Deathisdefeated

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

RACHEL and LEAH a once-upon-a-time story of the 2 covenants

         "...The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel:"  (Ruth 4:11)

     This post involves some observations of the likenesses between the story of Jacob's marriages and the Old and New Covenant relationships God developed with His people.

     Taking the verse from Ruth above, we read that the two women, Rachel and Leah, were given the distinction of building Jacob's family - the "house of Israel".  If you understand this "house" to represent the true Israelite children of God's own family over the centuries, both Jew and Gentile, you can begin to see just what role each of these two sisters played in the drama of redemption.  

     Jacob's name of Israel (prince of God), given to him by the angel, is significant in that it identifies him as a type of Christ.  It isn't difficult to catch a reflection of Christ in Jacob's actions as he is forced to leave the wealth of his father's house behind with nothing but a staff in his hand.  ("Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor...")  For lack of a dowry, Jacob turned shepherd for a wife, as Hosea 12:12 reminds us. This "similitude" is a perfect example of Christ the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, serving in this humble capacity to secure a Bride for Himself. 

     The bride Jacob originally intended to win with his labor is the beloved younger sister, Rachel.  Both Rachel and the 4 children she and her handmaid eventually give to Jacob are types of the Old Covenant made with national, ethnic Israel.  Rachel was born after Leah, just as the Hebrew nation comes into being under Moses' ministry - far down the timeline of the history of nations.  Rachel is the one of first choice, just as the children of Israel were blessed with the favor of God's first selection to receive the revelation of Himself and His ordinances at Mount Sinai.  Before this, no other nation had been privileged with such condescension, such demonstrations of power on their behalf.  Similarly, Jacob's devotion for this younger sister is so complete that the 7 years of grinding labor for Laban is as nothing to him.  

     Of course, we know that Leah was substituted for her sister at the end of Jacob's 7 years of service, and both of them became Jacob's wives at that time.  God's ultimate intention never was for the Hebrew nation to be the sole means of building the "house of Israel" - His children of faith.  The children God blesses Leah and her handmaid to bring to her marriage with Jacob outnumber those of Rachel the favored one - 2 to 1. Even though she is painfully aware of Jacob's hatred for her, she is still granted the gift of children, just as God had children of faith among the nations both before and after He established a Sinai covenant with His chosen people.  There is an echo of Leah's heartbroken rejection in Isaiah 54:6:  "For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken, and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God." This rejected, desolate one is promised more children than the married wife in Isaiah 54:1.  Numerically speaking, the children of faith coming from all the nations under the New Covenant outnumber the faithful remnant under the Old Covenant.  (Romans 9:27-29 compared with Isaiah 54:1-3)

     Eventually, God does grant Rachel conception of a long-desired child of her own - Joseph.  Jacob's partiality to this son predictably brings out resentment in the older brothers, just as there has been animosity between Jew and Gentile time out of mind.  The dying plea of Jacob to Joseph is particularly poignant.  He sends a message through the older brothers, begging Joseph to "Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin: for they did unto thee evil:" (Gen. 50:17)  There is an echo here of Christ's prayer just before His own death.  (John 17:20-21) "Neither pray I for these alone, (the disciples) but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they may all be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us;..."

     Joseph's godly response to his father Jacob's request acknowledges the sovereign hand of God in Gen. 50:20.  "Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive"   Paul expresses the same concept in his epistles:  first in Rom. 11:30-31 when he describes how the grafting process of all Gentile believers into the "olive tree" of God's family is an accompaniment to unbelieving Jews being broken off:  next, in Phil. 1:12-14 when he explains the benefits of his imprisonment for the furtherance of the gospel, even under Caesar's very nose.  God has used the antagonism between Jews and Gentiles to actually multiply the effects of the gospel, just as the sibling rivalry between Rachel and Leah was an incentive to out-produce the other sister.  Good has been alchemized out of evil.

     Even Rachel's death after giving birth to Benjamin (son of the right hand) is a type.  This last child of the beloved wife (ethnic Israel) is born near Bethlehem, only a few miles from Jerusalem.  "Benoni", Rachel calls him - "son of my sorrow" - just as 70 AD Jerusalem suffered during the death of the Old Covenant.  In her death throes, however, Jerusalem gives birth to one last child of the Old Covenant:  the 144 thousand sealed out of all the tribes of Israel.   "Fear not", the midwife tells Rachel in the middle of her hard labor, "Thou shalt have this son also."   The 144 thousand are thus assured of a place at the father's right hand, after they are redeemed from the earth.  (Rev. 14:3)  

     It may be a cause for debate, but there is a distinct possibility that the seal put upon this group of 144 thousand is one that ensures their physical death before the close of the Old Covenant, so they can be included in a bodily resurrection of the house of Israel at Pentecost in 70 AD.  After all, one of the peculiar judgments visited upon those who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads is that they will seek for death, and will not be able to find it in those particular days.  So death, which would be temporarily denied to those worshipers of the beast,  would be a blessing granted to the faithful - an inclusion in the first resurrection of Rev. 20:6, even at the 11th hour of the Old Covenant.  

     Here is another indication that the sealing of this 144 thousand implies their death.  It seems obvious that the Exodus period and the 40-year wilderness wanderings of the children of Israel were meant to picture the 40-year transition period for 1st-century Christians until the 70 AD holocaust.  Jericho's annihilation mirrors Jerusalem's.  The destruction of both of these cities precedes an ushering in to a "promised land".  Significantly, every single person counted in Moses' 1st census dies before the 40-years' period of wandering has expired.  Only two witnesses remain - Caleb and Joshua.  A totally new generation has the honor of entering Canaan and claiming the promises.  

     In the same manner, it would appear that this last 144 thousand must pass away, before a new generation of believers can sweep into the promised land of the New Covenant.   And again, coincidentally, God has 2 witnesses operating during the transition (Rev. 11:3), whoever or whatever you understand those 2 witnesses to be.

     One further observation on the marriage of these 2 sisters to Jacob.  This concept may seem to stretch the boundaries of a covenant type, but perhaps not.  When Laban is called on the carpet to explain why he deceptively abused his role as the Father of the Bride/Brides, he utters this curious statement:  "Fulfill her week, and we will  give thee this also (Rachel), for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet 7 other years."  In other words, Jacob was simultaneously given both sisters as a wife at the end of his initial 7-year term of service.  One wife (Leah) was in an "already, but not yet" position of covenant with Jacob.  She was a wife put on Jacob's "credit card".

     Some partial-preterists have voiced objections that God must have only one resurrection of the dead planned to coincide with the end of history, because God would never think of resurrecting His Bride in stages.  However, if Rachel and Leah are a type of the entire house of Israel - the children of faith - then their story would be a representation of how God has divided His Bride into 2 stages.  We, the nations of the New Covenant (Leah), are already united to our husband Christ (Jacob), and are bearing many children of faith for Him.  Our last child, coincidentally, will be named Zebulun (Dwelling), because then our husband Christ will dwell with us in the fullest sense of the word - body, soul, and spirit.  At this one day in our future, the end of the second 7-year period of labor will have been accomplished, which will culminate in our bodily resurrection, just as our sister, OC ethnic Israel (Rachel) has already experienced hers in 70 AD.

     And we will all live happily every after.

     

     

     

     

Views: 481

Comment by Norm on May 31, 2014 at 6:42pm

Patricia, 

Just as an addition Here is a little excerpt that might meet the criteria of the "two witnesses" of Rev 11.  it's from the Gospel of Nicodemus IX (XXV) which is hard to date and scares those who aren't comfortable with early church type literature. 

But the Lord holding the hand of Adam delivered him unto Michael the archangel, and all the saints followed Michael the archangel, and he brought them all into the glory and beauty (grace) of paradise. And there met with them two men, ancients of days, and when they were asked of the saints: Who are ye that have not yet been dead in hell with us and are set in paradise in the body? then one of them answering, said: I am Enoch which was translated hither by the word of the Lord, and this that is with me is Elias the Thesbite which was taken up in a chariot of fire: and up to this day we have not tasted death, but we are received unto the coming of Antichrist to fight against him with signs and wonders of God, and to be slain of him in Jerusalem, and after three days and a half to be taken up again alive on the clouds."

Comment by Patricia Watkins on June 4, 2014 at 4:57pm

Hi Norm,

Much appreciation for your taking time for a comment on this.  Off topic here, but could I pick out something in your response and ask you for some clarification on  your views regarding "perfection"?  I didn't want to do just a knee-jerk reaction, so I did some further digging into the term as used across the board in scripture.  

You stated (regarding Heb. 11:39-40), "That perfection is right standing in the Presence of God whether for those still alive post AD70 or those already "asleep" prior to AD70's consummation."  If perfection is always and only interpreted as a "right standing" before God, then how does this compute when Heb. 5:9 and Heb. 2:10 both refer to Christ being made perfect after suffering death?  Luke 13:32 also quotes Christ himself as predicting his own perfection process on "the third day".  Surely the intended meaning is not that Christ needed a correction of his standing before God.  Wouldn't it refer instead to the raising of his body into an "endlessly living" form upon his resurrection - a form that would "abide forever" - not be shucked off as he passed through the clouds over the Mount of Olives at his ascension?

If one of the definitions of perfection can include this meaning as it applies to Christ's resurrection form, why in the case of Heb. 11:40 couldn't it also be referring to the form of a resurrected body for the faithful under discussion there?  It looks like the Greek term is the same in both instances.

Comment by Internet_Troll on June 5, 2014 at 2:50am

Joy wrote:

Seems to me the NC is all about righteousness already dwelling here now, in us who believe, as Christ dwells in us, thereby if we thirst we come freely to drink of the living waters and have eternal life now...that life simply continues after our physical death, but in the spiritual realm and apart from the dogs outside the gate...no need for a resurrection as we are offspring of the bride and Christ and never need to die (spiritually) as did those in the OC?

For me there is no need to put the different views in contrast, it is not an either the NC is all about righteousness already dwelling here now OR that there is need for a resurrection but for me the NC is about both righteousness already dwelling here now AND a (physical) resurrection.

 

Patricia wrote:

If one of the definitions of perfection can include this meaning as it applies to Christ's resurrection form, why in the case of Heb. 11:40 couldn't it also be referring to the form of a resurrected body for the faithful under discussion there?

 

While I would not want to answer on Norm's behalf, I think the challenge is in defining what resurrection and "endless living" are. It very well could be that these concepts are included in the verses and issues you are raising but the conclusion would be different depending on how you understand "resurrection" and "endless living". Just saying.

 

JS

Comment by Doug on June 5, 2014 at 6:23am

Perfection is completeness. It is wholeness without any further need of anything else.

Seems like a perfect definition of preterism!

Comment by Norm on June 8, 2014 at 7:08pm

Patricia,

I see the Definition of perfect defined as follows: tel-i-o'-o From G5046; to complete, that is, (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character): - consecrate, finish, fulfil, (make) perfect.

 

Therefore I see being made perfect as being consummated, consecrated, finished, completed, and accomplished. I see it IMO as describing the completion of the messianic fulfilment of lifting the “dead condition” of humanity (both “dead Israel” and “dead Gentiles”) out of the headship of the old covenant body of death governed by Adam into the new headship of the New covenant with Christ as the Head of the new Body.

 

I believe this is what Paul is describing to us in 1 Cor 15 in which there is the expectation that at the Day of Consummation (AD70) that those both physically Dead and those physically alive will have been lifted judicially by the completion of the requirements that Christ fulfilled.

 

1 Corinthians 15:47  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is of heaven. … 49  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52  Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep (die physically nv), but we shall all be changed (Judicially nv),  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

 

The above section from Paul I believe is a reversal of the “eye opening experience” that occurred in the Garden story with Adam and Eve when they transgressed the covenant and realized that juridicaly their sins were no longer covered and that they were “naked”. The AD70 consummation reversed that action and there is no physical action for the physically alive but an eye twinkling change in status before God as the faithful are returned to Garden life. The same that occurred with Adam & Eve.

 

Colossians 3:3-11  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.   When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  … (10)  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.  (11)  Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

 

I believe that all humanity are the “dead ones” with Israel being the focus primarily but the Gentiles too are dead in their status as Paul states in Eph 2.

 

Ephesians 2:11-12  Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—   remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

 

Concerning your question regarding Christ Perfection (see definition above). See Rom 6:1-11 of how Paul lays out that Christ life of perfection and obedience on the Cross and how God raised him for our new standard bearer instead of Old Adam (the Law) who was in the process of dying. The 40 year new exodus will bring those who remain faithful into the new Promised Land when Christ returned to finish what he stated must happen with the destruction of Physical Jerusalem and the Temple as the verification of His power over His enemies. See Hebrew 3 & 4 and 8 & 9.

Moses the representative of the Law did not enter the Promised Land as he died outside it at that time; he could only see it from a distance. Something better was being prepared according to the Hebrews writer. Christ didn’t need a correction but he did need to finish the work of the Law and the Prophets as He says he was called to do. He like the High Priest was to be purified in the first visit into the Holy of Holies (death & resurrection) and on His second incursion and second return He like the High Priest would bring atonement for the people. The Hebrew writer is following strictly the Jewish liturgical process for atonement in describing the process of Christ work for those in this New Exodus journey to the Promised Land.

Hebrews 4:8-14  For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.    So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,   for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.    Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience…  (14)  Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

 

Also part of the definition of eternal life is that this new covenant would be endless and age enduring forever. There would be no more need for another messiah to come back and perform a do over. Those who seek the Lord through Christ have life abundant now and eternally. We have been “perfected” and are clean and standing upright clothed fully now (no longer naked) and upon our physical death continue on in His presence forever.

 

Patricia part of my years of observation regarding partial and full preterits theology is that almost all full Preterist still have lingering partial Preterist views because of our heritage of wanting to literalize the scripture. We feel safe in being conservative in our minds at times, so when it comes to the more difficult scriptures and concepts we will typically revert to a literal reading of scripture if we can’t make it work from a full Preterist consistent hermeneutic. It’s natural to do so and we are all on a journey examining our beliefs and prying one finger at a time away from some of our legacy thinking. I’m constantly massaging my concepts and I frankly don’t ever expect to stop and believe I’ve fully arrived.

 

I don’t worry about it and so try to give myself and others grace for the journey ;)

Comment by Doug on June 8, 2014 at 9:11pm

Norm,

I always LOVE hearing from you. You have taught me a lot.

re: perfection, do you have anything to say along the same lines with regard to Heb 5:9?

"8Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.9And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek."

To me, verse 9 uses the word AND to denote that AFTER He had suffered (on the cross), what was added to Him was perfection, wherein ALL things were finished. The perfection was "made" not in the sense that Christ needed to become more perfect than He already was. That isn't really possible, is it?

So it had to be something else. That is, the plan of redemption was complete because He suffered. He, Himself was not somehow made a better Jesus. Instead, the perfection here was the COMPLETION, the TELIOS, the PERFECTION in that the entire plan of God needed nothing else because it had been done.

I do adhere to the thinking that what happened in 70AD in Jerusalem was a separate component of God's plan, because I believe the completion happened at the cross. Nevertheless, there was some unfinished business that had to happen to destroy the law. It took 40 years to establish the law, it took 40 years to dismantle it. The dismantling had to happen AFTER the cross simply because the clock started ticking at the cross and couldn't have happened while Jesus was in the flesh. Like you said, it was a reversal of what had taken 40 years to consecrate in the wilderness from Sinai on.

In short, from Sinai to the promised land = 40 years. From the Jewish promised land to Mt. Zion = 40 years. 

Comment by Eohn Rhodes on June 8, 2014 at 10:03pm

Norm,

You said,

 "He like the High Priest was to be purified in the first visit into the Holy of Holies (death & resurrection) and on His second incursion and second return He like the High Priest would bring atonement for the people."

Maybe I have missed this until now I thought Jesus only went into the Holy of Holies once since he did not have to make a sin offering for himself. I also thought he could not even be high priest as last Adam but only as the first man in the new creation in the order of Melchisedec, that is without genealogy. 

Comment by Norm on June 8, 2014 at 11:05pm
Eohn,

Check out Heb 9 & 10.
Heb 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Comment by Eohn Rhodes on June 10, 2014 at 8:35am

Norm,

 ... a second time, ... is from two words ek deuterou

ἐκ 

from out of

δεύτερος

 the second, the other of two

'a second time'  could easily be rendered, 'out of the second' and then we could add the word 'room' to the text instead of adding the word 'time' to the text. This matches the immediate context of Hebrews 9:1-3  and we would render it ... out of the second 'room' apart from sin He shall appear to the ones awaiting Him for deliverence.

'will appear' is later in the Greek text from οφθήσεταιand and the word ek is not even used in the ESV rendering

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