Nothing has changed
We concluded last time by saying that Christianity is still the original faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
It came to the full circle in the sacrifice of Jesus. The Tanakh and Brit Hadashah is one united message for the “commonwealth of Israel”: Salvation comes for those who have absolute faith unto obedience who are His people.
Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice that fulfilled the requirements of the Book of the Covenant for those who live in covenant with God.
Today, we are looking at the fact that the contract between God and us must be everlasting.
But first, let’s recap a bit.
Keep to the salvation covenants, and you will live.
We are examining the salvation covenant that Jesus came to fulfill.
God offered us two blood ratified covenants that go together. The first naturally flows into the second.
The Abrahamic covenant began with Abraham, and was then passed to Isaac, to Jacob and finally to their descendants on Mt Horeb when they entered the Book of the Covenant.
We read about this covenant progression in Psalms 105: 9-10:
“The covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant….”
If you kept to these covenants, you would live. Animals were sacrificed as part of a symbolic act: just as the animals died, those who did not abide by the salvation covenants would also die.
It was by absolute faith unto obedience that Abraham fulfilled his part of the covenant. He is our example of a fulfilled covenant relationship. God gave these covenants so we could be His people.
His covenants are not only for Jews or the people of Israel.
Genesis 12, verses 2-3 state:
“And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
That one great nation is the “commonwealth of Israel” into which all covenant believers are grafted.
The fourth requirement
We have seen, so far, that His salvation covenants have fulfilled three of the four characteristics that we would need to have for a salvation covenant:
• It would have to clearly demonstrate that adherence to this contract would equal life, and breaking this contract would equal death.
• It would need to clearly state that to be His people, we must be part of this contract.
• That this contract was for all people all around the world.
• That this contract would be everlasting.
Now, we come to the last requirement. Were these covenants only for a certain period or is it everlasting? To save us all, a salvation covenant must be eternal.
An everlasting covenant!
God tells us that it is everlasting. We just read it in Psalms 105:10: “Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant….”
For a thousand generations
Deuteronomy 7:9 says that God will keep His covenant to the thousandth generation:
“Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His loving kindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments…”
Our God is very practical
Practical evidence that God’s blood ratified covenants were meant to be everlasting is the following:
• The blood ratified covenant was written in stone.
What a practical way to show what He meant! Even today, we still use the term “it is written in stone” to refer to the everlasting characteristics of something.
• The covenant was carried with the Israelites in the Ark of the Covenant from there on, everywhere they went.
It was honored and revered, and it was explicitly and purposefully taken with them wherever they went and eventually because of its continued presence, its words penetrated their hearts.
• The covenant was to be taught to their children, and it was to be talked about continually.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says:
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
(We know Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is talking about the covenant because the preceding chapter talks about it.)
What a wonderful God we serve! He knew in His wisdom that if something is going to be everlasting, it must be in our minds. It must be taught to our children. In the teaching of it, the Israelites (and us) would eventually have the covenant in our hearts – forever.
There is no backing out of a blood ratified everlasting covenant.
God is righteous and faithful. The penalty of breaking a blood ratified covenant is death.
God bound His own life to this covenant so that we can know that those who kept His covenant would be His people. God upholds His end of the agreement in a very personal way. This is how important He views His covenant people.
“My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.”
We can be sure that His ratified covenants are forever.
For all people (an answer to a question)
It is somehow assumed even after all the evidence that the covenant given on Mt. Sinai was for Israel only. We will continue to dispel this myth.
We can read for ourselves in these amazing verses in Deuteronomy 29:12-15:
“…that you may enter into the covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath which the Lord your God is making with you today, in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here today…”
God made this oath with Israel, but He also included those of us who are grafted in.
Jesus confirms that we must be in this covenant to be saved and that this covenant is for us. He said as much to the audience of the Brit Hadashah (Christians) in Luke 13:28:
“In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.”
His people are in covenant with Him. God had us in mind when He made these covenants. He wants us to share in His kingdom, together with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the entire “commonwealth of Israel.”
His salvation covenant given to us at Mt Sinai is for us today and is everlasting.
Paul confirms our (followers of Jesus) covenant entry into the “commonwealth of Israel” in Ephesians 2:12: “…remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”
The prophecy of the new covenant?
Can a blood-ratified everlasting covenant be replaced by a “new covenant?” Absolutely not! It is blood-ratified and eternal.
A new promise
In Jeremiah 31:31-33 and repeated in Hebrews 8:8-12 and Hebrews 10:16-17, it says:
“Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the Lord.
‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’”
God is not replacing the blood ratified covenant (everlasting covenant) with a “new covenant.”
He is addressing a situation: the people not keeping the salvation covenant. They are therefore excluded from being His people. What is this mysterious “new covenant?” This “new covenant” was a not a replacement of the salvation covenant it is a covenant designed to help us keep the salvation covenant. At no point does God ever refer to the salvation covenant as an “old covenant.” He only calls it an everlasting covenant. It is our one and only salvation covenant and it is eternal.
So why does God say I will make a “new covenant?” God makes a “new covenant” to replace an old covenant but that ‘old covenant’ cannot be the blood ratified salvation covenant, our salvation covenant is for F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Remember there are several covenants. The whole point of this “new covenant” is to help us live inside of our salvation covenant because using this ‘new covenant’ “…declares the Lord, ‘I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
God so much wants us to be in covenant with Him and to be His people He has given us this “new covenant” to help us.
In a later blog we will discuss what the “old covenant” was and why it had to be replaced by this “new covenant.”
Abraham in the New Testament
The connection with Jesus
The Brit Hadashah (the New Testament) mentions the Abrahamic covenant 59 times, and most of the time, it talks about Jesus fulfilling it.
For instance, we can read in Luke 1:68-75:
“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago.
Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant—the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.” (NLT)
Jesus came and “redeemed his people” because He remembered “his sacred covenant.” His
redeemed are His people in covenant with Him.
Why? God did not die because He did not uphold His end of the agreement.
God sacrificed Himself because we could not keep our end of the agreement perfectly. Through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the requirements of keeping the covenant perfectly were fulfilled for those who live in covenant obedience.
But as part of God’s great plan to save His people, Jesus died – so we could live in covenant perfection.
Our salvation covenant stands strong and is everlasting. We can count on it.
The idea that it was ‘replaced’ rather than fulfilled is the most damaging heresy perpetrated by the new Pharisees of this day, the pastors and priests of the Christian and Catholic churches. Those who are not in His covenant are not His people.
In our next blog, we will continue down this path to see why Jesus had to die to fulfill this covenant on our behalf and what “to fulfill” means exactly.