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

Joel McDurmon, with American Vision, posted this new article on Eschatology:


Creation, Adorned


"While 2 Peter 3:13 is definitely related thematically to Isaiah 65, it is a mistake to think that there is an exclusive relationship between the Isaiah passage and any New Testament usage, as if Isaiah were giving a unique prophecy of a unique event in the future, and then Peter and John were announcing the fulfillment of that one predicted event on their horizon (or at any time in the future). It is not that Isaiah announced 'X'. and that Peter and John were saying 'the time has come for X,' after which time 'X' is done and gone. Rather, both texts are partaking of a much larger theological genre which is replayed many times throughout Scripture, and which reappears particularly prominently in these passages. This is to say that while Isaiah 65 is certainly a backdrop to the New Testament references to a new heavens and new earth, it is not the ultimate basis of it.

That ultimate basis is found in Genesis 1. All talk of creations or new creations and the mechanisms God uses to bring them about are rooted in the first chapter of Scripture and cannot be understood properly unless we begin there. This is not just because the theme of 'creation' in general begins there, as if we cannot discuss 'new' creation without relaying the theological foundations of creation in general afresh every time..."


"So here we see the theology behind the new heavens and new earth—at least in an abbreviated version. It is rooted in Genesis 1 and 2..."



Views: 430

Comment by Doug Wilkinson on January 27, 2012 at 10:00pm

The trap in 2nd Peter is stoichea.  Once you have to admit that it's used nowhere else in the New Testament for anything other than components of the Mosaic Law worship system then you have to associate the change to the New Heaven and New Earth with the change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.  There is no basis for making this the dissolution of all physical creation without drawing it from the Stoics or some other extra-Biblical influence.

I hope that poor Joel isn't planning on camping out there with Preston.

Comment by Tami on January 27, 2012 at 10:02pm

This is absolutely AMAZING! :)

Comment by Tim Martin on January 28, 2012 at 12:20am

Yes, that is an impressive article!

What's really neat is how a few questionable conclusions have already been dealt with by covenant creationists here:

and here:


Tim Martin

Comment by Doug Wilkinson on January 28, 2012 at 1:56am

My original comment was without reading the linked article.  What a mistake.  He better slow down his debate prep or their will be nothing to debate by the time he gets to Oklahoma.

Comment by E Harris on January 28, 2012 at 9:08am

I agree with McDurmon for the most part. I REALLY think he's on to something! Except that he appears to concludes that 70AD was the end of the Old. The end of the Old is Jesus Christ Himself! Another word for "end" is "purpose"... so that fits as well! In Him we have newness of life. He makes all things new. Now, the external outcome of that newness is a remaking of our society from the old to the new. But none of this (necessarily) rules out a "starting over point" where the physical universe draws to a close, and there is a new physical universe. It's just not as important.


There are 3 levels of order as far as I know of at present: the eternal order that is in Jesus. It's invisible, inner and new. The order of society (which reflects it's view of the eternal order). And the physical order that God laid down in the physical elements. The order of society can either be based on what is further away from God & beneath the level of a man (the physical elements). Or the order of society can be based on something higher: the eternal order that God has placed within existence. JESUS as The One who unites ONE (God) with many (creation).


Just as the external temple fell in 70AD, and it took some time to occur (40 years of mercy and patience on God's part)... so it is taking the Gentile Babylon & the copy-cat church structures (that copied Babylonish ways) quite a while longer to fall. God is patient. Kairologically, the New has entered into the Chronological. However, men's minds haven't caught up with this fact and are in denial.


So the ways of men are death (and have been since the fall), the rules were simply a way to regulate death and make us yearn all the more for freedom, which is presented in JESUS (validated by God's miracles, and in His Very Person), and post-AD30... there is no more excuse for those who have heard. But the message got tainted as it spread (yet again, just as with the rules given to natural Israel). This delayed any judgement on the Babylonish system that the gospel spread into. But when the gospel is purely announced... it establishes grace and faith in the hearer, some hold fast to that faith and others dismiss it quickly. BUT when the gospel is announced, it carries with it an inherent judgement and indicts the Old Man for his failings...and exposes the inadequacy of the Old Covenant to save men.

The Old Covenant was simply a schoolmaster for the Old Man. The New Man draws us into a New Covenant, based on grace through faith in the Way that God chose. We don't have to TRY to establish world order - it WILL BE established as the gospel spreads (and people CONSCIOUSLY ACCEPT IT as a thing of PRIMARY IMPORTANCE in their lives). Then God moves in with His Spirit, and provides & guides a thankful people.


The Old Covanant sanctions & such may still be in effect today, but not for those who KNOW JESUS. In fact, to expose the inadequacy of the Old Covenant to save... the tools of that Covenant were forcibly removed. So ... I guess I was wrong on one point: the Old has passed away for everyone, and all things are made new. But then how are those people judged (by God) who are outside of Christ? What law holds them (for God IS a Judge)? The law of sin, and God judges sin by the standard of perfection: His Son. So you are either IN the Son and seen as a son... or you are compared with the Son who always remained in perfect unity with the Father's will.


I'm just getting into this stuff... so I'm a little scattered. I drive those people at AV nuts, they probably ignore me. But... hey.

Comment by Tim Martin on January 28, 2012 at 10:54am

Doug W,

I suspect there will still be one significant item left to debate in Oklahoma...

Tim Martin

Comment by Norm on January 28, 2012 at 11:06am





Perhaps people read too much or too little into what occurred in AD70 and develop mistaken ideas about that concept and occurrence.  It’s pretty well established and clear in the NT that the first century Christians was looking forward to that particular event to occur and so its significance cannot be understated.  There appears to be a consummated manifestation and declaration upon the enduring faithful that cross the Jordan of AD70.


1Co 13:10  but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.


Php 3:11-16  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.  (12)  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, … (13)  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  (14)  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  (15)  Let those of us who are mature (as many as be perfect KJV) think this way


Heb 9:11  And Christ being come, chief priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands--that is, not of this creation

Rom 8:17-19  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  (18)  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  (19)  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.


I believe Joe outlined one issue very clearly which would be the removal of unrelenting persecution by the Jews. However the consummation of new Kingdom covenant that Christ instigated at the Cross and His resurrection was not juridically finalized through fulfilled prophecy.  Let me repeat again that AD70 was the fulfilled sign of the juridical full establishment of the new covenant replacing the old. You are correct in noting the primary cause and effect begin with Christ but Christ Himself spoke of the need to finish His work and that would be accompanied by the sign of the fulfillment of His declaration against Judaism Law, Priesthood, Temple worship and sacrificial system.  This sign would bring about in the “twinkling of an eye” that juridical never ending consummated establishment of the Kingdom that cannot end.


Here the Hebrew writer is speaking of the final transforming of the Old Covenant that was established with Moses at Mt. Sinai but it will shaken to be replaced with the unshakable.


Heb 12:26-28  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.  (28)  Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,



Comment by Norm on January 28, 2012 at 11:08am

Also the instruction to persevere until this final consummating time was presented the Hebrew audience often as they strove and looked forward to that day of coronation.


Heb 11:40- 12:1  since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,


Heb 4:9-11  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.


And ultimately the Hebrew writer plainly points out that the reality of the old covenant has not yet passed but is about to pass away.


Heb 8:13  In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.


What occurred at the AD70 judgment was not only physically observable but was covenantally finalized.  The physical judgment upon the old covenant people would render them juridically cast outside of God’s covenant permanently.  This is the meaning of Christ language in Matt and Paul’s in 2 Th.


 Mat 8:11-12  And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.   But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


2Th 1:6-10  Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;  (7)  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  (8)  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  (9)  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;  (10)  When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.


In summary the physical sign of AD70 signified to the faithful that rest from the Jewish persecutors would be ended and would declare the official end of the old covenant for all times. There was no longer any covenant status for those outside of Christ whether from Judaism or from the pagans. We too often think that AD70 portends more or less than is called for.  It is simply the stamp or seal upon what Christ begun on the Cross and in His resurrection and fulfilled all OT prophecy. It simply required a New Exodus period of 40 years before the crossing of the Jordan would consummate the New Promised land’s entrance.  The NT writers encourage their readers to not be like those who died in the desert but to remain faithful until that crossing occurs.


Heb 4:9-11  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.

Comment by Norm on January 28, 2012 at 11:18am


Let me guess.

Php 3:11-16  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.  (12)  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, … (13)  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  (14)  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  (15)  Let those of us who are mature (as many as be perfect KJV) think this way

Comment by Doug Wilkinson on January 28, 2012 at 2:11pm

In trying to explain Deut. 32 to people lately I've been thinking about how to explain the importance of it.  The traditional approach to Deuteronomy from what I've heard is that it's basically a reminder of the Law enacted at Mt. Sinai before the Israelites entered the land (as if they might have forgotten about it by then?).  But then, we make a big deal about the suzerain treaty structure so that all of the sudden it feels like the meeting Moses had with the people as recorded in Deuteronomy was actually significant. 

If you think that everything significant happened in 30AD, and the events of 70AD were just some sort of reverberation, then you probably think that the parallel story in the Pentateuch of Moses describing Deuteronomy was not very significant. 

But it seems to me that it was a critical part of the story.  At Mt. Sinai, God established the covenant with Israel and gave them their Law.  But, it wasn't until Deuteronomy, at the end of the 40 years and as they were about to enter the Promised Land, that he made that Law a national treaty with blessings and cursings, etc.  Whatever extra significance Deuteronomy provides matches the gravity of the events of 70AD typologically (if not covenantally).  Without it, God made a deal with his new people and led them into the wilderness for an endless loop of dropping dead without really getting anywhere (one of their chief complaints, and probably a structural weakness in the way the church looks at itself today).  With it, he got them ready for their goal and then lead them through a significant step in the evolution of the nation.



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