Thanks for the background Theo and I have to say, I do really appreciate the tone of your posts. They aren't inflammatory at all and really foster honest sharing.
I think I am understanding your argument better now and here is my off the cuff response.
1. I don't believe you can treat God's interaction with Adam like you do the other old testament covenants. God said to Adam "you will surely die". Yet obviously the ramifications for Adam of his sin applied to not only him but to all of his offspring for as long as there were men. Regardless of the terms actually explained to Adam, this was the consequence. It was a universal (for all men) consequence and no man is exempt from it.
I use the illustration of separation of covenants to offset the damage done by those who teach "inheritance of original sin, from Adam." There is no such doctrine in scripture.
As for it being a covenant with Adam, the meaning of the word translated covenant includes "arrangement, instruction," etc.
I do believe God had an understanding that he had given "Instruction" to Adam. And I do believe God explained to Adam the difference between obedience and disobedience. AND I do believe God had made clear to Adam, consequences for disobedience. That has all the marks of a covenant. I do not make it a test of fellowship, I simply express why God did nothave to warn Adam of any eternal consequences for what went on in the garden. It was not part of Adam's understanding because it never came up in their conversations. And the reason it did not come up in their conversations is the simple fact, if Adam obeyed, he alread "lived forever" under the arrangement already agreed to. It did not require an understanding of eternal consequences and eternal life. He knew no other kind.
I think each covenant was a growth of the [previous one because each covenant had deeper requirements that the previous one. For example, God made a covenant with Abraham, which covered two testaments, but his covenant with Abraham's children through Isaac, and Jacob, was limited to Jacob's children, through the law of Moses.
2. Christ is contrasted specifically to Adam and His work is painted as specifically contradicting the consequences of Adam's action. "The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification" (Rom 5). Paul doesn't make a distinction here. He doesn't say the judment of death followed Adam's sin and the judgment of eternal damnation followed the sin of not believing on Christ. I think it is clear he has one judgment in mind. What that judgment is (death or eternal torment) is what we are debating.
o.k. where to start???
"Contradicted" I think is not applicable here, because Christ did not "speak against" so much as he corrected the results in order for all men to avoid the consequences of living in a sincursed world.
The judgment did not follow "one sin," but rather the sin of one, Adam, which included the sin of Eve [Gen 5:2] who first did the deed. She was deceived [I Tim 2:14] and followed information that contradicted earlier instruction from God. Adam chose to fall with her rather than to live a life of solitary living, which he had alread tasted once. This directly addressses the doctrine of "original sin" because Eve committed the first sion, and the OSDoctrine claims sin is inherited through the father because Adam sinned first. It is of course theological speculation anyway, but proved untrue here.
3. When portraying the final judgment John makes no distinction between the covenants. In Rev 20 the sea and death and hades give up their dead and they are all judged, without regard to what covenant they were under.
Do not put too much into the silence of scripture. John told that which he was inspired to write, by the Holy Spirit. He was not covering any covenant but the covenant of Grace.
And when Paul made reference to events under the law, it was always as a reference to prove a point he was establishing as from God. It never had to do wioth old testament characters sharing in the new covenant consequences.
Then death and hades are thrown into the lake of fire and if anyone's name is not in the book of life they are thrown into the lake of fire. Whatever this means there is absolutely nothing to indicate that it is all the dead.
Nothing to indicate it was all, nor not all. I think I would allow its meaning to be determined by the covenant in which it was presented, and by the judgment.
4. The Bible doesn't indicate separate judgments for separate covenants. It indicates an ultimate judgment for all.
O.K. Reference please, for my information.
5. Ergo, the idea of God not warning anyone until the time of Christ of the ultimate consequences of Adams sin (if they were eternal torment and not death) for all man kind, not just those who died since the time of Christ, is a hard pill to swallow.
True. But it is not on my board, but it is on this one. THAT is what first drew me to question the issue.
It is an article found at http://www.tentmaker.org/books/OriginandHistory.html
titled:THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF THE Doctrine of Endless Punishment BY THOMAS B.
His use of references to God NOT warning old testament covenanteers, is still used on this board as an introductory reason to disbelieve "eternal torment." I consider "If the introductory source is in error, the result may well be also." The introductory source is very well in error, so I proceed with a view that the resultant doctrine may well be also.
As I have stated on several occasions, I do not claim to know very much, and test all things whether they are of God. since most of my study over the past fifty years has been on Trinity oriented issues, I know very little about USAL other than my debates with Gary and Laird years ago.