The Covenant Principle
The Word “covenant” means compact, or fetter; that which binds together. In the Word the written covenants were made between God and man, binding them together.
There are two kinds of covenants: (1) “CONDITIONAL”, its formula being: “If thou will” (Exodus 19:5). It is based upon the faithfulness of man. (2) “UNCONDITIONAL”, its formula being: “I will” (Genesis 9: 11). It is not based upon what man will do, hut rather, upon the faithfulness of God.
Dispensations and Covenants are linked together.
I. EDENIC COVENANT
A. Constitution: Genesis 1:28-30; 2:15-17—Order of life of unfallen man in the Garden.
1. To replenish the earth.
2. To subdue the earth.
3. To have dominion over the animal kingdom (Psalm 8:3- 9). There is no headship in man today. The Lord Jesus exercised it.
4. To restrict themselves to a vegetable diet.
a. Animals will one day eat vegetables.
b. Not wrong for man to eat meat today (Colossians 2:16).
5. To dress the Garden.
6. To keep the Garden (translated “guard”).
C. Condition: A Conditional covenant! Man was to abstain from eating of the tree of good and evil; man was also warned of the enemy to come.
D. Conclusion: Expulsion
II.. ADAMIC COVENANT
A. Constitution: Made with Adam, in Eden, before expulsion. An UNCONDITIONAL
covenant. Includes a curse and a promise.
B. Contents: Genesis 3:14-19.
1. Curse on the Serpent. “That old serpent, the devil”. He came as an angel of light. He was seen by unfallen man as he appeared and was seen by our Lord Jesus Christ in the wilderness. Verse 14: a record of utter defeat. This account is not a “snake and apple” story, but rather, a true account of a curse being placed upon Satan.
2. Judgment on the woman.
a. Multiplied conception. Many children born at the time. To God’s command to “replenish” the earth, inter-marriage was performed. All people came or descended from Adam. Cain married his niece, or most likely, his sister.
b. Maternal sorrows. Not only pains of childbirth, but of sorrow that some were even born.
c. Wifely Subordination. The headship was given to the man in the family. It belongs to the man (no two-headed institution) Go to China, India, Africa, and to our own North American Indians, or any pagan country, and you will see what is meant. Woman can thank Jesus Christ and His Gospel for making her burden as light as it is now in America.
3. Judgment upon the man. The ground is cursed on account of man’s sake, to make man tired, worn out.
4. Curse on creation
5. The Promise! Genesis 3:15 (greatest verse in the Bible, many think). The coming, suffering, and triumph of the Seed of the Woman.
C. Conclusion: Did not end with the Flood, but continues until the world is destroyed by fire.
III. NOAHIC COVENANT
A. Constitution: Genesis 8:20—9:17. Adam could say, “God can create”. Noah could say, “God can destroy.”
1. God would not again curse the earth by water.
2. God would not again destroy all living.
3. Natural order of the season to be preserved.
4. Noah and descendants to multiply and replenish the earth; this was the same command that was given to Adam.
5. Dominion over animal kingdom.
6. Diet changed to include flesh (meat).
a. Flesh must be drained of blood.
b. Life in the blood.
7. Law of capital punishment established (Human Government Dispensation). It is binding to the end of time.
8. This covenant includes animal creation.
C. Conclusion: This runs on until earth is destroyed with fire (Genesis 9:12). The SIGN: Rainbow. Every time it rains there is a rainbow, and He sees it. The Rainbow has been described as a joint product of storm and sunlight. God’s sign has been hanging in the skies for 40 centuries (Genesis 9:14). It is blessed to know that every cloud that comes into our lives is brought by God; and remember, every cloud has a rainbow. This is an (UNCONDITIONAL covenant.
A man’s dark cloud is SIN, and the rainbow is Jesus! This is the only cloud that God does not bring.
IV. THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT
A. Constitution: Genesis 12:1-3.
1. Great nation.
2. All nations to be blessed through Him.
3. Unconditional covenant—Genesis 13:14, 15; 15:1-16.
a. Called from Ur. (Abraham’s father worshipped idols.)
b. Making of a covenant: Jeremiah 34:18.
1. “I will make of thee a great nation.” God gave added details: Genesis 13:16; Genesis 15:5; Genesis 17:6. A spiritual blessing, as well as a posterity blessing, is found in Genesis 22:18. Made to a childless man, an old man of 99 years, to become a father of
(1) a great nation;
(2) of many nations;
(3) of kings. At this time his name was changed from Abram to Abraham. To be a father” of nations, not a founder. Abraham’s nation (Israel) was to be the greatest nation in all the world, instead of being the “tail”, as she is today.
“Israel is a standing miracle; no land; no country; no cities; no towns; no buildings; no houses; no ruler; no king; no flag. Though she is scattered to all-- four corners of the globe, she is united as a people (separated from other nations) of 20,000,000 souls, controlling a great deal of the wealth today.” These facts were brought out 29 years ago (this writing in 1964). Now these facts are outdated, bringing only to our hearts the soon appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ. Israel is 4,000 years old; 3,500 years ago Egypt tried to whip her, and did so in bondage; but, where is the glory of Egypt today? The Medes and Persians, and the Babylonians passed away, but Israel has not passed away, and she will never pass away, for God is with Israel.
A great nation shall arise from Ishmael (Genesis 17:20); that was promised to Ishmael’s father, Abraham. Ishmael, the father, did have a great nation divided into twelve tribes, or smaller nations (Genesis 25:16).
The seed of Isaac was to bring peace. The seed of Ishmael was to be the opposite, a thorn in the side of Israel. Ishmael is indeed a great nation. No nation has ever captured the Arabians (Ishmael’s seed). Mohammed (622 A.D.) rose to greatness and proclaimed his religion to his people, the Arabians (the seed of Ishmael, the children, whose father is Abraham). Their greatest reward is in killing Christians, who are the spiritual seed of Isaac, whose father is Abraham. Therefore, the seed of Ishmael is a thorn in the side of the seed of Isaac. One thousand years changes people. Today Rome is not what she was 1,000 years ago; England is not the same, but for 4,000 years the Arabians have remained the same. The Arabians are living exactly as their father, Ishmael, lived 4,000 years ago. Arabians circumcise their male children at the age of 13 years, the same as under Ishmael, 4,000 years ago.
Abraham had EIGHT sons. The Great Promise came only through Isaac. “Salvation is of the JEW”, for we are saved by the SON of Abraham.
2. “I will bless thee.” He was blessed by God with wealth (Genesis 13, 15, 24, 34, 35). He was blessed, blessed, blessed, and not only with wealth, but with victory over four kings, and he brought back Lot and the people of Sodom who had been captured by these four kings. He was the only one ever called “a friend of God.”
3. “And make thy name great.” Next to Jesus Christ, Abraham’s name is mentioned more in the Bible than any other. It is mentioned 300 times in the Scriptures. Out of the Scriptures he is better known than Jesus Christ. Abraham’s name is mentioned by people who never mention Jesus’ name. He is the best-known person in history. “He wandered around”—worshipped God in simplicity; no tabernacle; no temple. He just “wandered around.”
4. “I will make thee a blessing.” Every nation which has treated the Jew with kindness has been blessed, and those which have not have been cursed (Zechariah 2:8). America’s prosperity is due to her treatment of the Jew. Egypt (Ezekiel 29:15, 16; Joel 3:19) was once a glorious nation, but look at her now. All this because of her treatment of the Jew. Look at the Amalekites (I Chronicles 4:43); the Moabites and the Ammonites (Zephaniah 2:9, 10), who were once nations of repute, but not now, because of their treatment of the Jews. Also, look at the Edomites (Amos 1: 11, 12)...all because of their treatment of the Jews. Glance at modern nations of today. Turkey is called the sick man of Europe—all because of its treatment of the Jews.
5. “I will give to thee and thy seed the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession.” Genesis 13 records the words of Abraham, “Let us not have trouble for we are brethren.” Abraham wasn’t concerned about Lot’s decision, for it was all his. God gave a promise to Abraham, renewed it to Isaac, and confirmed it again to Jacob.
The Jews have six (6) titles to the Land of Canaan:
(1) By Homestead Law (Deuteronomy 23:8);
(2) By Gift;
(3) By Covenant;
(4) By Conquest;
(5)By right of Tenure;
(6) By Purchase.
6. “In thee shall all families of the earth he blessed.” All the monotheism in the world has had contact with the seed of Abraham. America is not Christian, but monotheistic (belief in one God). Those of monotheistic belief are the Jews, Mohammedans, and Christians. The population of the world numbers over 3,300,000,000. The Abrahamic influence numbers over 2,000,000,000, about half of the world’s population.
7. The promise is to the SEED (singular, not plural); not to Seeds, but SEED (the Lord Jesus Christ). “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many: but as of one, And thy seed, which is Christ” (Galatians 3:16). Thus, it was a SPIRITUAL BLESSING, also, which includes the Gentiles.
C. Condition: An Unconditional covenant—standing even today.
D. Conclusion: Abrahamic Covenant to Jews only.
E. Sign: Circumcision.
1. Designation—God’s man.
2. Separation unto Him.
3. Purity unto Him.
4. Possession by Him.
V. THE MOSAIC COVENANT
(Note: this covenant was made only with Israel! It was never made with the Gentiles or the Church).
It was made 430 years after Abraham. Moses was a founder, not a father, of a nation. He was the greatest law-giver in the world; it was God who gave the Law to him.
A. Constitution: Given to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus, Deuteronomy 33). The word “Moses” means “drawn out”. He became the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, who was a virgin. After he was “drawn out” he became the Saviour; and when Jesus was “drawn out” of the tomb He became the Saviour of the world.
1. Moral Law (ten commandments)—Exodus 20.
2. Civil Law—Exodus 21-24.
3. Ceremonial Law—Exodus 25-31. Moses broke the tables of the law, signifying that if we break one law, we break them all (James 2:10).
The Institution of the Tabernacle was established so that God could dwell in the midst of His people.
C. Condition: A Conditional Covenant.
1. Responsibility: (Exodus19:5,6; Leviticus 26:3; Deuteronomy 28:1; 29:9.)
2. Blessings for obedience (Exodus 19:5, 6; Leviticus 26:3-18; Deuteronomy 28:1-14).
3. Punishment for disobedience (Exodus 19:5-8; Leviticus 26:14-46; Deuteronomy 11:10-17; 28:15-68). Deuteronomy 28:37—“byword” is the Hebrew “sheniynah”, pronounced “sheneenaw”, from whence we sometimes say, “Sheeny” (I Kings 9:7; II Chronicles 7:20).
Deuteronomy 11:1-17: the branch of Kidron has water for the first time in 1800 years. Joel 2:21-27: the time when God shall restore Palestine for Israel, the time of prosperity. Palestine is growing more productive—just a sign of the times. When Joel says rain he means rain; not the Holy Spirit, but rain. Deuteronomy 28:49, 50: The enemy shall come; the Romans fulfilled this prophecy 1,500 years after it was made.
FOUR REMARKABLE FACTS ABOUT THE JEW:
a. Deuteronomy 28:63: Plucked out of the land. The Romans completely plucked them off. Moses said it 3,500 years ago.
b. Deuteronomy 28:64: Scattered among all nations. What country is there without the Jew?
c. Deuteronomy 28:65: Unrest among the nations; they were persecuted by so-called Christian nations; yea, even by the so-called Church.
d. Leviticus 26:44-46: Would not utterly destroy the Jews. Treatment in Germany: the Jews were charged as being the killers of the Son of God. The Black Death of 1348 was laid to their charge and blame; one-third of the Jewish population was put to death. Who really put Christ to death? THE WHOLE WORLD! During World War II 6,000,000 Jews are reported to have been put to death. Before the war the Jews numbered around 20,000,000, but now about 16,000,000. Treatment in Spain and France: both nations were spillers of Jewish blood, Jew murderers The Jews were driven out of their homes and businesses, stripped of their possessions and wealth, and then allowed to come back again. The Jews were at one time cut down to a mere 1,000,000.
Why destroy the Jew for what he has done, or has not done? Look at what he has given to the world: The SAVIOUR! The Devil hates nothing worse than the Bible, God and His Son. If the Devil could destroy the Jew, he could prove a lying Bible. There is only ONE way to destroy the Jew and that is the Scriptural way: Jeremiah 31:35-37. Thus, it is impossible to destroy the Jew. Jonah (type of Israel): the water could not drown him and the fish couldn’t digest him.
D. Conclusion: Merged with Palestinian Covenant.
E. Sign: The Sabbath. It was never given to the Gentiles (Romans 2:12, 14); Exodus 31:12, 13; Ezekiel 20:12, 20; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; man should rest on the Sabbath.
THE SABBATH HAS NOT BEEN CHANGED, BUT ABOLISHED! What did Jesus do on the first day of the week?
VI. THE PALESTINIAN COVENANT
A. Constitution: Deuteronomy 30:1-10. The years of wandering (for Israel) are over; ready now to enter into the land.
1. Return of the Lord if repentance of people (Verse 3).
2. Promise of the re-gathering of the people (Jews) from all lands (Verses 3-5).
3. Promise of the conversion of all of the nation of Israel (Vs. 6)
4. Promise of judgment upon all nations who have persecuted Israel (Verse 7).
5. Promise of great blessings and prosperity to Israel (Vs. 9).
C. A Conditional Covenant (verse 2) based upon repentance of scattered Israel. The only conditional covenant that will be kept.
VII. THE DAVIDIC COVENANT
A. Constitution: 500 years from Moses to David (II Samuel 7:5-19; Psalm 89).
B. Contents: II Samuel 7:10-13.
1. Provided for a Davidic House. The House God is going to build ‘for David is not material or spiritual, but political.
2. Provides for a Davidic Throne (II Samuel 7:13).
3. A Davidic Kingdom, NEVER to be destroyed.
4. These three are unending, established forever.
C. Condition: An UNCONDITIONAL Covenant. II Samuel 7:13-15; verse 14: last part translated, “When iniquity is laid upon, I will chasten him with rods of men.” Parallel with Isaiah 53.
D. Sign: The Son (Isaiah 7:14). Sign finally comes (Luke 1: 30-33; 2:12). The question is, “How can a man live forever?” A throne that is perpetual does not seem odd; but one to rule forever and ever? How can this he? David asked, “What manner of man is this?”
GOD’S REVELATION TO DAVID:
1. Two natures of David’s Son.
Complication (II Samuel 7:14). David’s Son and David’s Lord (Psalm 2). It is not incredible 1900 years after the fulfillment, but how incredible it seemed when promised. In Psalm 110 David speaks of this Son as His Lord. Hebrews 1 is written of no angel, but of the Son of David (Matthew 22:43).
2. David’s Son is to have two experiences.
a. Suffering and death (and resurrection).
b. Reign. Psalms 22; 2:1-6; 69:4; these Scriptures speak of His enemies. This is what puzzled John the Baptist. He could not understand the sufferings of the Messiah. God made it plain to David that the Son of God was to die (Psalm 40). Levitical sacrifices were not acceptable unto God.
3. David’s Son to sit upon two thrones.
a. Heavenly throne (Psalm 110; Hebrews 1:13).
b. Earthly throne (Revelation 3:21; Luke 1:32, 33).
4. David’s Son to hold two sways.
b. Priestly, (Hebrews 7:11-22).
5. David’s Son’s two-fold act:
a. Descent of the King from Heaven.
b. Judgment upon His enemies (Psalm 72; 96:10-13; 97:1-6, 9; 99:1-4).
6. David’s Son’s Kingdom to have two-fold aspect.
a. Jews (national)
b. World (universal).
Only one family has ruled over Judah, whereas there were seven families, with 19 kings, ruling over the 10 upper tribes.
NOTE: DAVID DIDN’T KNOW OF CHRISTIANITY. DAVID DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING OF THE CHURCH.
VIII. THE NEW COVENANT
It is not a renewed covenant, but is new in character and contents.
A. Constitution: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Matthew 26:27, 28; Hebrew 8:6-13. Remember, to make a covenant, blood has to be shed. in Hebrews 13:20 the Blood of Jesus Christ is called the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31; Hebrews 8:8; 9:11-15; 10:1-12, 26, 27.). The Old Covenant was made at Sinai and the New Covenant at Calvary. The ceremony of the Jewish religion today is only an Aaron’s calf.
The New Covenant offers a better sacrifice, a better hope; the New Covenant is to be fulfilled when Christ comes again. Israel claims by a natural birth; we claim by a spiritual birth.
B. Contents: Three-fold blessing:
1. Sanctification. The New Covenant was not written on hard stones, but upon the fleshly hearts (Hebrews 8:10).
2. Knowledge. Through the Bible we acquire a personal knowledge of Him. The greatest need of any man is God (Hebrews 8:11). Romans 1:22 is the reason for the heathen.
3. Forgiveness. He remembers our sins no more forever (Hebrews 8:12). Sins: Forsaken, forgiven and forgotten.
C. Condition: An UNCONDITIONAL Covenant. The Old Covenant (Law) was a means to an end, the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. (Jeremiah 31 and Hebrews 8).
The law gives place to Grace (John 1:7). We do not earn it; it is a gift!