The following series
of four paintings is not a reflection of ALL the covenants
made between God and mankind.
The focus here is only on
the covenants made between God, Abraham and the sons
of Israel (Jacob), the Hebrew family singled out by God
to be a holy nation and priests in His service according
to His ordinances.
We do not endeavor this to be a bible-study,
but an account of the inspiration-flow behind these four
Click on picture to enlarge.
And He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your seed be.
When God called Abram
out of Haran, a part of today's Iraq, he had no idea or received no indication of what was
to follow except one important detail: the promise of having
a multitude of offspring.
Genesis 12:1 The LORD said to Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's home, and go to a land that I am going to show you.
I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing.
Genesis 12:3 ....... "And through you I will bless all the nations."
The direct blood-descendants of Abraham are the children of Israel, and the descendants of Ishmael who also have a blood connection with Abraham and received substantial blessings because of that.
Israel however was chosen to produce the "This one", the "Seed", that would restore the damaged relationship between God and His creation.
He would provide the platform for all people (nations) to have the opportunity to turn again in faith to their God, who accepts all those that will believe in Him into a secure place and future by a covenant that will have the same entry-vehicle what Abraham experienced with his God:...
Made right through faith!.
That way Abraham has become the father of all righteous believers, a multitude of offspring, as those believers have chosen to follow the same cleansing "faith" pattern as the patriarch (father) Abraham.
Genesis 15:6 And he (Abraham) believed in Jehovah. And He (God) counted it to him for righteousness.
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The Original Covenant
At some stage in world
history, God, the creator of heaven and earth took the initiative
to set aside a peoples-group/family for Himself, to sanctify them
and declare them holy, intending to entrust to them a royal
Part of the preparation of that plan was the
calling out and the promise to Abram. God blessed Abram, later changed to Abraham with the birth of a natural son at a high age.
He called this son Isaac, who in turn had two sons Esau
God started to lay the
foundation of His chosen holy nation by shaping the family
of Jacob, whom He renamed Israel.
During a severe famine
the sons of Israel, twelve tribes in total, ended up living
in Egypt where they were used as slaves over a considerable
period of time.
Over this period, the family grew in numbers
and God took action by calling the man Moses to lead them
out of Egypt, back to their promised land.
During this journey
God revealed Himself to the sons of Israel and made a bilateral,
two party-covenant with them.
God expressed His love for
His chosen nation by placing them in the protective " covenant-bubble"
of His Law and ordinances, aiming to cleanse, and protect
them as a Father in a parental way, thereby enabling His
chosen people to take their place within the covenant
of favor as royal priests, destined to minister to the God of heaven and earth.
The sons of Israel responded
favorably by pledging their allegiance to this new covenant with the
words; Exodus 19:8 " All that Jehovah has spoken we will
God spoke directly to His chosen holy nation, addressing
His terrified people of this sanctified nation directly
Himself or, after the people requested this, using Moses,
because they were unable to stand the glory of their God.
He prepared his people for a relationship of Divine encounters,
allowing them to catch a glimpse of His Holiness.
The main characteristic of this covenant was God's Love,
the willingness and determination of Him wanting to
be close to and with His people, thereby including them as part of His
realm. In a way this covenant aims to replicate the same close
relationship God used to have with Abraham.
A preview of this futuristic direct
relationship between God and His chosen holy nation/people
is reflected in the following extraordinary scene,
recorded in the following passage ;
Exodus 24:9-11 "And
Moses went up, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy
of the elders of Israel.And they saw the God of Israel.
And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of
a sapphire stone, and as the essence of the heavens for
clearness. And upon the nobles of the sons of Israel He
did not lay his hands. Also they saw God, and ate and drank."
This first Covenant encounter "communion meal" was the foretaste
of what was supposed to come: walking in and enjoying the presence of
their God as a holy people.
Unfortunately it was the last and only corporate encounter of that kind within
the original covenant. Having been part of this majestic supernatural manifestation
Moses was called by God to climb the mountain to have the covenant ratified, by having the law written upon stone tablets fashioned by God Himself.
After ratification, Moses is instructed
by God to go down the mountain only to find to his horror the
chosen covenant people worshiping a self-fashioned golden
In holy anger, Moses smashed the divinely produced
proof of ratification-stone tablets in pieces, thereby effectively
stating that the first covenant had finished to exist without
ever having functioned!
The Godly/Fatherly embrace had been rejected
by a hostile act of disobedience by a supposedly holy people.
The consequences of this act would be far-reaching. Apart
from Joshua and Caleb not one of the generation under this covenant would reach the promised land!
The Replacement Covenant
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"And Moses took the tabernacle and pitched it outside the
camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the tabernacle
of the congregation. And it happened, everyone who sought
Jehovah went out to the tabernacle of the congregation,
which was outside the camp."
Did the Almighty God turn His back to the people that broke His covenant of love?
At first it seems that way;
Exodus 32:10 " And now leave
Me alone, so that My wrath may become hot against them and
so that I may consume them. And I will make of you a great
A very angry God wants to do away with the sons
of Israel and offers Moses to be the father of a new sanctified
Moses takes on the role of mediator and pleads with
his God to be merciful and to remember the promises He made
regarding His chosen people.
When Moses, standing in the gate
of the camp asks the sons of Israel the question:
Exodus 32:26 "Who is on Jehovah's side? Come to me." Only
the sons of the tribe of Levi gathered themselves to him!
How the mood has changed.
On the one side we have an interceding Moses, trying to
persuade a righteous God not to abandon the people of His
promise, and on the other side an angry God, still vowing
to punish His people.
After much pleading, mediation and
intercession the Lord seems to relent and promises to go
up with the people on the way to the promised land.
Something has drastically
changed in the relationship-fabric however, Israel's God
is starting to present Himself from now on as a distant
God. He will still be their God, but not at the center of
Exodus 33:3: "For I
will not go up in the midst of you, for you are a stiff-necked
people, lest I consume you in the way."
For their own safety
God now chooses to look in from the outside, turning
to a pattern of communicating only through appointed people
like prophets and leaders, which would remain the pattern
until the New Covenant, established by Christ.
Moses acknowledged the
significance and ramifications of the rejection of God by
the sons of Israel. He understood that his active act of
smashing God's handmade/written tablets into pieces, signified
the end of the Original Parental Covenant as far God was
In fact, God disregarded them!
Hebrews 8 : 9 .....because they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not regard them, says the Lord.
After all the happenings, the outside the camp
pitched tabernacle, must have been a constant reminder for
Israel that their God had removed Himself from their midst,
the head of the table, signifying that they had fallen short of the mark as a people,
while they could have been seated with Him at His table.
they went back to an infant-state, needing to be taught, cleaned up,
disciplined and looked after. It was only the tribe of Levi
who chose the Lord's side and was therefore later rewarded
to function in the tabernacle/temple service, their only visible link left, with their now distant God.
This new situation was a far cry from the intentions
of the original covenant where God intended the whole of
His then Holy people to be priests.
Exodus 34:10: "And He said, Behold! I make a covenant."
God takes the initiative again, and establishes a new unilateral/one-sided replacement
covenant, thereby replacing the Original Parental Covenant
with a Replacement Custodian Covenant, allowing the Law
to function as the impersonal custodian/caretaker/teacher.
"But I say, Over so long a time the heir is an infant, he
does not differ from a slave, though being lord of all;
but he is under guardians and house masters until
the term appointed before by the father."
And here the description/time-limit of the Guardian Covenant, and the purpose of the future New Covenant:
Galatians 3:24: "So that
the Law has become a trainer/instructor/guardian of us until
Christ, that we might ( after this custodian period) be justified by faith."(in Christ)
At this point He leaves the sons of
Israel with the unrelenting, demanding custodian, the Law, unable to
fulfill His demands and being constantly reminded of their shortcomings.
Exodus 34:1: "And Jehovah said to Moses, Cut out two tablets
of stone like the first. And I will write upon the tablets
the words that were in the first tablets which you broke."
The fact that God commanded Moses to cut the stone tablets this time,
indicates the contaminated nature of this covenant, as God, up till now considered cut stones as "defiled" Exodus
20:25: "And if you will make Me an altar of stone, you shall
not build it of cut stone. For if you lift up your tool
upon it, you have defiled it."
This incomplete, imperfect Replacement Covenant demonstrated more then ever the need
for a new covenant, a new family of God, a new nation of priests, which would be established by Christ as High priest, God and Son of Man, by sacrificing His own life, thereby atoning for the sins of the world and effectively opening the door for mankind to enjoy the Favor of God again.
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The New Covenant
Hebrews 10 : 16,17 "This is the covenant which I will covenant to them after those days, says the Lord: Giving My Laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds;"
I will not at all still remember their sins and their lawlessness."
God gifted the Promise to Abraham.
God was the instigator of the Original-Parental Covenant with Israel to make them a Holy nation of priests, to His glory.
God put in place the temporary custodian Replacement Law Covenant.
God acted again by establishing a final out-of-this-world New Covenant providing an open doorway for mankind.
This creative divine act could possibly be part of a much larger untouchable Covenant between the Father and Son, including new heavens and earth at a scale incomprehensible to man, of which the redemption of man only appears to be an important detail of.
A New "unchangeable" Priesthood was established in Heaven with Christ as High Priest in the mysterious order of Melchizedek, "being the surety of a better covenant", despite born into the non priestly tribe of Judah.
Hebrews 7:15 And it is still more abundantly clear that if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has not become so according to a law of a fleshly command, but according to the power of an indissoluble life.
God healed the rift between Him and mankind at the cost of Himself, by coming down to this earth in the person of Jesus Christ, the son of man.
By that act the relationship between Him and His entire creation, His artwork would be eventually restored to its former glory!
He did not demand nor expected a substitutional death of someone else for the sins of mankind. He was not demanding the blood of outsiders. He initiated the New and final Covenant by sacrificing His own life, His own blood, Himself.
The day the heavens held their breath and darkness was on earth for three hours in the afternoon, marked the day God died in an act of unconditional Love!
He took upon Him all the sins of mankind and by doing that created a new doorway to righteousness for believers, thereby eliminating the wages of sin, the demands of the law, the Custodian Covenant and eternal death in the process.
This new doorway to this newly created living relationship-Covenant was...Faith...Believe!
The New Testament translates that old Genesis promise to Abraham, to bless all the nations through Abraham, in the gospel of John in a different wording but highlighting the fulfilling of the promise;
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".
Despite the writer of the letter to the Hebrews making it very clear that there is no place in the New Covenant for the remnants of the old, we have based our present religious church belief-system and many practices of it on exactly those remnants!
In a nutshell, our present religious church belief-system embraced Old Testament principles and practices, mixing it with the New and declared this concept as "scriptural".
The result of this approach in many cases is a devastating outdated "Evangelical gospel" of sin and repentance, despite the result of sin already wiped out and forgiveness accomplished by the atoning work of Christ.
Amazingly, by actively taking that approach, the organized church connected their power-lead factually to the Replacement Covenant-power point, a restricted covenant with a distant God, thereby effectively starving themselves of the full intensions of the New Covenant and the real presence of God and His power.
On the contrary, the correct implication of the New Covenant puts mankind in a total new place.
In Christ, God deals with the results of sin, by making a New Covenant between Him, the Father, and the Son of man, Christ.
This New Covenant, made in Heaven, rendered effectively the old Replacement Covenant powerless, redundant!
Hebrews 10: 9,10 then He said, "Lo, I come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first so that He may establish the second. By this will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
There is no need anymore to be perfect as a rule, to strife for higher standards by demand.
The New Covenant provides the only fertile environment to spiritually grow, mature, and rest in Him!
Instead of being judged on sinful acts, mankind will be judged on a seemingly small matter with an eternal consequence; whether they believe in Christ or not. (John 3 vs 16)
This is the point where this New Bilateral, two party-covenant between the Father God, and Christ the son of man, shows an almost bilateral aspect towards mankind, as we can clearly see an involvement of mankind in the practical walk with the living Christ.
This walk could also be explained as a favorable, more relationship type of beneficiary involvement for mankind as a result, instead of an active participant/partner in the New Covenant.
This New Covenant does never function nor is never meant as a vehicle for "automatic" salvation.
Under the new heavenly agreement, it opens the door, provides the means to enter into the New Covenant by a dual act: Gods Grace of providing the doorway in Christ, and at the same time the believers act of believing in Christ, in that order.
For the believer, the change after entering into the New should be remarkable:
2 Corinthians 5:17 So that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!
When we by His Spirit realize that the believer has been placed IN Christ, the believer becomes a new creation, thereby Christ exhibiting His real personality in the life of the believer.
After the realization of this fact in the believer, we leave the Old Covenant and self behind as there will be no place in Christ, the New Covenant, for the dominance of man, human ideas, initiatives, actions, decisions, worship, whatever originates from the human will, mind or nature.
The New Covenant life-experience is the realization of the new truth: the believer has received/put on the new wineskin, which is Christ, and this new wineskin is in turn filled with the empowering presence of Christ.
This situation enables the believer to walk perfectly with the Lord without any contamination, as His law is written on the believers heart. Evil cannot reach this out-of-this-world place.
The only danger to us is leaving this sacred place on our own accord to go our own way. That's why the Lord commands us to "Abide" in Him, the safe place.
Being in this new place means experiencing the Kingdom now and here in our life-time and having this assurance already of being part of the future new heaven and earth.
Believers over centuries of time are God's new holy nation of royal priests of the New Covenant, the new emerging Israel the Father was longing for.
Not based on race or a peoples-group, but bought and owned by Him, already functioning in the present and actively partaking in the Kingdom, fully revealed on a new earth with a new center: the new Jerusalem from Heaven, the well prepared bride!
Hebrews 13:10 We (those walking in Christ) have an altar (an-out-of-this-world table) of which those serving the tabernacle (old covenant worshipers) have no authority to eat.
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Monsma. All Rights Reserved.
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