Conditions Of The Covenant
The Almighty revealed His Law to Moses, clearly stipulating that the nation of Israel’s part of the Covenant would be the observance of His Law (Exodus:20 and the following chapters).
It is important to remember at this stage, that Israel had by this time lost the Law of the Almighty altogether, having been exposed to idolatry and paganism in Egypt during four centuries of their bondage. They had to be re-educated in the Laws and Service of the Almighty. Hence the first major milestone for Israel on their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, was mount Sinai, where YHVH gave them His Laws (Exodus 25:8-9; Hebrews 8:5).
Deuteronomy 26:16-19 “YHVH your God today commands you to observe these Laws and Customs. You must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have today made this declaration about YHVH: that He will be your God, but only if you follow His Ways, keep His Statutes, His Commandments, His Ordinances and listen to His Voice. And YHVH has today made this Declaration about you: that you will be His very own people as He promised you, but only if you keep all His Commandments. Then for praise and renown and honour He will set you high above all the nations He has made, and you will be a people consecrated to YHVH, as He promised.” (Jerusalem Bible).
Once again, the same rights referred to above, but perhaps more detailed here. The ‘price’ for this privilege is now also specified, i.e.. to keep the Law with all your heart and soul. Note how this detailed requirement is repeatedly mentioned in this short Scripture reference. Note also the following references in the above Scriptures:
|Verse||Jerusalem Bible||King James Version|
|16||Laws and Customs||Statutes and Judgments|
Hereby we conclude that obedience (as the people’s part of the Covenant), refers to the ‘Commandments’, ’Statutes’, ‘Judgments’ and ‘Customs’ of YHVH – all of them. The Bible never differentiates between the “Ten Commandments” on the one hand, and “Ordinances, Statutes, and Judgments” on the other, as so many of us mistakenly believe. (Refer to Psalm 119 for confirmation of this fact. This lengthiest of Psalms, extols the Law of the Almighty, using these terms synonymously and intermittently in each of its 176 verses – including the reference to it as “Thy Word” and “Thy Way”! Please do not fail to read this Psalm in this context).
Israel listened to the words of Moses and accepted it unanimously (Exodus 19:8; 24:3). The Almighty in turn then sealed the Divine Contract with the blood of animals, i.e.. confirmed and signed it (Exodus 24:4-8).
At a later stage in the history of Israel, after a long period of unfaithfulness, the Book of the Law was rediscovered in the Temple archive by King Josiah of Judah, who then had it accepted by the people once more (2 Kings 23:3).
2 Chron. 34: 30,31 “King (YoshiYahu) then … in their (the elders of Judah and people of Jerusalem) hearing, read out everything that was said in the Book of the Covenant found in the Temple of YHVH … in the presence of YHVH he made a Covenant to follow YHVH and to guard over His Commandments, His Precepts and His Statutes as written in the Book of the Covenant, to observe it with all his heart and with all his soul.”
Further Promises And Warnings
Leviticus 26 contains various additional Promises and Advantages for Israel on condition that the Covenant is honoured by obedience to the Law, eg. good rains and harvests, peace, safety, victory over enemies, the presence of YHVH in their midst (Leviticus 26: 2-13).
Leviticus 26:14-15 “But if you do not listen to Me, and do not observe each one of these Commandments, if you refuse My Laws and disregard My Customs and break My Covenant by not observing each one of My Commandments, then …”
Then follows terror, defeat by enemies, drought, plague, famine, destruction and dispersion among other nations of the world (Leviticus. 26:14-46. READ!).
Deuteronomy 28 repeats these wonderful promises of divine blessing, while at the same time containing clear and distinct warnings of banishment from the land, in case of rebellion against His Laws, and thus dishonouring of the Covenant. The history of Israel, many centuries later, testifies of the great scattering of Israel among the nations all over the world. This exile became known as the Diaspora. Please read the whole chapter 28 and note especially, how obedience to the Law, by the people, brought them prosperity; while disobedience brought about all sorts of problems, worst of all: scattering among strange nations in foreign countries.
The Biblical Covenant may therefore also be compared to a personal transaction of the purchasing of Land by the Israelite in the Promised Land. The Almighty is the Owner. The price is merely Obedience to His Law (i.e.. His precepts, Statutes, and Judgments). Upon “non-payment” of the purchase price (i.e.. lawlessness, rebellion, or as the Bible describes it: ‘unrighteousness’), the contract (Covenant) is nullified automatically, and the defaulting purchaser is expelled from the Land. This attribute of conditional occupation of the Promised Land, can be traced throughout the Bible with reference to the divine Covenant.
With regard to the Covenant being a Marriage Contract between God and His Bride (the nation, His People), non-conformance by the Bride could lead to the break-up of the Marriage. This is exactly what has occurred when God DIVORCED the ‘House of Israel’ – viz. the Northern Ten Tribes of Israel in the 8th century BCE (2800 years ago). Refer to our study 1.6. Gospel of the Kingdom. This tragic historic event ended any Hopes of Eternal Life with God in His Kingdom for these Ten Tribes who were resultantly exiled into oblivion amongst the nations. However, it also went along with the Divine Promise of Restitution in the future, when He would take her back as His Bride – obviously on condition that she now conforms to His expectations and ‘the Rules of His Household’.
We will show in this study how that the ‘restored Bride’ would return but persist in dishonouring the Marriage Conditions by proclaiming a ‘New’ Marriage Covenant with relaxed terms to suit her. As we are living in the Times of this Marriage Restoration, it is vital that the reader grasps the true implications and return to conforming with God’s Marriage Conditions.
An obvious question which may arise at this stage is: How does the non-Jew fit into this divine Covenant, and how do the terms of this Divine Marriage Covenant affect the modern day Bible believer? This refers of course, to the theology of a ‘New’ versus an ‘Old’ Covenant and eternal citizenship of His Kingdom.
When reading and studying this subject, the reader must continuously identify with the fact that any believer, whether or not one is an actual physical Israelite, is in fact (be it in the spiritual sense) en route to the “Promised Land”, where one would desire assurance of permanent residence. In the same way, the experiences of the children of Israel in days gone by, typify the individual’s personal “Liberation from the Land (Life) of Sin” and his/her learning experiences “in the wilderness”, on the journey “to the Promised Land”. In other words, just as the children of Israel were liberated by the sacrifice of a Passover lamb, identified by the display of its blood on their doorposts, so also, the individual believer is liberated from slavery of sin, by the sacrifice of the Lamb YAHU’SHUAH with His Blood etched on “the doorposts of our hearts”. Similarly, the individual follows the path of the children of Israel, through the Red Sea (typified by the immersion in baptism), where our sinful nature (‘the Egyptian’), our carnal inclination, is left behind and the reborn soul emerges on the other side, to proceed on the journey, following the Almighty through the wilderness (temptation and failings). (Paul uses this analogy in his writings. Refer to 1 Corinthians 10:1-13).
One of the first milestones for the newly converted individual should be ‘Mount Sinai’, for being acquainted with the Law of the Almighty. Just like the ancient Israelites who, through years of slavery were steeped in pagan practices, had to be brought back to ‘God’s System of Life’, so we also should receive the Law of Life – for success, health, prosperity and Peace. In this way, we too may now fulfil our part of the Covenant.
Just as a whole generation of Israelites had to roam through the wilderness in order to first die out, having been refused entry to the Promised Land by God because of their unpreparedness and disobedience, so also will the believer who fails to submit to the Law of the Creator, and thus dishonour the Covenant, be denied the right to enter into the promised Kingdom of the Almighty. Permanent residence in the Kingdom of YHVH is strictly subject to Obedience to His Laws.
The ensuing spiritual life journey involves spiritual warfare against the enemy. The Almighty guarantees victory over the enemy. At His Appearance, all His Promises regarding the future will be fulfilled and His faithful followers will inherit Eternal Life.
Please read Deuteronomy 29 and 30 carefully before proceeding.
The Ark Of The Covenant
The Almighty instructed Moses to make a special Ark (Cabinet) in which to place the stone Tablets containing the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 10:1,2. Exodus 25:16). The additional Precepts, Statutes and Judgments were to be recorded in a Book and placed at the side of the Ark (Deuteronomy 31:24-29). All these Laws together comprise the “Law of YHVH”.
This Ark occupied the most important place in the holiest section of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Only the High Priest was allowed to enter into this ‘Holiest’ Section, and once a year only, during the Sacred Festival of Yom Kippur (“Judgment Day”). In this Section the Glory of the Almighty glowed, when He was present among His people Israel. The Law recordings formed the Core around which everything was centred in the Most Holy of the Temple, under the Throne of YHVH, and it thus served as Witness of the Divine Covenant with Israel.
It is largely misunderstood that the Covenant was only applicable to the “Old Testament” system and time, and that Messiah had brought about a “New” era with a “New (spiritual) Covenant”, thereby cancelling the original Divine Covenant.
What does the Bible say about this concept?