Covenant Law

(Chapter 9)

Fred R. Coulter—December 23, 2003

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Why is it that Christianity, especially in the world, but even in the Churches of God is in such disarray? Why is it that there is no stable belief among the people of God, and that they're 'driven to and fro,' and like James said, with the wind—follow after 'every wind of doctrine'? Why is that so, when they have the Truth of God and they all have the Bible? How can we, all having the same Bible—and we'll include in this all of the Protestants and so forth—be so mixed up when the Bible says it's the Truth of God?

Well, one of the reasons is—though they have it and they study it—if they have 'religion' and they preach from it, they selectively believe what they desire. They do not really comprehend what God has done, what Jesus Christ has done, in order to save them from their sins. Being saved from sin for most people is to be a feel-good experience. Eternal life, for most people is that hopefully your soul will go to heaven. There are those—in the Church of God—who believe in the resurrection. All of this comes from the problem that they do not understand what God has done. So therefore, they don't value the Word of God as the Truth of God. They don't value it from the point of view that Jesus said, 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Word shall never pass away.'

Let's look at some things in the book of Hebrews so that we can understand what it is exactly that God has done. In going through the book of Hebrews, many people go through it and they look at what is in the Old Testament with the utmost of contempt rather than understanding that these were types and sign-pointers and prophecies leading to Christ, and telling us what God was to do. Heb. 9 is an extension beyond what we have covered with the comparison between the Old and New Covenants.

We will review just a little here. He is talking about how the tabernacle and the temple were prepared:

Hebrews 9:6: "Now, with these things prepared in this manner, the priests enter into the first tabernacle at all customary times in order to perform the services."

In that first part they had the showbread. They had the seven golden lamp stands and they had the laver for the washing of the priests and so forth.

Verse 7: "But the high priest enters alone into the second tabernacle… [the second part of it] … once a year, not without blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins that the people committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit signifying this: that the way of the Holiest… [in a personal relationship with God] …has not yet been made manifest, while the first tabernacle is still standing" (vs 7-8).

What was the first sign that that temple was going to be destroyed? In effect, though it was not destroyed immediately, it was as good as destroyed and rendered the functioning at the temple of no value. What was that event that took place that did that? They had a special veil that covered the whole length of the front of the temple, and that veil was about as thick as a hand width and it was 72-feet long and covered the front of it. It was suspended at the top by a huge stone lintel which, when Christ died, that was struck in two—probably by an angel—and the whole veil ripped from top to bottom, signifying that the way to 'the Holiest' was now open. So, when that event occurred, everything at the temple was a non-functioning ritual of absolutely no value, and the only reason it stood was for a 40-year overlap from the Old Covenant to the full establishing of the New Covenant.

Verse 9: "Which is a symbol for the present time, in which both gifts and sacrifices are being offered that are not able to perfect the one performing the service, as pertaining to the conscience. These services consist only of meat and drink offerings, and various washings and physical ordinances, imposed until the time of the new spiritual order…. [the Protestant reformers have there 'the reformation' (KJV)] …But Christ Himself has become High Priest of the coming good things, 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, He entered once for all into the Holiest, having by Himself secured everlasting redemption for us" (vs 9-12).

That's what's important. That's where it becomes a personal Savior and this is why God does not want hierarchies to control people. He wants to send His Holy Spirit to dwell within all of those who are His begotten children.

How close is God? How involved is God in our lives? Even in the Church today—not only in Protestantism, but even in the Churches of God—God is somehow way up out there. But in fact, He is not! With the Holy Spirit, He is part of you. What's important is that more brethren understand this, and grasp it and realize that God did this because He loves each one that He calls!

I did a sermon concerning the operation of a little baby, where it showed the hand of the 21-week-old baby almost as if it was reaching up and shaking the doctor's hand to say, 'Thanks, Doc.' I showed that even in the physical realm, even in physical life, God is involved with all human beings. Yes, He is! But because there is free moral agency, which God gave, and it is so profound that God made His creation as such, that even though God is involved in their lives—through their creation, through the way they think and walk and where they live and all of these things—they don't know it. Isn't that a fantastic thing how great God is that He could do that, and how profound free moral agency is! If we understand that and what God has done and with God's Spirit in us, then we will realize that God is not close to us; He is in us!

2-Corinthians 6:14: "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? And what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what union does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols? For you are a temple of the living God…" (vs 14-16).

  • that's how much God loves you
  • that's how much God is involved in your life
  • this is how the conscience is changed and purged

And the only way it can be is with the addition of the Holy Spirit of God!

"…exactly as God said: 'I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people'" (v 16).

Have you thought about wherever you're walking with God's Spirit in you, He is walking with you? How close is God? Right there! He can't get any closer in this life. If everyone really understood this, don't you think there would be far fewer of those who would fall away? Don't you think there would be more with love and hope and conviction? Yes, indeed! God wants you to understand something: Christ has personally redeemed us from our sins! God the Father has begotten us with His Holy Spirit so the He can dwell in us. And we'll see in just a minute that Christ can dwell in us.

"…'I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from the midst of them…'" (vs 16-17). Is there anything in the world, anything at all, that can possibly compare to that? Not a thing! Absolutely nothing!

"'…and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you…'" (vs 17-18). Isn't that how we are to pray? Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name, and we have the privilege to call Him Father.

"'…and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty." (v 18). We have to understand what God did in order to make that possible. It was not an easy thing. We'll see that the receiving of the Holy Spirit is a joint operation of the begettal of God the Father, the seed of eternal life and the mind of Christ. Remember, He said, 'I will dwell in them.'

John 14:23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me… [that is the key to truly love God with all you heart and mind and soul and being] …he will keep My Word…'"

  • No argument!
  • No dispute!
  • No keeping some and throwing others away!
  • No carnal excuses and justification!

You can read the theological arguments of so many people that are the agents of Satan the devil, that look like they are ministers of righteousness, and they just blither along with their own disbelief.

"…'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him…" (v 23).

{Note sermon: When All Else Fails, Remember, God Loves You} Everything else in this world is going to fail. The very fact that we have the Holy Spirit of God and we live in the world, but we're not of the world:

  • we are going to have challenges
  • we are going to have trials
  • we are going to have difficulties

What did Jesus say? 'In the world you will have tribulation, but be courageous, I have overcome the world.' He is dwelling in you. Can you overcome the world? Of course, you can! But you have to know and believe and have that conviction that that is so.

Verse 23: "…My Father will love him, and We… [together] …will come to him and make Our abode [dwelling] with him…. [It's like it says there in 2-Cor.6: dwelling in us!] (On the other hand): …The one who does not love Me does not keep My words…" (vs 23-24)—and that's what's wrong with the world.

  • they want to be saved, but my way
  • they want to be blessed, but on my terms
  • they want to accept Christ as we recreate Him in our image

Therefore, they don't keep His Words. How important are these words?

Verse 24: "'The one who does not love Me does not keep My words… [Whatever Jesus said, and whatever He inspired the apostles to write. What is it?] …and the Word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me.'"

  • Who is communicating this to you? God the Father!
  • Who gives you understanding when you read the Bible? God the Father and Jesus Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit!
  • Who gives you the discernment to rightly divide the Word of God and live by every Word of God? God the Father and Jesus Christ!

When you strip away all the things that human beings have and get rid of all of the religious apparatus that they have, you realize that God is doing a profound thing in each individual that He calls. That's why we are called brethren. What did God have to do to do this?

All of this centers around covenant, and the biggest lack in the world, especially in the so-called Christian religions of the world, is that they do not understand covenant. They do not understand how a covenant is and what it is and the terms of a covenant. They do not understand what God did in order to make a covenant to do this.

Hebrews 9:14: "To a far greater degree… [this sums up what we just said here] …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."

Once you understand that the forgiveness of God that He gives you is also to give you forgetfulness of those sins and cleanse your conscience, so that over a period of time of growing and overcoming those will be expunged from your mind, though you still may have some remembrance of it from the point of view that you sure learned a good lesson from it. But you're not running around with a guilt feeling concerning it. That's why it says there in Rom. 8 the that to those who are in Christ there is not condemnation provided there is repentance, provided there is everything that God shows.

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, those who have been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." We are going to see what God did to make that possible.

Verse 16 is one of the most mistranslated, misunderstood verses; let's read it in the King James. Let's understand something that is important: All the way through the New Testament the Greek word 'diatheke' is translated covenant with the exception of several places which this is one of those here:

Verse 16 (KJV): "For where a testament is…" A testament is not like a covenant. Testamental law is that you write out a last will and testimony. When you have that last will and testimony, as long as you are alive you can change it any time you want to; that's called adding a codicil to it. You can also change the heirs—can't you? Covenant law is different. We are going to focus on covenant law. Covenant law is not that way and this should not be testament here, as we will see in just a minute.

Verse 16 (KJV): "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead… [that is a completely wrong translation when it comes to covenant] …Otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives" (vs 16-17).

Verse 16 (FV): "Now where there is a covenant… ['diatheke'] …it is obligatory… [there is something that you must do] …to bring forth a symbolic sacrifice to represent the death of the one who personally ratifies the covenant… [we are going to see how that was done in just a little bit] …because a covenant is ratified only over the dead sacrificial animals…" (vs 16-17).

The translators have never been able to figure out the plural 'ton nekron'—which is in the Greek there in v 17—the dead ones. How could you have 'ton nekron' and apply it to one person? You can't! These are the dead ones, or the dead sacrificial animals.

"…since there is no way that it is legally in force until the living ratifier has symbolically represented his death" (v 17).

That's why a covenant is entirely different. A testament you can write out, you can sign it, and it can sit there and you can change it any time you want. Not with a covenant. Once a covenant is made then it is ratified by the symbolic death of the one who makes it, otherwise it is of no force, it is just tentative. We are going to see what God did with Abraham to show the in-viability of what He was going to do.

footnote from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order:

In the OT, ratification of a covenant based on sacrifice frequently entailed a self-maledictory procedure.

What does self-maledictory mean? Those animals that are sacrificed symbolize what will happen to the ratifier if he does not fulfill his obligation!

The ratifying party invoked a curse upon himself when he swore commitment to comply with the terms of the covenant.

We have done that with baptism. Why is it that when we are baptized we are put completely under the water? You see why the churches in the world have nothing to do with God and don't understand covenant theology in the Bible. Many of them just sprinkle or daub. Why emersion in water? It is symbolic of your death! That's what it is.

In the transaction, the ratifying party was represented by animals designated for sacrifice.

We are going to see this is not on an altar. We are going to see this is not like any other sacrifice that is listed in the Bible. It is a special sacrifice.

The bloody dismemberment of the representative animals signified the violent death of the ratifying party if he proved faithless to his oath…. Until the oath of allegiance had been sworn and validated by the action of cutting the animals in two and walking between the pieces…the covenant remained merely tentative. It was legally confirmed on the basis of the dismembered bodies of the sacrificial victims. In its context, the unusual formulation 'epe nekrois' 'on the basis of the dead bodies,' refers to the bodies of representative animals used in the self-maledictory rite of covenant ratification. It finds an exact parallel in Ps. 49[50]:5 LXX, where 'epe thoseus' means 'on the basis of sacrificial animals.' The thought is amplified with the strong negative assertion that a covenant is never operative 'while the ratifier lives.' The formulation accurately reflects the legal situation that a covenant is never secured until the ratifier has bound himself to his oath by means of a representative death.

Now then, let's look at the death of Christ for just a minute. We are going to see that Jesus Christ in fact did this and it has everything to do with His crucifixion, and we will also see that He pledged it even before the foundation of the world.

This is interesting because it shows the division that's coming in the world, Revelation 13:8: "And all who dwell on the earth will worship him… [the beast] …whose names have not been written in the book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

When Adam and Eve sinned, what was the very first thing that God revealed to them? That there was coming a coming sacrifice for sin!

Genesis 3:15: "And I will put enmity between you… [the serpent] …and the woman… [symbolic of the Church] …and between your seed and her Seed… [Christ] …He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." A promise of a coming sacrifice.

Let's see that this is all wrapped up in the covenant that God made with Abraham {note sermon series: The Three Covenants of Abraham}I also have quite an extensive section, a couple of chapters, in The Christian Passover book which goes through this and shows it, so I'm not going to spend a great deal of time concerning it. Sufficient to say, God promised that Abraham would have a physical seed; Isaac was born.

Genesis 15:5—here is the promise of spiritual seed: "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.'"

That is the glorified, spiritual sons of God. Jesus said the righteous at the resurrection shall shine as the sun in its strength. Daniel said that those who turn many to righteousness shall 'shine as the stars of heaven.' Paul wrote that we are going to share the 'glory of the inheritance of Christ' and also that our 'vile bodies will be transformed and made like His body.' That is symbolized by the stars. Since it is impossible to count the stars, there was no work to perform.

Verse 6: "And he [Abraham] believed in the LORD. And He accounted it to him for righteousness." This is an important thing, not only believe in Him, but believe Him. Why is that important? If you believe God, you will do what He says! If you believe God, you will believe His Word! That is counted as righteousness to you. That means that puts you in right standing with God, Isn't that something? Everyone wants to know, 'How do I stand before God?'

  • in right standing
  • unimpeachable
  • Holy
  • without blame

That's all part of the grace of Christ!

This is done because God, in believing wants you to be inspired! When you are inspired and motivated to do something, do you need a taskmaster there with a whip, whipping you along to do it? No! You will do it because you desire to from the heart. No one has to tell you to pray, because you want to communicate with God because He has put His Spirit in you! No one has to tell you to study, because you realize that these are the words of God, the greatest most magnificent book in the world. So therefore, these things are done to give you conviction.

Abraham had to perform a special sacrifice. This special sacrifice was a covenant maledictory oath, which God took upon Himself. That's why it's fundamental to know and believe that Jesus Christ was the LORD God of the Old Covenant, because if that isf not understood and believed, then you cannot understand the crucifixion and the New Covenant.

God wanted to make sure that Abraham knew, v 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.'"

He never inherited it. That is a future promise, and one of the most surprised persons in the world at the resurrection is going to be Abraham. We live at the tail end of the history of Israel and Judah in world history, and we can look back in hindsight and we have much more understanding. But remember Abraham had none of that. That's why he is called the father of the faithful, because he had to believe and accept the Word of God as true.

Now let's look at this covenant that God made with Abraham, and we are here because of it. Now you can read of the timing of it in The Christian Passover book. But let's jump ahead so we understand what we are talking about.

Verse 18: "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying…" He made a covenant. We'll see what was involved in this covenant, that it goes along exactly with what we find there in Heb. 9.
Verse 6: "And he believed in the LORD. And He accounted it to him for righteousness." Since he could not number the stars, but he believed God in what He said. Therefore, that was reckoned to him for righteousness or right standing with God. That does not mean that it is a substitute for commandment-keeping. A lot of people get that confused.

Never at any time did Abraham not keep the commandments of God. A lot of people when they talk about 'reckoned' as righteousness or imputing of righteousness, they misunderstand and think that once they have that right standing with God then they don't have to keep the commandments anymore because they're righteous, which is double-speak nonsense. There is a righteousness of God that He counts as righteousness, meaning you are in right standing with Him because you believe Him. There is a righteousness that comes with commandment-keeping, which is an obligatory thing for everyone to do.

God is talking to Isaac and He says to Isaac, carrying on the covenant that He made with Abraham:

Genesis 26:4: "And I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens… [we are of the children of promise like Isaac (Gal. 4)] …and will give to your seed all these lands. And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice…" (vs 4-5).

That is the whole sum of the matter! Everything that you read in the Bible is part of the voice of God, are the words that God breathed the writers to put in it, whether it's a genealogy, or a geographical location; it is all God-breathed and it is all equally inspired, though, with a different purpose. And the sum of everything that there is, that God wants you to do is to obey His voice and that means anything that He has said.

"…obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws" (v 5).

So, the righteousness that we are talking about in Gen. 15:6 is not the righteousness of commandment-keeping, but the righteousness of being in right standing with God. If you are in right standing with God, isn't that a greater righteousness than anything that can be? Yes, indeed! So that's what it is talking about here.

Genesis 15:7, God says: "'…to give you this land to inherit it.' And he [Abram] said, 'Lord GOD, by what shall I know that I shall inherit it?'" (vs 7-8).

God told him to do something very strange, and this is the maledictory covenant sacrifice. This is where in Heb. 9 it talks about the representative sacrificial animals, comes right from here.

Notice there was no altar, because if you are going to have a burnt offering you build an altar of twelve stones. So here is what God said:

Verse 9: "And He said to him, 'Take Me a heifer of three years old … [that's a pretty good size cow] …and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.'" These are all mature animals signifying that this is a mature thing that is going to be done. The turtledove and the young pigeon signify the lack of wealth, but also it signifies innocence and tenderness.

Verse 10: "And he took all these to himself…" He probably went into his herd and he selected out the best three-year-old heifer, the best three-year-old ram, the best three-year-old she-goat and took them out there. This sacrifice was entirely different and this maledictory oath was a foreshadow of the crucifixion.

When the movie The Passion came out I saw it. I don't go to see very many movies and maybe that can have an impact on some people to understand what God really went through to pay for the sins of the world.

This is similar to it. Instead of cutting the throat and then putting it on an altar to be burned, he cut the throat and then turn them over on their backs and cut them down the middle. So, the only way this could be done was to not only have a knife to cut the gut, but the under part. What did this do? This strew the intestines all over the place! And then he had to have a very sharp, heavy-duty hatchet to cut these animals right down through the spine to get two parts, and he did this with the heifer, the she-goat and the ram.

Verse 10: "And he took all these to himself, and divided them in the middle…" That means he hacked them right down the middle. That's going to be a bloody and terrible mess.

I don't know if any of you have ever had the experience of seeing an animal slaughtered or helped slaughter an animal. Some people can't even stand to see a chicken have its neck wrung. I know when I was five-years-old, my grandma did that. We went out to visit her ranch and she wrung a chicken's neck and she held the head in her hand and the chicken ran around all over. But imagine: this is blood, guts, manure, urine, spreading of the animals apart.

Verse 10: "…and laid each piece opposite the other… [that is the back sides were parallel to each other] …but he did not divide the birds." He put a turtledove on one side, the young pigeon on the other side.

Verse 11: "And when the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away…. [then here came something very important] …And it came to pass, as the sun was going down, that a deep sleep fell upon Abram…." (vs 10-12).

You can read in The Christian Passover book that this happened at exactly the same time in which Christ died on the cross. And so this deep sleep that came upon him was a symbolic death that Abraham experienced so he would know that's what God was going to do.

"…And, behold, a horror of great darkness fell upon him!" (v 12). Just like he was dead. Then God made the pledge.

Verse 17: "And it came to pass—when the sun went down and it was dark—behold, a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed between those pieces."

That means that God passed between the pieces. What do you suppose happened to those carcasses? Don't you suppose they were all burned to a crisp, nothing but ashes? "…and a burning lamp that passed between…" signified the One Who would become Jesus Christ, walking down between the parts of those sacrificial animals and then the smoking furnace came right behind it and consumed them.

God did this for a great and a profound purpose, not only to guarantee that He would give the land to the descendants of Isaac, but that He also guaranteed the spiritual seed to be as the stars of heaven. He also portrayed His future death! All of those are encompassed in this. When you make a covenant like that, it's binding! God bound Himself and told Abraham in so many words, though he may not have understood it completely, that He was going to die to fulfill His promise to the spiritual seed.

Let's see how serious a covenant is. Let's see what happened when the men of Judah made a covenant with God, right at His temple. That's why the New Testament says, 'Let your 'yea' be yea and your 'nay' be nay.' God is going to hold you to it—right? God gave them an opportunity. He said, 'All right, I won't send you in to the land of Babylon in captivity if you will obey My voice. Let all the Hebrew slaves go free, and I won't send you into captivity.' And they all said that they would do that.

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 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. 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" (vs 8-10). They were bound to do that, because they made a covenant with God.

Verse 18: "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 part." So, they did exactly what was done in Gen. 15. When someone does that:

  • You cannot go back on a covenant!
  • You cannot change a covenant!
  • You have pledged your death!

We'll see how this ties in with baptism.

They all obeyed and let them go. What happened? They were just like the Egyptians after they let the Israelites go! They said, 'What have we done? We can't work; we've had slaves do this for us!'

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…. [they went back on God] …So the Word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying… [directly from God] …'Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel… [this is pretty powerful stuff] …"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 11-15). That's pretty powerful stuff!

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… [you agreed to it and you made the covenant] …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'" (vs 16-17).

  • Is that a reality today, even today?
  • Is God's Word effective?

Yes!

Verse 18: "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… [right in My presence, right at My temple where I placed My Name] …when they divided the calf in two and passed between its parts; 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" (vs 18-20). That's how severe a covenant is. It is immutable; it is unchangeable once it has been ratified with the sacrifice.

How does that apply to us? When Christ came, He knew that He was going to go through this sacrifice. Remember the covenant that God made with Israel and how that was done; it was sanctified with the blood of animals. When that happened, the Lord God of the Old Testament—the One Who became Jesus Christ—bound Himself in that covenant with Israel in a marriage covenant. A marriage covenant is binding until death. The only way that God could be released from that covenant—or Israel could be released from that covenant—to establish a new one what had to happen? One of the two parties had to die!

Either God had to exterminate all the Israelites, which would make void the promise that He gave to Abraham; or He would have to come in the flesh and die. That's why He chose to come in the flesh to die. God was the One Who had to do it, that's why Jesus Christ cannot be, under any circumstances, a supernaturally impregnated being that did not exist until He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary! He had to be the One Who made the covenant with Israel that He came and died to eliminate that covenant with Israel so that after His resurrection a New Covenant could be 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.'" The sacrifice becomes His body, not animals. We are talking about the only way that God could die was to become human to make it possible to die. And as we read in other places, 'which is broken for you.'

Verse 27: "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… [not testament (KJV). The Greek here is 'diatheke' and should be covenant and should be so translated.] …which is poured out for many for the remission of sins'" (vs 27-28).

Jesus taught the same thing to Paul. We go into great detail in The Christian Passover book. Some people have complained against it, some people railed against it, but no one has proven anything in it that has been wrong. When anybody does, and if there is something in it that's wrong, we will be very happy to change it, no doubt about it, but in the meantime it just shows what a lot of people do. They complain and they attack and they go after without even knowing the facts.

1-Corinthians 11:23: "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and after giving thanks, He broke it and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body, which is being broken for you.… [it is the present passive tense in the Greek.] …This do in the remembrance of Me.' In like manner, He also took thecup after He had supped, saying, 'This is the cup of the New Covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in the remembrance of Me'" (vs 23-25).

I explain fully the term there in great detail in The Christian Passover book, which shows that being a memorial as often as you drink it once a year until Christ comes, not as often as you desire to do so; because you can't do it in the 'remembrance' of Him if you don't do it on the Passover Day.

Verse 26: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you solemnly proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes"

If we don't take it properly, then we bring judgment upon ourselves exactly like the men in Jer. 34 took judgment to themselves when they didn't keep the covenant. When we enter into covenant with God, it is for keeps, for the rest of our lives.

Let's see how this applies, how this is done, how God views it, and how the baptism puts us into a covenant relationship with God because we in fact participate through baptism in the crucifixion of Christ.

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound?" That's what Martin Luther thought. Commit adultery and murder a thousand times a day, 'God's grace is greater than that.' I have never read a more horrendous statement than that! As a matter of fact, that was not translated until just a few years ago.

"…MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin, 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?…. [that's why baptism is a burial] …Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the 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 together in the likeness of His death…" (vs 2-5).

He made a covenant with us through His death, we make a covenant through baptism and join His death, which then pays for all of our sins, and pledges us—just like God pledged His body and His death—to guarantee it, so likewise when we are baptized we pledge our lives and our bodies and we die in the watery grave.

Verse 5: "For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection." That's what God is promising. God has promised to give you eternal spiritual life, which has been guaranteed by the very body of the One Who was the Lord God of the Old Testament Who became Jesus Christ of the New Testament. That is the covenant! That's why in Heb. 9 to understand the tremendous significance of covenant and how God through this is directly involved in our lives is profound!

Verse 6: "Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed… [so that shows that we have some overcoming to do] …so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin; because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin." (vs 6-7). Obviously, when we get closer to the Passover time and Unleavened Bread, we'll get into that even more.

We'll see if we can tie all the loose ends together here. I hope you understand a little bit more about covenant. Covenant is profound. Covenant obligates us to walk as He walked! God has promised because of that He gives His Spirit and He walks in you. You are a temple of the Living God! There can be no higher calling in this life; there can be no greater guarantee because of the covenant that Jesus Christ performed. The death of Jesus Christ served two purposes:

  • to release the Old Covenant
  • the pledge of the New Covenant

—because you have to have the sacrifice. Instead of animals, it was Himself, so that makes it even more powerful and more binding.

Hebrews 9:18: "For this very reason, neither was the first covenant inaugurated without blood because after Moses had spoken every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and he sprinkled both the book of the covenant itself and all the people, saying, 'This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.' And in the same manner, he sprinkled with blood the tabernacle, too, and all the vessels of service. Now, almost all things are purified with blood according to the priestly law, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Therefore, it was indeed obligatory for the patterns of the heavenly things to be purified with the blood of these animals…" (vs 18-23). It was only a type

"…but the things in heaven themselves with superior sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered into the Holy places made by human hands, which are mere copies of the true; rather, He has entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (vs 23-24). So, the whole magnitude and the scope of everything becomes absolutely just mind-boggling!

Since God has done all of this, how interested is He in His creation? How interested is He in everyone that He calls?

  • profoundly so
  • to give His Spirit
  • to walk in them

Verse 24: "For Christ has not entered into the Holy places made by human hands, which are mere copies of the true; rather, He has entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us"—to be our High Priest, to be our Mediator, to be the propitiation of our sins.

Verse 25: "Not that he should offer Himself many times… [once is quite sufficient] …even as the high priest enters into the Holy of Holies year by year with the blood of others; for then it would have been necessary for Him to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now, once and for all, in the consummation of the ages… [that was the beginning of the consummation of the ages] …He has been manifested for the purpose of removing sin through His sacrifice of Himself" (vs 25-26). It can't be done any other way.

  • as God He put into us the law of sin and death
  • as God only He can remove it

Verse 27: "And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die… [because in Adam we all die] …and after this, the judgment; so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear the second time without sin unto salvation to those who are eagerly awaiting Him" (vs 27-28).

Where it says without sin that's referring to where He was made a sacrifice for sin for us. He's going to come back in glory and power and honor!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References

  • Hebrews 9:6-12
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
  • John 14:23-24
  • Hebrews 9:14-17, 16-17
  • Revelation 13:8
  • Genesis 3:15
  • Genesis 15:5-7, 18, 6
  • Genesis 26:4-5
  • Genesis 15:7-12, 17
  • Jeremiah 34:8-10, 18, 11-20
  • Matthew 26:26-28
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
  • Romans 6:1-7
  • Hebrews 9:18-28

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 8
  • Galatians 4

Also referenced:

  • Sermon: When All Else Fails, Remember, God Loves You (#1 Love Series)
  • Sermon Series: The Three Covenants of

Abraham

  • Book: The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

FRC/jea
Transcribed: 04/30/07
Formatted/Corrected: bo—January/2017

BOOKS