I’m seeking some help regarding G. C. Brewer’s (1884-1956) undertstanding of the earth. Concerning Isaiah 65, 66, 2 Peter 3 and Revelation 21, Brewer wrote (Gospel Advocate [4 April 1946], 314):
“The New Testament references describe a condition that will come after the destruction of the present heaven and earth. That this earth—this existing order of things, including the material earth—is to be destroyed, Peter tells us in terms we cannot misunderstand. That this earth was cursed because of sin and that thorns and briars and noxious weeds came as a result of the curse seems plain also. (Gen. 3:17-19.) Beasts of prey—ferocious and destructive animals—seem to have come after the curse also (Gen. 2:18-20.) And that the earth itself is to be redeemed from the curse seems to be the teaching of the Bible—seems to be the promise of God. (Rom. 8:20-22; 2 Peter 3:13; Daniel 7:14-22.) Man was given dominion over the earth, but transferred his allegiance to Satan, and the curse came, bringing suffering, sorrow, and death. But Christ came to remove the curse and to bring “joy to the earth.” When the earth is redeemed, it will first be renovated by fire. Then there will be a new heaven and a new earth. Then the meek shall inherit the earth. (Ps. 37:9-11; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 5:10; 21:1-7; 2 Peter 3:10-13.)”
That is the summary at the beginning of the article where he asserts, what seems to him, obvious realities in Scripture. He is responding to a question about the meaning of the “new heavens and new earth.” The rest of the article pursues several trajectories. I have reproduced below his final paragraph which contains his conclusion:
“But there is another view as to when the promise that Peter mentions was given. This view is that the promise of a new heaven and a new earth was included in the /322/ promises God made to Abraham and that Isaiah and all others who mention the new heavens and new earth were simply referring to what had been the hope and expectation of God’s people from Abraham down; that this is the heavenly country that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were seeking.
“But now we must try to find where and when that promise of a heavenly country and the city that hath the foundations was given to Abraham. It must have been in that land promise (Gen. 15:18; 17:7, 8), though it would be hard for us to see it without the aide of the New Testament. The city promise must be that made in these words: ‘Thy seed shall possess the gate [the city] of his enemies.” (Gen. 22:17.)”
“Paul says (Rom. 4:13-16) that the promise to Abraham was that he and his seed should be heirs of the world, and he says this promise must be made sure to all his spiritual seed. We, then, who are by faith children of Abraham and heirs of the promise (Gal. 3:28-29) are yet to inherit the world, though it must be the new earth. We will never get this one. Even Abraham himself was a pilgrim and a stranger on this earth.”
It appears to me that Brewer believes that the Abrahamic inheritance is fulfilled when the saints inhabit a renovated earth. This is consistent with Lipscomb and Harding. I did not expect this from Brewer, so I wonder if I am misreading in some way.
What do you think? And do you know of other occasions when Brewer discusses this?