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The Old Covenant
(The Blood Covenant)
When speaking of covenants, we are typically talking about agreements between two parties. We’ll start out looking at a couple of covenants agreed upon with blood, between Yahweh and man. We’ll also look at a few other covenants.
Eventually we’ll want to answer the question of what the Old Covenant is. What was referred to in the New Covenant times as the Old Covenant? Without question, we know it is a covenant agreed upon and signed in blood.
Let’s rewind a bit and go back to a man we call Abraham. Abraham was an obedient and faithful individual that Yahweh called out of the land he was living in to enter into another land. He was called out of Ur of the Chaldees.
In many ways we’re just like him, being called out of pagan society and on a journey to the Promised Land. The city of Ur was also called the” moon city” according to the Jewish scholar Alfred Edersheim. He says:
“...the bricks still found there bear the very name of Hur on them. Now this word points to Hurki, the ancient moon-god, and Ur of the Chaldees was the great ‘Moon-city,’ the very centre of the Chaldean moon-worship!” Bible History: Old Testament, by Alfred Edersheim.
Here is what Yahweh spoke to Abraham (originally Abram) in Genesis 15:18 NASB,
On that day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.”
Research shows that “On that day” points to the 14th of Abib. In other words, it was the day of Passover when Yahshua was killed in the New Testament, under the New Covenant promise of eternal life and heirs to everything as children of Yahweh.
This covenant was made with Abraham, as an individual, but notice that the descendants are included in the promised heirs of physical land and protection, etc., but not eternal life as Spirit beings. Rather, temporary lives as physical beings with a future resurrection and judgment at that time.
The land being spoken of is reaching from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt. Essentially, from Babylon to Egypt.
In this particular chapter, you have what’s called the cutting of the covenant. This covenant was ratified or agreed upon with blood, just like in the New Covenant agreement (Yahshua’s blood being shed for us).
Yahweh made an oath to bless Abraham, but Abraham faithfully obeyed first before Yahweh made this agreement with him. His name was Abram, and was changed to Abraham because he was blessed and promised by oath to be an exalted father of a multitude, rather than just an exalted father. This is what the name Abram originally meant.
You and Your Seed
This is My covenant which you guard between Me and you, and your seed after you: every male child among you is to be circumcised. “And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall become a sign of the covenant between Me and you,” Genesis 17:10–11 TS.
Is this a separate covenant or part of the Old Covenant? As we go through these, we’ll find that they are in some ways separate, but are also in some ways connected.
It’s like going back into Genesis and looking at the 7th day Sabbath. Everything we know about the Sabbath is not just found in the book of Genesis. I think we’ll find that the same thing is true with the Old Covenant, or more accurately, the First Agreement.
And a son of eight days is circumcised by you, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with silver from any foreigner who is not of your seed. He who is born in your house, and he who is bought with your silver, has to be circumcised. So shall My covenant be in your flesh, for an everlasting covenant. And an uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, his life shall be cut off from his people—he has broken My covenant, Genesis 17:12–14 TS.
Very serious. It’s said here to be an everlasting covenant. Any male who is not circumcised will be cut off. The uncircumcised will not be considered part of Israel, the covenant, nor receive of the Promised Land.
Some believe that this is a requirement in the New Covenant, since it’s a restoring covenant with the people being grafted back in, after being divorced by Yahweh for previous transgressions. Circumcision is, however, in the spiritual sense, only of the heart. Even women have their hearts circumcised in the New Covenant.
While physical circumcision is a sign or token of the blood agreement in the old, the blood of Messiah and the insertion of the Holy Spirit within our heart is the sealing of the covenant for us in the New Agreement.
As with Abraham, to receive the agreement, we have to believe and be obedient to Yahweh.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Yahshua. And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise, Galatians 3:28–29 NASB.
Interesting that it says, “neither male nor female,” but are all one in Messiah in the New Covenant. Interesting also, that when we become grafted into Israel, through the Messiah, we become children of Israel and therefore heirs of the promises.
It’s important that we understand that the promises are through Isaac, who had Jacob, who was renamed Israel, and had 12 sons, who were the 12 tribes of Israel, of which Judah is just one tribe, but an important one, since Messiah came through the line of Judah.
This blood covenant starts with Abraham, but goes through Isaac and eventually through David to the Messiah, ending up with us today.
The promise, as we’ll see, is for the children of Israel to become as the sands of the sea and the stars of the heavens. It’s an allusion to both a physical and spiritual people coming from the loins of Abraham. Those in Messiah will, no doubt, be the spiritual stars of heaven and they will inherit everything.
Back to Genesis
Going back again into Genesis:
As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your Elohim and the Elohim of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their Elohim, Genesis 17:4–8 NIV.
In the coming Kingdom of Yahweh, there not only will be spiritual people, but also a physical people. The First and the Second Covenants appear to be in effect during the 1000 year reign on earth, according to the book of Ezekiel chapters 40 and on. A physical people learning, never having accepted the Messiah or the New Covenant correctly, which entails more than just believing. We also know that patriarchs of old will be raised up, at least physically, to be in this Kingdom. The New Covenant people will be there as well, but as Spirit beings ruling with Yahshua.
Which law was the Apostle Paul talking about in Galatians 3:15–17 (NASB)?
Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Messiah. What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by Yahweh, so as to nullify the promise.
What law came after 430 years? Is it the 10 Commandments and other laws and statutes? How did the Covenant with Abraham become approved and solidified? With blood, right? What laws have to do with the Exodus?
Passover sacrifice is the first one they have to have. They even had to put the blood on the door posts and lintel.
Again, Paul explains,
For if by law be the inheritance, it is no more by promise, but to Abraham through promise did Yahweh grant it. Why, then, the law? On account of the transgressions it was added, till the seed might come to which the promise hath been made, having been set in order through messengers in the hand of a mediator, Galatians 3:18–19 YLT.
Some translations say “angels,” but the word literally means “messengers.” What law was added because of transgressions? Wasn’t it the sacrificial laws? Death due to sin, blood or life had to be taken. This is just as we’ve already seen, like the Passover sacrifice.
If we consider the word “angel,“ as messenger, what messengers would there be in the hand of a mediator? Are we talking about the priestly order of the Levites with a high priest officiating? In context, it may be. Could it be referring to Moses, the 70 elders along with a few others at Mount Sinai and the giving of the commandments there?
Moses wrote down all the words of Yahweh. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the sons ofIsrael,and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to Yahweh. Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which Yahweh has made with you in accordance with all these words.” Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, Exodus 24:4–9 NASB.
This is an agreement; it is agreed upon with blood. Is this part of the Abrahamic covenant? In the scope of what Yahweh had planned for the children of Israel and any who would join them, yes. Yahweh wanted His way lived out in the people.
Faith Equals Obedience
Here we now have a book and agreement ratified and agreed upon, not just by Abraham, but by all the children of Israel. They said, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!”
Abraham also had faith and obeyed Yahweh’s Word and it appears he was not unaware of much of what Moses shared with the people. A core understanding of Yahweh’s instructions was known to Abraham who was going to live a covenant way, that is, Yahweh’s way. Isaac was reminded of his father’s obedience to Yahweh:
And Yahweh appeared unto him, and said, go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thyfather;andIwillmakethyseed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; becaus ethat Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws, Genesis 26:2–5.
The last word is Torah, the Hebrew word meaning instructions.
The word “voice” is identifying that the words were spoken before they were written down. You’ll remember Yahshua quoting the book of Deuteronomy, the very book that was put on the side of the Ark of the Covenant, Deut. 31:26. The constitution, if you will, for the Promised Land.
Yahshua even quoted the last part of Deuteronomy 8:3, saying, “man is not to live by bread alone, but is to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh.” Those words are written down for us today, so that we’ll pay attention and not forget them.
For example, you have Israel keeping the 7th day Sabbath before Mt. Sinai. Yahweh’s instructions were written, at least, in part, beforehand.
And Yahweh said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? See! Yahweh has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day He gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day, Exodus 16:28–30 ESV.
Here’s the question, “Where are the 10 Commandments listed?” Deuteronomy 4 and also Exodus 20, right? Skipping down to verses 33 and 34 of chapter 16 of Exodus, we read:
And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before Yahweh to be kept throughout your generations.” As Yahweh commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept, Exodus 16:33–35 ESV.
Scholars mostly agree that this would have to be the 10 Commandments, but they weren’t given officially on stone until they arrived at Mt. Sinai. Yet, by the mouth of Yahweh they would have known His Commandments and written them down as a testimony of His Word to be kept.
Hence, they knew to keep the 7th day as a day of rest, just as Yahweh had done Himself from Creation. Again, this is why Yahweh was angry and spoke, “How long will you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?” in Exodus 16:28. You’ll notice that He didn’t say, “Moses’ commandments and laws.”
A Closer Look
When taking a closer look, we find that the Sabbath was made as a covenant, since it was an aspect of Yahweh’s way of life.
The Israelites were to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant; It will be a sign between Me and the Israelites forever, for in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed, Exodus 31:16–17 NIV.
Think about it. Would Yahweh leave such an important agreement out of the New Covenant? Or do these commandments and laws and statutes also belong in the New Covenant? What does “forever” mean?
When we consider Yahweh’s ways, and how He expects us to live, we can understand how living on higher ground involves living by His heavenly principles, judgments, commandments and laws, all written down for us to look at and study. To live by the very words that come from Yahweh’s mouth is to live His way.
The blending or continuance of the covenant of Abraham and his children become clear as we look up the word Covenant in Scripture and see Yahweh also establishing His covenant with Isaac and Jacob. After the children were in Egypt,
Yahweh remembered the covenant with them.
So Elohim heard their groaning; and Elohim remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Elohim saw the sons of Israel, and Elohim took notice of them, Exodus 2:24–25 NASB.
Yes, the promise of physical land was in the agreement. And, yes, Yahweh expected the people to live according to His ways, just as Abraham did. This is where the agreement between Yahweh and Israel comes in.
Is this the Old Covenant, the blood covenant, which is referred to in the New Covenant times? Blood, just as a reminder, signifies life, and there is life in the agreements Yahweh makes with His people and all those who will join in doing His will.
Before going further, let’s first look at some of the original covenants in Scripture; some conditional and some unconditional. If placed in chronological order they could look like the following:
1. With Adam and Eve (in the garden of Eden),
2. With Noah (after the flood),
3. With Abraham (and his descendants through Isaac),
4. With Moses and all of Israel (at Mt. Sinai),
5. With Aaron and his sons (as Levitical priests), and
6. With David (and his seed, leading to Yahshua the Messiah, who lived Yahweh’s way and set the example for us)
If we look at the covenants of Scripture from the law of first discovery, we end up seeing a type of agreement with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to tend or take care of things and to be fruitful and produce, but they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
While there isn’t any mention of a covenant, we can imagine that Adam and Eve agreed to what Yahweh was telling them to do.
According to The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, “covenant” means, “agreement enacted between two parties in which one or both make promises under oath to perform or refrain from certain actions.”
This somewhat limits what we can call a covenant in Scripture. The reason for bringing up Adam and Eve, as a type of covenant, is because we can assume Adam and Eve were both in agreement with Yahweh concerning what He wanted. Every indication is there; however, it does not say they made an oath nor did they cut a covenant with Him.
After they did eat of the tree, there was a promise of a curse. Satan would be placed low and his head bruised. We find later in Scripture that he’ll eventually be crushed, which means, destroyed,
And the Elohim of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Master Yahshua Messiah be with you, Rom. 16:20.
Because of their disobedience, Adam and Eve would no longer be able to stay in the Garden of Eden, and they would also die a first death. Paradise deteriorated to thorns and thistles. The whole area is now a desert, if you look at that area of land today in which scholars think it may have been.
Though not a blood covenant, when sin entered the picture, there was a first type of animal sacrifice made for Adam and Eve in which they wore the skins thereof to cover their nakedness; a type of “law added because of transgressions,” which we see in Scripture.
As we focus on two blood covenants, we’ll see they tend to blend in many respects to the original agreement with Abraham and his descendants though Isaac. With the New Testament writings (letters), we can more readily find what was understood as the First Covenant.
But now He (speaking of Yahshua) has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says, “BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS YAHWEH, WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH; NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS YAHWEH,” Hebrews 8:6–9 NASB.
Better promises in the New Covenant? What is that? We’ll take a look. First, what was the fault of the First Covenant? It was with the people who didn’t have the heart to adhere to it. The fathers mentioned in verse 9 are the elders of Israel, as they were addressed by Moses about what was going to be agreed upon at Mt. Sinai. Continuing:
FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS YAHWEH: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR ELOHIM, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HI S BROTHER, SAYING, “KNOW YAHWEH,” FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM. FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE. When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear, Hebrews 8:10– 13 NASB.
There are a number of things to notice here. First, that the majority of this quote is actually a quote from Jeremiah 31:31-34 (all caps in the NASB). Yahweh’s own voice telling what the First Covenant is and what the New Covenant would be like. It is with Israel (seed of Abraham) from the time that Yahweh took them by the hand out of Egypt.
Passover blood covered them then, and Passover blood covers us now in the New Covenant. The difference is, it is Yahshua’s blood that covers us in the Second Agreement with the Spirit being given so we have more knowledge and understanding of Yahshua and Yahweh and help to obey Them from the heart, with a desire to get the things we are to be doing on our mind.
We can see this clarified by the inspired author in the book of Hebrews.
And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, “THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS YAHWEH: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,” Hebrews 10:15–16 NASB.
Are we still growing? “Yes.” We are to grow in knowledge and understanding. It’s Yahweh’s Spirit that is accomplishing this and those of us in Messiah have made an agreement to forsake sin and live according to Yahweh’s Word.
We hear Yahweh’s Word expounded upon in messages and in writings, the main writings being from Scripture; not much different than what was expected from Israel or, for that matter, from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were all to do Yahweh’s will - the words that proceeded out of His mouth.
There is unity between the Abrahamic covenant and the covenant with Israel; the unity and beauty of it is that Yahweh is going to bring Israel and the patriarchs, like Abraham, into the future coming Kingdom.
Yahweh promised this in the Abrahamic Covenant unconditionally, and to his seed Israel in which the Old Covenant was confirmed. It has not disappeared yet. So the indication is “it” will eventually, but how it will disappear we don’t fully understand.
Will it disappear when the physical people in the Kingdom are granted to eat of the Tree of Life? Will they be as Adam and Eve were originally intended to be, that is, to live forever? With bodies that never wear out, their youth stays intact as it continually renews itself? If we think about a renewed heavens and earth (Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, 2 Pet. 3:13), the possibilities open up.
Or will it be that those coming into the coming Kingdom will be able to, at the end of the 1000 years, become full Spirit beings, like the Firstfruits will be at Yahshua’s return?
Scripture doesn’t tell us exactly, but Hebrews 9:15 says,
For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
This would indicate that those who have died a first death from disobedience of the Old Covenant, may not have to die a second death, if they are granted entrance into life through the Messiah when they are resurrected or after time in the coming Kingdom. Is it important for us to know?
It’s not a salvational issue for us. What is important, and what is a salvation issue for us, is what we do with what we know now.
Walk in The Light
In the Messiah, we are to be sensitive to the Spirit Yahweh has given, and grow in understanding, walking in the light and truth of Yahweh’s Word.
If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yahshua His Son cleanses (purifies) us from all sin, 1 John 1:7 NASB.
Do we make mistakes? Can we repent? Does Yahweh remember the blood that covers those immersed into Yahshua’s Name? Does He see the Messiah working with us in His Spirit? Yet, Scripture indicates we can willfully push past Him, Heb. 6:4-8, 10:26-36. It’s a warning for those in Messiah.
The NASB probably highlighted the word “Light” here in 1 John 1:7 to emphasize the trinity idea, that the Holy Spirit is a so-called personage. What they don’t understand is if you have a portion of Yahweh’s Spirit within you, then you have part of Yahweh within you, to make you a son and daughter. This will fully take place when one is transformed fully into a Spirit being.
Even now, we are referred to as having been adopted into the family and set apart for a special purpose. In this sense, we are even called Saints. But, we are to strive to overcome and make our calling and election sure so we can be fully transformed and be Firstfruits. We are not yet, but it is our hope.
As did Israel, we can break the covenant with Yahweh. We can forfeit our right to the inheritance through Abraham. We can symbolically trample underfoot the blood of Yahshua in the New Covenant. We can choose defiantly to get out of synch with Yahweh’s Spirit and with His truth and be disqualified in this race we are in, just as the Apostle Paul spoke about, 1 Cor. 9:24-27,
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
The reward Paul spoke about is a symbolic crown of eternal life and rulership with Yahshua. It is true that there will also be rewards of various responsibilities; one may be given ten cities to manage while another may have four.
We read about such things in the parables relating to different things, even the coming Kingdom of Yahweh, Matt. 25:14-30. A warning comes with it - not to hide away your talents and gifts to further the work of Yahweh. The end result is to be cast into the lake of fire which will destroy both body and spirit,
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell, Matt. 10:28.
Old Covenant Question
Have we answered the question, “What was the Old Covenant?” Let’s take a look at Ezekiel 20:11–12 TS, which says,
And I gave them My laws and showed them My right-rulings, which, if a man does, he shall live by them. And I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, to know that I am Yahweh who sets them apart.
To essentially answer the ques-tion of what the Old Covenant is, if we haven’t already done so, that it is the Covenant that Yahweh had in mind when He took Israel by the hand. It also was, no doubt, what He had in mind with Abraham when the covenant was made with him, so there would be descendants to work with. Ultimately, Yahshua, is from Israel (through the line of Judah) and allows us to be grafted back into Israel, since Yahweh had essentially given Israel of old a bill of divorce for their continued defiance of His laws, statutes, and judgments.
As we’ve already seen, the laws statutes, judgments, etc., were obeyed, even by Abraham. Laws were before, in between, and after, but the Old Covenant can be viewed as the Sinai Covenant, in which Abraham’s Covenant allowed Yahweh to proceed in working with his descendants to give them the Promised Land.
We are expected to do the same in the New Covenant. We are expected to obey and continue to look forward to eternal life as fully begotten Spirit beings, now promised to us, if we overcome to the end. And, yes, even the Promised Land will be ours, but we will be ruling in it with the Messiah, rather than just living there in peace. Again, we are to overcome to the end, not breaking covenant with Yahweh. This is one of the better promises we are given in the New Covenant.
Don’t Break Covenant!
How does one break covenant? We can do like the man who went out and worked to gather wood on the Sabbath,
Now while the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation; and they put him in custody because it had not been declared what should be done to him. Then Yahweh said to Moses, “The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” So all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, just as Yahweh had commanded Moses, Num. 15:32-36.
The man may have not even been an Israelite, but was expected to abide by the house rules, as would any who joined themselves to Israel.
But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming Yahweh; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of Yahweh and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him, Num. 15:30-31 NASU.
This principle of our unchanging Elohim works the same in the New Covenant.
We can despise the commandments and the Spirit and push past both to do our own will. The man was put to death, he died a first death under the First Covenant.
We can die a second death under the New Covenant for willful (high handed) sins. Let’s not break covenant, but continue to overcome, rather than being overcome by the flesh and the things of this world which are contrary to Yahweh’s ways.
Interestingly enough, the 7th day Sabbath can be looked upon as being included in the Old Covenant, even though it was made holy from Creation. Similarly is the covenant with Noah and the sign of the rainbow. We could even say it’s similar to the blood token of circumcision in the flesh, a sign of the covenant.
Sabbaths (plural) are a sign unto Yahweh and His people. We are to follow Yahweh’s example of resting on the 7th day; we are to follow in Yahshua’s footsteps as He rested
on the Sabbath day also...even though He was falsely accused of breaking it. We are told, and the examples teach us, that He never sinned but was a perfect unblemished sacrifice and example for us,
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One Who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin, Heb. 4:15.
Other Covenant Details
Are there other covenants or agreements in Scripture? Sure, if we go back to our original list. We find a few we haven’t really looked at closely.
There is, of course, the Worldwide Flood agreement with Noah and his descendants, in which Yahweh promised to never flood the earth again. A token or sign of that agreement is found with the rainbow we sometimes see today. That’s the reason it is there. It’s a one sided agreement if you look at it, as Yahweh says that He is the one making the agreement with Noah his sons and all flesh, speaking of the animals,
Then Elohim spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth. I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” Elohim said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth, Gen. 9:8-13.
There is the agreement with Abraham which we’ve looked at.
It focuses on his descendants through Isaac with a promised inheritance as the sands of the sea and the stars of heaven and of land. He was faithful and obedient. The same expectation is of his children whether in the Old Covenant or the New Covenant.
There is the Mt. Sinai agreement with Israel, which we’ve also looked at. After being brought out of Egypt, blessings and curses are mentioned and we still have similar blessings or curses today for obedience or, alternatively, disobedience. The disobedience is why the tribulation is coming to this earth, and faithful obedience is why Yahshua is coming back to this earth. It’s not the only reason, but we know the obedient children are awaiting His return.
There is the agreement with Aaron and his sons (Levites) to officiate over the animal sacrifices and Temple duties, which included teaching from the laws of Yahweh. Some of them did not do so well, like Aaron’s sons Nabad and Abihu, who brought in strange fire and were destroyed because they didn’t follow the instructions they were given. However, there would be those that would do well with the special anointing, which set them apart for Yahweh’s special purpose.
And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tent of meeting, and shalt wash them with water. And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments; and thou shalt anoint him, and sanctify him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them; and thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto Me in the priest’s office: and their anointing shall be to them for an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations, Exodus 40:12–15 ASV.
One of the main reasons the Levites were chosen to do the work they were given to do, was the fact that they are the ones who stood with Moses when he came down from the mountain and saw a calf they had made. He said, “Whoever is for Yahweh, come to me!” The sons of Levi came, and they were instructed to put on swords and go and put to death the sinners. They did and 3000 died at their hand, before Yahweh had said it was enough. So the Levites were ones that could certainly handle the sacrifices, being good with the swords (which are essentially large knives), but more importantly, they heard the call to come to Yahweh and they obeyed the instructions they were given; a lesson for us.
Unique Davidic Covenant
There is one final covenant that we want to look at. It is the covenant with David and His descendants, in which the Messiah would come. This also goes back to the covenant with Abraham and the promises of kings coming forth from his loins.
He is the one who will build a house for My Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he will be My son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But My love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you, 2 Samuel 7:12–15 NIV.
So David received a special anointing as King with the promise of Yahweh not taking His Spirit (alluded to as love here) from him. Is this because of David’s repentive heart, which Yahweh knew he had, rather than what Saul had? Or could it be that Yahweh made a special agreement and commitment to David, so that not even murder would break the covenant? It’s important to consider, that with this covenant, it is more unconditional than not.
In other words, let’s not think that because King David got away with certain things, that we can. If we consider the severity of his punishments and those that died around him, he really didn’t get away with anything. His own child died after just being born, and the sword pursued him. David’s enemies stemmed from his own household. These are just a few things that his transgressions caused. Yet, in the agreement Yahweh made, His Spirit would not be taken from David.
Yahweh stated the outcome very clearly in Jeremiah 33:20–21 NASB, which says,
Thus says Yahweh, “If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant so that he will not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levitical priests, My ministers.”
We can see we’re at the end of the list of Original Covenants in which we’ve been talking about, even though there are others we could look at. When we speak of the Old Covenant, we’re talking about the one the New Covenant alludes to and even stems from, out of the need for the Spirit of Yahweh to be implanted within the covenant people.
Therefore He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “this is the blood of the covenant that Yahweh commanded for you,” Hebrews 9:15-20 ASV.
Not only does the blood of the New Covenant draw its relationship from the Old Covenant, it draws upon it though the Messiah a better Priesthood through the Order of Melchesidec, rather than the Levitical Priesthood. It also brings into play the Abrahamic Covenant to fulfill, through Messiah, the promise of the descendants being as the stars of the heavens, relating to a spiritual people, to be brought into eternity as Spirit beings.
In the New Covenant, those that overcome to the end will receive the promises and inheritance, having already been grafted into Israel. In Messiah, we are given the circumcision made without physical hands and given the Spirit as a seal.
What the Spirit does for us today, it does knowing the fault of the people in the past. It gives us the strength and fortitude to stay on the straight and narrow, and to not break covenant with the Creator of the Universe. It was planned from before creation that we would be called into His glorious Light.
The Old Covenant was planned to come first, but for us today we are given something much better, with the help to succeed, where ancient Israel had failed. But, in all of this, we’ll want to remember that concerning Israel, Yahweh says not one kernel will be lost.
As we’ve already seen, through blood, life is obtainable, even eternal life.
-Elder David Brett
© 2012 Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua
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