A Sermon by Bo Stuart on December 12, 2010
This recent sermon, delivered at Covenant Community Church at Whitehall, Montana offers a powerful demonstration for our readers.
Matthew 1, you ask? But doesn't that chapter open with a long genealogical listing of a bunch of names from the Old Testament? Well, yes... But it is so much more as well!
Don't believe me? What if Matthew works from the direct context of creation in Genesis? What if he is purposely playing off the original generations of the heavens and earth (see Genesis 2:4)? And you thought this genealogy references only Abraham... Ha!
Curious? Click on the the sermon audio link below to see for yourself. You'll never see the genealogy in Matthew 1 the same way again. Ever.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17
Review of the Covenant Creation Highlights:
Be aware that Genesis 1 is structured around two sets of 3 Days. Days 1-3 match Days 4-6 (See Beyond Creation Science,
p. 283). Milton Terry called this a "triad" structure in Genesis 1. So
6 days of the creation week are presented as a double 3 pattern, 2
matching days for each element of the triad. Then comes Sabbath.
How does Matthew structure his geneaology? See the triad? And how
many generations in each division? Fourteen. Ok, now divide each
division of the triad by two. You end up with six 7-generation periods in Matthew's genealogy, leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ: Sabbath Rest.
This is just awesome...
Matthew points to Abraham with the initiation point of the genealogy, but he reformats the genealogy so that it simultaneously references Genesis 1!
Matthew 1 presents us with the genealogy of the New Covenant Creation (see also Mark 1:1, 10; John 1:1ff; and 1 John 1:1, etc.)
Matthew 1 presents us with the generations (see Genesis 2:4) of the New Heavens and New Earth!
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P.S. Tim Martin delivered a related presentation at the 2010 Covenant Creation Conference titled: The New Covenant Creation According to the Gospels
What do these interesting quotes suggest regarding Covenant Creation?
This point bears making often: if a
world-ending interpretation is taken to mean a literal description of
this globe and universe, then obviously it didn't happen. But if "end of
the age" and "end of all things" means the end of a covenantal universe
ruled by Satan, law, sin, and death, and is pictured in the apocalyptic
scenes of a universal conflagration, then it becomes evidently possible
to construct the where and why the apostolic community in the late
first and second centuries misapplied certain passages of Scripture,
while on the whole maintaining the elements of biblical eschatology.
Samuel M Frost, Misplaced Hope (Colo. Springs: Bimillennial Press, 2002, 2006), p. 93.
This means that the promise of the resurrection made in the Garden is incorporated into YWVH's promises to Old Covenant Israel. So, the story of the Garden becomes the story of Israel.
Don K. Preston, We Shall Meet Him in the Air: The Wedding of the King of Kings! (Ardmore, OK: JaDon Management, 2009), p. 4.
It was also a reminder that when God saves His people, He
constitutes them a renewed Garden (or Vineyard), and thus the Biblical
writers used the imagery of planting, trees, vines, and fruit again and
again to describe salvation in its various aspects (John 15 is a
well-known example). It is important to recognize also, however, that
Garden-imagery can be used to describe apostasy and the Curse, for the
very first breaking of the covenant took place in the Garden. God had
given Adam a commission to cultivate and guard His "vineyard"; instead,
Adam had rebelled against the Landowner, and was cursed and cast out,
forfeiting his inheritance.
David Chilton, Paradise Restored (Tyler, TX: Dominion Press, 1985), p. 77.
[Genesis creation] is as truly a sevenfold revelation of a beginning as the Apocalypse of John is a mystic revelation of an end. (emphasis mine)
Milton S. Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics (Grand Rapids: Baker,  1988), p. 44.
The creation being subjected to vanity brings us back to the Genesis 3 line of thought that [Romans] 8.19-ff is culminating, which began in 5.12-ff. The phrase “vanity” (only used here in Romans) is the same word in Ecclesiastes referring to life in general. Things are not what they should be. Again, virtually every commentary sees Paul here as refering to Genesis 3 and hinting at the protoevangelion of 3.15: the arrival of the Son of God, the Seed of the woman, satan’s head will “soon be crushed” (Rom 16.20)... Paul’s argument in 8 began in 5.12-ff. This is where “the sin”
and “the death” came into “the world”. This is where cursings upon
creation itself came into the world as a result of sin. This is where
God’s wrath came upon the creation as a result of Man’s disobedience. (emphasis mine)
Samuel M. Frost, Romans 8:19-ff: Covenant Blessings
In conclusion, analysts of the ancient Near Eastern creation literature
often observe that nothing material is actually made in these
accounts... If we follow the sense of the literature and its ideas of
creation, we find that people in the ancient Near East did not think of
creation in terms of making material things -- instead, everything is
John H. Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One (Downer's Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009), p. 35.
If this is not an account of material origins, then Genesis 1 is affirming nothing about the material world.
John H. Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One (Downer's Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009), p. 57.
Jeremiah’s vision is of the whole creation returning to its primaeval chaos; in the first line he uses the phrase tohu wahohu which is used elsewhere only of the empty turbulence out of which God created heaven and earth. (emphasis mine)
G.B. Caird, The Language and Imagery of the Bible, p. 114.
Notice now that in Revelation 21, the heavens and the
earth pass away at the end of the millennium... [T]he Great Day of the
Lord was to occur at the time of the destruction of creation, at the judgment of Babylon, and since creation was to be destroyed
at the end of the millennium, then the vindication of the martyrs, in
the judgment on Babylon, was to occur at the end of the millennium.
traditional eschatology says this: “First the physical, then the
spiritual, then, finally, the physical.” Preterists stop at the spiritual with Paul. We are not awaiting any physical redemption whatsoever.
Don K. Preston, Who is This Babylon? (Ardmore, OK: JaDon Management, 2006), pp. 268-269.
I have seen Revelation 21,22 before in the OT many times. In fact, it is even in Genesis.
Those who “struck the Lord” with scourges are now “old,” as some
thirty to sixty years have passed since Jesus’ crucifixion, depending on
the date of composition (EpPs-Barn 6.2). He quotes Hebrews 1:12 in this passage. He then quotes two Old Testament verses found side by side in Peter’s epistle (I Pe 2:6,7 cf. EpPs-Barn 6.2,4).
This “stumbling stone” is “for the Jews” as Paul mentions (II Co2:23).
Peter concluded, “they stumble because they disobey the message – which
is also what they were destined for.” Jesus is the “capstone” or
“cornerstone” of the church/temple building that Peter teaches is being
“built up” by him until he, the chief cornerstone, comes and completes
the edifice. Barnabas concurs with Peter here. Israel has been judged,
and the church is being completed, perfected.
The head stone is near. Barnabas continues this argumentation with the
glories to follow, “For it is concerning us that the Scripture says that
he says to the Son, ‘Let us make man after our image and likeness, and
let them rule the beasts of the earth, and the birds of heaven, and the
fishes of the sea.’
And when the Lord saw our fair creation, ‘Increase and multiply and
fill the earth.’ These things were spoken to the Son. Again I will show
you how he speaks to us.”(EpPs-Barn 6.12,13). The Jesus movement was fulfilling its commission to spread over the world.
Several early writers express this same idea (Rom10:18,16:25-26, Col 1:6,23, Rev 14:6). In Barnabas’ view, this is nothing more than the Gentiles, the nations being gathered into the kingdom before the final destruction of the earth.
But, it is not a political takeover in the postmillennial sense that
Christians will run government affairs and draw up constitutions for
entire countries. In Barnabas, this aspect of reigning will not take
place until Christ comes again, then the church will rule in the land. (emphasis mine)
Samuel M Frost, Misplaced Hope (Colo. Springs: Bimillennial Press, 2002, 2006), pp. 63-64.
The term beginning in biblical Hebrew marks the starting point of a specific duration, as in 'the beginning of the year' (Dt. 11:12). The end of a specific period is marked by its antonym, 'the end,' as in 'the end of the year' (Dt. 11:12). In opening the account of Creation with the phrase in the beginning,' the author has marked Creation as the starting point of a period of time. 'Hence will here be the beginning of the history that follows.... The history to be related from this point onwards was heaven and earth for its object, its scenes, its factors. At the head of this history stands the creation of the world as its commencement, or at all events its foundation.' By commencing this history with a 'beginning,' a word often paired with its antonym 'end,' the author has not only commenced a history of God and his people but also prepared the way for the consummation of that history at 'the end of time.'
The growing focus within the biblical canon on the times of the 'end' is an appropriate extension of the 'end' already anticipated in the 'beginning' of Genesis 1:1. The fundamental principle reflected in 1:1 and the prophetic vision of the end times in the rest of Scripture is that the 'last things' will be like the 'first things': 'Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth' (Isa 65:17); 'Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth' (Rev 21:1). The allusions to Genesis 1 and 2 in Revelation 22 illustrate the role that these early chapters of Genesis played in shaping the form and content of the scriptural vision of the future…
Already in Genesis 1:1 the concept of the last days' fills the mind of the reader. (emphasis mine)
John H. Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative, pp. 83-84
Visual Respresentation of Covenant Creation
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