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The Covenant

A. Introduction

      It is really great to talk about the Covenant that we have with God. And many people think that they have just been lucky enough to get in on the deal without having to participate in the requirements of the covenant, kind of like having someone give you a car without having to pay for it. Well you could not be more wrong! If you want the benefits of the Covenant, you must walk the walk not just talk the talk.

      First what is a covenant? A covenant is a solemn vow between two or more people to do something. When a vow is really done correctly, a person would rather die then break it. Years ago a person's name really meant something. To tell a lie or steal something that broke a covenant was such a disgrace that a person would rather die then disgrace their name. This has to do with the honor of your name. Do you believe that your name has honor? God believes that His name has honor. It means something to God that is so important that God would never dishonor it. God would never give you a reason to distrust His name. You see, if you can't trust Gods' name you can't trust God. I know that in this day it is hard to believe that someone would really do what they say, no matter what the cost, but God will. So God chooses the wording of His Covenants carefully. This is not something that is done on a whim. God knows that on whatever He says He will be judged. God made two main covenants in the Bible, one in the Old Testament and one for the New Testament.

The New Covenant

Hebrews 8: 6 - 13, (Amp.) The Covenant is in verses 10 - 12

6. But as it now is, He [Christ] has acquired a [priestly ministry which is as much superior and more excellent [than the old] as the covenant - the agreement - of which He is the Mediator (the Arbiter, Agent) is superior and more excellent; [because] it is enacted and rest upon more important (sublimer, higher and nobler) promises. 7. For if that first covenant had been without defect, there would have been no room for another one or an attempt to institute another one.
8.However He finds fault with them, [showing its inadequacy], when He says, Behold, the days will come, says the Lord, when I will make and ratify a new covenant or agreement with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
9. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day when I grasped them by the hand to help and relieve them and to lead them out from the land of Egypt, for they did not abide in My agreement with them, and so I withdrew My favor and disregarded them, says the Lord.
10. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
11. And it will nevermore be necessary for everyone to teach his neighbor and his fellow citizen or every one his brother, saying, Know - [that is,] perceive, have knowledge of and get acquainted by experience with - the Lord; for all will know Me, from the smallest to the greatest of them.
12. For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more. [Jer. 31: 31-34]
13. When God speaks of a new [covenant or agreement], He makes the first one obsolete - out of use. And what is obsolete - out of use and annulled because of age - is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether.

Hebrews 10: 21 - 31
21. And since we have [such] a great and wonderful and noble Priest (Jesus) [who rules] over the house of God.
22. Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith, [that is, by that learning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness,] having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and; with our bodies cleansed with pure water.
23. So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess, and our acknowledgment of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.
24. And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities;
25. Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing - warning, urging and encouraging - one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.
26. For if we go on deliberately and willingly sinning after once acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice left to atone for [our] sins - no further offering to which to look forward.

          I should point out that you can always repent of your sins. But willful sin is the kind of sin where few people turn back to God. When Satan has such a grip on a person that they reject God completely, and chase their sin at any cost there really is nothing but prayer that you can do for them.

          Well let's take a minute and look at this Covenant. First, who is this Covenant to? It looks like it was just for the Jews, but it is for all true believers in the living God. It was first talked about in the Old Testament (Jer. 31: 31-34), but it did not come into place until Christ activated it. Jeremiah kept warning the Jewish people that God was mad at their sin and He would remove himself from them because THEY broke the Old Covenant. So then, Jer. 31: 31-34 is part of several prophecies that talk about the coming of Christ, and one of the jobs of Christ was to establish this Covenant with all believers.

Galatians 3: 12 - 29, Amp.
12. But the Law does not rest on faith - does not require faith, has nothing to do with faith - for it itself says, He who does them (the things prescribed by the Law) shall live by them, [not by faith]. [Lev. 18:5]
13. Christ purchased our freedom (redeeming us) from the curse (doom) of the Law's (condemnation), by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scripture], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified); [Deut. 21:23]
14. To the end that through [their receiving] Christ Jesus, the blessing [promised] to Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, so that we through faith might [all] receive [the realization of] the promise of the (Holy) Spirit.
15. To speak in terms of human relations, brethren, [if] even a man makes a last will and testament [a merely human covenant], no one sets it aside or makes it void or adds to it, when once it has been drawn up and signed (ratified, confirmed).
16. Now the promise (covenants, agreements) were decreed and made to Abraham and his Seed (his Offspring, his Heir). He (God) does not say, And to seeds (descendants, heirs), as if referring to many persons; but, And to your Seed (your Descendant, your Heir), obviously referring to one individual, Who is [none other than] Christ, the Messiah. [Gen. 13:15; 17:8.]
17. This is my argument: The Law, which began four hundred and thirty years after the covenant [concerning the coming Messiah], does not and can not annul the covenant previously established (ratified) by God, so as to abolish the promise and make it void. [Exod. 12:40.]
18.For if the inheritance [of the promise depends on observing] the Law [as these false teachers would like you to believe], it no longer [depends] on the promise; however, God gave it to Abraham [as a free gift solely] by virtue of His promise.
19. What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added - later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt - because of transgressions and [to make men more conscious of the sinfulness] of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the Seed (the Descendant, the Heir) should come, to and concerning Whom the promise had been made. And it (the Law) was arranged and ordained and appointed through the instrumentality of angels [and was given] by the hand (in person) of a go-between - and intermediary person (Moses) between God and man.
20. Now a go-between (intermediary) has to do with and implies more than one party - there can be no mediator with just one person. Yet God is [only] one person - and He was the sole party [in giving that promise to Abraham. But the Law was a contract between two, God and Israel; its validity was dependent on both].
21. Is the Law then contrary and opposed to the promises of God? Of course not! For if a Law had been given which could confer [spiritual] life, then righteousness and right standing with God would certainly have come by Law.
22. But the Scripture [pictures all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, might be given (released, delivered and committed) to [all] those who believe - who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him.
23. Now before the faith came we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed).
24. So that the Law served [to us Jews] as our trainer - our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us - until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith.
25. But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer - the guardian of our childhood.
26. For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.
27. For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ - into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah - have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ.
28. There is [now no distinction}, neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29. And if you belong to Christ (are in Him, Who is Abraham's Seed), then you are Abraham's offspring and (spiritual) heirs according to promise.

B. So what does it mean when it says?
          "I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts"
          One of the many jobs of the Holy Spirit is to correct and draw people to Christ. This means that He points out a person's sins so that they will correct them and turn away from sin. The Holy Spirit lives within all believers, but it takes the extra step of being Baptized in the Spirit to really release His power. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a releasing of your will to the Holy Spirit, an outward opening of yourself to the Spirit to use you as He wills. This is different then a standard water Baptism. As you will see below, these apostles are already saved and water Baptized, and now they are going to get a real in filling of the power of God.
          When you get saved, all of the knowledge of God is available in you through the Spirit. Now, not all people take advantage of the information and power that is in you. It is a shame to have all of the power and wisdom of the universe inside of you, and still many Christians go around defeated.

Hosea 4: 6,
6. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you, [the priestly nation,] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.

          There are churches that say that they don't need the power of God active in their church, it causes confusion. Well God says that He is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14: 33). That means that the confusion is coming from somewhere else, and those churches really need the power of God to end their confusion over the Power of God and the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1: 5 - 2: 47 Jesus speaking  (Amp.) Also read Acts 2:all
5. For John baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with - placed in, introduced into - the Holy Spirit.
8. But you shall receive power - ability, efficiency and might - when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends - the very bounds - of the Earth.

Acts 2: 16, Peter speaking
16. But [instead,] this is [the beginning of] what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17. And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy - telling forth the divine counsels - and your young men shall see visions (that is, divinely granted appearances), and your old men shall dream [divinely suggested] dreams.
18. Yes, and on My menservants also and on My maidservants in those days I will pour out of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy - telling forth the divine counsels and predicting future events pertaining especially to God's kingdom.

          Isn't that what He said, "He would give us divine counsel". He would write His word in our hearts and minds so that we could not forget how to live a Godly life. This is available to all believers. A guaranteed ticket to heaven. All you have to do is listen to the Spirit of God, and He will correct you every time you mess up, and if you're real smart, and really learn to hear the voice of God you can ask Him about things before you do them. (also 1 Cor. 2: all)
 But isn't listening to the voice of God complicated? There are so many spirits, some good and some evil, I hear voices all the time, and sometimes its just me talking to me.
          Well yes there are lots of spirits, BUT when you read God's Word you train yourself to know God's voice. Think about it this way. When a good friend calls you on the phone, many times you know who it is even before they say who they are because you know their voice. Well how do you know them from their voice if you can not see them? Because you spend time with them, you talk to them all the time. Well you can do the same thing with God. God is the best friend you can have. A friend that will never leave you, and a friend that only wants good things for you. The more time you spend with God and His Word the easier it is to know his voice, and hear His wisdom, and guidance. Check out this little sample: Psalms 1: all; 23: all; 29: all; 34: all; 91: all; 1 John 4: all; 1 Th 5: all; Phil. 3: all.

James 1: 5 - 7
5. If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to every one liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.
6. Only it must be in faith that he asks, with no wavering - no hesitating, no doubting. For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea, that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.
7. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord.

Romans 8: 12 - 17 (NIV)
12. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation - but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.
13. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
14. because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, abba, Father.
16. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
17. Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may share in his glory.

C. "and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
           By now some of you can see that God may not use many words, but He sure does say a lot. One of the themes you see in the Bible is God scolding people for worshipping hand made gods of stone and metal that can't do anything for them, and yet people ignore the living God that can do all things. In the Old Testament God had such a reputation for doing things that He was given a new name for each part of His personality and each kind of miracle He did. God has over 80 different names in the Bible. He was clearly known as an active and interactive God, and yet they turned away from Him. In the New Testament, God no longer operates as God for us, and God with us, as He did in the Old Testament. Today we see the far more personal relationship of God in us, and God for us. Today the miracles, and yes even the personality of God operates through each of us as we yield to the Spirit of God, and function as His physical body. We can no longer deny the power, presence, and operation of God. God is no longer meant to be some distant something that you hear about from time to time. God is real and you know He is real because you have an interactive relationship with Him everyday. I have included this small partial list of some of the Names of God to give you an idea of what God meant to the people that loved Him. What you need to see is that God is a healer, a friend, a comforter, and many other things. He always has been and He still is. This same God is alive and well today and we are part of his family  (in Jesus name) and we are His body and home, and we need to start acting like it!
          If you want a deeper understanding of the Names of God there are many good books in your local bookstore to study. I do not intend to teach a lesson on the names of God at this time other then to say. The Hebrew Names listed below are the real names used in the original Hebrew manuscripts. The English Translation Name is what you will find in today's English language Bibles instead of the Hebrew Name. The Reference is where you will find that Name. And the Meaning is what that name meant to the Old Testament Hebrew people.

The Original 
GOD/LORD Deut. 6: 4
Gen. 1:1
Strong Creator
LORD Gen. 2: 4
Exo. 6: 3
Self-existent God
(Personal name)
of a slave
Judges 6: 1, 11-16
(Note 13, 15)
Gen. 15: 2
Headship name of God
Jehovah Rohi
The Lord is my
Gen. 48: 15
Ps. 23: 1
The caring name of God
El Shaddai
(el shad-di’)
Almighty God Job 5:7
2 Cor. 6: 18
Rev. 1: 18
The God who supplies my need. The all sufficient one. The source of strength & comfort
Jehovah Jireh
Lord (or seer) Gen. 22: 8, 14
Isa. 30: 10
The Lord will provide,
A sacrifice; forseer
El Gibbor
Mighty God Psalm 24: 8
Isa. 9:6
The strong name of God.
Pater The Father Matt. 6: 9, 30
John 5: 18
Jer. 31: 9
Intimate name of God
The favorite title for God
used by Jesus
Jehovah shalom
God, Messiah Judges 6: 24
Isa. 9: 6
The Lord my peace
Jehovah Rophe
Lord Jer. 3: 22;
Jer. 30: 17
Exod. 15: 26
Jehovah our healer
Jehovah Shammah
God, Angel Ezek. 43: 1-7
Exod. 3: 14-15
God with us.
Jehovah Tsidkenu
Lord Jer. 23: 6
Jer. 33: 6-26
The Lord our;
Some of the other Names of God
1. Father, John 1:12-14 
2. Son, Luke 10:22 
3. Holy Spirit, Matt. 28:19 
4. Jesus, Matt. 1:21 
5. Lamb, John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:19 
6. Creator, Col. 1:16-17 
7. Shepard, Psalms 23: all 
8. Comforter, 1 Cor. 14:3 
9. Intercessor, Romans 8:34 
10. Word, John 1:1 

          Our God is not a fence sitter. He is not lazy. His arm is not short, and he is not deaf, but you also have to do your part. In the Old Testament, God demonstrated that if God's relationship with man was kept at a distance it would never work. God's relationship with man had to be personal from the inside of each person, daily and interactive. God proving His Godhood each day and man demonstrating his relationship to God by his yielded spirit each day.
          And as for the last two verses of the Covenant, that's what you get when the first verse is done correctly. That's what happens when the world can not deny the presence of God because they see millions of people operate in the presence and power of God each day.

Eph. 3: 14 - 21,
14. For this reason [seeing the greatness of this plan by which you are built together in Christ], I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15. For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is names - [that Father] from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name.
16. May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the (Holy) Spirit [Himself] - indwelling your innermost being and personality.
17. May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell - settle down, abide, make His permanent home - in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,
18. That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints (God's devoted people, the experience of that love) what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];
19. [That you may really come] to know - practically, through experience for yourself - the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge (without experience); that you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fullness of God - [that is] may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself!
20. Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think - infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams -
21. To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen - so be it.

Apple Sauce Kids

(English Only)

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