For me, being a big fan of consistency, Covenant Creation solved so many problems.
I knew that Universalism wasn't taught in the scriptures even before I understood Preterism. I just could not see it anywhere......except for the handful of passages which equate the "all in Adam" to the "all in Christ". Which also equate the "one man's trespass for all" to the "one's man's act of righteousness for all". Taking the traditional Genesis creation view absolutely demands Universalism. If Adam was universal and all were in him, then the same is true of Christ today. No two ways about it.
But, if Adam was covenantal and not universal in scope. If Adam was a distinct person called out and given light who then was cursed when he sinned and all of his descendants received that same curse even though they didn't sin according to the likeness of Adam....
Well the story becomes much clearer. All those in Adam's lineage died and all those in Christ's shall live. As in Adam all the Covenant men died so also in Christ all the Covenant men shall live. Just as Adam's sin brought death to all the Covenant men so also Christ's act of righteousness brings life to all the Covenant men.
Covenant Creation also solved the "Heaven & Earth" dilemma for me too. As a Preterist I knew that the heaven and earth that we saw destroyed in Revelation wasn't literal and that is was imagery for something greater and more important. It was the destruction and the passing of the Old Covenant and the Covenant people associated with that Covenant.
So I was being dishonest and inconsistent with my Genesis views as a Preterist. Why would Genesis creation be any different than Revelation de-creation? Why would Genesis speak about the beginning of the literal physical cosmos as in mountains, lakes, hills, clouds etc, and be somehow connected to the end of the story which was about the destruction of a people and a Covenant? It just didn't make sense. Trust me, I am on board with the natural to spiritual theme in the scriptures. 100%. But, starting with mountains at the beginning of the book and then magically ending up with people at the end of the book, just isn't my idea of a consistent hermeneutic.
So needless to say, Covenant Creation has filled in countless blanks and has really tightened up the story for me. Preterism did that significantly 4 years ago and now Covenant Creation has taken that even further thankfully.
But of course like with anything in life, there will always be haters. Haters who just hate because it's the thing to do. Some people call them trolls online. Others call them too stuck in tradition. But what's most surprising is the amount of Preterists who are against Covenant Creation.
They are so on board with Covenant DE-creation at the end of the story, but yet so opposed to carrying that same hermeneutic to the front. The same hermeneutic that I see people claim has really taken their biblical understanding to a new level (Covenant Eschatology). Yet to not apply the opposite of that, which is Covenant Creation, is a tragedy.
Covenant Creation has worked it's way through many of the objections just like Preterism has done. Yet most people are unaware of these conclusions because they are afraid to dive in. Just like anything else, new studies are coming out and showing how the way people traditionally understood Genesis may not be exactly what the author, or God, had in mind.
But there is one passage, one argument, that seems to always come up from the most vocal of critics of the Covenant Creation view.
The critics know that we who affirm Covenant Creation, also for the most part anyway, believe that the bible only speaks of TWO Heaven & Earth's.
The Old Heaven and Earth & The New Heaven and Earth
Just like Revelation 21:1 says...
"And I saw a NEW heaven and a new earth, for the FIRST heaven and the first earth did pass away, and there was no more sea."
Only two heaven and earths mentioned there.
The Old Heaven and Earth and it's mode of existence was Law. Law, Laws, and more Laws.
The New Heaven and Earth and it's mode of existence is Grace. Amazing Grace.
This began when Adam sinned. He was immediately placed under the bondage of Law which Paul calls the curse of the Law. That bondage was linked to the Old Heaven and Earth all the way throughout the Old Covenant and their journey through the generations. Now, of course the Covenant was passed onward and was established and continued with different heads and with different modifications etc. For instance at Sinai when the laws increased which also brought "an increase of sin" according to Paul.
Paul even goes as far in Galatians when referring to the two Covenants, in speaking of the bondwoman vs the freewoman. Bondage verses Freedom. He uses Sinai as the prime example because of course he is speaking to Israelites but in no way does this exclude all those prior to Sinai who were still in bondage none the less because they were also under Law. We see Cain and Abel sacrificing to God with rules on how to do so. We see God command Noah to build an altar and sacrifice to Him as He would establish His Covenant with Noah after the flood subsided. The Laws were always there. Long before Sinai. This was the bondage and as Paul called it, the curse of the Law. As Paul said "the WHOLE CREATION was groaning" with those garden of eden birth pains that were placed upon them by God when Adam sinned. That includes everyone from Adam forward. Bondage did not begin at Sinai.
But those who oppose Covenant Creation try to use the passage in 2 Peter chapter 3 to refute the view. Some cling to this passage with all they got. I will admit, I have heard only a couple somewhat satisfying explanations of the passage to date. It's a tricky one because the way it's worded can mean a couple things. But just the other night I sat down to really take a look at the passage that seems to be the number 1 go to passage for anyone anti-Covenant Creation and low and behold, I feel that the answer came to me. It now seems so clear.
I am going to start by quoting the NKJV of the passage that is used against the view. Then from there I am going to quote the same passage from Young's Literal Translation and I want you to see something that should leap out of the page at you once it's pointed out.
Here is the NKJV version....
"For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." 2 Peter 3:5-7 NKJV
Now, at first glance and even at second and third glance, this passage makes it seem like we are looking at a total of 3 heaven and earth's in scripture. They arrive at this conclusion by examining and looking at the way it is worded and especially focusing on the word "but". They believe this passage shows the following:
Heaven & Earth #1- From Adam to Noah
Heaven & Earth #2- From Noah to AD70
Heaven & Earth #3- From AD70 onward today
Now, if you can't see how they get that, please go back and read the passage. I have always said the passage is tricky myself. It's no surprise that there is much confusion on it. But now check this out. Check out the literal translation of the passage and read it carefully....
"for this is unobserved by them willingly, that the heavens were of old, and the earth out of water and through water standing together by the word of God, through which the then world, by water having been deluged, was destroyed; and the present heavens and the earth, by the same word are treasured, for fire being kept to a day of judgment and destruction of the impious men." 2 Peter 3:5-7 YLT
Do you see what I see? It's pretty exciting stuff. If you don't see it, here is my verse by verse commentary of the YLT translation through my interpretation. My comments are in parenthesis below each verse...
"for this is unobserved by them willingly, that the heavens were of old, and the earth out of water and through water standing together by the word of God..."
(Now, first thing we need to see is that the "heavens were of old and the earth" is speaking about the "Heaven & Earth" of that day. Of Noah's day. Well, we know that Heaven & Earth represents Covenant and those who are in Covenant with God. It's how "heaven" and "earth" connected. So if Heaven and Earth represent Covenant people here, go back and read the passage above with that in mind and then come right back here...
Still not getting it? Ok try it this way. I am going to split the verse up to make my point...
"for this is unobserved by them willingly, that the heavens were of old, and the earth................. out of water and through water standing together by the word of God."
In Noah's day, what was brought "OUT OF WATER" and what was brought "THROUGH WATER"???
The Heaven & Earth was! The Covenant People were! Noah and his family were brought OUT OF WATER and THROUGH WATER.
The rest of the passage says that they came out of that water "STANDING TOGETHER BY THE WORD OF GOD."
Who came out from that WATER judgment STANDING TOGETHER BY THE WORD OF GOD? Noah and his family did! The "heavens and earth" did! It was by the word of God that they survived that flood. Just as God gave them "His WORD" that they would come through the flood, that is exactly how it happened.)
Next portion of the passage reads..
"through which the then WORLD, by WATER having been deluged, was DESTROYED;"
(Now, I don't know about you, but how does one equate the "Heaven & Earth" that I just showed above as Noah and his family to the "world" that was destroyed by water? You cannot!
THE WORLD was destroyed by WATER the passage says. But guess who was saved "OUT OF water" and "THROUGH water"? The Heavens & Earth that God called out. God's Covenant people. Noah and His family.
The "heaven & earth" of this passage is absolutely NOT the same as the "world" that was destroyed by water. The "heaven & earth" of old was brought THROUGH that water and preserved.)
The last portion of the passage reads as follows...
"and the PRESENT heavens and the earth, by the same WORD are treasured, for fire being kept to a day of judgment and destruction of the impious men."
(People when they see the word "present" automatically assume "new heaven and earth!" But no no no.
The "present heavens and earth" simply means the Old Covenant people living during Peter's day. That's all. This has nothing to do with a totally new Heaven & Earth. At all. All Peter is saying is that the "present" heaven and earth or the "present Covenant people" BY THE SAME WORD (the same guaranteed word that God promised Noah with) were being reserved for fire and the day of judgment and destruction.)
Now I know that is a lot to think about but let me try to summarize what the passage is saying again and then I will quote the passage so you can read it again and think about it for a moment.
The passage in a nutshell is saying that the heaven and earth of old (the Covenant people) were brought OUT OF water and THROUGH that water (the flood) and were kept standing by the word of God. (by the promise of God)
The passage then says that through which the "then WORLD" was destroyed by water. Not the "heaven & earth" as some suggest. But simply "the world". Everything they knew. Everything they were. Their whole mode of existence. Their "world" was destroyed by the flood.
The passage concludes by saying that "the PRESENT heaven and earth" (the present Covenant people alive in Peter's day) were being reserved for fire on the day of Judgment when Christ would come to judge those who pierced Him. This in no way demands a new heaven and earth at the flood. In fact, this just demonstrates that the "heaven & earth" was carried on from generation to generation and "the present" "Covenant people" were reserved to fire and it was assured by the same word of the Lord that assured Noah would come OUT OF and THROUGH the flood waters.
Now, take a look again at the passage and see if you can now see what Peter is really saying...
"for this is unobserved by them willingly, that the heavens were of old, and the earth out of water and through water standing together by the word of God, through which the then world, by water having been deluged, was destroyed; and the present heavens and the earth, by the same word are treasured, for fire being kept to a day of judgment and destruction of the impious men." 2 Peter 3:5-7
I trust that you see clearly now that Peter was in no way speaking of a so called second of three "heaven & earth's" here in this passage.
As one last little bonus passage that ties in nicely with this, I would like to look at 1 Peter 3:20 where Peter is yet again speaking of Noah and that same flood scene. It reads...
"when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved THROUGH WATER."
Do you see what I see there? The same exact reference to being saved "THROUGH WATER"
But this time in 1 Peter 3, Peter says "Noah and his family" as opposed to when he said "the heavens and earth of old" in 2 Peter 3.
The Greek word used in both passages is "dia" and it means "THROUGH".
Noah and his family, the old heaven and earth" were saved OUT OF and THROUGH water while the rest of the world, the known world around them, perished. In that same way and by the same word of God, the heaven and earth that was present in Peters day, was reserved for fire on the day of judgment.
2 Peter chapter 3 does not in any way shape or form affect the Covenant Creation framework. In fact, it does nothing but support it.
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