God’s Covenant-Introduction

Preaching the Word of God

God’s Plan…Introduction ..God’s Everlasting Covenant

To know nothing except Jesus and Him crucified

Jesus and Him crucified is the major theme of the Bible. This was God’s plan of restoration before the world was formed. God kept it a secret (a mystery) for thousands of years because the Bible says that if Satan and man had known they would not have crucified Christ (1 Cor 2:7-8). The reference to the SEED of Eve to crush the head of Satan starts the beginning of God’s plan/mystery of restoration in Genesis chapter three and is completed at the end of the book of Revelation.

God starts the revelation of this mystery when He tells Satan, Adam, and Eve that a “Seed” of Eve will eventually crush Satan’s head. This promise comes after Adam and Eve have disobeyed God’s commandment (called a covenant in Hosea) not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God tells them that death will come because of disobedience (sin). Adam and Eve’s disobedient act is the first sin recorded in the Bible.

Romans states that sin came into the world through the first Adam, and because of this sin of Adam, sin, and death have come to all men. This sinful act of Adam and Eve was no surprise to God. Because of His all-knowing nature, God foreknew of their failure and had planned a way of restoration through “the Lamb that was slain (God’s plan/mystery) before the world was created.”

God’s restoration plan is the key element in God’s Everlasting covenant which is referred to in the book of Hebrews as a “better covenant” based on “better promises”. The Bible tells us that “through Adam’s disobedience sin entered mankind and brought death and through Christ’s obedience came life (restoration)”.

The study of God’s Everlasting/Eternal Covenant encourages us to interpret Scripture in a progressive manner starting in Genesis and going to the book of Revelation. Our method of interpretation is with the central theme of “Jesus and Him crucified”. In the Preface, we discussed reading the Bible with a Christ-centered focus. This is exactly what Jesus did when He spoke to the two on the road to Emmaus on the day of His resurrection. Jesus said you foolish men you should have known from Scripture these things would have happened to the Messiah. He begins with Moses and the prophets and explains what the Scriptures said about Himself.

Hebrews states it this way, In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets, but now He has spoken through His Son, Jesus Christ. Hebrews goes on to say that Jesus is the exact image of the Father. He has created all things, holds together all things, and is heir to all things. It then states that Jesus after He made atonement for our sins by His death on the cross, entered heaven, and now sits at the right hand of the Father.

The language above contains both literal and figurative truth. In appendix B, we have given brief descriptions of man’s methods of Biblical interpretation. There are pros and cons for each, however, everything we read or hear about  “what the Bible says” is determined/filtered by these concepts. For example, a key rule of Biblical interpretation is to first look at it literally. Yet, there are times in Scripture when a figurative interpretation was intended. For example our understanding of the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit requires us to view God as One, manifested in three persons, but not God as three persons, but ONE.

In the references that follow, we will see God tying together His promise to Judah and David. In Genesis God’s Word states that the scepter would not depart from the tribe of Judah until the Messiah comes to gather His people. In Samuel God had promised David that his seed would sit on the throne forever. Both references are pointing to Jesus Christ.

Before I was called into God’s ministry, I earned a BS degree in physics and mathematics and a Masters’s degree in Computer Science. In my study toward a Doctor of Ministry in theology degree, I concluded that Theology is as much a science as each of these and is controlled by a fixed set of rules just like mathematics, physics, and the logic of computers. All Logic and wisdom flow from God.

As we study the progressive covenant revelations in the course of these lectures, we will see that the same logical process used in mathematics can be applied to theology. In mathematics, if A equals B and C equals B, then A equals C, this is also true in theology. For example, several Biblical references tie together the earlier revelations that God made to Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Levi, and David with those of Christ.

In some cases, two or earlier revelations such as to David and Judah or David and Abraham are mentioned in the same Biblical reference. Looking at Scripture in such a logical way may be a new concept to some. We may need a new way of thinking because we tend to read Scripture with preconceived conclusions based on previous understanding. I call this wearing “theological filters”. This is not necessarily wrong, but we must be aware of this tendency. Let us pray that we might be able to take off all of our theological filters and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us as we approach this study about God’s Everlasting/Eternal covenant relationship.

God completes His restoration plan through Christ who is both the “Seed of Eve” and the “Lamb that was slain before the world was created, the coat of skins”. This revelation of redemption in Christ is “the mystery” referred to by Paul. In First Corinthians Paul states that God kept Christ’s crucifixion a mystery concealed, because, if Satan and man had known God’s plan they would not have crucified Jesus.

Scripture presents this promised Seed of Eve as the same SEED that passes through Abraham, Judah, and David. God’s covenant promise to Eve of the “Seed” to crush Satan’s head is the foundation of the progressively revealed eternal covenant of God that culminates when Christ comes as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

God revealed His Everlasting Covenant relationship to Abraham when He states that He is establishing an “Everlasting Covenant” with Abraham and his “seed”. In Genesis, God makes several promises to Abraham, one promise states that all nations will be blessed through Abraham’s seed. The New Testament tells us that the Seed promise God made to Abraham was not seeds plural, but One, which is Christ.

God reveals that His SEED promise flows from Abraham through Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David. His Word tells us, that a seed of David will sit on the throne forever. God is a covenant-keeping God. God fulfills His Seed promise through all of the above. In the book of Revelation God’s Word says Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loosen the seven seals.

Christ’s one act of righteousness through which all men can be reconciled (given eternal life) to God is His death on the cross which is the restoration provision of the Everlasting Covenant. This reconciliation through Christ is available for all mankind. Jesus, Himself says “whosoever will”.

All covenant revelations from Adam to Christ are part of God’s Everlasting Covenant. The first Adam’s act of sin leads to death and the second Adam’s (Christ) act of righteousness leads to life. The first covenant requirement God made through Adam still exists.

Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat [17]But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

After Adam and Eve took of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they received the punishment but were also given a promise of a way of redemption and restoration. 

Both the (blessing) promise of the “Seed” and the penalty (curses), such as pain in childbirth and man’s work by the sweat of the brow that was part of the second covenant revelation through Eve, are still in effect. Each previous revelation of His covenant requirement is built upon by the next revelation. These covenant revelations are cumulative. All of these progressive revelations can be viewed as pieces of a puzzle that define God’s Everlasting Covenant for man.

God is faithful to deal with man through this Covenant relationship. God is a covenant-keeping God. God’s covenant revelation supports God’s statement that man is without excuse and will be judged accordingly.

The Bible states, that we must understand that the LORD is indeed God. See Him as the faithful God who will keep His covenant for a thousand generations. See Him as the God that constantly loves all those who love him and obey his commands.

God does not play a shell game with us. He presents His Everlasting Covenant with open hands. We can select either the blessings or receive the curses by default! Jesus says if we believe in Him there is no condemnation, but if we do not believe, then we are condemned already.

God has created man in His image making us creatures that are rational, emotional, volitional, and relational. As rational beings, God has granted us the freedom to use these capabilities to understand His covenant revelations and to respond to them as we choose. There is no excuse for our behavior (choice). He holds us accountable. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, but as stated above those who chose not to believe are condemned already.

When Jesus comes to finalize this Everlasting Covenant the Bible says there will be a throne of judgment. All humans since creation will stand before Him and there will be no excuse. If our name is not written in the Lamb’s book of life we will be cast into the lake of fire (hell). As Paul stated he wanted to know (proclaim) nothing but Jesus and Him crucified. This is the foundation (cornerstone) of God’s Everlasting Covenant relationship.

May Jesus be our foundation stone, the cornerstone of our faith. If not He will be our stumbling stone and at judgment become our crushing stone.

Peter is declaring that the Everlasting Covenant with Abraham is fulfilled in the Everlasting Covenant of the Messiah. The above references show that the Everlasting Covenant revelations to Abraham, Moses, and Christ are cumulative (all part of the same Everlasting  Covenant).

We were created for God’s pleasure and, therefore, He desires a relationship with us. The rules for this relationship are dictated by Him and are explained in His Everlasting Covenant.

God is the superior party that has dictated this Everlasting  Covenant and our obedience to it is for our good. If we focus only on the law (obligatory), we fall into legalism and if we focus only on grace, we fall into antinomianism. We must seek a Biblical balance, which is defined by God’s Everlasting Covenant relationship. He defines His promises and His requirements for man that form this relationship (covenant). It is by grace through faith unto good works (fruit-bearing) that we have been saved. People will see our good works (our fruit) and give God praise and glory.

In the Psalms, we find a picture of God’s throne, which is stated to be founded upon righteousness and justice (law), and before the throne is grace and mercy (love). In other words, God does not dispatch grace at the expense of justice, but from justice. Law and grace are both required.

We are all in an Everlasting Covenant with God. Until we accept the terms of God’s grace we are under the penalty of God’s Law (eat & die) because we all have sinned.  

The Bible states that first death and then judgment. Romans states that the wages of sin are death and that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Therefore, without Christ, we are doomed.

This plan of salvation in Christ makes it possible for Jesus to become both “the better sacrifice” and the “basis of the better promises”, which include being the “mediator of the better covenant”. This plan of Jesus’ crucifixion is the foundation of God’s Everlasting Covenant.

The Everlasting covenant is one progressive revealed covenant, starting with Adam and culminating in the New Covenant through Jesus Christ. Not only is there unity in the covenant revelations, but as we move from Genesis to Revelation each that has been revealed is a subset of the next revelation and the next does not nullify the others.

For example, the Bible states that the covenant through Moses given 430 years after the covenant with Abraham did not nullify the promises made through Abraham. We emphasize “through” and not “to” because the Bible states the promise that all nations of the world would be blessed through Abraham’s seed was not many seeds (children of Abraham) but a Seed singular which was Christ.

Peter speaking on the day of Pentecost ties together both the Covenant with Abraham and Christ when he says, You are the children of these Old Testament prophets. You are included in the covenant that God promised to your ancestors when He said to Abraham, Through your descendants, all the families on earth will be blessed.

In Galatians, Paul states that the descendant (seed) promised to Abraham through whom all the world would be blessed was Christ.

God’s Plan (Mystery) before the world was created was the crucifixion of Jesus! This lecture is the second in a series about God’s Everlasting Covenant relationship with all of mankind. Below you will see a link to the next lesson or one back to the previous lesson.

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