The CovenantsWithin the statements of faith and explanations we have established that the word of God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. That indeed God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit are never changing, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. That with a never changing God, also the outpouring of His Holy Spirit was the same yesterday, as it is today and as it will be tomorrow.
All of this is within God's plan of salvation, a blood covenant created for you and for me.
To be able to talk about covenants, we first need to set the borders on the bounderies of our discussion.
What is a Covenant, what is it not?
What is the difference with a contract?
Who enters into a covenant, and who should not enter into a covenant?
In the Tanakh (the old testament of the Bible) we will find aproximately 300 times the Hebrew word for covenant which is BeRiTh בְּרִית (Beth, Resh, Yod, Tav) which is stated in the strongs concordance to be from an unused or unknown word. Further research however makes us believe that the source might be from an Assyrian word that means to bind or to fetter.
The King James Version of the Bible has the word covenant occur for a 319 times.
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible describes the word covenant as “a solemn agreement between two or more parties, made binding by some sort of oath”.
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary describes the word covenant as “an agreement enacted between two or more parties in which one or both make promises under oath to perform or refrain from certain actions stipulated in advance”.
A covenant in the Hebrew language is mostly written down with the words Karat Berit, which means “to cut a covenant” this points us out to the ritual sacrifices that accompanied the covenant making.
In the Bible we can read about different types of covenants, with the settling of differences Laban and Jacob heaped up a pile of stones as a visible witness to their covenant, the mutual offering and consumption of a meal would seal it all.
Covenants are between people, tribes, and kingdoms.
The most important covenant from the old testament times which we still see enacted is the Ketubah contract, a covenant between husband and wife, it is a covenant of Holy Matrimony.
This brings me to an important fact, the difference between marriage and Holy Matrimony.
To many people step into a marriage without God, A marriage with God involved is not just a contract between two people and their State issued wedding license. A marriage in which God is invoked and involved becomes a Holy act, from which we then also can receive the word of “Holy Matrimony”.
A marriage which is sanctified, holy, because God is an integral part of it.
Anyone entering into a Covenant with God becomes partner with God in the fulfillment of this covenant and God's Holiness is part of Him, thus also part of the covenant, Kiddushin is upon the covenant and upon the covenant partners.
To be sanctified means to be set aside for something special, set aside for special service.
To be set aside means to be determined for a holy purpose.
For a Christian it means that at the time of conversion the person is set aside for special service and from that moment on the quest to be like Jesus, to do His will and to walk His path and speak His world, as it is opposite to the word of the world.
Converted believers are expected to "make every effort to live a holy life, even though Christians may not attain absolute perfection in this life".
The event of entire sanctification occurs when Christ comes back and gives us glorified bodies.
As we can read in the old testament words in Leviticus 11:44 (kJV) “For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
The king of Salem, what we now know as Jerusalem, his name was Melchizedek he was the king and Kohen Gadol (the High Priest) of this city.
He went out to Abram and the following happened.
Genesis 14:18-23 (CEB) “Now Melchizedek the king of Salem and the priest of El Elyon had brought bread and wine, 19 and he blessed him, “Bless Abram by El Elyon, creator of heaven and earth; 20 bless El Elyon, who gave you the victory over your enemies.”
Abram gave Melchizedek one-tenth of everything. 21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and take the property for yourself.”
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I promised the Lord, El Elyon, creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I wouldn’t take even a thread or a sandal strap from anything that was yours so that you couldn’t say, ‘I’m the one who made Abram rich.’”
Abram recognized Melchizedek as the priest of the God Most High (El Elyon) and gave a tenth to him for God.
He did not want to have anything to do with the smooching up from the King of Sodom, because he had made a promise to God not to take anything that belonged to those he liberated.
Now we know what happened and are able to understand what happened next, God poured out His blessing upon the one that was faithful with all that he had. However Abram was already very rich and well established he told the Lord, what is it that you can give me because I will be leaving this earth without a child. Which means without a child from his wife, an heir to his throne.
This is where God took him outside and showed him the land that was promised to him and his heirs.
Abram being a man of the world, questioned the gesture of God and asked how he could be sure that this land would be his.
We can see that God was not that pleased with Abram questioning Him.
He went into a blood covenant with God and at the same time brought also judgment on his descendants because of this. 400 years in Egyptian slavery.
This covenant is a very important and prophetic representation on what was to come.
It shows us how when Abram was ready he was waiting for God, his covenant partner to show up.
How he was ready to fight of the predators that where trying to take away from the covenant sacrifice and how determined he was to fulfill his part of the deal, the covenant.
He didn't give up easily, he Waited for God and Fought of the predators until he finally couldn't stay awake anymore and fell asleep.
While asleep God came in His everlasting wisdom and Mercy and passed through the sacrifice.
God's presence passed through the sacrifice as a fire pot, an oven containing the refiners, God's fire.
Abram was asleep and he was not able to pass through, but also in this God provides. He passed through on Abram's behalf as the flaming torch.
The Flaming Torch which is Jesus Christ.
The refiners fire which cleanses everything and purifies, the fire that makes the covenant free from all personal interest and polutions.
Malachi 3:1-3, 10-12, 17, 18 (AMP) “Behold, I send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me. And the Lord [the Messiah], Whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; the Messenger or Angel of the covenant, Whom you desire, behold, He shall come, says the Lord of hosts.
2 But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;
3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the priests, the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness.
10 Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer [insects and plagues] for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine drop its fruit before the time in the field, says the Lord of hosts.
12 And all nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.
17 And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure). And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.
18 Then shall you return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who does not serve Him.”
Another confirmation of this covenant and the cleansing fire of the Lord we find in the book of the prophet Zechariah 13:9 (AMP) “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined and will test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will hear and answer them. I will say, It is My people; and they will say, The Lord is my God.”
The refining start with the covenant and will be a never ending process.
In Genesis 16 we read that Abram and Sarai waited on the Lord but became impatient when he was 86 years old he had a child with Sarai's maid Hagar, who was and Egyptian by birth.
Hagar was given to Abram by Sarai as his Second Wife with the one and only reason to provide him with an heir. We see in this that Abram up to now was monogamous in his marriage.
But as we know this was not in God's plan Genesis 17:1-5 (AMP) “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, I am the Almighty God; walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete).
2 And I will make My covenant (solemn pledge) between Me and you and will multiply you exceedingly.
3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God said to him,
4 As for Me, behold, My covenant (solemn pledge) is with you, and you shall be the father of many nations.
5 Nor shall your name any longer be Abram [high, exalted father]; but your name shall be Abraham [father of a multitude], for I have made you the father of many nations.”
Sarai was now called Sarah, meaning princes, and within one year Isaac was born. The Name of Isaac means laughter because Abram was laughing in his heart when God told him that they would be with child on this very old age.
In a covenant both partners are each held to the contract. One thing that we never have to be afraid about is that God would not keep His part of the contract. He has always and will always do what He has said, even when we need to wait until we are almost a 100 years old.
It is namely not about His faithfulness but all about our faithfulness, how much do we trust God. Are we like Abram when it comes to easily gained prosperity, are we going to keep it, or are we going to pass by on it.
Like Abram did with the riches of Sodom. Are we trusting God to provide in all our needs (Jehovah Jireh) and like Abram we bring our tenth to the temple as we read in Genesis 14:20.
Sometimes we need to be brought down to a lower level to see how much we had and especially how much we took for granted. This is us going through the refiners fire, all our pride and acceptance of what we did is burned off from the glorious provision of God. Then what is left is pure and will bring honor and glory to His name.
God's covenant is still the same, He still has the land promised to Abraham set aside for His people, He still has the promise of plenty on the Jews, the descendants of Abraham. He also still has the promise of Abraham to all of us.
Genesis 12:2-3 (AMP) “2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others].
3 And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves].”
The covenant that God made with Abram which we read about in Genesis 15 was a covenant between him and his descendants.
As we as Christians are grafted in, we became heirs and part of the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem in the Holy land of Zion.
This my friends is because our God is not a God that changes His mind.
This is a great example of the eight covenants, valid in the past and still valid today.
- the Adamic covenant, were God has given dominion over the earth and all up and in it.
- The Noaic covenant, were God promisses that there will never be a flood again.
- The Abrahamic Covenant as discussed previously, the land covenant.
- The Mosaic or Sinaic covenant in which God provided His guidelines for life and promised personal possession, spiritual and physical blessings.
- The Land covenant, where the occupation takes place of the land of Zion. Blessings for those that are obedient and curses for those in disobedience.
- The Davidic covenant establishes the Dynasty and an everlasting rule, it also promises the Messiah, and the temple.
- The new covenant; Jesus the Christ, the gathering of all nations back to the land of Zion, the promise of a new Heart and Spirit.
- The eternal covenant of peace is the accumulation of all other covenants, declaring the throne of God in the center of the new Jerusalem. The everlasting Priesthood of Yeshua (Jesus) and His reign for eternity as the prince of peace.
When we look at these promises with our knowledge of the dispensationalism we can see that all the promises are still in effect. As stated earlier we have a never changing God.
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