The introductory post explains the purposes, goals and scope of this blog. If you have not read it, I suggest you start there and then, look through the posts to get a feeling for where I have gone and where I am going. But, if you don’t have the time, feel free to read this post alone. However, the blog is meant to be a series and so if you find it interesting you can go back and read it or, if you would prefer you can download a PDF of the entire blog. This PDF will be updated every Saturday so that it will have the entire blog, from first post to last, through the latest Saturday.
Kevin Beck has written a gem entitled This Book Will Change Your World. What’s more, you can get it as an eBook for free! It is an informative and enjoyable read…I couldn’t put it down. It deals with how we read and understand scripture and posits an eschatological point of view that brings forth the kingdom of God in its full glory. Below is a quote from the fourth chapter “The End of the World as We Know It.”
In a similar way, Jesus and the apostles announced the end of the world as they knew it. And the world they expected to end was not planet earth. Instead, they anticipated the end of one world-order characterized by a particular covenant between God and Israel and a new one typified by a new covenant. We can call each of these world-orders a “covenant world.”
It might surprise you to hear someone say that the Bible doesn’t discuss the end of the physical universe and the destruction of the planet—especially when so many preachers tell you that it could happen any moment now. --Hurry up! Get your life straightened out before the world comes to an end!-- But that’s exactly what I’m putting out there for your consideration: The end of the physical universe is never in view in the entire Hebrew-Christian Bible. (Kevin Beck page 64)
Much of the apocalyptic language used in the New Testament to describe the transition of covenants was symbolic – poetic language. Kevin underlines this in the book. In the following quote he is discussing Paul’s allegorical description of the two covenants in Galatians chapter four. Paul stated that two Jerusalem’s were symbolic of the two covenants. Hagar was the symbol for the old covenant and Sarah was the symbol for the new covenant, the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.
Jerusalem and the temple served the focal point of what the entire first world-order was about. Separation. God’s presence veiled. Do and live. Its removal signified the end of one world and the beginning of another. The veil of the temple was torn, and humanity entered into the very presence of God through a new and living way into a New Creation. “As long as Herod’s Temple stood, the symbols of the Old Covenant system stood intact….the heavenly Jerusalem would come down only after the earthly Jerusalem was taken out of the way.”157 (Kevin Beck page 80)
Here is a Venn diagram from the book that graphically shows the transition and the importance of the Christ event; Notice that Beck includes the destruction of the temple in 70CE in the Christ event. I do too. The Christ event ran all the way from the forerunner, John the Baptist to the destruction of the temple and the end of the Old Covenant.
Again, I encourage you to get a free copy of the eBook and read it for yourself. Actually, you can get a copy for your library at Amazon. I also encourage you to comment.