Understanding Bible Covenants! Part 1 Covenants and Marriage!

(Ver 2.3)  This is Part 1 in the Bible study series about “Understanding Bible Covenants”.  We will be learning many of the basics concepts about this subject as well as exploring many new topics that may have never been heard.  This lesson series is an essential part of us knowing who God is and how He operates.  Our first priority should be to learn that God is a Covenant Maker.  We should also learn that God is a faithful Covenant Keeper.  We should learn that God’s type of covenants are established with two key characteristics the first being the shedding of blood and and the second being spoken words. These are two essential elements found in God’s divine design of covenants.  Today’s lesson is focused on another important concept from God’s design of covenants that teaches us a Covenant represents a marriage and a true God kind of marriage is represented by a God Covenant.  Finally, we will also learn that there can be more than one blood covenant implemented by God in the Bible.  For example, the Old Covenant was implemented approximately 430 years after Abraham with the natural nation of Israel being led out of the nation of Egypt.  The New Covenant was implemented approximately 4030 years after Adam when Jesus Christ was raised from the dead to lead us out of the kingdom of Satan.  Both, covenants were implemented with the shedding of blood and spoken God words.  Let us begin our Bible study on the subject of God Covenants beginning with a few of the basic facts.

 

FACT #1 – THERE IS BLOOD IN GOD/BIBLE COVENANTS

We will not be able to go over every detail of this subject of blood covenants.  There are a are just too many verses containing the words blood and covenant in the Bible that could be studied for days.  In fact there are at least 375 verses in the Bible that directly contain the word “blood”.  We will however limit ourselves to a much smaller selection for this introduction.  But, I do wish to mention a verse where “blood” and “covenant” occurs first.  This is Exodus 24:8 where Moses takes the blood of sacrificed oxen offered to the LORD and sprinkles it over all the people, telling them this is the blood of the covenant.  It is important to note that before this occurred Moses read the book of the covenant (Word of God)to the people and all of the people confirmed the covenant by saying “we will do as the LORD as said”.  Wow, this is a significant pattern for what a covenant represents.  There were words spoken that could be called “promises” or “vows” and then there was blood sprinkled.  Remember this pattern as we continue,  But let’s now read two verses found in the Book of Matthew:

Mat 26:27  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
Mat 26:28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

We will continue this section of the lesson with a basic Bible truth.  While Jesus was reclining at the table with His 12 disciples, they were all observing the Jewish feast of Passover.  Then Jesus picks up “the cup” and asks them to drink.  He claimed that this cup represented His blood of the New Covenant which would be shed for the sins of many.  Wow, this teaches us a lot.  First understand that Passover had been celebrated for literally hundreds and hundreds of years before Jesus was born on the earth.  But it was at this time that Jesus makes the claim that this old ceremony was being implemented (or fulfilled) by Him shedding His blood on the cross.  What we learn from this, is the pattern of blood shed in the Old Covenant was being repeated and promoted in the New Covenant.

Hopefully, we all recall what happened in Exodus that was being celebrated at Passover.  If not, it is probably a good time to go and read Exodus chapter 12 to take note about what God instructed them do. We should have found that the people of Israel were directed by God to take a spotless lamb into their home, kill it and eat it completely in haste, being fully clothed with shoes on and a staff in their hands ready to go.  They also were told to apply the blood of the lamb to the doorposts of their houses.  Remember that they were required to eat the body of the entire lamb one per family.  That night a death angel would pass by every house and everyone that had the blood applied to the door, the firstborn child lived.  But every house that did not have the blood applied, the firstborn child died.  This shedding of the innocent blood of a spotless lamb represented Jesus hanging on a cross and shedding His blood for us all so we would not die spiritually.  However, we learn from reading Jeremiah 31:32 that this was God’s marriage proposal for those that believed and obeyed God’s word and shed the blood of the lamb.  Whey they performed these instructions, they entered into a covenant with God and were led by the hand of GOD out of Egypt.  We will talk more about this in this later.

Jesus of course confirms that this was all given and enacted as a type and pattern to teach us and them about His coming work on the earth.  When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he proclaimed “Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29).  John obviously knew something that almost everyone else that saw Jesus did not.  Jesus knew this truth also and that is why He told His disciples “Eat my flesh and drink my blood or else you have no eternal life” (Jn 6:53).  Can we see the parallels in these two covenants and the importance of blood in both cases?  Natural Israel was saved a physical death in their homes because of the blood of lamb was placed upon thee doorways.  Because of their freewill choice of obedience this produced a union with God to be saved our their bondage in Egypt to Pharaoh.  The church is now spared eternal death and separation from God due to our union with Jesus Christ.  An we are saved out from our bondage of sin, the world and Satan.  Wow, this is so vital to understanding God kind of covenants.  We will talk more about the contributing factor of blood in Bible covenants later.

 

FACT #2 – THERE IS MORE THAN ONE GOD/BIBLE COVENANT

Most people who have read and studied the Bible, know that the Bible is divided into 2 major divisions called Covenants or Testaments.  The first part was called the Old Testament and the final part of the book is called the New Testament.  The Word Testament is really just a synonymous term for the word “covenant”.  However, in the modern world we may use “testament” a little differently.  For example, a “last will and testament” is what many people write to control what happens to their assets after they die.  This is an amazing parallel realization to Bible Covenants to some extent. We might get into this part of the subject later, if anyone is interested.

It is essential to know that these two covenants (Old and New) are completely different and separate from each other.  In fact each of these covenants involve 2 completely different pairs of name individuals.  The two named individuals of the Old Covenant are not the same two named individuals of the New Covenant.  I know that statement will cause many to think.  What we are doing is being very specific and detailed oriented when we attempt to see the Bible this way.   A lot of people may not think this way when they read the Bible.  But there are some new facts presented to us in the Bible that need to be understood.  Fact #1: the Old Covenant was between God Jehovah and the natural nation of Israel (Jer 31:32).   Fact #2: the New Covenant has been established between the risen from the dead Son of God Jesus and His bride the church (Rom 7:4).  The old covenant was made with God the Father (Jehovah) and the new covenant was made with the risen from the dead, God the Son (Yeshua).  I know it sounds like we are nit picking because there is only one God that is made up of three revealed personalities.  But this is a very important designated difference to understand.  God implemented His covenants in this way for specific reasons to gain an advantage over His adversary the devil.

There are major differences between these two revealed covenants.  You may have heard that many Christians think that the New Covenant with the spiritual church was grafted into the Old Covenant and natural Israel. Therefore some believe that God has produced a combined and integrated single nation using old natural nation (1 Chr 17:21) added with a new spiritual nation (1 Pet 2:9).  But this is not true and does not conform to balancing all of the scriptures.  Remember the contrasting truth, that natural Israel was looking for a Messiah to physically manifest His Kingdom upon the earth at the first appearance.  But, Jesus told Pilate in John 18:36 “My Kingdom is not of this world…”.  Jesus was claiming that His Kingdom is a spiritual one that is not yet able to be observed with natural eyes.  Jesus said this in Luke 17:20-21 “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs that can be observed”.  He continued by saying “People will not say her is the kingdom or there is the kingdom, because the kingdom of God is within you”.  Wow!

Let’s understand basic logic and apply it to God’s Word.  We never say that something is new without first understanding that it is different and NOT the same as what was called the old.  If I said that I bought a new car, we should automatically and logically know and understand that the new car is not the same old car that I use to drive and own.  I might still have an old car, but the new car that I have now is newer to me and probably much different than the car that I previously had.  When God said I will make a New Covenant in His Word, we must automatically conclude, know and understand that it is not the same as the old covenant.

Heb 8:13  In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Even in the New Testament God reveals there are differences between an old and a new covenant.  God is very direct in this verse to reveal that the Old Covenant will even vanish away.  How can something that is on the verge of vanishing be something that can be joined to something new that cannot end (the New Covenant)?  These are basic rules based upon basic logic and grammatical syntax for the usage of the descriptive qualification of nouns.  What is a covenant?  A covenant is a noun!  What is the word “new” in front of this noun?  It is an adjective that describes, modifies or more specifically qualifies the noun “covenant”.  One never needs to place the adjective “new” qualifier before the noun covenant if there are no other covenants to distinguish it from.  But yet we have people teaching a wide variety of things that go against these truths.

God reveals to us in the Bible that the body of Christ (the new covenant saved people) are made up of a widely diverse conglomeration of individual and separate members from every named religion that can be found on this planet. This is like a “Universal Salvation” type of belief that teaches there are many religious pathways that all lead to the same end God.  But that is a lie from Satan.  Jesus told us very clearly in John 14:6 “No man comes to the Father except through me”.  There is only one way to be saved and this is by entering into covenant with Jesus.  Therefore we have just learned that God has not included the old covenant of Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and others to be combined with the New Covenant for everyone to be destined for heaven.

The New Covenant is not the Old Covenant.  In fact Hebrew 8:6 teaches that the church is now in a far better covenant than the old containing far better promises.  This is another example of an adjective qualifier that distinguishes our new covenant with Jesus Christ to different than the one God Jehovah made with the natural nation of Israel.  Like we said earlier if I have a new car that makes it different than the old car.  Likewise if I have a better car, that also makes it different than the one that I had before also.

However, we can still say that our New Covenant of Christianity remains founded within and upon the established morals and principles established within the natural Israel Old Covenant laws and commandments.  Jesus taught us  in Matthew 24:35 that “Heaven and earth would pass away but His words would never pass away”.  Jesus taught us that He gave the church a new commandment.  Jesus was able to say this because He also said in Matthew 5:17 “Think not that came to destroy the law or the prophets, I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill it.”  Then Jesus gave the church a new commandment law.   He said in John 13:34 “I give you a new commandment”.  This commandment was the new covenant law of love and Jesus taught us in Matthew 22:40 that the entire law of Moses hangs on the commands of love.  This new covenant commandment came from the pattern of O.T. law.

We can read about types, shadow and patterns found in the Old Covenant that will help us to understand what Jesus has accomplished and given to us in the New Covenant.  But while being similar patterns, God has implemented a New and better Covenant that is so unique and fresh that it is completely different while being practically the same simultaneously.  Again it is like having a new car.  Every old car may have the same features of four tires, a hood, a trunk, car doors, windows, an engine, a steering wheel, a brake, etc.  But a new car usually has new benefits and features that make it better.  That is the way with Jesus’s New Covenant.  One great example of this is in the Old Covenant the Spirit of God only came upon the Prophets, Priests and Kings.  But, in the New Covenant the Spirit of God indwells everyone in the the covenant.

Always remember this establish truth, the Old Covenant was a covenant with a natural people in the physical world and the New Covenant is Jesus with a spiritual people in the spiritual realm.   If we do not know the difference between those two, that can be our homework to ask God to reveal this to us all.

Now read this verse in Jeremiah with a different and new perspective:

Jer 31:31  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

We should obviously see that God is making a new covenant with someone.  It says in this verse that this is with the “house of Israel and the house of Judah”. Everyone that reads this verse almost always automatically assumes that God is talking about the natural nation of Israel here.  However, this of course is a problem based upon what we have just learned.  If God makes another New Covenant with the same exact  people what happened to the Old?  That sounds like the Old and New are in effect at them same time.  How can this be?  This sounds like a major conflict.  Does God take his old car named Israel and restore it to new and better condition?  Or does God create a brand new and better car and also named it Israel?  I believe the answer is the second choice.  Maybe this concept new to you.  If I owned a car and called it Bertha, could I not buy a brand new car that was better and call it by the same name?  What if Bertha was my last name and I gave that to my car as a token of my affection for her?

We have a widespread problem within the body of Christ of people taking only one narrow viewpoint of a truth and attempting to make it the entire truth.  I really don’t know if we all understand this fully, or not?  For example, there are natural things and then there are spiritual things.  There are also multiple different things, items, places and people that are called by the exact same name in the Bible.  Sometimes one of them is a natural people, item or location that reflects an image or a pattern of a greater identically named spiritual reality.  God uses a wide variety of methods of concealing information and truths in the Bible.  He does this in order for us to correctly search to find what we are reading, we must understand that we are required to seek Him diligently with our spirit, mind and body for Him to teach us what the Bible means.  This is called walking by faith and by the Spirit and not by sight.  Too many Christians are trying to understand the Bible by their natural sight alone and ignoring their faith to receive His truth in their spirit.  This was just a small introduction to the subject of Old and New Covenants and the reality that they are not the same covenants.

 

FACT #3 – A GOD/BIBLE COVENANT IS A MARRIAGE

Let’s get into today’s main subject of “what is a GOD/BIBLE covenant?”  If we look in the dictionary we can learn several definitions for the word covenant.  The basic definition of the word covenant is a formal sealed agreement or legal contract.  In many commercial loans from banks, the legal document produced between the bank and the commercial customer making the loan, often times contains a list of covenants.  These are usually legal stipulations, restrictions and requirements concerning the terms and usages of the money that is loaned.  However, this type of covenant does not fully represent a Bible covenant.  Then if you’ve ever bought a piece of property in an established organized neighborhood or development, most of the time the property comes with a set of covenants.  These are usually  restrictions and rules of property usage. These often time will tell you what kind of fences you can build, what kind of buildings you can add, even what colors you can paint your house.  This also does not represent a real Bible covenant.

The Hebrew word translated as covenant occurs approximately 284 times in the Old Testament.  This Hebrew word is H1295 and according to the Strong’s Concordance it has the following definition:

From H1262 (in the sense of cutting (like H1254)); a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh): – confederacy, [con-]feder[-ate], covenant, league.

We can see that this word means a legal contract by the word “compact”.  A compact represents an agreement, treaty or contract usually between two different nations. This would be like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) where several different nations joined together to defend each other against an attack from Russia or anyone else.  Notice how this Hebrew word H1295 also has a basic foundation on “division” as in the cutting of flesh which normally produces “blood”.  We can see in the Strong’s definition that the word implies the presence of a knife that must be used to cut flesh and produce this blood.  This definition would also imply that there is the necessity for the flow of blood if someone was cutting flesh.  This is a representative type of a true divinely created covenant.  We often times call God’s Covenants “blood covenants” because of this presence of a cutting of flesh that must take place.

We can find this concept example of a blood covenant given to us as a pattern in the Old Testament.  For example, the Abrahamic covenant in Genesis 15 involved the killing and splitting down the back bone of 3 different three-year old animals, a male ram, a female heifer and a female goat.  All of this is typology and means something far greater than many know.  As we can imagine this Abrahamic Covenant would have been an extremely bloody mess after this cutting took place.  Abraham cut the animals into two pieces and they were then laid on the ground into separated pieces.  Then the covenant was made by the two individuals making the covenant walking between all of the bloody pieces.  The participants that walked through the bloody pieces were saying, “this be done unto me if I break this covenant”.

So a foundational principal of blood covenants involves cutting flesh.  This is the concept of dividing one complete piece of meat into two.  This is very significant whether we realize it or not right now.  There is a principle being established within a Biblical covenant.  It involves the creation of a covenant relationship between two separate and distinct individuals or nations.  But it also involves a separation of those who are entering into the covenant from all those who are not in that covenant.  Did we understand that statement?  It is very important that we do.  Go back to our NATO example of a covenant between a number of nations.  The existence of this agreement excludes over 200 other nations in the world.  They are not in the agreement and any NATO nation is not obligated to defend or help them unless they have a separate agreement.

So why is this so significant?   In the Old Covenant, God made a covenant with the natural nation of Israel and they became God’s people (Exo 3:10).  Also according to 2 Chronicles 7:14 this nation of people were given God’s name Israel.  These are characteristics of a Bible/God types of covenant.  Remember that these qualities are important to know.  The establishment of this Old Covenant made the natural nation of Israel, God’s people on the earth.  Therefore, everyone else on the earth were not in  this covenant and they were excluded from being called God’s covenant people with the name Israel.  In other words God was obligated to help and defend His people from the attack of these other people that were not in this covenant agreement and long as they obeyed the contract (written word of God).  In this covenant relationship we can clearly observe the establishment of a natural division, or a partition of distinct difference between the covenant people of God that were supposed to know God’s Word and the non-covenant people that did not know God’s Word.  What a powerful concept that God has implemented using His superior divine wisdom.

The closest thing that we have to a real Bible blood covenant in this world is a marriage between a man and a woman.  Most of these wedding ceremonies patterned after Bible covenants include the speaking of word covenant promises and vows.  The exchanging of rings.  The taking of the husband’s name.  All of this is followed by the participation of blood that we will talk more about in the next lesson on sex.  There are other factors involved in marriages that we will get into deeper as we continue to learn this definition of “covenant” to be a marriage.  But, let’s briefly talk about what in modern marriages do not fit with God’s definition of covenants.

Many modern marriages today have shifted away from the traditional Bible covenant to become perversions of truth.  For example, modern marriages can come with pre-nuptial and other legal pre-marital restrictions that disqualify them from being an example of a true Bible covenant.  In an example of a Bible covenant, the one party making the covenant with the other says, “what I have is yours and what you have is mine”.  “If you have need of anything that I have it is yours unconditionally and vice versa”.  There are no exclusions, exemptions, or exceptions and it is an all or nothing proposition.  The reason why people believe they need pre-marital legal agreements is because of the next reason that we are going to learn about.

A true Bible covenant is the 100% solemn commitment from both participants in the covenant forever to be faithful to each other.  Each participant in the covenant can fully count on the resources of the other participant if they have need of them.  This was how Bible covenants worked by God’s design and this is how human marriages should work today.  It is also interesting to understand that if either party broke the covenant the penalty was death.  The pieces on the ground that were a bloody division indicates a warning of what would happen if one participant violated or attempted to annul the covenant.  Wow!

We can also see by studying this subject that there are different strengths of covenants in the Bible.   One of the greatest and strongest covenant types was the “blood covenant”.  The blood covenant is the strongest covenant that can be made between any two individuals, nations or parties.  A covenant without the cutting of blood is not as strong as a blood covenant but it is still was absolutely binding.  For example, David made a covenant with Jonathan in the Old Testament (1 Sam 8:3).  Even though Jonathan’s father Saul tried to kill David, David never retaliated against that family because of the covenant that was in effect.  Even after Saul and Jonathan were killed, David tried to establish the blessings of the covenant with the descendants of Jonathan.  You can read these accounts of David in 2 Samuel and it has a story of how David wanted to honor the covenant that he made with Jonathan.  David sends out his people to find a crippled boy named Mephibosheth to confirm and establish his covenant with Jonathan.  Mephibosheth was in hiding because he  thought that David the king was going to kill him, but David just wanted to bless him.  These are types and patterns of Jesus and the world.  Jesus came and died  to save the world and they are all afraid of Him because they think that He just wants to kill them also.  So we have a stand-off, the world is in hiding and those who are sent out to tell them that, Jesus loves them and wants to bless them because of the covenant.  Mephibosheth was eventually brought to the king’s palace and given the best of the best.  That was done only because of the covenant that David made with Jonathan, Mephibosheth enjoyed everything that David enjoyed.  This is an example of  a Bible covenant that identifies with Jesus and the church.

I guess this should establish the fact that true Bible covenants have blessings attached to them.  If the one party of the covenant has any need of something that the other party in the covenant has, it is available for them to freely use and partake of.  This is one of the key ingredients to a Bible covenant.  I think in most people’s minds today, a marriage means you also take the bad or the curses along with the good and the blessings.  But with covenants with God, He is always good and only provides us with blessings.  God does not intend to do any harm or anything bad or evil for or to any of us.  He wants to bless us with only the good.  This is what a true Bible covenant is all about.

Bible, covenants are always between two parties exactly like a marriage is only between a husband and a wife.   It is important to note that covenants can be between a diverse type of individuals.   You will understand this better as we go on in the series.  God many times considers a group of people such as the natural nation of Israel or the church to be identified corporately as a single entity, personality and named individual.  Everyone in the nation is treated the same and given the same benefits and blessings.

Covenants can be between any of the following four groups or classifications of individuals:

1.  spiritual being to another spiritual being or a spiritual group of beings

  • God & Lucifer
  • Jehovah God & Angels
  • Jesus & the Church

2.  spiritual being to a physical being or a physical group of people

  • God and Abraham
  • Satan and Adam
  • God and Israel
  • Satan and Israel

3.  physical being to another physical being

  • Natural human husband (male) and natural human wife (female)
  • Adam and Eve
  • Abraham and Sarah
  • Abraham and Hagar
  • David and Jonathan

4.  physical group/nation to another physical group/nation

  • Natural nation of Israel and the Gibeonites

I tried to give you some examples of a few of the possibilities of each covenant relationship type.  I know some have probably never heard of all of these covenants that were mentioned. But yet that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, it just means we never researched them and studied them to see if they exist.  I would strongly suggest that we do the search and see if we can find them mentioned directly or indirectly.  I have done the research and I am convinced that every example that I gave you is a valid covenant relationship that can be found in the Bible.

There is of course one noteworthy difference in some of these covenants.  Covenants with God are a blessing of life and covenants with Satan are a curse of death.  God wants to bless us and Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy us and everything we have (Jn 10:10).  There are major consequences, distinctions and differences between the party we are in covenant with.   I don’t know you personally and only you and God know where you are right now and who you are in covenant with.  But I can guarantee you that you are in covenant with someone right here and right now, either Satan or God.  These are the only two Kingdom possibilities to choose from.  By default we were all born into the kingdom of darkness ruled by Satan and by our freewill choice we can submit to the Kingdom of Light and follow a new way of life.

Some have tried to differentiate between covenants that involve God and covenants that don’t involve God.  But the principles and practices of Bible covenants apply across the board to whoever is in covenant with another.  So there really is no difference in the basic concepts of Bible covenants, they apply equally across the board to all participants and all types of covenants mentioned in the Bible.  What we will do now, is to go through some scriptural backing for what we have learned about covenant types.  Hopefully this will help us better understand them more completely.

 

NATURAL HUSBAND AND WIFE MARRIAGE COVENANTS

Let’s start with a physical or natural husband and wife type of covenant.  We call these types of covenants, marriages in modern times.  But we must understand in the eyes of God a marriage is a covenant relationship and a covenant relationship is a marriage.  But can we prove this using the Bible?  I believe we must.  Let’s look at a verse found in the book of Malachi to begin this part of the study.  This verse is a scripture that is certainly very relevant to our subject:

Mal 2:14  Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

We can clearly see a relationship being described between a husband and his wife.  God chastises the man for being unfaithful to his wife.  But God ends the verse with a statement that declares this man’s wife and him are in a direct covenant relationship.  The Hebrew word found in this verse about a human husband and wife marriage is H1285.  It is the exact Hebrew word used by God to describe His covenant relationships in the O.T.

A husband and wife are one natural example of a Godly Bible blood covenant, or at least they should be.   It is sad how perverted Satan as made marriages become in our modern society.  So who were the first husband and wife?  Of course they were Adam and Eve found in Genesis 1 through 4.  God created this natural covenant relationship, as the physical pattern for humans to understand the definition of true covenant relationship is always between one man and one woman.  This pattern also will be used by God so that humans can see into the unseen spiritual covenant realm.  Let us go back to Genesis 2 briefly and discover what God says about the law of marriage.

Gen 2:23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

We can learn from this verse in Genesis that the woman was taken from a man and that her body was his body.  This is a natural pattern for a spiritual reality of Jesus and the church.  The church is called the body of Christ and most accept that reality without asking how the church got to be His body.  But if you want to learn more about this I would recommend that you  read the Bible lesson on the subject.  How the church became the body of Christ.  Let’s read verse 24:

Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

In this verse in Genesis 2 a spiritual law is established by God that governs every true marriage/covenant relationship, both in the physical realm and the spiritual realm.  God establishes a precedence that two will “become one”.  Either “one flesh” or “one spirit”, depending on the two parties in covenant.  If they are both physical, then they are one flesh.  If they are both spiritual then they are one spirit.  If one is a spirit being and one is a natural people, then they are the least common denominator, or one flesh but that is my opinion and I haven’t found that in the Bible yet.  I do know that the people in the church are called the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27). We are also said to be one spirit with Christ (1 Cor 6:17).  We can learn from these two stated dimensions that Christ has been joined with the people in the church both physically and spiritually.

So  a marriage covenant represents a union as well as a division.  The taking of two separate individuals and making one out of them, creating the exclusion of all the rest.  That is the basis of all Bible covenants.  Now what one has the other has.  What one has need of the and the other has, it is automatically made available without conditions or cost.  This is the foundation of a Bible covenant.  We should all ask “How well does this description fit our marriage?”    So let’s shift our focus to a spirit being in covenant to a natural physical people example and determine if it fits the pattern that has been described so far.

 

SPIRIT MARRIAGE COVENANT WITH NATURAL PEOPLE

Jer 31:32  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

Wow, this verse really blew me away!  The creator God of the entire universe was married to an entire nation of natural people.  The verse speaks directly about a time when God led the natural people of Israel out of the country of Egypt and He says He took them by the hand.  That is what a natural man should do to a woman when he proposes marriage.  We can clearly see that God intended it that way, but did Israel?  Obviously not.  Israel didn’t understand what they were getting into, even though it was the best offer they ever had, at least until Jesus came along.  God called Himself their husband to the nation of Israel.   God directly links marriage to be a covenant and His covenant with Israel to be a marriage to Him.  God establishes this with the association of selected words; from H1285  translated as covenant and H1166 translated as husband.  An omnipotent God married to a physical natural nation of people, both males and females.  That would make the entire nation of Israel the female wife (bride) to the LORD GOD.

I truly hope you are grasping the concepts of this lesson because they are so very important.   Could it really be possible that a spirit being could be in covenant marriage to a natural nation of people.  Obviously it was true.  However, this was the Old Covenant, which was only a natural pattern for the coming New Covenant.

Now I will briefly show you the New Covenant so we can see if it also fits the pattern that was described as being a husband to a wife.  There are many scriptures that we could go into, but one of the best is found in Ephesians 5:

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

The context of this verse in Ephesians 5 starts around verse 22 and they are specifically directed to natural husband and wife relationships.  But, intermixed into this context of natural marriage verses is also the spiritual covenant relationship between Christ and the church.  So we can clearly see that God believes that the church is the bride of Jesus Christ our husband and that His relationship wit the church is a covenant marriage.  Here in verse 30 we can read that we are members of His body.  Then it declares the words of the law of marriage that we read earlier in Genesis 2 that, we are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.  These are marriage terms and direct conformation to how the church became the body of Christ.  Then in verse 31:

Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man (Jesus) leave his father (God the Father) and mother (Israel), and shall be joined (married in covenant) unto his wife (the church), and they two shall be one flesh.

We again see the law of marriage being restated and applied for us in the church.  I filled in the blanks and put in parentheses who God is talking about in this statement to help us see it.  I have had people question me about Jesus leaving His father and mother and being joined to His wife, but I just simply believe and go by what the verse says. .  For we then see the confirmation to this truth in verse 32:

Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

God declares this covenant marriage relationship was a great mystery.  A mystery means it was a secret that has hidden until time to be revealed.  Obviously this mystery has been greatly misunderstood even today.  There are many who refuse to believe the church is the bride/wife in covenant with Jesus, yet God tells us directly in verse 32 that He is speaking of Christ and the church as being a husband and a wife.  I’ve noticed that you can’t make people see the truth, you can only tell it like it is and pray that they see it eventually.

We were given three really great examples that describe covenants to be marriages and marriages to be covenants.  These included 1) physical to physical marriages, 2) spiritual to a physical nation marriage and 3) spiritual to spiritual marriages.  These are all examples of Bible covenants that fit the truth of the pattern given to us in the Word of God.

 

CONCLUSION

It is important to note who originates Bible covenants.  True Bible covenants are always initiated by the man and God the Father is always the male in every covenant relationship.  However we have been introduced to the concept that there was an  exception when we see the new covenant that was initiated between the risen from the dead male Son of God and His female bride the church.  Both are still the same God only in different manifested instances.   Just always remember that Jesus represents the male son within the Triune Godhead.  The Triune Godhead is actually made up of three male personalities and all of them are One God.

In a normal human marriages the male asks the female to be his wife.  The female then has the choice to become one with this man or to walk away.  This is a picture and a direct pattern of the New Covenant relationship with the bridegroom Jesus Christ.  He has invited everyone on the planet to come be His wife in this New Covenant, He has proposed marriage and everyone on the earth has a choice to make, either to believe and accept or reject.  A non-decisions is of course the same as a rejection and a grave mistake with eternal consequences.

I hope and pray that you are all grasping these concepts, because they are truly great spiritual truths.  God created and  implemented natural things, systems, types and patterns to help us to see and understand spiritual unseen things.  I think I will end this lesson today on that note for now and hopefully, God willing I can continue the lesson of how a Bible Covenant operates in my next lesson in this series.  Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me and I pray that you will continue to grow in all of the knowledge of Christ Jesus.

If you would like to continue reading this series, please go to “Part 2“.

About agapegeek

Using the Bible to understand the Bible! Advanced Bible study for mature Chrisitians who want to grow.

Posted on December 18, 2009, in Bible Study, Covenants, Understanding and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. its also interesting that under the new covenant one’s neighbor is EVERYBODYelse, even though this was not the understanding of the parable of the good samaritan, and to my knowledge was not taught by paul, it is reasoned thru the totallity of christ’s teachings, thru the grace of the holy spirit, and only has been revealed realitively recently(last several decades). how ever the spirit of that understanding has existed since christ walked the earth.

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  2. its interesting that christendom after 2000 years, is just beginning to embrace that the new covenant is without regulation as in deut 28.

    that apart from the 2nd commandment(the summation of the entire law of the new covenant)((love your neighbor….) “everything is permissible but not everything is constructive”

    in regards, to women teaching in church, paul was saying that though it was permissible, in his churches he did not find it constructive.

    if god can raise stones to be sons of abraham, then the nature of marriage is not about a relationship based on physicality but about a relationship of a spiritual nature.

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