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

Some of you have probably already seen this article. It first appeared in the Winter Issue of Fulfilled Magazine. I'm posting a link here for those who do not subscribe to that impressive work done by Brian Martin.

Introduction to Covenant Creation

Would love to hear any feedback as we prepare for the 2009 Covenant Creation Conference.


Tim Martin

Views: 416

Comment by Tami on February 21, 2009 at 9:09am
My suggestion is that you record all of the messages at the conference and make them available on the BCS website.

Comment by Norm on February 21, 2009 at 11:01am
Tim & Jeff,

That was a great article especially in the manner that you lay out the clear Biblical continuity of the Heavens and Earth from Genesis to Revelation. This is not exotic theology when it gets right down to it and in fact it makes one wonder why it has been so hard for some full Preterist to accept it.

What is interesting is that those of us who have come to recognize that a great theme of the bible is the resurrection/raising of the “Dead” starting with Adam and ending with Christ should be the first to catch on to this continuity of Covenant Creation. The theme is that Death through Adam will be collectively destroyed for that body which in essence is the very beginning story of the corporate Body of Israel in relation to God. That Corporate Body in becoming transformed into the corporate body of Christ (Phi 3:21) is fully consummated at the AD70 Parousia and Judgment thus cleansing those of the Old Body who rejected the Christ and therefore suffering the “second death”.

2Th 1:8-10 ESV
(8) … , inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. THEY WILL SUFFER THE PUNISHMENT OF ETERNAL DESTRUCTION, AWAY FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD and from the glory of his might, when he comes ON THAT DAY TO BE GLORIFIED IN HIS SAINTS, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

Covenant Creation as far as I can discern matches all the themes from Genesis to Revelation as seen through full Preterist eyes. That is a solid test for a sound biblical recognition if you ask me and one in which those with a Berean spirit should be able to verify.

Comment by James Kessler on February 21, 2009 at 11:45am
"Covenant Creation as far as I can discern matches all the themes from Genesis to Revelation as seen through full Preterist eyes. That is a solid test for a sound biblical recognition if you ask me and one in which those with a Berean spirit should be able to verify."

Great comment Norm and an excellent article Tim and Jeff.

Comment by John on February 22, 2009 at 7:35pm
How does covenant creation fit in with the reformed doctrine of original sin? If Adam was not the "first man" and his sin is not "to all men?"

Thanks and i agree it's a great article.Makes me want to buy the book..Oh i already have it! Think I'll read it again and buy a few more for some friends!!
Comment by Tim Martin on February 22, 2009 at 8:31pm

I have not committed to any details on this subject. Still thinking and studying and pondering the landscape. Let me throw out some ideas I am currently playing with.

One of the questions I would ask to spawn thought is this. How does the righteousness of Christ pass to each generation of believers? Is it a biological transmission or is it by some other (covenantal?) means? If Christ is the federal head of his people, does this require a biological link between Christ and believers? Next comes the key question. If biological descent is not the defining characteristic for the federal headship of Christ, then why would biological descent be the defining characteristic for federal headship of Adam? It seems to me that the more consistent approach is to view federal headship in consistent terms: i.e. covenant identification with Adam or Christ rather than biological descent from one or the other. Are not both sin and righteousness non-physical entities?

Here is the problem. Reformed doctrine on original sin, rooted in Augustine and Calvin, takes a physical view of the fall. That is, not only does the sin nature transmit itself from one generation biologically, but the fall is physical. in its essence. That is why Reformed doctrine has always taught the necessity of a physical resurrection of believers. Though the Reformed sometimes debated whether or not this physical resurrection body is the self-same body or not, they have always insisted on a resurrection that is, in the end, a physical one.

What that means is that traditional Reformed doctrine on original sin, as presented by Calvin especially, is inherently incompatible with full preterism. That is one of the the reasons why I no longer consider myself "Reformed."

Hope that gives you some food for thought. I would love to hear anyone else's input. In fact, I remember Jerel had some great insights into this subject a few months ago. Maybe he can add his perspective.

Tim Martin
Comment by Norm on February 22, 2009 at 10:49pm

Let me take a stab at it.

It appears to me there are two types of sin that Paul discusses in his letters. One is sin from the Commandment which is what emanates from Adam and on to Israel through their Covenantal calling.

Rom 7:9 ESV I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.

The other is the sin of the Gentiles who were without law but were separated from God by sins of a different flesh than from the Jews flesh. While the sin of the Gentiles kept them (they were classified as darkness) separated from God and the “sin” of Adam and Israel was “sin” from an inability to obey the Commandment that was hopefully to bring life but brought “death” instead. This put both groups Jews and Gentiles in need of savior. Notice the contrast of the different flesh by Paul below.

1Co 15:39 ESV
(39) For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.

The above verse from 1 Cor 15 appears out of place with the talk of animal flesh as contrasted to human flesh in Paul’s discussion of the “body of death”. But if one looks back at Acts 10 you will see the reference is similar to Peter’s sheet of animals depicting Gentile acceptance. The flesh of animals is meant to contrast the nature of the Gentiles to that of the Jews who always received the higher classification in the OT. Notice how Paul describes the plight of Gentile sinners in Colossians and then go back and compare to his discussion of Adam and covenantal “sin” in Romans 5-7. Notice that sin is attributed to these Gentiles as lives of debauchery while in Romans sin is classified as an inept ability to uphold the law.

Col 2:13 ESV
(13) And you (Gentiles), who were dead in your trespasses and the UNCIRCUMCISION OF YOUR FLESH,

Now notice how Paul ends up describing their Gentile sins.

Col 3:5-6 ESV Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

So how does all this relate to your question about Adam, sin and Covenant Creation? If you may remember the animals were brought to Adam and they were found lacking as helpers so God had to take out of Adam’s side his help mate. The animals as I have presented before is a continuous themes throughout the Old and New testament represent Gentile peoples who were not in covenant as was Adam. They (Gentiles) were “darkness” which is separation from God from the outset but God created Adam out of darkness and gave him the “commandment” which produced the type of “sin” which was the failure to uphold the “commandment” thus still being relegated to “death” or separation until Christ atoned for Adam’s “sin”. True God fearers now do not sin because of Christ but those who are outside the City are still in darkness.

Eph 2:11-12 ESV 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.

Covenant creation with Adam then does not exclude sin from all men as that was the state of the natural man when Adam was created. Adam was simply the beginning of the long lineage unto Christ through the Jews which would bring both groups into one new covenant in which all that call on Christ will not live in either flesh anymore.

Comment by jjkratt on February 22, 2009 at 11:06pm
I did? I can't remember what it was. Could you remind me specifically what it was that you remember? I have saved everything that I have written. If you give me some key thoughts or premises I'll get to searching and paste it on here. (This was on another private study group forum, not here).

Comment by Tami on February 23, 2009 at 8:02am

Comment by jjkratt on February 23, 2009 at 1:35pm
Tim, here is what I wrote back in November at our other study site. I was replying to something Norm wrote. I would love to hear feedback from any and all, as I am trying to sort this out and by no means want to present myself as above anyone else in their thinking. I remain very open to study and change. Thanks,

"...on my way home from work yesterday I was listening to Sam Frost’s lectures on 1 Cor. 15 again for about the 20th time, and it became clear to me that while this has to be about the best presentation for the “average” bible student who is not a preterist to see the idea of a fulfilled, corporate resurrection, there are problems in it too, mainly when he states at one point that “all men are in Adam. Everyone. Everyone born since Adam” (that is not an accurate quote just me paraphrasing him). He uses born, which is biological. This also where his reformed theology comes in, too, with all men today still being born in Adam and needing to be transformed out of Adam. He uses Romans 6 for relating how we come out of Adam today. We enter into Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection through baptism. In reformed theology this happens to an infant because they are cursed with Adam’s sin. I don’t really think the issue here is about reformed theology, however, since the same problem exists whether babies are born corrupt (which I don’t believe they are) or whether once a child commits their first sin they enter the death (or the “body” if you are a corporate view preterist) of Adam.

The problem is that just down the road in the lectures Sam is saying that the last enemy, “the death” (which he previously identified as the corporate death of Adam, the body of Adam, which “all men” are in) was “being destroyed” in 1 Cor. 15. Which is true, it was being destroyed when Paul wrote. But, if it was being destroyed in the 40-year transition period, and was finally destroyed in AD70 as Rev. 20 presents, then how are “all men” still in the death of Adam? Sam clearly puts “all men” there today, and he does so in a biological sense (yet still because of sin)! There’s a big problem there. To borrow Jack Scott’s phrase, “anybody see a train coming?” I do.

Sam also later in 1 Cor. 15 (and most of this material I am speaking of is in the last two lectures, mostly in the last one) talks about the seed analogy. The seed (the body of Adam) was in the process of dying. This is “the natural man”. His explanation of the natural man as being a corporate man, and not being about biological “flesh”, but about being in sin without the spirit, was good and helpful (especially when connecting 1 Cor. 15 with 1 Cor. 2), but, he again puts “all mankind” into this natural man category by default of their biological birth, tracing back to Adam, as descendents of his. Ultimately it is because “all men sinned”. The point I am raising is the same whether it is inherited sin or free-will, as you will see below.

So, he has “all men in Adam”, which was “being destroyed”, which was “being transformed”, into the body of Christ. Now, that is where I have a problem (and I believe Sam does too but he doesn’t see it). Clearly not everyone in this body of Adam were being transformed – like Gentiles who didn’t believe in God or the wicked Jews who rebelled against God before the time of Christ, and even contemporary for that generation there were men who were not in Christ who certainly weren’t being transformed. So how can this truly be a corporate body of Adam in which all men reside, but yet not all men are being transformed? The analogy breaks down here.

This is Paul’s analogy. To use Sam’s words, “some say you can’t press Paul too hard in his analogies; I can, it’s his analogy”. That’s how I feel about it, too; I can press Paul hard in his analogy. The death of Adam was being destroyed. Either it was destroyed and no man today is in the body or death of Adam, or it wasn’t destroyed. I affirm it was destroyed in AD 70 and no man enters into Adam today.

But if that is the case, then that must mean that no one is in sin today and therefore, all men are saved (universal salvation). That is the big train on the tracks which many adherents of the corporate view of the resurrection deny, but I have found their arguments for why there is no universal salvation less than convincing – meaning, they understand as I do that Bible does not teach universal salvation – it is by grace through faith; outside are the dogs, the immoral, etc – and make their argument that there isn’t universal salvation because of this truth, but then never deal with how they have put all men in the body Adam and have also put the body of Adam to death once for all in AD70. So this is a huge problem if the death of Adam was abolished in AD 70. At least, I haven’t seen it dealt with, so if it has been, please point me in that direction and I’ll go study it.

So I believe this is where the very easy point of Paul’s theology (in my opinion), of Ephesians 2, can help. This is where he says that God was making one new man out of two men; this is so important. Adam was the first man (and I’m not sure this is meant in a biological sense, but anyway)... He was being destroyed and being raised during this transition period. The Corinthians were denying the resurrection of the dead ones, which we’ve identified as Israel. Their question was about them and Paul answers how they were being raised. It involved the transformation of the first man Adam into the second man, Christ. There was a second “old” man, in sin also, but not in the death of Adam. This is the Gentile man. This is where all men today reside since the destruction of the old man of Adam, the old covenant body, which no longer exists. That is because there was only one group of men which were given a commandment to follow, or a covenant or sets of covenants, which multiplied to bring about the Messiah, through biological means. It was the descendants of Seth, who called upon the Lord. (Genesis 4:26; Luke 3:23ff). Everyone else outside of this covenant body bringing about the Messiah did not need a set of laws or commandments or covenants to be put outside of God, they always were outside of God. They could come near to God during this time by their faith, and worship the one true God and not idols and repent of their lascivious deeds, and God would count them as among the faithful (many “gentiles” in the OT are shown to have done this). I think this is a picture foreshadowing today. Today, the old covenant man has been changed into the new covenant man. That new covenant man is Christ. He was being transformed and that transformation is complete. He was two men (Jew-Gentile) made into one. The Jews had come to represent the full picture of Adam – death under the commandment. The Gentiles were dead without the commandment and were always outside the promises of God until then. Now, the old man Adam has been replaced by the new man Christ, and today, all those outside the new man of Christ can enter Him. So there still resides a man of sin, it just can’t be Adam. It is a gentile man of dogs, the immoral, etc, outside the promises, outside the covenant.

So, your point about having to go back to Genesis to understand Paul is most profound and I believe correct."
Comment by Norm on February 23, 2009 at 3:13pm

I’m hoping your “wow” was geared toward the positive. LOL

This is an approach that I have been “fleshing” out for a while and I want more Preterist to look at it and see if it is a consistent theology throughout the NT. I believe that we can discern from the corporate body viewpoint that Israel was the embodiment of the “body of death” and not including the Gentile world at large. This is an important recognition for the coming judgment because there should be some distinction between the Gentiles and the Jews acknowledged at Judgment. In fact there indeed seems to be. Take a look at Rev 20:13.

Rev 20:13-14 YLT
(13) and the sea (Gentiles nv) did give up those dead in it, and THE DEATH (Jews nv) and the hades did give up the dead in them, and they were judged, each one according to their works;
(14) and THE DEATH AND THE HADES were cast to the lake of the fire--this is the second death;

This seems to be an unmistakable Gentile/Jew recognizable difference at the Day of Judgment. There is no discussion of the Gentiles being subject to the second death which makes sense. They were not of the original body of the death and so John is separating them from the second death discussion. I have been pointing out in the past the second death could only signify those who were under the shadow of the “FIRST DEATH” and that is exactly what John seems to be indicating. The Gentile dead would either continued to be dead (perish) to God or those who embrace Christ would stand approved with life in the New City. This would be in my estimation the judgment upon the Gentile nations to bring them under the spiritual umbrella of Christ alone.

Let’s see if there are any other NT verses that may reinforce this idea of the two groups being under consideration at the Judgment Day.

Rom 2:12-14 ESV
(12) For all (Gentiles nv) who have sinned without the law WILL ALSO PERISH without the law, and all (Jews) who have sinned under the law WILL BE JUDGED BY THE LAW. … (14) For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.

It appears again that Paul is dividing the Gentiles without the Law from the Jews who have the Law but in verse 14 he is saying that some Gentiles are a law unto themselves because their conscience bears witness either excusing them or accusing them just as with the Jews. Those God fearing Gentiles then would need to have accepted Christ just as the Jews were expected to. Let’s consider another of Paul’s discussions.

2Th 1:7-10 ESV
(7) and to grant relief TO YOU who are afflicted as well as TO US, WHEN THE LORD JESUS IS REVEALED FROM HEAVEN with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance ON THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW GOD (Gentiles nv) and on THOSE WHO DO NOT OBEY THE GOSPEL (Jews nv) of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of ETERNAL DESTRUCTION, AWAY FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD and from the glory of his might, when HE COMES ON THAT DAY to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

It again appears Paul is stating that Gentile unbelievers and Jewish antichrist are both going to be relegated permanent banishment from the presence of God at the Day of Judgment.

The Covenantal Body of Death encompassed all from Adam through the linage of Seth onward just as Heb 11 indicates starting with Abel, it did not just materialize with Israel at Mt. Sinai but included Abraham (Matt 22:31-32). Therefore the Body of Death is to be transformed from the old body unto Christ new Body. (Phi 3:21)

Php 3:21 ESV who will transform OUR LOWLY BODY (Old Body of Death nv) to be like HIS GLORIOUS BODY (Body of Christ nv), by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Those Jews of the Old Covenant were the inheritors and were the old body but many would not be able to enter into the Sabbath rest instead becoming disobedient to the calling and falling short at the Day of Judgment. (Heb 4) Only those who were properly clothed would enter in and comprise the new covenant Body of Christ. The Gentiles were presented as a new separate virgin Bride (2 Cor 11:2) along with those Jews who comprised the old widowed wife (Eve) of Adam who was free to take a new husband, Christ (Rom 7:1-4). The Old Covenant Body supposedly comprised those who had Covenant relationship with God but it turns out to be an adulterous Body that could not enter fully into the New Covenant until it was cleansed and purified of the antichrist on the Day of Judgment.

The bottom line is that a corporate “body of death” understanding does not work with Pauline theologically by encompassing all of Humanity. It is a major error to place Gentile and Jew together in the Covenant “Body of Death”. The Gentiles were ALREADY DEAD without hope from God. This idea of all mankind residing under Adam’s Death is also what some Universalist hold out as their reasoning for all mankind not being under the sphere of Death anymore. They wrongly believe that since Death has been defeated that all mankind does not have it hanging over their head. What they of course are missing is that Adam’s death was Covenantal and not biological and that those that do not know God/Christ are still dead. They were “dead” because they did not know the one true God and they resided in a spiritual desert wasteland of Darkness and Chaos (Gen 1:2). This is driven home by Genesis 4:25-26 where it is clear that the Sethites were special in their original calling on the One True God.

Gen 4:25-26 ESV
(25) And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, "God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him."
(26) To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. AT THAT TIME PEOPLE BEGAN TO CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD (Jehovah the God of Israel and not Elohim nv).



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