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New Covenant
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loving_truth
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Post: #16
RE: New Covenant

RR144 Wrote:

loving_truth Wrote:
Dear RR, In his letter to the Hebrews Paul reinterprets the old OT-promise about the New Covenant and applies it to the Christians, not to the ethnic Israel (see Hebr. 10 and 12).


Hmmm ... reinterpreted? Wouldn't that be an alteration of his promises? If God made a promise to Israel, shouldn't he keep it? As I understand it, God cannot lie? WOuldn't that be lying? Well, we could argue, he still kept his promise, he just redefined what :Israel" is ... that could be true, but that is an alteration, and God says, he will NEVER alter what he says. 'My covenant will I not break, Nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.' Psa 89:34

As to Hebrews 10 and 12, can you be a bit specific?

RR

Theologicans (like Darby, Lindsey, CT Russell and others) who follow Christian Zionism believe 'prophecy is prewritten history'.

from this source: http://www.christchurch-virginiawater.co...eutics.htm

"They understand the prophets to be pronouncing with 'prophetic marksmanship' predetermined events thousands of years later, giving an 'exciting view' of human destiny. In so doing they detach predictions concerning the future from the covenantal context within which the prophecies were originally given. Such a view is at variance with the Hebrew prophets who consistently stress that their intention is to call God's people back to the terms of their covenant relationship. Their role was not primarily to reveal arbitrary and otherwise hidden facts about predestined future events thousands of years later. The truly prophetic element of the Hebrew scriptures yearns for fidelity. God's message to his people is always two edged, promising blessing but also warning of judgement. The future is always conditional upon faith and obedience to God's revealed will. Set within the context of the wider fundamentalist movement, Christian Zionists treat the Hebrew and Christian scriptures as a 'frozen biblical text' in which every word is given equal and continuing divine authority. The focus, however, based on highly selective texts, is placed upon a restored Jewish kingdom rather than the Body of Christ, upon the contemporary State of Israel rather than the cross of Christ. Their selective hermeneutic leads them to ignore how Jesus and the Apostles reinterpreted the Old Testament.

It is instead made to speak dogmatically, with no recognition of other perspectives, about present and future events, almost as if the New Testament had never been written. Under the Old Covenant, revelation from God came often in shadow, image, form and prophecy. In the New Covenant that revelation finds its consummation in reality, substance and fulfilment in Jesus Christ. The question is therefore not whether the promises of the covenant are to be understood literally or spiritually as Christian Zionists like to suggest.

It is instead a question of whether they should be understood in terms of Old Covenant shadow or New Covenant reality. This is the most basic hermeneutical error which Christian Zionists consistently repeat. Biblical prophecy is invariably conditional rather than fatalistic and given within the context of the covenant relationship between God and his chosen people. It was the false prophets who flattered the people with promises of peace and prosperity without specifying the covenantal preconditions of repentance and faith."


Philia, LT

01-14-2007 07:12 AM
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flowerchild
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Post: #17
RE: New Covenant

man hu Wrote:

Quote:
Grissom:  Sigh.  Why do people keep asking about this?

"The new covenant was forshadowed by the old covenant.  So what was true of the old is true of the new.

The old was between Jehovah God and Israel with Moses as the mediator.

The new is between Jehovah God and spiritual Israel with Jesus as  mediator.
                 
Spiritual Israel is only 144,000 in number 
 ..........The rest of the ones are not part of the new covenant but benefit from it."


Brilliant points  Grissom!


Now there is just one teeny weeny thing I would like you to prove scripturally..... the PURPLE bit!  Then of course that rider you added; that relies on the purple bit

You said "Spiritual Israel = 144,000".

The 144,000 were taken out of the twelve tribes of spiritual Israel, so how can they also be the whole group? (Who are the rest? what happens to them?)

Please also consider Romans 11:16.
"If the part taken as firstfruits is holy, the lump is also"

Fun and joy, love vicky

Finally what is it with all the numbers after your name? .......6471? Are you into train spotting?


Yes Vicky.....I agree...just because there are some choosen from the 12 tribes doesn't mean they are the only ones in the New Covenant....all are in the NC.....even though some might be going to heavan to rule with Christ...I'm not sure about the location of one or the other..but, am sure of the scripture....one Lord..one hope...one faith.....and I'm sure that all are in the NC and from the same flock...the ones on the right hand of God....

Take Care


1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus.

http://www.youtube.com/user/BelieveInnChrist

















01-14-2007 11:37 AM
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Melancholymuse
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Post: #18
RE: New Covenant

Grissom, here is an alternative view regarding the New Covenant. (Although I've already posted this elsewhere, so you may have seen it before). If you see any errors or mistakes in reasoning, please point them out:

According to prophecy, the "House of Israel" and the "House of Judah" will walk together to the land that is given as an inheritance from God (Jeremiah 3:16-19). Prophecy foretells that a New Covenant would be established for both the House of Israel and the House of Judah which will be different than the former covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-32). Before going further, we need to define what the "House of Israel" is and what the "House of Judah" is:

HOUSE OF ISRAEL: We are all sons of God through our faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26), because all who have been baptized into Christ (Matthew 28:19) have put on Christ (Galatians 3:27). Jesus also said that those who do the will of God are his brothers, (as well as sisters and mothers) (Matthew 12:50). These scriptures reflect each other, for since Christ is the son of God (Mark 3:11, John 1:34), and we are sons of God as well, this would make us brothers to Christ. Connecting this further, scripture states God would declare the people of the nations righteous due to faith, which is why God told Abraham "By means of you all nations would be blessed." This is because those who adhere to the faith are considered sons of Abraham and are being blessed accordingly (Galatians 3:7-9). According to biblical history, the physical nation of Israel was collectively the sons of Abraham (Genesis 17:19, 21:12, 25:21-26, 32:28). Therefore, we who are sons of God, Christ's brothers, are spiritual "Israel" since we are spiritual "sons" of Abraham. This blessing of Abraham was to be accomplished through Christ for the nations that we might receive the promised spirit through our faith (Galatians 3:14). Along with all this, the bible tells us that Christ is Abraham's "seed" (Galatians 3:16) and all who belong to Christ are also the "seed" of Abraham, heirs with reference to a promise (Galatians 3:29).


HOUSE OF JUDAH: According to bible history, Judah was a male descendant of Israel (Genesis 32:28, 29:35) and was the lineage of the Israelite Kings (Matthew 1:1-16). Notice, Jesus was also in this royal lineage (Matthew 1:16). According to prophecy, The spiritual House of Judah will rule over the spiritual House of Israel (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:6). The ones sealed for this rulership come from out of spiritual Israel itself (Revelation 5:9-10, 7:4-8), just as the physical tribe of Judah had come from Israel as shown above. Therefore, this "House of Judah" is a subset of the "House of Israel".

So putting it all together: Adherents to faith are spiritual sons of Abraham, and thus are spiritual Israel. God will choose some from out of them to make up the royal House of spiritual Judah to rule over the House of Israel.

The bible tells us a little about what this rulership is about: The House of Judah will rule, along with Christ, over the earth (Revelation 5:10). Since Judah is ruling over Israel (Micah 5:2) as they also rule over the earth with Christ, this means Spiritual Israel will remain on the earth. This is why the bible speaks of the blood of Christ reconciling all things in heaven and earth (Colossians 1:20). This is sensible because God created the earth to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18), and the bible also speaks of the meek and the righteous as being on the earth forever (Psalms 37:29). This will happen when God rids the world of wickedness, evil and death and makes everything new again (Matthew 25:46, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1-2). Jesus alluded to the duality of inhabitations (some in heaven, some on the God-cleansed earth) in the Beatitudes at Matthew 5:3,5 and in the Lord's Prayer at Matthew 6:10.

Okay, so now that we see how the bible defines what the Houses of Israel and Judah are, we need to know what the New Covenant is that was promised to them:

We have seen that the two Houses are related. According to prophecy, the covenant to be made with Israel is this: God would put His law within them and their hearts; He will become their God and they will become His people, and all will know God and He will forgive their sins (Jeremiah 31:33-34, Hebrews 8:10). Knowing covenants must be inaugerated by blood (Hebrews 9:18, 20-22), Christ said that this New Covenant was to be activated through his blood and symbolized by the wine at the Last Supper (Luke 22:19-20). We know that Christ's death is the inaugeration of the New Covenant because he called it the "blood of the new covenant" (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20). Thus, Christ pouring out his blood for us is the beginning of the New Covenant intended for both the House of Israel and the subset House of Judah.

Paralleling this is 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, which states that eating the unleavened bread and drinking the wine is symbolic of proclaiming Christ's death for us until he returns. The shedding of blood makes Christ the mediator of this New Covenant (Hebrews 12:23-24), and this makes Christ the sole mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Christ had to mediate this New Covenant in order to release people from sin so that a kingdom covenant with Judah could be carried out. (The Kingdom Covenant is addressed under the next subheading) This new covenant was a necessity in order to cleanse us from sin, otherwise there'd be nobody spiritually clean enough to be chosen for the Kingdom Covenant made with the House of Judah. Only after this cleansing occurs can anyone be chosen for Judah, which is pointed out at Hebrews 9:15. This New Covenant releases us from the old Law Covenant of the ancient Israelites, and allows those who are called into the House of Judah to receive the Kingdom (Hebrews 9:15-22). This means that since we are all under this New Covenant, we are all under Christ's mediatorship and his blood for forgiveness of sin. This New Covenant makes the former covenant obsolete (Hebrews 8:13).

Covenant of the Kingdom

This was the special covenant that Jesus made with the House of Judah in order for them to gain the Kingdom inheritance as prophesied at Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:6. The same night Christ revealed the New Covenant to his apostles during the Last Supper, he also spoke to them regarding the Covenant of the Kingdom (Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:28-30). Because this Kingdom Covenant was spoken of after the revealing of the New Covenant, after the bread and wine was consumed, and after other conversation, we know that this Kingdom Covenant was a separate thing from the New Covenant. Supporting this is the fact that Christ states it is he that is making this Kingdom Covenant with them (Luke 22:29), whereas the New Covenant was orginated from Yahweh,The Father (Jeremiah 31:31), showing these are two separate covenants dovetailing together.

This Kingdom Covenant is the covenant that enables the House of Judah to rule over the House of Israel according to the prophecy at Micah 5:2/Matthew 2:6. Those of the spiritual House of Judah will reign with Christ as priests with him (Revelation 1:5-6).

Does the Bible give us any additional information about these New Covenant priests? Revelation 7:4 gives us the details of how many belong to this priestly group where it says: "And I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel." (New World Translation) The scripture makes it quite plain: The New Covenant priests total 144,000 and come from out of the sons of Israel. The remaining ones in each tribe, along with the 144K, make up all the sons of spiritual Israel. For more information regarding this, please read the page titled "Heaven and Earth".

Significance of Bread and Wine

Christ introduced the New Covenant with the passing around of bread and wine and commanded that it be done "in remembrance" of him. According to the American Standard Version:

Luke 22: 19-20 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, [even] that which is poured out for you.

Here, Christ is stating that the unleavened bread symbolized his body that he was about to sacrifice for us. This unleavened bread was to replace the passover lamb, for under the Old Covenant the passover lamb symbolized Christ's body (compare Exodus 12:1-11 with John 1:29 and 1 Corinthians 5:7). It is logical that the unleavened bread would now become the symbol for Christ because leaven symbolized sin and corruption (Matthew 16:6, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8), whereas Christ was to die without sin or corruption (1 Peter 2:22), and therefore was "unleavened".

The entire nation of Israel was expected to eat of the passover lamb under the Old Covenant, symbolizing the future expectation of Christ's sacrifice (Exodus 12:3). The entire assembly was to eat it because it signified that Christ was to die for all, not just a few (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). Now, as Christ passed the tests put upon him and proved himself unsullied, he could now commence the New Covenant, with the unleavened bread symbolizing his pending, sinless, sacrifice. This is related to the passover, but the only real difference being that the Old Covenant was in expectation of his sacrifice, and the New Covenant was for the remembrance of that sacrifice now being past.

Next, he took the cup of wine and passed that around too, stating that it symbolized his blood that he was about to pour out for the cleansing of our sins. He specifically mentions that this is in relation to the New Covenant. Note that this includes, not just physical Israel today, but anyone who is of Spiritual Israel, for according to God all people can be cleansed of sin through Christ's blood. This is supported at Acts 10:28, 45, and Ephesians 3:6.

Note that Christ stated that we were to "keep doing this in remembrance of" him, showing that this was to be a repeated occurance on a regular basis. This is to be done until his return (1 Corinthians 11:26).

Therefore, we can deduce from scripture that the bread and the wine are symbolic of Christ's sacrifice that cleanses all mankind from the curse of sin. Since all mankind is eligible to be covered under the New Covenant, then all who have true faith in this New Covenant are expected to share in eating the unleavened bread and drinking the wine.


Zeal for your house will consume me -- John 2:17 (HCSB)
01-14-2007 09:37 PM
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man hu
Babe and any other piggy names


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Post: #19
RE: New Covenant

RR and Freyd please prove your points with scriptures.
What Grissom said was true, except the spiritual Israelites are not limited to the 144,000. It is very simple.

The Abrahamic covenant is the 'Grandaddy' of the covenants. The old covenant was a temporary one, just as Hagar was a temporary measure, The New Covenant is attached permanently to the Abrahamic, like a real wife, Sarah. We could discuss Galatians if you want.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1sj2gQJIKI
01-14-2007 10:58 PM
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grissom6471
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Post: #20
RE: New Covenant

Manirus Wrote:
Well that is one view. :)


And there is only one view. There was only one tabernacle, temple and only one Jesus.

Thus what I stated is the way it is.

01-24-2007 02:59 PM
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grissom6471
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Post: #21
RE: New Covenant

man hu Wrote:

Quote:
Grissom: Sigh. Why do people keep asking about this?

"The new covenant was forshadowed by the old covenant. So what was true of the old is true of the new.

The old was between Jehovah God and Israel with Moses as the mediator.

The new is between Jehovah God and spiritual Israel with Jesus as mediator.

Spiritual Israel is only 144,000 in number
..........The rest of the ones are not part of the new covenant but benefit from it."


Brilliant points Grissom!


Now there is just one teeny weeny thing I would like you to prove scripturally..... the PURPLE bit! Then of course that rider you added; that relies on the purple bit

You said "Spiritual Israel = 144,000".

The 144,000 were taken out of the twelve tribes of spiritual Israel, so how can they also be the whole group? (Who are the rest? what happens to them?)

Please also consider Romans 11:16.
"If the part taken as firstfruits is holy, the lump is also"

Fun and joy, love vicky

Finally what is it with all the numbers after your name? .......6471? Are you into train spotting?


IT is supposed to be 6472, but that email address was not working in yahoo.

As to your question: The 144,000 is taken from 12 spriitual tribes of 12,000.

Remember that the city is foursquare or fixed in size. Those in the covenant are not limitless, but limited to the seed.

01-24-2007 03:01 PM
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grissom6471
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Post: #22
RE: New Covenant

e-magine Wrote:
Questions I had about the New Covenant, with scriptural and Watchtower answers. I highlighted the words I thought most pertinent.

-------------



I have no idea what the Watchtower answers are as I don't read that to get the answer, I listened to a talk that explained the temple in shadow and reality. It would be good for you to listen to it too.

But what I stated stands.

01-24-2007 03:02 PM
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grissom6471
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Post: #23
RE: New Covenant

RR144 Wrote:

grissom6471 Wrote:
Sigh. Why do people keep asking about this?

Because people do not understand it.

The Old Law Covenant was between God and the Nation of Israel, the New Law Covenant is still made with the Nation of Israel and then with the world of mankind.

The 144,000 are not under the new covenant, they are under the Abrahamic (grace) Covenant. Abraham's seed.

RR


If you do not understand it, then ask me as I do.

I have no problem with it.

Jehovah is God, Moses was mediator, Israel was in the covenant but others not born Israelites could benefit.

Jehovah is God, Jesus is the mediator, Spiritual Israel, ones born of the holy spirit, are in the covenant, but others not, can benefit.

Thus it parallells and fits.

But the problem is that it does not fit into people desire to be "special" as in some "elite class" which does not exist other than in people's jealousy.

What you stated does not work. There is no "new law covenant".

01-24-2007 03:05 PM
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grissom6471
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Post: #24
RE: New Covenant

loving_truth Wrote:
Spiritual Israel is only 144,000 in number. The rest of the ones are not part of the new covenant but benefit from it.

A nice link about an other view: http://www.reachouttrust.org/articles/jw/jw144000.htm

Philia, Loving Truth


There is no other view.

What I wrote is what is parallelled in the bible.

01-24-2007 03:06 PM
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grissom6471
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Post: #25
RE: New Covenant

Melancholymuse Wrote:
Grissom, here is an alternative view regarding the New Covenant. (Although I've already posted this elsewhere, so you may have seen it before). If you see any errors or mistakes in reasoning, please point them out:


I keep saying that but no one is listening.

There is no other view.

To demonstrate go to

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8381/atone.html

People do not understand that Moses and Aaron are different and they had different roles and functions. Moses was mediator and Aaron was priest.

As priest, the 144,000 are priests also like the Levites.

01-24-2007 03:09 PM
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grissom6471
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Post: #26
RE: New Covenant

man hu Wrote:
RR and Freyd please prove your points with scriptures.
What Grissom said was true, except the spiritual Israelites are not limited to the 144,000. It is very simple.

The Abrahamic covenant is the 'Grandaddy' of the covenants. The old covenant was a temporary one, just as Hagar was a temporary measure, The New Covenant is attached permanently to the Abrahamic, like a real wife, Sarah. We could discuss Galatians if you want.



Yes, it is limited to 144,000.
Rev 14:1
And I saw, and, look! the Lamb standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.


Rev 21:16

And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs; its length and breadth and height are equal. 17 Also, he measured its wall, one hundred and forty-four cubits,


It makes no sense for the covenant to be limitless, when the old was limited by birth.

01-24-2007 03:11 PM
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observant
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Post: #27
RE: New Covenant

Well hello Grissom...

Quote:
People do not understand that Moses and Aaron are different and they had different roles and functions. Moses was mediator and Aaron was priest.

As priest, the 144,000 are priests also like the Levites.


Hmmmm. ...You know paralells are significant. Yet, Paul made it quite clear in Romans and Hebrews that is was a New covenant...based not on old patterns...but by the order of Christ...

Hebr 7:1-11...makes it quite clear the new pattern is not cut from the Levitical priesthood...but by the manner of Melchisedek..A new and significant change...

Meditate deeply upon these things...throw out the veil of the mosaic times and look through the veil of Christ....2 Cor chapter 3

Lynn


Consider the lilies, how they grow; they do not toil, they do not spin. And yet I say to you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Luk 12:27
01-24-2007 06:03 PM
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Beau Wetini
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Post: #28
RE: New Covenant

Grissom >> :giverose: :cheekkiss:


LIVE THE KINGDOM NOW!!


01-24-2007 06:59 PM
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Post: #29
RE: New Covenant

Hi
Hope others find this in depth article as interesting as i did.


http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/Contents/russell/WPRT.pdf
The Sin-Offering
and
The Covenants
PT322
—————
1907 PUBLISHERS’ NOTE
—————
The following pages are taken from a stenographic report
of a “Question Meeting” conducted by Pastor Charles T.
Russell, of Allegheny, in St. Louis, Missouri, Sunday,
August 11, 1907. The brethren who have arranged for its
publication send it out with the sincere hope and prayer
that it may be blessed of the Lord in making more clear to
the minds of His people into whose hands it may fall, the
“Harvest Truth” concerning the subjects discussed; to the
end that all the “Watchmen” may see “eye to eye.” Peace be
to you!
—————
What Pastor Russell Taught
Pages 321-390
The first part of this book consists of articles from the
Zion's Watch Tower and thus are not duplicated on this disk.
We are glad to be able to reprint these items for the
benefit of those who do not have the original Towers or
Reprints.
PT323
THE SIN-OFFERING AND THE COVENANTS
—————
Introductory—Harvest Truth
I was glad to accept the invitation of the St. Louis Church
to hear certain questions, perplexing to some, and give
answers to the best of my ability, with the hope and prayer
that the subject may be clear to our minds. We are living
in a time when the Lord declares his people shall see eye to
eye. He says this shall be a characteristic of our day:
"When the Lord shalld bring again his people the watchmen
shall see eye to eye." (Isa. 52:8.) We trust that while some
of us, called Elders, might be called watchmen in a special
sense, yet all the Lord’s people are watchmen. We are all
seeing what the Lord our God has brought to us, and
looking to that word which is the only revelation of the
Divine will. So all should see eye to eye. Those asleep are
not watchmen, but as soon as they become watchmen they
will come to see eye to eye. As we come nearer and nearer
to an object it should be more clearly seen by all of us.
If we recognize that we are in the harvest time of the
Gospel Age, then we ought to recognize certain things as
being due to be understood more clearly, yet at the same
time we ought not to expect anything particularly different
from what has been the course of the Lord’s dealing
throughout the past; but so surely as we are, we ought to
expect something peculiar to the harvest time. What are
we to expect? With us the Jewish nation is a figure, an
example and type. You remember having studied that
matter. They had their priesthood, their high priests and
under priests, we have ours; they had
PT324
their tabernacle and we have ours; they had their golden
candlestick and we have our golden candlestick of Divine
truth and light. So when it comes to the harvest we find
that their harvest was a particular pattern of this age. If
Jesus was present to do the work there, so he will do the
work here. What was the work? Separating and reaping,
and gathering together iof the Lord’s elect. How was that
done? By the promulgation of greater knowledge and
greater truth. He made known certain things.
Well, then, we should expect there to be greater knowledge
of God’s plans pertaining to this time, as there was to that
harvest time. We ought to remember that that was the end
of the Jewish age and the opening of the Gospel age, and
the Apostle, by inspiration, speaks of the light that is to
come upon the “ends of the ages,” upon the ends of those
ages where they met, and these two ages where they meet.
That light did not precede our Lord’s presence, and while
there has not been gross darkness over this Gospel age, the
ispecial lightd from God shines upon the i"ends of the
ages."d It is in harmony with this that you and I have
received from the Lord the great blessing of clearer light. It
would be very difficult for us to say what is the most
valuable feature of Divine truth. It is all important, all
necessary, that the man of God may be “thoroughly
furnished.” (2 Tim. 3:16,17.)
Now, dear friends, this clear light on the end of the age
came in connection with the understanding of a mystery.
What mystery? The “mystery” the Apostle Paul talks about.
You remember how this was on the end of the Jewish age
and the opening of the Gospel age. The Lord made known
the mystery “not made known to other ages and
dispensations and which is now made manifest.” (Rom.
16:25,26; Col. 1:26,27.) You remember how frequently he
speaks of this mystery. He explained that the Messiah
PT325
to come was to be not only our Lord Jesus Christ, but
also the Church his Bride. They supposed that the great
Messiah was coming and was to be king of their nation and
their nation was to convert the world, but they did not
know he was going to itake out of the Jewish nation the
ijoint heirsd of the world.
Then the Apostle says there was another part they did
not understand. God not only proposed to take some of
that body of Christ from the Jews, but from all the nations
of the earth, that He might make of each one a part of the
Christ. This is what the Apostle brings to our attention.
He says God gave Jesus to be the head of the Church. This
is "the mystery" not made known in previous ages. This
mystery was not even made known to all the apostles. You
remember it was made known to the Apostle Paul, and
while the writings of the other apostles are in harmony with
this thought, you do not get it from them—you get it from
Paul. He tells us that God had given to him visions and
revelations more than to all the other apostles, and it is
manifest from his writings, that he had this clearer vision
and knowledge. So it is from the Apostle Paul’s writings
that we get this knowledge of the mystery.
Peter did not understand it: he was at first in opposition
to the Gentiles, but the Lord sent to him the vision of the
sheet held by the four corners, by which he was shown he
must not consider the Gentiles any longer as common and
unclean. (Acts 10.) You see, then, that at that time the
Apostle Peter did not have the thought of the oneness of the
Body of Christ. That is a part of the mystery Paul says was
made more clear to him through visions and revelations
than to them all. And yet that very thought was lost sight
of—the oneness of Christ and the Church—when the
Church began to get the wrong impression that it was to
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convert the world. When they thought of everybody, they
could not think of the “Body of Christ” including everybody.
It destroyed this thought that the Church is the mysterious
body of Christ that is to rule all the earth and bless the
earth.
So this thought was hidden from all during the Gospel
age, and our parents and friends did not see this subject,
which is now clear to us. It is clear to us because we are
living in the harvest time of the age, when God is brushing
away the darkness and allowing our eyes to see and
understand. This light was lost sight of during the Gospel
age, and now this is the particular thought brought to your
attention, namely: That Christ the head and the Church
his body, is the great anti-typical Moses, the great Prophet
God has been raising up, through which the blessing is to
come to Israel, and through Israel to all the nations (Acts
3:22,23.) Christ is the head, and through the members of
his Elect is to bless Israel and all the nations. When did
this feature of light come to our attention? It came to my
attention in 1869. I was thinking along these lines, seeing
that our friends in the churches were wrong, and seeing
the second coming of Christ was the thing to be expected,
and along about 1873 I got so far as to see that there was
restitution coming to the world, but I did not understand
what restitution meant. I supposed that when the world
was blessed it would come to be in the same sort of
spiritual condition as the Church, and not until 1878 did
the light of that feature come, in respect to the fact that the
Church is to be of a separate and distinct nature, and is to
be used by the Lord in blessing Israel and through them
blessing all the nations. What is the basis? The matter we
are to discuss this morning—The type of the Sin Atonement,
and the Day of Atonement.
You have it in a booklet called “Tabernacle Shadows,”
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published in the Fall of 1880—there was the basis of it.
Christ is the great High Priest and the Church is
associated with him as the under priests, and to be
associated with him in the glories of the future when the
atonement day is over and the sacrifices ended. So have in
mind that the basis of any light we have today rests upon
this subject of the atonement sacrifices and the
sin-offerings of this Day of Atonement. The light has come
along these lines. God has been pleased to bless this
thought. If that becomes evident to you, you will ibed ivery
slow to cast aside that which has brought you to the light
you have.d It is on this line God has granted all the light in
which we are now rejoicing.
I shall be pleased to answer any questions.
PART 1.—THE SIN OFFERING
(Question.) How does the “Sin-Offering,” typified in the
Atonement day sacrifices, differ from the Ransom, or
corresponding price, paid by Jesus Christ for Adam’s
forfeited life?
(Answer.) The two are not to be associated at all, any
more than two of our Lord’s parables. If you take the
parable of the Wheat and the Tares and the parable of the
Ten Virgins and try to combine them, you will find it
impossible to do so, because one is discussing one subject
and the other another subject. They are both true, and
plausible, and both teach beautiful lessons, but not the
same lesson. They are both parables given
of God; they do not contradict, but they do not teach the
same lesson. And so when we talk about the Ransom, that
is one thought, iand the Sin-offering is another thought, and
we are inot to mix the two.d
Suppose you were to say, “The Church is called
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the brother of Christ and the Bride of Christ and the living
stones of the temple. How could Christ marry his own
brothers, or the living stones of the temple?" This is
confusion—these are different figures. They must be kept
separate and distinct. In the matter of the Ransom, that is
one picture in which the Lord shows us that Adam was
condemned while the race was yet in his loins, and that the
Lord Jesus Christ as a ransom takes the place of Adam and
gives his life for Adam’s sin, and thus purchases Adam and
his race. This is a pretty picture—a true picture—and
could not be supplanted by any other. If that were left out,
we would not get the same teaching from God. But we do
not want to mix it with any other. How one person buys
another, how one person with his race in his loins is
bought by another having a race in his loins. Jesus gave
himself in exchange for Father Adam and his race. That
Adam had a wife associated with him in the transgression,
and Christ Jesus a bride to be associated in the work of
redemption, is not considered. It is all confined to the one
thought that by one man sin entered the world, and so, by
another, Jesus Christ, a ransom has been paid for the race
redeemed.
T.99 p.3: “...the sin-offerings of the Day of Atonement...
were offered to God (Justice) in the Most Holy as the
Ransom or Purchase Priced of sinners.”
Z.’07-47, Col. 1, third line from foot: “Reading the article
in question more carefully, you will perceive that it is not
discussing the Redemption, but the sin-offering, which is a
idifferent viewd of the great transaction.”
I presume the question is, How do these two harmonize?
Evidently it would have been better if we had not
introduced the matter of the Ransom in the
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first quotation. It would have left it clearer. We were not
discussing the Ransom at the time, but the Sin-offering. It
tends to confuse. To some minds it might not. The
attempt to make the subject too broad and take in two
thoughts has been confusing to whoever took this up.
(Question.) May the Church be said to share in the
Ransom, actually, reckonedly, or not at all?
(Answer.) So far as the Ransom is concerned, the Church
is never said to share in the Ransom. The Ransom is the
price and our Lord Jesus is declared to be a ransom for
Father Adam. As for Mother Eve, she did not need a
ransom—she was considered as a part of Adam—she came
from him, was his wife and was included with him. So with
the Church; our part is not shown in the Ransom, for we
would correspond to Eve, and she was not shown in the
Ransom; nor are we.
(Question.) Does the Church share in the anti-typical
Atonement-day sin-offerings, actually, reckonedly, or not at
all?
(Answer.) She does share in the anti-typical Atonement
Day offering. She shares actually in the most positive
sense.d The Apostle Paul says (Col. 1:24), “seeking to fill up
the measure of the sufferings of Christ,” and he says, “You
have us for an example,” so as he was filling up, all those
who take up their cross and follow Jesus are sharing with
him. Are we actually sacrificing anything? There are
different minds. A thought will strike different people
differently. If we read “I am crucified with Christ,” some
might think they would have to be nailed to the cross. It is
not their fault that they cannot grasp the thought, but
there are some that cannot grasp it. We are crucified with
Christ; we are partakers with him in his sufferings. That is
a fact. It is not imagination. Some one says, “I never
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suffered anything." I am sorry for you. If we have suffered
with him, we shall reign with him. (2 Tim. 2:12.) If we be
crucified with him, then we may have joint heirship with
him in his glory. If any one cannot say that, do not feel
discouraged, but do not war with those who can do it. Try
to say it. If you cannot, then you lack the spiritual vision.
Pray to the Lord that you may say this.
I think of a dear brother who died recently who lived near
Providence, Rhode Island. When our Brother Streeter came
into the truth he was publishing a little paper and he
discontinued it and introduced all his subscribers to the
Watch Tower and started in to preach. He was very much
interested in an old retired Adventist minister living near
him. He said, “I tried to make the Truth plain to him and
could make no impression.
Finally I concluded it was no use, and so I said to him: ‘I
know that you are a good man and one of the Lord’s
children, and I have tried to make this matter plain and
clear to you, but I see that you are too old to grasp the
subject, and I have concluded that the Lord will not require
it of you. So I am not going to bore you with this any more.
When we meet, we will talk about the Lord and his
goodness, and have prayer together, and not talk about
these things that are objectionable to you.’ The next day
the word came, ‘Come down to see me.’ I went down, and
the old man said, ‘Brother Streeter, after you went out I got
to thinking and praying and I said to the Lord, ”Lord amd I
too old to learn anything? If I am not, help me. I want to
know the truth." Before I got off my knees the whole thing
became clear to me.’"
I do not say that is the way with everyone, but that it is
the proper course if there is something we do not see. The
Apostle James says, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask
of God, who giveth liberally and upbraideth not.” (James
1:5.) We shall know
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the things that belong to our day. My answer is, we are
most assuredly members of this Sin-offering.
“Thus is shown that the Redeemer and Restorer is
spiritual, having given up the human a Ransom for all, and
that from this highly exalted spiritual class all blessings
must proceed.” (A293, Par. 2) What does that mean? We
are not discussing the sacrifices of the atonement day in
this quotation. We are discussing another matter that has
no bearing. What do we mean by this? I answer, we refer
there not only to Jesus, who gave up his human nature,
but also to the Church. Each member of it, as he becomes
a part of the body of Christ, must give up his right to share
in the redeemed human nature. What is true of the head is
true of the body. The only difference between Christ and
the Church is that Christ was perfect actually and gave
himself actually, the pre-human and human nature, on
behalf of the world; but you and I have no such nature; we
have not anything that would be suitable for sacrifice. But
as we are justified by faith, God counts us as though we
were perfect in order to accept our sacrifices as perfect. He
first justifies us and after that if we will take the proper
steps we may be sanctified.
The day of atonement is the time of the acceptance of this
sacrifice. “Now is the acceptable time.” How acceptable?
We used to think it meant, “if you want to escape Hell, God
will now accept you to Heaven.” But we now see that this
scripture means “now is the acceptable time” in the sense
that God is now willing to accept your sacrifices. For you
have heard the message that his death atones for your
sins, and you being justified by that death, present your
body a living sacrifice; this is the acceptable time. Will he
accept the sacrifice the next day? No. All the sacrificing
will be over. It only belongs to this Gospel age. It began
with Jesus, the great Head of our
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priesthood. It ends with this Gospel age, and there will be
no more opportunity of being accepted. The day of
sin-offering will be at an end, and nobody will be accepted
after that. The Elect will be complete then. There will be
no adding to or taking from. No one can get into that class
except as a sacrifice, for the Apostle Paul says priests are
ordained to offer both gifts and sacrifices. So if you are a
priest you are to offer gifts and sacrifices. What is the
difference? A gift might be something that would be
offered, and yet not anything necessary for you to do, as a
sort of incense. That is not a sacrifice, that is a gift; as
priests not only offered animals, but also incense that went
up as a perfume. All priests are ordained to offer both gifts,
and also sacrifices for sins.
Z.’07-47, Col. 1, Paragraph 3: “You never read in any of
our articles or books, or sermons, the statement that the
Church redeems anything or anybody. Quite to the
contrary; we have often been accused of making a hobby of
the ransom doctrine—that our Lord Jesus ‘tasted death for
every man,’ ‘gave Himself a Ransom for All’."
You can take the Bible and read: “Judas went and
hanged himself," and another place that says, “Go thou
and do likewise.” If you put these two together, what kind
of sense do you have? It is equally possible to take things
out of the Watch Tower and make them seem something
not intended. In this case we are saying that Christ, the
head, and the body make sacrifices. When did Jesus make
his sacrifice? When he presented himself. When did he
present himself? When he came to John at Jordan.
You say, I thought his sacrifice was made on Calvary. It
was finished there; it was made at Jordan and it is of that
experience that the Apostle
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says—speaking of Jesus there—"Lo I come (in the volume
of the book it is written of me) to do Thy will, O God." (Heb.
10:7.) He came to that when he was thirty years of age.
You say, was his death reckonedly finished there? Yes,
in a sense. It was the beginning of the New Creature from
that time. The old creature finally lost life on the cross, and
the new creature was glorified three days later. So with all
others; the time when you made your sacrifice was when
you presented your body a living sacrifice, and you are
henceforth living in newness of life, being refreshed and
growing strong in the Lord; the new creature growing, and
the old creature dying, until finally death will be complete.
(Question.) Is it correct to apply the Apostle’s words
(quoted below) to the Church’s sacrifice, as proving that the
sin-offering for the world is not yet complete, since they
have not yet received remission or release from the penalty
of sin; and to say that the blood (life) of the last member of
Christ’s body must be shed before the world can receive
remission?
Heb. 9:22: Apart from the shedding of blood there is no
remission.
Heb. 10:18: Now where remission of these is, there is no
more offering for sin.
(Answer.) Yes, I would say it would be proper to apply
both of these scriptures to the work of this Gospel Age,
which began with our Lord’s baptism, where he made his
sacrifice which he finished at Calvary and which has since
been continued by those of the Seed who walk in his steps.
It is true of the whole Body of Christ that the shedding of
blood is necessary. It is not possible for us to be of the
Church unless we suffer with Him.d If we suffer with Him,
we shall reign with Him. The Apostle is
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right. We are partakers of the sufferings of Christ, and
these sufferings, Peter says, were spoken of by the prophets
of olden times when they testified of the sufferings of Christ
and the glories to follow. (1 Pet. 1:11.) The sufferings
occurred,
but did the glory follow? No. What is there if we have
not glory now? The Apostle says we have the whole world
travailing and groaning; they are waiting for the glory of the
manifestation of the sons of God. (Rom. 8:19,22.) The
manifestation cannot be consummated until after the sons
have been found. Dear friends, if any one does not wish to
be a living sacrifice, he has the chance to step out. The
Lord is not compelling anybody. He is merely giving us the
opportunity. He is not going to force you. He will deal with
others by and by. He is dealing now with those who want
to have fellowship in his suffering that they may have
fellowship in the glory of the kingdom.
(Question.) What does the Anti-typical Day of Atonement
accomplish?
(Answer.) I answer, the Anti-typical Day of Atonement is
forthe sins of the whole world. This atonement-day service
performed for the twelve tribes was typical of what was to
be done by the Son of God for all who desire to come into
harmony with God. First of all, there was the elect, the
priests of the tribe of Levi. The work the High Priest does
and the others join in helping to do is the work of
atonement, the High Priest accomplishing it and the other
priests being counted as members of the body of Christ
who is doing the work and is making the sacrifices for our
sins. He appears in the presence of God on our behalf—not
on the world’s behalf, but on our behalf.
Christ has been in the world for all these eighteen
hundred years in the sense that he has been represented
by you and by me and every consecrated one of those under
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priests, and finally the sin-offering will be accomplished
and he will apply the blood of this sacrifice as he applied
the other sacrifice, only ithe merit of all is in his own blood.
We have no meritd except as he imputes it. The Apostle
intimates there is no merit in the Church—that the whole
merit is in Christ. Rom. 12:1: “I beseech you, therefore,
brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” Paul
says you are holy, acceptable. How did that come? “To us
was imputed the righteousness of Christ.” (Rom. 4:24.) His
merit has been applied to us. Whatever merit or excellence
our sacrifice has is in him, and through it we may possess
the privilege of being associated with him by and by in the
glories of his kingdom.
(Question.) The question was asked: What was
specifically accomplished in the Anti-typical atonement,
and the answer was, the completion of the sacrifice of
Jesus and the Church, his body. What was the value of
this sacrifice? What did it accomplish?
(Answer.) The Lord’s object in having a whole Gospel Age
instead of a few days was to have an Elect Church, instead
of merely having our Lord as the one Elect; because if
Jesus had been intended to be the Redeemer and the
Church left out of the mission, there would have been no
Gospel Age provided for at all. The Gospel Age is for us to
make our calling and election sure. So if he had not had a
Gospel Age, it would have meant he did not want an Elect
Church; but if he did, as is the case, then he did want an
Elect Church.
(Question.) Does the perfected Church participate with
Christ in the next age work?
(Answer.) The Church is to have a share in the sufferings
now, and in the glory then.
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(Question.) The suffering is for the purpose of perfecting
the Church so that it may be fitted to do the work in the
next age?
(Answer.) The Church is of importance, even if there was
no work in the Millennial Age. The Son shall give
immortality to whomsoever he will (John 5:21,26), so here
is the Father, the Son and the Bride, all having this quality
of glory and honor and immortality. I think that so far as
the Church is concerned God wishes to show, not only to
men but to angels that He is able to accomplish this thing
through his Son, who came down to this world into the
depths of degradation that we might be partakers of the
Divine nature. God could have gotten along without the
Church. He did not need the Church, but it gave him
pleasure to accept the Church as joint heirs with Christ,
and the Church has been seeing the exceeding richness of
his grace in his loving kindness toward us. Not many
great, wise, learned, hath he chosen, but chiefly the poor.
(1 Cor. 1:26.) God not only wished Jesus to be the Savior of
mankind, but the manifestation of his love. The Heavenly
Father hath exalted the Son, and He will make us joint
heirs with him in glory and immortality. The exaltation of
the Church means a manifestation of the love of God.
(Question.) We have an actual part in the atonement?
(Answer.) The word Atonement takes in a large scope, and
ultimately all of mankind will have the opportunity of
coming into it. The sacrifice of Christ was applied first to
the House of Faith, including the Body of Christ; not to
every one. He hath ascended on high, and we have an
Advocate with the Father, because he appears for us. (1
John 2:1; Heb. 9:24.) What do we mean by that? In the
sense that if you had a suit, and the case came up in
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court, and you should address the judge, he would not
hear you; you would have to get an attorney. So we have
an attorney, and that attorney is termed an “advocate.” We
have an advocate—an attorney—Jesus Christ the
righteous. How can he be our attorney? Because the
Father “hears him always.”
(John 11:42.) What is the basis on which he appears
before the Court of Justice? His sacrifice to cover our sins.
We are in harmony with the sacred word of God, which
says you can only come through Christ. The Advocate
says, “No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John
14:6.) What about the world? They cannot come, because
there is only one Advocate, and they have not gotten him
yet. As soon as they receive him they are believers.
“Blessed is the man to whom the Lord doth not impute
sin." (Rom. 4:8.) The world cannot come. The Father hath
no dealing with the world. Will he have dealing with them
in the next age? No. The Advocate will take them himself
as Mediator, to set up a reign of righteousness.
(Question.) The High Priest took the blood of the goat and
sprinkled it before the altar. Is this an actual or a
reckoned part of the Atonement?
(Answer.) I do not think Jesus takes some literal blood
into Heaven, and sprinkles it before the mercy-seat there,
but the blood as was represented in his sacrificed life.
Jesus appeared in the presence of God offering his
sacrificed life, and said: “This is on behalf of those who
believe in me.” So he will again present not our blood, but
his own blood, as he counts our blood as his blood. The
blood becomes one and he says, “Accept this blood also,
this sacrifice also; accept this on behalf of the sins of the
whole world.” It is all his merit.
(Question.) Is it correct to say that the sprinkling of the
blood of the Atonement-Day sacrifices on the
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Mercy-seat signifies the resurrection of the sacrificer as a
New Creature?
(Answer.) We answer, no. The sprinkling of the blood has
no signification of that kind. I will picture that before your
minds: First of all the High Priest went out to the altar and
there he slew the animal; then took some of the blood in
his hand, and incense, and went beyond the first veil—into
the Holy, and inside the Holy there was a candlestick, and
there was a table of shew bread, and he sprinkled incense
upon the fire and the smoke rose as a perfume, entering
beyond the second veil, where was the Most Holy; then he
took the vessel containing the blood and passed beyond the
second veil.
That passing was the death of Christ, and the rising on
the other side was the resurrection. He went under the
veil, but he rose again on the third day. After our Lord’s
resurrection he remained forty days, then ascended on
high. He there tendered to the Father on behalf of the class
he represented the blood shed by his death. For whom did
he sprinkle that blood? For “himself and his house;” for
his Body, the Elect, and for all the house of Faith. These
were covered by the first sacrifice-Leviticus 9.
Then he took the other sacrifice—he took the blood of the
goat and did with it ijust as he did with the blood of the
bullock, only he did not offer it “for his house,” but “for the
people.” Now the question is, did Jesus die two times, once
for the Church and then for the rest of mankind? Once
only. Where then, does this second sacrifice come in? The
Lord indicated that the Church would be partakers with
Christ; he is the great High Priest with us as members of
his body. He has been offering the sacrifice. You are not
doing it, you are not the priest. We offer ourselves to Him.
He says, “I will count you a member of my body.” We give
ourselves to the Lord, and he accepts us as members, and
the matter of how the
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sacrifice shall take place is not especially one for us; but we
shall ultimately be with Him. We give ourselves to Him,
into his hands, and he accepts us as members of his body.
So the High Priest was the one who did the sacrificing in
both cases. He did not sacrifice the bullock and then tell
one of the under priests to sacrifice the goat. Nobody has
any standing before God except the High Priest, and it is
only in this way that we can be accepted—that our flesh
can be counted as Christs’, and we can be counted as New
Creatures with him in glory.
There were two sacrifices, and yet both were offered by
the one priest. From this all the light of the present day
has come; if we suffer with him we shall reign with him; by
dying with him we shall live with him. Is not that what the
Apostle meant when he said, “I beseech you, therefore, that
you present your bodies a living sacrifice,” etc.? For a
while it never really entered into my mind what it meant.
The Church has the privilege of living in this day of
suffering, and there is the distinction God is making
between the Church and the rest of mankind—because we
suffer with him, we shall reign with him. And he has given
us his “precious promise that we may become partakers of
the divine nature.” (2 Pet. 1:4.) This promise assured to us
the privilege of laying down our lives. You remember how
the Apostle put that in his letter to the Philippians (Chap.
3:10):—"That I may know the power of his resurrection."
Paul knew the resurrection was to come to the just and the
unjust, and he says, “If I might know the power of his
resurrection.” What are the conditions? Being “made
conformable unto his death.” If we do not go into his death,
we will not go into his resurrection. How do we go into his
death? What is the difference between Christ’s death, and
the death of any other man? Christ’s death was a
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sacrifice, and we are counted in with him as part of his
sacrifice; so we become partakers with him in the
sufferings of the present time and the glories to follow.
(Question.) What is the scriptural objection to
understanding the Apostle’s argument in Romans 6:1-11 to
be that our “old man” as a sinner died in the person of his
substitute, Jesus, on Calvary; and that therefore we should
be raised with him (Jesus) to walk in a “new life” of
holiness? Please give a brief exposition of these verses.
(Answer.) “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in
sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we,
that are dead to sin, live any longer therein.” You will
perceive the Apostle is not speaking to Jews, nor to
Gentiles, nor to mere believers, but to those who are dead
to sin, and have surrendered themselves to die with Christ.
“Know ye not, that so many as were baptized into Jesus
Christ were baptized into his death?” We do know. We
know to be baptized into Christ is not into ordinary death.
But you are baptized into his death. Was that a death to
sin? I think not. He “knew no sin.”
(1 Pet. 2:22.) He could not die a death to sin. We were
baptized into his death.d Therefore that means that our
death was not ad death to sin, as his death was not a death
to sin. Of course our death includes a death to sin. When
we give up our lives that we may share with Christ in his
sacrificial death, it means we have enlisted to battle against
sin—have sworn that we will lay down our livesd in battle
against sin. How shall we that are dead to sin, and whose
lives are buried with Christ,—how could we consent to sin?
We might have imperfections of the flesh, but to be in
harmonyd with sin would be impossible to those who have
given up their lives.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism
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into death that like as Christ was raised up from the dead
by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in
newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the
likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of His
resurrection." That is to say, if we have given up ourselves
to be like Him in death, we shall also be like Him, sharers,
in His resurrection; the resurrection and death being linked
together. Whoever goes into His death goes into His
resurrection, and who does not, does not. Just as surely
as Jesus’ death was a sacrificial death, so must this be.
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him,
that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we
should not serve sin.” This old man is crucified. Just as
Christ at his baptism had given up his earthly life, and the
remaining years of his ministry were to be newness of life,
as the old creature was dying; so the Apostle says we may
reckon ourselves, our old nature, the old creature, as being
crucified with him; it is a slow, lingering death, but we are
living as new creatures and the old creature is dying. We
are willing to be crucified with him, and suffer on account
of sins with him, that we may be with him in his glory.
“For he that is dead is freed from sin.” That is to say,
when you are actually dead, you will be actually free. You
will never know any more of the temptation of sin. He that
is dead is set free from the power of sin. So the Apostle
says, though we were once the servants of sin, after being
set free we have become the servants of righteousness. In
the eighth chapter of Romans he tells us—"But if the Spirit
of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he
that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your
mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." God’s
Spirit will not come to dwell in you until after you have
received the Holy
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Spirit, but if you have made your consecration and received
the Holy Spirit “The Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from
the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His
Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Our Adventist friends apply
this to the future, and say that God will quicken their
mortal body. We say if we have made our consecration,
God has given us His Holy Spirit, and this Holy Spirit is
already energizing this mortal body. You shall not be
“carried away” as formerly, but having the Holy Spirit, you
shall walk in newness of life. “Therefore, brethren, we are
debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh, but to the
Spirit.” In this chapter he is speaking of the new creature
that is triumphing over the flesh. The new creature might
not have perfect control over the flesh, but the Apostle says
the Lord is judging these new creatures by their wills, and
where the will is right, there can be no sympathy with sin.
He has enlisted and laid down his life to battle against sin.
PART II — THE COVENANTS
(Question.) Should the words of the Apostle in
Hebrews 9:16,17, as follows be understood to teach that
the word “testament” or “covenant,” as used in the
Scriptures always carries the significance of a “last will and
testament?”
16: For where a testament is there must of necessity be
the death of him that made it.
17: For a testament is of force where there hath been a
death; it doth never avail while he that made it liveth.
(Answer.) I do not know why we should say the word
“testament” always means a covenant. Every will is a
covenant, but we could not say every covenant is a
testament. I do not understand the purpose of this
question.
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(Question.) The point is made that the definition of the
Apostle in Hebrews makes a Scriptural definition of the
word, so that we are to understand that in every case
where that word is found the Apostle has furnished a
definition of it. The contention is that the Apostle’s
definition makes it always carry that significance in the
Scriptures.
(Answer.) We read in Genesis that God made a covenant
with Abraham. If that could not be carried out until the
death of the one who executed it, God would have to
die—and God is not going to die very soon. So you see
“testament” is not to be used as the only definition of
covenant. It would not be appropriate at all there. It would
mean that to carry out that testament he would have to die.
(Question.) When does the Abrahamic Covenant become
operative, and when the New Covenant?
(Answer.) The Abrahamic Covenant became operative in
Christ. It was to the effect that there was to be a “Seed of
Abraham.” Nothing could be done until the Seed should
come. That Seed was Christ. The Apostle says, you
remember, in Galatians, that the Abrahamic Covenant is
typified by Sarah, who had no children; she represented
that covenant and was barren for some time. Hagar
represented Sarah, but was not Sarah. This law covenant
had a seed; Hagar had a child, Ishmael, who corresponds
to the Jewish nation, and as Hagar was a bond woman, so
this was a bond covenant, and as Hagar was a bond
woman her son was a bond servant. So all Israel are under
bondage of the law. The Apostle says by and by the time
came when Sarah had a son, and when she did, Ishmael
was jealous and so this corresponds to natural Israel now
fighting against the true Israel of God, which is Christ and
all that accept of Him. The Apostle is saying that the
Abrahamic Covenant began to have
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its fulfillment in Christ, and he says not only Jesus “but
you brethren are the children of the promise.” He makes it
still more clear in Galatians 3:29: “If you be Christ’s, then
are you Abraham’s seed”; not Ishmael’s, but you belong to
the real seed, which is Christ. If you belong to Christ you
belong to all that is typified in Isaac and Rebecca. The
Lord gave Rebecca also to be a type of the Church and as
Rebecca became joint-heir with Isaac, so the Church
becomes joint-heir with Christ.
(Question.) Is the Church called, during the Gospel age,
under the Abrahamic or New Covenant, or both?
(Answer.) Under the Abrahamic covenant. There is no
New Covenant yet. There were three wives of Abraham:
Sarah, barren for a time; Hagar, who bore Ishmael; and
also Keturah, the third wife, by whom he had many sons
and daughters. These three wives represented the three
covenants. All of Abraham’s seed came from these three;
so we do not have two mothers, two covenants, but one.
This matter was not always as clear to our minds as it is
now. We started in with our minds very much befogged,
but gradually we got to see what the Scriptures meant and
they became clear to our mental vision. But it took time.
In one place the Apostle says: “He hath made a
former”—and I did not think at the time he was telling the
Jews that their covenant was doomed to pass away; I
thought he was speaking to us. The Jew said, “Moses gave
us that covenant; God gave us that covenant. We are the
greatest people in the world, and our covenant will never
pass away.” They could not imagine such a thing. The
Apostle was trying to prove to them that it would. He says,
“Hagar was your mother. You are not Israel’s sons.” They
thought they had Abraham, but Paul says not. They did
not see it because they could not see it. But this wed can
see
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was what the apostle meant. He was telling that those
Jews never were the real “Seed of Abraham”; that it was
intended their law covenant should pass away, and to
prove it he said (Heb. 8:7-13): “Don’t you remember it
reads, ‘I will make a new covenant after those days?’ Don’t
you see if he meant he would make a new covenant, the old
one would be useless?” He tried to get the Jews to see their
covenant would not last forever and be the only covenant.
We see their covenant did pass away and they, as children
of the flesh, are not children of the Spirit.
We see that Jesus is going to fulfill that promise. (Jer.
31:31-34): “It shall come to pass that after those days I will
make a new covenant with the house of Israel,” and bless
them. With my eyes not clearly open at the time I confused
that New Covenant with the Abrahamic Covenant because
the Apostle said that the old should pass away and the
Sarah covenant come in. But when we examine everything,
it becomes clear. Z.’98-197, Article entitled, “Mercy
Rejoiceth Against Judgment”: “The death of Christ sealed
or ratified or made complete and binding this New
Covenant between God and man....We see then that since
Calvary, since the sealing of the New Covenant with the
blood of the Mediator, since that New Covenant was thus
ratified or made effective, the triumph of love and mercy
over justice and the sentence of death originally inflicted
has been a fact....The object of the present call of the
Church....to share in the benefits and privileges of the New
Covenant,” etc.
I answer this: We were thinking all the time of the
original covenant God had made and which became
effective to us in the death of our Lord. This death not only
brought us into relationship with the Abrahamic Covenant;
it is also the basis of what is to be done for the world in the
next age. So the New Covenant was related to the Lord’s
death. The New
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Covenant had as a basis the fulfillment of the death of
Christ. Jesus said at his Last Supper, giving the cup, “This
is the cup of the new testament—the New Covenant—in my
blood shed for many (for all) for the remission of sins”; in
other words the cup of his death was to be efficacious not
only for the Church, but for all of humankind: “This is the
cup of my blood, shed for the remission of sins; drink ye of
it.” This is the cup which brings justification to the whole
world; the cup of suffering and death which seals the New
Covenant, and I invite you to join with me in the sealing of
that New Covenant. So when the disciples said (Matt.
20:22-23): “Grant that we may sit one at thy right hand
and one at thy left,” he said, “Are you able to drink of the
cup I shall drink of?” No one can be with him on his
throne except that he drink of this cup and share in his
blood. So the hope of being with him in his throne is in
sharing his cup as well as being baptized into his death. If
we are partakers with him, we are members of his body. If
not, we are not. Somebody else will get in, for the body
must be full. No one could serve as High Priest unless he
had all his fingers and toes. Why? Because those parts
were necessary to represent full completion, a specific
principle—that part could not be added or diminished.
There will be neither one more nor one less than the elect
number. If you fail to get in, somebody else will, for that
number must be full. No one can be of the Bride of Christ
except he shall drink of his cup. “Drink ye of this cup.”
Z.’03-436: “While the benefits of this gracious
arrangement are only for ‘us,’ for ‘believers,’ for those who
come unto God by Christ—under the provisions of the New
Covenant...etc.”
I answer, there I used the New Covenant as a name for
the
Abrahamic because my mind was not clear that the
Abrahamic Covenant was the old
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Covenant, made long before the Jewish Covenant.
Quoting further from the Watch Tower above mentioned:
“Our call and acceptance are based on the New Covenant,
etc. We have seen that all those acceptable to God in
Christ were obliged to come unto him under the New
Covenant.”
I answer just the same thing. We have nothing to do
with that New Covenant. It means what it says. “It shall
come to pass after those days I will make a new covenant.”
You see the difference between after those days and during
those days. “Those days” are the Gospel Age. During those
days the Lord does something for Spiritual Israel, taking
out the Body—the Bride.(Joel 2:28,29): “It shall come to
pass after those days I will pour out my spirit upon all
flesh.” But “in those days,” said the Lord, “I will pour out
my Spirit upon my servants and my handmaidens.”
Nobody else in those days. “It shall come to pass afterd
these days I will make a new covenant.” In other words,
not until after this Gospel Age can the New Covenant be
sealed. Our Lord gave his life for the sealing, but left
something for you. He said, “Drink ye of it,” for this is the
basis on which this New Covenant is sealed.
Z.’07-9, Col. 1, Paragraph 2: “Entirely separate and
distinct from both of the foregoing covenants is the Lord’s
promise of a New Covenant." In this article we were
discussing it from our present greater enlightenment. If
you will look back, you will find you have done a great
many silly things, and that is one of the silly things I did.
Because I have got my “thinker” to work, and see that what
I thought was the New Covenant is not the new one,
somebody takes me to task. (Foot of same col.) “The New
Covenant belongs exclusively to the coming age, as the
Abrahamic Covenant belongs
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exclusively to the Gospel Age, and as the Law Covenant
applied exclusively to the Jewish Age." Page 10, 1st Col.,
2nd line: “The New Covenant is not yet in existence.” Quite
correct. The New Covenant is to be made “after those
days,” and awaits its ratification until after the last member
of the Body of Christ shall have tasted death, because no
testament can be in effect while the testator lives. The
whole Church has been accepted as the Body, but not until
the last member has gone will the blessings of the New
Covenant come to the world.
(Question.) If the Church is accepted and blessed under
the provisions of the New Covenant,
(Answer.) It is not accepted and blessed under the
provisions of the New Covenant. It is accepted and blessed
under the Abrahamic Covenant.
(Continuing Question.)—and they, being “Christ’s” are so
constituted members of the Seed of Abraham—
(Answer.) That is not the way they are constituted. They
are constituted by being united to Christ as the Bride, as
was illustrated in the case of Rebecca when she was
married to Isaac and became joint-heir with Isaac; so the
Church becomes joint-heir with Christ.
(Continuing Question)—will not all those who during the
Millennial Age come under the provisions of the New
Covenant and are blessed by it also thus become members
of “the Seed,” and thus the promise to Abraham be fulfilled
to them, i.e.: “(Being) In thee and (being) in thy seed shall
all the families of the earth be blessed?”
(Answer.) No. There were two seeds. Romans 4:16—"...to
the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to
that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of
the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all."
PT349
The Apostle’s thought seems here to be that while there
is only one in number, yet there are many of us in another
sense—in the sense that all nations are yet to become the
children of Abraham; as all the nations will come into
harmony with God, they will become of God’s seed, so that
all may ultimately be the children of God. Abraham was
the father of Ishmael, and the father of Keturah’s children,
and yet only one was called “the Seed,” the Seed which the
promise specified. In that sense Christ and the Church is
the only Seed, but in a general sense, that all mankind may
receive the blessings, they may become the seed of
Abraham, but not The Seed. There is a particular seed, the
Seed of promise, and the general seed.
(Question.) Tell us how you found out all these things.
(Answer.) I will tell you, sister. Here a little, and there a
little. The Lord, we are told, has hidden his plan so that
none of the wise shall understand; he “hath hidden these
things from the wise and revealed them unto babes.” And
it is in proportion as we become humble, teachable
children, that we can learn them. It was intended in God’s
plan that there should be a special light upon the ends of
the ages, and it is this special light God is giving that we
understand to be our blessing. The Lord has been blessing
and making these things known in a natural way.
The Lord said (Rev. 10:7): “It shall come to pass in the
days of the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet that the
mystery of God shall be finished.” The trumpet began to
sound in 1878, and one of the first things to be
accomplished is that the mystery is to be finished. The
Apostle says he had far more knowledge of the mystery
than any one else. He says God had given to him more
knowledge than to any one else. We understand it is our
privilege to see some of these things with the same
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clearness the Apostle Paul saw them. He says he was not
permitted to tell these things. It is now privileged to be
told. Why did God tell Paul anything? Because he was one
of the Apostles, and it is necessary that all knowledge shall
come through the Word of God so that God will not need to
give special revelations today. And he kept the things
secret until the due time, and when the due time had come
the things were made clear.
(Question.) I want to know, where did you get all this?
From the New Testament?
(Answer.) From the Old Testament and the New
Testament both. Paul says “we have an anchor of the soul.”
What is this anchor of the soul? This promise that God
made to Abraham and Isaac; and everything Paul said in
the New Testament is proved by the Old Testament. We
would not be wise to leave out the Old Testament.
(Question.) What is the New Testament?
(Answer.) I see what you mean. Do we call this book the
New Testament? God never called this book the New
Testament. He was not meaning this book. It has nothing
to do with the “New Testament.” That is not the sense in
which the “New Testament” is used.
(Question.) What do you call it if it is not the New
Testament?
(Answer.) You might call it anything.
(Question.) Isn’t it the Word of God?
(Answer.) Yes, but I do not think any of the apostles
called this the New Testament. It is a name that has been
given by man. We call this the New Testament, but it is not
called so in the Scriptures.
(Question.) Didn’t Paul say he was a minister of the New
Testament?
(Answer.) Yes, but he was not talking about this book.
PT351
(Question.) What was he talking about?
(Answer.) About the work of Christ. We are talking about
the New Testament. God says it shall come to pass that
after those days there shall be a New Testament, a New
Covenant. Jehovah was talking about this New Testament,
this New Covenant. Paul was a servant of it and was
talking about it, and you may be a servant of it and talk
about it. I am talking about the New Covenant. I am
saying it is your privilege and mine to be sharers in the
sealing of that New Covenant which is to be a blessing to
the world. So Paul was an able minister of that New
Covenant.
(Question.) Was it Jehovah, or the Son of God, who made
the covenant with Abraham?
(Answer.) It was Jehovah who made the covenant with
Abraham. The Son of God had nothing to do with
covenants until he became flesh. His time of work began
when he was made flesh.
(Question.) Will Christ be the testator of the New
Testament of God?
(Answer.) It is God’s covenant in Christ. God has
purposed that through this Seed all the earth shall be
blessed. I do not say how. I leave the matter in Christ’s
hands. He is the life-giver of the world, and therefore the
father, the prophet, the great priest and king, and shall
work all through the Millennial age because all power has
been given into his hands. Not that which is his own power
individually, but power delegated to him by the Father, and
the Father gives him the power to do this; and so the
people of the world in the Millennial age will have to do
with Jesus and the Church in the same way the Jews had
to do with Moses. But they had all to do with Moses, and
Moses with God. As you remember on several occasions,
God said to Moses, “Let me alone that I may destroy this
people.” God put it in this way to show us how
PT352
completely Moses was the mediator, and that what Moses
did God was doing. So in the Millennial age, what the
glorified Christ shall say will be just the same as if the
Father had said it. And just as in the Bible, Abraham’s
children had to do with Isaac, so here God has provided a
blessing in Christ, and whoever gets any blessing gets it
under Christ. It is all in Christ. The whole work looks to
this Christ, and during the “day of Christ” he shall bring all
things into subjection.
Paul brings out the thought that a testament is of no
force until the testator is dead. I believe he meant to say
the New Covenant will not be in force except under certain
conditions; because God was the testator. He had in view
certain conditions, which must be fulfilled.
We sometimes read that God declares “I am thy
redeemer, and beside me there is no saviour,” and then
again we read that God sent Jesus to be the Saviour of the
world, and again we read that Christ gave himself, and
again we read that God gave his Son. These are different
accounts, and we are obliged to harmonize them. So in
this case it is said he became a testator. I think it is really
God who is behind the whole matter, but since Christ was
not forced to it, it may be said to be his testament. So you
may be said to join in this testament. Sacrifice is a different
thing from execution. Execution would be by force, but
sacrifice brings in the thought of voluntariness. So we are
doing the Father’s will, and so when Christ was making
this testament he was carrying out his Father’s will, and in
harmony with the Father’s original covenant. It was his gift
of life to the world, and the sealing of that arrangement by
which God is willing to receive men. PT353
Poems of Dawn
MY ONE TALENT
In a napkin smooth and white,
Hidden from all mortal sight,
My one talent lies tonight.
Mine to hoard, or mine to use,
Mine to keep, or mine to lose;
May I not do what I choose?
Ah! the gift was only lent,
With the Giver’s known intent
That it should be wisely spent.
And I know He will demand
Every farthing at my hand,
When I in His presence stand.
What will be my grief and shame
When I hear my humble name,
And cannot repay His claim!
Some will double what they hold;
Others add to it tenfold,
And pay back in shining gold.
Lord, O teach me what to do!
I would faithful be and true;
Still the sacred trust renew.
Help me, ere too late it be,
Something now to do for Thee;
Thou who hast done all for me!
PT354
PT355
GOD’S COVENANTS
by B. H. Barton
With Notes On The Ransom
Sin Offering Justification
PT356
(as originally published about 1910)
In Revelation 11:15, we have a prophecy respecting the
sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, and realizing that we are
living in the days of the voice of the Seventh Angel, we
must be especially interested in all the details as to what
would occur during the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet.
In describing the events, the Apostle in the 19th verse
first makes this statement: “And the temple of God was
opened in heaven and there was seen in his temple the Ark
and the Testament.” (This word testament in the original
Greek is the same as the word covenant.)
We are here informed that after the sounding of the
Seventh Trumpet some specially clear and open views
would be granted of God’s glorious temple, and in
connection with this there would also be some illumination
upon that. This was illustrated and typified in the “Ark of
the Covenant.” We know that during the last year we have
surely had glimpses of the covenants that we never had
before, and it seems that this passage is having its
fulfillment today.
Now let us notice what follows: “And there were
lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an
earthquake, and great hail.” Notice the order of these
statements—first “lightnings.” When these thoughts upon
the covenants first began to be seen and given to us, it was
in the nature of individual flashes of light. Probably one
issue of the “Watch Tower” would have one flash, and the
next issue would have another flash. We recognize that
just as lightning naturally has three effects, so these
flashes of light upon the subject of the covenants have been
productive of three results:
(1) It enlightens or illuminates the way for some.
(2) It brings death and disaster to some.
(3) It frightens others.
We have found that in some cases the discussion of the
covenant question has surely brought enlightenment and a
better understanding of the various features of God’s great
plan.
To others it seems to have had just the opposite effect; it
has been productive of bitterness, and may ultimately be
instrumental in proving some as unfit for any place in the
Lord’s dominion.
Then there is the third class, who seems not to be
specially embittered, but frightened, and fearful that
something awfully wrong will come out of this discussion.
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Following the lightnings there were to be “voices.” We
know that following these flashes of light there were
discussions by the brethren as they would meet and
inquire of one another what they thought of this passage
and that passage in connection with the covenants.
Then there were to be “thunderings.” Thunderings give
us the idea of rumblings in heavenly places, and this is
what followed in various classes—dissatisfaction and
fault-finding.
Then followed an “earthquake.” So we find in many place
an earthquake-like shaking going on over this subject.
And last, there was a “great hail.” Just as rain is a
symbol of truth, so hail conveys the thought of hard,
condensed truth, and the thought seems to be that this
special light upon the covenants, and the various
experiences therewith, were really to be a preparation for a
specially great outpouring of truth.
Because of this and of some other similar passages, I
have been led to believe that the ultimate outcome of the
consideration of this covenant question is going to be a
remarkable bringing forth of certain truths in connection
with the great plan of salvation, with a clearness that we
have never seen before.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
Before coming to the consideration of the subject direct, I
would like to say a few words in relation to my own
experience in connection with the matter. Whenever any
thought has been promulgated by Brother Russell, either in
writing or orally, I have always held my judgment in
suspense until I have been thoroughly satisfied that the
Scriptures corroborate the view he has presented; and so
when these thoughts upon the subject of the covenants
were presented by him I could see certain Scriptures which
seemingly were corroborative of his view, but there were
other passages which seemed to conflict with his view.
Instead of hastily concluding that Brother Russell was
wrong, as many seem to have done, I determined to wait
until the Lord had made this matter clear and plain. I took
a composition book and headed two pages: “The
Covenants.” At the top of one page I put the statement:
“Scriptures and lines of thought which seem to corroborate
the view of Brother Russell.” And on the other page I
wrote: “Scriptures and lines of thought which seem to
contradict the view of Brother Russell.” I then searched for
every passage in the Bible which directly or indirectly
seemed to relate to the subject of the covenant, especially
the New Covenant. When I found a passage which seemed
in perfect agreement with the view of Brother Russell, I put
it on the affirmative side, and when I found a passage
which seemed to conflict, I put it on the negative side. I
made no attempt to twist any
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passage nor to force it to conform to the idea which he
presented. I then thought of all the points or arguments
which would have a bearing upon the subject, and I put
them on their respective sides. When I had finished I had a
very large number of Scriptures and quite an array of
arguments and lines of thought. The majority of them
seemed to be confirmatory of Brother Russell’s position,
but there were quite a number which seemed to conflict
with his position. I then took the matter to the Lord in
prayer, I left it entirely with Him, and asked that this
matter might be thoroughly settled, and determined to hold
my opinion to myself until I had given the subject such a
thorough investigation that every Scripture and agreement
would be removed from one side to the other, and when I
had everything in the same column, I would be satisfied as
to which view was right, and which was wrong.
It required quite a number of weeks before the subject
was thoroughly settled to my satisfaction. There were some
passages in the book of Hebrews which seemed almost
impossible of understanding as Brother Russell had
presented the matter, and I made no attempt to twist those
passages, nor to distort them, or to try to work out of them
a significance which the Lord did not intend us to get from
them. But, in due time, I was just as thoroughly satisfied
upon the subject

01-24-2007 08:47 PM
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RE: New Covenant

http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/Contents/russell/WPRT.pdf
Sorry didnt realise this was so long.


When we call this a covenant, we are not using liberty,
because the Bible itself speaks of it in various places as a
covenant. In Luke 1:72,73, we read: “To perform the mercy
promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy
covenant; the oath which He swore to our father Abraham.”
Here it is stated that this oath which God Swore to
Abraham was His holy covenant.
Again 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 all the kindreds of the
earth be blessed." However, there was something very
peculiar about this covenant. A covenant is not merely a
promise; it includes certain promises, but it implies an
agreement. The Hebrew word rendered covenant
unmistakably has this meaning. The Greek work
translated covenant is sometimes used rather in the
significance of a promise, but it also has other secondary
meanings, and it is often used as the equivalent of the
Hebrew word conveying the thought of an agreement.
Yet to a great majority of Christian people God’s
statement to Abraham has never been considered as a
covenant, but merely as a promise. But just as truly as
God would never call something death that was not death,
so He would never call something a covenant that was not
a covenant. The agreement entered into between God and
Abraham was a very peculiar agreement. It was a covenant
because it was an agreement which involved God and it
was also to involve others, but God made it in the nature of
an unconditional covenant.
He told what he would do according to that covenant,
and then left it to the liberty of all those who might come to
an understanding of His promise to decide as to what they
would do in view of what He had promised to do. If we are
pleased to make an entire surrender of ourselves to Him, to
live for Him, to glorify Him in thought, word and deed, we
thereby become participants in this covenant, and it was in
harmony with this that the Psalmist stated in Psalm 50:5:
“Gather together My saints unto Me, those that have made
a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” It is different in this
respect from the covenant made through Moses with the
nation of Israel at Mount Sinai, which was a covenant of
bondage, a covenant which did not leave it to the people as
to what they would or would not do, but it stated, Thou
shalt not do that, etc.
Because the statements of God to Abraham were spoken
of as a promise should not blind us to the fact that they
were also in the nature of a covenant. A covenant would be
impossible without a promise being included in it.
Therefore, we sometimes find it called a promise and
sometimes a covenant—it was both.
We might digress here for a moment to notice an
argument which has been used by those opposed to our
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understanding of the covenants. They say that there is no
Scripture where it says that God made the covenant with
anybody, but that the thought is always that God made
that covenant to a certain one. But I would say that such
have not thoroughly familiarized themselves with the
Hebrew idiom in connection with the making of covenants.
In the Hebrew language, the expression which most always
is made use of is that of making a covenant to a person,
even though it is frequently translated as making a
covenant with a certain person. As an illustration of this,
notice Joshua 9:7,11,15: “Make a league with you,” while
the original Hebrew states it, “Make to us a covenant.” The
Hebrew expression is equally as proper and accurate as our
English, because a covenant binds one to another. Many
illustrations of this can easily be found throughout the Old
Testament.
OLD TESTAMENT COVENANTS
We thus see two peculiar covenants brought to our
attention in the Old Testament times—the covenant with
Abraham, and the covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai,
often styled the Law Covenant. These two are referred to
by Paul in Ephesians 2:12, where he tells the Gentile
converts that previously they had been strangers from the
covenants of promise. He put the word covenants here in
the plural. What two or more covenants is he speaking of?
The Abrahamic and the Law Covenants. Were both of
these covenants “covenants of promise”? Most assuredly,
though the Law Covenant contained promises which no
one of all the imperfect race of Israel was able to keep
because of their weaknesses and inability to conform their
lives to a perfect law.
However, Jesus because of His faithfulness became heir
to all the promises of the Law Covenant, but the Gentile
converts had formerly been strangers to these things. And
with equal truthfulness, they had been also strangers to
that other covenant containing the promise which would
ultimately result in the blessing of all.
ILLUSTRATED IN NEW TESTAMENT
These two covenants are beautifully portrayed by the
Apostle Paul in Galatians 4:21,31: “Tell me, ye that desire
to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is
written, that Abraham has two sons, the one by a
bondmaid, the other by a free woman.” We all recognize
these two sons as Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael the son of
Hagar, who was really a slave, and Isaac the son of Sarah,
the true wife of Abraham. “But he who was of the
bondswoman was born after the flesh; but he of the free
woman was by promise.” In other words, Ishmael was born
without any necessity for divine intervention: it was a
matter of the flesh altogether, but it was different in the
case of Isaac. In the accomplishment of his birth God’s
special over-ruling providence was required to
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work a miracle. “Which things are an allegory: for these
are the two covenants.” We know that the larger part of the
Old Testament had a typical and allegorical significance;
the things recorded actually happened, but they were not
recorded because there was any real worth in them from an
historical, sociological or ethnological standpoint, but
because there was a hidden meaning underneath them,
which the Lord realized would be
for our edification. Now, if Paul had never told us that
the history of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Ishmael and Hagar
was an allegory, we might have known it anyway, but we
feel ourselves on so much safer ground when we have the
inspired statement as to what this allegory represented.
We might have thought that Sarah was a type of the
Church and Hagar of the Jewish nation, or vice versa, or
we might have supposed some other strange idea from our
own imaginations. But here we have Paul’s positive
assertion that those two women were typical of two
covenants. Now we might inquire as to which covenant
Sarah and Hagar would typify, and we look to see if there is
any special work peculiar to those two women, which
corresponds to these two covenants, and immediately
recognize that there is. We remember one of the emphatic
things recorded of Hagar is her bondage, and how
appropriately this reminds us of the bondage of the Sinaitic
or Law Covenant. Sarah therefore represents the other or
covenant of grace and special promise, and the Apostle
goes on to say: “For these are the two covenants; the one
from Mount Sinai which gendereth to bondage which is
Agar.” We notice that this word “Agar” is spelled differently
than in the Old Testament, not having the initial letter “H”,
but we might say by way of explanation that there is really
no letter in the Greek which corresponds with the letter H
in the Hebrew, so that Agar in the New Testament really
refers to the same woman who is called Hagar in the Old
Testament. “For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and
answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in the
bondage with her children.” The Apostle thus very clearly
shows us the correspondences between Hagar and Law
Covenant, and between Hagar’s child and the children of
the Law Covenant.
“But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the
mother to us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that
bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not:
for the desolate hath many more children than she which
hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the
children of the promise. But as then, he that was born
after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the spirit
even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the Scripture?
Cast out the bondswoman and her son: for the son of the
bondswoman shall not be heir with the son of the free
woman. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the
bondwoman, but of the free.”
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SARAH COVENANT
Having obtained from Paul the key to this type, let us
now consider it in the light of what he has said and see the
beauty of the allegory. In other lines of study, we have
seen that Abraham is a type of God; for instance, when he
offered up his son Isaac, he was there clearly marked as
the type of God offering up his Son.
Again in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, he is a
type of God. In that parable we note that the rich man saw
him afar off, which illustrates how the Jews have seen God
afar off, since temporarily cast off, not nigh as they once
were. We understand from Paul’s declaration that Sarah,
the wife of Abraham, was a type of the covenant of grace.
The fact that Sarah was Abraham’s wife emphasizes the
preciousness of that covenant which God made. Just think
of what it means for God to speak of that covenant as his
wife, to be called the husband of that covenant. We also
have Scriptural foundation for this statement in Isaiah
54:5: “For thy maker.” The Maker of that Abrahamic
covenant was God Jehovah. “For thy Maker is thine
husband; the Lord of hosts is his name.” This gives us
some faint conception of how dear to the heart of the
Father in heaven that wonderful covenant must have been.
The very name Sarah is significant; it means “princess.”
The covenant of grace is well called the Sarah covenant;
because it is the Princess Covenant, which is going to give
birth to the royal seed.
However, after Abraham’s marriage to Sarah, years
passed and there was no seed as the result of that union,
and we remember that this same thing was true of the
covenant of which Sarah was a type. After God had
married that covenant away back in the days of Abraham,
that covenant was unproductive, so far as producing the
seed through which the promises were to be fulfilled. And,
in addition to this, it almost looked as though Abraham did
not care for his wife Sarah. You remember that on two
occasions it looked almost as though Abraham had actually
denied his wife and that he did not love her. We recall the
experiences with Pharaoh and Abimelech, when he taught
Sarah to say that she was his sister. (Gen. 12:10-20;
20:1-13.) It looked as though Abraham was not truthful,
but he explained afterwards that she was his half-sister,
yet she was more. How well that illustrates God’s
relationship to that covenant which He made. It seemed
that God did not care any more for that covenant than
Abraham did for Sarah. God likewise made statements
which seemed contrary to the covenant which He made,
and it looked as though He had very little love for His
covenant.
HAGAR TYPES LAW COVENANT
At length it seemed unlikely that there would be any
result from the union of Abraham and Sarah, so Hagar
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was added to the family of Abraham. (Gen. 16:1-3.) She
did not actually become Abraham’s wife—she did not take
Sarah’s place, but Abraham treated her as though she were
his wife, and as though she had taken Sarah’s place.
The same thing is true of the Law Covenant, of which
Hagar was a type. In due time the Law Covenant, if we
may be permitted to use the expression, was added to the
family of God, and so Paul puts it, “The Law (Covenant) was
added because of transgression until the seed should
come.” (Gal. 3:19.) God treated that Law Covenant as
though it was His wife, and as though it had taken the
place of the original covenant, but that was not really the
case.
Almost immediately the result of Hagar’s relationship
with Abraham was Ishmael, and so we remember that very
quick results came from the addition of the Law
Covenant—the development of those of whom Ishmael was
a type. We remember that even after the birth of Ishmael,
God kept reiterating the promise which He had made
respecting Sarah, although each year it looked more
unlikely that that promise would have a fulfillment.
So likewise, after the Law Covenant had been
inaugurated, and after the development of the children of
the Law Covenant, God kept reiterating through the
prophets the fact that the Sarah Covenant would produce
the promised seed, in due time. But as it seemed
unreasonable with Sarah, it likewise seemed unreasonable
that the Sarah Covenant would ever have the seed that was
promised. It almost looked in Abraham’s case as though
the only child he would ever have would be the children
that might be developed under that Law Covenant. At
length, however, Sarah conceived, and Isaac was born. At
length, also, the time for the development of the children of
the Sarah Covenant, the Isaac Class, arrived.
We are to keep in mind that Ishmael was not a type of
one individual, but of a whole class; and so likewise, Isaac
was not a type of one person, but of a whole class. Thus
we read in Paul’s statement in Gal. 4:28: “Now we,
brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” Isaac
thus typified not merely the Lord Jesus Christ but His
faithful followers, His brethren, as well. The Lord Jesus
Christ was the Head of that Isaac Class, and His faithful
followers will constitute the Body of the Isaac Class.
In some of the types of the Old Testament (for instance,
when Abraham offered up Isaac) Isaac represented only the
Lord Jesus; but there are other types in the Old Testament
in which Isaac typified not only the Lord Jesus, but the
Church also. We remember he was given the name Isaac,
because Sarah said: “Now all the world will laugh with me.”
The word “Isaac” means “laughter.” (Gen. 21:6.) How
appropriate, because Isaac represents a class that will
make the whole world to laugh, the one that is to displace
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sorrow with joy, grief with pleasure. We also remember
that Ishmael took rather unkindly to Isaac, and as Paul
also reminds us in Galatians, he persecuted and mocked
Isaac (Gen. 21:9): similarly we remember that the Ishmael
Class, the Jews, persecuted and mocked the Isaac class,
the Lord Jesus and His faithful followers. The result of
Ishmael mocking Isaac was that Abraham cast off Hagar
and her child (Gen. 21:10,14): and, as a result of the Jews
rejecting the Isaac Class, our Lord, the Apostles and the
faithful ones, God cast off the Law Covenant and its
children, the class of which Ishmael was a type. It is by
keeping this thought in mind that we find a depth of
meaning in many of the Old Testament passages which
otherwise would have but little intelligent significance.
LAW COVENANT CAST OFF
Notice Isaiah 50:1, “Thus saith the Lord, where is the bill
of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away, or
which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you?
Behold for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for
your transgressions is your mother put away.” What
mother is here referred to? It is evident that the Lord’s
remarks are aimed at the Jewish nation, but who was the
mother of the Jewish nation? This very question and our
inability to see the correct answer has confused a great
many. The Law Covenant was the mother, and the Lord
divorced the Law Covenant over eighteen hundred years
ago, just as Abraham did with Hagar. The Law Covenant
was cast off because of the transgressions of its offspring.
We remember how, after being cast off, Hagar and Ishmael
had a very hard time, and we remember that the Jewish
people have had a very hard time ever since they were cast
off. We also recall that Hagar did not die the moment she
was cast off by Abraham, neither did the Law Covenant die
eighteen hundred years ago when God put that Covenant
aside.
Hagar lived for some time to afford the best comfort she
could to her son Ishmael, and so the Law Covenant is still
in existence, trying to comfort, trying to give some measure
of help to its children, the Jews. But we also remember
that the Scriptures show that at last Hagar was led to
recognize and point Ishmael to the well of water. Here
notice Genesis 21:19, and the context. This was expressly
stated to be in the Wilderness of Beer-Sheba, a word which
means, “The well of the oath.” (See verse 31.) We see in all
of this an intimation of how, in due time, the Law Covenant
is going to point the Jews to the truth and blessings that
will come through the wonderful oath-bound covenant
made away back there with Abraham in the days of old.
Notice another passage in Micah 5:1-4. The first and
second verses have to do with the first advent of our Lord
Jesus Christ, and they speak of His birth at Bethlehem,
and tell how, instead of the Ishmael class accepting the
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Lord Jesus willingly, they would “Smite the judge of Israel
with a rod upon the cheek.” Then follows the third verse,
“Therefore,” that is, in view of the fact that those Jews were
willing to smite and persecute our Lord, just like Ishmael
persecuted Isaac, “Therefore will he give them up until the
time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the
remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of
Israel. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the
Lord.” Here we are told that the children of the Law
Covenant were to be given up, to be cast off until the time
that the Sarah Covenant, the covenant which during this
period of the Gospel age would be travailing and would
bring forth the whole Isaac class, and when this had been
accomplished, the Lord’s favour was going to return to the
Ishmael class, and they were to get the blessings which the
Lord foretold to them, under the New Covenant.
THE SEED
We thus get the thought that the Covenant under which
Christ and The Church were to be developed was not a New
Covenant which would supersede the old Law Covenant,
but in reality it is a much older covenant than that one
made at Mount Sinai—it was made away back in the days
of Abraham. However, it remained barren for twenty-two
hundred years, and eighteen hundred years ago that
Covenant was redeemed from its barren condition. It
would not be right to say that when Isaac was begotten,
Sarah had become Abraham’s new wife. She was his true
wife much longer, as respects her relationship to Abraham,
than Hagar.
The only difference was that there had not been any
visible result from Sarah’s relationship to Abraham up to
that time. The same is true of the covenant under which we
are developed.
It is not a new covenant any more than Sarah was a new
wife, and if it is proper to designate the Covenant under
which we are developed as an Older Covenant still.
Notice the statement in Isaiah in this connection. The
apostle in Gal. 4:27 expressly applies the first verse of the
54th chapter of Isaiah to the Covenant under which Christ
and the Church are developed. So again we have the key
which makes us recognize that we are on safe ground in
the application which we are about to make.
We will just briefly comment upon a few thoughts in
Isaiah 54:1-5, but we will not attempt to go into an
exhaustive treatment of all the statements there. “Sing, O
barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing,
and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child.” Here
the Abrahamic Covenant of grace is personified, being
compared to a woman who has been childless for many
years, but now has occasion for rejoicing because at last
granted a child. She is spoken of as “the desolate,” not
because she is now desolate, but in remembrance of
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the long period during which this was the case. In the
same verse the Law Covenant is called “the married wife.”
While this is the rendering in both the King James and
Revised Versions, it is not a very accurate translation of the
original. The usual word for wife (ishshah) is so translated
several hundred times in the English Bible, but the word
used in the passage we are considering (baal) is a word very
seldom applied to a wife, though often to the husband. It is
a word which conveys to the mind the idea of ownership,
possession. Thus Paul in
Gal. 4:27, gives the thought correctly: “She which hath
an husband.” In an oriental home where there are several
wives, if
one of those wives has borne their husband children, she
naturally feels that in a special sense he is her husband, he
belongs to her. The original Greek of Paul’s words
emphasize this thought; note the Diaglott: “Her having the
Husband.” How well this pictures the relative positions of
the Abrahamic and Law Covenants during the eighteen
hundred years of the Jewish Age.
The Prophet Isaiah then foretells in verses 1 and 2 how
much greater will be the results of the Abrahamic Covenant
than the Law Covenant, and in verse 3 shows us that the
children of the Covenant made with Abraham will not be all
found in one part of the earth, but she was to “break forth
on the right hand and on the left,” in every direction; in
contra-distinction to the children of the Hagar Covenant,
who were all located in that land of Palestine. The
remainder of this third verse most unquestionably points to
Christ and the Church as the Seed of this formerly barren
covenant: “Thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles (nations),
and make the desolate cities to be inhabited” (Psalm 2:8
and Rev. 2:26,27) are examples of the plain statements in
the Word of God proving that the Seed of Isaiah 54:3 must
be Christ and His faithful followers.
In the following verse that covenant still being personified
as a woman, is advised to forget the long period during
which she was more like an unmarried woman, or, worse
yet, more like a widow. As far as visible results were
concerned it almost looked as though she did not have a
husband.
Then in verse 5 we are taught that just as the same
Abraham who originally made Sarah his wife, in due time
with divine assistance delivered her from her barren
condition; so likewise the same God who had originally
made the Covenant of grace in due time redeemed or
delivered it from its barrenness. Israel knew Him in a
limited sense, and they recognized him as their Holy One,
but in due time everyone was to know this wonderful God
and Father. Then he would be the God of the whole earth.
NEW COVENANT
Now having considered the subject sufficiently to have
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satisfied us that we are under a covenant which is now
about four thousand years old, we would inquire regarding
the covenant which is distinguished from either of the two
old covenants we have been considering by being called
“the New Covenant.” And we will begin this portion of our
study by considering
Rom. 11:25-27: “For I would not, brethren that ye should
be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your
own conceit; that blindness in part is happened to Israel,
until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.”
In other words, Israel, like Ishmael, has been rejected or
cast off, and this condition was to last until all the Isaac
class had been developed, or the entire Church of Christ
had been gathered out from the nations of the earth. “And
so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall
come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away
ungodliness from Jacob: for this is My covenant with them
when I shall take away their sins.” Here we have reference
to a Covenant which is specially connected with the
blessings of Israel after their re-gathering. It is this
Covenant which the Prophets, and our Lord and the
Apostles, designated as the New Covenant.
Listen to Jeremiah 31:29-34. In the 29th and 30th
verses we have statements which never were true and
never will be true until the Millennial reign of the Lord
Jesus Christ: “In those days they shall say no more, The
fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth
are set on edge. But everyone
shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the
sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge." Then again in
the 34th verse, we have a picture after the Millennial Age
has made considerable progress: “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 sins no
more.” Now, if verses 29,30 and 34 have evident reference
to the Millennium, is it not also probable and proper that
the verses 31,32 and 33 should also point us to something
respecting the
Millennium? “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.” Now we want to see if there
is not something further to identify the time to which this
New Covenant applies, and we find there is: “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.” We are thus
reminded that there will be some sharp distinctions
between the old Law Covenant and the new Law Covenant,
and one great difference will be that whereas that old
Covenant was
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disregarded and broken by them, the new Covenant will be
respected and kept.
AN HUSBAND
But let us pause here for a little consideration of the last
part of this verse, “although I was an husband unto them,
saith the Lord.” You will recall that the Apostle quoted this
passage in Hebrews 8:9, and if you look at his rendering of
this clause you will find it radically different from the
English version of Jer. 31:32. Paul has it read: “and I
regarded them not, saith the Lord.” We must consider Paul
a competent translator or judge of translations, especially
when it is remembered that he was controlled by the spirit
of inspiration; but why is there such a seeming discrepancy
between his words and the passage in Jeremiah? That the
words of Jeremiah could be rendered just as they are in the
King James version there can be no question; but we feel
compelled to see if they do not have another meaning in
harmony with the statement in Hebrews.
We could never be satisfied to think of the inspired
Apostle as misquoting Scripture. The New Testament
writers when quoting from the Old Testament do not
always quote the same identical words, they spoke a
different language, but while we may note a little difference
in the wording, it presents the very same thought. That
must be so in this instance, too. And it is, for we find quite
a number of Hebrew scholars giving “to reject,” “to
disregard,” as some of the meanings of the word. Thus in
Gesenius Hebrew Lexicon we have this very passage in
Jeremiah cited as an instance of this significance. The
marginal reading in the common version also is in harmony
with the thought, though I do not see that it is a really
accurate rendering; “should I have continued an husband
unto them?”
That is, seeing the people of Israel were treating the
children of the Abrahamic Covenant somewhat like Ishmael
treated Isaac, how could they expect God to treat the Law
Covenant and the children of the Covenant as a husband
would treat his wife and children? No, He would do as
Abraham had done, cast off the Law Covenant which for so
long a time had been treated as a wife, and He would reject
the children of that Covenant, the natural Seed of
Abraham, until the entire Isaac Seed had been developed.
AFTER THOSE DAYS
I have considered this point somewhat in detail because
of its bearing on the 33rd verse, which we will now
consider: “But this will be the Covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel: after those days, saith the Lord.”
After what days? After the days when the Lord would have
disregarded them; after those days in which he would not
show them the favour formerly enjoyed. And we all
instantly recognize that those days of disfavour have lasted
nearly nineteen hundred years. So “after
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those days" would clearly designate the Millennial Age as
the time for this New Covenant. “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,” etc.
That this new Covenant was to be inaugurated in the
Millennium, after the regathering of the Jews, is also
proven by Jer. 32:37-40: “Behold, I will gather them out of
all countries whither I have driven them in My anger, and
in My fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again
unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely.
“And they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may
fear Me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children
after them. And I will make an everlasting Covenant with
them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good:
but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not
depart from Me.”
Another pertinent Scripture is found in Ezek. 20:37: “And
will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you
into the bond of the Covenant." Israel’s experiences under
the chastening rod have been painful and humiliating, but,
thank God! her buffeting is almost over, and soon the
blessings of that new everlasting Covenant will begin to be
showered upon her.
Having considered these quotations from the prophets,
let us return to the writings of the Apostle Paul. The book
of Hebrews is specially full of statements regarding the New
Covenant. Of all the passages in the Bible which might
seem to support the idea of the New Covenant most of us
once held, these verses in Hebrews are invariably counted
among the very strongest; and yet, if I were called upon
today to prove that the Church is not under the New
Covenant: that the New Covenant did not include the
special blessings which the sacrifice of Jesus Christ has
made possible to the Church of this age; I would very likely
turn to these very passages in the book of Hebrews to prove
our position. I believe the statements of the seventh and
eighth chapters of this book as convincing as anyone could
ever ask for. And still I must admit, when this further light
began to be seen on the subject of the Covenants, these
very verses appeared to me to be almost irreconcilable with
it, while now their teaching is so simple and plain that I
wonder I did not see it from the first.
HEBREWS 7:22
Let us turn to Hebrews 7:22: “By so much was Jesus
made a surety of a better Covenant." The King James
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version renders the same Greek word, sometimes Covenant
and sometimes Testament, but the significance would be
more quickly grasped if in all these places it were rendered
Covenant. Both the Revised version and the Diaglott have
Covenant in
Heb. 7:22. This verse makes it most emphatically
evident that this better Covenant, better than the Law
Covenant under which Israel previously was, was a thing of
the future, not of the present; and the proof of our
assertion is the word “surety.”
Let me illustrate the significance of this word; suppose
that
in the same room, within ten feet of me, there was a bag
of gold which I desired someone present to bring to me.
How strange it would be if, before I allowed that one to
touch the bag, I would require surety, or, as we more
usually say, security. But if that bag of gold was two or
three thousand miles away, then it would be nothing
unusual to expect that man to have someone go on his
bond as a surety, a guarantee, a pledge, that he would
bring the gold to me, if I sent him after it.
Similarly, the Lord Jesus is not the surety for the
blessings enjoyed by the Church today. He purchased
those blessings for us with His own blood, but we do not
need any surety of them, because we have the things
themselves. But if our Saviour is a surety, it implies that
there is something yet future coming to somebody,
something different from what we are getting today. Paul
calls that something a better Covenant, so we conclude
that this Covenant is entirely separate and distinct from
the high calling of this age. This agrees perfectly with what
we have already seen: that the new Covenant has reference
to the blessings of restitution, which are soon to be granted
to the willing of mankind, beginning with the people of
Israel. Jesus, as a result of the sacrifice which He
completed at Calvary, is the surety, the pledge, the
guarantee, that these things shall be, even though the Jew
is still in a cast-off condition; yet, in due time, the very one
because of whose rejection they were cast off, will be the
one who will bring them back.
HEBREWS 8:6-13
Hebrews 8:6-13 will be now considered, but we will first
take the sixth and seventh verses by themselves. “But now
hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much
also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was
established on better promises.
“For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should
no place have been sought for the second."
The Apostle here calls the Sinaitic or Law Covenant the
first Covenant, not because it was the first covenant that
God ever made (indeed, we know that the Abrahamic
Covenant was not the first covenant), but it is called the
first covenant because it was the first covenant given to
Israel as a whole. His statement is another way of saying
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that, if the first covenant had been faultless, it would have
done the work that the second covenant is going to do, and
as a consequence, the second covenant would have been
unnecessary. Now we inquire, What would the first or Law
Covenant have done had it been faultless? We must
remember that the fault was not in its imperfection, but in
the lack of any mediatorial provision to offset the weakness
and inability of the people to keep it. If that covenant had
been faultless, it would have given the people under it
everlasting life. That covenant said that the man that
doeth these things shall live by them, and he could have
lived as long as he did those things. Furthermore, he
would have been free from sickness and disease. In
addition to that, his farm would have been a paradise, for
God had promised to bless his flocks, and trees, and wine
and oil, and to bless him in basket and in store. To sum it
up, man would have been a perfect being living eternally in
a perfect earthly paradise. But if that first covenant had
been faultless, it would not have taken anyone to heaven; it
would not have made anyone a joint heir with Jesus; it
would not have begotten anyone to the divine nature, nor
given them immortality—it would have accomplished
restitution. So if the second covenant is going to do what
the first covenant should have done, then that New or
Better Covenant will accomplish restitution, and nothing of
a spiritual nature at all.
But someone might ask, Why in the sixth verse does the
Apostle speak of this covenant in the past tense, as having
already been established, saying: “Which was established
upon better promises”? We answer that that covenant was
established eighteen hundred years ago, but we must
distinguish between a covenant being established and
becoming operative. In our city the council meet together,
and they enact certain laws, these laws then go to the
mayor for his signature, and after being properly passed
and signed, they are established. Yet it might be explicitly
stated in the body of that law that it was not to go into
effect or operation until January 1st, 1915. It might be
that that law appointed the mayor as arbitrator, or referee
in some particular matter. He is appointed arbitrator,
referee, or whatever the position might be, the moment that
law was established, and yet he does not have any duty to
perform in that capacity until the law has gone into effect
or become operative, and that is expressly stated to be at a
particular future time. It is in perfect accordance with this
that the New Covenant was established eighteen hundred
years ago, but all the Word of God agrees in proving that
that New Covenant was not to become operative until more
than eighteen hundred years after it had been established,
and several thousand years after it had been promised.
The Apostle then continues by referring to the passage
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already noted in Jeremiah 31: “For in finding fault with
them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord,
when 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 when I took them
by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because
they continued not in My covenant, and I regarded them
not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will
make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the
Lord.” After those days in which they would be
disregarded, in the cast-off condition. “I will put My laws
into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will
be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people: and
they shall not teach every man his neighbour, saying,
Know the Lord: for all shall know Me from the least to the
greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,
and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
In that He saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first
old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to
vanish away.”
This last verse reminds us that the Law Covenant in
Paul’s day occupied a position somewhat similar to Hagar’s
position after Abraham had rejected her. There she was in
the wilderness, almost ready to die, to vanish away;
nevertheless with certain promises which God had made
her and her child Ishmael; so Paul saw the Law Covenant
in Hagar’s predicament, almost ready to die, to vanish
away, but there were certain promises of future blessings
which God had made to the children of the Law Covenant,
and these would have to be fulfilled after the death of the
Hagar Covenant, and in the days of the New Covenant.
MAKE? OR COMPLETE?
We will again digress to note another beautiful point, and
yet so liable to be misunderstood. I refer to the word
translated “make” in the eighth verse. Those who refer to
the Emphatic Diaglott will find this word there translated
“complete.” In the King James version the Greek word
“sunteleo” is rendered by four English words: end, finish,
fulfill, make. It is evident in the verse under consideration
that the Apostle did not mean to say: after those days God
will bring that New Covenant to an end, for in that case it
would not be an “Everlasting covenant” at all. When was
the Law Covenant finished or completed? In one sense it
was finished or fulfilled eighteen hundred years ago, and in
still another sense it will be finished at the close of this age,
when the Israelites are delivered from its curse, by coming
into the bonds of the New Covenant; but in neither of these
senses does the Bible use the word “sunteleo.” The Law
Covenant was finished in the “sunteleo” sense, when God
had completed the writing of the commandments on the
tables of stone, and giving
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them to Moses, sent him down from the mountain to
inaugurate that covenant with the people of Israel. A
house cannot be conveniently occupied until it is finished,
a horse and vehicle cannot be driven until the harnessing
has been completed; similarly, a covenant cannot be
effective until it has been “sunteleo.”
But there is still another thought in this word which
must be noticed. In Jeremiah 31:33, from which Paul is
quoting here in Hebrews 8, and, in fact, in almost all Old
Testament passages where it speaks of “making a
covenant,” the word translated “make” is not the usual
word with that significance, but it is the rendering of the
Hebrew word “karath.” This word has the sense of cutting
off. Jer. 11:19: “Let us destroy the tree with the fruit
thereof, and let us cut him off (karath) from the rest of the
living.” Joel 1:9, says “The meat offering, and the drink
offering is cut off (karath) from the house of the Lord.” This
word was used in connection with covenants in evident
reference to the sacrifices that would seal or ratify the
covenant entered into. No Covenant was really made until
the sacrifices had been cut off or accomplished.
However, we must distinguish between the sacrifices
being cut off and the covenant being made as a result of
the sacrifices being cut off. Jeremiah’s word would not
mean that after those days the sacrifices will be cut off;
indeed the sacrifices will all have been made before those
days. The thought was, after those days I will covenant a
covenant with the house of Israel as a result of the
sacrifices cut off.
When Paul came to translate this word into the Greek, he
says (see Diaglott rendering of Heb. 8:10): “For this is the
covenant that I will covenant with the house of Israel; after
those days,” etc. But in order to emphasize the thought of
the original Hebrew, the Apostle, in verse 8, uses a still
different word, “sunteleo,” from that he has in verse 10.
We have already noted the force of this word, but there is
another point connected with it that we can not pass
unnoticed. In classic Greek this word was commonly used
in a different sense from what it usually has in the New
Testament. It meant payments or contributions made by
others towards defraying the expenses of some enterprise
that had for its object the benefiting of the general public.
Thus in Liddell and Scott’s Unabridged Greek Lexicon are
included such definitions of the word as, “a joint
contribution for the public burdens. For instance, at
Athens, this term was applied to a body of men who
contributed jointly each year to equip a ship for the public
service. Any similar partnership in bearing public
burdens.”
I do not lay much stress on the acceptance of the more
classic meanings of the New Testament words, and yet
there is certainly some food for reflection here. The new
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covenant promises were not for the benefit of some private
class, like the high calling of this Gospel Age, but it was for
the blessings of the general public, all the people of the
earth, beginning with the Jewish nation. However, certain
contributions, certain sacrifices were to be made before
that work could begin. The principal contributor, in fact
the sole contributor as far as individual merit was
concerned, was the Lord Jesus; but while the Church had
no merit of her own to offer, yet the Heavenly Father had
graciously arranged that she should have somewhat to
contribute also, by bestowing upon her some of the merit
borrowed from the Lord Jesus Himself. She has the
privilege of contributing that which was reckoned to her
through faith in the blood of the Saviour. And when all
these contributions are in, then this new covenant will
begin to operate on behalf of Israel first, and then through
Israel to all the remainder of the human family. (Acts
15:15-17; 1 Peter 4:13.)
HEBREWS 9:13-15
Let us next turn to the ninth chapter of this epistle to the
Hebrews, verses 13-15. While the verses that follow these
have considerable bearing on the subjects we are
considering, yet it is these three that we will give most
attention to, because they are recognized by some as
among the most difficult to reconcile with our views of the
covenants, and it is so until you once get the real import of
this passage.
“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of
an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the
purifying of the flesh; “How much more shall the blood of
Christ, who, through the eternal spirit, offered Himself
without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead
works to serve the living God.
“And for this cause He is the mediator of the new
covenant, that by means of death, for the redemption of the
transgressions that were under the first covenant, they
which are called might receive the promise of eternal
inheritance.”
A casual glance at these words would lead almost anyone
to think Paul was here saying that those to whom he was
writing had been delivered from the condemnation of the
law covenant by coming under the new covenant. But a
little further research would show us that we had failed to
grasp the basis of the Apostle’s argument. The epistle to
the Hebrews was primarily addressed to the Jews and
Jewish proselytes who had accepted the Christian religion,
and the inspired writer here, as well as in many other
places, points out to them that their deserts under that
first covenant was condemnation. And just as truly as a
murderer with the sentence of death hanging over him
could not be put on trial for another
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crime, until some way had been found of delivering him
from the penalty incurred by the first crime; neither could
those Jews be accepted of the Lord and enter the race for a
heavenly prize, unless some way was found of delivering
them from the condemnation of the law covenant, as well
as from the more universal sentence resulting from the sin
of Father Adam.
However, that law covenant could not be disregarded, nor
its condemnation ignored, so the only way whereby the
Israelite could have its curse lifted would be by the
introduction of that of which the law covenant was a type,
a shadow. Then it would be just as it is in nature, where
every shadow ends at the substance. But before the law
was given the Lord selected the mediator for that covenant,
and so the first thing in the introduction of the antitypical
law covenant was the election of its mediator. So we
recognize God’s choice of the Lord Jesus nineteen hundred
years ago to be the mediator of this better covenant even
though, as we have already seen, He was not to begin to
bestow the blessings of that covenant until it had become
operative. And now that the Saviour had become the
Mediator of the new covenant, it was possible for those who
had been under the condemnation of the law to accept the
Lord Jesus as their Captain and Leader instead of Moses,
and through faith in His great offering, the great sacrifice
which fitted Him to become the Mediator of the new
covenant, they found deliverance from the curse of the law
covenant.
Now do not misunderstand me, and think that by this I
mean the law covenant ended and the new covenant began
1,800 years ago. That is not my thought. I may illustrate
it in this manner; there are two classes of people in the
world at this time. To the one class we are yet in the
Gospel Age, and to them the Millennium will not begin
until 1915. But there is another class, among whom we
are thankful to be counted, with whom the Gospel Age
ended in one sense and the Millennium began in 1874. So
in the days of the Apostles there were two classes, to the
one class the law covenant was as dead, but to the other
class the law was just as much alive as ever. In Rom. 10:4
Paul refers to the first class, saying, “For Christ is the end
of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
But some one may be prompted to remark: I do not see
how the law covenant could be said to end even with this
class, unless they came under the new covenant first, if it
be true that no shadow ends until the substance has
begun. To this I answer, the substance has begun with
them, but in a wondrous way the Lord arranged for them to
share in the distribution of the blessings of the new
covenant, rather than in the receiving of the blessings
which were to be granted to those under the new
arrangement.
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THREE STAGES
In order to appreciate this point, let us note that there
were three stages to the law covenant, and similarly there
were to be three stages to the new covenant, of which the
law covenant was a type.
First, there was the preparatory stage which lasted for
forty days, when Moses went up into the mountain and
preparations were made for bringing Israel into covenant
relationship with the Lord. In due time Moses came down
from the mountain. There the preparatory stage ended
when the Law went into effect. After it went into effect,
then the influence of the Law Covenant began to be felt.
Now, eighteen hundred years ago, as respects the class
which accepted the Lord Jesus as their Saviour and
Redeemer, the third stage ended, and there the first stage
of the New Covenant began, namely the preparatory stage.
We remember Moses was in the mountain forty days during
that preparatory stage, which represented the entire Gospel
Age.
When Moses came down from the mountain, he had to
put a veil over his face, reminding us that at the end of this
Gospel Age the greater Moses was to come down and He
would be invisible to the world. He came down to
inaugurate the Law Covenant, for which preparations had
been going on for forty days, and so when the greater
Moses comes down at the end of the Gospel Age, it will be
to inaugurate the New Covenant, of which the Law
Covenant was a type, and for which preparations have been
going on all down through the Gospel Age.
We can thus see that it would be improper to speak of
the second stage of the New Covenant, beginning where the
third stage of the Law Covenant ended. Where the third
stage of the Law Covenant ends, as respects that class, the
first stage of the New Covenant began. The first stage, as
we have already seen, was the preparatory stage. After this
would come the second stage, when the New Covenant
would become operative, which will last during the
Millennial Age. Then, after the New Covenant became
operative, the third stage will begin, when the effect of the
New Covenant would be experienced. How long? Through
all eternity. That is why it is called the Everlasting
Covenant. It would be very inappropriate for us to take any
other view of this matter. We also recall the Jubilee type.
We remember that the Jubilee consisted of two stages:
First, the cycle of forty-nine years, then the Jubilee, the
fiftieth year. When the last typical jubilee was celebrated,
then the-type began. Not the Jubilee itself, but the
antitypical cycle, and when the antitypical cycle ends, then
the second stage or real Jubilee will begin.
PREPARATORY WORK
We would also call your attention to the fact that the
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Apostle Paul in the 3rd chapter of 2nd Corinthians is
making a comparison between the work of the Gospel Age
and that of the Law Covenant, and he clearly shows that
the comparison was not with the time when the Law
Covenant had gone into effect and become operative, but
with the time when the Law Covenant was in process of
preparation. He reminds us there that just as up in the
mountain the tables were being prepared, so today there is
a work going on of which that was a type. But up in the
mountain the Law Covenant was not binding, not
operative—no indeed. But the agents and instruments
necessary to put that Law Covenant into effect were being
prepared, being fitted for the work that they were to do. So
likewise, during this Gospel Age, a similar work is going on,
a preparatory work, which is being to make the New
Covenant effective in blessing all the families of the earth.
We notice in this connection also the statement of Paul in
2nd Cor., the 3rd chapter and the 6th verse, “Who also
hath made us able ministers of the New Covenant.”
Remember that the ministers of that Law Covenant were
not the people under that Law Covenant, but that the
principal minister of that Law Covenant was Moses, and he
ministered the Law Covenant largely before the Law
Covenant became operative; it was while he was up in the
mountain that he was its minister as truly as after he came
down. So today we are ministers of the New Covenant, we
are ministers of the Lord, servants, sharing with Him the
work of preparation which will ultimately inaugurate this
New Covenant which is to mean a new agreement on behalf
of Israel, and through them to the remainder of the world of
mankind.
However, what we have been saying applies only to those
who have recognized the Lord Jesus as their Redeemer.
Christ is the end of the Law to such, but to the remainder
of the Jews that Law Covenant is as binding as it ever was;
they are still under the control of it, just as Ishmael was
under the control of Hagar back there in the wilderness.
KETURAH
Now, this will probably be the most appropriate place for
some reference to the type of Abraham and his wives.
Someone might say, Why is it if there is to be a New
Covenant that God did not illustrate it in the case of
Abraham and his wives? Why did God cut the picture
short? The Lord has made that picture complete too. We
find that there is still another wife mentioned in the 25th
chapter of Genesis, Keturah, and we understand that she
is the appropriate type of this New Covenant. One might
inquire as to why Paul made no reference to her in his
epistles to the Galatians, and we say, Simply because she
had nothing to do with the argument which the Apostle
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was making. He was endeavoring to show some of those
Christians that they were occupying a very improper
position, that they were making believe that it was
necessary to adhere to all the requirements of the Jewish
Law, and the Apostle used this argument to show that that
was a wrong position, that it would have been very
inappropriate for Isaac to have clung to Sarah, and at the
same time to have wanted to go out in the wilderness and
to spend the time with Hagar too. So the Apostle was
trying to show them that they were not the children of the
Hagar Covenant, but that they were the children of the
Covenant of which Sarah was a type. Now, to have brought
in this New Covenant would only have confused matters
and would not have served any purpose, it would have
added to the mistiness of the subject to those whom Paul
was addressing. But we find frequent illustrations of this,
and we remember that passage in
Isaiah 61—how our Saviour quoted only a part of the
passage, only so much as was appropriate in His day. He
said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath
anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent
Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the
captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at
liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year
of the Lord.” There He stopped. Why not go on and
describe the other things? Because they were not then due.
In Ephesians 4:3 Paul said, “Wherefore he said when he
ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave
gifts unto men.” Paul was only partly quoting this passage
from Psalm 68:18. He quoted only just as much as is
appropriate to this Gospel Age, but there is another clause
in that verse which refers to the Millennial Age, and Paul
very properly left that out; he was not talking about the
Millennial times then, but about our position in this Gospel
Age.
It was in perfect harmony with this thought that Paul
made no reference to Keturah, but we know that the Lord
never puts anything in His Word without a purpose, and it
cannot be that this reference to Keturah slipped in here
without any real significance or object, but when we look a
little deeper, we are surprised to find how appropriate the
picture is in this detail also. In Gen. 24:67 it refers to the
death of Sarah, and then the very next verse, the 1st of the
25th chapter begins, “Then again Abraham took a wife, and
her name was Keturah.” And in the following verses we
read of six children whom she bore. The construction
leaves no doubt in one’s mind but that Keturah was a wife
to Abraham subsequent to the death of Sarah.
Furthermore, if Keturah had lived previous to Sarah’s
death, or during her lifetime, why all those statements
respecting Isaac, and how he was Abraham’s peculiar son,
and how he was the only son to whom properly Abraham’s
inheritance could go? Yet very few
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Bible scholars and students are willing to admit that after
the death of Sarah, Abraham did take another wife,
Keturah, as recorded here.
I will refer you to the Bible dictionaries and other books
treating upon this as a proof of what I have to say. Almost
all of them agree, notwithstanding the plain reference of
this event to the time after the death of Sarah, that Keturah
must have been a wife who lived contemporaneously with
Sarah. The reason given for this belief is that Abraham was
quite aged at the time of the birth of Isaac, and it seems
miraculous that he should have had a child at all, and God
had to interfere and work a miracle.
Then they say, is it possible that Abraham could have
grown thirty years older, then married, and then had six
children more? Evidently it is a lack of faith on their part.
But how well this illustrates the very matter under
consideration, the New Covenant—the very things that
Bible students have been saying for years and years about
Keturah, are being said today about the New Covenant.
They say that it is very unreasonable to think that there is
going to be such a thing as a Millennium of blessing for the
world; they say these things seemingly pointing to the
future really have reference to things contemporaneous
with the selection of the Church of Christ, that the New
Covenant does not have to do with anything that will follow
the development of the wife taken by Abraham after the
death of Sarah. But we believe that this statement
respecting Keturah is true, just as the Bible records it.
Just so, we can have the same assurance respecting the
New Covenant, of which Keturah is a type, that it is equally
true.
We remember, too, the significance of the name,
“Keturah,” the word meaning “incense.” How true it is that
through this New Covenant such incense and praise and
universal honour will ascend to the Heavenly Father,
according to the predictions of the prophets. In Mal. 1:2
the word “incense” is from the same root as Keturah.
CHURCH’S PART IN NEW COVENANT
We may notice also the share which the Church of Jesus
Christ was to have in this New Covenant, and we perceive
that it was not the share of a beneficiary, but rather that of
being sharers with Jesus in the making of this New
Covenant. In Isaiah 49:8 we have one statement respecting
this, and we are right in applying this to the Church,
because the Apostle Paul quotes it in 2 Corinthians 6:2,
applying it to the Church, “Thus saith the Lord, in an
acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation
have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee
for a covenant of the people to establish (margin, raise up),
the earth to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.” We
find here that the church was to be given for a Covenant.
For what covenant? Surely not for the Law Covenant, nor
for the covenant of special
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grace, but we can see that it was to be for, on behalf of, or
in the interest of the New Covenant, that they might share
with Jesus in bestowing its blessings upon the world.
SEALING
Let us consider the Scripture relating to the making and
sealing of the Law Covenant, and see how it illustrates the
making and sealing of the New Covenant. In Exodus, 24th
chapter, verses 4-8 especially, “And Moses wrote all the
words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and
builded analtar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according
to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the
children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and
sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord. And
Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half
of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the
book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the
people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said, will we
do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and
sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of
the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you
concerning all these words."
The inspired account here tells us of certain oxen which
were acrificed, and we would understand them to properly
represent the great sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is reason to believe that there were some goats
offered, probably at the same time, judging from the
account given in the book of Hebrews, but they are left out
of this picture, as though they formed a separate picture.
We understand that these oxen typified the same thing that
the passover lamb did, all pointing to the one great sacrifice
of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then it tells us how part of this
blood was sprinkled upon the altar, and the other half was
put in the basins. The word here translated “basins” does
not properly indicate any vessel as large as a basin. It is a
word that would more properly refer to a smaller vessel,
such as a cup. As an instance of this, in the Song of
Solomon 7:2 this same word is translated “goblet.” We are
to keep in mind that this was not a yearly ceremony, but
when the time came for the sealing of this Law Covenant, it
was done right at that time, and we can readily imagine
Moses calling to the people to bring their cups, their
goblets, any kind of small vessels to put the blood of these
oxen in. We understand that this is the work antitypically
which has been going on for these past eighteen hundred
years, that the Lord Jesus, the great ox, the bullock, was
slain, and since that time, we have been partaking of His
blood, we have been receiving of His life, for, as the
Scriptures express it, “the blood is the life thereof.”
These cups and small vessels having been gathered
together rather hastily, they must have been a peculiar
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collection, no two of them exactly alike. Probably some had
big cracks through them, others had pieces broken
away—some injured in one way and some in another way,
but that did not matter.
The important thing was not the cup, but the blood that
was put in it. Thus it has been during the past eighteen
hundred years, for we have been receiving the blood of
Jesus Christ. Those cups had no blood of their own until it
was put into them. So with us, we had no life until we
received it reckonedly from Jesus. Jesus was the only one
who had life, as we read, “In Him was life.” But Jesus
poured out His life; He gave up His life there, and we have
been receiving it, and so the Apostle could say, “I live, yet
not I but Christ liveth in me.” (John 1:4; Gal. 2:20; John
6:53-57.)
How much blood did these cups add to that which came
from the ox? Not one single drop. Did they not possess a
little blood of their own? Not one bit. Thus was illustrated
how entirely void of life we are of ourselves, how the merit
or life comes from Christ. But then, why was this blood
put in these cups? In order that through them it might be
applied to all the world of mankind, and so in this picture,
we are told how that blood was sprinkled over the people.
It could not be the blood that was put upon the altar, for
that could not be gathered up again, it must have been that
put into these cups, and we can thus see how that in due
time through th

01-24-2007 09:00 PM
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