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was burnt up, where the Lord had declared his presence should remain, and his glory rest. When this took place, this people were banished from the presence of their God and the glory of his power. Then their old heavens were on fire, and their heavens and earth were burnt up. This was what Peter referred to when he said, '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.' 2 Pet. iii : 7. This destruction was to come sudden and unexpectedly. 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 melt with fervent heat ; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up.' Do. v: 10. This judgment fell on the dragon, which represented Israel, and the works that were
burned up, were those of the old Jewish sanctuary.
But the apostle goes farther, and adds, 'Nevertheless we according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.' Ch. v: 13. John refers to the same subject, when he says, And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven, and the first earth had passed away, and there was no more sea.' Rev. xxi: 1. This was the sea where the dragon was slain. The new heavens and the new earth is the gospel mount, that was erected where the old mount Sion, which was the old heavens, was destroyed by fire.
Peter says, • Even as our beloved
brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given unto him, hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be un
derstood, which they that are unlearned and unstable, wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.' 2 Pet. iii: 15, 16. Paul speaks of this same matter to the Hebrews. He tells them the word was preached to them in the wilderness; but their unbelief in the word which was sent unto them, preaching peace by Jesus Christ, made them trees whose fruit withered, were twice dead, plucked up by the roots.' Through their backsliding from God who was their habitation, their fruit withered.
Paul has this subject in view, when he says, 'For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to them
selves the son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.' Heb. vi: 4— 6. The Jews were the people who had fallen away from their allegiance to God, ánd so were reserved unto destruction by fire. When they were judged out of the books for their backsliding, it proved to be with them according to the scriptures. Their last state was worse than the first, as it ever will be with those who turn away from the commands of God.
This backslidden people, who were twice dead and plucked up by the roots, are those which Jude and Peter call fallen angels. They are also called in scripture, dragons of the wilderness. Daniel and John call them, the Beast.' This was the beast which received the wound by Esau's sword, and lived. They did live; but were bound by the Roman laws, and under them allowed some of their former privileges. John had a view
of this beast. 'So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness; and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet-coloredbeast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.' Rev. xvii 3. This represents fallen Israel, which was full of blasphemy. It was they who blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, which was not to be forgiven, neither under the law, nor the gospel dispensation; and their end confirmed this saying.