Promises and Secrets

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A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.



Covenants

VIEWPOINT



There are seven significant covenants in the Bible: Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Palestinian, Mosaic, Davidic and the "New" Covenant with Messiah.

FACT



The Bible specifies covenants between God and His people


BLUE VIEWPOINT



By definition, it is commonly known and accepted by Bible scholars that the first six of the seven major covenants mentioned above are "Old Covenants" since they all originated in the Old Testament.

Because of this fact, the modern scholars and pastors discard these covenants as no longer valid. What is not commonly known by the general public is that the "New" Covenant was first outlined in Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

, also the Old Testament, yet, for some reason, it is not discarded because of this. For those who do not recognize all of the covenants I will list below as real covenants, particularly 1 and 4 in the list below, please realize that I have checked with many confirming sources, verified their authenticity, and stand behind these positions.

What are the "Old" Covenants?

Most people are aware of only two covenants (Old and New) between God and men. The unfortunate thing is that many (most?) Christians think that the "New" Covenant did away with the "Old" Covenant. The trouble is that few ever specify what is meant by the "Old" Covenant, so they usually lump them all into one. If you do any study at all about the covenants of the Bible, you will soon begin to wonder which "Old" covenant is the one replaced by the New.

Worse, if they do know of the real number of covenants, some believe that because the first six are all from the Old Testament, in their eyes they were all replaced. But, what does that mean when we realize that the New Covenant that was first described in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

)? Hopefully, we can discuss this issue here and shed some light on the real story.

Even some of the so-called "church fathers", including Augustine (354-430 A.D.), speak of the relationship between God and Adam as a covenant. Others, like Calvin, do not like to recognize this as a specific type of covenant like covenants of "works" or "creation" or "nature", but even Calvin himself actually calls this a covenant in his publication Institutes in section 4.4.18. So, before you trash the concept, please at least listen to the reasoning that links them together in such a way that makes more sense than the tendency of today's pastor to limit them to only two covenants - Mosaic and Messianic - one of which they say is no longer even valid.

First, let's list these covenants from the Bible that are usually considered most important:

OLD TESTAMENT

Adamic
Noahic
Abrahamic
Palestinian
Mosaic
Davidic

NEW TESTAMENT

Messiah Covenant

Now, all of these have specific provisions, some are conditional and some are unconditional. Many are linked to another covenant, and cannot be dismissed as "replaced" by another if by doing so it cancels an unconditional promise made by God. Next, let's outline a little about the provisions of each covenant so we are all on the same page.

1. ADAMIC

Many doubt that this is a true covenant, but the main argument for this being a covenant is in Hosea 6:7 where God Himself referred to Adam breaking His covenant:

7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

Now, some interpret this as pertaining to man in general, but the Hebrew in the Interlinear Bible


specifically mentions where God speaks to the Israelites who have abandoned Him by breaking His covenant "as Adam did" in the beginning. God seems to be saying that everyone abandons Him eventually, just like Adam did in the very beginning. Like many of the ones below, this covenant is actually two in one, given at different times: the Edenic Covenant (innocence, found in Genesis 1:26-30, and 2:16-17), are pretty well described in the text:

26 Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground." 29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground - everything that has the breath of life in it - I give every green plant for food." And it was so. (Gen 1:26-30)

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die." (Gen 2:16-17)

and the Adamic Covenant (grace, found in Genesis 3:16-19):

16 To the woman he said,

"I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you."

17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat from it,' "

"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return."

The first part in Gen 1:26-30 is known as an unconditional covenant statement. This one cannot be undone or "done away with". No burdens are placed on man to gain the benefits promised by God. The second part in 2:16-17 is known as a conditional covenant, because man must keep the agreement or there are consequences. Adam and Eve broke that covenant, so they were cursed to die and live a harder life until they did (the third part in Gen 3:16-19). Obviously, since they were banished from the Garden and began to live a life with death at the end, we can't claim that this "Old" covenant was replaced by the "New" covenant since that is still happening to us. This is the first clue to us that God will do what He says.

Again, this has already been initiated, so the "dying" part is still happening and will continue to do so until Jesus returns and collects the people of God at his second coming. This covenant cannot be replaced by anyone except the One who created it, and that will happen only for those he deems worthy at the first resurrection.

2. NOAHIC

This one, found in Genesis 9:1-18, is familiar to many, but most fail to remember that it is also a conditional Old Testament covenant, with some unconditional parts, between God and man:

1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. 4 "But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

6       "Whoever sheds human blood,
           by humans shall their blood be shed;
           for in the image of God
           has God made mankind."

7 "As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it." 8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you - the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you - every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."

12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

17 So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."

The Noahic covenant is not questioned as such, and is clearly both a conditional (verses 4 and 5) and an unconditional covenant. Man must obey verses 4 and 5, but has no responsibilities assigned for the promise not to destroy the earth with a flood. This is something God promises regardless of man's actions. Please note that this covenant is not with Jews or Israelites (they don't even exist until later), but with those who are faithful to God. This is a "renewal" of the "be fruitful and multiply" covenant with Adam, and is made with "men", long before Abraham or any Jews, and was not replaced by any "new" covenant. This means that the commands against murder and eating blood existed long before Jacob's sons (the tribes of Israel) and Moses on Mount Sinai, and so it still stands.

3. ABRAHAMIC

This one, found in Genesis 12:1-3, 6-7; 13:14-17; 15; 17:1-14; and 22:15-18 (see below) is also familiar to many, but for some reason do not remember that it is a large part of their "Old Covenant". Many claim that this one was "done away with" after the death and resurrection of the Messiah, but, somehow, they still claim the blessings that God promised through the seed of Abraham. How can you have both? In fact, Paul was a direct result of this covenant since Jesus Himself said in John 4:22 that "salvation is from the Jews". Since Paul was "the apostle to the Gentiles", he was the continuance of that promise to us. His mission started after Jesus' death and resurrection, so it cannot have been "replaced" by the "New" covenant. Let's look at the huge number of passages that make up this well-known covenant in Genesis (Sorry, this is a long one because it was not given all at once.):

CHAPTER 12

1 Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Gen 12:1-3)
6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. (Gen 12:6-7)

CHAPTER 13

14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you." (Gen 13:14-17)

CHAPTER 15

1 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
         "Do not be afraid, Abram.
           I am your shield,
           your very great reward."

2 But Abram said, "Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."
4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir." 5 He took him outside and said, "Look up at the sky and count the stars - if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."
6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, "I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."
8 But Abram said, "Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?"
9 So the Lord said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon." 10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, "Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates - 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites." (Gen 15:1-20)

CHAPTER 17

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty ; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers." 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram ; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God."
9 Then God said to Abraham, "As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner - those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant." (Gen 17:1-14)

CHAPTER 22

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, "I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." (Gen 22:15-18)

For those of you who think that this should be seen as many covenants with Abraham instead of just one, you may be right. However, the more important point is that if any part of it is no longer in effect, how can anyone claim to be one of God's people? Did the "New" Covenant replace all the promises to Abraham? Maybe we should look at it as though the "New" Covenant added the mercy of Christ to the laws and covenants of God so that we have a chance of gaining eternal life. This is something we could not have done by the law alone, but also could not, by Christ's own words (John 14:21
21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.

), have done without it. So, the "New" covenant changed the "Old" one by making it better through Christ.

4. PALESTINIAN

This one will be less familiar by this name. Deuteronomy 30:1-10 describes an addition to the Abrahamic covenant with regard to the land. This was likely separated from the others because it is related to the Abrahamic covenant given before Moses, but actually comes in a period of time after the Mosaic Covenant:

1 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6 The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.

7 The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deut 30:1-10)

If you look at verse 4 above, you can see that Israel (think "the people of God", not just Jews) has a future promise from God. If this covenant was "done away with" at the death and resurrection of Christ, then there remains no promise for God to gather His "elect" from the four winds.

Remember also, Paul reminds us in Romans Chapter 2 that we believing Gentiles are part of the elect as well, being spiritual Israel as long as we remain in the will of God, and will be part of the final gathering when Christ comes. Though there are many who deny that this chapter is including the believing Gentiles as spiritual Israel, if you add the full correct interpretation of Romans 2 to Ephesian 3:6, you will get the whole meaning:

ROMANS 2

1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?

4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God "will repay each person according to what they have done." 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.

13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.

15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

The Jews and the Law
17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth - 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person's praise is not from other people, but from God.

EPHESIANS 3:6
6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

For those who doubt, how do you explain what Paul means in Ephesian 3:6? For examples of doubters see Grace Ambassadors or Let Us Reason. The authors of these sites feel that we believing Gentiles have a separate place in the heart of God from that of the "Jews". In fact, some even feel that we have replaced the Jews as God's favorite people (see the page called Replacement Theology on this site for my reasoning on this). Based on what we read in the "doubter" sites, this feeling special is based on wishful thinking and analysis based on passages isolated from the rest of scripture. All these scriptures talk about the people of God being all those who believe in the word of God and are one group of His people, but the doubters seem to read them in isolation from each other and from the rest of scripture.

5. MOSAIC

This one is found in Exodus and Leviticus, and reiterated in Deuteronomy, mainly in Chapter 11, after Exodus 20 (ten commandments), and the rest of the law. I am only going to give Deut 11 as many are familiar with the fact that there are over 600 commands given to the Israelites in Exodus and Leviticus:

Deut 11:

1 Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. 2 Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm; 3 the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country; 4 what he did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you, and how the Lord brought lasting ruin on them. 5 It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the wilderness until you arrived at this place, 6 and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them. 7 But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the Lord has done.

8 Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 9 and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. 11 But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. 12 It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.

13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today - to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul - 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the Lord's anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you. 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

22 If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow - to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him - 23 then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. 24 Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. 25 No one will be able to stand against you. The Lord your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.

26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse - 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known. 29 When the Lord your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses. 30 As you know, these mountains are across the Jordan, westward, toward the setting sun, near the great trees of Moreh, in the territory of those Canaanites living in the Arabah in the vicinity of Gilgal. 31 You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there, 32 be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.

Then God goes on to describe again the laws He gave the people in earlier books and reminded them of the benefits of obedience and curses for disobedience. My point here, remember, is that - If you believe that the "New" covenant replaced the "Old" covenant(s), what happens to the promises that God made to the Israelites - especially the unconditional ones? I would love to discuss the issues and common beliefs involved in this position, as well as present the other side where, essentially, the Israelites are the source of our blessings (Abrahamic covenant). God said that through his descendants all nations would be blessed. If some feel that God has abandoned the Israelites and turned to the Gentiles for a people, how do they explain that many of the Gentiles have turned away from God in exactly the same way the Israelites have done? In fact, my view is that we as a group are doing much worse than they. Since we have done the same, or worse, as the "Jews", why should He stay with us? Because of His promises to the Jews.

God promised that the Gentiles would be blessed by Abraham's seed. Moses was part of that seed, and he received the only authoritative moral code the world has ever known. Most accept that code as valid, even though they discount the parts that they don't want to follow because they consider those parts as applying only to the Israelites. Yes, some parts do apply to the Israelites (and the Jews) more than they apply to us, but this does not apply to the moral code of the ten commandments. If we love God, we know that what He recommends for anyone is also good for the rest of us.

Even worse, if the old covenants are all replaced, who gets to make up the new rules? "Love God above all" and "Love your neighbor as yourself" alone give no basis for the right or wrong way to do that. You must add these commands to the foundation provided by God in the Old Testament, or they have no substance that allows us to decide which "church" is right. Worse, they each think they are right and that everyone else is wrong. People will make up rules that are comfortable to them. You think not? See my page on Holidays on this site for a few suggestions of willful errors by those who should know better. Worse, you'll see examples of errors performed intentionally by some who do know better, by their own admission, but refuse to change because it would cause too much disruption in their church.

6. DAVIDIC

This is another obscure covenant that many do not recognize as such. It is really an expansion on the idea of the "seed" of Abraham. However, it is difficult to see this Abraham connection directly in the passages of 2 Samuel 7:8-16 where it was proclaimed by God to Nathan when David was thinking of building a house of cedar for God:

8 "Now then, tell my servant David, 'This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

"'The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'"

David prayed about this word delivered to him by Nathan, giving the glory to God by humbling himself before the Father, accepting His word, and asking Him to keep the promise He made. He is promised several important things by God, so I would call that a covenant.

7. MESSIANIC (NEW COVENANT)

Whether Christian or Jew, all who refer to the "New" Covenant should cite Jeremiah 31:31-34 as the original declaration of God which Jesus fulfilled. Well, I agree with them up to the point where they claim this is where the Gentiles "replaced" the Jews. To claim this idea (Replacement Theology) is to ignore the clear statement of the passages:

31 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, " declares the LORD.
33 "This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
(Jer 31:31-34) NIV

This clearly is a New Covenant with the nation of Israel and Judah, but we Gentiles claim that it does not stop with them. The fact that it is with the believing people of God, is rarely mentioned and is sometimes even denied outright by many "scholars". In Luke 22:20
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."

, Jesus declares the New Covenant in effect, referring to the statement in Jeremiah, but many Replacement Theology types somehow take this to mean a new covenant only for the Gentiles. Even the notes in my NIV Study Bible list Jeremiah 31:31-34 as one of the main references. How can you mistake the clear statement that this is for the Israelites and Judah as a discarding of those same people? Let's see if we can "un-confuse" things here.

"But, what about the Gentiles?"

If the New Covenant in Jesus' words from Luke 22:20
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."

is the same one mentioned in Jeremiah 31:31-34, and that mentions only Israel and Judah, where does that leave the Gentiles? I mean, all the pastors say that we Gentiles are included in the New Covenant. Some of them even say that we are the only ones in the New Covenant because the Jews have abandoned God and do not recognize Jesus. How did we get included in this covenant?

There is another passage in Jeremiah 12:14-17
14 This is what the Lord says: "As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. 16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the Lord lives' - even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal - then they will be established among my people. 17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it," declares the Lord.

that I never hear in the sermons on Sundays (besides the fact that I no longer attend church on Sunday, but they are still on TV). Notice verse 16
16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the Lord lives' - even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal - then they will be established among my people.

in this passage. As many times as I have been told by naysayers that the Ten Commandments and the laws of God do not apply to us, how do they explain this verse? In the same way that Isaiah 56:6-7
6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant - 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations."

blesses the "foreigners" who keep the Sabbath, this passage in Jeremiah 12:16
16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the Lord lives' - even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal - then they will be established among my people.

includes the Gentiles "if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name". Oh, and what happens to any nation who "does not listen"? They are uprooted and destroyed.

Yeah, yeah, that's from the Old Testament. So? It was a promise from God, both unconditional (verses 14 and 15), conditional (verses 16 and 17). The unconditional promise is something that will happen, and the conditional part depends on compliance by the Gentiles, but even there, something will happen - either good or bad. And, don't try to tell me that this "covenant" was "done away with" when Jesus died. If that's the case, we are not part of the New Covenant.

Which one was discarded?

Not only that, what of the statement about not having to teach each other because they will all know Him? If that is not speaking about our period in time, then neither does it refer to the Gentiles, so we cannot claim it either. However, you hear everyone claiming that we are under a "New" Covenant that applies to the Gentiles and does away with the Old Covenant because of the wickedness and disobedience of Israel. Which part is "done away" with (pardon my grammar)?

How much do we lose?

If any of those promises are no longer in effect, then none of the results of those promises are in effect either. The faith of the Gentiles is a direct result of God's promise to Abraham that his seed will be a blessing to the nations. We are the nations of which He spoke! Are we now using "selective theology" so that we can claim the parts we like and discard the parts we don't like? Many churches are founded on that mindset, regardless of what the translation of that kind of thinking does to the real meaning of the Word of God.

Sure, there are different interpretations of scripture, but in every case, those interpretations must fit into the flow of the Word. If they contradict in the slightest, we must re-examine our interpretation. We may not find the best one right away, but we certainly cannot cling to those that clearly contradict the rest of the Book, even if we want to try to justify our present beliefs.

Well?

So, if we are being selective, which of the Old Covenants are no longer valid? Do we believe that God's promise to Adam is no longer valid so we no longer have dominion over the earth? Is it now OK to ignore the commands of God (Don't eat of the tree in the middle of the garden...) because we are already sinners and it won't make any difference? How about the one with Noah? Should we fear the destruction of the current earth by a flood? Should we be afraid to eat any of the animals He gave us for food?

Pick one... Abraham, the part that passes blessings down to the nations? Moses, ahh, there's one we can ignore as no longer in effect, right? One God, honor mother and father, keep the Sabbath, don't murder, don't steal, don't adulterate... Yep, no problem ignoring that one. Now we can be gay or evil with no consequence if we only love Jesus and each other. Oh yeah, and the New Covenant from the Old Testament (Jer 31:31), we can ignore that one too, I guess?

Sorry. Not on my watch.


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