Covenant, by Rick Sterling


A covenant is a binding agreement between two or more parties/persons. A covenant requires specific performance or actions by those who are included in the covenant. There are two types of covenant that will be addressed in this article; one is the blood covenant; the other is a written document that requires a promise of performance. The blood covenant is best described as a birth, or new birth, this covenant involves the end of what you were and the start of what you have become. What this represents is passing through the blood of your mother in the birth canal; an example of this was when, on the night of passover, the Hebrews “passed through” the blood on the lintel and doorposts of the houses they were in on that night. The Hebrews were “born through blood”. On that night they ceased being slaves and became the people of the only true God. The expectation was that they would act in accordance with the will of God.

The Hebrews knew nothing about God; and there was nothing written down (no ‘Scripture‘) for them from which to learn about God. The only word they had was the promise made to their father Abram/Abraham, that they would receive and inhabit the land from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates; and I doubt that they were even aware of this promise. So the blood covenant represents a new beginning/birth.

The written covenant is entered through an agreement between those who want to be joined together in a consonant relationship; an example of this is the covenant of marriage. The marriage covenant is not a blood covenant, it is based upon a promise of performance. The blood covenant that God made with Abram (see Genesis 15) was indicative that God has now become the God of Abram; and God confirmed this Covenant by changing Abram’s name to Abraham. This Covenant now applied to Abraham and to his offspring after him-the Children of Abraham.
This promise contained conditions of performance (was not unconditional), in that it required the performance of obedience to the specified commands (commandments) of God. God entered into this blood covenant by passing through the carcasses of the animals Abram had killed and cut in half. The oven and torch were representative of God passing through the blood and becoming the God of Abraham. The covenant of circumcision, which came later, was a blood covenant and served as a sign of the blood covenant made with Abraham.

On the night of the Passover the Hebrews had a new beginning, in that they were about to realize the fulfillment of the promise made to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel. Their God had revealed the fact that they were more powerful than the gods of Egypt, through the demonstration of the ten plagues. In the wilderness God would give Israel the opportunity to agree to abide by all the requirements of the covenant which would join this people to their God. God would give them the truth concerning their God, and the expectation/demand that they would faithfully obey all of the requirements of the Covenant.

God does not keep His people in the dark. By that I am saying that all people on this earth live in the darkness, because the existing reality of living in this world is that we live in this world that is ruled by the originator of sin/darkness. God’s plan starts when He shines the light of truth into this world. This light is expected to grow and increase through the revelation of the truth, until it fills the whole earth (Num. 14:21).

The agents through whom God works are known as messengers/prophets. God gives a message/testimony to a person of His own choosing, and instructs this messenger to deliver His words to His intended recipients. The intended recipients, with rare exception, are the people of His kingdom. But there have been times when God has warned that destruction is coming unless the population repents of their evil deeds, such as with Jonah to Nineveh. The Evil One, for obvious reasons, does not want God to successfully accomplish His plan, so he distorts the light (as through a prism) in order to keep it from exposing his finely crafted illusions. The evil one knows that when God has accomplished His plan of restoration his days are numbered and few (see Revelation 12:12). You may try to comfort yourself by saying that God has placed special protection on His testimony-He would never allow the evil one to distort them; He would never allow lies to penetrate His own Holy Scriptures. Yet the evil one wants you to believe this, making his insidious work all the more believable and easier to swallow, and gives his illusion far more power than they deserve.

Jeremiah 8:8 (JB) “How dare you say; We are wise and we possess the Law of Yahweh? But look how it has been falsified by the lying pen of the scribes!

God testifies to Jeremiah the fact that His words, the words He gave to Moses and were written down in the books of the Law, have been falsified (turned into lies) by the “lying pen of the scribes”. I am saying this because there is a widespread and certain belief that God has put special protection on ALL the words in the Bible (from cover to cover), and we must understand that all the words contained in the Bible are the very words of God. This conviction is a powerful tool of the evil one, and deadly to those who hold to it. Just as the evil one controlled the pens of the scribes in Israel he also controlled the decisions of the canonical council that determined which books and letters would be included in the Bible. The Bible contains the words of God; but it is not the word of God from cover to cover; there are lies in the “New Testament” letters of Saul/Paul and his protege Luke.

The only way you will ever receive eternal life is to keep the commandments of God and learn the truth. When you learn the truth you naturally want to share what you are learning with others. The truth is the testimony of the Son of God (Jesus). These two qualities are specifically named as the distinct characteristics of the last of the offspring of the Woman of Revelation 12. These offspring are righteous in fact (de facto) and not in faith. The agreement between God and His people requires (demands) obedience to His commandments, the same ten commandments that Paul teaches were, are, and will always be, impossible for human flesh to obey. Do you see the distortion? Paul teaches that salvation is accomplished apart from the law (Romans 7:6), not through it. He says that the law is good, but could never save a sinner. The Son of God testifies to the TRUTH. And when asked by a rich young man about entrance into eternal life, Jesus said this:

Matthew 19:17 … But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ …
Matthew 18:8-10 If your hand or your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter into life crippled or lace, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire…
Matthew 5:17-19 ‘ Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved…

The strong, sometimes difficult and even gruesome statements made by the Son of God concerning obedience to the Ten Commandments are clear; you would be better off to go through life half blind or crippled and obey the commandments, than to be whole and burn in the fire which is the second death. God has always, does now, and will always require uncompromising obedience to His specific commands. He does not give requirements and then provide a way “around” those requirements. It is the desire of the evil one that mankind not obey God, because he realizes that only through obedience comes salvation from eternal death. The evil one has created a ‘Great Deception’ whereby mankind continues to believe that they will receive salvation as a ‘free gift’ by ‘grace through faith’.

The Ten Commands of the Covenant/testimony of the Kingdom of God are the tie that binds, the glue that joins and holds the people of the Kingdom of God and God together. Break that connection and the only recourse for God is divorce. In order to enter the Kingdom of God one must be righteous in fact. NO sin or sinner will ever be allowed to live in God’s holy and righteous Kingdom.

You may wonder that if we are saved by our own righteousness then why was the Son of God put to death? The Son was put to death so He would make/have the required payment of redemption; this is the debt that every human being owes for sin/disobedience. Adam and Eve incurred this debt on the day of their disobedience-this debt was eternal death. God’s specific statement to Adam was, “. . .never eat from the tree in the midst of the garden, for on the day you eat of it you will be put to death”. When God told Adam that he would be put to death this did not mean that Adam and Eve would begin to die. God created Adam as a mortal, flesh and blood being. It was because he was mortal that God gave him access to the tree of life. God did not put Adam and the woman to death on that awful day; therefore the payment for disobedience became a debt owed by Adam and the woman and their offspring. This death debt was owed by their offspring because if God had put Adam and Eve to death “On that very day” there would not have been any offspring to whom to pass along the debt. What the Son of God did was to obey the commands of His Father:

John 15:10 If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
John 4:34 But Jesus said; ‘My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work.

From that first act of disobedience in the garden of the paradise of God to the first coming of the Son of God, the people of the Kingdom of God were continually unfaithful to the very Covenant which offered them the possibility of LIFE. They were disobedient as a corporate body; what this means is that there were righteous people among God’s people, but the nation of Israel as a whole never accomplished the requirement of obedience to God.

There was a plan for Israel (at one time but no longer the Kingdom of Heaven) that had been revealed by God to His prophets. It revealed what would take place if Israel were to learn and practice righteousness; but this way to life was rejected by Israel. The Son of God came to earth and demonstrated that flesh and blood is not only fully capable of obedience to the commands of the Father, but showed us by His actions what those who wish to follow Him into the Kingdom must do to gain salvation. We must learn and live in righteousness in order to enter the kingdom of God. But in order to go through the gates into the City of God we must not be indebted to the one who holds the certificate of debt given him by Adam and Eve; the Evil One who is the ruler of the dead-the dragon/Satan. The Son of God paid with His blood the full the price of redemption for the righteous; therefore the payment for the debt that the righteous inherited from their disobedient parents, Adam and Eve, has been placed in a trust fund, and can be used to pay for the redemption of ONLY those who are righteous and holy.

Revelation 5:9,10 “You are worthy to take the scroll and break the seals of it, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought men for God . . .”

Contrary to popular belief the Son of God did not come to save sinners; He came to deliver a message that He received from His Father. This message is the standard of truth by which every other message is to be compared. Any message that is not completely true to the testimony of the Son of God is a complete lie. This is not my assumption, this is the statement of one of His eyewitness disciples:

2 John 9 If anybody does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him; only those who keep to what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them.

God continues to wait for those who wish to enter into His kingdom and eternal life, those who want to learn the truth and be obedient to His covenant. The focus of those who wish to learn the truth, and then through their practice of that truth become righteous and holy, must be the testimony of the Son of God, as recorded by those who were His disciples, specifically Matthew, Mark(who wrote down Peter’s account), and John. Luke was not a disciple of the Son of God, he was a disciple of Paul. Paul was not a disciple of the Son of God, and was therefore not an eyewitness. Therefore, any and all writings of anyone else in the New testament must be compared to the testimony of the Son of God as given by His own eyewitness disciples. If there is any discrepancy, contradiction or distortion of His words we must disregard that person’s teaching altogether. I have found that in the New Testament these are the only writings of truth: Matthew, Mark, and all of John’s writings; the rest are not in agreement with the testimony of Jesus. The letters of first and second Peter are pseudonymous by investigation and content, they were “discovered” long after Peter’s death and the context in which they are written was not extant at the time of Peter’s life and ministry. The first and second century were rife with pseudonymous writings; because the writers felt that they would not have been accepted under their own name.

If this understanding seems harsh then ask yourself these questions; What is your eternal life worth to you? Is it worth you while to investigate for yourself exactly what it is that Jesus said and compare it HONESTLY with what others say about salvation? Do you really want to trust your salvation to the words of anyone OTHER THAN the Words and Teachings of the source for ALL Truth, Jesus Christ? Or are you willing to trust the words of mere human beings, who SAY they are OF GOD, but may not be in reality? Are you willing to ‘bet your life’ on the words of those that contradict the teachings of the Son of God, and of His own eyewitness disciples?

These are important questions that deserve honest answers. I pray that God will lead you into ALL truth, just as He said.

Rick Sterling

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