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The End Of The World?
by Wayne Blank
The English word world is used to translate, primarily, two different original Greek words, the first (pronounced in Greek) ai-hee-on, meaning a period of time, and the second (pronounced in Greek) cos-mose, meaning all that physically exists. The same word, world, is used to translate two very different Greek words, one which describes the physical world, the other which describes a period of time, or era.
"World" is also sometimes used to describe a period of time. Comparing different translations of the Bible illustrates how this has been done, such as Matthew 12:32 shown below from the King James Version, and then the Revised Standard Version which translate the same original Greek word as "world" or "age":
"And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come" (Matthew 12:32 KJV)
The Word of God says that the age is going to end, the world is not. "Satan's world" (see Fact Finder question below) is going to end, planet earth is not. This is what the Bible plainly says is coming, step by step:
"On that day His feet shall stand on The Mount Of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley [see Earthquake!]; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward ... On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea [i.e. the Dead Sea, also known as The Salt Sea] and half of them to the western sea [i.e. The Mediterranean Sea]; it shall continue in summer as in winter. And The Lord will become King over all the earth; on that day The Lord will be one and His Name one." (Zechariah 14:4,8-9 RSV)
"Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while. Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with Him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:1-6 RSV)
The first 1,000 years of Christ's rule:
"Then every one that survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, The Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths [i.e. The Feast Of Tabernacles]. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, The Lord of hosts, there will be no rain upon them. And if the family of Egypt do not go up and present themselves, then upon them shall come the plague with which The Lord afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths." (Zechariah 14:16-19 RSV)
"It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of The Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of The Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us His ways and we may walk in His paths." For out of Zion [see Who, What or Where Is Zion?] shall go forth the Law, and the word of The Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid; for the mouth of The Lord of hosts has spoken." (Micah 4:1-4 RSV)
The New Jerusalem
After all has been completed, the Judgment, the lake of fire, and the new earth, not the end of the earth:
"Then comes the end, when He delivers the Kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet." (1 Corinthians 15:24-25 RSV)
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them; He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4 RSV)
Fact Finder: Who is responsible for the "world" today?