The Return of Elijah

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The Creation Concept

This Generation...

How the heavens passed away with great noise

Atheists see blood

Rivers in the desert

Zechariah's wall of fire

The Return of Elijah

The stone cut without hands

Cyrus, a type of Christ

The Army of God

The Raven and the Dove

Creation and the Gospel

How the heavens passed away with “great noise”

When the earth was made, it was formed “in the midst of the waters” and this is what the apostle Peter refers to when he says it was ‘standing out of the water and in the water’ (2 Peter 3:5). The earth was elevated above the primeval waters forming dry land, and oceans and seas, on the third day.

Peter says men were “willingly ignorant” about the existence of the subterranean waters in his day, just as most people are today. But the ignorance he refers to is rather sinister; the Jews were perpetrating a fraud, that identified the earth’s rocky crust with the rigid sky of the geocentric cosmology. The fraud was initiated by the Seleucid king of Syria Antiochus IV in the 2nd century BC.

In 2 Peter 3:1 & 2, Peter reminds us to take heed to prophecy. The significance of the subterranean waters that Peter refers to in verse 5 is explained by Daniel’s prophecy of the horn of the goat that grew up to the sky and cast stars and the host of heaven down to the earth (Daniel 8:9-14). By redefining the ‘raqia’ (or ‘firmament’) as heaven in Genesis 1:8, the agents of Antiochus IV located stars on the underside of the earth’s crust, the original meaning of ‘raqia’. It fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy about the horn of the goat casting down stars to the earth and trampling them.

Antiochus IV and his agents modified the cosmology of the Hebrew scriptures to make them comply with the geocentric cosmology of the pagan world of the hellenistic age. Their redefinition of the ‘raqia’ as heaven introduced a layer of waters above the heavens - a truly ridiculous concept!

Peter says that the heavens and the earth of his day were “kept in store” against the day of man’s judgment. The same prophecy of Daniel that explains the true meaning of the word ‘raqia’, and exposes the fraud of Antiochus IV, also said the heavens would be “cleansed”, 23 centuries after the vision was given to Daniel. It was God’s judgment upon the old pagan cosmology, along with those who supported it. Peter wrote:

2 Peter 3:10
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.

The rigid heavenly firmament and the planetary spheres of the old geocentric cosmology have passed away, as Peter foretold, as a result of the scientific revolution. It was accompanied with great commotion, or ‘noise’, as many supposed that the new discoveries of science discredited the word of God, and the Christian faith. They were ignorant of the revision of the Bible’s cosmology by Antiochus IV and his agents, that introduced the idea of a rigid heaven into the scriptures. The ‘noise’ that Peter refers to cannot be due to events in the heavens as sound cannot exist in space; however it aptly depicts the rise of materialistic science and philosophy, and the atheism and skepticism that emerged when the old cosmology was abolished.

Man’s view of the heavens was ‘set right’ in the mid eighteenth century. The idea of a rigid heavenly firmament was abandoned, and men realized that the earth revolves, not the sky. This fulfilled Daniel's prophecy about the 2,300 days.

Daniel 8:13-14
Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the continual, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred evening mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Since there is no start date or event specified for the period, the 2,300 days are counted from the time that the words were spoken by the holy messenger, the 3rd year of Belshazzar (Daniel 8:1). That was about 550 BC.

The 2,300 days or ‘evening mornings’ is the duration of a period of desolation of the sanctuary, during which the "continual" was raised up. In this prophecy, God's "sanctuary" is the starry heaven or universe. The "continual" which was raised up (the KJV says it was 'taken away') represents the diurnal rotation which was assigned to the heavens rather than the earth. If the days are interpreted as years, the period ends 23 centuries later, around 1750 AD.

The scientific revolution involved a profound change in how men thought about the creation, and required new ways of thinking, including new mathematical concepts. An intellectual environment for the development and sharing of scientific ideas had to exist. Both the Protestant Reformation and the voyages of discovery around the earth helped to provide the background for the introduction of these new ideas.

The scientific revolution was mathematically based. Certain key ideas and concepts underlie our modern view of the universe. It also required measurements and observations, and involved contributions by many individuals over several centuries. Sir Isaac Newton said he "stood on the shoulders of giants." Without the contributions of many scholars, the great revolution in science that led to the modern view of the universe could not have occurred. 

The celestial spheres illustrated in Peter Apian's Cosmographia (Antwerp, 1539)

The story of the scientific revolution is summarized in the following list of contributors. The account confirms that the astronomical discoveries that set right or “cleansed” man’s view of the heavens fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy of the 2,300 days, as well as Peter’s prophecy about the passing of the heavens of the ancient world, and the “great noise” that accompanied it.

Jean Buridan (1300–1358), French priest who sowed the seeds of the Copernican revolution in Europe. His theory of impetus foreshadowed the modern idea of momentum.

Nicole Oresme (c. 1323-1382), first suggested rectangular co-ordinates, which foreshadowed the invention of analytical geometry.

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), argued for the heliocentric theory of the solar system. He tried to prove that the sun was the center of the universe. The idea that the earth moved around the sun, as advocated by Copernicus, was to most of his contemporaries preposterous. During the following century only a few astronomers actually accepted it as true theory.

Franciscus Vieta (1540-1603) was the father of modern algebra.

William Gilbert (1544-1603) published 'On the Magnet and Magnetic Bodies', and 'On That Great Magnet the Earth' in 1600.

Thomas Digges (c.1546-1595) in the appendix to a work by his father, Leonard Digges, offered an early account of Copernicus's heliocentric theory, and a description of the cosmos and distribution of the stars as infinitely extended (1576). An infinity of stars may have suggested to some the possibility of a plurality of worlds, which in turn eventually raised theological concern.

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) made extensive and more accurate naked eye observations of the planets in the late 1500s which became the basic data for Kepler's studies. The year of the 'Comet of 1577' was made famous by Tycho Brahe, and challenged a central tenet inherited from Aristotle, that the celestial spheres were 'solid' and perhaps even crystalline. Because the path of the comet seemed to many astronomers to be above the sphere of the moon (that is, superlunary) the apparent path of the comet would 'shatter' anything in its path. However Tycho's system required the starry 8th sphere of the Ptolemaic system, that revolved around the earth every 24 hours, as he claimed the earth was immobile at the center of the universe.

Simon Stevin (1548–1620), explained the tides by the attraction of the moon, and showed bodies of different weight fall with exactly the same acceleration.

Giordano Bruno (1548–1600) was a priest who supported an infinite universe.

John Napier (1550–1617) was the inventor of logarithms and decimal notation.

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) improved the telescope and made several astonishing (for the time) astronomical observations such as the phases of Venus and the moons of Jupiter, which he published in 1610. He developed the laws for falling bodies based on pioneering quantitative experiments which he analyzed mathematically.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) published the first two of his three laws of planetary motion in 1609.

René Descartes (1596-1650) pioneered deductive reasoning, and published his 'Discourse on Method' in 1637. He suggested the union of algebra and geometry.

Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695) pioneered mathematical analysis of circular motion and centrifugal force.

Isaac Newton (1642-1727) built upon the work of Kepler and Galilei. His development of the calculus opened up new applications of the methods of mathematics to science. He showed that an inverse square law for gravity explained the elliptical orbits of the planets, and advanced the theory of Universal Gravitation. Newton believed that scientific theory should be coupled with rigid experimentation.

The following are the major topics Newton discussed in the 'Principia'.  (From O. Lodge, 1926)

  1. Kepler's second law (equitable description of areas) proves that each planet is acted on by a force directed towards the sun as a centre of force.
  2. Kepler's first law proves that this central force diminishes in the same proportion as the square of the distance increases.
  3. Kepler's third law proves that all the planets are acted on by the same kind of force; of an intensity depending on the mass of the sun.
  4. So by knowing the length of the year and distance of any planet from the sun, the sun's mass can be calculated, in terms of that of the earth.
  5. For the satellites, the force acting depends on the mass of their central body, a planet. Hence the mass of any planet possessing a satellite becomes known.
  6. The force constraining the moon in her orbit is the same gravity as gives terrestrial bodies their weight and regulates the motion of projectiles.
  7. The moon is attracted not only by the earth, but by the sun also; hence its orbit is perturbed, and Newton calculated out the chief of these perturbations.
  8. Each planet is attracted not only by the sun but by the other planets, hence their orbits are slightly affected by each other.
  9. He recognized the comets as members of the solar system, obedient to the same law of gravity and moving in very elongated ellipses; so their return could be predicted.
  10. Applying the idea of centrifugal force to the earth considered as a rotating body, he perceived that it could not be a true sphere, and calculated its oblateness, obtaining 28 miles greater equatorial than polar diameter.
  11. From the observed shape of Jupiter or any planet the length of its day could be estimated.
  12. The so-calculated shape of the earth, in combination with centrifugal force, causes the weighht of bodies to vary with latitude; and Newton calculated the amount of this variation. 194 lbs. at pole balances 195 lbs. at equator.
  13. A homogeneous sphere attracts as if its mass were concentrated at its centre. For any other figure, such as an oblate spheroid, this is not exactly true. A hollow concentric spherical shell exerts no force on small bodies inside it.
  14. The earth's equatorial protuberance, being acted on by the attraction of the sun and moon, must disturb its axis of rotation in a calculated manner; and thus is produced the precesion of the equinoxes.
  15. The waters of the ocean are attracted towards the sun and moon on one side, and whirled a little farther away than the solid earth on the other side: hence Newton explained all the main phenomena of the tides.
  16. The sun's mass being known, he calculated the hight of the solar tide.
  17. From the observed heights of spring and neap tides he determined the lunar tide, and hence made an estimate of the mass of the moon.

Even after the publication of Newton's work, many churchmen and academics were slow to accept the new cosmology. It is said that Newton’s discoveries were not accepted by the professors at Oxford until about 50 years after its publication. At the end of the 18th century, Aristotle's cosmology was still preferred at some universities in Spain.

By the mid eighteenth century Newton's discoveries had become well known and popularized. His books were being translated to English and French. The period became known as the "Enlightenment".

The third edition of Newton's 'Principia' was published in 1726, when Newton was 80 years old.

Olaus Roemer (1644-1710) estimated the speed of light by comparing the duration of an eclipse of one of the satellites of Jupiter, measured when the earth was in opposite positions in its yearly orbit.

John Flamsteed (1646-1719) catalogued almost 3,000 stars with much greater accuracy than any prior work. An unauthorized version of his 'Historia Coelestis Britannica' was published in 1712 by Halley and Newton, but Flamsteed's own version of his work was published in 1725. It gave positions of more than three times as many stars as Tycho's catalogue.

Edmond Halley (1656–1742) calculated the period of the comet named for him, and predicted its return in 1758. Its reappearance was regarded as a great triumph for the Newtonian theory. The comet reached perihelion on March 12, 1759.

Willem Jacob 's Gravesande (1688–1742) published 'Mathematical elements of natural philosophy' in 1720. He performed experiments in which brass balls were dropped with varying velocity onto a soft clay surface, and his results led to a formula which corrected Newton's results.

James Bradley (1692-1762) discovered the aberration of light in 1729, and used it to estimate the speed of light.

Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis (1698–1759) led an expedition to Lapland in 1736 to measure the length of a degree along the meridian. The results verified Newton's concept of gravity, which required that the earth is an oblate spheroid, flattened in polar regions.

Francesco Algarotti (1712–1764) published 'Il newtonianismo per le dame' [Newtonianism for the Ladies] in 1736, on Newton's optics. It became one of the most popular accounts of Newton's philosophy.

François-Marie Arouet (1694–1778), better known as Voltaire, and Emilie de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet (1706 –1749) wrote a popular exposition of Newton's discoveries, 'Elements of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy'. Both French and English editions were published in 1738.

In 1744 the Roman Catholic Church allowed the printing of Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. It still remained on the Index of Prohibited Books, and inclusion of Galileo's recantation of Copernican theory was required in the same volume.

Alexis Claude Clairaut (1713–1765) explained the figure of the earth by his theorem connecting gravity at points on the surface of a rotating ellipsoid with the centrifugal force at the equator. In 1747 Clairaut and Emilie de Breteuil began translating Newton's 'Principia' into French; the work was published in 1759.

Claurault declared "a great revolution in physics" had been caused by Newton's 'Principia'. The idea that a scientific revolution in astronomy was underway became prevalent in the second half of the eighteenth century. It was the basis for Kant's description of the time as "the age of enlightenment."

In 1749 Clairaut showed that Newton's theory of gravity was confirmed by observations of the motion of the moon.

Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711-1765) introduced the new astronomy and the Copernican theory at the Academy of St. Petersburg in Russia, beginning about 1750. In 1755 he founded Moscow University.

Thomas Wright (1711-1786) published 'An Original Theory and New Hypothesis of the Universe' in 1750. He proposed that the Sun and stars form a giant system rotating around a common center, thus describing the modern view of the Milky Way.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) suggested that nebulae are large star systems like the Milky Way in 1755.

In 1757, the Congregation of the Index "secretly allowed the ideas of Copernicus to be tolerated." Also, Lutheran theologians in Germany opposed the Copernican theory during the first part of the eighteenth century, claiming it was opposed to scripture, "yet at the middle of the century we find some of the clearest-headed of them aware of the fact that their cause was lost." (White 1896, Chapter III: Astronomy.)

William Herschel (1738-1822) a musician from Hanover, migrated to England in 1757, and became interested in astronomy. His improved telescope design led to many discoveries.

Jean le Rond d'Alembert (1717-1783) was a French mathematician who wrote in 1759 (Hankins 1985, p.1):

Our century is called ... the century of philosophy par excellence ... The discovery and application of a new method of philosophizing, the kind of enthusiasm which accompanies discoveries, a certain exaltation of ideas which the spectacle of the universe produces in us - all these causes have brought about a lively fermentation of minds, spreading through nature in all directions like a river which has burst its dams.


Grant, Edward, 1987.  Celestial Orbs in the Latin Middle Ages. Isis, Vol. 78, No. 2. (Jun., 1987), pp. 152-173.

Hankins, Thomas L. 1985. Science and the Enlightenment. Cambridge University Press.

Lodge, Sir Oliver, 1926. Pioneers of Science. Dover Publications Inc. NY.

White A. D. 1896, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, 2 vols.

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