O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

"all the righteous blood shed on the earth" (before the first heaven and earth even began???)

John wrote on another thread:

" is a perfect example why the discussion does indeed need to continue in an open and honest forum. You see [a certain person] at SGP [is] espousing that "The covenant for salvation with man did not begin until the Mosaic covenant". Do you see the major implications of such a view? And no one has corrected her or commented on this. I'm sorry but I find this alarming and consider this to be dangerous. I'm sure Abraham and Noah would be disappointed to learn this."

This is of paramount significance and I would like to point out that at the root of the above statement and its horrific implications is the position that "the first heaven and the first earth" to which Revelation 21 refers began not at the creation of the heaven and earth in Genesis 1 (the beginning), but rather at Sinai.

No covenant for salvation before Moses? What about Genesis 3:15 for starters? What about the gospel which was preached to Abraham in Genesis 17, according to Paul? What about the animal sacrifices performed by Abel, Noah, and Abraham long before the Mosaic covenant was "added because of transgression?" What covenant were they under? Perhaps it was the covenant that the law of Moses was "added" to.

We discussed this issue a while back on NCMI's forum. Here is an excerpt from that discussion which enunciates the point John is making above:


Sam Frost stated on a podcast with Ward that "the first heaven and earth" to which Revelation refers began at Sinai, not Genesis 1. Now let's just look at this for a minute. Take this passage for example (notice that we are going to see a contrast between the old and new covenants, or the first heavens and earth which was passing away, and the new heavens and earth--I don't think anyone would disagree with that terminology):

Hebrews 12: 18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched [ok, that's talking about Sinai so maybe Sam is right] , and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, [new covenant, new heavens and new earth] and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, [now watch this]

that speaketh better things than that of Abel. [in this contrast between the old and new covenants, he goes back to Abel!]

Something else. I think everyone would agree that the passing away of the first (or old) heavens and earth was demonstrated by the destruction of Jerusalem. Now if we are going to say that which was being done away at AD 70 began at Sinai, we have a problem because Jesus, in telling the Pharisees of the judgment that was coming upon them, and what they were being held accountable for, said this:

Matthew 23: 34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

Notice: "All the righteous blood shed upon the earth". What earth? Hopefully not even Mike Bennett is going to suggest that first century Jews were being judged for all righteous blood shed on the planet. No, it was all the righteous blood shed since the very beginning of "the earth". You cannot read earth here other than covenantally. (And in fact, "righteous blood" could only be used in a covenant context, as outside of covenant relationship with God, righteousness, which is only by faith, does not exist.) And this covenantal earth was already in existence when Abel's blood was shed. Long before Sinai. And it is simply not possible to divide Israel's history into multiple "heavens and earths".

Furthermore, I remain perplexed whenever people speak of the "old covenant" as exclusive to the Mosaic economy, because it seems to leave believers who lived before Moses outside of redemption. Paul is clear sin was in the world, and death came as a result....and the law was added because of transgression. The law of Moses simply magnified what was already standing in the way of presence with God. It wasn't the beginning of God's covenant relatonship with His people, it was a "recapitulation" of what was established in the beginning (ie, the creation of the heavens and the earth.)


Let me say it again:

"All the righteous blood shed upon the earth".

What earth? And when was this earth created?

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Thanks for elaborating on this point.I think it goes a long way in dispelling some misconceptions about the curse and what "heavens and earth" is in view in Rev. Hopefully we can nail this down and then the discussion can move forward.But if we're confused on this point it will lead to errors down the road.

Nicely done.

I can think of a few other awful implications of this view as well. (It makes eschatology solely Jewish contra John, Paul, etc..) But your points are enough, all by themselves, to dispell this notion that biblical eschatology is rooted in the Sinai covenant. That would leave out all of the patriarchs, and slight all of the promises of God given in the earliest chapters of Genesis. It would also ignore all of God's promises given to Gentiles (see my talk titled "The Promised Land of Lot" from the Covenant Creation Conference). The Sinai covenant was for Israel alone!

The mention of Abel in Hebrews and Matthew 23 shows that biblical eschatology goes back to the very beginning. BTW, scholars and theologians have been saying this for a couple of thousand years now. That is the theological framework that has been affirmed from early church history. We don't need to throw out the framework and start over from scratch. That is what the preterist critics of Covenant Creation are demanding. Rather, we need to merely reconsider the nature of creation to bring it into consistent harmony with our reevaluation of the nature of biblical eschatology. The solution is, in a word, Covenant. Creation and Consummation are intimately related.

Thanks for posting this,

Tim Martin
Thanks, Tim.

The Sinai covenant was for Israel alone!

Exactly. I have heard you say this before--that the "Sinai = the creation of the first heaven and earth" framework effectually leaves Gentiles with no eschatology. That is such a huge point.

Thankfully, though:

"The law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ!"

And that covenant was the "gospel preached to Abraham" which was for "all nations," but it began in the garden.

To Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. And in the garden, it was this same Seed who was promised to bruise the serpent's head.

It's everywhere you look.

Looking forward to discussing "The Promised Land of Lot."


I hope to have that session available to download from our site this weekend. I think I can do that, with the powerpoint slideshow. I think it will help many people see the importance of Covenant Creation and provide an incentive for those interested to get the entire conference CD package.

I'm working on it...

Tim Martin
I think it's interesting that Paul here mentions the curse and Abraham in the same context..

Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us--for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"--
Gal 3:14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
Gal 3:15 To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified.

The first covenant with man was that which God made with our father Adam in paradise, the covenant that is sometimes referred to as "the Covenant of Works." After that there was not another significant revelation or dispensation of the covenant until the time of Noah.And latter to Abraham and again when the law was added.But this is the continuation of one covenant.This covenant was never aborgated but applied to a new Adam (Christ).

Examine the progression.. God had made covenant laws from the beginning and
to these laws He “added because of transgressions, till the seed should come” the
Mosaic Law (Gal. 3:19).

God had clearly given Adam and Eve law in the garden (a covenant) (Gen. 2:16-17; I Tim. 2:13).

God gave the people of Noah’s day law (cf. Gen. 6:5-8; II Pet. 2:5).

God gave Abraham law (Gen. 17:9-14). The Mosaic Law is termed a covenant (Deut. 5:1-3; II Cor. 3:14-15).

I like how The Westminster Confession of Faith puts it.
Of God's Covenant with Man
I. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which He has been pleased to express by way of covenant.[1]

II. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works,[2] wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity,[3] upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.[4]

III. Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second,[5] commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved,[6] and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.[7]

IV. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in scripture by the name of a testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the Testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed.[8]

V. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the Gospel:[9] under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come;[10] which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah,[11] by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the Old Testament.[12]

VI. Under the Gospel, when Christ, the substance,[13] was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper:[14] which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy,[15] to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles;[16] and is called the New Testament.[17] There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations.[18]

I'm sure this has been brought up before..But hey..repetition..repetition!!!

John wrote:

I think it's interesting that Paul here mentions the curse and Abraham in the same context.

Yes, this is huge. To just bring this to a fine point, the text you quote from Galatians equates the blessing promised to Abraham with redemption from the curse of the law. (I hope people will pause here.)

Abraham was promised to be redeemed from a curse he wasn't even under? (This would have to be the case if indeed "the curse of the law" refers merely and exclusively to the "heaven and earth" which began at Sinai--remember, Sam Frost and the SGP gang are teaching that "the first heaven and first earth" to which Revelation 21 refers did not exist until Sinai.)

Something else. Notice that Paul says "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law (which some say refers exclusively to the law of Moses and a "first heaven and first earth" which did not begin until Sinai) that the blessing of Abraham might come to Gentiles."

What did the law of Moses have to do with Gentiles? And yet Christ came to redeem us from the curse of the law so that Gentiles would be blessed! What "curse of the law" did Gentiles need to be redeemed from? When was this curse pronounced?

Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Now, someone might be asking, can you prove a Gentile reference in this context? Yes, we can. It's in the very next verse:

Gen 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

PLEASE compare to:

Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above [ie, the curch] is free, which is the mother of us all.

"The mother of all the living" in Genesis 3 is absolutely not a reference to Eve being the first woman who ever lived and therefore the mother of all biologically living humans. Here is yet another comparison which confirms that Eve is a picture of the church:

Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh

Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

(these parallels are also discussed in this article.)

Oh, and btw, lest anyone think I have forced an association here between the "first heaven and the first earth" and the "curse of the law": Revelation 21 and 22 equate these two, in describing the "new heavens and new earth" where "there is no more curse." Why is there no more curse? Because the first heaven and first earth have passed away.

Great point, John!


Thanks for some excellent points! Like you said i hope people following this discussion are paying attention and especially the ones that have responded even if not here will take time and read what is actually said and written before responding.

This is all about "what saith the Scriptures"..Not about we are right and they are wrong...and i know you and the others here agree with me.

I would like to try and make a comparsion with the covenants in an effort to show how the Adamic Covenant progreses to the The Mosaic Covenant..

The United Sates Constitution was was adopted on September 17, 1787..Since then it has had many amendments but.. amendments to the U.S. constitution are appended to the existing body of the text without altering or removing what already exists.

Would anyone today try and say we have a different Constitution? I know this may be simplistic but i think people are ignoring the "Big Picture".
"The first covenant..."


Wow! I hadn't thought of the Westminster on this point. Thanks for mentioning this.

Just one more example of how Covenant Creation works in agreement with the framework of historic Christian theology! Can our critics (who love to tout their view as "traditional") show any traditional theology that presents the "first" covenant as originating at Sinai? No. They are making this up as they go... all to be traditional, mind you.

Tim Martin
Just a few more interesting tidbits.

Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant
1._____ The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience to him as their creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of life but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.
( Luke 17:10; Job 35:7,8 )

2._____ Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.
( Genesis 2:17; Galatians 3:10; Romans 3:20, 21; Romans 8:3; Mark 16:15, 16; John 3:16; Ezekiel 36:26, 27; John 6:44, 45; Psalms 110:3 )

3._____ This covenant is revealed in the gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman, and afterwards by farther steps, until the full discovery thereof was completed in the New Testament; and it is founded in that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect; and it is alone by the grace of this covenant that all the posterity of fallen Adam that ever were saved did obtain life and blessed immortality, man being now utterly incapable of acceptance with God upon those terms on which Adam stood in his state of innocency.
( Genesis 3:15; Hebrews 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 11;6, 13; Romans 4:1, 2, &c.; Acts 4:12; John 8:56 )

Helvetic Consensus

Canon VII: As all his works were known unto God from eternity, (Acts 15:18), so in time, according to his infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, he made man, the glory and end of his works, in his own image, and, therefore, upright, wise, and just. Having created man in this manner, he put him under the Covenant of Works, and in this Covenant freely promised him communion with God, favor and life, if indeed he acted in obedience to his will.

Creedal expression
The covenant with Adam is implicit in the fundamentals of historic Christianity, but is explicit most adequately in reformed theology. While it is not explicit in the 16th century Reformed creeds it is largely implied in them. It is expressed in the Irish Articles composed by Archbishop Ussher in 1615, and is thoroughly elaborated in the Westminster Confession (1646). The Savoy Declaration (1658) of the Independents and the London Confession (1689) of the Baptists only slightly modify Westminster's language. It also found a place in the Helvetic Consensus (1675), although for other reasons this Creed did not have the general acceptance of those already mentioned. It is referred to in the Articles of the Dutch Classes of Walcheren (Zeeland) in 1693, while an interesting statement of the doctrine is found in the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Confession of 1823. These statements each reflect the level of consensus at the time of their composition, and there is room for varieties within the species of covenant theology to exist legitimately. No doubt it is proper to avoid over-elaboration where Scripture is not explicit. However, the danger in our time is more likely to be an under-emphasis than anything else.
For anyone, I have a question about this statement from the "Baptist Confession":

2._____ Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.
( Genesis 2:17; Galatians 3:10; Romans 3:20, 21; Romans 8:3; Mark 16:15, 16; John 3:16; Ezekiel 36:26, 27; John 6:44, 45; Psalms 110:3 )

First, I am a little stunned that it so boldly identifies being under "the curse of the law" as the consequence of eating from the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." (Genesis 2:17; Galatians 3:10) Maybe we should revisit traditionalism after all. :)

But here is my question: if it is true what they are saying, that "the curse of the law" to which Galatians 3 refers was pronounced upon Adam in the garden, where do we see this in the context? Genesis 3 is where we find the pronouncement of the curse, and I don't see anything in that context even remotely referring to "the curse of the law." I see "cursed is the ground for your sake," but what does that have to do with the law?


That is a very interesting post.


Tim Martin

Whatever we might develop as an answer to this question of the "curse of the law", let's always remember that the law, itself, is not, nor ever was, at fault. Paul clearly expressed that the law was our scholmaster, to bring us to Christ. By the law, we saw our inability to keep it, and thereby saw our need for a savior to protect us from the wrath that the law proscribed.

So, whenever I hear the term "curse of the law", I think NOT about the law itself being something which is a curse, but instead I see the law as being a curse BECAUSE OF ME! It is my inability to keep the law that is the curse. It isn't, as some may say, an external added on curse above and beyond what mankind naturally experiences in life. Rather, it becomes a curse to those who KNOW what the law says precisely BECAUSE we know what it says. Once we know what the law says, we automatically fall under its "curse". What then is the curse of the law? It is the INTERNAL conviction we receive because we know how righteous the law is, and we know we are totally unable to do what the law requires. For those under the law of Moses, the curse was the EXTERNAL punishments for breaking the law (washings, sacrifices, and uncleanness)

Does then the curse become an unrighteous thing? Not at all. The law is righteous, just, and good. Our inability to keep it is our curse. Was Adam then cursed with a different curse than we are? No. Adam found out, just like we all do, that he was unable to keep the law of God. This is what cursed him, and it is what is termed "Curse of the law". If we are thinking of "the law" as being only what is written in the Pentateuch, we can easily go off track. It IS true that the CODIFICATION of the word of God occurred in Moses day, but it was by no means a totally comprehensive set of laws that was codified. The law of Moses was just that - the law of MOSES. It was given by God, but administered for a specific set of circumstances for a specific purpose, for a set time.

Would that mean that those same laws, which were, BTW, totally righteous, should be practiced by Christians today? After all, thery WERE rooted in righteousness, and they DID originate from God. Well, we see clearly that we are not under those laws because we are not in those same circumstances!

Clearly the law of God, written on our hearts, is the ultimate goal of God. It was stated in jeremiah 31:33, and fulfilled in Acts when the Holy Spirit came upon God's people at Pentecost.

So, Adam was under the curse of the law just as ALL men have been since Adam. The curse upon Adam had to do with HIS particular breaking of the law of God as he understood it to apply to him personally. The curse pronounced on the Hebrews for breaking the law of Moses had to do with THEIR breaking of the law of God as THEY understood it. Today, if we break the law written on our hearts, and we too receive a "cursing". Fortunately, Jesus became the curse of the law for us, and we have but to ask to apply that curse on Jesus and take it off of us. Hopefully, as we grow, we understand more and more how precious was that life Jesus lived, and it makes us less willing to violate the law of God in our daily lives. That is growing in holiness, and is what we do because we are Chrsitians and because we have the law of God written on our hearts.


Olivet Discourse Movie

How the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled in the first century.
Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21
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