Our Time Scope IV
Covenants: A Completed Record of Israel
Adam was called to serve in the Garden and to guard the Garden. See The Garden, in The Fall of Mankind for a further explanation. Adam did not answer the call. Cain and Abel were both called to offer a sacrifice unto God. Cain did not answer the call, but Abel did. Enoch was called to be a prophet. A man who calls God’s people back to God. Enoch answered God’s call and walked with God.
What does it mean to be called by God?
To be called of God is to be asked by God to perform a specific function or service, or to act in a certain manner.
Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
The calling of Jeremiah to be a prophet is specific to him. The calling in Exodus is a general calling to all of Israel to obey God.
For many are called, but few are chosen.
The difference for Israel is in Exodus 19:5.
Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
All of Israel was called. The ones who are chosen had obeyed God’s voice. Consider Adam and Cain. This is not a judgment on their eternal state. Adam’s eternal state will be determined at the time of the resurrections. Cain’s eternal state was declared in God’s Word, see The Choice, God’s Way or Cain’s Way, The Fall of Mankind for an in-depth look at Cain.
Abram was called by God, although many have failed to see the depth of his calling. (For the remainder of this teaching Abram will be referred to as Abraham, the change in name God gave to him.)
We will begin with Stephen giving the Sanhedrin a history lesson in the book of Acts.
And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,
Abraham was first called by God when he lived in Mesopotamia, in the city of Ur.
Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham.
And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran and dwelt there.
Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.
New International Version
The intent was to go to the land of Canaan, but they settled in Harran instead. They simply followed the Euphrates river north to the city of Harran, never crossing into Canaan. After living in Harran for five years Abraham came into the land of Canaan.
Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.
So, Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
How you establish the length of time Abraham was in Harran deals with the prophecies concerning Isaac.
And this I say that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ [the words “in Christ” appear in no text, they were added] the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
The Law, given to Moses, came 430 years after the original promise to Abraham in Ur.
And God spake on this wise, that his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage and entreat them evil four hundred years.
400 years after the seed, who was Isaac, Israel would come out of bondage. Therefore, the original promise to Abraham in Ur came when Abraham was 70 years old.
And he said unto Abram, know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.
The difference in counting, 430 years verses 400 years, is the starting point. 430 counts from Abraham’s call in Ur and 400 years counts from the birth of Isaac. Therefore, Abraham was called at the age of 70, he lived in Harran for 5 years and moved into Canaan at the age of 75 and had Isaac at the age of 100.
In Genesis 14 Abraham is identified as a Hebrew, he is the first person in God’s Word to be called a Hebrew.
And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew…
What does it mean to be a Hebrew?
The Hebrew word is ibir.
Abarim Publications says of ibir, “It means Passed Over or Passer Over or Transition or One Who Transits or One from The Other [Dry] Side…”
The website, One For Israel, states, ibir means to pass over.
The Jewish Theological Seminary adds, “All the world was on one side and he on the other side”
Most maps in the back of your Bible show Ur to be on the west side of the Euphrates river. These maps are wrong due to not understanding the word Hebrew.
Joshua says it better.
And Joshua said unto all the people, thus saith the LORD God of Israel, your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood [nahar = river] in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
The father of Abraham was an idolator. The city of Harran was known for its worship of the moon goddess, perhaps that was the false god Terah worshipped.
And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood [nahar = river], and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
God called Abraham to cross over the river Euphrates and leave behind all the false gods to worship the One True and Living God. When Israel was saved from the slavery of Egypt and their multitude of false gods, once again they were to cross over, this time a sea.
And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea. And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them…
And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore, he blessed you still: so, I delivered you out of his hand. And you went over Jordan…
Once again Israel crossed over a river, this time the river Jordan, leaving behind the nations with the many false gods, to worship the One True and living God.
Now therefore fear the LORD AND serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood [nahar = river], and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood [nahar = river], or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
God called Abraham not only to cross over the Euphrates river but to leave behind the many false gods of the land he was leaving to worship the One True and Living God. This was Abraham’s calling! This is what it truly means to be a Hebrew. To pass over to the other side. To leave behind you the many false gods and come and stand with the One True and Living God. Consider the Promised Land God spoke of with Abraham.
And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
How many children will be born in a thousand years? What will be the population of the Millennial Kingdom Administration? Can you number the dust of the earth? This is God’s promise to Abraham, the fulfillment of which is in the Millennial Kingdom Administration!
In Genesis 15 God phrased the expanse of the Promised Land a different way.
In the same day, the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
Abraham crossed over the Euphrates river leaving the false gods and Israel crossed the Red Sea leaving behind their false gods. This is the Land of Israel, the Promised Land, the land where Christ will establish his kingdom in the Millennial Kingdom Administration we recently considered.
The Covenants and the Administrations work together, they are not at cross purposes.
God made promises to Abraham when he was still in Ur of the Chaldeans.
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
"The LORD had said..." Later, God expands upon His promise to Abraham. We have already read this, but it never hurts to read God’s Word again.
For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Then in Genesis 15, during a discussion between God and Abraham concerning his progeny, God said this.
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, so shall thy seed be.
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
The word counted is the Hebrew word hasab and means to impute, to reckon, to account. Since the “seed of the woman” had not yet come righteousness was not yet available. Therefore, it was put to his account until the day when God could give Abraham his righteousness. When is that day? It is at the resurrection of the Just, the start of the Millennial Kingdom Administration.
What is the difference between a promise and a covenant?
According to bing.com a promise is, “a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen.” In other words, when you make a promise you guarantee you will do all in your power and ability to carry out your words.
This however, is not how an ancient Hebrew thought of the word promise. To an ancient Hebrew the word promise simply meant a saying, something that was said. To us, it would be more like something said in a casual conversation.
Therefore, Abraham questions God in Genesis 15 and asks for a covenant. Yes, in essence, Abraham is asking for a covenant when he asks God, “how shall I know?”
But to God, a promise is a guarantee.
… yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
With God there is no difference. When God makes a promise, it is as good as accomplished. But with man, even Abraham, something more than words spoken is necessary.
And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. And he said, LORD God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?
Abraham wanted more than God’s spoken Word.
Abraham wanted more than what God had said.
Abraham wanted a guarantee.
So, God gives Abraham a covenant.
Abraham is not less spiritual for making this request. For his day Abraham is exceedingly spiritual. The full spiritual picture was not exposed until Jesus came and pulled the curtain back like in the Wizard of Oz, exposing the Adversary for all the world to see.
Consider this another way. Abraham is called the friend of God. As their friendship developed, Abraham’s understanding and comprehension of spiritual matters grew, as his knowledge, and trust, and believing in God grew.
So, Abraham asked for a guarantee and God responded.
In the same day, the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
So, what is a covenant?
A covenant comes from the Latin words con venire and means a coming together. In Hebrew it is the word berit which means alliance, pledge, or agreement. In terms of countries, it would be called a treaty. In terms a romantic relationship it would be called a marriage. In terms of a business relationship, it would be called a contract. A covenant is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties.
Biblically there are two main covenants in the Word of God; the blood covenant and the salt covenant. Both carry the penalty of death if broken. For God to enter a covenant, when He cannot die, is to say that God is worthy of death if He were to break a covenant.
An example you would recognize is seen in old Hollywood movies when two people would cut their hands, then clasp them together, to mingle the blood, to become blood brothers. You may even have done this as a child.
The sacrificed animals in Genesis 15 are to represent God’s shedding of blood to enter this blood covenant with Abraham.
As the time of the seed, Isaac, approaches, God wants a change in the covenant between He and Abraham. However, a covenant cannot be changed unless both parties agree.
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
All Galatians is telling us is that once a covenant has been confirmed you cannot add to the covenant or subtract from the covenant. Unless both parties are in agreement to a change, a confirmed covenant must stand as written. In Genesis 17 God wants a change to the covenant, the reason why becomes obvious as the generations pass. Abraham's agreement is demonstrated by his actions.
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee and will multiply thee exceedingly.
The English words “I will make” are one Hebrew one, natan.
The New English Translation and the Darby Translation handle Genesis 17:2 in this manner.
Then I will confirm my covenant between me and you, and I will give you a multitude of descendants.”
New English Translation
And I will set my covenant between me and thee and will very greatly multiply thee.
The Hebrew word natan is used 2,008 times in the Old Testament. It is translated “I will make” one time and that does not fit the context. At best, it is a misleading translation that has led some to think this is a second covenant with Abraham. However, it is not a second covenant, but God is requesting a change to the covenant He made with Abraham in Genesis 15.
When an addendum is added to the original covenant, the addendum must first be cleared or fulfilled before you can return to the original covenant.
What changes has God requested?
1.Abraham to walk before Him and be perfect (a better translation would be
2.Circumcision of all males.
These are the two changes God has requested.
Why would God request a change?
Change one: walk before me and be blameless.
Abraham did not need a law to show him how to walk with God or to look forward to the
day of the coming “seed of the woman.” Abraham developed his relationship with God
and did walk blameless before God.
But a day is coming when there will be a law and those to whom the law is addressed had the law to show them how to stand blameless before God and how to see the coming "seed of the woman." To be guilty in one point in the law was to be guilty of the whole law. The penalty for guilt is death.
This addendum is fulfilled, and thus removed, in the Christ Administration as Jesus walked before God and was blameless according to the law of Moses.
Change two: circumcision of the flesh.
This aspect is added to emphasis that this is a blood covenant from both sides. Breaking a blood covenant is also worthy of death.
Both of these changes demonstrate the only way to have life is with God, apart from God there is only death.
Circumcision will also be a token. Genesis 17:11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the
covenant betwixt me and you.
To understand the purpose of a token we need to consider God’s earlier covenant with
Genesis 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me
and the earth.
Genesis 9:16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the
everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon
A token is as a way of remembrance. Circumcision is meant to remind Abraham, and later Israel, that they are in a blood covenant with God. This is a reminder that every male in Israel will see multiple times every day.
This addendum is also handled in the Christ Administration with the circumcision of Jesus and then the shed blood of Jesus to fulfill this aspect of the blood covenant for all who were not blameless.
Therefore, the addendum of Genesis 17 to the original covenant has been removed and God can return to His original covenant with Abraham. However, there will be another addendum that will also need to be fulfilled before retrning to God's original covenant with Abraham.
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done…
God knows what is coming, He is never caught off-guard. God is prepared on all points, for all things.
This is God’s first addendum to His covenant with Abraham.
Some have supposed God calling this an everlasting covenant is also an addition.
And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
However, the Hebrew word translated everlasting in Genesis 17 is also used in Genesis 13.
For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.
The Hebrew word translated “forever” is the same Hebrew word translated “everlasting” in Genesis 17.
As time moved forward God carried out His promise, His covenant to the generations that followed.
God established His covenant with Isaac.
Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.
God established His covenant with Jacob.
And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
But the heart and the relationship between Abraham and God is not the same in the generations that follow. A need for a law is seen well before we come to the days of Moses. But God needed a man who is both faithful and meek, He needed Moses.
God does not control people. If God were into controlling people, Eve could have had the “seed of the woman.” When God calls, a person can refuse to answer as did Cain. God looks for hearts like Mary or David, hearts that desire Him. God then inspires them and works within them. Control is for robots and drones, people are neither. People are to be loved, not used. Those who respond to God’s love He can inspire.
The need for law can easily been seen in the lives of the patriarchs, the fathers of the tribes of Israel. In Genesis 34 they make a deal with the city of Hamor the Hivite for all the males to be circumcised. Then, when the men are sore from the circumcision, two of Jacob’s sons go into the city and murder all the men and steal the wealth of the city. When Jacob learns of their deed, he does not correct them for using the token of God’s covenant as a weapon of war, but for giving him a bad name and reputation.
Then, in Genesis chapter 35 Jacob tells his family, heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant, they should put away their idols.
Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
Abraham had crossed over the Euphrates to leave behind the false gods so he could worship the One True and Living God. The heart of Abraham is not the heart of the patriarchs. These are the same patriarchs that sold their brother Joseph into slavery because they were jealous of him.
Later, through Joseph, the tribes of Israel are saved from starvation because they travel to Egypt. But 430 years after God called Abraham out of Ur, God works with Moses to call Israel out of their bondage in Egypt.
At the appointed time, Moses led Israel out of the bondage they suffered in Egypt and led them to Mount Sinai. At Mount Sinai God requests more changes to the covenant He established with His friend Abraham and reestablished with Isaac and Jacob.
This is the second addendum God desired to make to the Abrahamic Covenant.
Why was God looking to make even more changes to His covenant with Abraham?
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made…
It was because of sin, transgressions. God needed to redirect Israel to see what Abraham saw without a law.
Israel agreed to the changes God desired in the covenant.
Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, all that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
God wanted to direct Israel so that they could see what Abraham saw.
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it and was glad.
Abraham saw the coming Christ! Yet, Israel could not identify the Christ standing right in front of them.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
The Mosaic Law points to the coming Redeemer, the coming Messiah. Yet Israel could not see him. Abraham had no scriptures pointing to the Christ, yet he saw the coming Messiah.
By faith [pistis = believing] Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith [pistis = believing] he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Abraham was 70 years old when God called him to leave Ur and travel to a land, of which he knew nothing. He would have had an established business and business contacts. He would have had stability and a home and God was asking him to become a nomad, living in a tent. But Abraham did not look at his previous home or his current tent. Rather he looked for a city whose builder and maker is God.
It only took days, after Israel agreed to do all that God said, for them to make a golden calf and decide to return to Egypt and bondage. Proving the need for the law God gave them at Mount Sinai. The law was due to sin, to guide them and direct them toward the coming Messiah and their need for the a Redeemer.
The Galatians were believers in Our Administration, the Administration of Grace, yet they desired to return to and be justified by the Law of Moses. Paul wrote to them concerning the Law.
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
The Greek word for schoolmaster is paidagogos and means a tutor. The Law was a tutor to bring Israel unto Christ. The law was not meant to burden or to punish, it was to teach, to be their tutor.
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet.
The Law was Israel’s tutor.
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
But Israel never saw the Law as a tutor. Rather than learn from their tutor. Their tutor became a burden to them and more bondage.
This addendum must also be removed to return to the original covenant with Abraham.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.
The blessing of the Mosaic Law is fulfilled at the end of the Christ Administration by the accomplished work of Jesus, the Messiah. The curse of the Mosaic Law is fulfilled with the conclusion of the wrath of God at the end of the Reveling Administration.
So that by the end of the Revealing Administration God can return to His original promise to Abraham and His original Covenant with Abraham. This then also enables God to move forward with the New Covenant He promised to Israel during the time of the prophet Jeremiah.
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
This New Covenant that is offered by God brings individuals in the nation of Israel to the place Abraham was mentally almost 400 years before Israel was a nation.
This New Covenant offers Israel the land, “…from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”
Then Israel, “…shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat…”
The animal kingdom shall, “…wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together…” And “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
The nations shall, “...and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.”
This then is the administration Abraham looked forward to when he looked for a city whose builder and maker is God.
The administrations and covenants are not at cross purposes with one another or the entirety of the Word of God. They compliment one another and fit together with the perfection that only God could bring to pass.
Together, the Covenants and Administrations show the complete record of God’s work and walk with Abraham and his descendants, Israel.
© Auxano Ministry 2021