Covenant of Eternal Life

Fred R. Coulter—February 21, 2009

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The first important day is the Sabbath, which in our discussion this afternoon I was reminded it is called a Feast day by God (Lev. 23:1). You have the:

  • Sabbath
  • Passover
  • Holy Days

in the world you have the big three:

  • Sunday
  • Lord's Supper, Communion/Eucharist
  • the holidays of this world

So, you have the three most important of the truths, and you have the three most important of the counterfeits. When you have the counterfeits, you cannot understand the Truth. That's why they use portions of the Bible, but they don't understand the Bible. How can you when the first thing they tell us is that the Law has been done away?

This afternoon I want to talk about the Passover Covenant for Eternal Life. First of all, let's understand what a covenant is. I will expand upon this a little later as we are going along.

Let's begin by discussing the difference between a will/testament and a covenant. How many here have wills? Better have one before the day sneaks up on you! If you have any assets at all, it would be wise to have a family trust so it doesn't have to go through probate and you can have a successor automatically take over. A will is something you sit down and you write out. It comes into effect when you die. A will you can change at any time you desire. Just sit down and you can change the whole thing. You can change the benefits and the beneficiaries and all of that.

I am going to teach you one Greek word 'diatheke'—it means covenant. The King James translates that word testament and, especially incorrectly, translated in Heb. 9 they confuse a covenant with a testament. God deals in covenants and once a covenant has been made it is binding; also, covenants require sacrifice. The way God starts out covenants is He gives you a general view. {note sermon series: The Covenants in the Bible}

Let's see how God deals with Abraham. The first thing God does is give an overview of what He is going to do. In giving an overview He wants to see what are you going to do before He commits to the covenant directly.

Genesis 12:1: "And the LORD said to Abram, 'Get out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house into a land that I will show you.'"

We are going to see one of the most essential things in a covenant, and any relationship with God is to obey His voice. Today we are not like Abram where God was talking directly with him, but we have the voice of God recorded for us here in the Bible and you can look at the Bible this way: if God would come down and talk to you today this is what He would say. That's why Christ came in the flesh. So, this is very general, but also we are going to see this is New Testamental or New Covenantal, as well.

What are we to do when we come to Christ? We are to love God more than father, mother, brother, sister, children, lands or your own life and that's important. That's the first thing you need to start obeying. So this is what Abraham had to do. Now notice the next verse, which again is very general.

Verse 2: "And I will make of you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing."

When you understand the Bible, this verse is continually being fulfilled. There is a physical fulfillment and there is a spiritual fulfillment and will be fulfilled at the resurrection, plus all during the Millennium and the second resurrection, as well. This one verse tells us an overview, but all the details of it are carried out in the rest of the Bible. Like they say of a contract, 'the devils are in the details. In a covenant the blessings are in the details.' So, God gives the overview of the structure of it first.

Notice what He says in v 3: "And I will bless those that bless you and I curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed." That means every single one. That is all human beings on earth. Remember, as we are going through this, that there is the physical and there is the spiritual.

Verse 4: "Then Abram departed, even as the LORD had spoken to him…"

Gen. 15 is ten years later, and we find where God then expands the knowledge and understanding of the covenant; gives a greater overview than what He gave in Gen. 12. This becomes the key in understanding the covenant for eternal life, as well understanding all covenants. All covenants must be ratified by a sacrifice before it is binding; otherwise it is tentative. It is completely the opposite of a will. When a covenant is made it must be ratified by sacrifice. We will see how that applies in the New Testament as well and to us personally.

So here in Gen. 15 is the proto-Passover because this had to be on the 14th day of the 1st month and the 15th day of the first month that this two-day period took place.

The Passover in Exodus is not the first Passover in the Bible. That is the first Passover for the children of Israel. This proto-Passover with Abraham was a covenant with a sacrifice. It was unilateral inasmuch as that all the requirements to fulfill this rested upon the Word of God alone so in order to make that covenant He had to give a signification of His death by the sacrifice of the animals. We will see later on when we come to the death of Christ, which also occurred on the Passover, it applied to Him literally as God in the flesh.

We'll just review it here. After God told Abraham that Eliezer, his servant, would not be the heir:

Genesis 15:4: "And behold, the Word of the LORD came to him saying, 'This man shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own loins shall be your heir.'"

All of you who are close to the 80s think about the impossibility of this. When God does something it is going to be permanent. God does it in such a way that He uses the impossible to accomplish it. That's why Isaac was not born until Abraham was 100-yearsold and Sarah was 90. Likewise with John the Baptist's father; Zacharias and his wife who were well into their 70s. Then you have the virgin Mary, she was probably just right at 20. In each case, in these covenants God does the impossible and ratifies it; that He will do it.

We find it all right here in Genesis 15:5: "And He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward the heavens and number the stars—if you are able to count them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your seed be.'" So we have two promises given here:

  • promise of physical seed, Isaac
  • promise as the stars of heaven, but they're still his seed
    • What did Jesus say of the righteous at the resurrection? They 'shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of My Father.'
    • What was Daniel told by Michael the angel? That those who turn many to righteousness 'shall shine as the stars of heaven.'

All of those reflect back here to v 5. The stars of heaven are the spiritual seed, which includes all those who receive the Spirit of God and are called to the first resurrection to eternal life. But you have to have the physical seed first, because God uses human beings; He doesn't use anything else. We are made in His image for the very purpose that we can enter into His Family as spirit beings and live forever. All this is wrapped up here in these two verses and we will see all the other details from the Bible spring from this.

Therefore, with this beginning of the unilateral covenant with God there must be a sacrifice, and the sacrifice is such that Abraham did not participate in this covenantal walk that was accomplished after he sacrificed the animals.

Verse 6: "And he believed in the LORD…." Here there is no work for him to do like it was when he had to take Isaac and offer him.

So, it was accounted to him for righteousness because he believed God. If God said it, it will happen. If God is Truth, His Word cannot change, and when God speaks something it is as good as done even though it has not yet transpired. Never forget that. That is a very important thing to understand when you are relying on the promises of God. His promises are given in the way that He intends them to come, not in the way that we think they should come.

Verse 7: "And He said to him, 'I am the LORD that brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it.' And he said, 'Lord GOD, by what shall I know that I shall inherit it?'" (vs 7-8). Because he knew this was a covenant.

Now then we have a very unusual covenant. We do not have another sacrifice exactly like this in the entirety of the Bible.

Verse 9: "And He said to him, 'Take Me a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.' And he took all these to himself, and divided them in the middle…" (vs 9-10). Cut right in two, right down the spine.

He probably slit the throat, laid them on the ground, grabbed one of the back haunches to hold it up, began chopping right down through the neck, all the way down through the middle of that animal, all the blood, all the guts, and everything. Then he put on one side one half of the animal and on the other side the other half of the animal and the Lord walked between them. Now he didn't do this with the turtledove and with the pigeon.

"…and laid each piece opposite the other; but he did not divide the birds. And when the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. And it came to pass, as the sun was going down, that a deep sleep fell upon Abram. And, behold, a horror of great darkness fell upon him!" (vs 10-12).

This was symbolic of death and this was actually, when you know the full story, the exact same time on the 14th day of the first month, April 5, 30A.D. when Jesus died. So, Abram experienced a simulated death with this great darkness.

After that God promised that He would give them the land, He would bring his descendants out of Egypt (and I explained that in the previous sermon).

If the first day is the 14th night and day, v 17 begins the 15th. What day did the children of Israel come out of Egypt? The 15th!

Verse 17: "And it came to pass—when the sun went down and it was dark—behold, a smoking furnace…"—that would consume everything.

"...and a burning lamp passed between those pieces" (v 17). Abraham did not walk through it—God did. God was signifying that this covenant is now ratified. There has been the shedding of the blood of these animals, symbolically showing His future death, and to show how absolutely complete and thorough that this was when the burning lamp went through there, the smoking furnace disintegrated all of those carcasses and there was probably nothing left but ashes—meaning this is complete. Now everything else God did with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob comes from this.

When God confirmed the covenant to Isaac, and of course, Isaac was a type of Christ; and Isaac was a child of promise as Paul wrote (Gal. 4). Now let's see what God told Isaac and this is after Abraham had died.

Genesis 26:1: "And there was a famine in the land (besides the former famine that had been in the days of Abraham). And Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, to Gerar. And the LORD appeared to him and said, 'Do not go down into Egypt. Live in the land, which I shall tell you of. Stay in this land, and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your seed, I will give all these lands; and I will establish the oath, which I swore to Abraham your father'" (vs 1-3). Unilateral covenant by God.

Verse 4: "'And I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens… [that's spiritual, sometimes it refers to physical] ...and will give to your seed all these lands. And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.'" Confirming what He told Abraham and made the covenant with him. Here is the reason—I want you to really think about v 5 because this becomes absolutely important—there are many people who believe that there was no law until God called Moses and gave it to the children of Israel, but that is not so. Law was from the beginning because where there is no law there is no sin and if there is no sin then there is no judgment! Therefore, the Flood of Noah didn't happen because there was no sin. When you take that reasoning and carry it out to the ultimate end, it cannot be so.

All right now, here's the reason—not because of Isaac, though Isaac would be blessed, just like we are here, but because of v 5 and the fulfillment of God's promise in sending Jesus Christ. That's why we're here. We are here because of these promises; because of the covenant! It's not like a will that can be changed willy-nilly.

Verse 5: "Because Abraham obeyed My voice… [most important thing; we are going to see this again and again] ...and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."

These had to be the same ones He gave to Israel. Why? Because God is 'the same yesterday, today and forever'! He doesn't change! Though this is a summary, is this not all inclusive of everything? Yes, it is! Very important!

Now let's come down to the time of the children of Israel—Exo. 19. I've already covered the Passover. We have to understand concerning the Passover in Exo. 12. That was on the 14th day of the 1st month; however, that Passover to spare the firstborn was not the covenant with Israel. The covenant of Israel took place when they got to Mt. Sinai. We have the covenant with Abraham on the 14th; we have the covenant to Jesus Christ unto eternal life on the 14th—so it's not the same. The timing of the death of Jesus conforms to Gen. 15 not Exo. 12.

In The Christian Passover book there are a lot of details in there, and it answers every argument that comes along concerning the Passover. What we need to understand is that the Passover is so important because it is the covenant day for eternal life that Satan the devil

  • through the Jews and their traditions
  • through Protestants and Catholics
  • through his own confusion among even some of the people of God

he wants to make it so confusing because he knows that if you don't keep the covenant Passover correctly maybe you are going to miss out on eternal life.

The further you deviate from it, you can be guaranteed you won't have eternal life. Jesus told the Pharisees, 'You trust in Moses, in whom you think you have eternal life; but these are the Scriptures that talk of Me and you won't believe Me.'

All the children of Israel got to Mt. Sinai. God did not want to start the covenant with the children of Israel until He had spoken to them personally. so here is what He did.

Exodus 19:2: "For they had journeyed from Rephidim, and came to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness. And Israel camped there in front of the mount. And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, 'Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel'" (vs 2-3). Here is the beginning of the covenant with the children of Israel. Again we will see this is an overview.

Verse 4: "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you unto Myself."

Verse 5 is the beginning of the general instruction for the beginning of the covenant, which is similar to a marriage covenant. Of course, the Old Covenant with Israel was a marriage covenant, just like we covered this morning. When you say I do, that includes a lot of things that are coming up that you don't know anything about, yet. But you did say I do.

Verse 5: 'Now, therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation…." (vs 5-6).

Now, you think about that! Why is the world in the condition today that it is in? Because Israel did not function as a nation of priests to bring the Word of God to the world; because God promised Abraham that He would work through his seed and his seed alone. Since God works through human beings, He said, 'I'm going to work through the children of Israel and they are to take My way and My laws and My commandments and statutes and judgments to the world.' What happened? They failed because they wanted to be like the nations and in the end time you see the results today—right? Yes, indeed!

So He said, "'"…if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation." These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.' And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words, which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, 'All that the LORD has spoken we will do.' And Moses returned the words of the people to the LORD" (vs 5-8).

God said, 'Okay, in three days I am going to come down and speak to them. Be all ready, all cleaned up, ready to go. You come to the base of the mountain.' That was a spectacular day when He gave the Ten Commandments. And the people said, 'Ohhhh, this is too much. Moses, you speak to us.' I guess so, if you saw all the thunder and lightning, the earthquake going on, the whirlwind that was taking place and everything.

Now, the Ten Commandments gave the beginning of the detailed structure of the covenant; and remember this, in every covenant there are always the laws of God. You can't get away from it. So, He gave the Ten Commandments. Then we have Exo. 21-23. These are the ordinances or judgments.

Now you have the details of the covenantal relationship between Israel and God. And God promised, 'I will work through no other nation but you.' What we have here in Exo. 24 is a marriage covenant.

Exodus 24:3: "And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words which the LORD has said, we will do.'"

When God makes a promise to you and you make a promise back to God you better make sure that your yes is yes and your no is no.

Verse 4: "And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the base of the mountain and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel who offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of bullocks to the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the Book of the Covenant, and read in the ears of the people. And they said, 'All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient'" (vs 4-7).

Now we have the sacrifice; we have the shed blood. This is when the covenant with Israel was ratified. It is undoubtedly true the Ten Commandments were given on Pentecost, this is several days after Pentecost. That ties in with another parallel. Between God and spiritual Israel, resurrection on Pentecost, we are upon the Sea of Glass, Guess what takes place on the Sea of Glass? The new marriage covenant between the Church and Christ, already ratified by the blood of Jesus Christ. So there are a lot of tremendous things all intertwined in these books of the Bible that the Protestants say have been done away. That's like saying God has disappeared. You may not find Him, but that doesn't mean He doesn't exist. Stick around a little while.

Verse 8: "And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people… [because there has to be the sprinkling of blood] …and said, 'Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.'" Binding and final and in full effect from that moment forward. This is why when the children of Israel sinned, He corrected them. He didn't cast them off and run and find some other nation to start all over again. And when He finally had to put Israel away because of infidelity, as we find in the book of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, He did not remarry. So here is the marriage ceremony, Exodus 24, between Israel and God.

Now let's look at one more sub-covenant that is instructive. After all the warnings that Jeremiah had given the people, the kings of Judah, and so forth he kept telling them, 'Turn from your sins. Quit desecrating the Sabbath and I will send Nebuchadnezzar away.' So here they were desperate because the armies of Nebuchadnezzar were coming closer and closer, so they said, 'Oh, what are we going to do?!' So they made a covenant with God concerning one of the statutes that He had given in the law that we summarized back there in Exo. 21-23.

Jeremiah 34:8: "The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them… [that is liberty to the Hebrew slaves] …that each man should let his male slave, and each man his female slave—if a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman—go free, that none should enslave a Jew, his brother among them" (vs 8-9).

We'll find out what kind of covenant this was and what they did and we will see a similarity between this and Gen. 15.

Verse 10: "And all the rulers obeyed, and all the people who had entered into the covenant allowed them to go free, each man his male slave, and each man his female slave, so that not any should be enslaved among them any more; and they obeyed and let them go."

This is instructive when you go counter to the covenant of God. Remember, this was just concerning slaves. We'll talk about it a little later when it's concerning eternal life.

Verse 11: "But afterward they turned and took back the male slaves and the female slaves whom they had set free and enslaved them again as male slaves and female slaves." When you make a covenant with God, you cannot go back on your word.

Verse 12: "So, the Word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, "I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, saying, 'At the end of seven years each man should let go free his brother, a Hebrew, who has been sold to him. And when he has served you six years, you shall let him go free from you.' But your fathers did not hearken to Me, nor incline their ears. And you had turned today, and had done right in My sight to call for liberty, each man to his neighbor. And you had made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name"'" (vs 12-15). So, they went right up to the temple to make this covenant.

Verse 16: "'But you turned back and defiled My name, and each of you has taken back his male slave and his female slave whom you had set free to do as they pleased. But you forced them again to become your male and your female slaves.' Thus says the LORD, 'You have not hearkened to Me to proclaim liberty each man to his brother, and each man to his neighbor! Behold, I proclaim freedom for you,' says the LORD, 'to the sword, to the plague, and to the famine. And I will cause you to be a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. And I will give the men who have sinned against My covenant, who have not done the words of the covenant which they made before Me when they divided the calf in two and passed between its parts'" (vs 16-18).

Now when that happened, when anyone does this, you cut the animal in two and place the parts side-by-side with a path to walk through. This is a maledictory oath or a covenant oath, which you are declaring to God that, 'If I do not fulfill this covenant, make me as these slaughtered animals that I am passing between.' That's why the words become very important. That's why Jesus said, 'Let your 'yes' be yes and your 'no' be no.

Verse 19: "'The rulers of Judah, and the rulers of Jerusalem, the officials, and the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf; I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life. And their dead bodies shall be for food to the birds of heaven and to the beasts of the earth. And I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, and his rulers, into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their lives, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, who has withdrawn from you" (vs 19-21).

He is saying, 'I am going to bring them back. I sent them away because you did right. Now you broke that and went against your word. They are coming back and they are going to execute My judgment in vengeance and fury.' If you want to know how badly that really was, get the book of Josephus. There are several chapters in there about the fall of Jerusalem in 586B.C. as well as later in 70A.D. Read those; very instructive.

So, God held them to their word. So whenever you made a covenant sacrifice to God and you do it by walking between the paths of the sacrificial animals you are signifying to God, 'If I do not fulfill my part of the words of this covenant with You, I shall become like those animals.' Now we need to think about that in relationship to the New Covenant.

Now let's look at some things here concerning the New Covenant. In Psa, 50 we are going to see a blending of the covenants with Abraham and coming to the covenant that Jesus Christ made with the Church.

Psalm 50:1: "The mighty God, God, the LORD, has spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun to its going down. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shined forth. Our God shall come, and He shall not keep silent; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, so that He may judge His people... [this is at the end-time] …'Gather My saints unto Me... [this has to be the resurrection] …and those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice'" (vs 1-5).

What is your sacrifice? Because you have to show your symbolic death as you enter into covenant with Jesus Christ!

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We are involved in a sacrifice that symbolizes death. We don't pass through the parts of the animals. Let's see what that is. We know that Christ died for our sins. We know that He was raised for our justification, but let's look at the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and let's look at what we are required to do. Then we will look at the meaning of the covenant day, which is the Passover Day. Now just like God started out with an overview of the covenant, so our understanding of the covenant starts out with an overview, which is: repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins. And everyone says, 'Oh, yeah, that's great and wonderful. I don't want my sins over my head.' Peter also said, 'Repent and be converted,' which shows that there are ongoing things we need to do.

Now here we have in what the Apostle Paul wrote are the details of baptism, and the significant meaning of it which ties right in with the covenant where Christ died and He was the Creator of all mankind so His death covers all the sins of all mankind; but, it is not given willy-nilly to anyone just because they say, 'Oh, I don't want my sins anymore!' Because you do not enter into a covenant, unless you show your symbolic death. Christ showed His literal death and because He was perfect rose from the dead.

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin…" (vs 1-2). You died to sin. How did you die? Paul said, I died! Let's see it.

"…how shall we live any longer therein? Or are you ignorant that we as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death" (vs 2-3). This is exactly and precisely why baptism has to be for adults because infants cannot enter into a covenant. It has to be with immersion in water. It cannot be with sprinkling or pouring.

Now let's look at this closer and see how profound this covenant is and how much God has done for us and how much then we need to reciprocate back to God. Baptism is not just an initiation, a church, or an organization. Baptism is a covenant death sacrifice that you personally enter into.

Verse 4: "Therefore we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death..." Very important! That's what it is in the Greek, and that death is the death of Christ! Notice, buried. You have to go under the water. And baptism is your symbolic death.

"…so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been conjoined…" (vs 4-5). That means brought together, joined together for the sacrifice of Christ.

The Indians used to have a blood covenant. They would each take a knife, cut the palm of their hand, and then clasp their hands together and let the blood mingle—and you better keep your word or that knife is going through your fifth rib' likewise with baptism.

"…conjoined together in the likeness of His death..." (v 5). That's why Jesus said you have to take up your cross and follow Him. and He also guaranteed this: He said, 'In the world you'll have tribulation, but be of good courage, I have overcome the world.'

"…conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed…." (vs 5-6).

This is showing that it takes a period of time to destroy the body of sin. You have to overcome it!

"…so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin; because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin. Now, if we died together with Christ…" (vs 6-8)—joined together, conjoined in that death.

  • He took the beating
  • He took the scourging
  • He took the sword into His side
  • subjected to the crucifixion and He died

This is how you are to view your past life in your spiritual perception of what you need to be before God.

But here's a promise if "…we believe that we shall also live with Him" (v 8).

In Gal. 2 is a very important verse, which has been read I'm sure over and over again, but now if we read it with more understanding than we have I think that you will appreciate it even more.

Galatians 2:17: "Now then, if we are seeking to be justified in Christ, and we ourselves are found to be sinners… [because we haven't yet overcome 'the law of sin and death,' but are working on it] …is Christ then the minister of sin?... [No! It's because of the sin within] …MAY IT NEVER BE! For if I build again those things that I destroyed, I am making myself a transgressor. For I, through law… [the wages of sin is death] …died to works of law…" (vs 17-19).

That is no longer counting on any rituals to make me righteous, but on the sacrifice of Christ to make me righteous.

"…in order that I may live to God. I have been crucified with Christ… [symbolically through baptism] …yet, I live. Indeed, it is no longer I; but Christ lives in me…." (vs 17-20).

That's the covenant that He gave. He will give you of His Spirit, He will give you of His mind, as long as you are faithful and seek God and are faithful in the covenant.

"…For the life that I am now living in the flesh, I live by faith—that very faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (v 20).

We will go back to Rom. 6 in just a little bit, but let's, first of all, come to Hebrews 8. {note sermon series: Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews}

Hebrews 8:1: "Now here is the summary of things being discussed…" What we need to understand is this: God has called us to be in a personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ for eternal life. It is not a religion like in the world where you become good people and you attend on the days that they say. This is where you love God and serve God and He is giving you great and precious promises for eternal life that men who play religion cannot even comprehend. And He has called us into a personal relationship with Him so that we have direct access to God the Father and Jesus Christ through prayer with Their Spirit in us in a way that other people cannot have and we do not have that unless we are in the covenant relationship with the covenant death of baptism.

So let's read it here Hebrews 8:1: "…We have such a High Priest Who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord set up, and not man" (vs 1-2). Then he talks about all of the things that they did in making the physical tabernacle.

Verse 6: "But on the other hand, He has obtained a supremely more excellent ministry…" This is what we need to understand: eternal life—though we have the covenant of death in order to receive it—we have exceedingly great and precious promises. Christ has an exceedingly more superior ministry.

"…as much greater as the superior covenant of which He is also Mediator, which was established upon superior promises" (v 6). Look at the promises under the Old Covenant, what were they?

  • blessings to live in the land
  • blessings of physical things
  • blessings of health and wealth if they obeyed
  • curses if they did not obey

because a covenant is irrevocable and does not change.

Right now, for the descendants of Israel—the Anglo Saxons in the world—we are beginning to suffer from the curses that God said would come upon us in the last days. We are seeing it more and more. But as we see that, you compare that with eternal life:

  • to live forever
  • to have glory
  • to have authority
  • to have direct personal access to see God the Father face-to-face
  • be with Jesus Christ
  • and be with all the saints of God

Compare that to any physical thing you would like, and that is vastly superior. I just imagine if you could run a Bernie Madoff scheme and say, 'If you give us so much money, you will have eternal life, you would get all kinds of money pouring into you. But that's not the way it is.

Let's see some things that are important; still again comparing the difference of the physical tabernacle and the heavenly tabernacle.

Hebrews 9:11: "But Christ Himself has become High Priest of the coming good things… [not yet here] …through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made by human hands (that is, not of this present physical creation). Not by the blood of goats and calves, but by the means of His own blood…" (vs 11-12).

Remember a covenant must be ratified with a sacrifice and the shedding of blood. That's why when we are baptized we are conjoined into the likeness of His death.

"…He entered once for all into the Holiest, having by Himself secured everlasting redemption for us" (v 12).

That's something to really understand the grace of God forever and all through our physical lives we can claim the grace of God. That's why Paul said, 'What? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE!' Because we have everlasting redemption.

Verse 13: "For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who aredefiled, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh."

That's all the further forgiveness went under the covenant with Israel—to the temple; that was it. Those were not wiped out until the death of Christ.

Verse 14: "To a far greater degree, the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, shall purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God."

God now, instead of just giving you physical promises of physical things, with His Spirit He is molding and developing His character in you. That's what it talks about that 'we are His workmanship.'

  • He is working with our minds
  • He is working with our hearts and with His Spirit
  • with His laws
  • with His commandments
  • with the spiritual qualities of:
    • love
    • faith
    • hope
    • longsuffering
    • gentleness
    • kindness
    • goodness

and all of those things. That's what God is building in us. This is far greater than anything that could have been done with the covenant with Israel. So we can serve the living God.

Now vs 15-17 become the key linchpin in understanding about covenants and our relationship with God.

Verse 15: "And for this reason He is the Mediator of the New Covenant: in order that through His death, which took place for the release of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant…"—and also His death (Rom. 7) ended the marriage relationship covenant with Israel and remember, marriage is binding until death.

Now God had a choice; to release that covenant would require the death of everyIsraelite down through history for His death. It was His death that ended that marriage covenant.

"…those who have been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance" (v 15). Not just the land, but eternal inheritance which then is all things shared with Christ; as the stars of heaven. So God is going to share the universe with us. Some people say, 'Well, I wonder why God made the universe so big and have so many stars and galaxies in there?' It's because His plan is bigger and greater than we have ever thought of and He is going to share it with us! Think of that! So when you are down in the pit of a trial:

  • lift up your eyes
  • lift of your mind
  • lift up your heart

and think on those things, and you will see that the trial—God will work it out. When you have passed through to the other side of it, you will understand that compared to eternal life it is really trivial indeed. Yes, we have to be 'wise as serpents and harmless as doves.' Yes, we have to take care of the things we need to take care of, and so forth. But the most important thing to focus in on is keeping that covenant relationship with God for eternal life, eternal inheritance.

Verse 16: "Now where there is a covenant, it is obligatory to bring forth a symbolic sacrifice to represent the death of the one who personally ratifies the covenant." I don't have my King James handy, but they have it as testament and testator and that is completely wrong.

Verse 17: "Because a covenant is ratified only over… [the Greek is the dead ones, meaning the animals] …the dead sacrificial animals, since there is no way that it is legally in force until the living ratifier has symbolically represented his death."

Now that's what ties in with Rom. 6. That's why when you are baptized you are put under the water, and we will always lift you out of it because you are to walk in newness of life. That's the closest thing you can come to in symbolizing death. It also solves the problem of purifying your sins, washing them away, cleansing you, and all of those things are all involved with the operation of baptism. And you enter into this covenant with God—this covenant for eternal life.

Verse 18: "For this very reason, neither was the first covenant inaugurated without blood." We have already covered that.

Note sermon: The Covenant Between God the Father and Jesus Christ (Hebrews series #27). They had a covenant before Jesus came, and we pick it out of various places in the Bible and show that there had to be a covenant because God is a covenant God. Here we have part of it:

Hebrews 10:4: "Because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins…. [no, it just justified them to the temple] …For this reason, when He comes into the world, He says… [that is Christ, when He came into the world] …'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me. You did not delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin. Then said I, "Lo, I come (as it is written of Me in the Scroll of the Book) to do Your will, O God"'" (vs 4-7).

That's what we are to do. Remember what was said about Abraham? Because he obeyed My voice, kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws! What was it that God proposed to Israel? If you obey My voice indeed, you shall be a kingdom of priests for Me! Here we have the same thing: 'I delight to do Your will.'

Verse 9: "Then He said, 'Lo, I come to do Your will, O God.' He takes away the first covenant in order that He may establish the second covenant." He ended the first covenant with His death and established the second beginning with His death.

Verse 10: "By Whose will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (vs 9-10).

Then Paul makes a comparison, v 11: "Now, every high priest stands ministering day by day, offering the same sacrifices repeatedly, which are never able toremove sins; but He, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.
13: Since that time, He is waiting until His enemies are placed as a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has obtained eternal perfection for those who are sanctified" (vs 11-14).

That also means that perfection comes through the process of conversion and growing and overcoming and developing the mind of Christ.

Verse 15: "And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after He had previously said, '"This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days," says the Lord, "I will give My Laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds"'" (vs 15-16).

And when you have that done through the study of the Word of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit of God, guess what? You use the Word of God to think. And when you think with the Word of God, you are bound to make better decisions. And also the Holy Spirit of God then pricks your conscience when you sin, because

  • He is cleansing
  • He is washing
  • He is molding
  • He is shaping our minds and hearts

in preparation for eternal life.

Verse 17: "And their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again." So remember this, when you repent and your repentance is sincere, ask God also to help remove the guilt of that because that guilt also needs to be removed. Just like the sin. Too many people sin, and repent really from the heart, and then they wonder, 'Well, I wonder if God forgave me?' What did Jesus say? 'Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven the children of men except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.' Every sin and blasphemy!. So if your heart pricks you because of the Holy Spirit either leading you or in you, and you repent and you repent with all your heart, that is forgiven and removed. Then the washing and cleansing takes place after that to heal, to give you forgetfulness, to remove it from you. Don't go around and remember all the sins from the past, except to learn the lesson that you learn because you sin.

Verse 18: "Now, where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices… [that is animal sacrifices] …for sin." What blessing does this give us? This is fantastic, brethren. We need to grasp this and we need to keep focused on this and we need to remember this when we are, especially, coming up to the Passover time to renew the covenant.

Verse 19: "Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest by the blood of Jesus"—direct access that your prayers go to God. He hears them. He answers them. We may have to be persistent in the prayers, as Jesus showed, but He hears and answers.

"By a new and living way… [a new and spiritual powerful way] … which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh), and having a great High Priest over the house of God" (vs 20-21).

Here's how we need to approach God, v 22: "Let us approach God with a true heart, with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water… [through baptism] …Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful" (vs 22-23).

Whatever promises you read in the Bible, and of course, the Bible is full of promises; and remember, half of those promises are penalties for sin, half of those promises are blessings for eternal life.

Now let's see how we are to lead our lives. So we have our part and our sacrifice in making the covenant with God, which He has established with us.

Romans 6:5: "For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death…" When we read these sections during the Passover concerning:

  • what Jesus went through
  • what He took upon Himself
  • how He was scourged
  • how He was beaten
  • how the sword was thrust into His side

—through baptism we participate in that with Him.

"…so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection" (v 5). That's when we will be born again, as spirit beings. That's why it says of Jesus: 'He is the firstborn from the dead.'

Verse 6: "Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed…"

And that's what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about. How we overcome sin; how we let the Spirit of God lead us and guide us, mold us and change us.

"…so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin" (v 6). It's interesting we are going to see it doesn't say you don't sin, but that you are not enslaved to it.

Verse 7: "Because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin. Now, if we died together with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has any dominion over Him. For when He died, He died unto sin once for all…" (vs 7-10)—because He is Creator of all human beings.

His one death is sufficient for allhuman beings in the world, but we have our part of repentance and baptism.

"...but in that He lives, He lives unto God" (v 10)—just like we were conjoined to His death, co-crucified with Him.

Verse 11: "In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof" (vs 11-12).

Don't let sin rule. Yes, we have to put evil thoughts out. Yes, we have to overcome the law of sin and death, this is all part of it here.

Verse 13: "Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin; rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God."

Notice the whole different thrust here. See, because every day when we come before God, what are we to pray for? We hallow God's name—correct? Then what is the next thing we ask for? Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What is God's will for you? Then He says, 'Give us our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.'

So, this shows that every day we need to be in an attitude of repentance and an attitude of confessing our sins. Most of these sins will be in the mind, being revealed to us by the Spirit of God so that we recognize sin in the mind as sin and repent of it. This is going to then be so that you will not be sinning in your actions. As it says there in 2-Cor. 10, 'That we are to bring every thought into captivity to Christ. We are to bring down every vain imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring it into the obedience of Christ.' That's our part; with the help of God's Spirit, that's what we are to do. Christ has done His part:

  • by living a perfect life
  • being God in the flesh
  • being crucified
  • being the perfect sacrifice

and His shed blood applies to all of us.

Verse 14—because of what I just described, this gives us access to God by grace. "For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace." What he is talking about; the whole thing here is this: not avoiding law, but being under law for justification for sin, rather we are under grace for justification of sin. That's what it means when you go back and tie in Rom. 3-5 leading up to this.

Protestants read it, 'You are not under law, you don't have to keep any law, don't have to keep the Sabbath. We can make Sunday holy, we can make the communion holy, we can make the occult holidays holy.' No, you can't. Never happen!:

  • IFyou are keeping the Sabbath
  • IFyou keep the Passover and the importance of it and the meaning of it
  • IFyou keep the Holy Days
  • IFyou have the Spirit of God

you are in covenant with God and sin shall not rule over you, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Then he gives a warning, lest someone thinks we can take advantage of it. Verse 15 sounds almost like v 2.

Verse 15: "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE!…. [so then he gives the example of what we are to do] ... Don't you realize that to whom you yield yourselves as servants to obey, you are servants of the one you obey, whether it is of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you; and having been delivered from sin… [not sinless, but delivered from it] …you became the servants of righteousness" (vs 15-18).

Now notice the comparison he gives to show how our actions within this covenant relationship become very important and help us and lead us day-by-day.

Verse 19: "I speak from a human point of view because of the weakness of your flesh; for just as you once yielded your members in bondage to uncleanness, and to lawlessness unto lawlessness, so now yield your members in bondage to righteousness unto sanctification. For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. Therefore, what fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end result of those things is death. But now that you have been delivered from sin and have become servants of God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end result is eternal life" (vs 19-22). That's the covenant that we are in.

Now, let's come back here and read some Scriptures concerning the things that we read when we partake of the Passover. This will help us have a much greater understanding of the Passover and what it means and our covenant of eternal life. Remember, before we take the bread and the wine, we have the foot-washing. The foot-washing becomes very important because the foot-washing, if you will read in the Passover book and The Day Jesus the Christ Died, is the renewal of our baptism.

Human beings, because of our nature (and we are still fighting 'the law of sin and death' though we have the Spirit of eternal life in us) we need a new beginning every year and God gives that to us. So, we have the foot-washing and the foot-washing renews the baptism and also gives us part with Christ. Then we take the bread and the wine and we are ready to receive the renewal of the New Covenant. That's why it is only done once a year on the Passover night because that's the night that Jesus said we should do it.

I wonder what the disciples thought when He did this; and remember this is kind of the overview they were given.

Matthew 26:26: "And as they were eating, Jesus took the bread and blessed it; then He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body.' And He took the cup; and after giving thanks, He gave it to them, saying, 'All of you drink of it; for this is My blood, the blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins'" (vs 26-28).

Mark 14:22: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread; and after blessing it, He broke it and gave it to them, and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body.' And He took the cup; and after giving thanks, He gave it to them; and they all drank of it. And He said to them, 'This is My blood, the blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many'" (vs 22-24).

Luke 22:19: "And He took bread; and after giving thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is My body, which is given for you. This do in the remembrance of Me.' In like manner also, He took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you'" (vs 19-20).

So, when we put it all together, God has brought us into a tremendous everlasting covenant for eternal life through the Passover and that's why the Passover becomes the key.

Scriptural References:

  • Genesis 12:1-4
  • Genesis 15:2-12, 17
  • Genesis 26:1-5
  • Exodus 19:2-8
  • Exodus 24:3-8
  • Jeremiah 34:8-21
  • Psalm 50:1-5
  • Romans 6:1-8
  • Galatians 2:17-20
  • Hebrews 8:1-2, 6
  • Hebrews 9:11-18
  • Hebrews 10:4-7, 9-23
  • Romans 6:5-22
  • Matthew 26:26-28
  • Mark 14:22-24
  • Luke 22:19-20

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Leviticus 23
  • Galatians 4
  • Exodus 12, 21-23
  • Romans 7
  • 2-Corinthians 10

Also referenced:

Books:

  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • The Day Jesus the Christ Died by Fred R. Coulter

Sermon Series:

The Covenants of the Bible

  • Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews

Sermon: The Covenant Between God the Father and Jesus Christ (Hebrews series #27)

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 4-28-09
Formatted: bo—5/24/09
Reformatted/Corrected: September/2014

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