Wow, it has been a while since I’ve been on here. This has been a busy 3 weeks. =)
I had the privilege of meeting a young lady this week who is on a similar journey as me. She was raised in a very strict “Christian” home with all of the traditional beliefs (that everyone else is wrong, etc) and has been rethinking all of it and searching for the truth. We had a brief conversation about Scripture, Judaism, pagan holidays and a few other topics and I can soo relate to what she is going through. Please pray that as she seeks to follow YHVH in spirit and in truth, that He will reveal Himself and His ways to her. I truly believe that her heart is to please Him.
I actually started the below post and saved it as a draft and today I think I will finish it and post it.
What exactly IS a covenant?
Here is the 2012 Wikepedia definition:
A covenant is a solemn agreement to engage in or refrain from a specified action.
Here is the 1828 Webster’s definition:
1. A mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; a contract; stipulation. A covenant is created by deed in writing, sealed and executed; or it may be implied in the contract.
2. A writing containing the terms of agreement or contract between parties; or the clause of agreement in a deed containing the covenant.
The first covenant was with Noah and all his descendents.
- Seal: rainbow
- Promise: never to flood the earth again Genesis 9:12
The second covenant was with Abraham. Scripture says that we are the seed of Abraham
- Seal and condition: circumcision
- Promise: multiplying Abraham’s seed, making him fruitful, making nations of him, bringing forth kings from him, and giving them the land. To all His generations
What was involved in a covenant in those days?
The blood of 5 animals was spilled on the ground and ran together, then both parties would walk through the blood, signifying they would give their own life to keep the covenant. Each then received a stone tablet containing a written summary of the entire covenant and they placed it in their most sacred place. The greater of the two parties determined the responsibilities of each party. The lesser party accepted or rejected the terms. This bound them together.
** I forgot to mention, Ray Vanderlaan, which is the source of the above information, teaches that because of this, the 2 stone tablets given to Moses were most likely 2 copies of the covenant and the entire agreement was on each, not half on each tablet, as we are traditionally taught. He suggests that this implies that YHVH gave both copies of the covenant to Moses rather than keeping one for Himself, (knowing He WILL keep His end of the covenant) and both copies were then placed in the Ark of the Covenant, the most sacred place. There is so much more to this and I highly recommend his study “Prophets and Kings” to give you a greater understanding of Covenants.
The third covenant was with Israel/Sinai. This was an ammendment of the Abrahamic covenant. Anyone who chose to keep this covenant was welcome to the promises. (Lev 19:34,Isaiah 56:6) It was to be read every 7 years. The people agreed. We are now part of Israel. Eph 2:12
- Condition: You obey my voice and guard my covenant (Torah).
- Sign: The sign is the Sabbath. see Ex 31:13 It is a forever sign and a permanent reminder. Exodus 31:16
- Promise: I will be your Elohim. I will treasure you above all, you will be priests and be set- apart, live and multiply, be blessed in the land
The fourth covenant was with David. His house and reign will be forever.
The fifth covenant is with Israel. Jer 31:33, Heb 8:10 I believe this one began with the crucifixion of Yeshua and is yet to be completely fulfilled as it indicates everyone will know His Torah and do it and shall know Him, and we all know that is not the case. Heb 8:13 indicates that the old covenant is growing old and near vanishing, which seems to indicate that it has not completely vanished yet
The blood of Yeshua, as He Himself says, is the blood of the new covenant.
Why a new covenant? The people broke the first one. The first covenant was not faulty, the people were.
Why am I saying all of this?
I believe that a proper understanding of a covenant is the root of understanding Paul’s words. I am by no means fully studied in this topic, but I do find it fascinating. And I do understand the word forever and the word perpetual, which are used in conjunction with the covenants when they are given as well as in Number 15:15 as applying to the non-Jews.
So, in summary, if we are told in Ex 12, 23; Lev 16, 17, 18, 19, 24; Numbers 15; Deut 29; Is 56:3; Ezekiel 44, 47 (and more) that the alien/stranger/sojourner is to be included in the Torah, then why in the world do we think it does not include us? And if it says that it is forever/perpetual in Ex 28, Lev 3, 17, 23, 24; Num 15 and many, many more passages, then why do we think it has come to an end?
My brain is a bit tired trying to put all of this into words today, so I will stop writing for now, but I welcome your thoughts/feedback/questions. =)