
Lee Brainard: Yes. And then on top of that if this globe is rolling, not fast enough to knock a man down, but fast enough that change happens pretty quick, a man would watch the stars come up on this horizon and the stars would be rolling across the sky like words on a scroll, and then dropping on the other side. And I think they are just describing an event that they see happen. And it will give them a new star chart, they will see a different heavens at night when they look up in the heavens.
Nathan Jones: So, our compass will be pointing south instead of north?
Lee Brainard: Or something in that nature.
Tim Moore: You know when I think about Heaven and all the things that we could imagine going back to my six-year-old mind, I cannot imagine. So, I oftentimes go back to Ezekiel and the wisdom that he shared, Lee you bring much wisdom with your understanding of ancient languages, and ancient texts, but the Lord asked Ezekiel if he could possibly comprehend these dry bones coming to life? And the physical, the natural mind would say, no, but Ezekiel was much wiser than me because his response was, “Oh, Lord you know.”
Lee Brainard: Absolutely.
Tim Moore: And so many thing I leave over to the Lord’s understanding. I love to grapple and speculate on what is to come. The promise is that we are redeemed. That we will be glorified, not by any worth in ourselves, but by the power of God and the restorative power of Jesus Christ, and that He will make all things new. And so, we can only imagine how great and glorious that is going to be. But the last word in your book was, and I don’t want to give away the conclusion but it is just beautiful, “If we embrace what is presented to us in the Bible, we will see that redeemed man will live on a redeemed planet in a redeemed universe with the Redeemer God that’s the key for all of eternity. And human beings that cannot cease to exist shall inherit an earth that cannot cease to exist in a universe that cannot cease to exist.” What a great God and Savior is ours in Jesus Christ.
Lee Brainard: Amen. Amen.
Tim Moore: Well, Lee I tell you what we are so delighted every time you come. What is your next book project you are working on right now?
Lee Brainard: I’m doing an updated version of the Pre-Wrath Rapture Answered. I’ve had several different ministries say you have to update that book, get up to speed. So, hopefully by the grace of God I will have that done this year.
Nathan Jones: And you do promise you are going to conclude this series.
Lee Brainard: Oh, absolutely.
Nathan Jones: I want to know how it turns out.
Lee Brainard: Yes.
Tim Moore: Well, how can our viewers get in touch with you and your ministry? And of course, we are going to make your book available here on Christ in Prophecy. So, if you are interested in getting a copy of Lee’s book, The New Heavens and Earth. You can get a copy through his ministry or through us. We will be glad to ship you a copy for $15 including shipping and handling. But Lee, how can they get in touch with you and your ministry and follow all the things that you are doing?
If they are interested in buying my books they can find me on Amazon. You can find it, just look for Lee Brainard, Lee W. Brainard and it will bring up my books. You can find my ministry on YouTube at Soothkeep, S-O-O-T-H-K-E-E-P, old English for truth fortress. And my website soothkeep.info.
Tim Moore: Thanks Lee. Well, folks that is all the time we have for today. Until next week Nathan and I say, “Look up and be watchful for our Lord who has promised to make all things new is drawing near.”