Hebrew Roots/The Law and the Covenants/Covenants:The Abrahamic Covenant Overview-3
OVERVIEW OF THE TWO COVENANTS There are many purposes worked out through the two covenants. These mainly fall into the categories of --
- 1. the land of Israel
- 2. the promised Seed
- 3. the blessings.
1. THE LAND The promise of the land was secured in the first covenant. The iniquity of the Amorites was not yet ripe for judgement at that time and so the realisation of the promise was delayed for 400 years. This also served the purpose of his descendants becoming a nation of sufficient size to take the land and fill it (15:13-16). Their growth, development and final deliverance from the powers of darkness that oppressed Yahweh God's purposes in and through them, was secured through the spiritual warfare, intercession and prophetic declarations which were engaged in by Abram with Yahweh God in establishing the covenant (15:10-16). This covered the period up until the exodus from Egypt with the redemption through the Passover Lamb.
The promises and provisions regarding the land were developed in the Land Covenant which was given by Moses in the book of Deuteronomy when they were positioned at Moab ready to enter the land (Deut. 29)
2. THE SEED The promise of a Seed was two-fold, first it applied to Isaac, his immediate heir, and then to Messiah of whom Isaac was a type, and who was to come from his lineage. The natural lineage through Isaac was to be a suitable 'body' prepared for the Messiah to inhabit (Hebrews 10: 5). The promise in the first covenant secured an inheritance of physical descendants from Isaac who would inhabit the land of Israel which was given to them. It was in the second covenant that the image and likeness of Messiah was developed in and through Isaac for the incarnation of the Messiah and for the propagation of a spiritual seed from Him. This was secured through the offering of Isaac in type on mount Moriah, and brought into effect for all the seed through the sacrificial offering of Messiah, the Son of God.
In the two covenants which were given to Abraham, he became the father of faith firstly for the uncircumcised and then for the circumcised. Two seed-lines, two types of inheritance. Romans 4:11-12
Abraham was called in uncircumcision so that those of the nations who repented and turned to Yahweh God could also be included in the household of faith under the terms of that first covenant, that is, in a work of grace in regeneration by the Spirit, based on faith. Romans 3:30; 4: 3
These two covenants covered both the spiritual and the natural descendants of Abraham, those to whom he is a spiritual father through faith and those who are his natural lineage (only those who also are of faith), the seed which were as the stars of heaven, and those who were as the dust of the earth and those of the sand of the sea, as he had been promised. Genesis 15: 5; 22:17;13:16; Galatians 3:14, 29; 16-17
The "stars" are symbolic of the spiritual seed (1 Cor.15:40-42), the "dust" symbolises the natural seed of the land of Israel, and that of the "sand of the sea", the future seed dispersed over the oceans of the earth.
The spiritual seed, the true "church", the congregation of God, are the assembly of the first-born sons which included all who were of the faith of Abraham up to the advent of Messiah and onwards until His return.
Those in the Abrahamic/Mosaic order, together with those in the Messianic Covenant, obtain the full possession of their inheritance, through THE Seed, Y'shua the Messiah when the work of redemption is complete for all the assembly. The promise was made to the "Seed", Messiah, and therefore it includes all who are in Him. This includes those who are natural descendants and those who have been adopted into the family of God through faith. Galatians 3:16, 26-29; Hebrews 11:39-40; Ephesians 1:13
He made the promise to Abraham (Genesis 22:17); He initiated the "church" (the assembly of the first-born) at Sinai (Acts 7:38); and He redeemed it on Golgotha's hill so that it might become fully consecrated and without blemish in His sight, a holy priesthood to reign on the earth (Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 5: 9-10).
He came specifically to fulfill the covenants made to the "fathers", Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so that the world would be redeemed through His kingdom of priests which were ordained in the everlasting covenant to be the means whereby Satan and his purposes would be defeated and the world would be delivered from his dominion and become the kingdom of our God.
3. THE BLESSINGS The blessings given to Abraham are predominately spiritual in nature, although he was given great material wealth also (Genesis 24:35). However, Abraham did not set his heart on the things he possessed as things of value, he lived as a stranger and sojourner in the world. The treasure of his heart was in the expectation of heavenly things in the world to come.
He had the blessing of his name being made great and of physical multiplicity (Genesis 12: 2; 17:4-7; 22:17), that many nations would come forth from him and that his descendants would "possess the gate of their enemies", and we see that affirmed by Y'shua and the apostles in Matthew 16:18-19: 1 John 4: 4; 5: 4, and the final fulfillment in Revelation 12:10-11.
The promise, "in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis. 12: 3; 22:17-188; 26:4) has it's ultimate fulfillment in a world redeemed from the curse, with His glory filling the earth. Isaiah 65:17-25 This was the vision which Abraham embraced and for which he laid down his all.
THE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS OF THE COVENANTS
The amazing grace of God is revealed in giving the benefits of the work of the Spirit which was done in Abraham's life, to all his descendants in a covenant promise, so that all men might be blessed in him.
In the first covenant, Abram entered into what we now call justification by faith. He experienced what it was to come into right standing with Yahweh God by believing His promises, i.e. His Word. On the basis of his faith the Holy Spirit performed a work of grace in his heart which in the Messianic Covenant we would equate to receiving eternal life. John 5:24
In the second covenant, Abraham entered into the experience of sanctification which was confirmed by physical circumcision, the Brit Milah. This is now made available to the believer through the Spirit in the act of Baptism, where the Spirit of God performs a spiritual circumcision of the heart, effecting a separation of the believer from the kingdom of darkness and the power of the old nature. A deposit of the power of the Spirit is then imparted to the believer's life so that he is able to live a consecrated life. Romans 6: 3-6, 22 This parallels the experience of Abraham in the second covenant in the call and subsequent enabling of the Spirit to walk before Yahweh God in holiness, i.e. separation unto God. Genesis 17: 1-2
Note that the call to consecration unto Yahweh God came first and circumcision followed, from Abram's willing response to the call. Going under the waters of Baptism will not effect anything if it is not in response to the call to consecration, to separate from the old life and bury it under the watery grave.
Prior to coming into this consecration of heart and yielding themselves completely to Yahweh God, Abram and Sarai had attempted to bring the promise to pass in their own strength and in their own way, and it resulted in a child of the flesh, an "Ishmael". It was the product of he and Sarah's fleshly nature, in attempting to serve God in their own strength and according to their own understanding. Yahweh had to wait until their flesh was dead before He could bring His promise to pass. Genesis 16
They that are in the flesh can never please God, the flesh must be purged from our lives. Romans 8: 7
Abraham had to exercise judgement upon him (Ishmael) and remove him from his household, i.e. his life.
That which is of the flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Genesis 21: 9-12; Galatians 5:19-21
Both Abraham and Isaac had a son of the flesh. Isaac's was the result of what was inherent in the Adamic nature coming through his lineage in Esau. Isaac, governed by the circumstances which Yahweh engineered, had to overrule the authority and rights of the flesh (Esau) to pass on the kingdom blessings, contrary to his own natural love for Esau. Genesis 27
Isaac's bonding to Esau was centered around the lusts of the flesh for the venison which Esau brought him even though his spirit was grieved with Esau's worldly lifestyle. Genesis 25:28; 27: 2-4; 26:34-35; 27:46
Jacob lived amidst the conflict of the flesh in his brother Esau and then with Laban until he came to a place where he overcame and became a prince with God, reigning in life with He who is above all. Genesis 32
What was given to Abraham as a promise, became established as an oath to Isaac and as a statute in Jacob. Yahweh God reaffirmed the covenant with Isaac and with Jacob when each of them had matured to a point where they could enter into the responsibilities that it carried. Isaac's faithfulness and continuance in the walk of faith and in the principles which his father Abraham had embraced, gained for him the promises as a confirmed oath.
In Jacob's life however, the promises became enacted as established ordinances through the trials and struggles he went through to take hold of the covenants as his own possession. Psalm 105: 8-10
With Jacob there was a change of name at Peniel to Israel (a prince with God) - Genesis 32:24-35; 35: 9-10. The first covenant promise to Abram was repeated to Jacob at Bethel in Genesis 35:11-12.26:15.
Jacob's sons reflected the stages of spiritual growth in his life in overcoming the fleshly nature - not necessarily of the same issues. The fleshly nature of the first three was very predominant. Reuben overcome with lust, defiled his father's bed. Simeon and Levi were violent and ruthless. Judah was mercenary and heartless toward his brother Joseph's welfare, although Simeon instigated the main plot. Yet they all overcame in sufficient measure to inherit the tribal blessing and be partakers of the covenant promises and be included in the kingdom. Genesis 49; Revelation 21:12-13
There is always a spiritual battle to overcome the flesh and enter into the benefits of the promises contained in the covenants in order to have the spiritual blessings. The flesh wars against the spirit and needs to be cut off and reckoned by faith to be dead with Messiah, i.e. crucified with Him, dead and buried in baptism. See Romans 6:11-14.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF KINGDOM MINISTRY
Abraham functioned as a priest and ordered his family after him to follow his example. He built altars and offered the appropriate sacrifices, tithed and kept the appointed times of Yahweh. He also functioned in the kingly anointing as seen by the authority he exercised in leading an army to defend the territorial rights of the kings in the area of the Dead Sea and rescue Lot and his family.
Out of the kingly anointing which was placed upon his life, he was promised that he would have a posterity of kings coming from his loins (Genesis 22:3; 14:13; 17: 5-6) which began first in Saul and then in the Davidic line, following through to the Son of David, which was to be King of Kings over all the earth.
Abraham is the first man mentioned in the Bible as a prophet (Genesis. 20: 7). The prophetic anointing on his life caused him to see far into the future. Abraham's whole life was a prophetic enactment of spiritual realities and future events. He reached a pinnacle in the commission for man to function as a prophet, priest and king upon the earth. The same anointing continued in Isaac and Jacob and we see it powerfully manifest in Joseph who was a man of prophetic dreams and prophetic wisdom, and who brought the blessings of God upon the Egyptians through the covenant promises which were established with Abraham. The threefold anointing is very evident upon Joseph, who was a type of Messiah.
The three-fold anointing is necessary for kingdom ministry. Worship and sacrifice unto Yahweh is required first before authority and justice can be administered in the kingdom over others' lives. And the prophetic mantle is only given to those who prove themselves worthy of the responsibilities of kingdom authority.
The kingdom ministry was expressed in it's fullness in Y'shua the Messiah, as Prophet, Priest and King.