Weekly Sabbath Survey
Covenant — 7-16-2016
“Covenant” is a word most of us have heard: God starts with “Let’s Make a Deal.” He sets the terms of the plan and invites us to get on board. Actually, that’s not a bad way of explaining it, as far as it goes. But we need a true comprehension of the deeper meanings of a continuing promise in covenant with the Lord. The Jews had 6000 years of covenant training when Jesus was born. We Gentiles have some catching up to do! We must take a closer, more serious look and get a real understanding of the mighty and merciful God we serve. Here’s an illustration: Man was “Naked and Afraid” when the first blood was shed to make animal skin (blood) coverings for the Edenic miscreants. Every time a ‘new’ covenant was added, it is adding another layer of clothing, or even a complete change of attire, all the way up to our white robe in heaven which is the covering bought by the blood of Jesus.
Now, we must be made aware that “covenant” and “testament” are not the same thing in God’s context. A divine covenant is between God and humans. It can be added to, but nothing God promises is ever taken away. His first covenant with mankind is built upon throughout history. From the beginning, it is everlasting. New things have been added as time goes along and man’s understanding developed. But it is still the same covenant. On the other hand, the word testament, rather than being a Biblical agreement, is a legal contract between human beings under man’s laws. By definition in Greek and English, it has a beginning and an end. With a contract of sale between two people. once the item is sold, money exchanged hands, the contract is over. We are all familiar with “Last Will and Testament.” That testament is over when the deceased person’s wishes are fully carried out.
The confusion that happened caused some to say “The Old Testament was for then. The New Testament is for now.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus died in the New Testament. But that was not news to the ones in the know, and was NOT the end of it or the “Old Testament!” He was slain from the foundation of the world! [Rev. 13:8] The plan was whole when, to begin with, right up to the end. The New Testament is a continuation of the old, old story: God’s continuing redemption of mankind. This fundamental error in terminology and understanding was the platform upon which the Christian belief system was built. And we have kept going in that error for 2000 years. It started with one mistake and gave rise to much, much more. Our Bible is The Old Covenant and The New Covenant. The new being the final installment of the same and only everlasting covenant, bringing it to life again with the birth/death of Messiah. But the promise of His coming was there from the start! We could do away with the misnomers “Old” and “New” and “Holy Bible.” Just call it, “The Covenant.” From Genesis to Revelation it is the same covenant, a Jewish document written by Jews. Even the parts written to the Gentiles was all written by Jews. They had the understanding. The first Gentile Believers began in their faith from the Jewish perspective.
Part of the reason for the break between the two ‘testaments’ was because the Jewish writings inspired by God’s Holy Spirit ceased with Malachi. There was a gap of around 400 years between the last chapter of Malachi which ended with a promise, “Behold, I will send the Prophet Elijah . . .”, and the first words in Matthew, “The book of the generation of Yeshua ha Meshiach, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” I can only imagine how distressing it was for the faithful to go so many years with no prophet, no word from their God, YHVH. So, when the disciples of Jesus began to write their memoirs (the Gospels) and the letters by Holy Spirit’s inspiration, these Scriptures were claimed by the Jewish Believers and the Gentile followers, but rejected by the Jewish teachers and leaders. Now, in our day, the Lord is bringing it all together again.
We serious Bible students must go beyond the walls of the denomination and/or teachers we have followed who only validate their particular beliefs held dear. We must study things that challenge our mental and spiritual status quo, and trust God to show us what is true and what is not. Only those who do this will be able to overcome the seriously entrenched false doctrines that are millstones around our necks to this day. It is true that there is NOTHING NEW under the sun. It’s all been there ALL the time. This understanding is an End Times thing, for sure. We must know the Truth so we can be set free!
Jesus said, Search the writings [the Torah] … they testify of me. Paul said, God’s own purpose and grace was given to us in Messiah Yeshua before the world began. Solomon said, The thing that has been is that which will be, and what was done shall be done, and there is no new thing under the sun. John 5:39, 2 Timothy 1:9, Ecclesiastes 1:9 < all of Isaiah 53 >
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Copyright April 2016
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