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Two Covenants & The Transiton Period

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  Feature Article:   
The article below was written by Larry Siegle.  Larry is an author, speaker, and servant of God's Kingdom through his various ministry outlets (books, articles, television, radio, and other digital/social and print media).  He is also a contributor to TFC Magazine (online).  More of his articles can be found there at:   http://www.tfcmag.com/ .  He can be found on Facebook at " Fulfilled Dynamics " and his website
can be found at: http://www.fulfilleddynamics.com/      

 
WHY the PERIOD OF TRANSITION Lasting 40 YEARS WAS ESSENTIAL TO THE PURPOSE OF GOD
By Larry Siegle

The relational concept of "covenant" develops from God's dealing with individuals such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to be realized in community. Adam was the corporate "head" (representative) of people determined by covenant. Israel was the corporate representation as defined by the covenant. Christ was the corporate "head" (representative) of people determined by covenant. From first to last and beginning to end, the importance of God working through HIS community must not be underestimated.

THE INCLUSIVE CORPORATE BODY
It was the corporate "body of Christ" whose gradual transformation (as a community) was that of "being conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. 8:29). OUT from the mode of existence defined by the Old Covenant and INTO the mode of existence defined by the New Covenant. During the time between the Cross and 70 CE a wholesale transformation was taking place, one similar to the journey of OT Israel coming OUT from Egyptian "bondage" and entering INTO the "land" that had been promised to them by God. The apostle Paul likens this time of transformation (transition) to the "veil" that covered the face of Moses that was in the PROCESS of "fading away" (II Cor. 3:13), being "removed in Christ" (II Cor. 3:14). He writes:
"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit" (II Cor. 3:18).  

CORPORATE COMMUNITY
As a community, they were "being transformed...from glory (Old Covenant) to glory (New Covenant). The transformation was corporate (community) but involving God's work in the hearts and minds of His covenant people. Concerning this unique period of the "last days" (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21). Author Max R. King, in his book "The Cross and the Parousia of Christ" writes:
"The passage from the Old Testament to the New Testament occurred through the death and resurrection of Christ, not instantaneously, but by means of a transformation that was accomplished through the "body of Christ". It is important to see the real connection between the two covenants and the role of the early Christian community, under the pre-parousia reign of Christ, in bringing about the transition from the Old to the New.
The design of Christ's death and resurrection was not the termination (annihilation) of the people of the Old Testament, but their rebirth as the Israel of God according to the Spirit. Paul is greatly misunderstood when his law-free gospel is interpreted as a complete break between the two peoples of the two covenants. Paul never presented the church as the displacement of historical Israel.
The new creation in Christ was, in the understanding of Paul, the transforming consummation of the Old Testament economy.
Through Christ the old economy was fulfilled, not only in the institutions (which served as patterns of the heavenly things, Heb. 8 and 9), but into its deeper reality, in the transforming resurrection of the dead to the enduring life of Christ's resurrection, as it was coming to manifestation through His body -- the new people of the New Covenant creation." [1]

THE "REMNANT" AND THE ISRAEL CONNECTION
The events taking place with the "remnant" as "firstfruits" of the approaching "harvest" (Matt. 13:39; Rev. 14:1-20) the 40-years of transition were never again to be repeated in the lives of believers living beyond that time. The "everlasting gospel" (Rev. 14:6) was the line of demarcation for the arrival of the "hour of His judgment" (Rev. 14:7) and the time of the settling of accounts had arrived for the "wrath of God" to be poured out (Rev. 14:8, 10, 19) upon unbelieving Israel and the entering into the promised "rest" for believing Israel in her rebirth.
While some insist on the church as something different and distinct, even a displacement of historical Israel, God's "purpose of the ages" (Eph. 3:11) in Scripture teaches NO such thing. The church as the "remnant" takes up the "promises made to the fathers" (Rom. 15:8) and embraces Messiah as His corporate "body" in looking toward the fulfillment of the "hope of Israel" (Acts 28:20) in the resurrection of the dead. The mission of the corporate community during the "last days" was that of gathering Jew/Gentile together into the "one body" (I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:4).
In the resurrection motif, the apostle Paul demonstrates the unity of God's purpose through the believer's participation with Christ by their "death" to the Old Covenant (Rom. 7:1-4), and their subsequent resurrection as the "new creation" (II Cor. 5:17). As the corporate "head" (representative) when Christ "that one died for all, therefore all died" (II Cor. 5:14; Rom. 6:3-5). God had "a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth" (Eph. 1:10 ESV). When the "last days" ended in 70 CE, so also did the "fullness of time" for the completion of redemptive history.

CONCLUSION
It is amazing to read and to know the covenant faithfulness of God in keeping all of His promises and fulfilling all of His Word. There is so much more to learn and to empower us living today to BE the victorious people He designed us to be. In the near future, much of the work of Fulfilled Dynamics will begin to bring the pieces and clues found in the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation into their proper perspective. Study along with us!

ENDNOTES
[1] . Max R. King -- "The Cross and the Parousia of Christ" p 389.
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Other Articles:

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"The New Testament Church is Compared to Israel in the Wilderness".

This is an excellent ongoing article (9 parts thus far) by Joe Daniels and Terry Cropper, and is published in The Fullfilled Covenant Magizine (online).   Both have "author" pages on the site with their respective articles.

To read the article via Terry's page, CLICK HERE

To read the article via Joe's page, CLICK HERE 

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"The Significance of the Number 40"

Todd Dennis and Richard Anthony point out the significance of the number 40 in Scripture, specifically in regard to the often overlooked "Transition Period" and it's typological significance.  The parallels are quite remarkable. The website is located at http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/.  
   To read the article,  CLICK HERE   


Diagrams/Visuals:

Below are some great diagrams that help outline and explain the transition period between the Old and New Covenant.  These are the work of Riley O'Brien Powell.  Some of these can be seen on Riley's website livingthequestion.org     Riley's charts, diagrams, graphs, and illustrations are included in the Fulfilled Covenant Bible, 1st and 2nd edition, by Michael Day. These can also be viewed at:   http://bibleprophecyfulfilled.com/preteristbible.html