The Cosmic Temple & Spiritualized Eschatology, Part 4

Read the series.

Block’s Challenge

Recently the Old Testament scholar Daniel Block has vigorously challenged the whole Cosmic Temple thesis.1 Even if his counter-arguments are somewhat provisional,2 and he retains certain questionable positions on some matters (e.g. the presence of a covenant in Eden,3 violence beyond Eden,4 Jesus replacing the Jerusalem temple5), I think he has banged more than a couple of nails into the coffin. Allow me to set out several of his major criticisms:6

  1. The depiction of Eden in Genesis 1 and 2 stresses, says Block, not a sacred space, but a “royal world, with the man being cast as a king.”7 I may add that the concept of sacred space may be present, but it need not include a priesthood,8 and there are reasons to think it does not. The office of priest seems to make sense only when others are excluded from the priesthood. But that cannot be maintained out of what we read in Genesis. There is no reason to believe that all Adam’s offspring would follow their father in a priestly function, but then who would they represent? The existence of a priesthood presupposes not a congenial divine-human economy but a broken relationship.9 Hence it is simply out of place in Eden.10
  2. God’s “walking” (hithallek) in the garden in Genesis 3:8 relates much more to His relationship with man than to the garden as a “sanctuary.”11
  3. The presence of cherubim guarding the tree of life need not imply that Eden was sacred space. Block notes that strange composite creatures are found in other settings in ANE parallels like palaces and gates.12 They are not confined to sanctuaries, so appeals to ANE parallels won’t work. On top of this is the fact that no presence of these creatures is recorded until after the entrance of sin into the world.
  4. The clothing given to Adam by God was also given to Eve. If Adam wore priestly garments then so did Eve. But the Old Testament knows nothing of women priests.13 This incongruity has not been addressed by the promoters of the theory. But neither has the change of wardrobe from glorious apparel before the Fall to animal skins afterwards. An explanation is required if Ezekiel 28:13 is truly a description of Adam as Beale insists.
  5. Genesis 3 is silent on whether the entrance to the garden was located in the east.14 It may have been, but we will never know for sure.
  6. Block notices that the tripartite nature of the primeval environment (garden, Eden, beyond) does not match that of the sanctuary, which had Holy of Holies, Great Room, Court, and beyond. Hence the analogy breaks down upon closer inspection.15
  7. Block asks if Genesis 1-3 ought to be read in light of later texts, as the espousers of the Eden/Temple-as-microcosmos approach assert. He replies that “By themselves…the accounts of Gn 1-3 offer no clues that a cosmic or Edenic temple might be involved.” He rather indicates that the sanctuaries of Israel recall what was lost in the garden through the Fall.16 He continues by observing that Genesis 1-3 is not based upon the concept of temple theology, but the other way round; temple theology is based in Creation theology.17 That is to say, the later temples memorialize the lost Paradise.
  8. Neither Eden nor the Cosmos are described in language which defines temples as places of worship.18 He points out that the Old Testament calling Israel “the holy land” does not make it a temple, and even if we retain the terminology of calling Eden a “sacred space” it does not make it a temple also.19 Furthermore, God does not require a dwelling place.20 I might add that in this scenario the cosmos is a defiled temple (as evidenced by the presence of evil) and hence the garden becomes a sacred temple within a defiled temple which it is meant to picture.

Even if Block is right about all this, and I think he is, this does not require us to back completely away from linking Eden and the Temple. But it is best to view the tabernacle/temple as containing a remembrance of God’s paradise, and the ready access to God that was squandered. I fully endorse the following sentiment of Block’s:

In its design as a miniature Eden the Israelite temple addressed both the alienation of humanity from the divine Suzerain and the alienation of creation in general.21

I think this is a crucial point. The note of alienation is what pushes against the notion of an expanding and finally inclusive cosmic temple. And alienation is central to the meaning of the physical temples of Israel.

We may expect more scholars to poke holes in the Cosmic Temple thesis in the coming years.

The Cosmic Temple and the Sufficiency of Scripture

As I have shown, several advocates of this Temple > Eden > Cosmos thesis inform us that it is nowhere spelled out in the Scriptures themselves. We have also seen that interpreters old and new do not always agree with each other about what symbolizes what. But this could be lived with if the Cosmic Temple imagery were kept as an interesting speculative feature of the Bible, say like the presence of certain chiasmic patterns, or even the view that the early chapters of Genesis comprise a microcosm of Bible history.22 Unfortunately this is far from the case. Leading lights of Covenant and New Covenant theology have pressed this concept into doing major work in service of their eschatological preferences. The logic is attractive: If the church is now the “true temple” which is to expand as God’s dwelling, and the garden of Eden and the physical Jewish temples were merely anticipations of this actual “end times temple,” then there appears to be no need for a millennium after Christ returns. All that remains is the consummation of God’s temple in the New Heavens and New Earth. Premillennialism loses. But so, I would argue, does the sufficiency of Scripture.

The principle of the sufficiency of Scripture is, I believe, the most consistently attacked doctrine of the Christian Faith. I wish this was the case only with Christianity’s detractors, but it is often true of its adherents as well. All of us who hold the Bible to be God-breathed should require ourselves not to advance any teaching as authoritative unless it is specifically grounded in the Books of the Bible alone. Only the Bible has the right to define doctrines, and it surely cannot do so if its sentences are morphed so unexpectedly.

The idea that the earth after the sixth day was a hostile place with lurking evil save for Eden, or save only for the garden within Eden, is completely unsupported in Scripture, and seems contrary with the idea of God the Creator of order and beauty and peace. The connecting of the Hebrew verbs translated as “tend” and “keep” in the paradise of Genesis 2:15, to a totally different context in the disquieting atmosphere of Numbers 18:5-6, where they might well be rendered “guard” and “serve,” seems to ignore the Edenic context. Only by first converting the pristine world into some place where death and sin is at home (the garden in Eden apart) is the connection remotely thinkable. But after taking this liberty one is free to explore this cosmic temple motif, and to pile on notions of expanding temple borders and subduing the Devil. Beale claims that the Church as the “New Israel” is recapitulating what God did when He overcame chaos to achieve heavenly rest.23 God is now supposedly establishing,

a new-creational kingdom out of chaos over a sinful people by his word by his Spirit through promise, covenant, and redemption, resulting in worldwide commission to the faithful to advance this kingdom and judgment (defeat or exile) for the unfaithful, unto his glory.24

This idea is bolstered by “new Adam” and “new Exodus” motifs and parallels from the ancient world25 and shunted on to a supercessionist amillennial eschatology. It is all glued together by heaps of imaginative speculation.26

It is clear to me that much of the Cosmic Temple teaching is not taught in Scripture. This is why one cannot find it in Patristic writers like Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, or Basil, or in the Protestant Reformers. If we restrict ourselves to the Bible alone, then it must be treated with great suspicion.

Clearer Teaching?

If one is content to hear the voice of the Scriptures in context then these are the things which readily appear in relation to the subject:

  1. The garden which God planted for Adam in Eden was a special place because it was made specifically for him.27
  2. As the garden was in the East of Eden (a name invoking “delight”) in a “good” creation, this meant that outside the garden was beautiful and safe, ready for exploration. The whole planet was “very good” as Adam came into it.
  3. The Creation mandate of Genesis 1:28-30 indicated that it was expected that Adam and Eve and their offspring would venture outside of the garden.
  4. Since “sin and death” were introduced through the fall of Adam (cf. Rom. 5:12f.) there was no sin and no death on earth before the sin of Adam.28 Satan was an interloper who did not belong there.
  5. The only way of claiming that the garden of Eden was a “sacred space” is either to introduce the notion from ANE accounts (which is an intrusion on the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture), or to read sacred spaces such as the tabernacle retrogressively back into Genesis 2 – 3. I repudiate the former but believe there is something to the latter.
  6. If Eden was a sacred space it does not automatically mean that Adam was a priest. A priest intercedes between God and others. But in Eden what was the need for a priest? Just because a priesthood is needed to mediate in a fallen world, the same cannot hold in Paradise.
  7. The Dominion mandate (Gen. 1:26-31) does not include any word about expanding the sacred space throughout the earth. To bring it under his control (to “subdue” it) does not imply anything other than the earth’s potential for man to be creative upon it under the guidance of his God. If, as Genesis plainly states, the whole planet was “very good,” then it only makes sense to view the Cosmic Temple thesis with extreme caution and skepticism.

Notes

1 Daniel I. Block, “Eden: A Temple? A Reassessment of the Biblical Evidence,” in From Creation to New Creation: Biblical Theology and Exegesis (Peabody, MS: Hendricksen, 2013), edited by Daniel M. Gurtner and Benjamin L. Gladd, 3-29.

2 Ibid, 3

3 Ibid, 10

4 Ibid, 11 & 16

5 Ibid, 27

6 Block includes a considerable number of them.

7 Ibid, 5

8 E.g. Moses was not a priest when he stood before Yahweh at the burning bush

9 “In Israelite thought the temple was a symbol of the fallen world…A pre-fall world needed no temple ” – Ibid, 24-25

10 This seems to be Block’s point on pages 21-22.

11 Ibid, 7-8

12 Ibid, 8-9. This demonstrates how appealing to such comparisons is often double-edged.

13 Ibid, 12

14 Ibid, 16

15 Ibid, 16-17

16 Ibid, 21

17 Ibid, 26

18 Ibid, 22

19 Ibid, 22

20 Ibid, 24

21 Ibid, 26

22 As in Warren Austin Gage, The Gospel of Genesis: Studies in Protology and Eschatology(Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2001), 7-16. I personally find Gage’s typology to be far-fetched.

23 G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, 40

24 Ibid, 62

25 Even when these parallels are treated with care it appears that the ‘ancient worldview’ is assumed to be in place before the biblical one. E.g. J. Richard Middleton, A New Heaven and a New Earth, 44-46

26 Attempts to give it sermonic value reveal still more how dependent it all is upon the imaginative powers of the individual. See e.g. G.K. Beale and Mitchell Kim, God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the Ends of the Earth

27 Just as the world was made for Christ (Col. 1:16)

28 Those who appeal to cell and plant degeneration fail to interpret the bible’s use of the word “death” (which is an evil) in Genesis. Since these do not possess nephesh (life) their decay is technically not a death.

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There are 7 Comments

ScottS's picture

I agree overall with repudiating the notions being discussed in this article series. However, I think there is more to say regarding this:

If Eden was a sacred space it does not automatically mean that Adam was a priest. A priest intercedes between God and others. But in Eden what was the need for a priest? Just because a priesthood is needed to mediate in a fallen world, the same cannot hold in Paradise.

There is no doubt that priests in the Old Covenant "mediate in a fallen world," nor is there any doubt that Christ so mediates as a High Priest now (the book of Hebrews makes that very clear). However, I do think "priesthood" has aspects not related to mediation that would apply "in Paradise" and in eternity. I think a better basic definition of priest might be the representative of God on earth (which Adam and Eve were, being made like Him, Gen 1:26) and the servant/worshipper of God on earth (which Adam also was designed to be). This relates more to 1 Peter 2:5, 9 (NKJV, bold added):

5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ...

9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

So to answer the question of what priestly role might have been "in Paradise," Adam and Eve were designed to function in these ways of "spiritual sacrifice" and "praise" in contrast to other creatures on earth. They were not necessarily "representing" those other creatures (in a mediatorial way), but were creatures designed to fill this role on earth.

And it may be that likewise that such a role is what extends into eternity, since believers have been made priests (Rev 1:6, 5:10) to function as priests (Rev 20:6). Christ is the sole mediator between people and God (1 Tim 2:5), but believers serve as ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20-21) in calling people to reconciliation (so we have a form of a mediatorial role, just not as High Priest). But that role will eventually end for us, and the other roles of representing/serving and praising God in and to creation will no doubt continue into the new creation.

So while I don't hold to the cosmic temple idea, I can see some "priestly" functions within creation that relate to even "perfect world" conditions.

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

Paul Henebury's picture

Scott,

I must respectfully differ from your main point, which resides in your redefinition of a priest as "the representative of God on earth" and "the servant/worshipper of God on earth."  These are not the generally agreed definitions of a priest in Scripture.  At the very least, a priest is to differentiate between holy and unholy (Lev. 10:10).  In paradise there was nothing unholy (unless one buys the cosmic temple motif!).  

The first of your definitions is applicable to every human born into the world, saved or lost, since you root it in the imago Dei.  Your second would obviate any distinction between the Levites and worshippers of any other tribe or nation.  

Further, you are reading the NT into the OT to redefine the OT meaning and function of a priest.  But we must garner our material from the OT conception if we are to rightly represent any putative priesthood in Eden.  Whatismore, the emphasis in the early chapters of Genesis is not on a priestly function (contra the cosmic temple), but on the "kingly" function.  Block sees this and writes,

“In Israelite thought the temple was a symbol of the fallen world…A pre-fall world needed no temple ” – Eden: A Temple?, 24-25  

The Christian notion of priest carries some discontinuities with the OT view because of the work of Christ (e.g. the notions of sacrifice and intercession), but these cannot be read back into Genesis 1 - 3.  

For these reasons alone I don't think your points hold water.   

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

ScottS's picture

Paul, thank you for your thoughts, but I don't see a disconnect from the OT.

Humanity was "set apart" (holy) as the creature made to be "like God," as distinct from the other "common" yet "clean" creatures. So to your first objection, "applicable to every human born into the world, saved or lost," yes, all humanity was designed to be in such a role (they fail at it, which is why wrath occurs); that was actually my point, that a level of "priestly" functions was what mankind was designed to do.

To the second, it "would obviate any distinction between the Levites and worshippers of any other tribe or nation," I would appeal to the fact that all mankind is supposed to be such, so in the original creation scheme, there are no distinctions between "priest" vs. "everyone else" in mankind, only of "everything else" (other creatures). And I would say that in the final, eternal scheme that is true again (at least of all "saved" people as priests; there is still the distinction between that group and the group in the lake of fire). So OT priests are serving as models of what all people should be like in their representing God and serving/worshipping Him (and in our fallen world, doing intercession, etc., as well).

But there is OT support for my thoughts. The NT supports what the OT reveals.

As to the specific calling of priests, the first introduction of a priesthood to the God is Melchizedek (Gen 14:18), where what we see is:

  1. A praising of God and of God's servant Abram (Gen 14:19-20)
  2. A representative of God to which Abram gives tithes (Gen 14:20)

There is no mention at that point of holy distinction, though Melchizedek is performing a set apart role in doing 1 & 2 (but that fits my thoughts about those aspects of holy priesthood for mankind).

Exodus 18:1 declares that Israel (as a whole) was to be to God "a kingdom of priests," even though they were also going to have priests within them (i.e. levels of priesthood, even as Christ is forever the High Priest in relation to all other believers' priesthood). That verse in Exodus is the first reference to priesthood for Israel, prior to Aaron and his sons who are set apart further (Exo 28:1-4) within the kingdom of priests. As you note with Lev 10:10, there was definitely an aspect of holiness in relation to their being set apart within Israel (the holy garments, the special ministry, and specifically in Lev 10:10 not consuming alcohol so that their judgment to judge between holy/unholy and clean/unclean was not impaired and that they could then effectively teach, Lev 10:11, etc.), but that is a more specific reflection of the holiness that the nation itself was to be, which is in turn (I would argue) is a more specific reflection of what mankind was to be within creation.

That priests were set apart for glorfying of God come a few verses earlier, in Lev 10:3; and then later, having a special ministry of praiseis found in the OT in 1 Chr 15:16, 2 Chr 7:6, 30:21, et al. So that is an OT function of priests, and one that need not exist only in a fallen world.

That priests were set apart for service/worship is basically inherent in the whole idea of what the OT priest did daily (with sacrifices, with burning incense, with caring for the santuary/temple, etc.). But that the spiritual sacrifices (service/worship) were what were most important is also made clear in the OT with passages like 1 Sam 15:2, Ps 51:16-17, 40:6-10, Mic 6:6-8. Yes, those are things God expects of all people, but that is again because all mankind was set apart to be such to God, and so He expects and requires such of all people. The priests were just specific reflections of what people were supposed to be in this area as well.

But I don't believe my understanding leads to Eden as a temple image; if anything, creation itself was the "sacred place" for mankind to function in praise and obedient service to God, but I don't think one can argue that made the cosmos a "temple" per se. Indeed, when the new creation occurs, God and the Lamb are the temple (Rev 21:22); He is the sacred place, and from my perspective, that is probably true of original creation: Adam and Eve (and their progeny) were to praise and serve God whereever/however He manifested within His creation, no specific location designated for such (but a specific creature, mankind, was designed for that).

Let me just finish with acknowleding that there is no specific language of priesthood (or temple) in Genesis 1-3 (those words are not found there), but that mankind was set apart distinctly, as priests are set apart distinctly, to God, there is that parallel as God's representative; and that it is mankind that was given a service above that of the other creatures on earth (Gen 1:26, 28) as priests have a service above that of other people, there is that parallel as God's holy servant.

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

Paul Henebury's picture

Scott,

Your appear to disagree with my assertion that Adam in Eden could not be a priest since the function of a priest was not required.  You think this is incorrect.  I want to make sure we don't get our wires crossed. 

1. I am not saying that representation and praise in the way you illustrate were not part of the function of priests, but that they were hardly distinguishing features of priests.  It is not what made them priests.

2. Melchizedek was a priest of God, but in a world filled with priests of idols.  Abram was not a priest but can be found both being a representative intercessor (Gen. 20:17-18) and of course he worshipped God, but, as I said, Abram/Abraham was not a priest.  

3. Moses acted "as God" for Aaron even though Moses was not a priest (Exod. 4:16).  

4. This means that a priest was a very specific role that was not assumed even by the holiest of saints.  And it always pertains to a sinful world.  Eden was not in a sinful world, therefore you have a way to go to put priests as portrayed in the rest of the OT into it ;-)

5.  As far as models are concerned, Enoch was not a priest, nor Abraham, nor Moses.  Ezekiel 14:14 names also Noah, Daniel, and Job, none of whom were priests.  Indeed, your references (i.e. 1 Sam 15:2, Ps 51:16-17, 40:6-10, Mic 6:6-8) describe godly functions, but not specifically priestly ones.  So although priests were to discern good from evil (Lev. 10:10. Btw, I don't think Lev. 10:3 says what you claim for it), and in that way be models, that again is not what made them priests.  

6. Now as to your definitions, I think you missed my point.  By claiming people are priests by virtue of the imago Dei you have to include lost people as priests.  Of course Christians are priests in the sense that they do mediate for the lost and fallen world.  In the Millennium our priestly function is not spelled out so we cannot merely boil it down to your definitions.  But there is still sin in the Millennium so that differentiates it from Eden.  I hold that Israel's priestly role (Exod. 18) comes into play at that time.  

7. You actually have to downplay the mediatorial aspect of priest (which Peter retains!), together with the discernment aspect in order to commend your definition.  But which authorities agree with your "better" definition? 

8. Because both OT priests and Christians mediate in a fallen world we cannot read them into Genesis 1 - 3 where, as you note, there is no mention of priests.  And since I have shown that your two functions of representation and praise are not only the province of priests, there is no reason to turn Adam and Eve (also made in God's image) into priests.  

9. As both Block and I maintain, the imagery of the earliest chapters is of a royal nature, not a priestly one.  Men like Beale are reading priesthood into those chapters (as are you).  He does it because he makes the garden a temple of course, and priests officiate in temples. 

In sum, I see no reason at all to transform Adam and Eve into priests in Eden.  You have to change the basic definition of "priest" to come close to doing it.  But why go there?  It simply is not needed, and the OT office of the priesthood argues against it.  There is more to say but I have waffled on enough.  

Thanks for your interaction.        

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

ScottS's picture

FYI, my 1 Sam 15:2 reference was a typo, it should be 1 Sam 15:22.

Paul, you do discern correctly:

Your appear to disagree with my assertion that Adam in Eden could not be a priest since the function of a priest was not required.  You think this is incorrect. 

As I'm basically arguing that there are functions that the priests were also set aside to typically do besides their "very specific role that was not assumed even by the holiest of saints.  And it always pertains to a sinful world," functions that pertain to a non-sinful world. In fact, the sacrificial, intercessory things that priests do because of the sinful world were done by some of the saints prior to the priesthood (and in some cases, even after): Noah (Gen 8:20), Abraham's altars (which infers a sacrifice, Gen 12:7, 13:4, 18; you already mentioned Gen 20:17-18), Job (Job 1:5, 42:8), David (2 Sam 24:25), Solomon intercedes (1 Kings 8:5ff, though it is less clear if he is actually doing the sacrifices himself or with the help of priests in that passage).

So regarding some of your points above:

Point 1: My point is that priests are also doing other functions that people ought to be doing but are not generally doing because we are in a fallen world. So these "duties of man" became the specific "duties of priests" because mankind was failing at it.

Points 2 & 3: In these cases God needed a human stand in for Christ as High Priest of all priests (Melchizedek) and for God (Moses) to institute the priesthood, yet Abraham is clearly still functioning in priestly ways (intercession, sacrifice, praise, obedience) and Moses is also functioning in these ways (to institute the priesthood). It can be argued that Psalm 99:6 even includes Moses among God's priests, but I agree that his primary role was as the God figure to Israel.

Point 4: As noted, there were men that did tasks related to sacrifice and intercession that were not priests, so even that role is not distinctly done by those called specifically priests. But this function of the priesthood is only needed in a sinful world (that I agree with).

Point 5: I guess it depends on what you mean by a "model," as it seems clear that many of the men you note who are not called priests functioned in ways like priests, and so they "modeled" priesthood in that way. My verse listing of 1 Sam 15:22 (corrected), Ps 51:16-17, 40:6-10, and Mic 6:6-8 was to point out that the sacrificial intercession is not really what God desired anyway (they are to accommodate sinfulness), but rather the other aspects of holiness the priest represents are what He desires.

Point 6: I did grasp your point that "by claiming people are priests by virtue of the imago Dei you have to include lost people as priests." I agree that lost people are also supposed to be functioning as priests (i.e. they are supposed to separate themselves by believing God and serving Him and praising Him), but they fail as priests because of their lost-ness, and so end up like Nadab and Abihu.

Point 7: I may be missing it, but in the two verses that specifically mention priesthood in 1 Peter 2:5, 9, I don't see a mediatorial statement. I'm not denying that believers act in a mediatorial role in some respects, but that does not appear in those verses. 

For the final points, you emphasize to the exclusion of other functions, the priest's mediatorial role. And then you reject any concept of priesthood in humanity. So I think that is the main distinction between us. I see the priests as representing what mankind was supposed to be in holiness, beyond just having their mediatorial role in the fallen world.

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

ScottS's picture

I know we are not likely to convince each other, but I've "slept on it," and I think one of the main distinctions between your view and mine, besides the point I made at the end of my last comment, is that I see this overall scheme in Scripture:

Original Creation

Because of being made like God, humanity was made (among other things):

  1. To be truthful in our speech 
  2. To be holy (distinct in creation)
  3. To have authority (over the other creatures of earth)

Creation Post Fall

Humanity still had the responsibility of being like God, though we do not live up to it. So over time, various aspects of humanity's responsibilities get reflected in specific roles within humanity:

  1. Prophet: Reflecting the truth of God
  2. Priest: Reflecting the holiness of humanity in relation to God
  3. King: Reflecting the authority given to humanity from God

But these roles also have purposes added because of humanity's sinfulness, because of creation under the Fall. But those purposes don't replace the reflections of aspects original to creation, they are added to those.

Christ came as the ultimate human representation of these roles.

New Creation

We should be now, and will ultimately be like Christ (1 Jn 3:2, Rom 8:29), and so be:

  1. Prophets: Speaking Truth, Eph 4:15, 25; 2 Jn 2; Rev 21:27 (there are none who lie that enter New Jerusalem)
  2. Priests: Holy to God, 1 Pet 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6, 5:10, 20:6
  3. Kings: Reigning with Christ, Rev 1:6, 5:10, 21:24

So all the "roles" of humanity that are specific today to individual people (i.e. we are not all in Fallen Creation prophets, priests, kings), merge to be what humanity was designed to be. The aspects of those roles that no longer apply, because we are no longer in a Fallen Creation, do not continue, but those parts specifically reflected from original creation to be like God do continue.

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

Paul Henebury's picture

your spirit Scott, but I am not won over.  

Thank you for the interaction.

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

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