Dr. Meredith Kline, Kingdom Prologue, Lecture 6
© 2012, Dr. Meredith Kline and Ted Hildebrandt
God supplies the water and even mankind to work and develop the vegetation in the garden and so on. So that’s the logic of it. My whole point is very simple, it simply takes for granted that God would not put vegetation in the ground until the normal conditions for its surviving, thriving and growing existed, that is, until there was a normal supply of water. And so, then he supplies the water and from then on we have the account of plants and especially how there’s the Garden of Eden and there’s the man who is placed there. Of course it’s all leading up to chapter 3. Why bring together vegetation and man? It’s setting the stage for chapter 3. Man in the Garden of Eden with the trees, this realm of vegetation that is going to provide these features which are so critical in man’s whole covenantal obedience and so on. So that’s why it’s being dealt with there.
Now then, natural providence is assumed. Try to accommodate that on any view that takes the days sequentially. Now it’s especially compelling for those who believe in the authority of Scripture and the harmony of Scripture. You can’t have a passage over here assuming something that contradicts a passage over there as you’re interpreting. You’ve got to change your interpretation so that there’s no more conflict there.
with the sequential view: Day 3 and Day 4
Now let’s a suppose things are sequential. Vegetation, of course, occurs on day 3—the land, vegetation. When are the sun and moon and stars created? Here we’re back to that question of day 4 again. They’re created, and the rest of the solar system out there. In fact, the rest of the cosmos is created here on day 4. What’s the problem then of course? Well, if God wouldn’t put in the plants before there was a natural supply of water, he wouldn’t put in the plants before there was the natural photosynthesis process that takes place with the presence of the sun and so on. So if we’re saying that events of day 4 follow the events of day 3 we have a contradiction with this over here. There are other types of problems and I’m no scientist and many of you know much more about this. But isn’t it the case then that clearly not all kinds of plant life were produced before any animal life was produced. That’s the way it would be on a straight forward approach, if Genesis started to follow the chronological sequence, all of the flora are produced on day 3, none of the fauna until after that. Yet we’re all familiar with cases of symbiotic relationship of plants and animals that can’t live without the other. So there is that kind of problem.
Of course, there’s the humongous problem, especially for those who hold to the Day-Age view and who want to insist on this beautiful harmony, they say, between what they uncover as the actual process from the Big Bang on and if you look at Genesis 1, the sequence there. Day 4 is well on into this sequence here. According to them, it is where you have the origin of everything but planet Earth. So for the first up to that point, planet Earth has been existing here, spinning alone a speck in an empty space. In fact the concept of space doesn’t even make sense to speak about and empty space doesn’t. The Earth is spinning along here, in a void. Then we come to day four and now, not only our immediate solar system, but our galaxy and the super galaxies and all the rest of the whole cosmos is then brought into being. That harmonizes with modern science? No, no, and that’s not the natural way. See God could have created planet Earth all by its lonesome here in a void and done everything that he said to bring vegetation and life into existence. He could have, but according to Genesis 2:5, he didn’t. He didn’t do things that way. So that’s it, ok? So here are a couple of arguments to think about that should keep you from insisting that the narrative sequence is the chronological one. That is to say, it should lead one to recognize the account is figurative. I better let it go at that.
Let me give a question or two a chance. There were some in the break so I imagine some things are going through your mind. [Student Question “You dealt briefly with putting the vegetation in general or some…”] Kline Responds: It doesn’t affect my argument one way or the other—I could take it either way. I could take it as referring to the garden of Eden locally or I could take it as referring to the earth as a whole. Either way it does affect the logic of this.
[Student Question “If you mean the Garden of Eden as meaning, the plants of the field or plants in general”] Kline Responds: Even if it refers then to the Garden of Eden, something has happened before man was created so it us a situation obtained within the period of six days. So whether it is local or global, doesn’t matter to me. Whether it was global or local providential procedures are in effect.
[Student Question “Do
you preface your statement, your argument, that all this great activity was
combined to these six days because of the argument that some of the plants
could have been made later after the six days?”] Kline Responds: At
that point, I was just, I was trying to say that all significant variety has come
into being within that period. So that they, even if let’s say, you were trying
to argue for some sort of evolutionary principal as accounting for some of it,
that would have been a principal that was operating only within that period of
the six days which is now closed. So that you couldn’t be looking for
verification from an experimental process conducted today along those lines
[Student Question “Now some would argue that God held off creating the shrubs of the field because their nature would be affected by man’s fall...] Kline Responds: I didn’t get your part. That they would be affected by what? [Student Question “Whether man fell or not, they would take on a different nature. That is hypothesized as a reason that their creation was held off until that point. Once certain plants began to grow then the argument would be that they existed that the other shrubs of the field did not exist at all and would not exist until after the fall…] Kline Responds: There are couple of things going on there. One is that it is, were you there when we were discussing some of what the effect was of the curse on nature? I would dispute that the fall had that kind of effect on nature at all in the first place. We’ll come to that later. For a particular meaning of the terminology of those plants and let me refer you to an article that was written by someone who was my colleague until just this fall, out in Westminster, CA. His name is Mark Futato. I wrote the article “Because it had not rained” and in a recent issue of the Westminster Theological Journal, two or three issues back, Mark’s supporting my view not contradicting my view, but actually very supportive of it. I think you’ll find it helpful in terms of the meaning of the different shrubs and so on. He has his doctoral degree in some area of climate and nature and that sort of thing.
Impact of the fall on creation
[Student Question “Are you
against the fall affecting nature?] Kline Responds: Yeah,
and when we come to it, we will try to make the point. You know the passage in
the Romans 8 that everyone appeals to about all of creation groaning and travail
and so on I’ll try to deal with that one. So that’s talking about it it’s
really taking over Isaiah 24 and following where it’s talking about the
resurrection. But yeah, it’s a big subject and we will come to it.
We were making that point over here. Just to repeat what I was saying on the break—my understanding of it is that the fall did not change anything in nature as though we could assume that until that time all nature was, as I try to put it, one big marshmallow that could not hurt man you know. Creation was full of things that could damage man before the fall. There were cliffs that you could fall off, there were bodies of water in which you could drown. There were rocks that you could stub your foot against. There were all kinds of things in nature, before the fall, that were threatening to man. Why, as a matter of fact, before the fall, was man not victimized by any of these things? Well, because the Lord would give his angels charge over the one in his favor so that they wouldn’t stub their foot against the stone. So the secret of happiness and blessedness in the Garden of Eden before the fall was not that the world was different but that man enjoyed God’s sovereign absolute control and God controls to the last detail whether your toe strikes a stone or whether a leaf falls from a tree or anything like that. Such was God’s sovereign control that it would guarantee the blessedness of man in spite of the presence of these alarming things. So it is not the absence of stone, but it is the presence of God’s favor that makes a situation of happiness. On the contrary, it’s when God removes his favor then you do strike your foot against a stone, then you do get drowned, then you do fall off cliffs and so on. What has changed then is not the nature of nature. What has changed is man’s relationship to God and as a result of that the way in which God uses nature either to bless or to victimize man.
So, as I understand there’s no biblical evidence there were thorns and thistles in the Garden beforehand. There was death in the world beforehand. Death all along the line, up until human death, but not human death. Death was serving man up to that point. The death of other things was serving the higher interests of man. After the fall, man himself becomes subject to death. Before the fall, the ground produces the vegetation which fattens the calf and the vegetation and the calf together feed the man. After the fall, man goes dust unto dust--man feeds the dust. He begins to push up the daisies—he’s serving vegetation and so on. That’s the difference between the two situations. But, I think it’s just an idealistic, idealic, nonexistence, non-biblical concept that traditionally has taken over paradise, you know everything idealic, one big marshmallow. I mean that’s not it. The biblical picture is more strongly theological—it all depends on God and how he uses all these things. Now I won’t have to say it when we come to it—now we’ve already done that.
Curse on the ground
[Student Question “Since we’re there I guess I’ll ask the question about the curse. The curse is, I always thought, on the ground.”] Kline Responds: Check the language when it comes to the story with the flood, we find that the same language is used there of God’s curse on the ground, when actually what it means is that God used the realm of nature and others to affect man. So, the way you put it is really right. It’s really man that’s being cursed via through the agency of nature.
[Student Question “I thought you were implying that he was cursed by the removal of some of divine production rather than a change of nature.”] Kline Responds: That’s it. On the other hand, it says that God now curses the ground with respect to the man. It’s God’s sovereign control over the realm of nature now no longer to protect him but to punish him.
Garden of Eden and Armageddon
[Student Question “Not to get too far off, but will the eternal state, will nature continue?] Kline Responds: Now, yeah, my next book if the Lord lets me ever write it is going to be called God, Heaven and Armageddon. Armageddon might sound mysterious, but you know when we were talking about the Garden of Eden and the Mountain of God. The Mountain of God and the Garden of Eden that’s Armageddon. We said heaven; this is another one of those points of replication I could have used as an illustration. Heaven is where God sits and says “let us do such and such” he sits in the middle of the divine council up on the heights of heaven. One of the reproductions of that in earthly symbolism is Armageddon, the mountain, and “Maggedon” means “assembly”—it has nothing to do with “Megiddo” by the way—it’s the Mount of Assembly. It’s the place where God is amidst the assembly of his, his heavenly agents. At last, that’s where the church is, that’s our eternal destiny. It’s the heights of Armageddon which is a symbol for heaven.
What was your question? So I started to say I’m writing this book on God, Heaven, and Armageddon which is an earthly symbol for heaven. So that is heaven and then in the first chapter of book I’m trying to deal with your question. The real question is “how do you relate biblical cosmology, the biblical view of the heaven with this two register thing and all? How do you relate that to the view of the cosmos as it is being produced by modern science?” All kinds of questions arise. When this world passes away what is that referring to? When there’s a new heavens and a new earth, how much discontinuity is there between the world as we know it and the world as it will be? If it’s going to be rather continuous with the world as we now know it, will heaven, eternal state be one in which the cosmos is expanding? We’re in an expanding universe. Will these dynamics continue in heaven? Or if there’s too much matter and therefore too much gravity are we heading up or continuing the expansion for a big crunch again? What will happen to the saints up there when that big crunch takes place? All the rules change. Is the cosmos completely different than the one we now know? All these are the kinds of things I was suggesting before, the kinds of questions. You are a good example of it. People are interested in it and we should be addressing them. So I’m trying to struggle with this and address some of them. Will there be animals in heaven? How do you take these passages in Isaiah and elsewhere that speak about the wild land or the predators lying down at peace with the former lamb chops and all of this? Will there still be animals? There are all kinds of fascinating questions. Let’s think about that.
You know in all the dimensions of reality that we presently have access to I think will be available plus now the invisible dimensions. When the glory of heaven suffuses the whole world and there’s a coalescence of the upper and lower registers in our experience that takes place when we’re glorified. Our eyes are opened to the whole thing it will continue to be a physical existence. The resurrection of the body demands it. That’s the way I think the debate often goes. Is heaven something that is completely vaporized, spiritualized, or is there a solid, physical dimension to it? I think that the resurrection of the body demands the latter and yet transformed in ways that are beyond our present conceptualized and so we hardly know the language to use and we stumble along with new languages like new dimensions just to label the mystery.
Definition and description of the covenants
tonight we can at least talk about the definition of Covenant and do something
with an overview of the covenants. Do you have Kingdom Prologue with
you? You can turn to the opening pages--it’s actually the introduction. Now, on
page 1 what we are basically trying to do in this course is to provide this
covenantal and kingdom foundation things as we call it where God administers his
kingdom through a series of covenants. We want to understand what their nature
is, what is their relationship to one another. So that we see where we fit
into the whole scheme of where it is going. So a Covenant is there, it’s
covenant theology that we’re doing. It so happens that the covenant is basic to
God’s kingdom administration. You can’t deal with the drama of creation
history without dealing with this series of covenants that define the whole
Now on the middle of that page then and I start to get into the evidence for a definition. Definitions for covenant to be found aren’t that difficult, all you have to do is take a concordance and look up the word “covenant” which would be a translation for the Hebrew berit and diatheke in the Greek. Just read down through the concordance the phrases that have to do with covenant there will give you the immediate context and you’ll find out some things very quickly. The question I pose then, in the middle of the page of the biblical words rendered “covenant,” the primary one in the Old Testament, berit, the Greek is diatheke. What is it that constitutes now? What is it that constitutes the peculiar berit character of that which is so denominated when the Bible refers to some transaction as a berit? Why is that particular transaction a berit? What is there about a berit that you’ll find there?
Well, you’ll find as you go down your list over and again, the berit is something that is made—you make the covenant. Actually the Hebrew word for it is karat which means “to cut a covenant.” We’ll be noticing that particular word and you make a covenant. And how do you make it? Turn to some of those passages and you find yourself reading that, it’s a very solemn thing that happens there. It’s accomplished through a solemn process of ratification and characteristically this transaction centers on the swearing of an oath. So covenants, are made solemnly and characteristically by an oath and an oath involves a curse. An oath is sort of a conditional self-malediction, a curse is a conditional self-malediction. I swear that I will do such and such and God do so onto me and more also if I fail. So I am invoking a curse upon myself conditionally if I fail. But that’s the way covenants are made then by the making of a solemn commitment, and especially through oaths. So clearly, a berit is a legal kind of arrangement. It’s a formal disposition of a binding nature involved with oaths.
At the heart of a berit is an active commitment and that’s the essence of it. The customary oath form of this commitment reveals the religious nature of this transaction. You know, it’s not like a secular contract, you swear by God. It’s a religious phenomenon. So it’s not a secular contract but rather belongs to the sacred sphere of divine witness and enforcement. The kind of legal disposition called berit consists then in this. It consists in divinely sanctioned commitment. Now that’s the heart of what I want to say. A berit is a transaction involving a divinely sanctioned commitment. Someone makes a commitment and it may be God, let’s say. God Himself may make the commitment. Of course, it’s divinely sanctioned because of the fact that he makes it. Or if it is a human being, let’s take Israel at Mount Sinai, Exodus 19 through 24; Israel, makes the commitment there. “All of the Lord has spoken, we will do.” So Israel makes the active commitment but they do it in the presence of God with God as the witness and the enforcer of the thing. So it is a divinely sanctioned commitment. That is the essence of Covenant.
breaking and ratifying a covenant
A good indication that this is the case—that the act of commitment of the obligations thus undertaken is basic to the meaning—is provided by the numerous statements about keeping and remembering. If you look at your concordance list and you’ll find yourself not just reading about making the covenant but over again about keeping the covenant or the opposite of breaking the covenant. Keeping and breaking, of course, refers to commitments that have been made. The oath that has been taken. So this is the same thought.
You can read this on your own, the rest maybe of the introduction that points to the presence of other synonyms for berit like the word for a “curse” you see—you make a covenant by swearing an oath and an oath is a verbalization and sometimes also an actual dramatization of the curse that you want to befall you. So you have a curse attached to a commitment. The word “curse” sometimes becomes used as a synonym for berit. In fact, at top of page 2, so much was the oath commitment definitive of berit that the act of making a berit, as I just said, was denoted by the imagery of the oath ritual performed when ratifying a berit. Alright, so as I said, an oath is a conditional self-malidation that you swear to do something and you can verbalize the curse that you expect to befall on you if you break the covenant. Or you can symbolize, you can perform a ritual. You can dramatize the thing. It just so happens that the characteristic ritual for symbolizing the curse of an oath there and making covenants was that you take an animal and you kill it, and you cut it up. So what you are saying is, “Look, may God do so unto me, may he cut me all up into pieces like this animal if I break my covenant.” And so my point is that so much of the essence of the covenant is this business of the oath and the curse that the characteristic form of the curse, of cutting an animal, becomes the term for making a covenant. So you make a covenant by cutting an animal, symbolizing your curse, etc., etc.
Biblical covenants and
the Ancient Near Eastern Covenants
So there are various lines of evidence then that indicate that this is the heart of the thing. There’s one other whole line of evidence that has to do, and I’ll come back to that in a moment, with comparing the biblical covenants with the covenants that exist in the ancient world of the Bible. As I said, I’ll come back to that in just a second. But, the rest of that chapter then involves maybe just expanding the definition of covenant a little bit to take account of its function. So the idea of the covenant in itself is that it’s a divinely sanctioned commitment. Now if you want to work into your definition something of how do covenants function are what do they do, as we’ve just been saying, the ones we’re interested here in the Bible, are instruments where by God administers his kingdom. So here is God at work and he uses covenants as a legal kind of instrument in order to define his covenant. He gives a covenant to his people, it is a constitution to the organization of the kingdom. So that would be a somewhat more complete definition including the function. It is a divinely sanctioned commitment functioning as an instrument of the administration of God’s kingdom.
Other definitions of covenant: Murray and Robinson
Now I would let it go at that and in the rest of the chapter I’m criticizing some other definitions that have emerged within the context of our own context of churches and seminaries and so on. In particular, I have in view here the definition presented by John Murray, systematics professor in Westminster of past fame. Another one then, I actually mentioned his name last week was Palmer Robinson—I said I had been reading one of Palmer Robinson’s book. Now John Murray was my professor when I was a student and then Palmer Robinson was my student so there’s three generations there. So I like to criticize my professor and Palmer Robinson likes to criticize his professor, which in this case is me. So at this point I’m criticizing both my professor and my student here. We all flunked.
So John Murray’s definition was this: Murray defined a covenant as “a sovereign administration of grace and promise” alright? It’s a “sovereign administration of grace and promise.” He’s got hold of the idea that this is God sovereignly administering his kingdom and so far so good. Now the problem comes in with the additional words of grace and promise making that part of definition of covenant. Murray’s definition would be an excellent definition of some of the covenants in the Bible—like the New Covenant. The New Covenant is a sovereign administration of grace and promise. That’s fine.
Now the problem with it is that not all the things that the Bible calls berit, are cases of the divine human covenants were arrangements of grace and promise. This gets us into one huge problem in the debate that we’ll have to deal with thoroughly and which you should expect to encounter again in these ecclesiastical and seminary circles in which we are all moving. The problem, in a nutshell then, with Murray’s definition is, now look, in the history of covenantal theology, we have always spoken about a covenant of works haven’t we? Covenant of Works, is God’s covenant with Adam. Then there’s the Covenant of Grace and so on. Now, a Covenant of Grace fits Murray’s definition. That’s a sovereign administration of grace and promise—the sovereign grace of God. Now what about the Covenant of Works? That doesn’t fit his definition. He realized it didn’t and so he opposed the traditional position. Murray is usually thought of the one who was the conservative, the one who stuck with the tradition. If I may say so, yours truly is usually thought of as the maverick who is going in some different directions as with the interpretation of the days of Genesis. On this particular thing I’m the traditionalist and Murray’s the innovator. He acknowledged that he was taking upon himself to change, to refurbish the whole history of covenant, so that he would no longer speak of a covenant of works because he recognized with his definition that that’s a contradiction of terms. Covenant of Works was the opposite so he would no longer speak of it--the Covenant of Works. For a while he wouldn’t use the word “covenant” at all in describing God’s relationship to Adam in the beginning and he would just talk about the Adamic administration which is noncommittal when it comes to works and grace. That’s my problem with his definition then. If you’re going to have a definition for purposes of overall covenant theology it has to fit them all and his won’t do that.
Now, what that led to, as we’ll be seeing, is that the idea of a Covenant of Works as the principal of works themselves, began then to be eliminated. Eventually he did come around to using the word “covenant” for a second stage in those arrangements with Adam. He conceived of some original state before there was a covenant and this was a big mistake to do that—in which there was perfect justice functioning. But then the covenant comes in and once the covenant comes in, on his definition, grace comes in. So, an element of grace now gets injected into that situation—which traditionally we have been calling a covenant of works, as something in contrast to grace. You’re beginning to no longer have black and white works and grace, you’re beginning to have something gray. Which is a works arrangement which is yet a grace arrangement. That’s where all the mischief begins. It is real mischief because the result is that it undercuts the gospel of saving grace. Which is certainly not Murray’s intention, but that is in effect ultimately what’s happening. So this is a huge thing that you’re going to have to think about it. You’re going to go out and you’re going to be a preacher of the gospel, a teacher of the gospel and you don’t have this straight I’d rather you stayed home and not preach. Because this gospel of grace is the thing that’s at stake here.
Now the other definition is the one that Palmer Robinson came up with. On his definition he emphasized that in all covenants that there is the effecting of a bond, an intimate love religious bond of some kind. That’s his definition that this particular effect is insisted upon as part of the covenant reality. Again the problem is that’s fine for the New Covenant but it doesn’t fit all covenants involved. It certainly is the acme of the new covenant that wonderful religious bond of close fellowship that we have with the Lord in the covenant. But that feature simply is not present in all covenants.
As a matter of fact, this is the one I was referring to last week, here you have along with the covenants of works and the covenants of grace that we’re talking about you have the covenant of common grace. Here’s a covenant that God makes with everybody. And there is no sweet, religious, loving fellowship that God establishes with everybody. That’s just not the case. In the Covenant of Common Grace God provides for certain order of nature and a certain order for society with particular institutions like the state which involve common privilege for both believers and un-believers. But it doesn’t involve a close, intimate, union with Christ-type of religious bond such as Palmer Robinson is defining and identifying with the covenant. So once again you have to be careful not to add features to your definition that aren’t true of all covenants. I think that Murray’s and Robinson’s have that problem—I don’t think the one I’m suggesting does.
So covenants then are divinely sanctioned commitments which function as instruments of God’s Kingdom. That makes it broad enough to include the common grace element, if I say of God’s Kingship. Alright, that’s pages 1 through 5.
of the covenant elaborated:
Covenant of Creation and Covenants of Redemption
Now, as I said, my approach is very much the traditional one on this. So this should sound familiar to you if you’ve been involved at all and reading or thinking in your theology about the subject of the covenant. So I would set things ups this way as we’ve said the covenants function as instruments of God’s Kingdom or Kingship so you might put that definition up at the top. There is the Creation Kingdom or the Redemptive Kingdom.
Now then there’s the Covenant of Creation, you might call it. One Covenant of Creation and there are the Covenants of Redemption, plural. This Covenant of Creation, let’s give a name to it and that describe it a little bit. And I would call it “The Creator’s Covenant of Work.” Ok? Traditional stuff. It is a Creator’s Covenant of Work with Adam. And of course, in the light of Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 and so on, the Two Adams scheme, we know that the covenant that God makes with Adam, he isn’t just making for Adam by himself, but he’s making for Adam as the federal head for the whole of humanity. So it’s a covenant that works with Adam who is the representative of mankind.
Now we want analyze that a little bit more in a moment, but just to get the whole picture in front of us first of all. Over here it says there are covenants plural of redemption. We know what happens to this one—there’s a first stage of probation. Then had the probation been successful, there would have a been a second stage of conferral. I’ll come back and fill this all up once more, we’ll want to talk a lot about it. This is part of the work’s arrangement—it’s all part of the goal of the whole thing, from the very beginning. See, there’s no pre-covenantal situation, there’s no order of nature or anything like that before him. When God creates the world, it’s a covenantal creation, he creates a covenant into existence when he creates it. That’s all, the only game in town, there’s nothing else. And, so there’s nothing before the covenant and the covenant itself, from the very beginning, is eschatological—that is, from the very beginning what it’s envisaged is the consummation. This is not some second thought or something, but from the very beginning it was God’s intention to bring his people up there with him as we were saying up to the upper register, up to the seventh day to join with him in his heavenly rest—that is his consummation. That’s been God’s purpose from the very beginning—that was the goal of the covenant that he set up. To Adam, to heaven, to consummation—that glorified state of things—and heaven has to be earned. Now that’s the eschatological principal--heaven has to be earned. You have to work for it and get it as a reward. God himself did it that way.
The story of creation, we went through the story of creation, here’s another way you can tell that’s the story of creation. It is the story of God’s works. He performed his Kingdom works as he created his kingdom into existence over the six days. Then as he performed his work, day by day he pronounced the word of judgment on his works. “He saw that they were good.” So day by day he pronounced a word of approbation. A judgment of approbation followed, and because he had performed the work and he could pronounce it good and approve of it, then he had earned the reward of the Sabbath on the seventh day. Now that’s the pattern of eschatology, that’s the basic structure of history, the basic structure of history has always been eschatological. It’s not been flat, it’s not cyclical as the pagans thought, creation history from the beginning was intended to be and is nothing else but a thrust toward consummation, a thrust toward heaven via a process of earning it through probationary works which, of course, God and his covenant will assign. This is another one of the ways in which the upper register replicates itself on earth. That’s the way God did it. He earned his Sabbath rest by fulfilling the works which received his own verdict of approbation. That’s the pattern that he repeats on earth with this image-bearer.
Man too, God is an eschatological God moving to consummation and man therefore does the same. He too, must earn it. He must merit the thing by his works and so after his successful probation, that would be his works, then proceeds the conferring of the blessing sanctions of the covenant. In two stages, since I mentioned this let me just pull it out a little more. In two stages the conferral would take place. Heaven itself is the second stage. Glorification wouldn’t happen at once. Here’s Adam and Eve, they’ve past the probation but you know part of their general assignment was to fill the earth—populate it, fill it and subdue it. They haven’t done that yet. In fact, they can’t procreate and populate the world if right away God would glorify their bodies because when our bodies are glorified, Jesus tells the Sadducees, then we are like the angels in heaven, “no marrying or given marriage anymore.” So Adam and Eve couldn’t be glorified at once or they wouldn’t be able to fulfill this general cultural mandate, as we call it, that had also been given to them in this particular covenant.
So they must continue with their earthly bodies. 1 Corinthians 15 tells us we’ve had the earthly body like Adam. Then we have the likeness of the man from heaven afterwards, but first the earthly body, the procreation given in marriage, a type of body. So there would have been a period of history when it was no longer able to fall, they passed their probation. This is a wonderful concept now that we should get into our gospel preaching…
Transcribed by Caroline
Rough edited by Ted Hildebrandt