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

Same Song, Same Verse, A Little Bit Louder and a Little Bit Worse...

Again? I had to laugh when I saw once again the other day, a post claiming to be a refutation of covenant creation by proving that it turns the God of the Bible into merely a "local" or "tribal" god. I cannot tell you how many times we who hold to a covenantal context for Genesis creation (independently of one another) have shown this to be a strawman. And yet these same detractors (distractors? evaders?) continue to equate and interchange "covenantal" and "local," chanting ad nauseum, "local creation" and "tribal god," and my all-time favorite, "why should we preach the gospel to Chinese people?" with their fingers stuck in their ears. In addition to the clarity this article provides in distinguishing between the terms "covenantal" and "local," the podcast interview we did with Tim Martin addresses it also. It baffles me that they are still throwing up that same smokescreen.

Inheriting the promises of the [one and only] everlasting covenant are those redeemed "out of every tribe, tongue, people and nation." How does anyone then procede to translate "covenantal" into "geographically local" or "tribal?"

Utterly mind-boggling.

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Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

If this was not the heaves and earth created in Genesis,how do we understand Luke?

Luk 11:51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.
Abel's blood was shed long before the heavens and earth created after the flood..Help me out here!

Your point is an important one. We discussed this in our recent podcast on Isaiah 65. The destruction of the first (or old) heavens and earth is connected to the judgment to which Jesus refers in Luke 11 (and Matthew 23). "The righteous blood of Abel" was going to be required of them, in that generation.

In a recorded debate with Ward Fenley last year, Sam Frost stated that "the first heavens and earth" to which Revelation 21 refers began at Sinai. As you have shown here, John, that is not possible.

Furthermore, we have this in Hebrews 12, contrasting the new covenant to the old:

Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, 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, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Remember that Paul said the law was added because of transgression. The "old heavens and earth" which was made new (2 Corinthians 5:17) existed long before Moses. The question is, when did it begin? I am thinking "in the beginning."

Some have put forth the proposition that there are multiple Heavens and Earth and some say the first was a physical one in Genesis and then they argue primarily from 2 Pet 3 that the first H & E were destroyed in the flood (the language is not as demanding in 2 Pet 3 as they would assume). Of course Rev 21 definitively states that what was being replaced was the FIRST H & E not the second, third or fourth rendition. What is true and consistent though is that with Adam the “Death” entered the Covenant world and “Death” reigned through out the entirety of the first Heavens and Earth. “Death” did not disappear with the flood or with the shaking of the “Earth” at Sinai but it continued on only until its final Defeat at AD70.

1Co 15:54 ESV
(54) When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY."

The Law was added at Sinai to multiply transgressions (shaking the Earth Heb 12:26) but the commandment was given originally to Adam and all the patriarchs resided under “Death” which was the essence of the first H & E. The “Death” was indeed the embodiment of the first Heaven and Earth and that is why the renewed one of Life through Christ replace old Adam’s original one of Death. Keep in mind the idea of two covenants the first of Death (Adam) and the second of Life (Christ) thus a first H & E and then a renewed one.

1Co 15:47 ESV
(47) The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

Notice again the inclusion of the beginning language from the foundation of the world which included Abel and is restated by the Hebrew author as well.

Luk 11:50-51 ESV
(50) so that THE BLOOD OF ALL THE PROPHETS, SHED FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, may be charged against this generation,
(51) FROM THE BLOOD OF ABEL to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.

Heb 1:2,10,11 ESV
(2) but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, THROUGH WHOM ALSO HE CREATED THE WORLD.
(10) And, "You, Lord, LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH IN THE BEGINNING, and the heavens are the work of your hands;
(11) THEY WILL PERISH, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment,

Concerning the Mt. Sinai event, the Hebrew writer has this to say about the Heavens and Earth that were already in existence at that time.

Heb 12:24-27 ESV
(24) and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word THAN THE BLOOD OF ABEL. … (26) AT THAT TIME HIS VOICE SHOOK THE EARTH, but now he has promised, "Yet once more I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH BUT ALSO THE HEAVENS."
(27) This phrase, "YET ONCE MORE," indicates the removal of THINGS THAT ARE SHAKEN--that is, things that have been made--in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.

If one will read carefully you will see that the writer was saying that only the EARTH was shaken at Mt. Sinai and in no way infers that it was created or came into existence at that time or that the Heavens were dealt with then. Only the upcoming AD70 event describes where both the H & E were to be changed by removing the Law/commandment and establishing the spiritual life through Christ. And again the writer is including the blood of Abel within the context of his discussion of Heavens and Earth.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks though for the multiple H & E proponents is what to do with Abraham and his seed up until Sinai. It is clear that Abraham was the father of the Jews of Sinai along with Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Also what about Abel, Enoch and Noah who are included in Heb 11 account that was looking for the City and would enter it together with the Saints at AD70. Were they not residing under the original H & E that was overshadowed by the “Death” that was about to pass?

There become insurmountable theological problems with explaining the coherency of the scripture for those who postulate that the Heavens and Earth were being changed out constantly from Abel to Zechariah. It really reflects a lack of understanding of the big picture story of redemption from “Death” to life.

We have a big enough mess with contemporary futurist Christians today without Preterist messing the straightforward story up any further and confusing folks even more with their multiple Heavens and Earth renditions. Let’s study this issue and put it to rest as a foundational principle of scripture that there was only one original H & E which was the first which become renewed at the Parousia.

Norm, that was superbly explained. Thank you.

Very well said.

Also consider that the Greek that underlies "world" or "universe" in Heb. 1:3 and and Heb. 11:3 is the term for "ages." That should ring a bell for preterists.

Doesn't it appear that Heb. 11:3 takes us back to Genesis 1-3?

Here is where it gets interesting. English translations invariably translate the Heb. passages with the preconception that what the writer of Hebrews is referring to is the physical universe.


The "end of the ages" according to Paul in 1 Cor. 10 had come. The disciples asked about the "end of the age" in Matt. 24. Translators sometimes make the same mistake there in how they handle "age" and translate it as "the end of the world." It is the same problem.

But if the end of the ages or the end of the age is not the end of the physical universe, then how should we understand that "in the beginning" God created the "ages." Hmmm...

You can't start with a physical universe creation "in the beginning" and end with the end of a covenant world at the "end." At least, not if you want to maintain any consistency whatsoever.

Am I missing something?

Tim Martin

I don't think you are missing something here. This really makes a lot of sense. Rev. 21:1 clearly says that the first H & E passed away. This has been probably one of the biggest sticky-points for partial preterists I know because they say the old covenant world of Moses was not the first H & E, (not Isa 51 but Gen 1!), therefore the NT and especially Rev is not dealing with the replacement of a covenant world but of the universe (of course these same folks, being amillennialists, do not believe that there will be a new earth, and they do not believe that the ungodly and the nations could come into the city for healing at this point, because the gates will be closed rather that open as it says in Rev 21:25!)

Norm did a superb job explaining this concept of it going all the way back to Genesis 1 rather than Sinai, above in his thread. It has taken me a while to fully get my mind around all this and to try and sort out all the details of the H & E, of Gen 1-3, and 2 P3. I've been slow to come around just because I don't want to make a mistake here, especially if I am going to teach others, but I've come to the point where I can't see how anyone can effectively argue against it once seen against the full picture from A to Z, concerning overcoming the "death" of Adam. I just think that all the smoke and mirrors about some specific words in Gen 2 and 2 P3 can't be the end-all be-all argument, because it doesn't deal with the overall story as Norm and others pointed out. But if we were going to hold to a physical creation in Gen 1 and a covenant creation in Gen 2 & Rev 21-22, then that might make more sense then saying it was the H & E after the flood or at Sinai, but still it doesn't deal with Rev 21:1 and the "first" H & E fleeing away, and it doesn't deal with the "sea" and other temple imagery we see in Genesis. At least that's how I'm starting to see it; I remain open in my studies and have not ruled out changing my mind if someone could prove otherwise. I may not be the brightest person in the world, but I remain yet unconvinced that the critics of BCS have made their case. But I do hope peaceful dialogue continues because this will benefit us preterists for generations to come.



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