Eternal covenant Chapter 11

Preaching the Word of God

God’s Shepherd …. Chapter 11…God’s Covenant

May the great shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant work in you to make you perfect in every good work to His glory forever and ever. Amen

This brief prayer that ends the book of Hebrews is an appropriate way to end our study of God’s everlasting/eternal covenant. During this study, we have tried to keep focused on the fact that the central character of the Bible is Jesus, and the central act of the Bible is Him crucified, the story of Redemption.

With this key thought in mind, we have attempted to interpret all of His covenant revelations using New Testament Scripture with the hermeneutic that Christ used on the road to Emmaus where He started with “Moses and the prophets” and explained to the two that all Scripture was about Him.

Paul said it a different way when he said, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Cor 2:2)

Our study has also been grounded in the thought that God in Christ is an all-knowing, all-powerful, and unchanging God who is the same yesterday and today, and forever. His unchanging nature is the basis of an everlasting covenant relationship.

The Bible is filled with figures of speech such as metaphors, similes, and parables. Therefore, we must look at the context of each new idea to determine if it should be interpreted literally or figuratively.

The New Testament and the book of Hebrews specifically is a key book in aiding our understanding of how we are to interpret and understand many of the Old Testament stories. In many cases, God uses the physical experiences of Israel as living parables, which might be considered Typology.  First Corinthians chapter ten is a good example of this thought. God shows us some spiritual insight into some of the Old Testament events with Israel when He tells us that they were for example (types) for us of the church age.

In Hebrews chapter ten God tells us that the law was a shadow of good things to come. The book of Hebrews is full of examples of God showing us that Jesus is better than all of the Old Testament shadows (revelations of the prophets, Moses, Aaron, covenant revelations, tabernacle, sacrifices, and the high priest). In Samuel God shows us that the high priest was a shadow or metaphor of Christ our High Priest.

The New Testament discusses several spiritual interpretations of Abraham and God’s relationship with Him in the book of Genesis. The book of Hebrews, Galatians, and Romans for example tells us that the promised SEED to Abraham was not Isaac (the physical son), but Christ a future descendent (a spiritual application). The Bible tells us that Abraham’s belief in this promised SEED was the basis of his salvation. It was counted unto him as righteousness. Jesus tells us in John chapter eight that Abraham saw His day and rejoiced.

Abraham is considered the father of those of faith. Today, we are saved by the same promise and same faith (spiritual understanding). The Bible shows us that the nation of Israel in one sense is a metaphor/type of the church. Romans tell us that a true Jew is not one of physical birth (physical circumcision) but one of spiritual birth (circumcised heart).

This understanding lines up with the teaching in John chapter three of a true follower of God (Jew/Christian) is one who has been born again of the Spirit. The interpretations (figuratively & spiritually) of being born again are the same as a circumcised heart and the new heart prophesied in the Old Testament specifically in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. These prophecies are brought forth in chapter eight of Hebrews.

Chapter five through seven of Hebrews has a lot to say about the metaphor of Christ as a type of Jewish high priest. Chapter eight tells us that Jesus could not function as a high priest on earth (earthly tabernacle) because He was not a descendent of Levi. Chapter seven of Hebrews has already addressed this issue by stating that fact alone required a change to the Old Testament law (shadow).

Chapter eight of Hebrews continues the thought that the tabernacle, priests, and sacrifices were only shadows/types or metaphors of the revelation of God through the good things to come, Christ. The tabernacle is specifically referred to as a copy of the true tabernacle in heaven.

Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant, which is based on better promises. God goes on to say that if the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second. However, the problem was not with God or the covenant revelation, but with the people and the nation of Israel. They broke (violated) God’s everlasting covenant.

God was not surprised when Israel broke the covenant, just like He was not surprised when Adam and Eve broke the first covenant revelation. God’s plan for man has always been His everlasting covenant through the SEED promise to Eve, Abraham, Judah, and David (Jesus Christ). This was the mystery spoken of in First Corinthians where it states that God kept it a mystery/secret so that none of the princes of this world would know: for had they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

In Hebrews chapter eight we find a direct quote from the book of Jeremiah. These verses speak of writing the Word of God (law) in the hearts of God’s people. This is the concept mentioned above of being born again of the Spirit of God. Many Bible scholars today interpret the church, those born again of the Spirit of God as the fulfillment of this promise. The church (believers) has also fulfilled God’s promise of Him being our God, we are His people, and His dwelling with us in our hearts.

Yet in another sense, this promise will be ultimately fulfilled upon His Second Coming described in the book of Revelations. Also, the prophecy of there being no need to teach others about Christ is not yet fulfilled. In a sense, the current church age is a hybrid of God’s revelation of both the old and new covenants. The New is not yet totally come and the Old is not done away with.

The concept of a hybrid system under the umbrella of the everlasting covenant is similar to the theological covenants of Grace and Works being under the umbrella of the covenant of Redemption.

The everlasting covenant is complete in Christ (New Covenant) with the old covenant as a shadow or figure of speech. The New Testament/Covenant is not a literal replacement for the old, but a completed prophecy like a new heart is not a physical replacement but a figure of speech. It is more of the concept that the Old is a shadow or picture of the real, the New.

In other words, the Old Testament is a schoolmaster that points us to Christ. Hebrews once again states that the Old Testament is being made obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. Since Hebrews was written several years after Christ’s death it can be interpreted as referring to His Second Coming.

Ezekiel chapters 11, 36, and 37 contain another prophecy of what God calls the New Covenant. These chapters cover the same subject as Jeremiah and Hebrews above, yet they also use a figure of speech about the one who sits on the throne in eternity as being DavidHowever, the New Testament tells us that this was the mystery of Christ and not David literally, but his seed, who is Jesus Christ (Son of David).

Just as Christ and His crucifixion were a mystery concealed until His crucifixion, so was the church. Just as David was a type of Christ in these prophecies so was Israel a type of church. However, many of the Bible scholars who teach that God means a literal Israel in these prophecies instead of a figure of speech referring to the church will mix their interpretations and say God meant a descendent of David (Christ), instead of David. However, they will not continue that thought to the next logical step: God also meant the church (true Israel) not physical Israel.

In Ezekiel chapter thirty-seven God describes figuratively that which is stated to be real in Hebrews chapter twelve and the book of Revelation. It refers to the gathering of God’s people in one place under one King for eternity with God stating that these people are “His people and He is their God and He will dwell with them.” In both Ezekiel and Hebrews God refers to this being an Everlasting Covenant.

God has promised never to leave nor forsake us. He is our helper and we should not fear. We have not come to a mountain of doom but to amount Zion the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. This is the same city that Abraham was seeking in Hebrews chapter eleven.

However, to enter that city, we must follow Christ outside the camp, do participate in His death. Through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we are to continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips that give thanks to His name. And we are not to neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Paul states differently in Romans chapter six when he says that we are to know that we have been baptized into Christ’s death. We have been buried with Him and also have resurrected with Him. Now we are to walk in newness of life under the control of His Spirit.

Paul in Ephesians states that we have been saved by grace through faith unto good works God has planned for us. This is the same thought of the prayer of the writer of Hebrews listed at the start of this lecture which states “may the great shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant work in you to make you perfect in every good work to His glory forever and ever.” Amen

God has given us insight into how this prayer can work out in the life of the believer when He states that we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us (gone before us). Referring to those mentioned in chapter eleven of Hebrews. He says for us to lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that entangles us. God encourages us to run with endurance the race that is set before us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the author and finisher of faith. Jesus has paid the price for our sins on the cross and now sits on the throne at the Father’s right hand.

Let us bow before Him and sing the new song from the book of Revelation. It states that Jesus is worthy to take the book and break its seals. He is worthy to be praised because He was slain and has purchased for God with His blood people from every tribe and tongue and nation.

I pray that everyone who reads these lectures (eBook) are His people and He is their God and that He dwells in their heart for eternity.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice and follow me.” Are we following Him?  If not why not?

He wishes none to perish and all come to repentance!

This completes the study/lectures on the Everlasting/Eternal Covenant of God.

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