The Abrahamic Covenant and the Promised Seed!
(Ver 1.1) Today will be a little bit different perspective on a familiar old subject. This subject is widely taught in many different circles and it is interpreted very differently in most of them. We will look at some familiar verses using the light of the Word of God to see what they mean. Using the Bible to interpret the Bible, we will begin to see and understand the truth of the Word of God. The basis of our lesson today comes from the book of beginnings, Genesis chapter 15. As with many things written in the book of Genesis God uses symbolism to convey hidden spiritual information. This chapter of Genesis is certainly no different. In this chapter God tells Abram that he will have a son, who will be his heir. God tells him that the number of his seed will be as the stars of the heavens. In other words God declares that Abram’s descendants will be innumerable, more than he could count. While these words can certainly be taken completely naturally, I believe that God is speaking about spiritual things in a prophetic way. If you have not ever realized it, God is more interested in spiritual things than He is with natural things. If God can fix you spiritually, then you will do the right things naturally. That is the root cause of America’s problem and the rest of the unsaved world. People want to raise children and think they can do it without God and ignore the Bible and then they are surprised to find our prisons overflowing. You will never fix the sin problem, until you allow God to fix the spiritual problem within the hearts of man with His Word. Teach the Bible in school to your children and see if the world doesn’t change.
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
We can learn much, by reading God’s commentary in the Bible. God purposely gives us clues in the Bible to what other verses mean. Often times these explanations are revealed in the New Testament. This verse in Galatians is very interesting, since our subject is the Abrahamic Covenant and I just mentioned the Seed of Abraham. We can now begin to see and understand that God was speaking prophetically and in a very tricky manner when talking to Abram about his seed. Seed is one of those types of words that can be either singular or plural and you can’t really tell the difference by just looking at it. However, God reveals that Abraham’s seed was singular and this was symbolic of the one man called Christ Jesus. So we know that Jesus Christ is the Seed being referred to in Genesis 15.
Gen 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
What we begin to see is another example of a Biblical Paradox or Puzzle being given to us. How can one man, Jesus, the Seed of Abraham number beyond the number of stars in the heavens? That of course is a very difficult puzzle to try to answer in a single blog like this. Unless you start to think spiritually and consider what the New Testament reveals to us you will never understand it. Galatians and other books of the New Testament speak of the church as being the children of Abraham. The N.T. reveals that Abraham is the spiritual father of the many people who have come into the church. This is the beginning of understanding this spiritual paradox.
In Genesis 15:9-10 God instructs Abram to take 5 animals and kill them. God tells him to split three of the animals into halves. Now we have a bloody mess on our hands. God tells Abram to spread them out on the ground. We then discover that birds try to come and devour the animals and Abram has to drive them away. These are also all key symbolic references and they symbolize spiritual things. The bloody animals killed represents the covenants of God. The birds of the air represents the demonic forces attempting to prevent the covenant. Blood is always symbolic of the forgiveness of sins. Also in Bible covenants, the animals were split into pieces and they were saying, “thus it be done to me, if I brake this covenant”. So we see that God is revealing to us some very important information about Bible covenants. When two parties would enter into a covenant, they would pass between the bloody pieces of the animals and “cut an agreement” that was mutually beneficial to both participants. Both parties in the covenant were required to follow the terms of the agreement and to be faithful to it. If one party in the covenant had need of something that the other had in their possession, then it would be freely available to the other party. It is exactly like a marriage between a husband and a wife who now have joint ownership of everything. But, did you notice what happens in this covenant in Genesis 15? Who does it say walked between the pieces to cut the covenant with God?
Gen 15:12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
After Abram drives away the birds, the sun goes down and it gets dark. It says Abram enters into a deep sleep and he is overwhelmed with darkness. Darkness never represents God, but the opposite of God. Darkness always represents Satan and his domain. God gives Abram some prophetic words about his natural children being in bondage for 400 years, but tells him they will come out at a certain time. These verses 13 thru 16, no doubt contain symbolism and information beyond the natural, but I will not attempt to teach what I do not know fully. So let’s look at verse 17, for it is really getting good with this verse.
Gen 15:17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
As you recall Abram killed 5 animals and laid the pieces upon the ground. Now normally if this covenant was between God and Abram, God and Abram would now be walking between the pieces and cutting the covenant with God. However, we find that Abram is asleep on the ground and two different symbolic people walk between the bloody pieces to cut the covenant. What does this tell us? I believe that it tells us that Abram was incapable of keeping the covenant that God wanted to make, so God makes a covenant with himself. Did you notice what the two symbols were that passed through the pieces? One was a “Smoking Oven” and the other was a “Burning Lamp”. I really do not know how these two symbols can represent anything other than God. Both are God in different forms and using different descriptions. Much like God the Father and God the Son are one God but both are unique and separate at the same time.
In Hebrews 12:29, it informs us that God is an all consuming fire. I know this is not exactly a smoking oven, but you can get there mentally if you think about it. People in Bible days did not have electric power and they cooked with fire. If you look up the term translated as “Oven” you will find that it means a “Fire Pot”. So fire is involved in cooking with an ancient Oven. In Deuteronomy 9:3 God is again called a “Consuming Fire” who destroys. However, everything in the Bible has symbolic meaning if you can find it. In Deuteronomy 4:24 God is again called a consuming fire, but it then further stipulates why. God is said to be a “Jealous God”. That means God does not like it when His wife sleeps around like Israel was guilty of. It is very difficult to actually say that the smoking oven represents God, because we cannot find a direct reference in the Bible that says that. However, if you do a word search and look for the word “oven” in the Bible you will see that it more often than not, refers to a place where wicked and evil people are consumed. People who are consumed by the fire of God. God is certainly the fire, but the smoke could be the evil being burned up and consumed. So it is a little more complex than we can imagine right now to declare that God is covenanting with himself. We can look up the word “Smoking” and see what else it reveals in the Bible:
Exo 19:18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
It would appear the “Smoke” is associated with the Old Covenant since “Sinai” is mentioned in this verse in Exodus. We know that God gave Moses the law on Sinai. We know that this verse says God is again the fire that descended upon the mountain. The Smoke is equated to that which ascends upwards. We can again derive, that which is consumed by the fire of God is evil and whatever is left would be the ashes and the smoke, that which remains after God’s burning. Fire normally consumes, oxygen, fuel, oil, or whatever is placed in it. God is definitely the Fire, the flame, the heat, the light. But, the oven and whatever is consumed is a different substance than God. If God is the all consuming fire as we have seen in the Bible, the smoke would be representative of that which is burned up or consumed by God.
Psa 18:8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
God is again compared in terms of being a device that produces smoke, like an oven, a furnace or any other similar fire burning device. Out of the nostrils of God comes smoke from something that is burned up or consumed by the fire of God’s mouth. It is a very interesting symbolic representation being given to us.
Psa 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
You see the same terms being repeated in this verse of Psalms 37 and it says God’s enemies who are the wicked, shall be as the fat of the lambs, and they shall be consumed into smoke. Verses like these are helping me to see that God’s covenant in Genesis 15 is God walking between the pieces of animal flesh. So we have in a roundabout way identified one symbol that has been said to walk between the pieces and cut the covenant.
The Lamp on the other hand is more easily interpreted using verses in the Bible. We can find several good examples that declare that God is the burning lamp. A lamp of course is a light in the darkness or night. A lamp involves fire, oil and light. All of these symbols are used for symbols of God in the Bible. Let’s find some of these verses and review them:
2Sa 22:29 For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.
This verse is exactly what I just said and refers to God as the Lamp that gives us light in the darkness. Darkness again represents the spiritual domain of Satan. People are born into the world that is ruled by Satan. The hearts of men and women are said to be in darkness until they are saved and Jesus Christ shines spiritual light into them.
Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
You cannot separate God from His Word, they are one in the same. God is light and in him is no darkness. God is also His Word! God’s word is a spiritual light unto our spirit man within us. By reading and studying the Bible we bring light to areas that have never seen the glorious light of God. God and His Word are the Lamp that is lit to show the way unto righteousness.
Pro 13:9 The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
So many verses in the Bible are very informative and this one has hidden meaning within it. If God is the lamp and the light, what is this verse telling us? The light of the righteous will be GLAD, and the lamp of the wicked will be put out. If Satan is the evil one that rules the darkness, His light or lamp of God has now been put out. To put out a lamp means it is deprived of oxygen or oil or starved of any substance that causes it to burn. This involves any means of causing the flame to be extinguished. We can clearly assume that Satan use to be in the light of God, but God has now turned that light out. It also has spiritual implications to those in the world that refuse God’s salvation and they also walk in the same darkness of spiritual night.
Isa 62:1 For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
God prophesies that a burning lamp will come out of Jerusalem. This lamp will burn with the light of Salvation. This very bright lamp will also establish righteousness. So who do you think God is talking about? This is a prophetic statement for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ that was to be crucified in Jerusalem to bring salvation to the world.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Jesus speaking to the nation of Israel, says He is the bright burning lamp that contains the light of the world. But, Jesus then said that men loved darkness more than this light so they were unable to see the light. Jesus equates the evil deeds of men to be of the darkness of the world. God is therefore being contrasted as being the source of good, the initiator of kindness, goodness, grace, mercy, love and compassion, but the men of Israel as a whole, chose to reject these good things and to remain in their evil darkness.
Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Jesus is again very clear in telling us that He is the Lamp that lights our spiritual paths. Jesus says that if we follow Him, we shall not walk in darkness. We could say in modern language that Jesus is the Flashlight of the present dark World. If you have ever been camping in the forest, with no electricity you better take a flashlight or two. To walk in the woods without one would be crazy. This is how people are in the world, without Jesus and the Bible. They are walking in spiritual darkness and they do not know where they are going or what they bump into or stumble over. The symbolism within the Abrahamic covenant is very powerful, the spiritual implications are very informative. We can see that God, the lamp of the world makes a covenant with the smoking oven that contains the consuming Fire of God. It would appear to me that God in His infinite wisdom took the place of Abraham in the covenant and made a covenant with Himself. In this way God could implement an agreement that both parties were capable of keeping. Abraham was a physical natural man and incapable of keeping the covenant at the level that God wanted to establish, so God made a covenant that He could keep in the spiritual realm with Jesus Christ who was the promised Seed that now establishes our eternal covenant with God. So what was God’s solution for man not being able to keep a covenant? The human race is sin prone, error driven, ignorant of spiritual things and God’s ways. How is God going to make a covenant with people who are prone to errors and mistakes? God’s solution is to became one of us, a man who is both human and God to implement an unbreakable covenant with Himself and His eternal man. We then can see that God has used Jesus Christ, the Promised Seed to bring the rest of the human race back into right standing with God. Everyone that accepts the free gift of salvation will be included. It doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, the door is open to all. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or if you are poor, the door is open to all. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, the door is open to all. Because of what Jesus has done, we have now have the opportunity of a life time being presented to all of us. I pray that you make the right choice.
The Bible is so complex that it is impossible to know everything that is in it and to comprehend what everything in it means is also impossible. So we do the best we can, with God’s help in figuring out what it all means. We would be lost without His help, so I am eternally grateful and I hope that you are too.
Posted on May 13, 2010, in Bible Study, Covenants, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, Covenants, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, man, Prophecy, Religion, Satan, Symbolism, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.