To arrive at the true meaning of this expression, we must note there are two words translated "foundation" in the New Testament: (1) themelios, and (2) katabole.
The Noun, themelios, occurs in Luke 6:48, 49; 14:29. Acts 16:26. Rom. 15:20. 1Cor. 3:10, 11, 12. Eph. 2:20. 1Tim. 6:19. 2Tim. 2:19. Heb. 6:1; 11:10. Rev. 21:14, 19. It is never used of the world (kosmos) or the earth (ge). The corresponding Verb (themeliou) occurs in Matt. 7:25. Luke 6:48. Eph. 3:17. Col. 1:23. Heb. 1:10 and 1Pet. 5:10. The verb is only once used of the earth (ge). Heb. 1:10.
A comparison of all these passages will show that these are proper and regular terms for the English words "to found", and "foundation".
The Noun, katabole, occurs in Matt. 13:35; 25:34. Luke 11:50. John 17:24. Eph. 1:4. Heb. 4:3; 9:26; 11:11. 1Pet. 1:20. Rev. 13:8; 17:8; and the corresponding Verb (kataballo) occurs in 2Cor. 4:9. Heb. 6:1; and Rev. 12:10.
A comparison of all these passages (especially 2Cor. 4:9, and Rev. 12:10) will show that kataballo and katabole are not the proper terms for founding and foundation, but the correct meaning is casting down, or overthrow.
Consistency, therefore, calls for the same translation in Heb. 6:1, where, instead of "not laying again", the rendering should be "not casting down". That is to say, the foundation already laid, of repentance, &c., was not to be cast down or overthrown, but was to be left -- and progress made unto the perfection.
Accordingly, the Noun katabole, derived from, and cognate with the Verb, ought to be translated "disruption", or "ruin".
The remarkable thing is that in all occurrences (except Heb. 11:11) the word is connected with "the world" (Gr. kosmos. Ap. 129. 1), and therefore the expression should be rendered "the disruption (or ruin) of the world", clearly referring to the condition indicated in Gen. 1:2, and described in 2Pet. 3:5, 6. For the earth was not created tohu (Isa. 45:18), but became so, as stated in the Hebrew of Gen 1:2 and confirmed by 2Pet. 3:6, where "the world that then was by the word of God" (Gen. 1:1), perished, and "the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word "were created (Gen. 2:4), and are "kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment" (2Pet. 3:7) which shall usher in the "new heavens and the new earth" of 2Pet. 3:13.
"The disruption of the world" is an event forming a great dividing line in the dispensations of the ages. In Gen. 1:1 we have the founding of the world (Heb. 1:10 = themeliou), but in Gen. 1:2 we have its overthrow.
This is confirmed by a further remarkable fact, that the phrase, which occurs ten times, is associated with the Preposition apo = from (Ap. 104. iv) seven times, and with pros = before (Ap. 104. xiv) three times. The former refers to the kingdom and is connected with the "counsels" of God; the latter refers to the Mystery (or Secret. See Ap. 192) and is connected with the "purpose" of God (See John 17:24. Eph. 1:4. 1Pet. 1:20).
Ample New Testament testimony is thus given to the profoundly significant
fact recorded in Gen. 1:2, that "the earth became tohu and bohu
(i.e. waste and desolate); and darkness was on the face of the deep", before
the creation of "the heavens and the earth which are now" (2Pet. 3:7).