The "end of the age" as foretold by the NT has gone. We are now in the "age to come," if I understand correctly. If the original "age" was the old covenant age, and the "age to come" is the new covenant age, then please explain the following:

Does the "age to come" represent the new covenant in Christ?
Does the "age to come" represent the new heavens and earth?
Does the "age to come" represent the new Jerusalem?

Or are these things just representative of being "in Christ"?

And if just representative of being "in Christ," do the three "age to come" representations above apply to unbelievers as well? And if not, what "age" are they living in knowing that the original "age" has ended?

No, I am not a Universalist...and nor is my topic directed in that way.


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Comment by Chuck on February 4, 2009 at 1:00am
Consider the cross/resurrection/Pentecost synonymous in terms of the advent of the NC.

Good eye on the first chart. The NC began in AD 30 not AD 70.

Interestingly enough the 1st and last were authored by father and son respectively (Tim and Max King). I grabbed the one of Gal 4:21:31 from Tim King's video, "Spirit of Prophecy". He shows the NC/New Jeru coexisting with the OC.

The middle two I saved on my computer with no authorship acknowledgment on the file but I'm fairly certain they David Curtis creations. I hope this helps.
Comment by Ted on February 4, 2009 at 12:59am
Hey Chuck! Are you a cartographer by trade?

I would be very interested in which article or which book that last chart (red, yellow, blue, pink) came from... It doesn't seem to be as clear to the beginning and end of the covenants, but it does bring in some other nice factors. I have recently been trying to explain how the "children of the flesh" has nothing to do with human bodies on one chat group with no success. Understanding this "flesh" relationship and how it impacts the resurrection, is very interesting. Once wrapped up in a presupposition, it is like eating cotton fluff from fly paper...
Comment by Ted on February 4, 2009 at 12:48am
Thanks Chuck. Yes, there was a bit of tongue and cheek happening.

I noticed that the first black and white chart has the new covenant/age to come beginning at 70 AD. This coincides with the new heaven and earth. The pretty blue and purple chart makes it "sparkling" clear!

The last chart has the new covenant age beginning at Pentecost. So we have three different charts with three different beginnings of the new covenant. I am wanting to remove that tongue in my cheek...and I am totally with you in having WAY MORE in common with preterists of the non-universal type than any other "ism."

Do you have the sources for these charts. I would like to know who authored each one... Thanks again. I know this takes a lot of time to ferret this stuff out for measly me. I do appreciate it. I truly believe that this understanding of the covenants, the different heaven and earths and different Jerusalems and different ages is essential for grasping a non-universalist type of preterism. If we have the timeline wrong, then the doctrine will follow in suit as well.

And what is the age before Adam called? How does it come into play? I know, I know. Does n't this guy ever stop asking questions. No.
Comment by Chuck on February 4, 2009 at 12:39am

Comment by Chuck on February 4, 2009 at 12:28am
"Don't preterists agree on anything?"

I suppose you are using a little tongue in cheek hyperbole because I have more consistency of belief among preterists than any other eschatological group.

Men and women of faith were the beneficiaries of God's grace regardless of covenant. The Old Covenant was initiated by God to expose man's wicked estate and to point him to the need for a Savior. The Mosaic covenant was conditional and designed to be temporary because it was not the permanent solution. The Old Covenant system made way for the New Covenant that was not only not conditional but it is eternal.

In the terms you are suggesting I don't believe the Old Covenant "created" believers. As we know, it was impossible to attain righteousness by the keeping of the law.

Think of the covenants occupying specific times in history:
Old Covenant - Moses until the destruction of the Old Covenant system - 70 AD
New Covenant - Christ's death & resurrection - 30 AD for eternity

During the time periods represented by these covenants there were both those that lived by faith (believers) and those that didn't (unbelievers).

Comment by Ted on February 3, 2009 at 10:43pm
Thanks folks! I am still somewhat muddled... Don't preterists agree on anything?

If the new covenant replaces or supersedes the old covenant, and if the old covenant had non-believers (as opposed to the remnant by faith), does this then mean that non-believers can exist in the new covenant in Christ? That seems awkward.

Why is there no reference to the sun, moon and stars in the age to come? Are these just part of the old heavens and earth? Is there no counterpart for these three things? It would seem as if there should be...

What the heck does "old covenant" signify anyway?

Anybody got a chart out there?

Hopeless I am...
Comment by Michael Bennett on February 3, 2009 at 6:38pm
I dont take the NH and NE as a covenant. Otherwise someone has to explain why all of the time in the OC Heavena and earth passed and no covenant passed. New Jeru is a Covenant. NH NE represents leadership. This is how most scholars in the past put it too.

If you are one that thinks that NH and NE = New Covenant. I would ask this question. In all of the OT prophesies Heaven and Earth was destroyed NUMEROUS TIMES. Did all of those places have "covenants with God" or was it really referring to a broader "system of things" that passed away. I believe that the language heaven and earth may include destruction of covenants, but I think it is broader in scope (regarding Government systems etc) and does not account for those people / places that were not in covenant with God whos "heaven and earth" passed away in the OT. I believe the burden would be on the one claiming that heaven and earth = covenant to show me in the bible that every time that language was used it is talking about a destruction of a covenant.

All in the New Heavens and New Earth - does it really lead to Universalism? (FOR MORE OF MY THOUGHTS)

Many futurists agree (see below) we simply define / equate the NH and NE with the Gospel / Evangelical State (new law - believe / love neighbor). Whereby one must enter through in order to enter into the CITY (New Covenant / New Jerusalem that is in the NH and NE).

EUSEBIUS Bishop of Caesarea (c. 265 - 340) Extract from the 'Theophania' :
"All authorities concur in the declaration that "when all these things should have been done" "The End" should come : that "the mystery of God should be finished as he had declared to His servants the prophets" : it should be completed : time should now be no more : the End of all things (so foretold) should be at hand, and be fully brought to pass : in these days should be fulfilled all that had been spoken of Christ (and of His church) by the prophets : or, in other words, when the gospel should have been preached in all the world for a testimony to all nations, and the power of the Holy People be scattered (abroad), then should the End come, then should all these things be finished. I need now only say, all these things have been done : the old and elementary system passed away with a great noise; all these predicted empires have actually fallen, and the new kingdom, the new heaven and earth, the new Jerusalem--all of which were to descend from God, to be formed by His power, have been realised on earth ; all these things have been done in the sight of all the nations ; God's holy arm has been made bare in their sight: His judgments have prevailed, and they remain for an everlasting testimony to the whole world. His kingdom has come, as it was foretold it should, and His will has, so far, been done; His purposes have been finished; and, from that day to the extreme end of time, it will be the duty, as indeed it will be the great privilege of the Church, to gather into its bosom the Jew, the Greek, the Scythian, the Barbarian, bond and free; and to do this as the Apostles did in their days--in obedience, faith and hope.'

William Burkitt (1650-1703)
"As if the apostle had said, "The voice of God, at the promulging of the law on mount Sinai, shook the earth; but he promised after this to shake all nations, and that Christ, the expected Messias, the desire of all nations, should come, which is now fulfilled." Question. But what means our apostle by God's shaking not the earth only, but also heaven? Answer. He means thereby all the Mosaical worship, all the Judaical state, those were shaken at the coming of Christ, in order to the introduction of the immoveable gospel-state, which was perpetually to remain.

John Lightfoot (1859)
2 Peter 3:13: 'We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth.' The heaven and the earth of the Jewish church and commonwealth must be all on fire, and the Mosaic elements burnt up; but we, according to the promise made to us by Isaiah the prophet, when all these are consumed, look for the new creation of the evangelical state" (vol. 3, p.453)

CH Spurgeon
"Did you ever regret the absence of the burnt-offering, or the red heifer, of any one of the sacrifices and rites of the Jews? Did you ever pine for the feast of tabernacle, or the dedication? No, because, though these were like the old heavens and earth to the Jewish believers, they have passed away, and we now live under a new heavens and a new earth, so far as the dispensation of divine teaching is concerned. The substance is come, and the shadow has gone: and we do not remember it." (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. xxxvii, p. 354).

Sir Isaac Newton
"The figurative language of the prophets is taken from the analogy between the world natural and an empire or kingdom considered as a world politic. Accordingly, the world natural, consisting of heaven and earth, signifies the whole world politic, consisting of thrones and people, or so much of it as is considered in prophecy; and the things in that world signify the analogous things in this. For the heavens and the things therein signify thrones and dignities, and those who enjoy them: and the earth, with the things thereon, the inferior people; and the lowest parts of the earth, called Hades or Hell, the lowest or most miserable part of them. Great earthquakes, and the shaking of heaven and earth, are put for the shaking of kingdoms, so as to distract and overthrow them; the creating of a new heaven and earth, and the passing of an old one; or the beginning and end of a world, for the rise and ruin of a body politic signified thereby. The sun, for the whole species and race of kings, in the kingdoms of the world politic; the moon, for the body of common people considered as the king's wife; the stars, for subordinate princes and great men; or for bishops and rulers of the people of God, when the sun is Christ. Setting of the sun, moon, and stars; darkening the sun, turning the moon into blood, and falling of the stars, for the ceasing of a kingdom." (Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel, Part i. chap. ii)

Comment by Kurt Simmons regarding Newton's quote (which I happen to agree with):
Here we have a correct statement of the symbolic meaning behind the “heavens and earth.” They are symbols for nations and governments, not the Old or New Testaments. If the heavens and earth put down at Christ’s coming were the throne and dominions of Nero Caesar, the Sanhedrin and rulers of the Jews, together with other temporal powers who rejected the gospel and persecuted the church, then the new heavens are earth are best understood as the government of Christ, ruling the nations in righteousness with an iron rod.
Comment by thomas greenlee on February 3, 2009 at 6:21pm

If I may explain. I'll do it with a question: How were the unbelievers affected in the "old covenant=heavens and earth= Jerusalem?"
Unbelievers are affected today in the NC in the same way they were affected in the OC. The common factor in all ages for pleasing God is "Faith"

Comment by Ted on February 3, 2009 at 6:06pm
Great! This is why I am having some difficulty.

So then, are non-believers partakers of the new Jerusalem and the new heavens and earth?

This is confusing. Can someone please explain how each of the following affects both believers and unbelievers?

new covenant
new Jerusalem
new heavens and earth

I have always associated the new Jerusalem with the bride of Crist, the church...

Sorry if I appear dense...
Comment by Chuck on February 3, 2009 at 5:57pm
new covenant = new heavens and earth = new Jerusalem

This is not what I wrote above. That's why I didn't include the New Covenant in this age or the age to come at the top. This is the common mistake our detractors make. They think everything for us began at 70 AD. The New Covenant began at the cross and therefore is not synonymous with the New Jerusalem and the age to come. Both are included in the New Covenant. You are missing the transition period Paul refers to in Galatians 4:21-31.

The reality is that today we are living in the New Jerusalem, enjoying the New Covenant blessings and promises and living in the New Heaven and Earth.

Unbelievers are living in the "age to come" and the New Heaven and Earth but are not partakers of the New Covenant blessings. Our mandate is Rev 21:17.

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