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Sacred Covenants


Reading: Genesis 15



Introduction

Covenant: The dictionary defines the word 'covenant' as a formal agreement or contract drawn up under seal between two or more parties.


Covenanters: Adherents of the National Covenant of the Solemn League & Covenant in the 17th century in Scotland in support of Presbyterianism.


The Old Testament tells of several covenants the Holy One of Israel made with man. This morning we will examine a few which are everlasting.



1. Between YaHuWaH and All Flesh

The first everlasting covenant recorded in Scripture tells of how the Almighty saved Noah and his family after destroying the Earth by water.

Genesis 9: 8: And Elohim spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
9: And I, behold, I establish My covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
10: And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the Earth.
11: And I will establish My covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the Earth.
12: And Elohim said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
13: I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.
14: And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
15: And I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
16: And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between Elohim and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
17: And Elohim said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between Me and all flesh that is upon the Earth.

This covenant means that no matter how devastating future floods may be, they will never again be world-wide. In addition to this fact we are introduced to the Almighty's grace in the saving of those who believe and trust in Him.

Genesis 6: 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of YaHuWaH .

Grace is, in fact, the basis of all covenants between YaHuWaH and the believer. Grace is not a New Testament phenomena as so many Christians think. The Almighty's grace has existed as long as He has. It is one of His characteristics.


2. With Abraham & His Seed


The next everlasting covenant YaHuWaH made was with Abraham and his descendants, to give them the land of Canaan. This covenant was confirmed with an oath! That is why the land of Israel is called the Promised Land.



Genesis 15: 18: In the same day YaHuWaH made a covenant with Abram, saying. Unto thy seed, have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river Euphrates.
Genesis 17: 7: And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee (Abraham) and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be an Elohim unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
8: And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their Elohim.
Genesis 26: 3: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee (Isaac), and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.

This promise doesn't only include the physical descendants of Abraham, but also those who place their faith in Abraham's Seed, that is - YAHUSHUA the Messiah.


Shortly before Israel entered the Promised Land, Moshe the servant of YaHuWaH reiterated this divine promise:

Deut.1: 6: YaHuWaH our Elohim spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:
7: Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.
8: Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which YaHuWaH sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.

The promise was repeated to Joshua and recorded again in the Psalms.

Josh.1: 1: Now after the death of Moshe the servant of YaHuWaH it came to pass, that YaHuWaH spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moshes' minister, saying,
2: Moshe my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
3: Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moshe.
4: From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
Psa.105: 7: He is YaHuWaH our Elohim: His judgments are in all the Earth.
8: He hath remembered His covenant for ever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations.
9: Which covenant He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac;
10: And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
11: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance.

For more information see The Everlasting Covenant.

3. Heir of the World


Incredible as it may seem the Promised Land of Canaan was simply a small token, of what the Almighty had in store for Abraham and his Seed (YAHUSHUA). YaHuWaH 's promise went much further than the land stretching between the Mediterranean and the river Euphrates. The 'real promise' encompassed the whole world and finally the entire new universe!


Indeed the true children of Abraham are the children of faith. This number will include all who put their faith in the promised seed, YAHUSHUA the Messiah. The physical descendants of Abraham who do not have faith in YaHuWaH are, reckoned as the 'children of the devil.'(John 8:33-44) Whereas the true children of Abraham are those with faith in the Savior.


4. Everlasting Priesthood


YaHuWaH, the Almighty Elohim of Israel, also made an everlasting covenant concerning the Priesthood. It is a covenant which will find fulfillment in the millennia to come. It is made with a special brand of true believer; one who displays the kind of dedication and zeal for YaHuWaH 's Torah which was exhibited by Phinehas the grandson of Aaron. The story tells of blatant, illicit sex - open fornication and whoredom - being committed in absolute defiance of the Torah and before Moshe, Aaron and the whole congregation of Israel! Here are the astonishing details.



Num.25: 1: And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
2: And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
3: And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of YaHuWaH was kindled against Israel.
4: And YaHuWaH said unto Moshe, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before YaHuWaH against the sun, that the fierce anger of YaHuWaH may be turned away from Israel.
5: And Moshe said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baal-peor.
6: And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moshe, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
7: And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
8: And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
9: And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.
10: And YaHuWaH spake unto Moshe, saying,
11: Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for My sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in My jealousy.
12: Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace:
13: And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his Elohim, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.

Blatant, illicit sex is being committed in the same way in this generation. Sin is rampant - even in the churches! Who will speak out? Who dare speak out? Homosexuality, Fornication, and Adultery are now commonplace and increasingly applauded. Elohim is looking for warriors of Truth like Phinehas. Do you have the courage to boldly speak out against sin?


5. The Highway of Blessing

Ponder this question: What prompted the Most High to make these covenants? Why did He select Noah, Abraham, Moshe and Phinehas for preferential treatment? The answer is: these great men demonstrated their faith in the Most High by obeying His commandments. They wanted to be like the Most High and to do His will. That's why the Almighty YaHuWaH made agreements with them.


Noah

2Peter 2: 5: And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;


Abraham

Gen.26: 1: And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.
2: And YaHuWaH appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
3: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
4: And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the Earth be blessed;
5: Because that Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My Torah.
6: And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:

In these days obedience is frowned upon by millions of Christians, who incorrectly suppose that obedience is an obsolete requirement which is replaced by faith. Or that obedience displays a lack of faith! The very opposite is the case. Obedience is the outcome of living faith. Obedience is faith in action. Indeed, without obedience faith is dead: and without faith, obedience is impossible. James chapter 2 makes these points clear. For further information see Lesson 4  &  Faith.


6. The New Covenant

We hear a lot these days about the 'new covenant;' about how the Most High, supposedly, found fault with His laws and instructed His Son to nail them to the cross! Have you ever wondered what the 'new covenant' is; and what its requirements are? Why is it called the new covenant? Who are the parties concerned? What's new about it? Let us now find out. To begin with I will read the passages which tell of the 'new covenant'.


Jer.31: 31: Behold, the days come, saith YaHuWaH, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Yahudah:
32: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith YaHuWaH :
33: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith YaHuWaH, I will put MY TORAH in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.
34: And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know YaHuWaH : for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith YaHuWaH ; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

 

From these passages we learn the following facts:

  • Both the 'Old' and the 'New' Covenants are between YaHuWaH and the Houses of Israel and Judah.
    In other words, in both covenants the 'parties' are the same.
  • In both the 'Old' and the 'New' Covenant the 'same laws' are involved; albeit in the New Covenant they are NOT written on stone tablets but on the true believer's mind and heart.
    I repeat, the 'same perfect laws' are the basis of the 'New' Covenant. One cannot improve on perfection anyway.
  • YaHuWaH didn't find fault with His Torah, which He tells us is perfect (Psalm 19:7); but with His people - "WITH THEM;" that is, with the 'half-converted Israelites' who didn't want to obey the Almighty's Torah in the first place.
  • That when the new covenant is fully implemented, believers will not need instruction from each other, because everyone - from the youngest to the oldest - will know YaHuWaH. This is not the case at the present time.(6/2012)
  • The New Covenant is new in that it is made with a 'new type of Israelite,' a truly converted individual whose heart and mind is receptive to YaHuWaH 's Torah; the same perfect Torah which He gave to ancient Israel in the days of Moshe.

I Repeat:

Both covenants are made between YaHuWaH and Israel.

In the New Covenant YaHuWaH 's Torah is inscribed on the true believer's heart and mind.

There is no change in the Torah.
The only change is the place where the Torah is written.

In the Old Covenant the the Almighty's commandments were written on tablets of stone.

In the New Covenant it is written on the true believer's mind and is reflected in obedience.

In the New Covenant the blood of YaHuWaH, cleanses the repentant sinner.

Though farm animals (lambs, rams, goats and bulls) are not used in the New Covenant, the law which requires a repentant sinner to approach YaHuWaH 's throne with 'faith in the blood of a Lamb' still applies. Only now, it is faith in the blood of YaHuWaH !

For further information see Animal Sacrifices... Are they Necessary?

Strange as it may seem, the New Covenant is not yet fully implemented. We know this from the fact that believers - young and old - still need instruction. But when the New Covenant is fully operational then "they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know YaHuWaH : for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest."


7. Everlasting Signs

Everlasting covenants have everlasting signatories (parties to the covenant) and everlasting signatures or signs. These signatures or signs call to remembrance the covenant between the parties concerned. These signs are as enduring as the parties and the covenants themselves.

The Rainbow

The rainbow tells us that a total destruction of the earth by water will never happen again. As in Noah's day the Almighty will offer grace and mercy: and some - albeit a few - will believe and be saved. Every time you see a rainbow think of that fact and ask yourself: Am I like Noah or am I behaving like the vast majority who perished in the waters of the flood?



Gen:9: 16: And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between Elohim and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the Earth.


The Shabbat

Having accepted salvation by faith, the next steps are obedience, sanctification and holiness. That is the purpose of salvation, that we overcome sin and become holy as YaHuWaH is holy.
The weekly Shabbat is the everlasting Sign of sanctification; a process which, by the power of the Holy Ghost, results in the re-creation of a sinner into a saint.


The Shabbat is referred to as a 'perpetual covenant' between the true children of Israel (those who have put their faith in YaHuWaH, Elohim of Israel.


The Shabbat is the divinely ordained SIGN of the everlasting covenant. For more information see the True Sabbath Day.


Exodus 31: 16: Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep Shabbat, to observe Shabbat throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
17: It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever.
Ezekiel 20: 12: Moreover also I gave them My Shabbats, to be a SIGN between Me and them, that they might know that I am YaHuWaH that sanctify them
19: I am YaHuWaH your Elohim; walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them;
20: And hallow My Shabbats; and they shall be a SIGN between Me and you, that ye may know that I am YaHuWaH your Elohim.


8. The Commandments

We live in a world of increasing unbelief, disobedience and greed. There is no slackening of the pace of deterioration. Every news bulletin tells of worsening morals in every country. YaHuWaH gave mankind laws to cover virtually every department of human activity; but comparatively few want to obey them. To most people divine law is irrelevant and unwelcome. And yet the commandments were written by YaHuWaH 's own hand! Oh what a tragic paradox, that the Creator Himself, the Giver of Life, is ignored, disbelieved and blasphemed!

Exo.31: 18: And He (YaHuWaH ) gave unto Moshe, when He had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of Elohim.
Deut.9: 10: And YaHuWaH delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of Elohim...


The Almighty's Torah is Perfect


YaHuWaH 's Torah is perfect. It always has been. To suggest that it was 'imperfect' is to insult Him. YaHuWaH 's Torah is the most effective tool an evangelist can use to identify sin and point souls to the Savior. It is not possible to convince a person that he/she is sinning without reference to the Torah of YaHuWaH.

Psa.19: 7: The Torah of YaHuWaH the testimony of YaHuWaH is sure, making wise the simple.
1John 3: 4: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the Torah: for sin is the transgression of the Torah.


The Almighty's Torah is Eternal

Not only is the Almighty's Torah perfect, but it is eternal. It will outlast the present universe.

Psalm 111: 7: The works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure.
8: They stand fast for ever and ever,
and are done in truth and uprightness.
Matt.5: 17: Think not that I am come to destroy the Torah, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18: For verily I say unto you, Till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Torah, till all be fulfilled.
19: Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.


The Almighty's Torah is to Salvation

Obedience is the only reliable evidence of faith. When questioned about the way to eternal life, the Savior referred his enquirer to obedience.

Matt.19: 16: And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17: And He said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but One, that is, YaHuWaH :
but if thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS.


Disobedience: the Cause of Earth's Myriad Ills

Isa:24: 5: The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the Torah, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

For more information see Divine Laws.


9. A FINAL CALL TO LIFE

As in the days of Noah, the Almighty is calling for people to repent and be saved. Grace, mercy and salvation are offered free of charge! For more information on these vital offers, see Salvation.


  • The Rainbow is a sign that not all will die, some will be saved. Will you be among them?
  • The Sabbath is a sign of sanctification. Do you want to be sanctified and made holy?
  • Salvation is offered through Abraham's seed - YAHUSHUA the Savior. Are you willing to accept salvation?
  • Obedience demonstrates how alive and active your faith really is. Obedience is faith in action. Are you endeavoring to be obedient?
  • Spiritual Zeal and the courage to boldly speak out against blatant sin (fornication, adultery, homosexuality, child abuse etc.) identifies the children of Phinehas. Do you want to be part of the everlasting Priesthood?

These are questions we should regularly ask ourselves. Day and night we should be weighing the issues of life; constantly assessing our own performance to make sure that we do not let our salvation slip away because of sin. Believe me, it is important.


I'll end by quoting a beautiful Divine invitation:



Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live;
and
I WILL MAKE AN EVERLASTING COVENANT WITH YOU,
even the sure mercies of David.

(Isaiah 55:3)