Father Abraham had many sons and many sons had father Abraham and I am one of them and so are you, so let's just praise the Lord. Right hand...
Do you remember this song? When I was first introduced to Protestant religion, I was a youth visiting my Dad in Virginia where his family and he attended a southern Baptist church. It was summer and VBS was the highlight therein, wherein I learned many songs if not at VBS then in junior church. This song invited me to the Abrahamic Covenant, a place where believers (Jew and Gentile alike) met covenant with God. It claimed that all believers had the same father of faith and he was Abraham.
Now religion played a war on me throughout the years thereafter but I finally got into a straight path in the Way, though I hadn't really thought of the Abrahamic Covenant much. It was until a few years afterwards while I was reading through the book of Romans and about halfway through I noticed much of the things that Paul was referencing came in direct line with the Abrahamic Covenant and the promises therein. I saw the Abrahamic Covenant like a hidden thread throughout, and the promises were given to Messiah and His seeds. It was then that I came to see that all covenants we see in the Bible are really one and the one covenant really starts to be revealed through what we know as the Abrahamic. Though there are covenants previous to the Abrahamic (Adamic and Noahic), and each one uncovering a bit more of the one true covenant, it really takes a revelatory turning point with Abraham. This is the beginning of a calling out of a certain people. Through Romans and the church's claims to promise, I came to see, as it says in Romans itself about being grafted in, that those that claim the promises of the [Abrahamic] Covenant must be found in the [Abrahamic] Covenant, and they join themselves to the people called out (grafted in, see chapter 11). I later came to understand that when Gentiles came into covenant with God it did not start with what we know as the New Covenant, it started with Abraham. I came to this point slowly by first realizing that Caleb's identity (Caleb who alone with Joshua came to lead Israel into the land of promise) revealed that Gentiles entered covenant at least as far back as Caleb's time and then backtracked to this Covenant we read about this week, and that Gentiles didn't bring to pass a different Covenant because of their identity but that their identity was conformed to God's "Hebrew" way.
Before I lose the reader on the value and deity of Christ, I will say He is most certainly needed because, having fallen out of Covenant, He alone can restore us to it. Paul somewhat speaks of this Torah mystery in Romans, but I'll simply state it as this: If you are unfaithful to your spouse you are in the curse of adultery. Your spouse can remarry as the victim, but you are cursed to the bond of your marriage, though put away and divorced. The only way you are free to remarry is if/when your spouse dies. He came for the lost sheep of Israel, those put away. So then as their Husband and the one to whom we have all committed adultery against (having worshipped other than Him), He must die to release us, and release us to remarry Him. Therefore, the Covenant is not new, but renewed. This, on top of God aforetime saying He requires blood for life, and the punishment and payment of offenses being equal to the victim, so that God can only pay back God with God -- the wisdom of God in the salvation plan has many items that need to be addressed and all are covered by Him. He is our Y'shua, our salvation. I bring up the perspective through adultery according to Torah because we it quickly removes this whole Old Covenant vs New Covenant concept. Back to the Abrahamic Covenant...
And YHWH said to Abram, "Go yourself out of your land, from your relatives and from your father's house, to a land which I show you. And I shall make you a great nation, and bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing! And I shall bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you. And in you all the clans of the earth shall be blessed." So Abram left, as YHWH had commanded him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they gathered, and the beings whom they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Kena'an. And they came to the land of Kena'an. -- Genesis 12:1-5
So we can see that when God gave Abraham the covenant, it wasn't just with his actual blood, but he took with him non-relatives that became a part of his household.
The Covenant itself has 3 points, which we just read and which truly are given to Messiah and claimed (if even just spiritually for those dispensational believers) by those who believe in Him. What I want to discuss is requirements of the Covenant. The first demand of this Covenant is that Abraham is to go to a land that the Lord would show him. It was not revealed to him at that moment where he would go. Such faith. Clearly, the first demand to enter Covenant with God is that we would walk by faith. This is true universally and in all time, not just a New Testament concept, whereas the Old Testament required law-abidance. To target this once and for all, we can see via Hebrews 11 all those faith-walkers mentioned are Old Testament saints, and that those who love him will keep His law -- just as those who love their spouses will keep the law of their marriages.
After these events the word of YHWH came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your reward is exceedingly great." -- Genesis 15:1
Another requirement of this Covenant is the presence of the Lord, God revealed in your life. That verse is most otherwise translated not as God simply saying Abram has a reward but that Abram's reward is God. I once heard someone say that it doesn't matter if you claim to be saved if you do not have a real testimony of God's deliverance and presence in your life. To confirm, the Bible does give accounts of times when people professed with their mouths the Lord God and yet His presence was not among them due to apostasy.
"And no longer is your name called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, because I shall make you a father of many nations. ... And Elohim said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, do you not call name Sarai, for Sarah is her name." -- Genesis 17:5, 15Speaking of God's presence and Abraham being the revelatory point of the one Covenant, notice the name change. Both of these names had the Hebrew hey added to them, which refers to revelation and Divine presence. The presence of the Lord is to be in your life. As a fruit inspector, this is what we all look for in each other, and what the world is looking for as their motivation to faith.
"This is My covenant which you guard between Me and you, and your seed after you: Every male child among you is to be circumcised. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. And a son of eight days is circumcised by you, every male in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with silver from any foreigner who is not of your seed." -- Genesis 17:10-12
This Covenant requires a physical sign of a spiritual truth. Surely if the world and the things therein speak of His glory and His kingdom (Matthew 13), then your whole life should be a physical example of a spiritual truth -- your relationship with your parents, relationship with your children, relationship with your spouse, your decisions in your doings and non-doings (Deuteronomy 6:6-9), your trials. The heart circumcised brings the soul into Covenant (Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Romans 2:29) and God, being consistent, wants a physical sign of the spiritual truth and in this matter it comes via physical circumcision.
What we also see in the above passage is a confirmation of non-relatives of Abraham entering the Covenant (Gentiles entering). Yes it says those that are bought and therefore brought into Abraham's house, and we may argue if we are like these servants and slaves that were bought by a man like Abraham. To be listed as a purchased slave of Abraham and his Jewish descendants might offend many, even the Church. However, if these Covenant promises are ultimately given to Messiah then you have to believe that you are one of those foreigners bought by Him to enter the Covenant, and you are a slave of His if not a slave to your own sin. If you do not believe you have been bought, nor are willing to be His servant added unto His house, then it makes sense you wouldn't follow the Covenant because you are not a part of it.
Not only does the physical circumcision of natural and purchased sons tell of a spiritual truth, but even the numbers in the above passage also tell of a spiritual truth. I mentioned last week, in regards to the 120 years in Genesis 6:3, that I believe in the literal giving of 120 years to man until the Flood, and that this also means a literal 120 Jubilees given to man, which equals 6,000 years. I reminded the reader of Scripture's saying of the Lord's time and tarrying as one day as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day, so then 6,000 years is as 6 days. I then reminded the reader of the 6 days in one week, the 7th being the set-apart to the Lord, so that after our 6 days (6 millenniums, 120 Jubilees) we commence the 7th millennium (7th "day" which is set-apart to the Lord) as the Lord's Day and literal millennial reign. So this week I will share my thoughts on the number 8, which falls after last week's thoughts on the number 7 and the 7th millennium. Eight means "new beginnings." After 7 is 8 and after the 7th millennium (the millennial reign) we have the old done away with and the new heaven and new earth, and that surely is a new beginning. The point on this is, there is a reason why God said circumcise the sons on the eighth day. Not only is this thought to be the time when blood-clotting makes circumcision a safer practice, but it symbolizes a new beginning. We know that when we come to Messiah the old has done away with, behold, all things are become new.
And it came to be when Abram was ninety-nine years old, that YHWH appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am El Shaddai -- walk before Me and be perfect." -- Genesis 17:1So we have come to the final requirement I will mention. It is to walk perfect. I understand that many will say this is the difference between the Old Testament and the New, but I will remind you that our Lord Messiah Himself said the same thing in Matthew 5:48 -- which leaves us asking what does it mean to walk perfect? Through the Strong's we see this is the Hebrew tamiym, that it means to be undefiled and without blemish.
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. -- Psalm 119:1 KJVAnd the same verse in The Scriptures:
Blessed are the perfect in the way, Who walk in the Torah of YHWH!So then Messiah tells us, Matthew 5:48, to be undefiled (that is, to walk in Torah, His Word) even as our heavenly Father does.
Another verse about being perfected and undefiled:
But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. -- I John 2:5Reminder, the Word that existed at this point was Torah. From the beginning, God has commanded man to "guard." You see this command living through to one of the last books of the Bible, in our I John verse above, through the last chapter of Revelation, and it started with Adam in Genesis two. It is a faithful command through all time, and it is a command that is most given in the Abrahamic Covenant -- the command to walk perfect, which is to guard to keep and obey the Word.
And Elohim said to Abraham, "As for you, guard My covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations." -- Genesis 17:1I started with the first requirement, which is faith; and I end with the final, obedience -- which is keeping God's Word (law, "Torah") because as the book of James tells us, "faith without works is dead."
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