Covenants & Covenant Relationships
Sozo Short Bible Studies – Category #1 – Christian Life Basics
This Short Study will cover the definition and meaning of special relationships, known as Covenants, which help to move the soul closer to God.
By Pastor G. E. Newmyer
PREFACE: In this study we want to view Covenants as they connect to Relationships. When we speak of the signs (tokens) of the many Covenants God has made with man, we will also find similar signs in heathen cultures. Does it mean God copied the heathen? Of course not, but we find many natural thinking intellectuals assuming that the people of God have copied other cultures. Mark 16:16 tells us, even if the world has “washings,” the process of baptism is still associated with the Body of Christ; thus it’s only effective for the Body. If their “washing” is not a Token to the induction into the Body, then they took a bath, had a swim, or held a religious ceremony amounting to nothing. The Body of Christ is the only organization on earth that has the God given authority to “water baptize.”
Let’s begin . . .
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved…” – Mark 16:16 (KJV)
In order for the phrase “shall be saved” to apply to anyone, they must be baptized (identified) into the Body, then they must continue to believe; this concept is the first introduction to a Covenant for any new Believer. The New Covenant is based in the Blood of Jesus, but Jesus came by both Water and Blood.
The Water (Mercy) has Covenant contracts relating to the Body in the New Covenant. The terms and conditions of the New Covenant do not apply to the Old; the terms and conditions of the Old, do not apply to the New. Jesus gave us the “Least Commandments” (Beatitudes) relating to Mercy; thus Mercy is the mainstay of the Body as the entrance to Grace. The word “Least” doesn’t mean inferior, it means they are the very least we should do.
“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was call JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” -Luke 2:21 (KJV)
Circumcised of the Heart: The Covenant with Abraham was based on the token of circumcision of the flesh, an act done on the male child on the eighth day after their birth. Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day (Luke 2:21), giving Him full right to the Abrahamic Covenant. If God finished His work on the Sixth day, then rested on the Seventh, why have Abraham conduct circumcision on the Eighth day? Could it be God was looking to a New Beginning wherein man could be circumcised of the heart?
“The Beginning”… marking the Process: We know there are some similar wordings between the Old and New; we know there is a “Tithe” under the Old, and “tithes” under the New. We know there is circumcision just for the males under the Old; and there is one for the entire Body of Christ under the New. The one under the Old availed them nothing before God, but it did grant them permission to enter the Abrahamic Covenant, of which Covenant God made with Abraham, not Moses.
The circumcision under the New is a cutting away of the fleshly heart, making room for a heart fully able to believe that Jesus is raised from the dead, marking us with the token (Seal) of the Holy Spirit. Even after we are sealed, we can grieve the same Holy Spirit, thus the beginning is not the end, and it is a Process.
The eight day-old child had no say so; but neither did this babe have any works upon which to demand circumcision. Abraham did all the work for them: he “believed”; and then righteousness was imputed on him. He gave the sacrifice and he stood as the “Covenant receiver” as he accepted the token of the Covenant.
In our case it’s not about, “when we are eight days old,” but about “what” Jesus did on the Eighth day of the week of the Cross. Jesus made a Covenant with the Father of His own Blood; He gave Himself as a Sacrifice for many. He administered the Covenant by presenting us the Cup. We know that the Scepter to His Kingdom is His Righteousness and we also know that the Seal of the New Covenant is the New Man, which is the same Spirit of Holiness who declared Jesus as the Son of God by the Resurrection (Rom 1:3-4).
“Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Song of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” – Romans 1:3-4 (KJV)
The Covenant which Abraham had with God was to benefit generations to come, even though they weren’t there yet; they had no actual part in the works, yet they would receive the Covenant, even after they had the token (circumcision).
Circumcision was like the Sabbath day; it gave one right to enter the Covenant. In our case, Faith and the Seal of the Spirit give us the right to enter the New Covenant. The Covenant with Noah was grand, the one with Abraham was great; but the one which Jesus obtained for us is far greater than all the other Covenants put together. Yet, because it’s New we find “it was never before,” meaning it was not attached to any prior Covenants before Jesus took on flesh as the “Word made flesh,” for us.
“Abraham’s Bosom” was not in heaven; it was above hell, but still within speaking distance of hell. The souls of the saints under the Altar of God are far from hell, yet they speak to the Lord (Rev 6:9).
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar, the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” – Rev 6:9 KJV
Therefore we find there are Covenants many, some between God and man, some between man and God, and some between man and man.
The Covenants which God has made with man were initiated to separate man from the world; even the Jewish Covenants held the purpose of separating Israel from the world. The Flood was a means to separate Noah and his family from the world as well. So, what was the first Covenant? Was it one with Adam? No; there was no Covenant between God and Adam. God served Adam and Adam had Commandments placed on him; but there was no Covenant language between God and Adam.
The First Covenant: The first Covenant was based on “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23). Marriage to the Jew is considered a “contract,” thus a Covenant is like unto a contract. A Covenant must have duties for all parties or it’s not a Covenant. The Law of Moses was a Covenant in and of itself; and had built-in Power and Authority as well as a realm (Principality). Yet, it’s nailed to the Cross (Col 2:14-16)…
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (KJV)
So does this verse mean that “The Law” no longer exists? Not at all, since The Law is also referred to as “The Books,” then seen on the Day of Judgment. (Rev. 20:12)
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (KJV)
Free of Judgment: The word Principality points to a place, not a person; a prince is known by the principality they represent. The Law of Moses has a realm where it has power and authority to operate, until a doer dies. Once the person dies, the Law of Moses is no longer an effective tool; rather, it turns and judges the doer. Once we accept the Cross of Jesus and impute the flesh dead, we have completed the purpose of the Law of Moses, allowing us to move to a different realm… free of judgment.
The Cross….the point of division: Paul’s comments to the Galatians shows that doing requirements in one Covenant while claiming to be under another can be dangerous. The Cross is the point of division like no other. Israel was separated from the other nations on earth by God, but Israel was not separated from the earth. The Cross has the ability to remove man from the earth, but it also has a “cross piece” or an intersection. The intersection meets at the Heart of Jesus, the place where the Blood and Water came from; but it also shows a joining. Mercy on the earth is how God moves us from the earth to the Cross, while Grace gives us an upward movement which begins from above. Mercy takes us to the intersection, and once joined with Grace, it moves us past the intersection to heaven. It doesn’t take away from Mercy, but it shows that the New Covenant has a uniqueness encompassing Mercy and Grace.
Timothy was a troubled young pastor, who moved quickly to lay hands on some who he felt were mature enough to be deacons; but, many were teachers of the Law, knowing little or nothing about Grace. Timothy’s first recourse, once encountering problems with these members, was to write a farewell message to Paul, and then run. But Paul encouraged him to remain and correct the problem.
In order to assist Timothy, Paul told him of a few attributes that one should see in someone who is ordained to a position in “Helps”; and these would not be qualifications needed to “obtain the position,” rather “signs” (indications) showing that one is suited for the position.
These “ordained” members being discussed between Paul and Timothy were not teachers in the Office of Teacher; but nonetheless, they taught in deed and word. Therefore, a deacon or a bishop should be apt to teach, or better…. able to “disciple” others.
In First Timothy, Paul advises the young pastor, “lay hands suddenly on no man.” It was not, “watch out who lays hands on you”, it was “watch out who you lay hands on.”
Then Paul added something, making little sense in the natural… “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities” (I Tim 5:23). The verse appears to be so far out of line with the context; so one might dismiss it…until, we break it down, as we look at the metaphors. The word “stomach” points to an opening, often referred to as the route to the “mouth.” Then we find the word “water” means Water pot, or what holds water, not simply the water alone. Then the word Wine metaphorically means the Cup of God; but the word itself means “Wine and Water mixed,” thus we take the Lord’s Cup to avoid the Cup of God’s wrath.
Preparing for Leadership with a balance of Mercy and Grace: So, rather than pick or assign people based on emotions at the moment, or simply to fill a position, Timothy was to take his time, seek the Table of the Lord and discern. Timothy moved as a water pot, but forgot the elements that were required within the candidates; and rather than looking for those who were balanced in their understanding of Grace and Mercy, he ordained several that he should not have.
Mercy overlooks sins of a person, and Mercy forgives. But the Covenant as it relates to leadership is stricter; some men’s sins are open beforehand, while others keep them hidden within. Thus we must have Grace (Spirit) mixed with Mercy in order to discern who we are facilitating entrance into leadership.
The ordaining of these deacons (teachers) seemed like the right thing to do; and, after all…Timothy needed help, and they were willing to help. But he failed to consider: What would their actions do “for,” or “against” the congregation?
Grace is centered on the people of God who accept the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus; thus we can’t “fill slots” just to fill slots. Timothy doesn’t say in Scripture that he heard, “Separate unto me” from the Holy Ghost about these candidates; and the Holy Ghost is the One who places people in Offices (Acts 13:1-2).
“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” Acts 13:2-3 (KJV)
In Timothy’s case, his concerns were regarding assignments in the area of “Helps” and these appointments are made by Leaders (Acts 6:3)….
“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” (KJV)
So, the “Offices” (Apostle, Prophet, Teacher, Pastor, and Evangelist) are appointed by the Holy Ghost, while the Helps (Deacons, Bishops) positions and those who would serve as Elders…these ones are appointed by leadership. Thus, Timothy didn’t need to hear from the Holy Ghost regarding the selection of deacons; but, he as a leader (pastor), did need to hear from the Spirit within him (for discernment regarding candidates) before he laid hands on anyone.
Requirements, rules and duties of Covenants: Every Covenant has requirements and duties, or it’s not a Covenant. Within a Covenant one finds that some duties relate to certain people in the Covenant, but not to others. The “Babes in Christ,” for instance, are not under the same duties as the Youngmen, because of the growth involved; also, levels of maturity in Christ do not make one in the Body better than the other, but our duties will increase with growth.
Over the years, God made Covenant with man and man has made Covenant with God; and man has made covenant with man. The Bible shows many: there were the Covenants which God made with Noah, Abraham, and Moses, the covenant Jacob made with God, and one Joshua made with other men who turned on him.
Seeing how there are various covenants, we must understand then, to whom they are directed, or to whom they are not directed. This is an important issue… so important, that the Galatians were about to fall from Grace by moving to an Old Covenant…yes, even a Covenant God made with Abraham (Gal 4:10, 5:2 et al).
“Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:2-6 (KJV)
So, some Covenants incorporate others, while some divide; and some make all other Covenant requirements unlawful, which was the case with the Galatians, and therefore, also with us in the Body today.
Covenants are made between parties; the Covenant at the Cross was cut between the Son and Father, with the Holy Ghost carrying out God’s Covenant duties. Does it mean we do nothing? Not at all, even the circumcised of the flesh required the Jew to accept the Abrahamic Covenant.
Understanding what we are to do, and what God is doing, keeps us from frustration. We know the elements of “Covenant talk” are based in “you do”, “I do”. For instance Jesus said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness,” then added, “all these things shall be added unto you.” Our part involves the seeking” God’s part, the adding. If we reverse this, we are Covenant breakers, not Covenant doers.
All Covenants have rules, and whoever brings the covenant has the power to change it, or dissolve it. But the one who accepts the terms must complete their part of the covenant; and hence, they have no power to change, or dissolve it.
An example of this is found in the everyday contract (which we know is a type of covenant). Let’s say that we want a new car, and a dealer has one we like; but he wants money which we don’t have. However, a bank has money, so we can still obtain the car. Let’s examine the different covenants involved with obtaining this car…..
First up, once the dealer would be paid, we could take the car; and in so doing, that covenant would be complete. But, would this transaction really be a “covenant?” Yes; this is because the dealer would have displayed a price on his product and (after some discussion), we would have agreed to pay a certain price…either the price posted on the car (not hardly), or the one we negotiated (more than likely). And finally, upon accepting our offer, the dealer would then have completed his part of the bargain by having delivered the vehicle to us upon receipt of his money.
Ok, now for the bank’s involvement in this; we didn’t have the money, right? But the bank did. However, the bank cared less about the dealer’s credit history; but they looked closely at ours and in setting forth the rules, the bank agreed to give the dealer the money on our behalf because we in turn agreed to pay back a certain amount to the bank.
So, a separate “covenant of repayment” then would stand between ourselves and the bank upon borrowing and purchasing this car, but a different one which would not involve the car dealer who set the rules regarding the covenant we had with him, (i.e. the price, and/or acceptance of our offer).
Upon having walked through this whole process, we see that the dealer retained all sorts of options, such as… the ability to refuse an offer, to increase the price of the vehicle, to sell it to another, or to even give it away, while, we had none of those options; thus the power of that covenant was in the hands of the dealer.
The power of the covenant between ourselves and the bank would have been in the hands of the bank. They would have set the payments, how and when they were to be paid, the interest, and other rules. So, we would have agreed to the rules, but we wouldn’t have made them. Once all these matters were to be “in hand,” the vehicle could then be delivered “into our hands.” But even then, would we be the owner of the car yet? No, the bank would still hold the title, until the vehicle is paid off.
Our covenant with the dealer would be short lived; but the agreement with the bank would be much longer. And in the case of any Covenant, as already mentioned… whoever makes the covenant rules holds the power of the covenant. Moses didn’t make the rules; God did. Then God gave the Covenant to Moses, and Moses, in turn, gave it to the people. Thus we call this Covenant, the Law of Moses, not the Law of God.
As for Noah, He didn’t make the rules, God did; Noah obeyed his part, and then, by this, he was delivered from the destruction. Hence, we don’t make the rules in the New Covenant, we accept them.
God empowers us to complete whatever He asks us to do. Within the context of any covenant we find, not only the requirements and duties of the parties, but also the means and ability to carry out the requirements. It does little good to ask a bank for a loan if they have no money; thus we find the ability to carry out the duty is just as important as the awareness of the requirements.
What good would it do for us “to seek the Kingdom,” if there was no Kingdom? What good would it do for God to tell us “to seek the Kingdom” if we lacked the ability to obtain it? Then, God didn’t ask Noah to stop the rain, but he did tell Noah to build the Ark; therefore Noah had to do something. God didn’t tell Abraham to form Isaac out of the dust of the earth, but he did expect him to carry out his part of the covenant.
God will never ask us to do something we can’t do; He will always empower us to complete whatever He asks us to do. The Cross of Jesus produced many facets of ability; when Jesus said, “Father forgive them,” the Mercy of God was then empowered on earth from heaven. When we accept the Cross of Jesus we are granted the “imputed ability” to make the firm decision to forgive as we are forgiven. Once we receive the Cross, the ability to forgive as God forgives is granted by the Breath of Jesus; the Breath is in fact saying, “As the Father has forgiven, so can you.” The Breath, being a product of the Cross, begins our Covenant walk, becoming our first real act of Mercy. The Breath empowers us with the ability to not only forgive, but to remit sins done unto us.
Jesus gives us the keys. When we refuse to forgive, we have rejected the Mercy from heaven; thus we have bound ourselves to the earth. Jesus gave us the keys; but we must use them. “Binding and loosing” are “earth to heaven – heaven to earth” obligations; and they have nothing to do with hell. By the decision to apply Mercy, we “loose” God’s Mercy from heaven; but if we refuse to forgive, we bind God’s Mercy to heaven.
Grace (New Birth) depended on the Resurrection of Jesus: (Jn 7:38-39)… “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (KJV)
So, did the Father pace the floor wondering if Jesus was going to be successful? No, Jesus was “talking Covenant” before the Cross: (Mark 9:31)…“For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.” (KJV)
It was the devil who felt he could stop what God had ordained: (I Cor 2:8)…. “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (KJV)
Those who use the wiles of the devil think the same way; they presume faith is a means to stop what God has ordained.
Anchor to our soul: Let’s change the situation some….what if the bank were to call us, saying, “you know what, we think you’re a good person, so we’re sending you the owner’s certificate on the car and we’re just going to write off the debt.” Can they do that? Yes; they were in control of that covenant in the first place.
But, what if they were to call and say, “You know what, we really don’t like you, so we’re adding a couple of thousand dollars to the contract.” Can they do that? No, because there are laws governing the enforcement of contracts, just as God has placed laws governing the conduct regarding His Covenants. God has placed limitations and requirements in force, so our confidence in Him can be firm. We know God isn’t going to say, “Oops, guess what, back in 1923 I changed the Covenant…so you can’t be Born Again, sorry.”
We also know God isn’t going to say, “Guess what, we had a board meeting and decided there isn’t going to be a catching away, and by the way, you are going to die in your sins.”
God firmed the Covenant in the Blood of His Son, thus the rewards and responsibilities are unchangeable.
There are two immutable things becoming an anchor to our soul, two things by which it’s Impossible for God to lie. One is, “Surely, blessing I will bless thee,” and the other is… “And multiplying I will multiply thee.” (Heb 6:14 & 6:18-19). “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast…” – Hebrews 6:18-19 (KJV)
God is not going to “decrease” the Covenant; the Body is purposed to” gain” and the reasoning for the Church is to “be a Blessing.” We have a great opportunity, if we receive it.
From all of this we find that there is a party who presents the covenant and the regulations of the covenant; and whoever has the power to change or dissolve the covenant is the Covenant maker. But whoever accepts the covenant must also accept all of the conditions, fully knowing that they have no power to change, or dissolve said contract. This is important, since we find man making covenant with God all the time and even nations begin by such covenants; but since it was man who made certain of these covenants, we then find that man can change it.
When man makes a Covenant with God: Of course if man changes his/her covenant, then man also is taking the chance of removing God from this covenant. In those cases, God can’t make changes, but then also, God is only obligated to His side when and if the party on the other side keeps their part.
But, if man makes changes in this type of covenant, God then has the right to accept or deny the Covenant.
The same is true with us, if God changed the Covenant, we would have the right to accept the change or cancel the Covenant. However, God changes not, which is a conviction we hold by faith; and we also know that the New Covenant will not change.
However, in reference to man’s covenants which he/she has made with God, we find that things go along fine, expecting blessing and protection, etc., but then….at times, man makes changes which may be opposed to God’s nature; and in so doing, God then, is excused from “keeping covenant.”
When the protection is voided by the acts of man, something happens. But then man says, “Why would God do this?” Yet, it was Man who voided the covenant and then blamed God, another example of how the natural state of man is incapable of understanding spiritual matters.
A covenant depends on each subject needing something which the other has; then both enter into an agreement to supply the need of the other. Covenants are mutual and like a contract, there must be mutual benefit or there is no contract. A contract telling us to pay the bank money when no service or goods have been rendered is illegal. The elements of a Contract demand for one to supply something before the other has to pay.
The same is true with the New Covenant… what if Jesus had not submitted to the Cross, or shed His Blood; there would be no basis for the New Covenant, since the premise was established in saying that there is no remission without the shedding of blood (Lev 17:11 & Heb 9:22).
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of bloods is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Lev 17:11 (KJV)
Covenants, like contracts, have areas of requirements to make them legal. God makes covenants based on position, condition, and circumstances… the Law of Moses remains in effect until “death,” while the Law of the Spirit grants us “imputed death” in order to bypass the Law of Moses, by having Life in Christ.
A covenant lays out the rules and conditions agreed upon. In the case of Abraham the covenant had to do with his family lines; in the case of Noah, it was to preserve the human race; and in the case of Moses, it involved the introduction of “A Law” that would stand between man and God.
Works of Mercy, done by mercy and works of Grace, done by Grace: Now if “Grace is not by works,” why then, do we see how we are supposed to “do works?” Well, Grace cannot be “obtained by works,” but Grace “has her works,” or better said…. the works of Grace are done by Grace, just as the works of Mercy are done by Mercy.
Grace being spiritual in nature cannot be obtained by “natural” or “carnal” means. A work of the flesh involves anything we do through the flesh to “gain God’s favor”; yet works of the flesh are temporal, which means that, we “do something to obtain self-righteousness”; but the moment “we receive,” the work is complete and after that, we’re right back where we started.
This was evident in the Law of Moses, for they had to keep every Sabbath day. Once the day came, they were right back at zero again. The tithe under the Law is the same; each substance obtained required a payment by Commandment.
Neither one of “Belief” or “Faith” are works of the flesh; but they are mental in nature. Belief and faith are based on the soul, the “created element,” rather than on the flesh, which is the “formed element.” However, we do have duties as “kings and priests” because we have obtained both of these positions; but this does not involve acts of self-righteousness. Rather, there are duties with respect to the positions.
Mark 16:16 is based on “Covenant talk”: When Jesus said, “Shall be saved” this was His part; but our part is to “continually believe” once we’re in the Body. Even the command to “Tarry until you receive Power from on High” is Covenant talk. “We Tarry “and “the Power comes from on High.” We can’t do a thing without Authority and Power; but God cannot show His love through us, without us.
We are told to “deny ourselves, and pick up our cross.” So are those “works of the flesh?” No, they are based on rejecting the flesh, not using it. “The Cross” refers to death; and we also know that “the wages of sin are death”; thus the Cross gives us the ability to call (impute) the old nature dead, while we yet remain in this physical body.
The Substitution Death of Jesus…a free will sacrifice: The “substitution” death of Jesus was a free will sacrifice, not suicide. The Covenant between the Father and Son did not call for Suicide; yet Jesus was granted the Power to lay down His life for others. Jesus gave mankind something no other person could give, whereas, suicide is an escape into death from life. Jesus gave us eternal life by His death, which is completely different. In essence, Jesus gave us His Body; thus by this, we impute the “Old” dead, as we enter the “New Body of Christ unto Life.”
Receiving the “Living Soul” condition: The Cross is always a place of death, but it’s also the place wherein we receive the “living soul” condition. It’s still a “covenant” based on Mercy, which is reflected in the manner of forgiveness. We forgive, to be forgiven; thus our part is to remit the sins done unto us, then God will “loose” His Mercy in us.
The Abrahamic Covenant came long before the Law of Moses, yet the Token to the Abrahamic Covenant was incorporated into the Law. The Covenant of Mercy is incorporated into Grace, and the token for Grace is the Holy Spirit. The token for Mercy is forgiveness.
Foundation for belief: Mercy was the manner in which the disciples operated before the Cross, but it did not grant them a “quickening spirit”, nor did it make them “spiritual.” The disciples before the Cross were still “natural”; they had no idea what the Cross and Resurrection entailed. But, once the Cross was fact, it became a foundation for belief; and once the Resurrection was evident, it also became a foundation for belief.
Sealed by the Holy Spirit: In order to reach the “spiritual position” we must move to the Resurrection; thus Paul said, we must believe Jesus was raised from the dead. One might think that it was as important (or more so), to believe in the Cross; but the Cross without the Resurrection proves nothing. The ability to enter the New Covenant is secured by the Holy Spirit, which is the “Gift of Grace” given by the Holy Ghost. We are declared and sealed by the Holy Spirit showing we have the Token of the Resurrection.
Jesus said that the New Covenant was based in His Blood and that the Body is a “between place,” called the “kingdom of heaven.” The Body is “a wilderness” in and of itself; the evidence would be the children in the wilderness. The Body is not Egypt, but neither is it the Promised Land. No where do we find the “Body” in heaven, but we do find the Bride. The Covenant is recorded in “the Record,” while “the Witness” is described as carrying out the Covenant on earth (I Jn 5:7-8).
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” 1 John 5:7-8 (KJV)
However, we must know what Covenant we seek, or if there are contracts available within the Covenant. Since we come boldly to the Throne of Grace to Obtain Mercy, and Find Grace; and since the Blood of Jesus is the New Covenant of Grace, it stands that there is also a Mercy Contract based in the New Covenant as an incorporated element.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)
The Bread & the Cup: The Mercy contract has duties; thus Jesus said, “This is My Body, take eat”, then He gave us the Cup. What came first? The Bread? Or the Cup? We come boldly to obtain the Bread so we might find the Cup. We are the Bread, the Rock, or Body, which is “the place” from which Jesus builds His Church. No one is going to be formed into the Church unless they are first of the Body; however, the Body will be broken. The part which ascends, will be the Bride; and then those who “sleep in Jesus will sleep through the Night,” but those who remain as the “drunken in the Night” become the Beast of the Earth.
The Blood is a different story, it will always remain holy and unbroken; thus we are sprinkled with it, and we can even be covered by it, but we are not the Blood. The Body is Mercy-based; it rests in the “least commandments” given by Jesus on the Mount of Olives.
Jacob presented a “type of covenant to God” but it was based in the Covenant which God made with Abraham; however, there was no provision in the Abrahamic Covenant for “you will then be my God.”
When Jacob had a rock for a pillow, he said that, if God took care of him, then he would give God tithe; or if God proved Himself, then Jacob would make God his God. We already know that this was deceptive, since, where was Jacob going to give the tithe? Would he give it to the First Church of Bethel? No; there wasn’t one synagogue around and no storehouse. There was only Jacob, so essentially, Jacob would take the ten percent from his right pocket and then put it in his left. God did honor the request, but Jacob however, thought he was talking about “money,” whereas God asked for the “sons of Jacob.” Did God know? Yes; He also knew that Jacob had no right to alter the Covenant, but the Covenant did allow for God to receive that “tithe.”
The Covenant between God and Noah was simple, “Build the ark, fill it; and I’ll save you.” Noah did; thus he and his family were raised above the destruction. Noah was also told that he could eat meat, but there were restrictions as well? Yes; the meat had to be cooked, and it could not be human. On the same note Noah found that “meat” could also “eat meat,” thus before and during the flood, the lion would lay with the lamb, but after the flood the lion would eat the lamb.
Noah’s Covenant was specific to his family, but affected the entire world, making it associated with “the world being destroyed by water.” In Noah’s time, before the flood, there was only one type of nationality; and there were no Jews. The Covenant with Abraham was specifically for Abraham’s promised son and through his son’s offspring; while the Covenant with Moses was specifically for the nation of Israel.
The New Covenant is different; it is open to Jew and Gentile alike. Each Covenant has a token, a purpose, and specifics. If a Covenant allowed inclusion of another, then it was included; but if it called for exclusion, then any attempt to force an inclusion would be illegal. The Abrahamic Covenant was inclusive with the Moses Covenant, but neither included the Noahic Covenant. The New Covenant is inclusive, whereas any Covenant before the Cross ends at the Cross. (Col 2:14-16):
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” (KJV)
Covenants are based on mutual needs, but not necessarily on relationships or on having fellowship. We can borrow money from a bank based on a contract (covenant), but it doesn’t mean that we fellowship with them, nor does it mean that they are like “family.” To them we are a piece of paper owing them money; to us, they are a business to which we owe money. The process is based on Promises: we promise to pay; and they promise to deliver. If we pay, and they don’t deliver, we take them before the Judge; however, if they deliver and we don’t pay, they take us before the Judge.
So, when man makes covenant with man, neither of the persons involved in the covenant really know what the future holds; but God’s Covenants are based on God’s Knowledge. The Covenant with Noah was based on the future, the one with Abraham on the future, the one with Moses is based on the limited future (until death), and the New Covenant is based on the hope set before us (future of eternity).
Covenants and designated principalities…answering, “To whom is the Covenant directed?” One can keep the Abrahamic, Noahic, and Mosaic Covenants in one grouping; but one can’t introduce the New into them, or them into the New. Why? Different locations (principalities) are involved. The Old is for carnal, fleshly, natural man of the earth; while the New is for the spiritual people of heaven. All these Covenants are “by God” but what is critical and relevant is not “from whom they came,” but “to whom they were directed.”
“The Old” allowed man a means to place some restraints on the “old man,” while the New gives us a means to be altogether free of the old nature. We bind the old man (strongman); whereas the Law of Moses merely restrained/restrains some of the violent behavior of the old man.
Anything related to the earth, whether man’s covenant or God’s, is still split between blessing and cursing. However, the New Covenant is centered on Blessing alone, void of any cursing. Covenants are limited by means and need; the Law of Moses never promised the Spirit, nor did it promise Life Eternal, thus it was unable to deliver them.
Facing the “old man” in our wilderness experience: The Body is “the place” where we are separated from the world into a place where sanctification becomes a condition through Mercy, leading us to Justification by Grace. It is also the place where we face the old man and his wiles (ways) in order to defeat him. We have the advantage in that, when we enter the Body the old man becomes “ineffective.” The old man has a place of power, yet his power is only effective within his principality (place) of darkness. Mercy grants us Light, thus the Light vacates darkness, or makes the darkness ineffective.
Power and Authority in the Name of Jesus: The Power in the Name of Jesus is effective to those in the Body; if one is outside the Body of Christ, the Authority (Name) will not work as the seven sons of Sceva found out (Acts 19:13-16):
“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (KJV)
The Name is/holds the Authority, but we need the Power to couple with the Authority for us to be effective. The Cross is a barrier, and therefore, the only way in which the devil can have place in our lives, is if we give it (Eph 4:27):“Neither give place to the devil” (KJV)
There was no Pharaoh in the wilderness, but Korah was there, Balaam was there, and the children made the golden calf there. The Wilderness is the place wherein we are set free of the golden calf, the serpents, the Balaam attitude, as well as the other wiles/ways of the enemy.
The New Testament is full of Covenant conditions; for example, one of the most used verses in the Bible is John 3:16, wherein we find, “God so loved the world He sent His only begotten Son,” But the Covenant condition is found in John 3:18 wherein we are told to Believe:
“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:18 (KJV)
Since God sent His Son based on Love, it stands that the First Covenant condition is to “Love the Lord our God”; and the Second is to “Believe in the Lord.” We conclude that the Body is based on Love and Mercy for each other; however, if we jump into the premise of entering Covenant with our local church, or covenant with others in the Body, we will find ourselves in bondage to a man-made covenant. Why? The New Covenant does not grant us the premise of having covenant with one another; rather we meet in the Unity of the Faith by the Spirit. Therefore, we are to owe no man anything, but to love him, since loving one another is our covenant responsibility.
The Token or sign of being “In Covenant”: Covenants require some token or sign to show that one is “in covenant,” or “has a right to it.” The Abrahamic Covenant required/requires the circumcision of the flesh at the age of eight days old; the Law of Moses required/requires one to keep the sabbath day, and in the Noah Covenant, God provided the Rainbow.
Circumcision not made with hands: The New Covenant requires water baptism in order to be inducted into the Body; then next comes the baptism with the Holy Ghost as God’s token of the New Covenant and as we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. Along with the “Baptism with the Holy Ghost,” we find the “circumcision not made with hands” as a removal of the old heart to reach and enter the consciousness of, “create in me a new heart, Oh God.”
Water, a token and place of Mercy; the Blood, the place of Grace: Water baptism is a token, not a performance; the water didn’t save us, but God did. The water didn’t “impute us dead on the Cross,” we did. The Water is a “token of Mercy”; thus “the Body” is the place of Mercy and “the Blood” is the place of Grace.
It is wonderful to be involved in the Unity of the brethren; but the only methods open for this experience are: the “Unity by the Spirit,” and “in the Faith of Jesus.” ( Ps 133:1, Eph 4:3 & 4:13).
“Endeavorouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Eph 4:3 (KJV)
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” – Eph 4:13 (KJV)
Loving each other via the Spirit of God: If we try to love one another through the old man, we will always seek the self-benefit and our sense of Unity will be limited to what we can experience mostly through religious ideas. However, if we allow the Love of God to flow through us by the Spirit… then we can love as Jesus loves us. We in the Body have relationship with each other based on love, mercy, and a mutual concern.
Our relationship with God is based on sharing the same Love that God has for His own, while our relationship with the Body is based on our Second Love, which involves holding “like concerns and goals” and expressing them within the process of Mercy. To ignore our First Love, yet hold to our Second will draw a rebuke from the Lord, or…to take our First Love and make it the Second will also draw a rebuke from the Lord (Rev 2:4): “Nevertheless I have some what against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” – (KJV)
We must keep things in Order for us to enjoy the Order of God. Fellowship with God is another matter; it begins when we treat the people of God, in the same manner as God does.
Within the Covenant we find areas where God says, “you do this, and I’ll do that”, or “I’ll do this, and you will do that.” We saw the example earlier in this article of “seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness”; thus, it contains a “you do” area and then comes “and the things will be added” which is the “God do/does element.”
The “Breath of Christ”: Another example to consider here involves forgiveness, which is first, we “you do” before God says “He will.” We are given the Keys to the Kingdom; but once we enter the house, do we need the keys? No, the keys gain us entry. When the Son was on the Cross He made the request, “Father, forgive them”; the Son didn’t say, “I forgive you.” After the Resurrection, Jesus “breathed” on the disciples (not in them), saying “receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Let’s look at that:
“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” John 20:21-23 (KJV)
We know that this was permissive in nature; thus Jesus did His “do” first; and the permission was granted. Thus the ability was granted to remit the sins done onto us.
Next would come the “you do” part which would be the application of the ability to remit the sins done unto us. It shows us “Covenant relationship talk,” such as: “I did, now You do.” Jesus will not forgive others for us. He will not validate our hate. He will however “Breath on us” so we can forgive. If we are having a hard time forgiving, we must ask for and receive the “Breath of Christ.”
Right Standing in the Covenant: Covenants do not provide “automatic acceptance.” One must first “receive” or “present” the required Token in order to have a right to “enter and remain” in the Covenant. The Token or Sign of the Covenant gives the person right standing regarding the Covenant. Each Covenant had a sign; even Noah’s had a sign (the rainbow), but still a sign. When one enters a Covenant, their concerns are no longer an issue; rather the other person has taken those concerns. The Law of Moses would bless/blesses the person who followed/follows the outlined requirements; thus, the ability to bless or cruse was built into the Law. On the same note the New Covenant can only bless, there is no provision for a Curse.
Mountain, be thou removed! Mark’s account has many “Covenant conditions” presented, as do the other three; but there is one set of conditions that most of us are familiar with, mentioned in Mark 11:22-26:
“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (KJV)
These verses relate to Covenant talk, begining with “Have faith in God”, which is a “You do.” Then we say to the Mountain “Go!”; we don’t say “come here”, or “move over”, or even “Go where you will.” These verses are specific in nature with “cast into the Sea (world)” again; it’s a “You do”.
God will move the mountain: Adding our belief to the equation by what we say, then the concept of “refusing to doubt” is still, “You (we) do.” So far, we’ve gone over a bunch of “you do’s” but wait….. who is going to move the Mountain? We said, “we believe,” but who actually moves it? Look to the Covenant; “we doubt not,” which points to the process, showing our confidence in the Covenant knowing that, once “we do” what we are required to do, God will then “do” the things He said He would, thus He will move the mountain.
Holding our faith in God to move the mountain: We may believe what we said, but then faith becomes the issue; do we doubt God is able? If so, we will attempt to move the mountain ourselves. If not, we will hold our faith in God for Him to move the mountain.
Next comes the premise of why we believe what we say, and how we say “go” to the oppressing mountain; when we “stand praying,” we forgive, so our Father in heaven can forgive us. For if we fail to forgive, we have bound the Father’s forgiveness in heaven, making it impossible for the mountain to move (Mark 11:24-26).
Jesus said, “Therefore,” linking elements together; the “Mountain” represents: vengeance, unforgiveness, seeking of validation, vindictiveness, or justice, which are all elements of the world. This is the same as “remit the sins of others”; but these words still show that we must make the decision in order for the mountain to go.
The Faith in God is a “now confidence” regarding God being able to move the mountain and finding that He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
This entire element is not about receiving the mountain, but “believing” in the moment in which we told it to “Go,” all by making the decision to forgive.
The evidence of our decision can then found in our prayers of forgiveness; and therein we find the purpose of the teaching. The Covenant says, “you forgive,” and then, “God will forgive you,” or, “You do,” then, “He will.” The main entry into the Kingdom is based in this one “Faith premise,” which is, “Forgive as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”
Belief and Faith: Our main thrusts/strength within the Covenant are Belief and Faith, yet Faith has two pillars which are, “believing God Is,” and, “that God Is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)
Belief is the foundation for Faith; thus without Belief, our Faith will fail in the face of a trial. The “God Is” part happens in the “Now”; thus it connects to our “Belief in the Promise of God” for us.
Belief is a type of Covenant, since we need something from God in order to believe. God delivered the evidence for our belief; we accepted it, making our foundation secure. Since we’re “talking Covenant,” it seems that we find a “we do-God do” element in faith as well: we diligently seek God, and He rewards.
Placing our focus on God: What about the “God Is” part? Well, this is our part of the Covenant as seen in the “Now” of a given event or challenge. So, it’s up to us to believe that “God Is,” and that the “devil isn’t.” Along those same lines… “We’re not,” “man isn’t,” and surely the “world isn’t.” God asks us to look to Him regardless of the event, and seek Him regardless of what things looks like; and then He will make Himself known. The “Rewarder“ aspect isn’t going to happen if we are not diligently seeking God. The word “Diligently” indicates to us and demands for us to place our focus squarely on God.
A Covenant is never based on similarities of one participant to another or on the same strength for a like strength; it’s based on the strength of one filling the weakness/need of another. What possible weakness could God have? He (Jesus) left at the Ascension; but we also find that Jesus never did one miracle or healing after the Resurrection. His duties clearly changed; as He focused at that point, on His servants on earth. “The Power from on High” is the granted ability from God coupled to the Authority from God in order for us to “do our part.”
Our Father who art in heaven…Our prayer of “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” is a “Covenant request” on our part, for before we “receive the Kingdom.” We are not only asking, but we are saying that we will “accept the Kingdom” and “accomplish Kingdom matters” by the Spirit and according to the Covenant.
If we weren’t needed by God on this earth, then the Cross would be the place where our physical bodies would die; and then we would immediately enter heaven. However, God needs a voice in the land, a people to cast the net to those who cannot hear God except by the voices of the saints.
Everything God did was Lawful and not one detail, (not even the very smallest) was out of line with the Law God that had placed into effect. Even the law of “everything producing after its own kind” held a blessing on one side and a cursing on the other.
Born of the Spirit: Natural produces natural, it can never produce spiritual; and on that same note, we also know, that “Born of the Spirit is Spirit.” Nowhere, are we going to find those two principles reversed. God produced the natural from the spiritual, but the natural could not produce the spiritual. Man uses a tree to make a chair, but the chair cannot make a tree.
The principle was set, while the ability to “have the Spirit” and “be Spiritual” was not available until Jesus was glorified by the Resurrection. Therein we see the real foundation; Jesus as the Son of man: presented God’s Mercy, died on the Cross for the sins of mankind, and was buried. Then He was raised on the Third day allowing mankind to follow the path by faith to become Born Again. Until the event took place several things were not available to mankind: we could not impute the flesh dead, we could not be Born Again, and we could not enter that condition of, “Born of the Spirit is Spirit.” If the Holy Ghost brings the Seed, how can the phrase “Born of the Spirit” fit? The premise is, that our souls are Born or generated to be Spirit by having the Spirit.
A place for every person in the Body: God needed a “voice” in the land with natural connected abilities, but one that was “spiritually motivated.” We agreed to give Him the voice and in return, He promised to save our souls. Since we are also individuals, we know each of us has some personal conditions in the Covenant. We don’t make up our own, or attempt to insert our agendas; rather we find the personal conditions through prayer. Peter heard his, John heard his, while the rest of the disciples knew theirs. “The Present” (Gift/Doma) is given to the Body; thus Jesus gave to some, not all, to fill the Offices, yet there is a duty and place for every person in the Body.
When Jesus said, “What is it to you?,” He separated what He was going to do with one disciple, from what He was doing with another. How He saw fit to work with John, was not going to work with Peter; thus Peter was not to make any attempt to form a formula from what Jesus was doing with John. It shows us all that there are provisos or attachments in the Covenant for each individual who enters therein. Attempting to copy another person is a trait of the flesh; it’s frustration in the making. Paul didn’t tell Jesus he wanted to be an apostle, he was told he was going to be one. Jeremiah didn’t tell God, “I am no longer a child, but a prophet.” It was God who told Jeremiah. Peter didn’t want to preach like Paul, and neither did Paul follow Peter around to learn how to preach like him. Both men wanted people to seek Jesus; but neither wanted anyone to be clones of other disciples. When we hear, or even say, “I want to be exactly like that preacher”, we are not allowing God to form us into the unique gift He has for us.
Covenants have regulatory enforcements. With Noah’s, it was the flood; but in Abraham’s, it was, “God would curse him who cursed Abraham.” Under the Law of Moses it was the curse. However, Jesus has made us “kings,” so, the regulatory enforcement regarding the conditions of the Covenant as they relate to us as individuals, is enforced by us as individual kings.
If we don’t want to do this or that in our kingdom, we have the power to refuse to; since, we’re kings. Of course, in the end, we will face the King of kings, so our regulatory rules and conditions better match the Covenant Plan He holds.
This explains much for us, since there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand, we will have no one to blame, since we know what the Covenant calls for. We are told to “Believe in the Name, and then the Name will activate in our lives.” But, we seem to forget that the Authority of the Law of Moses is still there; however, the Authority of Jesus is greater, and it’s still here as well.
On the same note as kings, we can make rules; if we say there is no water baptism in our realm, then we made a rule, yet it’s a violation of the Covenant, but nonetheless a rule. We may feel comfortable, but we will have to explain why we made a rule opposed to the Commandment, “teach, baptize, and teach”.
“Understanding” is a training issue, while “belief” is the stabilizer to faith; and faith is the stabilizing agent in the process of understanding. Usually in the training process we find “the process” of spiritual growth. No one is “called” in the morning and ordained in the afternoon. There is a training to take place, but if we accept the calling but then attempt to form our own conditions, we will find ourselves with all sorts of self-induced problems.
Learning “Covenant conditions” is part of the training process, for instance, “what are the duties and limits regarding “The Body” or “The Office” or “The Blood?” Does this mean that “The Blood” has limits? Yes, the Blood will not condone sin and it will not engage in self-righteousness. To say we are tempted to do evil by the Blood would sound stupid, yet we say things close to it when an event doesn’t go our way.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)
Paul said that the “vessels of dishonor” are so-formed because they fail at Mercy; in that case, the vessels (of dishonor) received Mercy from God, but refused to give it to others. What else could these ones be called? Covenant breakers; or those who lust to have, but refuse to give. This shows how Mercy has a Covenant condition, but it also shows that when we move to experience Grace, we are still to retain “the Mercy condition.” Scripture tells us that “We come boldly to the Throne of Grace to Obtain Mercy and Find Grace,” showing that they are connected. We are never told to come to the throne to ignore mercy, and use grace. Nor are we told to reject mercy to find grace. We must be balanced: Mercy and Grace, Ways and Acts, Water and Blood.
The Blood of Jesus opened the Promise for the Father to send us the Holy Ghost with “The Gift” so as to produce the New Man in us. Without the New Man there is no way for us to know the “things of God,” or for us to know the things God has for us.
The New Man: Once the New Man became our heart, we were then considered “circumcised of heart,” and then we gained a guide and instructor in the things of God. So then is it automatic? No, of course not, we know that our side of the contract is to Believe and have Faith, but will faith alone save us? No, we must add something to faith to complete it.
What is it, you ask? The answer is the Wisdom of God. God’s Wisdom allows us to deal with people and events in a Godly manner; and this is vital when representing God. Our faith is yet future, but it has a “Now evidence” of the source of our faith. If we are using the wisdom of man, it shows; and it becomes apparent that “our source” is the “spirit lusting to envy.” But if we display the Wisdom of God, we show that the source is the Word in us; thus the Word is fully capable of saving our souls (James 1:21):
“…and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” (KJV)
Man’s wisdom: Man’s wisdom has three elements; first, it’s earthly because man is earthly. Then we can add sensual (natural, or soulish), since man is natural; but then we must also add “devilish”, because man’s wisdom lacks Godly awareness (James 3:15):
“This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” – James 3:15 (KJV)
God’s wisdom: On the other hand, God’s Wisdom is much different; where man’s wisdom uses masks, or deception… God’s Wisdom is pure, open, and to the point.
Is God’s Wisdom based on Covenant? Yes; we must ask in faith before we receive; then we find God “upbraideth not,” which is the same Greek word used in Mark 16:14, when Jesus upbraided the disciples, only as an opposite concept:
“Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”
God will give us His Wisdom, but the result is dependent on us; thus God gives more than needed, but what we do with it determines our desire. We are expected by faith, to use it in accordance with the will of God. However, James warns us that it will not work effectively if we attempt to consume it on our own lust. Of course, if we “have not the Wisdom of God,” it is because we failed to ask (James 1:5 & 4:1-4):
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” – James 1:5 (KJV)
So, we see three areas, all based in Covenant: “We ask and God gives,” or…”we don’t ask, and thus, God doesn’t give. “Then, if we ask to consume the product on a lust, we asked “amiss.” Nonetheless, in order to have, we must ask.
John the Baptist: When we look at the Bible, we see the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament.” The word “Testament” really means “Covenant”; thus the Old Testament speaks of the Old Covenant and the New Testament, of the New Covenant.
The word “New,” by the way, means New; it’s not an extension of the Old. Simply because the Old is a shadow, it doesn’t mean we jump back to partake of old covenants. The New gave us Separation, not inclusion; the Token of the Separation was John the Baptist.
Jesus said that the Law and Prophets were “until John”; but Jesus also said that the New Covenant was in His Blood. John’s baptism ended when he was put in jail, while “The baptism in the Name of Jesus” didn’t begin until the disciples were imbued with Power from on High. (Pentecost)
Like the Red Sea, there was a border or a division between the Old and New; and he was called John the Baptist. Although the Law and Prophets were “until John,” we find that the least in the Kingdom is greater than John.
You might ask, “How then, can some of those who say they are of the Body, do such evil things and get away with them?” This may be because of the “Unction” on the Body and… this is still the “Day of Salvation.” Simply getting away with certain things during “The Day,” doesn’t mean one won’t pay for it in the Night. When Jesus gave us His Body He never said it was the New Covenant, so why even give it? Isn’t the Body a type of relationship? It must be, since we are the Bread.
But, we are supposed to be “One” in the Body as this is the One Body of Christ, the Rock upon which the Church is being built.
“Wait, I think we have something here. Jesus will build His Church from those in the Rock; but we build the Rock from the Sea.” By George, I think you got it! Someone can bring millions into the Body, yet go about slandering the rest of the Body; they will lose any reward they think they’ve gained.
So, the Covenant and the regulatory enforcement are different, yet connected. The Covenant stands and the rules; and regulations stand. We can’t change, “Deny yourself” to “enhance the self.” Although we can make a rule in our kingdom to enhance the self and feel comfortable doing it, it doesn’t mean that this rule is Godly.
Mercy, the glue to Grace: Mercy being the “glue to Grace,” has a Contract based in the Preparation. Mercy didn’t stop at Grace (receiving Grace/Spirit); it’s still in full force and effect. It becomes the Token or Contract to get us through the Door to the Kingdom. Therefore, there is a Contract in a Covenant; and each of us as individuals take of the Cup, but as a unit, we are the Body.
The Bread is the empowered Mercy of the Father based in the Name of Jesus; it is the Unction over the Rock for all the members of the Body. The Bread works in a lateral manner; it connects the members of the Body, but the Blood connects us as individuals to God.
The Old Testament gives us a shadow, yet within the shadow there are specifics. We find that the children spent forty years in the wilderness, because they caused a “breach” of the promise (contract – Numb 14:34).
“After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.” (KJV)
The word “breach” means a change in purpose; it doesn’t mean that one has rejected the Contract (Covenant). It means, one has attempted to change a provision relating to them.
Clauses and provisions of the Contract: Nonetheless, we find that one generation had a contract within the Covenant, showing that each of us have certain clauses and provisions pertaining to us which could be regarding a ministry, position, the means of deliverance, all are focused on each of us being a nation within a nation.
No two people have the same hurts, pains, or needs; yet in general, we all have had pains, hurts, and needs. Each of us as individuals have a position and a calling; yet it takes personal promises and conditions for each of us to accomplish goals. One person may need one thing, another something different; or they both could need the same thing but in different amounts or manners. God has taken care of all the details, while it remains for us to accept what is right and just for us.
We know God loves us, but we also know that God will chasten us based on His love. God’s love is unconditional; but knowing what it entails depends on how one views the word “unconditional.” The word Unconditional doesn’t appear in the Bible, but neither does the word Responsibility; thus we must view it as a Concept.
“God so loved the world that He gave,” so what did the world do to gain His love? Nothing; the people in the world, good, bad, or indifferent were “creations.” Thus a Creator loves His creations. Some of us have kids who tend to go a little sideways, but we still love them. Perhaps the clue could be found in the word Conditional, which means among other things, “based on rank or position, meaning partial.” Yet the “Faith of Jesus” proved that God was not partial (James 2:1-3).
“My Brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment: And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts. Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” – James 2:1-5 (KJV)
Therefore the “giving” of Jesus was predicated on His love; it’s the Gift calling for the accountability. If God’s Love is unconditional, why did Jesus connect “he who believes on Him is not condemned: but he who believes not is condemned” (Jn 3:18)? Here is the full verse:
“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:18 (KJV)
If God’s Love is fully unconditional, why did He hate Esau, yet love Jacob? We cannot be separated from God’s Love “in Christ”; but it’s by Grace through Faith that we are saved.
Conditions of Grace: God gives His Grace to whoever asks for it; and the Cross is open to all, Jew or Gentile, unconditionally. However, we can’t say “that there are no Conditions” since we also find the “workers of iniquity”; and If we confuse God’s Love as Grace, we err.
So, we can’t use the excuse of “Unconditional Love” to engender a false sense of security in order to avoid the call. We receive God’s Love; we don’t earn it; thus it is unconditional. God isn’t going to say, “Well let’s see…you’re a little poor, I don’t think I will love you”, or “looks to Me like you’re a sinner, so I refuse to love you”; He grants His Love to us, but we must receive it. On the same note we can’t discount how He hates Esau, who gave up his birthright.
Becoming “Sons” by Adoption: The New Covenant grants us the New Man (as we know); and within the New Man we have the attributes of Jesus. We can be “sons of God,” because we have the same Spirit as the Son of God. We are not “the Son”, but “sons” by Adoption. We are “sons of men” by the Mercy of the Father; but we are not “the Son of man”. The Father gave us the identity of His family order, while the Spirit in us proves that He has accepted us in His family.
The term “son” is not limited to gender; it refers to “order.” If we sit with Jesus and if Jesus sits on the Right Hand Side of Majesty on High, what does it mean? “Man, I’m like God, don’t mess with me.” This would hardly be the attitude of the Christ nature. Jesus never said, “I’m the Son of God, don’t mess with Me”, nor did He say, “I come against you in the Name of Jehovah”; nor did He say, “How dare you touch God’s anointed.” The second we use the position out of Order, we set ourselves out of position. If we respond from within the position, we will use both the position and language of a “son of God.”
Do we think we impress God for doing what is expected? Not at all. Jesus pleased the Father; He didn’t impress Him. The Father never said, “This is My Son, in whom I am extremely proud.” Pride always has some self-element; when we say for instance, that we’re proud of our children… we’re also usually saying that we did a great job in raising them; and thus we are deserving of credit.
Pride always seeks glory or honor, perhaps through the backdoor, but nonetheless it seeks to take the credit. If the person is “good,” it’s God who “did it”… not us. Being pleased and being proud are miles apart. Our Covenant demands for us to put away deeds of the flesh with the old nature, as the unfruitful works of darkness and then walk as children of the Light.
Did Jesus do away with the Old? The Book of Hebrews says so; but did Jesus destroy the Old? No, Jesus didn’t destroy the Old; rather it was “Blotted out” as it relates to us in the Kingdom. It was nailed to the Cross; thus Jesus also “Spoiled principalities and powers” (Law of Moses and The Ten Commandments), having made a show of them openly, triumphing over them In It (the Cross – Col 2:14-15):
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross: And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” – Colossians 2:14-15 (KJV)
The word Spoiled could also read, “Having Stripped”; it’s the Greek word Apekduomai, meaning ‘To put off, To strip.” Figuratively, it means to “put off the old man.” The Cross gave us a point of division, from the Old Covenants to the New, from the world to the kingdom; thus the condemnation and accusation of the Law and Commandments stopped at the Cross.
The New Man is not “recreated” or “reincarnated”, but it is “New”; thus he is called “New.” The New Man, Seed, or the Word that God gave us, is just for us. “The Seed” knows: how to save our emotions, knows all the deep things within us, knows how to assist us on this road to Salvation, knows how to manifest at the right time, and knows what God has for us. Yet, the New Man is not a bunch of different spirits. It is the Same Spirit of Holiness, meaning it will not do something outside of what the Spirit of God would do. We can listen, or refuse to listen; the choice is still on our side of the Covenant.
Token of the Covenant: A Covenant between two entities is dependent on the other; one has the strength and ability of what the other lacks. An exchange of vows takes place; thereby each party knows what they are getting, as well as what is expected of them. A Token is presented showing that both sides accept the Covenant as presented. In the world, this might be a signature, or security; however, in the Kingdom, a Token relates to the Covenant.
The Covenant is not “Unconditional”: God has already told us all the particulars of the New Covenant, that is… what is expected of us, and what we should expect of Him. The Covenant is not Unconditional, as man views unconditional. Just as there were conditions on contracts in the Old, there are conditions in the New. What proof do we have of this? Much, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already” (Jn 3:17-18).
The premise is there, “God sent,” but the “he who believes” becomes the one who receives; thus it was conditional upon the one word… “Believe.” The same premise is true in water baptism; other than water, the candidate “must believe” in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
We can now look deeper into the elements of a Covenant. Before there can be a Covenant there must be three factors: first there has to be a need for the Covenant, then, there has to be a joining of at least two to make the Covenant; and finally, there must be terms relative to the Covenant. The New Covenant is really between the Son and Father, with the Holy Ghost as the “overseer”; but we enter the Covenant by a process called “Adoption.” We are viewed “like the Son” in order to “become sons by the Spirit,” adopting us into the Family.
Our Tests from God: The Covenant allows for tests from God; but it doesn’t allow us to test God, or tempt Him.
Will there be a test of Mercy? Tell me about it….. “Well, I tell you what, I was attacked, and so, I went to the Throne. And I gave my attackers so much mercy that it was pathetic; and don’t you know… they turned right around, and smirked, and slandered me to the bone. So much for shaken together and running over.”
Wait, the Scripture says “men” will return it, not “them.” What we expected was for the person to fall on their knees, reporting that God was among us of a truth; but instead what we got was more attacks. Let’s be honest, did we give them mercy based on God giving it to us? Or did we give it wanting to see them humbled beyond reason at our feet? Ahh, we used it as a weapon to gain our own recognition and validation, thus our intent was in error and then exposed. The premise was correct, that is…”to give mercy”; but the intent was to gain validation, making the reasoning in error.
Mercy, a weapon of Peace and Righteousness: We do use Mercy as a weapon at times; however, Mercy is to be a weapon of Peace and Righteousness. When Jesus granted Mercy on the Cross, how many fell on their faces? How many ran to take Him down? How many mocked Him the more? Does this mean that the Mercy of Christ from the Cross didn’t work? Hardly; from His Mercy, millions came to the Lord. Simply because it didn’t appear to work at the moment, doesn’t mean it didn’t work.
Bringing our thoughts into the obedience of Christ: Our Covenant demands Obedience, even to the point of bringing our thoughts into the obedience of Christ. Obedience is something which the old man is incapable of. If we Love God, we will do as He says; He told us to deny our self, and pick up our Cross. Thus there are duties in the Covenant. The mere act of picking up our Cross shows two things: we accept the death of Christ in our place, and we accept the Mercy provided by the Cross.
When we want the car to move, we have to make sure it has certain things: a motor, gas, and so on. The car without the equipment to make it operate is useless; and so it is with us. Without the Cross we cannot “impute” the old nature with the flesh to be dead. Without the Resurrection we have not the promise of Life.
God’s part of the Covenant and our part: There are some things which God will not do, He will not “seek the Kingdom for us,” because this is our side of the Covenant. God will not “put off the old man,” nor will He “put on the New Man,” because this is what we’re supposed to do. The New Covenant has Duties, not “works of the flesh,” but duties designed to “rid us of the flesh.”
Jesus made the offering, the Father accepted it, and the Holy Ghost confirmed it. We are asked to join in; but we can’t join unless we “do something” or “have something” giving us a Right to the Covenant. In legal terms, a Contract is not a valid contract unless both parties benefit in the exchange. The Covenant is recorded in the “Record in heaven” by the Father, Word and Holy Ghost; but, we have the “Witness” in the Water (Mercy,) Blood (Grace,) and Spirit (New Man,) which is how the New Covenant is to be “worked out.” Any attempt to use the flesh, soul, or “spirit of the world” is illegal.
Let’s look at that verse in 1 John 5 again….
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” 1 John 5:7-8 (KJV)
Rock-solid, ironclad Covenant of God: The Covenant allows us to walk in the Name of Jesus by the Spirit, something not granted to any human before Jesus made it possible. All earthly religions, regardless of the religion, can do no better than give a person a feeling of accomplishment based on self-righteousness. It doesn’t get them to heaven, or off the earth. The end is still death and the grave; and in most cases, death, grave and hell. God has provided us an ironclad, rock-solid, “cannot be annulled” Covenant, secured by the most precious element in all the Universe, which is the Blood of Jesus, as the precious Lamb of God. Does it make sense for God to send His Son, watch Him die on the Cross, then say, “why not give them forty or fifty ways”? No, if God sent His Son, it’s the means which He presented for man to reach Him; and it is “conditional.” Our Covenant has a goal… reaching the end of our faith even the salvation of our souls. A Covenant requires both Power and Authority, so shall we study on. Selah.
“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter:1:9 (KJV)
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King James Version – KJV: For greater understanding of these commentaries, please use the Authorized Version of the King James Bible for confirming the Scripture passages mentioned. Please see the article, “Why KJV” by Ann M. Wolf for information regarding why we use KJV. Thank you for visiting our Sozo Short Bible Studies area.