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Short Explanation of the Everlasting Covenant

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The Everlasting Covenant Includes More Than We Once Thought

The Everlasting Covenant:

My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. (Ps 89:28)

He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. (Ps 105:8)

He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. (Ps 111:9)

“The salvation of the human race has ever been the object of the councils of heaven. The covenant of mercy was made before the foundation of the world. It has existed from all eternity, and is called the everlasting covenant. So surely as there never was a time when God was not, so surely there never was a moment when it was not the delight of the eternal mind to manifest His grace to humanity.” (ST, June 12, 1901)

Covenant made to Adam:

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Gen 3:15)

Covenant renewed to Noah:

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. (Gen 9:16)

Covenant renewed to Abraham:

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. (Gen 17:7)

Abraham obeyed the terms of the Covenant:

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. (Gen 26:5) (Compare to Deut. 11:1)

God's charge, His Commandments, statutes, and laws = The terms and conditions of the covenant.

Covenant renewed to Isaac:

And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. (Gen 17:19)

Covenant renewed to Jacob:

Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; (1Chr 16:15)

Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; (1Chr 16:16)

And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, (1Chr 16:17)

Covenant renewed to Israel:

He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth. (Ps 105:7)

He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. (Ps 105:8)

Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; (Ps 105:9)

And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: (Ps 105:10)

Children of Israel reminded of the terms and conditions of the Covenant:

God's Covenant has always had the same terms and conditions. The law of God was given to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. It was preserved by Noah. And taught by Abraham to his descendants (Gen. 26:5).

But during the long years of slavery in Egypt, the descendants of Israel forgot the terms and conditions of the Covenant. So, after He had led them out of Egypt, God brought them to Mt. Sinai to once again renew His everlasting covenant with them. Here He again reminded them of the terms and conditions of the covenant – contained in His commandments, statutes, and laws.

The laws given at Sinai were not new. They were the same laws that had existed since the time of Adam – the same laws that had been lived out by Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But because they had been forgotten by later generations God had to bring the people to Mt. Sinai to remind them of His commandments, statutes, and laws; and again renew His everlasting covenant with them.

God's part of the covenant:

Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. (Exod 19:4)

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (Exod 19:5)

And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (Exod 19:6)

The people's part of the covenant:

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (Exod 19:5)

The people promised to obey their part of the Covenant:

And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. (Exod 19:8)

Now the terms and conditions of the covenant were given:

God gave the people the terms and conditions of the covenant in Exodus 20-23. The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 are the summary of the requirements of the covenant; and the commandments, statutes, and judgments, contained in the book of the law in Exodus 21-23, are the detailed explanations of the requirements of the covenant.

The Ten Commandments are called the “Tables of the Covenant”:

And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant. (Deut 9:11)

(The Tables of the Covenant contained a summary of the Covenant.)

The other commandments, statutes, and judgments, are called the “Book of the Covenant”:

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. (Exod 24:7)

(The Book of the Covenant contained the details of the Covenant.)



Important:

The Terms of the Covenant are:

              • The Ten Commandments (Ex. 20)

              • The commandments, statutes, and judgments in the Book of the Covenant (Ex. 21-23)



The Covenant was then ratified with blood, representing the blood of Christ:

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. (Exod 24:8)

Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Heb 10:29)

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (Heb 13:20)

Please note that once a covenant was ratified nothing could be added to it or taken away from it, although the terms and conditions could be further explained or expanded if necessary.

My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. (Ps 89:34)

Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. (Gal 3:15)

But the people broke the Covenant!

They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. (Exod 32:8)

It only took the people about a month to break their covenant with God.

After the people repented, God renewed His covenant with them:

In Exodus 34 God again renews His covenant with the children of Israel.

And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee. (Exod 34:10)

[Between verses 10 and 27 God summarizes the laws of the covenant which He had given back in Exodus 20-23.]

And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. (Exod 34:27)

In Exodus 34 God just gives a summary of the requirements of the covenant. He repeated 3 of the Ten Commandments, and about 11 of other laws, which were in the Book of the Covenant. This shows that when the covenant was renewed, the conditions were still the same. They had not changed.

But the people rebelled again:

Right on the borders of the promised land the people rebelled again and refused to enter the promised land. So God told them they would have to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. During these 40 years they were not allowed to celebrate the passover of circumcise their children. (Circumcision had been given to Abraham as a sign of the everlasting covenant - Gen. 17:7-10). This was a constant reminder that they had been unfaithful to God's covenant.

“Since they had proved unfaithful to His covenant, they were not to receive the sign of the covenant, the rite of circumcision.” (PP, 406)

After the 40 years were over God renewed His covenant with them again:

The book of Deuteronomy contains the story of how God once again renewed His covenant with His people on the borders of the Promised Land, after the generation who had rebelled had all died. Once again Moses repeats to them the terms and conditions of the covenant – the commandments, statutes, and judgments.

“Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers:” (Deut 7:12)

Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do. (Deut 29:9)

Once again, the covenant is the same as it was when given in Exodus, and the terms and conditions of the covenant are the same – except this time they are much expanded and more detailed in Deuteronomy.

Summary:

Three times we have seen the requirements of the covenant specified, and each time they are the same. God doesn't change. His covenant doesn't change. And His commandments, statutes, and judgments, don't change. The requirements have always been the same.

Following is a chart of the three times that the covenant is repeated to the children of Israel:

Exodus 20-23:

Exodus 34 (summary):

Deuteronomy:

  • Ten Commandments (Ex. 20)

  • Commandments, Statues, and Judgments (Ex. 21-23)

  • 3 of the Ten Commandments

  • 11 of the Commandments, Statutes, and Judgments

  • Ten Commandments (Deut. 5)

  • Commandments, Statutes, and Judgments (Deut. 1-34)

* Please note that the conditions of the covenant are further explained and expounded upon all through the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy...and then throughout all the rest of the scriptures, all the way into the New Testament. Every requirement God specifies must be obeyed no matter what chapter of the Bible it is found in.

Is God's covenant still the same today?

My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. (Ps 89:34)

He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. (Ps 105:8)

He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. (Ps 111:9)

Important note: There is no other place in the Bible where God specifies a different covenant with different terms and conditions. The terms have always stayed the same. The everlasting covenant He made with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel, is the same covenant that we must obey today – if we want to be part of His covenant-keeping people. God has not altered the requirements of the everlasting covenant.

The covenant God made at Sinai is for the Israel of God for all time. Herein is revealed God's purpose for us, if we will only cooperate with Him....If we comply with the conditions God laid down for Israel, if we come before God in the beauty of holiness, and worship Him in Spirit and in truth, we shall receive the blessings that God promised to them.” {1MR 108}

The covenant that God made with His people at Sinai is to be our refuge and defense. ...This covenant is of just as much force today as it was when the Lord made it with ancient Israel. (1BC, 1103)

“The principles set forth in Deuteronomy for the instruction of Israel, are to be followed by God's people to the end of time. Our prosperity is dependent on the continuance of our covenant relationship with God.” (PK, 570)

Important:

Remember, the Terms of the Covenant are:

            • The Ten Commandments

            • The commandments, statutes, and judgments in the Book of the Law




But men today are still breaking God's Covenant:

The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. (Isa 24:5)

Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. (Isa 24:6)

A restoration of the Covenant is promised:

And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. ...ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God. ...and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. (Isa 61:4-8)



“In the last days of this earth's history, God's covenant with His commandment-keeping people is to be renewed.” (PK, p. 299)

(See EW, 285-286 for more details)



This Covenant is being renewed:

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new (renewed) covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: ...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. (Jer 31:31-33, brackets added)

Note: The word “new” in the above verse literally means “renewed” in Hebrew. So here again, God is promising to renew His Covenant with His Commandment-keeping people. It is the same Covenant that has always existed, and it's terms and conditions are still the same. But man keeps breaking it and God continues to renew it with those who will be obedient to it's terms.

“In the last days of this earth's history, God's covenant with His commandment-keeping people is to be renewed.” (PK, p. 299)

More promises of the renewing of the Covenant:

In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. (Jer 50:4-5)



Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine 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. (Jer 32:37-40)



What does this mean to you and me?

I once thought that the Ten Commandments were the only part of the covenant I had to obey. I thought that the rest of the commandments, statutes, and judgments, contained in the Book of the Law had all been nailed to the cross. But now I have discovered that this is false. The book of the law has NOT been nailed to the cross. Only the sacrificial law ended at the cross. We are still required to live by all the commandments, statutes, and judgments which are part of the terms of the covenant.

This means we had better go study Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy very earnestly, because there are many laws contained there which we must still obey – laws that are part of our covenant with God. We cannot afford to be breaking the requirements of the everlasting covenant. Those who break the least of these commandments will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven, and if you break one you are guilty of breaking them all (Matt. 5:19, James 2:10).

Do you want to be among the 144,000 – the Israel of God – with whom God renews His covenant at the end of time? (compare: 1T, 59 and 4SP, 458)






Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:19)

 

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (Jas 2:10)

A short summary of the laws given in Exodus 21-23 as part of the covenant:

Almost everybody is familiar with the Ten Commandments, but most people are not familiar with the commandments, statutes, and judgments in the Book of the Covenant, first spoken of in Exodus 21-23. So I want to give a summary of these laws below from the book, Patriarchs and Prophets, and then below that are some other comments from other books which I thought were very good.

“The minds of the people, blinded and debased by slavery and heathenism, were not prepared to appreciate fully the far-reaching principles of God's ten precepts. That the obligations of the Decalogue might be more fully understood and enforced, additional precepts were given, illustrating and applying the principles of the Ten Commandments. These laws were called judgments, both because they were framed in infinite wisdom and equity and because the magistrates were to give judgment according to them. Unlike the Ten Commandments, they were delivered privately to Moses, who was to communicate them to the people.

“The first of these laws related to servants. ...The rights of widows and orphans were especially guarded, and a tender regard for their helpless condition was enjoined. ...The taking of usury from the poor was forbidden. A poor man's raiment or blanket taken as a pledge, must be restored to him at nightfall. He who was guilty of theft was required to restore double. Respect for magistrates and rulers was enjoined, and judges were warned against perverting judgment, aiding a false cause, or receiving bribes. Calumny and slander were prohibited, and acts of kindness enjoined, even toward personal enemies.

Again the people were reminded of the sacred obligation of the Sabbath. Yearly feasts were appointed, at which all the men of the nation were to assemble before the Lord, bringing to Him their offerings of gratitude and the first fruits of His bounties. The object of all these regulations was stated: they proceeded from no exercise of mere arbitrary sovereignty; all were given for the good of Israel. The Lord said, "Ye shall be holy men unto Me"--worthy to be acknowledged by a holy God. {PP 311.2}

“These laws were to be recorded by Moses, and carefully treasured as the foundation of the national law, and, with the ten precepts which they were given to illustrate, the condition of the fulfillment of God's promises to Israel.” {PP 310-311}



“These statutes were explicitly given to guard the ten commandments. They were not shadowy types to pass away with the death of Christ. They were to be binding upon man in every age as long as time should last. These commands were enforced by the power of the moral law, and they clearly and definitely explained that law.” {RH, May 6, 1875 par. 10}



“The light given me is that we are to study more than we do the instruction given to Moses by God after He had proclaimed the law from Sinai. The ten commandments were spoken by God Himself, and were then written on tables of stone, to be preserved till the judgment should take place. After the giving of the law [the Ten Commandments], God gave Moses specifications regarding the law [which are many times called Statutes and Judgments]. These specifications are plain and explicit. No one need make a mistake.

In the day of judgment we shall be asked whether we have lived in harmony with these specifications [the statutes and judgments]. It is because we do not carry out these specifications in all our dealings, in our institutions, our families, and in our individual lives, at all times, and in all places, that we do not make greater advancement. It is by the directions that God has given that we shall be judged at the last day.

“Have we studied these specifications? I heard them one night some weeks ago. It seemed as if they were being given to Israel, and there was the same solemnity that there was when they were given. I thought, This is given to me that I may tell our people that we must study these specifications. When the directions that God has given are followed, our institutions will be pure and clean, free from all selfishness and covetousness. The tenderness of Christ will come in. His love will fill our hearts. A sense of God's goodness will make us weep, and sing, and praise God. Then we shall be living channels of light, prepared to do His will.” {AUCR, March 25, 1907, brackets added}



“Where shall we find laws more noble, pure, and just, than are exhibited on the statute books wherein is recorded the instruction given to Moses for the children of Israel? Through all time these laws are to be perpetuated, that the character of God's people may be formed after the divine similitude. {FE 393.2}



What does this mean to you and me?

Dear Reader,

I'm sure this is new information to you. Will you consider and study it? Or will you set it aside because it is not what you have always believed?

Are you ready to learn new things, or will you say, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing”?

 

Here are some further resources if you would like to study this topic more in depth:

www.SeekBibleTruth.org

www.Remember.SeekBibleTruth.org

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