THE BIBLICAL FLAT EARTH & HEAVEN’S PLACE ABOVE THE FIRMAMENT

jerusalem-christian-quarter-church-of-the-holy-sepulchre-dome-above-christs-tomb-largeWHY CHURCHES ARE NO LONGER BUILT UNDER DOMES is a valid question, one in which I first asked myself while standing beside the empty tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, gazing up at the breathtaking ceiling which arched directly above me. It’s a question I’ve been asking myself ever since. Churches with domes can be found all over the world. Great cathedrals of the Renaissance, Holy Roman and Byzantine Empire all contained them, – even the Ottomans. And it wasn’t until I became a Flat Earther that the question became self-explanatory. It’s rather straightforward, actually. When Christians threw out the Biblical creation model of a self-enclosed system underneath a physical firmament, or dome, with the glories of heaven physically built directly above that, they turned to metaphorical steeples instead.

In yesterday’s post I established the belief, as it pertained to the writers of the Bible, that God created a physical dome above our heads, the firmament, or rāqîa’ (רָקִ֫יעַ‎) in Hebrew. I’m further going to divide this up into two ways. The Bible describes lots of water above the firmament, and also heaven. Let’s leave the ocean of water above us and its relationship with heaven for another day and concentrate strictly on the locale of heaven instead, though we may naturally find some intermingling between the two, since the Hebrews believed heaven and that body of water to roughly be in the same neighborhood.

HEAVEN IS UP!

I kind of feel like I need to state the obvious here, because in the entire canon of Scripture there is never an example given that leads its reader to believe that heaven is east or west of us, side-to-side, here among us, and certainly not below. The simplest employed logic should undoubtedly show that the Hebrews were not thinking in terms of a spinning, wobbling globe. As a former Globe-Earther myself, I naturally adapted to the theory that heaven was somewhere else dimensionally. However, it appears as though the whole of the Bible takes place in an enclosed system, with heaven taking its crowning focus. So when Elijah was taken to heaven, naturally he went up.

Jesus went up too. “He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going….” (Acts 1:10-11)

And when the rapture of the church happens, guess where those of us who are taken are going?

Well, not down.

…Moving on.

moses_on_mount_sinai_leon

GOD’S DWELLING IN HEAVEN IS LINKED TO THE FIRMAMENT

This isn’t allegorical, guys.  As evidence, let me first turn to Exodus 24:9-10: “Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under His feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.”

Moses conceived of the raqia, named ‘heaven,’ as a solid substance much like sapphire. A sapphire stone is blue, like the sky above us. Just keep that in mind when I later talk about the ocean of water above the firmament. Furthermore, the firmament is not a canopy of ice that melted and created the floodwaters, as some Creationists teach. The ASV says of Exodus 24:9-10: “a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the very heaven for clearness.” This can literally be translated: “as the bones of the heavens in purity.” So when the LORD God visited Moses and Aaron and those two other guys and the seventy elders on the mountain, He was standing on a bone or fragment or in the very least the very physical substance that originated from the firmament above our heads.

Ezekiel further developed the rāqîa’ and its relationship with the location of heaven in Ezekiel 1:26, which reads: “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.” Ezekiel 1:26

Elsewhere, in Psalm 150:1 we read: “Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in the firmament of his power.” Much like Exodus 24:9-10, there’s a parallel here made between the Holy Place and the firmament above. Each is a dome under which God rules and is worshiped. The earthly sanctuary is a picture of the whole earth and also of the heavenly sanctuary. Flat Earther Rob Skiba has made an enticing case for the possibility that the Tabernacle in the desert was an exact picture of our entire flat stationary earth in its relationship to the firmament and heaven above us.

The unidentified Psalmist of Psalm 104 also directly links God’s dwelling with the firmament and the waters above that firmament. “Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a [tent] curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind; He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers. He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters were standing above the mountains.” Psalm 104: 1-6 (NASB)

Flat earth earth footstool.jpg

THE EARTH IS HIS FOOTSTOOL

I like the term “The earth is His footstool,” as spoken by the prophet Isaiah, because it directly links creations position with the throne in heaven above, and delivers the most emotional resonance when relating to the geocentric closed-system minds of the Bible’s writers.

“It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” Isaiah 40:22 (NASB)

“Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest?” Isaiah 66:1

While I’ll be outlining the ocean of water that sits above the firmament in a future discussion, I think it would be good to insert here John’s further description of heaven’s throne, which seems to correspond well with Psalm 104. In Revelation 4:6 he states: “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.” I would argue that there is a direct link to heaven and the waters directly above the physical firmament and might further establish the ancient belief that heaven was not strictly a realm of spiritual. Such a concept shouldn’t be too difficult to conceive, seeing as how Jesus is physically resurrected from the dead, he ascended up, and currently indwells in that beautiful realm. We too will physically resurrect to glory, ascend to meet Him in the clouds, and forever dwell there with him.

Flat Earth Terrarium

HE WALKS ON THE CIRCLE OF THE SKY

Job 22:14 may not be the best example to give, as heaven’s relationship to earth is concerned, because it’s one of Job’s Three Stooges friends Eliphaz who claims: “Clouds veil Him so that He cannot see, as He walks on the circle of the sky.”

A lot of Flat Earthers employ this phrase, He walks on the circle of the sky, and yet Eliphaz seems to express clouded judgment. He’s basically saying: “His delight is in heaven, which is worthy of his care, but he will not burden himself with the care of earth.” This was the opinion of many heathen philosophers, as we might similarly see in Greek, Norse, Roman or Sumerian, probably Egyptian, and just about any other cultural mythology. But as we know, and was the case with Christ, the opposite couldn’t be truer of our God.

But such a view also does not discount the Hebrew belief in the circle of the sky, especially considering Isaiah. As it often is in great literature, the answers can be found in the back of the book, and in Revelation 1:20, Jesus gives further insight to His heavenly ministry.  By the time of John’s vision, Hebrews 4:14-16 has already established that Jesus is our High Priest. Now here in Revelation 1:20 Jesus directly links the earthly temple with a heavenly one. A few verses later Jesus adds He walks among the seven golden lampstands, and in 1:20 He tells John: “The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”

There is an action of walking here, not just in heaven but also as heaven relates to His body the church below and the entirety of the portions which make-up the completed church age. Isn’t that exciting, knowing that Jesus’ daily management in heaven doubles as administrative actions over the well-being of his body here on earth?

That’s all the time I have today. I hope this was informative!

– Noel

SOME RELATED SCRIPTURE

“Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the god of Israel. Under His feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.” Exodus 24:9-10 (NIV).

“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.” Ezekiel 1:26

 “The Lord, the LORD Almighty, He who touches the earth and it melts, and all who live in it mourn – the whole land rises like the Nile, then sinks like the river of Egypt – He who builds his lofty palace in the heavens and sets its foundation on the earth.” Amos 9:5-6 (NIV)

“Clouds veil Him so that He cannot see, as He walks on the circle of the sky.” Job 22:14 (HCSB)

“Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a [tent] curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind; He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers. He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters were standing above the mountains.” Psalm 104: 1-6 (NASB)

“When He established the heavens, I was there; When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep.” Proverbs 8:27 (ESV)

“It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” Isaiah 40:22 (NASB)

“Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?” Isaiah 66:1

“Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in the firmament of his power.” Psalm 150:1