Olli Dürr The covenants of God with man – all are valid

The covenants of God with man – all are valid

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God has made more than one covenant with humanity since Noah. This was followed by covenants with Abraham and Moses and the people of Israel. Jesus Christ entered into another, the New Covenant, with people. Each covenant contained promises and each is eternal. This means that no subsequent covenant has dissolved the previous one.

The often misunderstood covenants of God

handshake

In contrast to man, God has always kept His part of the covenant

The covenant, or rather, God’s covenants with people, is one of the most frequently misunderstood or misinterpreted statements in the Bible. One of the most common errors is the assumption that with each new covenant God dissolves or replaces the previous covenant. Jesus Christ formulated the last covenant in the New Testament. The thesis can often be read here that Jesus’ “New Covenant” replaced the previously “Old Covenant”. This variant also finds support in the biblical description that it is a “better covenant”. But this already leads to the next error, namely that the Old Testament as a whole is also invalid. Still usable as a reference work, but no longer relevant, that’s one theory.

God entered into 4 covenants with humans

There are four covenants in the Bible. God made the first covenant with Noah immediately after the flood. The second covenant was addressed to Abraham. God made the third covenant with Moses. Jesus Christ formulated the fourth covenant to His disciples. But none of the individual covenants cancels out any of the previous ones. The first three covenants are to be understood as a mutual replacement much more than a respective subgroup of the previous covenant. The covenant with Noah forms the overarching overarching area. One part concerns the covenant with Abraham and from this another part followed with the covenant with Moses. The “New Covenant” of Jesus Christ specifically concerns the quasi replacement of the covenant with Moses, but only in a spiritual aspect.

The covenant of God with Noah

Echter Regenbogen

The rainbow represents God’s first covenant with all living things

The former earth and the people and animals that lived on it were destroyed by the flood. Nothing remained of God’s original creation except the people and animals on the ark, the robust aquatic animals, resilient insects and the actually meager remainder of the surviving plants or plant seeds. The earth took on a completely different shape. It was only from this point on that the previously unknown seasons began.

As a sign of the covenant, God caused a rainbow to appear in the sky. Nothing special today, but with the radical “climate change” rain came for the first time and the rainbow was something completely unknown until then.

Genesis 6:18:

“But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.”

Genesis 9:8-17:

“And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 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 the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”

God made a covenant with Noah, subsequent humanity and all animals. God also promised that the earth would no longer be destroyed by another flood. This covenant applies to all living beings and can therefore also be viewed as the overarching covenant.

The flood will come no more

However, that does not mean that such an “all-out attack” will not take place again against a humanity that has completely fallen away from God. The covenant ruled out destruction by a flood, but not other possibilities, such as fire, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hailstorms and the impact of a celestial object (more Info). Therefore, another widespread misconception, a 1000-year kingdom of peace on earth, is completely excluded (more Info).
God’s covenant with Noah is an everlasting covenant!

The covenant of God with Abraham

Abraham's wanderings

Abraham traveled through the lands without knowing the destination

God made another covenant with Abrahm, subsequently renamed Abraham, after Noah. God led Abraham from his homeland of Ur to the promised land without Abraham even knowing where he was going.
Abraham is considered the progenitor of the people of Israel, because his son Isaac was followed by the angel Jacob, who later received the nickname Israel (“who wrestled with God”). Isaac’s older half-brother was Ishmael and he is now considered to be the progenitor of today’s Islam. God’s covenant with Abraham also applies to his descendants and the peoples who grew out of them. What is emphasized, however, is the part of his descendants who will one day receive the land of Canaan.

Genesis 15:18:

“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:”

Genesis 17:2-10:

” And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 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. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.”

After God made a superordinate covenant with Noah over all of mankind and also all other living beings on earth, a covenant followed with Abraham especially with his descendants. Among other things, these will enter the promised land of Canaan. The covenant with Abraham is an eternal covenant!

God’s covenant with Moses

10 commandments

With God’s covenant with Moses, the 10 Commandments were also written

Jacob (Israel) moved with his sons and other family members to Egypt, where the second youngest son Joseph rose to become a high government official. They fled the drought and famine in their old homeland. That turned into 430 years. The tribe of Israel has since grown into a large people within Egypt and has since been enslaved to forced labour. Moses, who had fled Egypt at the age of 40, returned to Egypt at the age of 80 on behalf of God to free the enslaved people of Israel from captivity. The exodus was successful and with it the odyssey of 40 years of wandering in the desert to the promised land of Canaan began.

Soon after the exodus from Egypt, God made a covenant with Moses and the handing over of the Tablets of the Law on Mount Sinai was also connected with this. Israel, which was imprisoned for several centuries, has lost sight of God and His laws, because the Egyptians did not keep Abraham’s faith alive. Rather, the people of Israel had been so influenced by the customs of the Egyptians that even Moses had no concept of the true God until the “Burning Bush”.

The Shadow of the New Covenant of Jesus

God’s covenant with Moses affects the people of Israel. God thereby defines the people of Israel as His chosen people. It was not just a matter of making the people aware of God’s laws again and demanding obedience, as is required in God’s harmonious order, but also of setting an example for other peoples. Israel was to become the light for all other Gentile peoples on earth. Based on the special “peculiarities” and the prosperity of the people achieved through God’s blessing, other peoples could have taken a shining example from this. The entire “set of rules” surrounding the ceremonies, sacrificial rituals and holidays symbolized the work of salvation of Jesus Christ, who would appear at a later date. The earthly sanctuary in the form of the tabernacle or later temple is a symbol of God’s great work of redemption for mankind (more Info).

Exodus 19:5-6:

“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.”

Exodus 24:7-8:

“Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the ears of the people. And they said: Whatever the Lord has said, let us do it and listen to it! Then Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people and said: Behold, this is the blood of the covenant which the Lord made with you on the basis of all these words!”

Exodus 34:27-28:

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.”

Leviticus 26:42-45:

“Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes. And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.”

Covenant with Moses lasts forever

With the covenant with the people of Israel, a further selection of a narrower circle followed the “overarching” covenant with Abraham. The people of Israel were only a part of Abraham’s entire descendants.
A replacement of the previous covenant due to a subsequent covenant cannot be seen here. The covenant with Noah includes all living things, the covenant with Abraham includes his descendants and the covenant with Moses or the people of Israel includes part of Abraham’s descendants.

The statement in Judges 2:1 shows that the last covenant in the Old Testament will not have any abrogations either:
“And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.”

The covenant with Moses will clearly last forever. Eternal means “forever,” “always,” and “unceasing.” No amount of Jesus’ “New Covenant” will change that.

The New Covenant with Jesus Christ

Passover lamb

Jesus Christ fulfilled the promise in the covenant with Moses

Since the covenant with Noah, the covenant with Abraham and the covenant with Moses will each last forever, the New Covenant with Jesus Christ cannot be an abolition of any of the previous covenants.

Jesus Christ made the New Covenant based on His shed blood as a substitute for our sins. He already announced this to His disciples before His crucifixion, as in Matthew 26:28:
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

In Luke 1:72-73 it is reminded that the covenant with Abraham also still stands:
“To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,”

Jesus Christ repeated His covenant with His disciples at the last supper, Luke 22:19-20:
“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”

Even after Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and has been sitting at the right hand of the Father ever since, the covenant with Abraham still stands, Acts 3:25:
“Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”

The new covenant is better than the old covenant

The New Covenant of Jesus Christ is only a quasi replacement of the covenant with Moses. All of the sanctuary ceremonies, rituals, and holidays prescribed to the literal people of Israel were all symbols of the ministry and saving work of Jesus Christ. With the sacrificial death of Jesus and His resurrection, all of this symbolism became reality. The priesthood was carried out within the people of Israel by the tribe of Levi. The model was the first priest Aaron, the brother of Moses. But Aaron was a sinner himself and, as high priest, needed his own sin offering before he could intercede for the people of Israel. Now Jesus Christ has assumed the high priesthood.

Jesus Christ himself remained completely sinless. He sacrificed His own blood and needs no substitutionary sacrifice Himself. Jesus Christ is therefore the perfect high priest (model Melchizedek). The covenant with Moses was the shadow, the symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice. With Jesus Christ, the announced “original” actually came into the world and thus replaced the symbolism. This means that the New Covenant is “better” than the Old Covenant (with Moses), without the covenant with Moses ever being bad. The Bible provides detailed information about this, particularly in Hebrews chapter 7.

All covenants with God therefore still have unlimited validity today. If God says they last forever, then any “scientific-theological” explanations that deviate from this are completely irrelevant.

New covenant does not overrule laws of God

own rules

Overcoming involves observance of the commandments

The fact that the covenant with Moses was not abolished by the new covenant with Jesus, but was replaced by the “original”, also emphasizes that the laws of God have by no means been abolished. Numerous verses in the New Testament also point to this (Info). Even when the “last hour has struck”, people are clearly made aware of the validity of God’s laws. For some it was a confirmation, for others it was a great shock.

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
Revelation 11:19

This happens at the 7th trumpet, the final act, immediately before Jesus’ return. A celebration of joy for the redeemed, for the “remnant” it is far too late and what Jeremiah already predicted applies:

And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.
Jeremiah 25:33

Bible verses from King James Version

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