To start our study of Bible Covenants I will lay out various events and briefly review them in a 10 part outline consisting of the following issues - creator/creature relationship (ccr), image of God (iog), dominion of earth and animals (doeaa), diet (d), Sabbath (s), Marriage (m), work (w), obedience brings life/disobedience brings death (obldbd), and sacrificial system (ss). I am going to attempt to outline six events - life as it was when Jesus had finished creating, the fall of Adam and Eve, the plan of redemption - which is the everlasting covenant/new covenant, the Noah covenant, the Abrahamic covenant/new covenant, and the old covenant, and use this outline form to discuss them through the outline. When this outline is finished you, hopefully, will be able to compare and contrast and then draw your own conclusions. Since these are my own study thoughts please check the Scripture out and study to show yourself approved, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
ccr - Jesus created the earth and animals. Gen 1:1-25; Col 1:16
iog - Jesus created man in the image of God. Gen 1:27
doeaa - Jesus gave man dominion over the earth and animals. Gen 1:26,28
d - Man to eat fruits and seed. Gen 1:29; Isa 11:9
s - God sets aside the 7th day, blesses it and sanctifies it, becauses He rested from His work. Gen 2:1-3
m - Jesus gives Adam a mate suitable for him. Gen 2:18-25
w - Man to care for the garden of Eden. Gen 2:5,15
obldbd - Man to eat of the tree of life but not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil - to obey was to live, to disobey was to surely die. Gen 2:16-17
ss - There was no sacrificial system since there was no sin, no death, and no need for a substitute.
ccr - Adam and Eve chose to listen to Satan rather than Jesus. They denied the Creator and listened to the creature thus incuring death by breaking the law. Gen 2:17; Gen 3:1-7; I John 3:4; Romans 7:7
iog - By listening to Satan they changed their characters into his. Psalms 106:19-20; Romans 1:23; Romans 6:16; Luke 11:21-22
doeaa - Adam and Eve lost the dominion to Satan and he became the ruler of the earth. Matthew 12:29; II Cor. 4:4; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Eph 2:2
d - They had chosen to eat what they wanted, now to eat at the dictates of Satan. Ps 78:17-32
s - They had chosen to serve Satan, now to worship at his dictates. Exodus 16:22-30; Nehemiah 9:13-17
m - They had chosen to serve Satan, now to marry whoever they wanted. Gen 6:2
w - They had chosen Satan and now they would work as he commanded. Nehemiah 13:15-22
obldbd - They had believed in Satan and were now to die, because Jesus cut off the way to the tree of life. Genesis 2:17; 3:22-24
ss - Yet to come.
God's plan to restore His people is first laid out to Adam and Eve. The new covenant/the everlasting covenant.
ccr - Jesus came looking for Adam and Eve. Gen 3:8-9; Rom 5:6-8; Gal 4:4-5
iog - Man acted and looked more like Satan, fearful of Jesus, blaming, accusing - the image to the beast Rev 13:11-17, and Jesus would undertake the process of restoring man in the image of God. II Cor 3:18; Romans 8:29; John 17:20-23
doeaa - The Gen 3 story does not comment to the dominion but later in the Bible promises to restore. Micah 4:8
d - Now to eat vegetables as well as fruit and seeds. Gen 3:18
s - No mention of Sabbath in the Gen 3 covenant. We have to either assume that it was no longer there or it was assumed to continue.
m - No mention of Marriage in the Gen 3 covenant, we have to either assume that it was no longer needed or it was assumed to continue. Husband to rule over her.
w - Now to labor in the field by the sweat of their brow - earth cursed for their sakes and thorns and thistles to come up. Gen 3:17-19; Matt. 13:24-28
obldbd - Jesus promised to put enmity between the woman and her seed and the serpent and his seed. Gen 3;15
ss - Jesus promises to be the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Gen 3:15; Rev 13:8. Jesus also covers Adam and Eve with robes of His making in place of their robes of figs. Gen 3:21; Ezekiel 16:8,10,14; Zech 3:3-5; Matt 22:11-14
Noahs Covenant. Since the fall more and more sin has come on the earth until Jesus decides that to slow it up He must cleanse the earth. Gen 6:1-7 But, as always there is a remnant who will follow Jesus by grace and faith and Jesus has such a man ready in Noah. Noah is the prototype of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
ccr - Jesus, as the Creator is speaking to Noah. Gen 6:13
iog - Noah was a perfect man and walked with God by grace and faith. Gen 6:8-9; Hebrews 11:7
doeaa - After the flood Jesus promises to put the fear of man into all animals and man is to be fruitful and multiply over the earth. Gen 9:2-3; Gen 8:15-17
d - Jesus gives Noah permission to eat animals, but apparently was aware of the clean and unclean concept. Gen 9:3-4; 7:2-3; 8:20
s - No specific mention of it, again we must assume that it is not there or it is assumed and practiced by the true believer.
m - Noah and his family were married to only one spouse since there were 8 people on the ark. II Peter 2:5
w - Noah was a tiller of the soil. Gen 9:20
obldbd - Every command given by Jesus Noah obeyed. Gen 6:8-9,22; 7:5,16; 8:15-18
ss - Noah offered sacrifices of every clean animal. Gen 8:20-21
Noah also given the covenant promise of the rainbow.
Abrahamic Covenant - the New Covenant. After Noah sin again was prevailing and Jesus slowed the spread of sin by confounding the languages. Then Jesus called Abraham out of Ur of Chaldees - Babylon, and established His covenant in a number of sessions with Abraham.
ccr - Jesus establishes Himself as the God that Abraham needs to listen to and Abraham was a willing participant. Gen 12:2; 14:19
iog - Abraham was a follower of Jesus and had accepted the gospel. Gal 3:6-9
doeaa - Abraham promised a large parcel of land, but all the world would be blessed by Abraham and his seed. Gal 3:8; Gen 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:7; 17:8
d - Not mentioned specifically but we know that Abraham ate bread and flesh. Gen 18:1-8
s - We are told that Abraham obeyed God's voice, and kept His charge, commandments, statutes, and laws. Gen 26:5
m - Primarily one wife except when he relapsed into a faithless activity and took Hagar as his concubine. Gen 16
w - Abraham was a shepherd.
obldbd - As mentioned above Abraham obeyed by faith. Gen 26:5; Heb 11:8-19
ss - Abraham was faithful in setting up altars all over the land of Canaan. Gen 12:8; 13;18; 22:1-19
Old Covenant - a covenant established with the Children of Israel after they had come out of Egypt. Israel had been in Egypt for 400 years but probably the last 200-250 years in a captive or oppressed state and they were focused on the faith of their fathers. Jesus delivered Israel, through His power, opened the Red Sea through His power, and was now going to reveal His character to Israel and enter into a covenant relationship with them. The old covenant was good in that Jesus devised it, gave it to His prophet Moses and wanted to empower Israel to do it by faith. Israel, throughout their history, basically refused to do it by faith and was intent upon doing it by works and much of the time refused to participate in the old covenat at all. It is this refusal and insistence upon satisfying Jesus by their own works that made the old covenant unwieldy and needing to be replaced by the new covenant as fulfilled in Jesus.
ccr - Jesus is the Creator and Redeemer of Israel. Exodus 20:1-2,11; 34:1-9; Deut 5:12-15.
iog - Israel had a difficult time staying focused on Jesus and often returned to idolatry. Exodus 32; Ps 106:19-20; Ezekiel 8.
doeaa - Jesus was planning to give Israel all of Canaan to establish a base and then to spread through out the world. Ex 23:20-33.
d - A constant struggle throughout the history of Isreal. During the wilderness wandering Jesus tried to keep them on Manna and water but they constantly rebelled and primarily wanted flesh. Ex 16; Numbers 11; 20; 21:1-9; 25; Ps 78
s - Over and over again in the old covenant Jesus reiterates the Sabbath command, both before the establishment of the old covenant and after it. We have to assume that it was a new concept or that it was kept by the fathers but had been forgotten in the captivity. Exodus 5:4-5; 16:4-30; 20:8-11; 31:12-17; 35:1-3
m - Many laws governing marriage. Apparently the people maintained the idea that multiple marriages were a good thing because even David and Solomon practiced it.
w - Would go into Canaan and do many different tasks.
obldbd - Repeated over and over again but Deut has repeated requests for obedience lest they die. Deut 4,6,7,8,11,28,29,30,32
ss - Jesus not only gives great details about the sacrificial system but introduces the sanctuary system, a parable of what He has been doing in heaven for us since the first sin. This great detail is repeated over and over again throughout Scripture. It is partially fulfilled in the death of Christ - the true Lamb of God, and is then amplified by the work of our Great High Priest. This discussion is amplified in Hebrews and Revelation. Without the old covenant symbols we cannot understand what the new testament is trying to say to us.
New Testament Covenant - After Jesus Died
creator/creature (ccr) - The Creator has come to seek the created. Most of the created reject the Creator. Matthew 18:11-14,21-22; Daniel 9:24-27; Galatians 4:4; Romans 5:6-8; Matthew 7:13-14.
image of God (iog) - Jesus reveals the Father by His obedience. Man reveals Satan in their attack on their Creator. This interaction will be played out again in the mark of the beast versus the seal of God (Revelation 7 & 13). John 14:7-11,30-31; 15:10; Matthew 26:67; 27:17-31,38-44.
dominion of earth and animals (doeaa) - Jesus - the strong man - wins back the earth from Satan - the prince of this world. Mathew 12:28-29; John 12:31-14:30; 16:11; Ephesians 2:2.
diet (d) - Clean food diet - fish, bread, honey comb. Some restrictions regarding blood, animals strangled, and foods offered to idols - which creates much of the diet controversys in the NT. Matthew 14:15-21; Luke 24:36-49; Acts 15:1-20,28-29; I Corinthians 8:1-13; Romans 14:1-23.
Sabbath (s) - Observed by the Jews up to the cross, observed by the disciples after the cross. Matthew 12:1-13; Luke 4:16,31; 6:1-11; 23:54-56; Acts 13:14-44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4.
marriage (m) - Physical marriage approved of by Jesus and Paul. Jesus to be prepared for His marriage to His kingdom. Matthew 19:1-9; Ephesians 5;22-33; II Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-9.
work (w) - Whatever was necessary to allow one to accomplish the task of giving the gospel to all the world. Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 18:1-3; 20:33-35.
obedience brings life/disobedience brings death (obldbd) - Obedience to God and His law are still required. Romans 6:14-17; 5:10-19; 15:18; 16:25-26; II Corinthians 10:4-6; Revelation 12:17; 14:12.
sacrificial system - Animal sacrifices are superceded by the death of the Lamb of God. Jesus our High Priest ministers His blood in the heavenly sanctuary. Matthew 27:50-51; Hebrews 9&10.
It would be good to pause here a moment and list some of the texts that indicate the changes that the new covenant fulfillment of Jesus brought about. Hebrews 7:12 states that since there was a new High Priest, from a different lineage than that of Aaron, suggests that there are other changes to the law as well.
Before we get too far into this study lets reiterate that there are certain baseline concepts. Romans 7:10 we know that the law was ordained to life. Romans 7:12 indicates that the law is holy, just, and good. Romans 7:14 says that the law is spiritual. We know that in Romans 8:4 that the righteouseness of the law must be fulfilled in us. We also know that faith does not make void the law but establishes it. Romans 4:31. We know that the law is not against the promises. Galatians 3:21. So we know that whatever the change in the covenant is we know that the law itself does not change. If there is no law then there is not need for a Saviour. Galatians 3:24.
Now lets discuss the changes in the covenant. We have already studied that the covenant was initiated between God and man at Mount Sinai. Exodus 19 & 24:1-8. Hebrews 8:6 indicates that the new covenant needed better promises - assuming that the old covenant promises were not good enough. v. 7 indicates that there was fault in the old covenant. v. 8 indicates that the fault was them - the children of Israel. v. 9 indicates that the fault was that the children of Israel did not continue in the covenant - they broke it. Paul states in Romans 8:1-9 indicates that it was the weakness of the flesh that prohibited the keeping of the law. Sinful flesh did not want to keep the law and could not even if it did want to. But the power of the Spirit brings us into harmony with the law. Romans 8:4. Flesh can't but Spirit can. Galatians 5:16-23.
So, getting back to our study. We know that the covenant changed because the following things changed:
1. The priesthood changed from the Levite to the Melchisedec. Jesus did not die, grow old, or get weary. Hebrews 5-7
2. The sanctuary was no longer on earth but in heaven. Hebrews 8:1-2
3. Jesus offered better gifts - His life, death, and blood versus animals. Hebrews 8:3-4
4. The new covenant would be established on better promises. Rather than the people promising to do right God would establish the covenant on His promises to do right. Hebrews 8:6; 6:13-18
5. God promises to right the law on their hearts rather than waiting for the people to transfer the law on stones into their own hearts. Hebrews 8:10-12; 10:15-18; II Corinthians 3
6. The new covenant has a better tabernacle and better ordinances. Hebrews 9:1-11
7. The new covenant had better blood. Instead of animals blood it had the blood of God. Hebrews 9:12-22; Exodus 24:5-8
8. The death of Jesus was a better covenant base than the death of an animal. Hebrews 9:14-28
9. The sacrifice of Jesus was more effective for cleansing the conscience than the blood of animals. 10:1-14
10. The OT people received salvation by faith but still needed to wait for the confirmation of the death of Jesus. Hebrews 11:1-12:4
11. The discipline of Christ is more effective than that of even your own family. Hebrews 12:5-29
These are the improvements of the new covenant.
Covenant Completed in Heaven
ccr - Man is restored to open direct communion with God. Man sets on the throne with God and is one with God. Revelation 21:22-22:5; 3:21; John 17
iog - The image of God is restored to man. The seal of God is on every one of the saved. Revelation 14:1; 15:1-4; 21:22-22:5
doeaa - Earth and animals restored and given to man to have the first dominion. Isaiah 11:1-9; 65:17-25; Micah 4:8; Daniel 7:22,27
d - Fruit from the tree of life, and the other foods that God will provide for us. There will be no hurting in all of God's Holy Mountain, and no death. Isaiah 11:9; Luke12:37; 22:29-30; Matthew 8:11; Ezekiel 47:12; Revelation 19:9; 22:1-2
s - The Sabbath is continued as a day of rest even in heaven. Isaiah 66:22-23
m - In heaven man is not to marry or be given in marriage but are like the angels of God in heaven. Matthew 22:30
w - Mankind to work as kings and priests to the universe. Isaiah 65:17-23; Revelation 1:6; 5:9-10
obldbd - The righteous have manifested their loyalty to Jesus, have allowed Him to live out His life within them, have been sealed with the seal of God and have receive immortality. Revelation 14:1,12; 7:3; 22:11; Romans 6:23; I Corinthians 15:52-54
ss - The plan of salvation has been completed and mankind has been restored to open communion with God. The Lamb of God has been slain, the sanctuary service has cared for the sin problem and the sacrificial system has fulfilled its purpose. Revelation 21:22-22:5; Hebrews 9:22-23; 10:14