Category Archives: Covenants
(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.
(Ver 1.1) I want to discuss a difficult subject found in the Bible that is hard for many Christians to get their minds around. Too many Christians like to put everything on God’s back and make Him completely responsible for everything that happens to them. It is like when a major storm comes and blows their house down and they believe God is in control and He had a higher purpose for doing this to me. However, when you read the Bible and study it closely we find out some very surprising things that should cause us to begin to think differently.
When God makes a covenant with a People on the earth, you will find that God is always capable of keeping the covenant and to Him it was a forever agreement and arrangement. However, what we find in the Bible is that it is not all completely up to God and that you and I have a part to play in the relationship for the continued blessings of God to manifest. Let’s review the principle and then establish this spiritual law Biblically and learn what we can:
Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
In this verse in Isaiah, God puts forth a promise to His covenant people. But, this promise comes with conditions. In order for God’s people to eat the good of the land, they must first, be willing and obedient. These sound like two little requirements that are placed upon God’s People! But they really are larger than you think. If people fulfill only one condition such as being willing but not obedient or being not willing and obeying does that match the conditions necessary to eat good? Obviously not, they fail and do not eat the good of the land. This is the basis of a spiritual law, that I call the “IF YOU DO THEN I WILL DO” law! “IF” “THEN” is a popular computer programming construct that is widely used in programming languages. There is also a converse or inverse part of the law that goes something like this:
IF YOU DO THIS
THEN I WILL DO THIS
ELSE THIS HAPPENS!
God knew about IF THEN ELSE computer programming constructs before we knew there were computers. God uses this construction in the Bible in the promises that He makes with humans and the Covenants that He implements with the People. If we apply this construct to the verse we just read in Isaiah 1:19 we can see it more clearly:
IF (YOU ARE WILLING AND OBEDIENT)
YOU WILL EAT THE GOOD OF THE LAND
YOU WILL NOT EAT FROM THE GOOD LAND
This is some very basic Computer Logic applied to the Word of God and yet so profound! If you understand what I have said so far, then let’s go through some other verses in the Bible and determine what else God says about conditional requirements.
Let’s go back and review some words spoken to Natural Israel by Moses from God. These are the Words of God spoken directly to them, but if you look closely they are also prophetic and we can easily notice that they are very conditional:
Exo 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
What does it mean to be conditional? If I said I would give you $1000, if you would stay silent for 24 hours, is that $1000 conditional or automatically yours? No, it not guaranteed! We can see that conditional means, if you follow the instructions and rules you will get the $1000, otherwise you do not. The key word is “IF” you satisfy the requirements! Pretty simple concept isn’t it? However, Christians I guess do not understand these concepts, especially when it comes to God and the Bible.
When we read a verse like Exodus 19:5 and it says to Israel that “you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me and above all people”. What was the requirement for this to happen in the natural realm? God clearly said, “if you obey my voice and keep my covenant”, then I will do what I said and make you above all others. So when did natural Israel ever fulfill any of these requirements? If you searched your Bible and could not find it in the Bible, I have to admit that I couldn’t either. It would seem to me, that Israel has a major problem. Let’s continue with the next verse:
Exo 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Exodus 19:6 continues to demonstrate what God will do, if Israel obeys and keeps the covenant. What we see in these two verses are a discovery of the fact that God’s blessings to Natural Israel are conditional. In order for those in covenant with God to obtain the best that He has for them, they must do something to qualify for them. Did any of the words in these two verses ring any bells to you? Did you see any parallels or glimpses into another reality that God is prophesying about? To me it was obvious, but to others they miss it, because they may be slightly dull of spiritual eyesight. These key words are echoed in a verse found in the New Testament:
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Peter writes to the church and declares to them that they are these “peculiar” people, the holy nation unto God, being priests and kings of the Most High. Isn’t that an amazing coincidence? Of course God doesn’t do anything by accident and this verse is put here to show you who the church really is. I know I haven’t introduced you to this concept yet. Many Christian people do not like to think or believe that the Church is a spiritual version of the natural nation of Israel, but yet it is so prevalent in the Bible I do not know how people miss it. This is based upon the concept of natural patterns that point us to greater or higher truths within the spiritual realm. Let us read another verse:
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Again we see John this time writing about the church and to the church, calling them the kings and priests of God. That qualifies the church as being these royal rulers of the spiritual domain of God. That makes the church a new spiritual priesthood unto God. This is of course difficult to fully accept for many believers. Please do not let it offend you. I will not be offended if you believe something else.
Heb 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
So as we have seen, the blessings of God are conditional. The human continuation and participation within the covenant of God is also conditional. People want to put all of the responsibility on God to whether or not a covenant is valid and that is not what God says in the Bible. You can always depend on God to be faithful and He will never fail you, but that does not relieve you of your responsibility in the relationship.
What if you are married to a spouse and you are the one that is faithful and they are not. Will that work for very long? I know my wife would not put up with it. If you think you can then you are a fool. Is faithfulness a two way street that is required of both marriage participants? Of course it is! So do not put all of the responsibility upon God, God will not fail the covenant. God is eternally faithful. However, humans are imperfect and fail, people make mistakes and God will forgive us. But only if we ask for forgiveness. Repentance is an essential and valuable key part of any Christian life. If we are not sorry for how we how we act and the things we use to do, we are not a Christian. We are just someone who doesn’t want to go to hell.
Hebrews 8:9 clearly tells us that God disregarded Israel, because Israel did not keep their covenant. The Bible says this, God says this and I did not write the Bible. Is God anti-Semitic? That is what some will try to call me for saying something like this. So you can accept it for what it says or you can attempt to explain it away. Covenants with God are always Conditional! Let’s review another Old Testament example of these conditional promises of God:
Deu 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
The key word “IF” is given to the nation of Israel again and God tells them that “IF” they would diligently follow the Word of God that “THEN” God would make them above all nations. There are very specific requirements to the blessings of God and if you continue to read down in this chapter you will also find that there are very specific curses for not following these instructions. This is a Bible principle and a spiritual law being established by God. This is how God works and this should inform us of our responsibilities to listen and obey. We start by recognizing that we have some responsibilities and then we go about finding out what they are and how to follow them or fulfill them.
Jer 4:1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, the shalt thou not remove.
You see in Jeremiah God says to Israel, if they would return and put away their abominations, that God would not remove them. There is a very strong statement with very direct consequences being made to the Natural Nation of Israel. There are just too many verses in the Bible like this that declare God will do something if you first do something.
We cannot pray and ask God for something and then when it does not come, think that God said NO! Many times things like praying for specific answers in the Bible have specific conditions and requirements attached them. You have to base your prayer on the Bible promises that provide the answer, pray the right way, believe the right things, do the right things, say the right things, act in the appropriate manner and then God will do His part. This is a staggering concept to many Christians, but yet it is in the Bible if we look.
God always tells us what to do and then expects us to do it. Then God will always step in and do the rest. Read the Old Testament very closely. Notice things that God instructs Joshua when taking Jericho and other such examples. God would always tell them to do something very specific and if they did it, God would come through and do the rest. When Moses went to God with a problem, either about Pharaoh or the children of Israel, God would always tell Moses to do something with very specific steps and requirements or conditions. If Moses followed and obeyed, God would always do His part faithfully. The Bible is full of examples like this.
Jer 31:36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
I guess many Christians cannot comprehend that God would require humans to do anything in order to obtain God’s Grace. It is almost unimaginable that Israel could do anything that would cause God to end their Covenant. I have read in a few Bible lessons from other teachers that some people think that God’s love and all of the blessings of His Covenants are unconditionally guaranteed and nothing that anyone does can cause God to back out of it.
We should go back and reread the Bible and look for how many times the word “IF” is used in verses concerning Israel. We will discover that God has put conditions on many of the things that He has given to His people. God placed responsibility of the continuation of the covenant into the hands of those who He was trusting to do the right things and be obedient. If you study carefully you discover that Israel did a very bad job of fulfilling their end of the bargain. What a bargain they had, they had the fastest and most direct way to the Messiah, they had the first choice at Salvation, they were the keepers of the Holy Word of God and they blew it.
NEW COVENANT CONDITIONS
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Just as the Old Covenant was conditional, entrance into the New Covenant is also conditional. There is no such thing as Universal Salvation. There is no such thing that everyone is saved automatically, because God wants them to be. God always requires action by man. People need to realize that God has already done everything that He needs to do to get all of the people on the earth saved. However, that does not mean everyone is saved or will be saved. Jesus tells us clearly in Revelation that He is standing at the door of the heart of man, knocking and that clearly indicates that He wants to come in. However, the conditional part of the verse clearly states that the Man on the inside is required to hear the knock and open the door to let Him come in. There are conditions to people getting saved. People are required to act appropriately and let Christ in. There are also specific conditions to staying saved. I really do not want to get into this subject any deeper for I have touched on this subject in other lessons. Realize and understand that the Old Covenant of God with natural Israel was a conditional agreement. It was very clear in the Bible that in order for Israel to remain in Covenant with God, that Israel was required to be faithful to God. Just like in any natural human marriage contract, God’s covenant works this way also. Both parties are either faithful to the vows, commitments and conditions of the agreement or the agreement is terminated. If one party is faithful and the other party is not, the agreement is terminated. There are many very difficult things like this in life and they are also revealed to us in the Bible. Recently in national news several prominent men have been caught being unfaithful to their wives. They have discovered the hard way that there are consequences to their actions in life. Israel may learn very soon that she has also encountered the consequences of her actions.
Then pay attention to things God writes to the church in the New Testament. Why would Jesus and God say so many times a warning for us not be deceived? There appears to be some unseen consequences for being deceived. Perhaps a Christian does not live a long life. But perhaps the Christians finds out like one of the 5 foolish virgins that they were not really known by Jesus. Remember in the 10 Virgin parable there was a need to have oil for the lamps. This sounds like a major condition for entering into the divine wedding feast.
Thank you for reading this lesson. I know there are a of other Bible verses that come to mind that teach this concept that I did not get to include. I appreciate your time reading and I also appreciate your comments, and questions. If you have a prayer request, please leave it and we will pray for you and add you to our prayer list. God bless you until next time.
(ver 1.1) The Bible speaks of God in many different aspects with various described characteristics. The New Testament also states that we in the church today are now in a better covenant than the one that came before (Heb 8:6). What makes our covenant better now than the one that was established with the natural nation of Israel? I will not attempt to fully answer that question, but I will give you some pertinent clues to why I think it is better now. In the Old Testament God was certainly for the nation of Israel. God was certainly with the children of Israel. But, I do not think that God was ever in the children of Israel. God dwelt with the nation of Israel only in things that were built with the hands of men. Moses made God a temporary dwelling place using tents. Solomon built God a temple in Jerusalem. But, all of these things were just temporary patterns made by men for something that was to come that was made by God. Let’s examine the Bible today for God’s realities and why we have a basis of a better covenant now.
We will start with God being with us and look for Bible verses to establish God’s presence with His people. What does it mean for God to be “with” us? One definition of the term “with” is to be in the company of. In other words to be in the same company. God is said to be in our company. You could say that God is said to be our companion. Here is a Bible verse that appears to convey this thought:
Psa 46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
God is the Lord of hosts and this verse establishes the idea that God was with the children of Israel in the Old Covenant. We can read stories in the Old Testament when Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, how God went before them in the day as a cloud and a fire by night. So we can clearly see how God was present with them during their time in the wilderness.
Isa 8:10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
We can clearly see that there are implied benefits for God being with us as this verse says that God was with Israel. This verse is speaking about the subject of spoken words and this verse implies that they can be weapons against us. But, elsewhere in the Bible God also said that no weapon formed against us will prosper, so we can see this is possible because God is with us. God is on our side, by our side and that is a very good thing. We have specific benefits, because God is with us.
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
This verse in Matthew is a little different than the others. This time God is spoken of in terms of becoming a man like us and walking around with us on this planet. God in the flesh, walking around looking just like us. That is the powerful story of the salvation and redemptive plan of God. If God never came to be with us, we would all still be in dire straits. Let’s shift gears and look at the next dimension of God, God For Us!
Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
It is said that God is “for” us. This is contrasted as an antonym to the word to be “against”. I am certainly glad that God is not against us. However, I think that many religious people struggle with the concept of God not currently acting as the judge, the jury and the executioner. Whenever, 9/11 happened and terrorist flew planes into NY and Washington D.C., I heard many Christians try to say it was God’s judgment upon us. However, these are ignorant Christians who do not understand that God is “For” us and not “against” us. If God was “against” you and that was His judgment, no one would be alive to tell the tale. There is coming a day of judgment, but that is in the future. Right now Satan is responsible for all of the killing and murder going on in the world, not God! Satan is against you, God is for you. I could give you many more verses that speak to God being for us and not against us. But, I want to move on to the third dimension of God that makes our covenant much better than the Old Covenant God had with Israel. You see God was “with” Israel and “for” Israel, but never “in” Israel. We have this gift of God and it makes our covenant much better than the old.
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
You see in this verse in Romans, God is saying that those who are born again, have the Spirit of God dwelling in them. God further stipulates that the Spirit of God is also called the Spirit of Christ. You cannot separate Christ from God nor God from Christ, they are one in the same. What is the difference between Old Testament prophets and New Testament Prophets? Both have a prophets anointing, but the New Testament prophet has God living on the inside of them and the Old Testament prophet did not. An anointing is like an outward pouring of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God comes “Upon” a human and is anointed to do a specific job for God. David was anointed to be King by Samuel. The prophet poured the oil over the head of David and this was symbolic of how the Spirit of God came upon him. If David would have had the Spirit of God on the inside of him, David would have had to drink the oil. Little details like these are often times missed when casually reading the Bible.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
This is another verse in the same chapter of Romans, that declares that the Spirit of God dwells in the believer. This of course is very hard to describe to someone who doesn’t believe. I can tell them that I have sensed the presence of God within in me at times, in the past sometimes very strongly, like my insides were on fire. Other times I have felt nothing at all. But, regardless of the feeling or sensations that I perceived with my senses, I know He is there because His word says He is. He said He would never leave me nor forsake me, so I know He is there all the time. God can give you sensations that can be physically felt if He so desires and thinks that you would benefit from them. However, it is dangerous to pray and ask God to do this, because Satan can also manifest to deceive you. I never prayed or asked God to make me feel like I was on fire on the inside of my chest, God choose to do this because I guess He thought I needed it. Be very careful what you pray for, make sure it is based upon scriptures. I do not know of any verses that says God will give you any specific feeling in your flesh to confirm His presence.
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
There are many verses like this one that I could include, but they just go to confirm the fact that the Spirit of Christ now dwells in those that believe. This is truly a mystery to the world and to the natural Jews. They have never experienced this, but they do have the opportunity to participate in this great mystery if they choose to. The free gift of life and salvation is open to whomsoever will. What does it mean to have God dwell in us? To dwell somewhere implies a place or a location that we live. Say a specific address or a specific city. I dwell in Dallas, TX, some might be able to say. A dwelling also implies a home. God has made his home in us. We are now the new home of God. Where we were not His home we have become His home. This is really an awesome difference between the New Covenant and the Old Covenant. The church is the New Jerusalem, the spiritual city of God’s new home. We have become this spiritual city built up in Christ, Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone, where in we all fit together being built up in the spiritual realm.
So God is For You! God is With You! and God is In You! if you are a believer and have made Jesus your Lord and Savior.
(Ver 2.3) This is now Part 5 in the advanced study series on Understanding Bible Covenants. If you have not read from the beginning, I would recommend that you go and start with “Part 1“. We have been discussing Bible covenants as being a marriage covenant relationship between two individuals. We can see that these individuals can be either spiritual beings, natural beings individuals or groups or any combination of them. Covenants with God always result in God being the husband and the people in covenant as being the wife in the relationship. We know that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (Heb 12:24). Jesus is therefore the Bridegroom and the church is His bride. Many have agreed with the scriptures in the New Testament that declare the church to be the body of Christ without understanding how the church became the body. This transformation was accomplished by marriage, when God declared in Genesis “that the man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they two will become one flesh”. One flesh is a synonymous term for one body. Therefore one flesh refers to one body. A body consists of flesh and bones. Adam was opened up and his wife was taken out of him and Jesus the Last Adam was opened up and His wife was joined to him on the cross. The Bible actually says we were crucified with Christ, yet none of us hung on the cross physically as He died.
So in the eyes of God a covenant is a marriage and a marriage is a covenant. I gave you many scriptures that confirm this reality. As a marriage God provided us natural things to help us to understand spiritual things. Marriage covenants are a complex system of many dependent and interrelated aspects. Sex is one aspect of a marriage that demands and expects faithfulness of those in the relationship. Faithfulness is an essential aspect of marriage that applies to a covenant relationship with God. As your spouse trusts and expects you to be faithful to them, God expects and trusts you to be faithful to Him.
We can clearly see that the natural nation of Israel was not faithful and as a result had spiritual intercourse with other gods, religions and idols. This unfaithful infidelity resulted in God divorcing His Old Covenant wife. The net result of the divorce was a termination of the marriage/covenant relationship without any hope of reconciliation. I base that statement on the law of divorce given to us in Deuteronomy 24 where it says the first husband is forbidden to marry his divorced wife again after she has been married to another. I then attempted to give several scriptures that showed that Israel according to established spiritual laws was in a covenant relationship to another spiritual being other than God.
These are all very deep things that God has taught us from the Bible and I know it will be difficult to get people to see them. It is not my responsibility to make you understand or to make you see the truth. I simply present the information found in the Bible the best that I can and it is up to you to prove it, accept it or reject it. That is the way God designed the system and I can’t improve on it. I have found that people can read the same verse of scripture and pull out whatever they want to hear and close their eyes to whatever they don’t agree with. It is funny that God wrote a book that allows people to believe wrong. God will always enforce our right to be ignorant and foolish. God never forces us into knowing the truth. We are free to act and believe foolishly and God will not stop us. Ok, let’s get back to our subject.
I know there are many other aspects of marriage that also apply to the subject of covenants and perhaps someday I will expand to include them in this teaching. A marriage covenant is the establishment of a new family unit. Marriage always results in a new household, with a new head of the house. These two married covenant individuals enjoy a sexual knowledge that is only experienced between the two in covenant. Physical sex is just a pattern of a spiritual knowledge that Jesus desires to have with His wife. I showed you earlier that Adam “Knew” his wife and they had a son and I told you this was a pattern for the Last Adam, Jesus and his wife. These are all new concepts, new ideas and new thoughts based upon a new perspective from God’s Word. You can read the Bible and study it for yourself. All of this has been a review of stuff that I have already covered so I hope you understand them.
UNTIL DEATH DO US PART!
In this lesson we want to explore another aspect of marriage and covenants to show us some new information based upon what we have learned about the subject so far. This section will be about the subject of death as a legal separating force/power that terminates a covenant relationship between two legally bound parties or individuals. I’d like to begin this section with the foundational verses from the book of Ruth:
Rth 1:16 And Ruth said, Do not beg me to leave you, to return from following after you. For where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.
Rth 1:17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May Jehovah do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.
These are covenant words being spoken by Ruth to her mother-in-law Naomi. Ruth pledges “faithfulness” to the God of her mother-in-law Jehovah. She places such a strong commitment that she claims that only death could separate her from the God and religious ways of over mother-in-law. If we read the rest of the book of Ruth and the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew we will discover that she is blessed and rewarded by God tremendously for making these covenant statements of commitment. She becomes the wife to Boaz, a type of Jesus Christ, and the great-grandmother to the great King David.
I believe this is a good time to introduce the fact that Bible covenants are entered into by speaking words. Words can be spoken to initiate a good covenant with God or an evil covenant with Satan. For example, if we read Romans 10:9-10 God informs us how we entered into a covenant with Jesus Christ by believing in Our heart and confessing with our mouth the LORD Jesus. Then in Proverbs 6:2 God informs us that humans are taken captive prisoners by also speaking words. In Proverbs 18:21 God declares that “life and death are in the power of our tongue”. Jesus informed us in John 10:10 that the thief came to kill, steal and destroy us, but that He came to give us life and that life in more abundance. God appears to be teaching us that our words spoken matter.
Knowing God gives us life and knowing Satan gives us the sin punishment of death (separation from God). Speaking right words are one key part of entering into Bible covenants wit God. These words can be called vows, promises, commitments, oaths, pledges or guarantees. Speaking words and entering into covenant relationships with anyone should be taken very seriously and never lightly or casually. I believe that God holds us responsible for our promises made to Him and to each other. There are numerous examples of this found in the Bible.
For example a famine of three years occurred to the nation of Israel in 2 Samuel 21:1-2. When David inquired of the LORD why this was happening, the LORD told him it was because of bloody Saul that attacked and killed the Gibeonites. God informs King David that Israel had made a covenant with these people a long time before. God obviously believed that this covenant that was made before Saul or David was born was still in effect and could not be terminated by either of the parties in the covenant. Therefore, judgement fell upon the natural nation of Israel for something that happened long before King David became king. Wow, this sounds very important to know in our education of understanding the serious nature of Vows and covenants. The covenant was entered into by Joshua and it was disavowed by Saul and the negative consequences fell upon Israel during King David.
Most modern marriage ceremonies include speaking words to each other. These words are often called “vows” and many of them are based upon Bible covenant principles. For example, many say “until death do us part” in their wedding vows. Wedding vows are considered covenant words of complete commitment made to each other. Just as Israel violating a covenant that they had made with another nation had consequences, I believe the breaking of covenant vows today will also result in negative verdicts of judgment at some time in the future. We just learned that Saul had murdered a people in covenant with Israel and Israel in the next King’s reign reaped a famine. I believe that this is possible even today that two people ending a marriage covenant can cause judgement to occur on future descendants. But, that is a different subject for another lesson.
We can clearly learn from the book of Ruth that death represents a legal termination of a covenant relationship and commitment. If one spouse dies, the other is said to be free to marry another. So death represents a legal point of covenant division. It represents a separation of the two that were said to be one when they were joined in covenant by the Law of Genesis 2:24. I’d like to cover an essential set of N.T. verses that confirm this truth. We will be reading from the book of Romans and chapter 7:
Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
Rom 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
Wow, these verses help explain our subject of covenants and the power of death separation precisely. Notice that Paul in verse 1 is speaking to believers that “know” the law. This phrase “to know” represents covenant relationship. Paul in this short passage was directing the next few verses to only former Jewish Old Covenant people. God writes this to teach them that because Jesus died (God in the flesh) on a cross, they were now freed from the bondage of that covenant in order to legally remarry in covenant the risen from the dead LORD Jesus Christ. There are people that claim Jesus was not God but 1 Timothy 3:16 informs us plainly that “God was manifested in the flesh”.
Paul was writing in Romans 7 by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to teach us the legal fact that since Jesus (God manifested in the flesh) experienced death for them all, they could now be legally joined in Covenant marriage with risen Jesus and not be called an adulteress. This truth simply confirms that a marriage is a covenant and a covenant is a marriage and if they enter into another covenant while their husband was still alive, God called this adultery. Therefore we have all the subjects that we have been learning, marriage covenants, faithfulness, death separation and termination and remarriage in a New Covenant. Wow, Wow & Wow!
Can we begin to see what these verses in Romans say and learn how they apply to covenants both natural and spiritual? I believe these are amazing and especially important to how God eliminated Himself from the covenant of Israel and the angelic beings.
MARRIAGE, DEATH AND WIDOWHOOD
I alluded in previous lessons to this subject when speaking of the Heavenly Jerusalem who was described to be a free woman that came from an allegory given to us from Galatians 4. This Genesis allegory used Sarah’s relationship to Abraham. This relationship was a physical picture and representation of God’s spiritual relationship to the city called the Heavenly Jerusalem. I concluded that this free woman was the first wife of Jehovah God and therefore in covenant with God long before Hagar. In looking at other verses in Hebrews 12 we determined that this Heavenly Jerusalem consisted of the angelic beings too numerous to count. This means that Lucifer the top angelic being in the past was included in this covenant relationship. So how does God terminate an eternal marriage covenant relationship to eternally created angelic beings without the law? We know that the earthly Jerusalem (type of Hagar) is now in bondage with the law and that God used the law to end/divorce the Old Covenant marriage relationship because of her continued unfaithfulness (Isa 50:1, Jer 3:8).
But the heavenly Jerusalem was called the free woman or the woman outside of the law. We also learned from verses in the New Testament that without the law there is no punishment for sin. So how does God terminate a marriage covenant relationship with a group of sinful eternal spiritual beings that cannot ever die, without any law or legal precedence? It is a fascinating problem to consider and it is very perplexing puzzle to solve, but God always has a plan and an answer. We should be able to answer this question already but there are two solutions presented to us that can be utilized. The first solution is to get Satan to place himself into a covenant with the Law. The second potential solution is for the husband in the covenant to become a a being that could experience death on a cross to terminate all previous covenants.
If we recall from the previous lessons, we saw numerous scriptures from Galatians 4 that spoke about these two women in marriage covenant with Jehovah God. The one bond woman (Hagar) was directly said to be the natural nation of Israel and corresponded to the earthly city of Jerusalem. We just read about her in the last section of this lesson that was now freed from her covenant by the death of Jesus. Wow again! Then the other woman was the free woman and she is called the heavenly Jerusalem. It is essential to understand that both covenant women were married to the same God Jehovah and their covenants overlapped for a short time just as the allegorical type of Hagar overlapped with Sarah’s marriage. Now recall this O.T. quotation concerning this allegory:
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren (Heavenly Jersualem) that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate (free woman Heavenly Jerusalem) hath many more children than she which hath an husband (bond woman: natural Israel).
What we can see in Galatians 4:27 the presentation that the bond woman had a husband with the implication that free woman did not. In fact the Greek word translated as “desolate” in this verse literally means “lonesome” and “solitary”. This is describing a woman that is not in covenant with anyone. Notice also the Greek word translated as “barren” is transliterated as “steiros” and we get our English word “sterile from it. These words are used by God to describe the Heavenly Jerusalem covenant wife. Finally, notice the prophecy that tells this woman to rejoice because her children will be many more than the children of the bond woman (Earthly Jerusalem). Who were we told that these many more children were? God teaches us in Galatians 4:26 that the spiritual free woman’s children were all of us in the church. That confirms and explains why Jesus said in John 3 that we must be “born again” in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Everyone in the church has been first born naturally into the world and then next born supernaturally into the Spiritual Kingdom of God. It is important to note that if we are born once we can die twice, but if we are born twice we can only die once.
Galatians 4:27 seems like a paradox or a contradiction to what was said that both of these women were in covenant and married to God in the past. What happened to the husband of the woman in heaven? And I thought God divorced the woman natural Israel and here He says she has a husband. These are a really good questions. We have already explored how natural Israel may have entered into a covenant with Satan. But, let’s figure out the other question by going back to the Old Testament.
Isa 54:1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
We can see that these are the direct words of God himself spoken through the prophet Isaiah. We can see again this verse is speaking of two different women. I find it fascinating that nowhere in these verses does it claim this is an allegory of Sarah and Hagar. However, God reveals this to Paul in Galatians 4. This is just one way that God hides truth in the Bible.
We could conclude that only one of these women is now married by just reading this verse. However, we know from God’s explanation in Galatians that these women are Sarah and Hagar, and both were married to Abraham. If we recall from New Testament verses that were discussed in previous lessons, if anyone has sex with someone, God considers them to be married to that someone (1 Cor 6:16). Having casual sex has major covenant consequences in the eyes of God because of the experience of having “carnal knowledge” of that person. So far this was some review, but as we read down in the rest of Isaiah 54, we can begin to see the solution to God’s puzzle. The answer to what happened to the husband of the Heavenly Jerusalem is found in context of verse 1:
Isa 54:4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
Here in verse 54:4 of Isaiah we see the answer to the question. The heavenly Jerusalem who was called the barren wife and the free woman in Galatians 4, is now declared to be a widow in the context of Isaiah 54:1. What exactly is a widow? This is not a trick question. A widow is a wife whose husband has died. Uh oh? That sure makes life difficult for many ministers that we have heard, who claim that God can’t die. Have you ever heard this before? That claim appears to contradict verses that we have been studying.
What is death? That is of course the million dollar question? We know from the book of Ruth that the only separation of Ruth from her mother-in-law covenant was going to be by death. We know Ruth said to Naomi, “until death part me from thee”. Without death we know that the wife is bound to her husband and if she marries another while her husband is alive then she is considered an adulteress.
We saw in Romans 7 that Israel can only be called an adulteress if while her covenant husband God is alive, she has sex with another man and becomes his wife. We know this harlotry is what happened in the O.T. many, many times. But, Romans 7 says because Jesus died Israel was now freed from that covenant to marry the risen from the dead LORD Jesus in the New Covenant.
No one can deny that based upon scriptures in Jeremiah, Isaiah and Hosea that Israel is called a whore, harlot and adulteress because she has committed sexual union and become married to other idols and gods while God was alive and in covenant with her. The Living God then divorced Israel His wife, and ended that covenant using the law. We also know that this heavenly woman if she was married to God, she would be bound by the law of marriage as being one spirit with her husband also. So if this heavenly Jerusalem consisted of good and evil angelic beings, how would God get rid of the evil angels, while keeping the good angelic spirits? Fascinating, isn’t it?
By Jesus Christ being crucified, God accomplished a major accumulation and combination of things simultaneously. This was God’s demonstration of His true wisdom and power. Through the death of Jesus Christ, God multi-tasked salvation for us with the termination of His covenant relationship with Satan, simultaneously. Through this death, it resulted in the heavenly Jerusalem becoming a widow. She is now free to marry another. The heavenly Jerusalem was now the widow and that makes it legal for her to marry another by the definition from the Word of God. But by Satan becoming entangled with Israel under the law, we now see that his relationship with God has now completely ended being separated the separation of death. Because Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, God died in Jesus Christ. I guess I could say God tasted death through the body of His son Jesus Christ hanging on the cross (Heb. 2:9), since spirit beings do not actually die as in cease to exist. Nevertheless, we can see that Satan’s future was sealed due to what transpired on the cross. So while it is technically impossible for a spiritual being to cease to exist, it is not technically impossible for a spiritual being to experience death. Through death, He destroyed him that had the power over death (Heb 2:14). This is why the Bible says if Satan would have known the consequences, he would not have crucified the Lord of Glory (1 Cor 2:8).
We should be able to easily begin to understand now why the Heavenly Jerusalem is called a widow and why God did this. God would have been one with this spiritual city and all of its inhabitants (angels). So God could not have legally punished Satan without punishing Himself along with Satan.
God found himself with a problem that needed to be resolved. Without the law of divorce how did God terminate His covenant marriage with Satan and his evil angelic beings? I really hope we are seeing this spiritual reality. Death is a legitimate separation for every covenant. Because Christ died, we died. Why was it necessary to be born again? To be born again represents another new beginning and an opportunity for a fresh start. Jesus was called the first born from the dead, so being the firstborn He is the head of this new family. Jesus now had preeminence over all other spiritual beings. In heaven Lucifer/Satan use to be the one with the Father, but he is now no longer in covenant with God because of the death of Jesus Christ. Since we were also crucified with Christ, we too are no longer in covenant with death, hell or Satan, either. The work of God was full and comprehensive. By Jesus being crucified on the cross, God accomplished 1) salvation for us, 2) the full payment for sin past, present and future, 3) reconciliation of our relationship with God and 4) the termination of our and His former flesh covenant relationship with Satan. God is so much smarter than we are and if we can see these things that was just described, we will increase our understanding of the Word of God by leaps and bounds above where we use to be.
Jesus said if you continue in my Word, then you will be my disciples and then you will know the truth and then Jesus said the “truth” that you “know” will set you free. I pray that the eyes of your understanding will be enlightened in the knowledge of Him.
(Ver 2.0) This is now Part 4 in a very advanced Bible study serious concerning Understanding Bible Covenants. This series is intended for spiritually mature Christians with an open mind that will commit to go and study the subject for themselves to verify if it is really true or not. Obviously by the title we have more controversial topics on covenants to discuss today. We have been discussing Bible covenants in some new terms using scriptures in the Bible that many have not seen before. I know this is a very deep subject and the complexities are vast. It is a very hard thing to accept new things when they are first revealed. I believe the natural human tendency is to reject the new, to fear the new, and to not believe the new. This is because I believe that we trust in our old understanding and beliefs so much more. The problem is that the majority of Christians do not have a clue what the Bible really says. Learning always involves growing in understanding. That implies an ever increasing and expanding knowledge process. Today’s knowledge should be building on what we learned yesterday. New truth should always fit balanced correctly with previous known truths. When it does not God is presenting us a new opportunity to come up to a higher spiritual level of thinking. Learning involves change. Being flexible and open is a key to growing with God. In my last blog I went into Old Testament verses that reveal the law of marriage and divorce. If you have not been following this series from the beginning, I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with Part 1 Covenants and Marriage.
In the last lesson we talked about Israel being divorced from God. Then we also were given several scriptures that strongly implied that Israel is now married to another spiritual being. This means that this spiritual being is now in covenant with the natural nation of Israel and God’s Law. Why was this necessary? Why would God want to get someone under the law? How would God accomplish such a task? These are all important questions to consider. But first let’s determine if this is even possible. Here are some interesting verses from the Old Testament:
Isa 28:14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
We can clearly see who the next words of God in verse 15 are addressing by looking at verse 14 and seeing that God is speaking directly to the rulers of Jerusalem. This is the earthly city Jerusalem and God is speaking directly to the men that ruled that city. These were the old covenant people that God was married to. So what does this next verse say?
Isa 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
We can again clearly see covenant words of marriage being spoken in regards to the natural nation of Israel to someone. This time it says that these people are in covenant with death and hell. That declaration does not sound very positive or good, does it? Who does the New Testament say had the power over death when this verse was written? This verse in Hebrews should help you:
Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
So we can see from what God reveals in Hebrews that Satan held the power of death in the Old Testament. We can therefore conclude that if Israel was in covenant with death and hell, that would mean they were in covenant with Satan. What does Jesus have to say about these Old Testament verses in Isaiah 28?
Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
We can see by this statement that Jesus implies these people in Jerusalem were married to a spiritual being that made them the children of hell. This implies a covenant relationship or marriage between a husband and a wife that has produced children of hell. Are you following these statements? Parents have children, produce families, and establish households. Basic physical biology dictates that a male and a female participate in order to produce children. If Israel is the woman who can have children, that was married to God, then who is the husband and the father in this relationship? Remember that it always takes two to tango. Jesus often times asked, if you don’t understand natural things, how will you ever understand spiritual things? So apparently these natural things are patterns into spiritual things to help us understand them. Here is another statement of Jesus to the natural nation of Israel:
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
Did you see what Jesus said to the natural nation of Israel? He said that they were children of their father and that their father was the devil. This makes it almost impossible for us not to realize that in order for them to be Satan’s children, Satan must be in covenant and married to natural Israel. What we see is the identity of the male in the covenant relationship to the natural nation of Israel being the female. A simple husband and wife relationship that has produced children. These are of course spiritual and not natural children. Satan is not having natural sex with natural women like they did in Genesis 6. Satan learned that this was illegal and many of his angels were cast into chains awaiting judgement for doing this (Jude 1:6). We know that Satan like God is a spiritual being. We can conclude that because God can be married to Israel any spiritual being can be married to Israel, it is only logical common sense.
Why Was the Law Given to Israel?
Let’s change subjects a bit here and continue by asking what was the purpose of God giving Israel the law? Why was the law given to Israel in the first place? I have heard many say it was to show man how bad they were and to teach them that they were incapable of living up to God’s standard of excellence. I do agree with that and I do not deny that could be a part of the purpose of the law. But, I have found that when God does something He usually accomplishes more than one thing at a time. Many humans tend to focus on getting one thing done at a time. But I have learned from being a computer programmer, that the true demonstration of power occurs when someone is able to accomplish many tasks simultaneously. In computer terminology this is called multi-tasking and God does this everyday just listening to billions of people praying simultaneously. Here is a verse that will help to shed some light on this subject of why God gave Israel the law:
Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Here we begin to see some major clues to why God gave the law to Israel. It is a lot like our laws that our government makes for us to follow. You see there was a time when child pornography was not against the law. But did that make it right or OK to participate in? Of course not. But the government could not do anything about the people who participated in this until they passed a law. People were free to do wrong because there were no consequences for our erroneous choices and stupidity. Does that help to clear up the reason for God giving Israel the law? You see in this verse in Romans, it says we would not have known sin except that we were given the law. I sometimes wonder if people read the Bible and never think about how these words apply to other spiritual beings like Satan or Lucifer as he was named originally? Thinking and asking questions is absolutely essential when studying the Bible.
We know from Old Testament verses that sin was found in Lucifer (Eze 28:15), but according to Romans, if Lucifer didn’t know the law then he can’t face the consequences for his sin. Do you understand what I just said? God could not enforce Satan’s punishment without first getting him to know the law (be under the law). To be under the law means that you know the law and are now in covenant with that law or in covenant to those people who are in charge of keeping that the law. These are truly amazing things to consider. Here is another very important verse on our current subject of why God gave Israel the law:
Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Wow, these are powerful words when we apply them to Lucifer (Satan). In order to stop Satan’s mouth and cause him to be found guilty he must be put under the law. Are you still following this? The implication is given unless we are under the law, we cannot be found guilty and we will not face any punishment for our sin. I know that God is a just God and is just in whatever He does, He does everything in a fair and impartial legal way. He treats everyone the same. God applies the same principles and requirements to everyone and everywhere, including Himself or He would be showing favoritism and we should know that He does not do that.
Rom 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
God confirms the truth that declares “where there is no law there are no consequences for a sin”. Sin is still wrong, but no punishment is possible until taken to court and found guilty of violating specific law. This is divine justice and how God works. Most civil normal governments operate on this principle. Corrupt evil dictatorial controlling governments do not operate on this requirement. This verse helps us to understand why God could not convict Satan and throw him into hell the instant that sin was discovered in him. That would have been an unjust verdict since as far as I know there were no laws in heaven. Remember Lucifer was created in a state of perfection. What need is there, of any laws if everyone in your kingdom is created and acting perfectly? I believe this is what is important to know for us to understand why God created a new world with humans in Genesis 1. Then why God created a new separate nation of people called Israel born from a man named Abram in Genesis 12. Then why God gave Israel the Law in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Finally, we can better understand why it was necessary for God to come in the flesh as Jesus to die and save us from this dark Satan ruled world (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).
I have become convinced from Bible study that one major accomplishment of God giving the law to Israel was to get Lucifer under the law. There are very strong implications given to us in the Bible that this is one major accomplishment.
Is Israel in Covenant with Satan?
We were just introduced to a basic foundation for why it was necessary to get Satan to be in covenant with the natural nation of Israel. Before that we saw Israel itself admitting they were in covenant with the realm of death and hell. Then we saw several statements that Jesus made to Israel that would imply they were in covenant with Satan. We can now continue to analyze if this is what the Bible says happened. I’ll do this by going back to some scriptures that we saw in a previous lesson. In the previous lesson we emphasized the aspects of Galatians 4 and how Israel has been cast out of God’s covenant never to return. But hopefully we will bring out some new emphasis to the information for us to see what God is saying on this subject of: “Is Israel remarried to another man”?
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
If you recall this verse, you can see two women and two sons being referenced. The first woman is the bond woman and the other is said to be the free woman. This is the concept of slavery versus freedom. You may recall that slavery was a condition of being under the law. This would help us to understand that Lucifer was of the free woman. This meant Lucifer was not under any law. Abraham symbolizes a type or pattern of God the Father (Jehovah). It is essential to understand that these women represents patterns of two wives in covenant with God. I’ll say this again, these two woman represent two covenants as we will see in this next verse:
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants (marriages); the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
We can see in this verse that God says these two women are allegorical and represent a far greater spiritual truth. In Biblical Allegory, God always uses a real historical natural occurrence to describe a parallel unseen spiritual reality. Most of the time if we read this story in the Old Testament we would not have a clue how it relates to any spiritual truth. However, since God gives us a specific example of how He encoded this information into the Bible in these verses in Galatians, we can begin to understand how this is possible. This is a very tricky method that God has chosen to hide these spiritual mysteries in the Bible.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
The bond woman is said to be Hagar and she corresponds to the law given to Moses on Mt Sinai. Therefore, Hagar represents a woman in covenant bondage to the law. God then tells us that she gives birth to a child after the flesh. Hagar is the natural nation of Israel and is directly called the “earthly city of Jerusalem”. This is in direct contrast to Sarah, the free woman who gives birth to the promised child after Hagar as we will read in verse 26 next. Who do you think the “promise child” represents? Of course it is the risen from the dead LORD Jesus Christ. However, Hagar who represents the natural Israel, gives birth to natural child Jesus of Nazareth the man after the flesh that gave His life for us to be saved. Mary called Jesus her “firstborn” son and God called Jesus His only begotten Son. But, Jesus is also called God’s firstborn from the dead. That would imply that Jesus Christ had two different births and two different mothers, one natural and one spiritual. These are very deep truths and can be very hard to see at first, simply because they are so new.
God just revealed to us that this Hagar is a type or pattern of the Earthly Jerusalem, who is now in bondage with all of her children under the law. Israel continuously tries to keep the law and earn their salvation by their works and have not realized that they are incapable of saving themselves. Remember we just read earlier that Jesus declared that Satan was the father of these natural children of Israel. Wow, that is so important. But, let’s continue with the next verse and look at Sarah:
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
We can see that there is clearly a new and different woman, called the free woman that is called the “Heavenly Jerusalem”. This literally means that she is not under the law. This Freewoman (Type of Sarah) is said to be the spiritual mother of Jesus Christ and the church. So what have we seen? There is a bond woman called the Earthly Jerusalem who is in bondage to the law. We then see that there is another woman called the Heavenly Jerusalem who is free, meaning she is not under the law. We know from studying the Bible that these two women were in a covenant and married to God (Type of Abraham) at an overlapping period of time. We know that Sarah (Heavenly Jerusalem) was married first to Abraham (God). Then Abraham and Sarah moved to Egypt where they bought a slave girl for Sarah named Hagar. Later after many years of being barren (Childless) Sarah (Heavenly Jerusalem) gives her husband Hagar (the Earth Jerusalem) as a wife to have a child for her. Abraham did this and had Ishmael that had twelve sons a type and pattern of Jesus and his 12 disciples.
Finally Sarah (the Heavenly Jerusalem) the much older woman and first wife came along and had the promised child and she was free along with her child. The Heavenly Jerusalem (Sarah) existed prior to the younger Earthly Jerusalem (Hagar). The younger earthly Jerusalem (Hagar) has a son that is older than the promised son of the free woman (Sarah). These are all allegorical truths to a spiritual reality that has been right before us but one that we haven’t seen until now. Now take a look at the next verse, because I want to reemphasize something very important:
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Who is the barren woman? It was a type of Sarah, the Heavenly Jerusalem, the free woman. According to Hebrews 12:22 the Heavenly Jerusalem consisted of an enumerable number of angels. We know from reading Job 38:4 that all of these angels sang for joy witnessing the creation of our world. Therefore, this Heavenly Jerusalem existed a long time before any earthly Jerusalem was formed. Are we all together on the same page?
What can we see by looking at this verse in light of the story of Abraham? We can see that this heavenly Jerusalem (Sarah) was God’s wife even before the earthly Jerusalem (young Hagar) ever came into the story. We can conclude logically that this covenant between God and the Heavenly Jerusalem (Sarah) existed before there was a natural nation of Israel. God (Abraham) was in covenant with this free woman (Sarah), not under the law for a long time before the bond woman was given to Him (Abraham) to have a child with. But we can also see this verse is telling her (the free woman Sarah) to rejoice because more are the children of the desolate woman than the other woman.
The desolate woman is a descriptive term for a woman incapable of having children as Sarah was for many years. Sarah eventually got pregnant but, only after many years passed beyond her normal child bearing years. But with God all things are possible, the barren woman now has many more children than the bond woman. God promised this free woman that her children will be of a much greater number than those of the woman in bondage to the law. We can then see the punch line in the last part of that verse. This verse ends with the statement “she which hath an husband”. Since God is only talking about two women in these verses, we can very easily determine who He is speaking of. God is speaking about the Earthly Jerusalem (Hagar) in the terms that she now has a new husband. The clear implication is given to us that the Heavenly Jerusalem (Sarah) does not have a husband when these verses were written.
We already know from reading verses in Isaiah and Jeremiah that God divorced Israel and ended His covenant relationship with the Earthly Jerusalem (Hagar). We even studied scriptures in Deuteronomy 24 that said it was now illegal for God to marry this same woman again. So we know that God is not in covenant or married to natural Israel. So who is? Who is the husband of the bond woman? Who is now in bondage under the law? Who wishes that they had never crucified the Lord Jesus Christ? If we don’t know this is Satan we need to go back and reread all of this again. Who wants to destroy Israel and wipe her from the face of the planet? How could Satan get out from under the law of his wife Israel? If his wife Israel were completely dead then Satan would be free from the law. If Satan were free from the law, then punishment of his sin could not be applied to him.
I have become a firm believer that Satan did not know what would happen to him if he crucified the LORD of Glory (1 Cor 2:8). I am also convinced that this is why Satan wants to destroy the natural nation of Israel and the Church. There are a lot of people in the world being used by Satan to get this done. Many of these people call the natural nation of Israel the little Satan and the USA and Christians the Great Satan. We could go into this subject much further but this lesson is long enough.
Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with us. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to share them. I do read them and appreciate the feedback. We do pray for you and we ask you to pray for us. God bless you and keep you until the next time we get together.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on Bible covenants you may go to “Part 5“.
(Ver 2.1) This is Part 3 in the series on the very important subject of Understanding Bible Covenants. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start reading with “Part 1“. We have covered the Bible subject of covenants in a new spiritual light. In the first lesson we saw scriptures that defines a Bible God kind of covenant is a marriage relationship normally between a male and a female. In God’s covenants He is always the husband and we His people are always the female. In the second lesson there was featured a modern unfamiliar quality called “faithfulness”. This quality of “faithfulness” is where trust is placed in each covenant participant to remain faithful to their covenant partner. When unfaithfulness occurs the resulting infidelity normally causes the intended everlasting relationship to become strained, ineffective and even fail. Which brings us to today’s specific topic called “divorce”. Using this new perspective of “unfaithfulness” we will be exploring the Bible using God’s created concepts found around the essential subject of “faithfulness” in marriage covenants. Because it is so radically different than anything we have probably heard before it may be difficult for many to accept. It is interesting that this is the same response that Paul got in many places that he went into to teach the Word of God. Here is a scripture that describes Paul’s experiences:
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
This scripture describes two different groups and types of people. It speaks of one group being more noble than the other. The term noble is a symbol of royalty, those of nobility. These people were more noble than those in Thessalonica because of two qualities that they did. Or actually to be more precise it was one featured quality or attitude that they possessed and one action they performed. The first difference of these more noble people was they received the Word of God with an “open mind”. Meaning they were willing to listen and hear something totally new and radically different without prejudice. But instead of accepting everything that was taught them by faith and blindly following Paul, they did something else to prove what was being taught to them was actually what God said in the Word. It says they searched the scriptures daily to see if what Paul was saying was really in the books they called God’s Word. In those days they only had the Old Testament books and scrolls so that is the only verification that they had to search from. Today we can see that this also includes the New Testament writings. You can learn so much by following the example of the more noble group of people. You see there is nothing new under the sun, what was, is that, which shall be again. What you have seen before, is that which will occur again. God does things the same way today as He did in the days of the early church. History has always run in cycles that repeat specific divine patterns in human experiences and events. So when someone like me comes along and teaches something so radically new, what should you do? You should start by keeping an open mind to what is being said and then you must search your Bible to see if it is actually true. That is all I’m asking you to do.
In the last lesson we were talking about sex and infidelity in the context of a covenant marriage relationship. We saw that physical things gives us patterns into spiritual things. People who follow physical faithfulness probably have an easier acceptance with spiritual faithfulness. There has been an increased awareness of natural unfaithfulness due to a well know unnamed sports figure that has recently been caught up with the seeds that he had been sowing. Then before that we had a President that was caught up in an embarrassing White House sexual scandal. But, these were just popularly reported news examples that occur often in many natural human experiences. No human is perfect and all have sinned in some way.
Without God no one really has a chance to be perfect, we have all been there and all share in mistakes that we have made. Also, in the last lesson we referred to the fact that divorce was not legally permissible from God’s law unless a spouse had been unfaithful. I guess these two famous wives certainly had grounds for a divorce. I’m sure neither was happy or content with their covenant relationship. As far as the President’s wife, I believe she endured and stuck around the marriage for some future benefits. A wife will always have the right to choose. But, one thing that we can count on is the faithfulness of God. God will always be faithful to us. Therefore, the only opportunity for covenant failure in a relationship with God, will be on us. This does pertain to the subject today.
GOD’S OLD TESTAMENT COVENANT DIVORCE
So we have been looking at the natural nation of Israel as being called the unfaithful wife in the Old Covenant. She was accused of spiritual adultery and literal whoredom by following after and pursuing other gods by worshiping idols (Isa 1:2, Eze 6:8). There is really a very sincere lesson to learn from this, if we think about it. Recently on the news I saw a story that spoke of many so called Christian churches starting to introduce other foreign practices into their congregations. I don’t know if they were attempting to draw more people in or what. But the net result will be disastrous. These churches wanted to bring in yoga and far eastern mind altering religions. Things like far east meditation and mind relaxation and control techniques that just open people up for satanic interaction. By introducing these foreign religions into their churches they are succumbing to the same result that the natural nation of Israel fell into. This spiritual infidelity will result in spiritual sexual covenant relations with other gods just like Israel. I hope you are hearing me and understand what was just said.
So today I want to open a new can of worms that I know will not go over big with a lot of people, but I really have no choice. I believe I need to teach what God has taught me from the Bible. In the last lesson I gave scriptures about God’s wife Israel being unfaithful to her husband and God said I divorced her (Jer 3:8). If a covenant is a marriage, then a divorce is the termination of that covenant! This is absolutely critical that w see this and understand it. According to O.T. verses God is NOT in covenant with the natural nation of Israel anymore or ever will be again. I know that is a shocking statement, but we look it up in the Bible and verify what God says. Natural Israel now has the same opportunity to marry into the new covenant with Jesus, but the old covenant is over. Here is another witness to this fact:
Isa 50:1 Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill (H5612) of your mother’s divorcement (H3758), whom I have put away (H7971)? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
We have seen that the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah, both have declared the termination of the marriage covenant relationship between God and the natural nation of Israel. Notice that this verse in Isaiah also implies a selling of Israel to another buyer or owner. This sounds like Israel has entered into a new covenant relationship with someone besides Jehovah God, to me. I will tell you up front it was not to be in the new covenant with Jesus the Son of God. The Lord God says “I have Put Away your mother”. Those are terms for divorce based upon Israel’s foolish acts of infidelity. So we can conclude that the divorce is now final in the eyes of God.
Today I want to show you what God’s law says about marriage and divorce. It is so relevant to our discussion that I hope you can see it. The law concerning divorce is found in the book of Deuteronomy in chapter 24:
Deu 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill (H5612) of divorcement (H3748), and give it in her hand, and send (H7971) her out of his house.
Here is exactly what we read in Isaiah and Jeremiah that God did to Israel. It is an exact representation of what happened to the natural nation of Israel. This verse says a man shall take a wife and marry her. We know that God took Israel by the hand and led her out of Egypt and married her (Jer 31:32). Then it says if the man finds “uncleanness” in her and we know that God found His wife natural Israel unfaithful following after other gods and worshipping idols repeatedly. So we know that according to the law, the man (God) then can write his wife (Israel) a bill of divorcement and give it to her to end the covenant. God did this using His prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah. These were His two witnesses for Israel’s whoredom. You then see that this verse says that the woman is now not a part of this husband’s household anymore. She has been kicked out of the relationship due to her unclean acts of wickedness. This is precisely what happened to the nation of Israel. Let’s look at the next verse in the law:
Deu 24:2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.
I read these words and see how God foretold what was about to transpire with His wife. This verse says this divorced wife can become the wife of another man. We saw scriptures that implied strongly that Israel was another man’s wife now. I could give you many other scriptures that would also confirm this but I just don’t have the time right here to include these. I’ll skip over verse 3 because it is about her new husband divorcing her. What I want you to see is the next verse and what God says:
Deu 24:4 Her former husband (Jehovah God), which sent her away, may not take her (natural Israel) again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD (JEHOVAH): and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
You see according to the law, it would be illegal for God to marry the natural nation of Israel again. God said it would be an abomination for Him to take back a wife that has defiled herself with another man. It is therefore illegal, according to the law for God to enter into covenant with the nation of Israel again. I am glad I didn’t write the Bible, I just read it and see what it says. But, I don’t see how He could take her back and not make himself out to be a liar.
I know these are very strong words and the implications are very far reaching. Nevertheless I didn’t write the Bible so please don’t throw stones at the messenger. You have the opportunity to embrace what the Bible says or you now have an opportunity to reject it and ignore what God said. I suspect I’ll have both reactions. The Bible was written in an encoded fashion that forces us to correctly divide the words to come up with the truth. That means some will see it and some will not. That also means everything in the Bible is not always self evident or self revealing and since I don’t know everything maybe there is something that I don’t know yet that could change the outcome of Israel. I will humbly admit that truth that I’m not God and I don’t know everything. If God wants to keep something hidden it will remain hidden, if God wants to reveal the truth to someone or through someone then nothing will stop Him from doing that either.
A NEW TESTAMENT CONFIRMATION
I would like to briefly teach a New Testament confirmation for what we are reading in the Old Testament. I believe God will always confirm whatever is important in the Old Testament in the New either directly or indirectly. This reference that we will be going over is fairly direct but often easily misunderstood. We will be reading from the book of Galatians and chapter 4.
Gal 4:22 For it is written (prophesied), that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh (natural); but he of the freewoman was by promise (Spirit).
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai (natural Israel), which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem (natural Israel) which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all (Jesus and the Church).
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Gal 4:28 Now we (the Church), brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise (Free Woman).
Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit (the Church), even so it is now.
Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman (Natural Israel) and her son: for the son of the bondwoman (Natural Israel) shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
This is an amazing passage of scripture filled with untold revelation. There are two women being compared as mothers with sons. The LORD just keeps uncovering new information from these verses the more we study it. Has anyone missed what the LORD said after reading these verses, I will tell you that one woman is Hagar a young Egyptian slave woman and the other woman was Sarah the older barren wife and God says these two represent allegorical types of spiritual realities. Hagar represents natural Israel that came out of captivity in Egypt. Sarah is spoken of as a spiritual type of free woman that gives birth to the church. Abraham the covenant making husband to both women is also a type in this O.T. story. Abraham represents God the Father also known as Jehovah LORD. That was a very quick overview, so let us explore some of the important details for out subject of covenants and divorce.
Notice how God uses a real literal Old Testament story of Abraham as a spiritual allegory to reveal a greater unseen truth. If we read closely, we will discover that God is likening natural Israel to be called a model, type, pattern, or a shadow of a natural Egyptian “bonds woman” named Hagar. God equates her position of natural bondage to Israel’s servitude to the Old Covenant Law. It is remarkably interesting, to note that this Galatians 4 passage is speaking of this Hagar woman as a typology of natural Israel being in covenant with God. It is important to note that the natural people of Israel were taken from Egypt by God through Moses. Then God also gave them the law through Moses on Mount Sinai and later they possessed the land where Jerusalem eventually becomes their capital city.
I will not teach the entire set of verses. There are other Bible lessons on this website that have more detail if you are interested. But I do want us to focus on verse 30. This is a quotation from Genesis 21:10. What does this verse say so clearly? God tells us it is written “Cast out the bond woman (natural Israel) Hagar for her son will not be an heir with the son of the freewoman”. When we go back and study the original verse God uses the Hebrew word H1644 which is translated as “cast out”. Strong defines this Hebrew word as “to drive out from a possession”. But this Hebrew word also carries the meaning of “divorce” and a “divorced woman”. Wow, that is amazing confirmation to the verses we have read from Jerimiah 3:8 and Isaiah 50:1.
Galatians 4 is a New Covenant confirmation for what has happened to the Old Covenant people. Natural Israel is now no longer in covenant with God Jehovah even while still being in bondage to His written Law. There is a further confirmation found within Galatians 4. Remember when I showed implied O.T. references for divorced natural Israel now being in covenant marriage with someone other than God Jehovah? Did you notice Galatians 4:27? What is God saying in this verse?
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren (Sarah a type of the Heavenly Jersualem) that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou (Sarah a type of the Heavenly Jersualem) that travailest not: for the desolate (free woman Sarah a type of the Heavenly Jerusalem) hath many more children than she which hath an husband (bond woman: Hagar a type of natural Israel).
This verse is another O.T quotation from Isaiah 54:1. I placed in quotations the unstated allegorical references revealed to us by God in Galatians 4 to help us understand who He is speaking of. I pray that everyone observed that this verse says the bond slave woman (Hagar the type of natural Israel) was cast out of God’s marriage covenant but is now being referred to as a “married” wife. But if her husband is not Jehovah God, then who is it? Go and read Isiah 54:1 and we will find God Jehovah is the one speaking about these two women. Notice that He does not claim in Isaiah 54:1 to be her husband. In fact, it was only 4 chapters before this prophecy that Jehovah gave natural Israel her bill of divorce.
Galatians chapter 4 is very profound. God has just confirmed that natural Israel is no longer in a covenant with Him. It further implies by indirect reference that she has no possibility to return to the covenant that she was in with Him. If we study the entire Bible for direct references to Hagar, we will find only 14 times her name is given by God. The last time she is mentioned in the O.T. is Genesis 25 where God gives the genealogy of Ishmael to have 12 sons. Before this mention is Genesis 21 where Abraham “sends her away with her son Ismael in verse 14. The Hebrew word “send away” is H7971 that was translated as “put away” in the law of divorcement we read in Deuteronomy 24 and the divorce decrees we read in Isaiah 50:1 and Jeremiah 3:8. These connecting words and subjects are not a coincidence. God is teaching us that natural Israel will have the same end as the natural Egyptian slave woman named Hagar.
We have seen scripture that declares natural Israel’s covenant relationship with God has been terminated because of her continued unfaithfulness. We then saw the law of God that declares this relationship is over for good. We cannot blame God for ending the covenant. It was natural Israel’s repeated bad choices to commit whoredom with other gods that finally caused the consequences. Remember what God says in Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived, God is not mocked whatever a man sows that will he reap”. Israel finally reaped what they had sown for hundreds and hundreds of years. A crop of failure will eventually come to anyone that does the same. God was extremely patient, forgiving and kind to the natural nation of Israel. He is the same today to us. Thank you Jesus!
I’ll end this lesson with this last statement, there is more in the Bible that we don’t know than what we do know. I don’t care how long we have studied the Bible or how much we have memorized and we can quote. Quoting scripture does not mean we know it and understand it. The term to “Know” means understand and I guarantee that we (me and you) don’t understand very much of the Bible. God’s intelligence level is so far beyond ours. Every word in the Bible has significance and meaning and most of the time we just read them like they don’t mean anything. The one reality that I am faced with every time I study the Bible is this: “The more I learn, the more I find out I don’t know”. If you are not there yet, then you don’t realize yet that you have a lot more to learn. In the next lesson, I’ll attempt to explore natural Israel’s new covenant relationship.
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may now go to “Part 4“.
(Ver 2.2) This is now Part 2 in the series of Understanding Bible Covenants. The Word of God is so awesome, I just love studying the Bible more than anything. I hope you are as excited about learning about God as I am. Please understand that I don’t say this because the main subject is about sex. I think I may know where some people’s mind is going. This is a very serious subject and I will warn you that it could be offensive to some. If you do not consider yourself a mature Christian maybe it would be best if you do not read the rest of this lesson. Just take that into consideration. In today’s lesson we want to continue talking about understanding Bible covenants. I want to provide several new established scriptures to expand our foundation for a sound understanding of what a Bible God type of covenant is. Today’s subject as you can tell by the title will certainly be different than most anything that you have probably heard before and represents an advanced study on the subject of covenants intended for mature Christians. If you are not a mature Christian then please just go read someone else’s Bible lesson for today. That was warning number two. Also if you have not read from the beginning of this series, I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with Part 1 dealing with Covenants and Marriage.
INTRODUCTION & REVIEW
In the first lesson in this series, we were introduced to some of the basic concepts and parts of what a Bible covenant is and some of what a Bible covenant is not. we learned that a Bible covenant is like a binding legal contract relationship between two separate individuals but yet it is certainly much more than this. We then described this legal contract to be equivalent to a natural marriage between a husband and a wife. We were also introduced to the fact that a Bible covenant relationship can be between any two of the following:
- A spiritual being (God the Father, Jesus, Lucifer, etc.)
- A physical being (Abraham)
- A group of natural beings (natural Israel)
- A group of spiritual beings (church, angels, etc.)
A covenant will always be between at least two of these categories of individuals of any combination. I should also point out that a covenant can be between two individuals of the same type. For example, a spirit being to a spirit being or a physical being to a physical being, or even a nation of people with another nation of people. It is of course difficult to think of a group of people as being a single united entity, but that is what the Bible declares so I’ll stick with that. In the last lesson, we saw examples of the natural nation of Israel being in covenant with the creator God. In these verses, we found scriptures that God called this covenant a marriage relationship. We can see that in a covenant with God, God is always the Husband representative and the nation, group or individual in covenant with God is always the female wife representative. This pattern established in the Old Covenant was continued in the New Covenant with Jesus being the husband (bridegroom) and the church being His bride and wife.
In the last lesson we were also introduced to the concept that when two people or individuals are married, that they become one flesh and/or one spirit. We found and read scriptures that describes God’s law of marriage that was first given to us in Genesis chapter 2. I will warn you the third and final time that today’s subject matter is of a very mature nature. If you didn’t realize it before now, God created physical things like sex as a pattern for us to understand hidden spiritual truths. If God created natural sex, it must be good and have a very good purpose more than just making us feel good and making babies.
NATURAL SEX – A COVENANT PATTERN
We will begin by saying that sex was of course designed to be limited within the boundary of a covenant marriage between a husband and his wife. Since we have been talking about covenants as a marriage, it doesn’t take long to realize that sex is a integral part of God’s designed marriage covenant relationship. This is exactly why Satan wants to pervert sex and make it a casual normal indulgence for anyone and everyone at any time, even younger youth dating. We can’t watch TV or movies without seeing sex glorified and promoted in a very prevalent and a dominate fashion. If Satan wants to pervert the subject, it must have a legitimate purpose and reason for existence for God’s glory. What we need to begin to realize is that the physical union of sexual intercourse and intimacy should point us to a greater spiritual covenant relationship within a much higher spiritual dimension.
So, what does sex have to do with Bible covenants? I want to talk first about the human sexual organs. As most know these are called the male penis and the female vagina. Remember I warned you. What does a male penis have to do with a covenant? For many mature Christians that study the Bible they already know the answer. The answer is circumcision. God introduced circumcision to Abraham in Genesis 17:
Gen 17:9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
Gen 17:10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
Gen 17:11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
This is the first mention of circumcision in the Bible that I know of. It is also the first direct mention of the male penis that I have found so far. The male and female sexual union act is first mentioned in Genesis 4:1 and we will talk more about this soon. Notice in verses 9, 10 and 11 of Genesis 17 God calls this His covenant that Abraham and every generation of male seed that they will keep. Now, remember what circumcision is and what we discovered in the first lesson. What is a key component of covenants with God? There is a verbal agreement made and there is a direct cutting of flesh followed by an immediate flow of blood. Wow, that makes circumcision to match the pattern of divine covenants, doesn’t it?
Now we need to move to the female sexual organ called the vagina. God designed the male sexual organ to fill with blood (uh oh, that sounds important) to become erect, and then to enter into female’s vagina to have carnal knowledge with her and this was designed by God to produce offspring (seed from seed). Now, we need to get into more detail. The first time a female vagina has carnal knowledge of the male sexual organ, something happens that does not normally occur ever again. As you probably remember this is the flow of blood and we are not speaking of the female monthly menses cycle. Although this monthly cycle applies because of the involvement of blood, as a type of cleansing, this is not the blood flow that represents the covenant between a male and female. Humans do not normally have sex when a woman is in her monthly cycle.
Ok, let’s get to the main point. There is a small piece of skin Called the hymen that exists for no apparent reason or purpose within the opening of the vagina of every normal female. When the male inserts his blood filled sexual organ inside his wife’s vagina for the first time, this medically unknown purposed skin tears and bleeds. This causes an immediate temporary flow of blood that humans have lowered in importance by labeling it as “popping her cherry”. This is a major conquest for the ungodly male that doesn’t understand what really just happened in the eyes of God.
This piece of unnecessary female skin that was ripped and torn to bleed is called the hymen. I believe we can easily begin to see that it was placed in the female vagina by God for the creation of an eternal covenant bond between that human male and his wife. One reason why this first sexual act is legally binding forever is because the woman does not grow back a new hymen ever again. It is a one and done covenant. At least that is what God intended when He created Adam and Eve. Adam only had one wife with one hymen and that covenant bond lasted them their entire existence on the earth over 900 years. Wow, we should learn that this was God’s design for every human covenant marriage. But, this truth soon became perverted shortly afterward in their following generations.
I pray that was not too graphic and that we all received something new to think about when considering who to have sex with. Just take note of the presence of blood and how many times it was just mentioned. We have the male covenant with God revealed to be a token by the visible cutting and removing of the unnecessary male foreskin. We have a female that when she becomes able to bare children begin a monthly flow of blood exactly where the male organ full of blood enters. Then we had the hymen another unnecessary piece of skin that is torn and bleeds whenever the husband’s first penetration occurs and this act by God’s design produces a husband and wife blood covenant bond that remains in effect until one of them dies physically.
Can we begin to see the power of the blood of God in all of these covenant making connections and parallels? Can we also begin to see the reasons oof Satan’s attempt to make sexual unions a trivial and meaningless temporary pleasure? We are going to talk more about this later but we should begin to know that in the eyes of God everyone that we have had sex with who is still alive physically we are in a marriage covenant with that person. But thank God for the blood of Jesus. I know what many of you may be thinking. How do I undo all of the mistake covenants that I have entered into before I knew all of this? We can simply bring these up to God’s Court in heaven and repent for them, ask Him to apply the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from these unrighteous acts and God’s word in 1 John 1:9 says that “He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. Thank you Jesus!
NATURAL SEX PATTERNS FOUND IN THE
NEW COVENANT SPIRIT REALM
Let us continue by understanding that a spirit does not have physical sex. Yet this natural sexual act is still found as a pattern for a greater spiritual truth. Let us go to the Bible and use the law of first mention and see what God reveals to us on the subject of sex. I already mentioned this verse in the last section, but the first mention of physical sex that I have found in the Bible was Genesis 4:1:
Gen 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
This verse in Genesis represents God’s higher way of describing physical sex experienced in the covenant relationship between Adam and his wife Eve. Recall that since this was the first mention of Adam having sex with Eve her hymen had to be torn and this produced a lasting covenant as well as their “firstborn son” named Cain.
Believe it or not, here we have a pattern of Christ and the church. Adam, the first man was a created pattern (figure) of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:14) who was to come into the world to die and forgive our sins and then be raised from the dead to marry in covenant His bride, the church. Jesus implements this covenant by having His flesh pierced, torn and ripped to shed His blood for us. That is just a quick introduction to the New Covenant. Let’s get back to our study of the first directly mentioned human sexual act in the Bible.
There is a fascinating concept given to us in this verse in Genesis. To “know” something or someone, what does that mean? I’ve often heard the term for sex to be described as having “carnal knowledge of” them. Carnal knowledge is just another synonymous term for natural covenant making sex. The actual Hebrew word YADA (H3045) that was translated as “knew” is defined as follows: “to ascertain by seeing”. It seems to be a form of gaining knowledge, but going further than just a casual surface knowledge of something or someone. Because to YADA someone means to understand them intimately and personally. It would be like someone saying “I know of the President” but to really “YADA” the President we would need to spend a lot of personal time with them to really understand them.
There are many varieties of knowledge in the world. To know a friend is not the same as for you to know your wife, or at least it shouldn’t be. Let’s think about a different form of knowledge other than physical sex for a moment. You see, we can also go to school to learn some specific subjects. For example, we can sit in class to know algebra, to know geometry or to know trigonometry and these are all representative types of having sex within the confines of a physical marriage according to God’s selection and usage of the word. However, people can memorize facts and still not “KNOW” what they mean or how to apply them. For example many people know Einstein’s theory of relativity is E=MC2. But to understand what it means and how to make it useful is not to YADA it.
This word to know (YADA) can apply to either type of interaction by God’s design. You can know a subject intimately so that it becomes a part of you and you understand it and this is representative of a covenant relationship, to know and to understand husband or a wife subject intimately. Do you remember what Jesus said to us in Matthew 5:27 and 28? The subject is about extramarital sex which is inline perfectly with our Bible study subject today. Jesus said “You have heard (in the law) you shall not commit adultery”. “But, I say to you that a man that looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already in his heart”. Wow, this sounds like it is time for many of us to repent and ask for forgiveness. What Jesus is doing is comparing spiritual adultery with natural adultery. One is the physical realization of the fantasy that we had in our heart and the other is simply the fantasy in our heart that Jesus said makes us guilty already of the sin before we act on it. Wow, this is amazing and should be an eye opening encounter for us all. Uh oh! I can hear minds clicking away to say “well if I already thought about her this way, I should go ahead and just do it since I am already guilty in the eyes of God. Please don’t be stupid and foolish to fall into that trap of Satan. Hebrews 11:25 teaches us that Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of in sin for a season. I guess we will move on.
What we have to see and understand are the concepts given to us by God in His Word. Understand that there are parallels to knowing a subject (or even fantasizing about someone) and how that is related to the act of participating in physical sexual knowledge of someone. God when He was in covenant with the natural nation of Israel, wanted them to know Him so He gave them the law and the words of the prophets. Jesus wants the church to know Him so He gave us the Gospels and the Epistles. By us studying and having intimate knowledge of Jesus and embracing His Holy Word is the spiritual form of the natural wife having a physical relationship with her natural husband. In our covenant marriage case we are His wife and He is our husband. We are intimate with Jesus when we pray and when we read His Word to Know and spend time with Him.
Some might be struggling with the concept of what is being taught today so we are going to read over some key scriptures to help us come closer to a better understanding of the subject of physical sex in relationship with spiritual knowledge more clearly. We’ll turn to a verse that we may have never studied to learn what God desires for us to understand:
1Co 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
This verse represents the very complex subject of covenant relationships utilizing different phrases, words and terms. Hopefully we can all see that this verse is comparing two opposing types of spiritual covenant relationships. The first spiritual covenant is between the church and Jesus Christ. We can see that there is an inferred meaning that the church is now married to Jesus Christ in this statement because of the reference to being members of His body. Remember when Adam saw his wife he said “she is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” in Genesis 2:23. That made Eve the woman the body of Adam the man. This is what the Law of God says in marriages.
We can see that since we have become the body of Christ (by God’s law of covenant marriage), that we can still go and commit spiritual adultery to make the member of Christ the members of a spiritual harlot simultaneously. We learn that this is a sexual but spiritual type of knowledge encounter with this woman called a “harlot”. We can see that it is still possible to be joined spiritually with another besides Jesus.
Again we understand that this is a direct application of God’s law of natural marriage from Genesis 2 being restated and applied using different words in a spiritual application. According to God, the author of the Bible, to become members of a harlot is to be spiritually connected through having knowledge of) her. This statement is actually a parallel to some Old Testament realities that transpired many years before Paul wrote these words. What we can observe and understand from this is an implication that if one wife can commit adultery, then any wife in any covenant relationship (including with Jesus) can commit adultery. Let’s look at the next verse to learn more confirmation to what is being taught by God:
1Co 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
In this next verse we can see some more outstanding spiritual implications and parallels being given to us by God. We can very clearly learn that sexual relations with a harlot in the eyes of God is the exact same thing as a covenant marriage. That means that having casual sex or a one night stand with any woman whether she is a whore (paid money) or not will cause the two people to be in covenant relationship with each other. This is not really that complicated. Everyone that has been alive on the earth for a period of several years understands that people do not pay a prostitute to get married. No, the transaction and the exchange of money is for a brief pleasure of having sex. So what people do not realize is that this is not how God views the acts. God says in verse 16 that the two having this relationship have been joined in a marriage covenant. The literal Greek word G2853 translated as “joined” literally means to “glue” together two separate pieces. I do not believe people see it this way since it looks like it is just a temporary pleasure.
In the eyes of God having sex is a marriage and a marriage means there should have been sexual intimacy between a covenant husband and his wife. That is some very strong words I know, but you can read it for yourself. Study it out and see if this is not what God is saying. According to God, even a casual one night stand causes the participants to be in a covenant binding relationship.
We know recently in the news that a prominent sports figure was accused by several women to be in relationship with all of them. These fourteen or more women all accused this married man of having had sex with them. I also heard a rock star brag that he had sexual encounters with over a 1000 women and girls while touring with the rock band. He literally boasted that he had photos to prove it. But, according to these scripture verses that we just read these men now have a bunch of wives. These physical realities are parallel to the spiritual realities that God is attempting to get us to see and to understand. We can verify all of this in the next verse:
1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
You see in verse 17 we see another implied reference to Christ being married to the church. The verse speaks directly that the church is “JOINED” to the LORD. That is a marriage term and is the same word that is translated in other places as “cleave” to his wife. This verse then declares that the church is One Spirit with our husband Jesus Christ. Again more marriage terminology. We can understand that this new covenant marriage is suppose to be a spiritual type of sexual relationship just based upon the context of the surrounding verses speaking about people who have sex with harlots at the same time as being in covenant with Jesus Christ. In fact these verses are a warning written to the spiritual bride of Jesus telling her not to be involved with joining herself with other gods, idols, the worldly desires and lusts or whoever or whatever.
There are certainly many things to consider about these statements and we can apply them to both natural and spiritual covenant relationships. These constitute concepts of physical faithfulness and they should apply to us in our spiritual relationship with Christ as well. The bottom line of these verses in 1 Corinthians 6 point us to being faithful to Christ Jesus our husband and not to wander off with a deception or trick of Satan.
SPIRITUTAL SEXUAL INFIDELITY AND ADULTERY
These are all very stout and strong words and concepts given to us in the Bible concerning being in binding covenant relationship with the right and wrong individuals. What we thought was only a temporary pleasurable encounter has been raised to a very serious level of critical importance. I pray that everyone is learning the significance. These concepts and words appear to have not been clearly understood before now by very many Christians . But, before we go to the Old Testament let me show the law of marriage again restated differently for us in the New Testament which introduces us to a new concept called adultery which we should see and know as the act of being married to multiple covenant sexual partners at the same time:
Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
We can see new meaning in these words when we apply what we have just learned about the term “know”. To know something or someone is a sexual term that denotes a covenant act in a covenant relationship. So this verse is written to those that were in covenant with Jehovah God and His law and this could only be the natural nation of Israel. We know this because the Law was given to them by Moses on Mt Sinai after coming out of Egypt. Let’s see what God is saying to them that “know” the law:
Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
These are some interesting words given to us from God. These words declare that a woman that knows the law is legally bound to the covenant law of her husband as long as he is alive. We know from previous study that Israel is called the wife of God in the Old Covenant (Jer 31:32). So we are told by God that this group or nation of natural people were bound (in bondage) by the law of God as long as He lives. God says very clearly that only when the husband is dead is she free to marry (enter covenant) again.
Rom 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Here we have God’s definition of an adulteress. I do not understand how people have not put these things together, but I guess they are just hard to accept so they refuse to see them. Any way verse 3 of chapter 7 says if her husband is alive and she marries another man, then she shall be called an adulteress. An adulteress is a noun title for a woman who has committed a sexual act of adultery. Adultery is defined as “an extramarital sexual affair” and this “infidelity” is known as unfaithfulness. This is what is called the state of being unfaithful to your covenant spouse. Are we following these concepts?
How do we apply these physical things to spiritual things? We know that the natural nation of Israel did not have physical sex with other gods, idols or religions, but God said numerous times in the Old Testament that they were very unfaithful to Him. So apparently spiritual sex follows after a pattern of natural sex and is treated no differently by God. In fact in the eyes of God it is exactly the same. Spiritual sex would involve worshipping false gods, idols and other such unfaithful acts. These spiritual acts of the knowledge of foreign gods are covenant acts of infidelity in the eyes of God. This was Israel, His wife making herself in covenant relationship and being joined with other gods as we have just learned from the New Testament. Let us start looking at some Key Old Testament verses that speak about this subject:
Jer 3:1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.
Yet more difficult words to swallow from God. It is a struggle to understand how Israel the natural nation of people are said to have committed adultery with many lovers. In fact this verse actually says that Israel has become the wife of another man by being unfaithful even while being married to the living covenant God. Remember what we read in 1 Corinthians, that the sexual act itself causes you to become married in covenant with the harlot. This verse in Jeremiah calls Israel the harlot and the wife of someone else and this husband is not God. The implications to these statements are huge and very powerful. The ramifications and consequences to Israel’s acts of unfaithfulness are enormous. Who is this one that Israel is accused of having spiritual intercourse with, and is in covenant with, if it is not with God? It will certainly be a new thing to research and consider using the Word of God.
Studying the Bible on this subject is incredibly difficult, because it implies so many heavy and deep things for us to consider. Many ministers in the church teach and preach such favorable things about the nation of Israel and I guess that they gloss over and ignore statements in the Bible about her infidelity and unfaithfulness. As we continue with this lesson it will not get any easier for me to teach or for you to accept. Let’s continue with this verse also in Jeremiah 3:
Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
In Malachi 2:16 God makes the statement that he hates divorce, however in Jeremiah 3:8 we see a direct statement that God has just divorced Israel, because of her repeated adulteries. If you recall from the definition of an adulteress in 1 Corinthians, an adulteress is any woman who has sexual knowledge outside of her covenant marriage while her husband still lives. God says backsliding Israel has committed adultery while I yet lived as their husband. What are the consequences of those transgressions? Here is a statement by God that directly breaks and terminates the old covenant marriage with the natural nation of Israel and completely ends the relationship. When God gave these words to His Prophet Jeremiah, the nation of Israel was divorced by law and no longer could be called the covenant wife of God but she is called the wife of another man in this book and others because of her sexual relationships with those gods. Because of Israel’s infidelity she has become the wife of another by the simple act of spiritual adultery. I told you that this wasn’t going to get any easier to accept. We are now heavy duty into the subject of divorce as it relates to the subject of marriage covenants. What gives God the right to divorce His unfaithful wife Israel? Let us confirm the divorce for the naysayers so there is no confusion: Please read another witness from the prophet Isaiah:
Isa 50:1 Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
Here we can clearly see God speaking about His covenant wife Israel. This verse was written to the Lord Jesus speaking to Him to ask His mother about her divorce. What I want you to see that God very clearly says “I have put her away”. This Hebrew word translated as put away means to cast out. Also in this verse God uses the Hebrew word H3748 that is only used 4 times in the O.T. This word is translated as “divorcement” here and it literally means a cutting of the marital bonds. The only other time this word is used is found in Jeremiah 3:8 that we just looked at and in the Law of Moses written in Deuteronomy 24:1-3 where God permits divorce because of the hardness of the hearts of the people of Israel according to Jesus in Matthew. Let’s look at that verse quickly:
Mat 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
Notice what Jesus teaches about covenant relationships. Jesus said there was a time when this was permitted but it was only because they were hard hearted. Then Jesus says very clearly that this was not the intended design of God from the beginning. This would help confirm to us why God wrote in Malachi 2:6 that it is written that God hates divorce. God does not want to divorce anyone. God also does not want anyone in the world to divorce each other either. Divorce is far from the perfect will of God. God only permitted divorce under the law because of Israel’s repeated unfaithfulness while committing whoredom over and over and over. Let’s look at another verse that Jesus directly speaks concerning divorce in Matthew:
Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Jesus enforces God’s right to divorce His unfaithful wife Israel here in this verse in Matthew. Here we have Jesus speaking of divorce as not being a legitimate alternative to end any covenant relationship except for the reason of “fornication”. The Greek word G4202 that was translated as “fornication” here actually means “Harlotry” or “whoredon”. I have not heard many or any Christian leaders, preachers and teachers teaching these concepts. I wonder why? Do they exist in the Bible? It is also interesting that harlotry is the physical or natural meaning of this Greek word, but it also conveys the spiritual meaning of “idolatry” in the case of natural Israel. In the case of God’s relationship with natural Israel His wife, the sole legal reason for His divorce to her is based upon Israel’s constant interaction with other gods, religions and their idols. They worshipped false gods and idols instead of the true and living God. They became those that worshiped the creation more than the creator. Wow does that sound familiar?
Jer 3:20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.
Here we have another incredible scripture that relates Israel to be the wife of God. The word “as” is added to the verse by the translator thinking that they were making a comparison, but Israel was the covenant wife by God’s own admission that God was speaking to in this verse. It goes on to describe her as a woman that has “departed” and “left” her husband. God does not like that one bit. A wife should not depart from her loving husband ever. In this verse it is implies that she (Israel) has left her husband for another man. I wonder why these scriptures are not taught and have been overlooked and ignored in the Bible? Are these verses written in the Holy Book? Did Israel commit adultery and fall into a covenant with another spiritual being? How could this be and who is this spiritual being that is now in covenant with natural Israel? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you should. They are truly important to your understanding of the Word of God.
I have to limit the number of verses that I could include on this subject due to lesson length. But please understand that just because I gave you a few verses, it doesn’t mean that there are not many, many others that say the same thing. You are welcome to search and find them out for yourself. You can find many verses of the whoredom of Israel in Jeremiah 3, 16, Ezekiel 16, 20, 23 and 43 and the book of Hosea to name the major references. Go read them and study them all for your self and learn what spiritual adultery represents. This was a woman that has left her husband to go and commit an act of sexual knowledge with another god besides her husband.
What I did was attempt to give you a foundational overview of a very complex subject, showing you how natural things are directly related to spiritual things. Marriage, sex, infidelity and divorce are all subjects that you should be familiar with in the natural. But, knowing how to apply them to God’s designed spiritual things is the challenge we are all faced with. I have shown you that God’s Old Covenant wife was unfaithful to Him and as a result, God has divorced her. That at least implies that this old covenant is over and done with for God the Father but not for natural Israel because of the law. Let’s go back to Romans and see a verse that I did not give you yet about this subject of covenant marriage:
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
Here is a complex verse that does not make any sense if you do not see that it was only written to those that “knew” the law. God says you that knew the law have been freed from that bondage of covenant relationship because your husband God died on the cross in the flesh. Then God says directly to these people that were bound to that covenant that they could be married in covenant with another man named the risen from the dead the Lord Jesus Christ. You see this verse does not make any sense for a Gentile that was never in covenant marriage with God. It can only apply to the natural nation of Israel. Any way we look at it, the natural nation of Israel must enter into the marriage covenant with Jesus Christ or they will not enter into everlasting life. Jesus declared quite literally that He was the only way to the Father and that no one could enter in by any other way and that means covenant also.
There are multiple implied verses given to us in the Bible that the woman natural Israel is now married to another spiritual being and this could be the reason why Satan wants to wipe Israel off of the face of the planet. If you didn’t already know that you must have been living in a vacuum or a bubble. Satan is trying diligently to wipe Israel off the map and probably will attempt something dramatic very soon. As soon as countries like Iran develop nuclear weapons, Israel is in deep trouble. These weapons are not for defense, they are for the sole purpose of eliminating Israel. Many Christians view natural Israel and call them God’s chosen people and assume that is why Satan wants to kill them. I would suggest that Satan may want to kill them for a different reason. Perhaps in my next bible lesson we will get into more verses concerning this unfaithful woman that was in covenant with God but, appears to be married to another now.
If you would like to continue reading this series on Bible covenants, you can go to “Part 3“.
(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.
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“.