The Everlasting Covenant

Sermon by Tom Trinka

Audio: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3


UNDERSTANDING THE EVERLASTING COVENANT

Last time I spoke, we concluded in GEN. 2.15-17, where we focused on the real reason of why God placed Adam in the Garden. We came to see, that rather than the simply physical reason of tending and keeping the garden”

 
We found that when we take into consideration the full meaning of the Hebrew words, together with the context of the surrounding verses, with God’s command regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The true meaning that the scriptures are trying to convey becomes clear.  Adam was placed in the garden to serve and obey His Creator.

 

And throughout the entire bible, we find that God says that He will bestow blessings on mankind for obedience. And conversely, curses are the natural result of disobedience. Lev. 26 and Deut. 28 are clear examples of this truth.
 



What prompted my message today, was the cover of the July- August issue of “The World To Come” magazine which is published by Obie Benton. I’m sure some of you receive this publication. Well for those of you that do not, let me describe the cover of that issue. 


On the cover there is a large photograph of a Brown Pelican standing on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, literally drenched with oil. The poor pelican is struggling to lift his wings out of the water, with them being weighed down by the weight of the oil. And the pelican is looking at the camera and has his month wide open, as if to say, “man what are you doing to the planet”


And over this very heart wrenching and timely picture, Obie has printed the words from ISA. 24.5. Let’s turn there please and read that verse.


ISA. 24.5  “The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants,  Because they have transgressed the laws, Changed the ordinance, Broken the everlasting covenant”


Let’s just take a minute to focus in on this verse. The context of this chapter is the state of the world at the end of the age.  God is saying that the earth will be utterly destroyed because the earths inhabitants, have transgressed the laws, or commandments of God.


Notice that God says here that the inhabitants of the earth have broken the commandants? This verse is referring to ALL of mankind in that regard. Keep this in mind as we continue.


Furthermore, God says that all of mankind has changed the ordinance. Now what does that mean? 


Well commentaries suggest that this term ordinance can also be translated as instruction or a prescription. In other words, this verse can be understood as, mankind has changed the prescription that God has given, as to the way to live one’s life.


Now, I find that concept quite profound. And this understanding ties in very well with the third part of this verse. God says All of mankind has not only broken the commandments, and thereby changed the prescription that God has given, on how to live ones life. But consequently, by these actions, All of mankind has therefore broken the Everlasting Covenant.  


Again I what to emphasize that God says, All of mankind has done these things. Friends, I ask you, what is the Everlasting Covenant that the inhabitants of the earth, that is, all mankind have broken?


That’s the question that I want to delve into today. As I hope to show, you and I will have a principle roll to play in the ultimate fulfillment of this Everlasting Covenant.


So I have titled this message: “Understanding the Everlasting Covenant” 


Let’s continue in ISA 24, and read verse 6.  
6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, And those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned,  And few men are left.


As I stated before, the bible clearly states that curses are the natural result of disobedience. And ISA. 24 is the perfect and the ultimate example of this fact. Through the collective multitude of the sins of humanity, living opposed to God’s laws of life, mankind will very soon bring the human race and all of the natural creation to the point of extinction, if it were not for Jesus Christ’s last minute intervention.


As Jesus states in MATT. 24.22 “unless those days were limited, know flesh would be saved” 


Let’s turn to GEN. 3.17, where we also find a primary example of this principle, clearly stated. And I believe that their is more than meets the eye, in this verse as well.



 
GEN. 3.17  Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “ Cursed is the ground for your sake;  In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.


Notice that the result of Adams disobedience was that the ground was cursed. This was in a sense a prophetic statement, for as we see from ISA. 24, mankind’s sins, when taken to there ultimate conclusion, will result in the entire planet being cursed.
 

Another point that I want to emphasis here, is the fact that Adam disobeyed a direct command from His Creator. As we covered last time, God commanded Adam, in GEN. 2.16-17, saying “Do not eat from that tree”


In fact, these are the very first words that God spoke to Adam, that are recorded in scripture.


Now please, keep this thought in mind, about Adam disobeying this direct command, and turn over with me to HOSEA 6, verse 4.


4 “ O Ephraim, what shall I do to you?  O Judah, what shall I do to you? For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud, And like the early dew it goes away.  And verses 6 and 7 


6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 

7 “ But like [men] they transgressed the covenant; There they dealt treacherously with Me.


 

 The verse I want to zero in on is verse 7. I’m reading from the NKJV, if you are also, you may notice a marginal reference, stating that the word men, in verse 7, could also be translated as Adam. 

 

 Verse 7 could also read, “But like Adam, They [meaning Israel] have transgressed the covenant. Several translations, render this verse as Adam, the NIV and Greens Interlinear, among them.

 
This Hebrew word translated men, or Adam, is Strongs # 120, and is in fact, interchangeable. When God states “let Us make man in Our image and likeness in GEN. 1.26, the same Hebrew word is used, as is translated Adam, throughout GEN. 2 and thereafter.  And it’s the same word used here in HOS. 6.7.

 
 For in truth, it really don’t matter which English word we use, here in Hosea 6.7. Whether it be the word Adam or men, meaning, mankind in general, the underlying and resulting relevance is the same. 

 
God is stating that all mankind from the time of Adam, have broken the Samecovenant that God had made with Israel. Let me say that again, because this is a pivotal point in gaining a more complete understanding of the Everlasting Covenant.

 
What God is stating here in Hosea 6.7, and in ISA. 24.5 as well, is that All mankind from the time of Adam have broken the same covenant, or Same Code of Conduct that God had given to Israel. Let that thought sink in for a minute.

 
And we know this to be true, because all mankind has followed in the footsteps of our first parents and have been feeding off of the wrong tree.
 
 
Just let me read into the record a couple of scriptures to back up this statement.In ISA 53. we find some  familiar verses that we read every year at Passover time. 

ISA. 53.3 Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one

 And verse 6.  All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way;  And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

 
Notice that, verse 6 states that all mankind has gone his own way, or as we read in ISA 24. 5, mankind has changed the prescription, on how to live one’s life, as opposed to living God’s way of life.  All mankind has chosen to feed from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, rather than from the Tree of Life.

 
And this understanding that Adam broke the covenant with God, underscores what we covered last time. The fact that Adam was placed in the garden, to serve and obey His Creator. As we covered in some detail last time, that’s the real meaning of Gen. 2.15, translated to tend and to keep. Recall that the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament states that the Hebrew word translated into the English phrase “To Keep” is “Shamar” which expresses the notion, of paying careful attention to the obligations of the covenant, it’s laws and statutes, ect” And as Solomon recorded in ECCL. 12.13 the whole duty of man, that is mankind in general, is to fear or have reverence for God and to keep His commandments. In other words, to serve and obey.  Which, when we also take Jesus Christ’s teachings into account, the whole duty of mankind, in essence is to love God and to love each other. And we show our love to God and for God, by and through our obedience to living according to His will.  OK, so what we learn from Hosea 6.7 and ISA. 24.5 is that All of mankind from the time of Adam down to today, have broken the same covenant that God made with the nation of Israel. Now it can be said, that they broke the covenant without ever realizing it, for most of mankind has little knowledge of the true God. Nevertheless, the fact remains, that these scriptures inform us that from God’s point of view, all mankind has broken the Everlasting Covenant. And when it comes to braking God’s laws, ignorance does not absolve one of guilt, nor of the consequences of ones actions.Turn with me please, to the Book of Jeremiah. And let’s see exactly what was the Covenant, that God originally made with the nation of Israel. And by extension, the Covenant that mankind in general has broken.
JER. 7.22-23  22 For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices.  23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.‘   Brethren, notice how simple this concept of the covenant really is, God say’s to Israel, and by extension, also to all of us. “Obey My Voice” Do what I tell you to do, and then I will be your God, and you will be My people. It’s the same thing God told Adam, and the same thing that God told Abraham.Let’s turn to GEN. 22, and see what God told Abraham, after he was willing to sacrifice Isaac. GEN. 22.18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, [Why?] because you have obeyed My voice.” OK, let’s turn back a few pages and look at another vital aspect of the covenant.GEN. 17.1-71 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.  2And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”   3Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:  4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.  6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.   7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Notice, that the covenant that God made with Abraham was an Everlasting Covenant. Everlasting means never ending, does it not? So although, Adam, and Israel broke the Everlasting Covenant, the same covenant must still be in effect, since it is everlasting.  And this brings us to a bit of a quandary. Since God promises to make the covenant everlasting for Abraham’s descendants, then how come we have what is termed both an Old and a New Covenant? How can that be? Well let’s take a little time and delve into this question a little bit. First, lets define the word covenant? As Dave said some weeks ago, a covenant is simply an binding agreement or contract. It’s a contract that God wishes to eventually make with all mankind. But since mankind has been given free moral choice, all people on an individual basis must make that binding contract with their Creator. And that’s what all of us did at our baptism. We have all come to the point of repentance, where we decided that we will let God teach us how to live and think and act, instead of all of us just doing our own thing. So we have made the commitment to “Obey God’s Voice” just like Abraham did. And all of those that have been called by God, down through time, from righteous Abel on down to today, have made that very same contract or covenant with God. And since we have made that commitment to God, then God in return makes the promise to us that He will be our God, and consider us His people. Just as Jesus said, “If you love me, you will do as I say, just as I do what My Father tells Me to do” And Jesus said, “I always do the things that please the Father” And if we do that, then we have the promise, found in JOHN. 17.23, given to us.  The promise that the Father also will love us, just as, or to the same degree, that the Father loves Jesus. A truly incredible promise, if ever there was one. Now in GEN. 17, verse 7, God states that this Everlasting Covenant is to be made with Abraham and his descendants. So the first question we must answer is, who are Abraham’s descendants? And we find that answer in the NT. GAL.3.27-29   27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.   29 If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. So from these verses, we find that the promise that God made to Abraham is still in effect. So what we consider to be the New Covenant, is actually the continuation of the one Everlasting Covenant, that God made with Abraham. [GEN. 17.7]  And that’s the important point to keep in mind. Let’s turn now to ISA. 55.1-3  1 "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. 3 Give ear and come to me;  hear me, that your soul may live.  I will make an everlasting covenant with you,  my faithful love promised to David. As you may recall, verse 1 is directly quoted by Jesus Christ in JOHN 7.37, where on the Last Great Day, Jesus stood up and uttered those words. So what we consider to be the New Covenant, is not new, the Covenant or agreement that God seeks to make with all mankind, spans the time period from Adam to the Great White Throne Judgement. The terms of the agreement are the same, God says; Obey My Voice and then I will be your God and You will be My people. That’s the Everlasting Covenant. As we saw at the beginning, in Hosea 6.7, it’s the same terms, whether it be the Garden of Eden, Mount Sinai, today or a 1000 years from now.  The only thing that changes is whom God decides to call to be a part of the Covenant at any given time, and the reason for that, is because after Adam and Eve rejected the covenant relationship with God, mankind by and large has been severed from the knowledge of God. So then, from the time of Abel, God has offered to have the covenant relationship selectively. But again, God is the one that decides the timeframe, and to whom the covenant or contract is to be offered at any given time. God called Ancient Israel out of Egypt and offered to have a covenant relationship with them. To be there God and then they would be His people, if they would live by God’s rule, but the rejected it.  Let’s look at that.   JER. 6.19 Hear, O earth!  Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people— The fruit of their thoughts, Because they have not heeded My words  Nor My law, but rejected it.  JER. 9.13-1413 And the LORD said, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, 14 but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them,” [Key point, fathers failed to teach them properly]Israel, just like Adam and all mankind has gone there own way, living off of the Tree of Good and Evil, deciding for themselves how to lead there life. As God states here: “Walking according to the dictates of their own hearts” And that’s why we read in HOSEA. 6.7 that mankind has broken the agreement or contract with God, just like, or in the same manner as Israel did.The whole thing is quite profound really, when you take a step back and think about it. Think of it in the sense that all of us, like God are trying to raise little children. But all of the children are completely disobedient and unruly.  To the point that they will not listen to anything that we say or try to teach them. We may try to guide them, to keep them from getting into trouble. But they just thumb their nose up at us and do there own thing, regardless of what we say. So after many years of correcting them, and trying to guide them in the right direction, as loving parents, when they become old enough, we might say:  “OK since you don’t want to live by the rules, then I guess your just going to have to find out the hard way. Go ahead, move out of the house and do your own thing”And that in essence, is what God did after Adam and Eve sinned. God kicked them out of His house, His dwelling place, the Garden of Eden, and gave them and their descendants, 6000 years to do their own thing.Well, that analogy goes only so far, because we don’t really create children, they are created by God, through us. So in a real sense it’s even more profound when we think of things from God’s point of view. God created all these kids and all of them have just run amuck. To the point where they really don’t even know who there Creator is, nor why they are even alive. Let’s read a passage that clearly conveys this thought.ISA. 1.2-3   2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth!  For the LORD has spoken:  “ I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me;  3 The ox knows its owner, And the donkey its master’s crib;  But Israel does not know,  My people do not consider.” This is truly an amazing statement. God says here, that dumb animals know their master, but Israel and by extension all mankind does not have a clue, about what life is really all about. Continuing in verses 18-20.18 “ Come now, and let us reason together,”  Says the LORD,  “ Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow;  Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.   19If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel,  You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. These of course are prophecy’s with dual fulfillment. But the fact remains that physical Israel has rejected God and His way of life. So now the covenant, that is the agreement that God makes with those that He has selected, has been transferred to Abraham’s spiritual descendants. Which is the Church, the Israel of God.So the covenant, or contract is the same, down through time: To Love God, and we do that by Obeying His Voice. Just as God wanted Adam to do in the garden; To Serve and Obey Him. And then God will respond to our willingness to obey Him, by giving us His Spirit. For, as it states in ACTS 5.32 “God gives His Spirit to those that obey Him” So we see from all these verses, that Adam, like Israel, and in reality all mankind has broken the covenant that God wishes to make with them.  Ok, so let’s just summarize what we have covered so far. We covered the fact that the covenant is a binding contract that God makes with those that He calls out, or selects. God selected Abraham, and God therefore selected his descendants, the nation of Israel, to fulfill the promise that He made to Abraham.  So God offered to have a special relationship with Israel, to be their God, all Israel had to do was Obey God’s Voice” But Israel refused, the scriptures we covered say that Israel rejected the agreement, and forsook or abandoned the deal. They did not want to obey God. The question is why? Well, in Acts 7.39-43 Stephen tells us that Israel never really left Egypt. And that in there hearts they were sacrificing to the Egyptian gods during there 40 year sojourn in the wilderness. Israel, by and large never had a repentant heart. And that’s an important lesson for all of us. Have we truly and completely renounced our former way of life? Do we still think and react with our carnal mind, or are we truly being led by the Holy Spirit, throughout each and every day? Let’s turn to ACTS 7 and read just one verse, 39.  “Whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt” Notice that the scripture does NOT say that Israel Could not obey, it says that they WOULD NOT OBEY. That’s a big difference. From God’s point of view, Israel was perfectly capable of obeying the terms of the covenant.  And remember what we read earlier in JER. 7, The covenant that God made with Israel originally did not involve animal sacrifices. Let’s read that again, that’s a very important point. People tend to think that the Old Covenant was a physical covenant and the New Covenant is a spiritual covenant, But that’s not what God’s word actually says.  JER. 7.22-23  22 For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. 23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’  Brethren, Notice very carefully what these verses state. And highlight or circle it, if you have not done so already. God did not originally command Israel to offer daily sacrifices. What did God command Israel? Verse 23.“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people” Brethren, that’s the Everlasting Covenant is it not? ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people” That’s the same thing that God said to Adam, and it’s the same contract that righteous Abel obviously kept.  For PSM. 119.172 defines righteousness as keeping the commandments. And it’s the same covenant that Abraham kept with God as well. In GEN. 26.5 God has recorded the fact that “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”  So God was offering Israel to entire into the Everlasting Covenant with Him. But what did Israel do. Next verse, JER. 7.24 24 “Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward” Israel was feeding off of the wrong tree, following the dictates of there own hearts, just like the entire world has been doing for the last 6000 years. So again, zeroing in on verse 22, we find a very important scriptural fact. Originally, the Old Covenant just involved obeying God’s laws and commandments. The sacrifices were added because of disobedience. And this fact is supported by what is written in GAL. 3.16-19 Let’s turn there please. 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one,“And to your Seed,” who is Christ.  17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.  Now let me just interject here, the law spoken of here, is not the commandments, this area of scripture is referring to the sacrificial laws, that were instituted with the Levitical priesthood after Israel’s sin with the golden calf. Continuing, verse 18 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it wasappointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. So again, the Levitical sacrificial system was added because of the Israel’s transgressions. And the mediator, being referred to here, in verse 19, was the physical high priest. So we see, that the Levitical system was never apart of the Everlasting Covenant, which as we saw is simply an agreement that individuals make with God, to obey Him.  It’s everlasting, because those that are in covenant with God, and stay in that covenant relationship with God until the end of their physical lives, are destined to live forever. And God’s promise of eternal life, in reality has been the same from the very beginning. Abel being a primary example of that fact.  Abel is recorded as being an heir of the promise in HEB. 11. Along with Enoch, Noah, Moses, and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, David and all the faithful from the OT. All of them were called by God and then responded to the call and obeyed God’s voice, and therefore are heirs of eternal life. So since there is only one Everlasting Covenant, by the mere fact that the everlasting covenant is singular. Then how do we qualify and apply the scriptures that say the New Covenant is better? How do we come to terms with that verse? Well, let’s look at that question. And see why it’s better. In the past the Church has taught that the New Covenant was better because it offered eternal life. Where as the Old Covenant did not.  Well, as we just covered, HEB. 11 is filled with people that lived before and during the time, that the Old Covenant was in effect. They are included as being heirs of eternal life.  So obviously, by that fact alone, that simplistic difference between the Old and New Covenants can not be correct. Moreover, if that were the case, than the terms Everlasting Covenant, would not be accurate. And again, remember what Hosea 6.7 and ISA. 24.5 state. That Adam and by extension all of mankind have broken “the” Covenant. That being singular, The Covenant, as defined in those verses is the same covenant that Israel broke as well. So what conclusion, can we draw from this? That the difference between the Old and the New Covenants, contrary to what the Church has taught over the years, is not a issue of salvation. Other wise how do we explain Hebrew’s 11? So what is the difference, that makes the New one better? Let’s turn to HEB. 8 to begin to find the answer.HEB. 8.1-2  Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. And verse 66 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. One of the primary themes of the Book of Hebrews, is the comparison and contrast between the Levitical priesthood and that of the Melchizedek Priesthood of Jesus Christ.   And we see here from verse 6, that Jesus Christ is the Mediator of a better covenant, or in simpler terms, Jesus Christ is the mediator of a better agreement between God and man. And why is it better? Well because the promises are better. So what are the better promises? Let’s go back a chapter to HEB. 7.15-17 to find out. 15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest  16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.  17 For He testifies: “ You are a priest forever  According to the order of Melchizedek.” And drop down to verses 22-25 22 by so much more Jesus has become a guarantee of a better covenant.23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.  24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.  25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.Brethren, carefully notice verses 22-24. The better promises of the New Covenant, are a Perfect Eternal “Unchangeable” Priesthood, with Jesus Christ being the Eternal High Priest.Now, understanding this, lets continue reading in HEB. 8, verses 7-13 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—  9 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 did not continue in My covenant, and I 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 put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.  12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”13In that He says, “A new covenant, ” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. Now of course, what was growing obsolete was the Levitical priesthood system. The Book of Hebrews was written between 64 and 66 AD. And we know that the Temple system was destroyed in 70AD. So the Old Covenant, or the first agreement that God made with His people, Abraham’s seed, the nation of Israel, was formally abolished with the destruction of the Temple and the Levitical system. But back in verses 7-9 we find the reason for the abolition of the Old Covenant that God made with the nation of Israel. Let’s read that again.  7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—  The fault was not with the Covenant itself, the fault was with the people.  More precisely, in the way that the covenant was administered, or taught.Remember, what we read in JER. 9.14. Israel forsook God and worshipped Baal, because that’s what their fathers taught them.Let’s look more closely at this very important point. This portion of Hebrews 8, is a direct quote from JER. 31. So let’s turn there and read a verse from that passage of scripture JER. 31.29. JER. 31.29 In those days they shall say no more:  ‘ The fathers have eaten sour grapes,  And the children’s teeth are set on edge.‘   Now why does God make this statement? Why were the children suffering on the account of the parents or forefathers actions? Well, there is the law of cause and effect being displayed here. Let’s turn to PSM 78, and see this point more clearly.PSM. 78. 5-11   5 For He established a testimony in Jacob,  And appointed a law in Israel,   Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;6 That the generation to come might know them,The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, 7 That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God,  But keep His commandments; 8 And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.  10 They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law,11 And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them.  Notice verse 5, says that God commanded the fathers to teach the next generation. So see brethren, the problem with the Old Covenant, and we might also label it as the First Covenant that God made with Israel, was that the Elders of the families, and the Levitical Priesthood, which God collectively labels as the “fathers” or forefathers, failed to teach the next generation to keep or obey the terms of the covenant.  Simply put the fathers failed to teach the children the laws and commandments of God. So what happened?  Well the children came under the curse of the law, which results from the braking of the commandments and the covenant. The fathers sinned and the children paid the price. And the 3rd commandment states that this would happen.  Let’s look at that, EX.20. 4-64 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,  6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.Notice God states clearly in verse 5, that the sins of the fathers would indeed be pasted on to the children and on to the 3rd and 4th generation as well.And that’s the history of the nation of Israel recorded all through the Old Testament. Let’s just look at one account.JUD. 2.7-8  So the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD which He had done for Israel. 8 Now Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died when he was one hundred and ten years old. Let’s skip verse 9 and read 10-12  10 When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.  Now Brethren, I ask you, why was that? Why didn’t the next generation know the Lord? Well because the fathers did not follow the principle that we read in PSM. 78. 5-11 The fathers failed to teach the children. Continuing in verse 11.11 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; 12 and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger.  And verses 18-20 18 And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them.  19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.20 Then the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice.  These verses serve as a prime example of the real crux of the problem throughout the entire history of the nations of Israel and Judah. The problem is a lack of consistent righteous leadership. Whether it be with the Levitical priesthood or with the kings that were to follow the judges. Israel would get a good king, and then a bad king would follow, and then maybe another good king and then another bad king. Each time it was one step forward and 2 steps back. It got so bad that during the time of Josiah, it is recorded that they found the Book of the Law, that’s found in 2 KINGS chapter 22. So apparently the priesthood in those days got so corrupted, that they had misplaced and apparently lost the Book of the Covenant. Just think about that for a minute. Talk about a corrupt priesthood. The priesthood lost the Torah. Incredible! So then under king Josiah, Judah had a minor revival, which is recorded in 2 Kings chapter 23. Brethren, the key point from all of this, and it bares repeating, is the failure of the First Covenant that God made with the nation of Israel was a lack of consistent righteous leadership.  One generation messes up and then the next generation loses the understanding about God and the laws of the covenant. Just think of our own personal situations. Unless we were born into a Church family, all of us grew up keeping Christmas and Easter, and if we went to Church at all it was on Sunday. Why? Because that’s what our parents taught us. Same thing with Ancient Israel, the father’s messed up and figuratively ate the sour grapes and the following generations suffered for it. Just think if you were a child that lived in Israel at the time that Jeroboam divided the nation. And your parents followed Jeroboam. Well then, you grow up worshipping a golden calf, listening and being taught by a corrupt priesthood.  Is it your fault as a young child being raised in that environment? No, it’s the fault of bad leadership that caused the division of the nation to begin with, and also with the elders of the tribes that followed Jeroboam. So what’s the answer? Well what is needed is a system of righteous leadership that will not change. What is needed is Jesus Christ to establish an Eternal Righteous Unchangeable Priesthood in order to properly teach each generation on a consistent basis.. And a Righteous King to administer God’s laws to the nations. What’s needed is a New or Second Covenant between God and Israel, with God promising exactly that. With God promising that a New Eternal Spiritual Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, will properly teach the nation of Israel when they are brought back from captivity and resettled in the promised land. And we find this New Covenant, based on these better promises, of an Unchangeable Priesthood found in JER. chapter 31, verses 31-33  Let’s reread verse 29 and then continue down to verse 33. 29 In those days they shall say no more:  ‘ The fathers have eaten sour grapes,  And the children’s teeth are set on edge.‘  30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.  And why is that? Well because in the millennium, all people will be actively judged by there actions. As it says in 1 COR. 6.2 “the saints will judge the world” Continuing in verse 31. 31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— Now Brethren, notice what this says-32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.Brethren, just how is God going to teach an entire nation, let alone the entire world to obey the terms of the covenant? Well God is going to need help, and guess what? We are it! We are to be that Holy nation, that Royal Eternal Incorruptible Priesthood. God has called us to administer the New Covenant to Israel, and then through Israel to all humanity.  Turn back please to EX. 19.5-7   5  “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” 7 So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the LORD commanded him.Friends, notice that the Elders, as the heads of the families were specifically charged with the responsibility of keeping the covenant and teaching it to their children. Brethren, We are to fulfill the role that the physical Elders or physical Firstborn failed to do. And also what the Levitical priesthood later failed to do. God has charged us to fulfill these same terms and conditions of the covenant.  To Obey Gods Voice, so that we will personally qualify to be part of God’s Elect, the Church of the Spiritual Firstborn, the Israel of God.  Recall what it states in  1 PETER 2.9:  “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”  We will be given the role and responsibility that was originally given to the physical elders of Israel. To teach the Way of the Lord. So brethren, to sum up, what are the Better Promises of the New Covenant? In a word - “US”  You and I are destined to teach the terms of the Everlasting Covenant to the nation of Israel and then to the entire world, when the Kingdom of God is established on earth.  You and I, together with all the resurrected saints, are destined to be the Kings and Priests that will administer the Everlasting Covenant to all mankind.OK, now there is another point that I would like to make. The scriptures reveal that God has divided the promises involving the Everlasting Covenant into three parts.Those parts are Vocation, Location and Relationship.  Now we have just covered the Vocation aspect of the New or Second Covenant that God will make with Israel and then by extension, with all the other nations which will eventually be grafted into Israel. The Better promises being that Jesus Christ, King David and all of the saints will be the administrators of the Everlasting Covenant.However, the relationship aspect of the Everlasting Covenant is quite detailed, so I will save that topic for another time. Suffice it to say, that those whom God elects to take part in the Everlasting Covenant in this age, will have a different relationship with God, then all those that will come into a covenant relationship with Him in the millennium and beyond.But the Everlasting Covenant has another part to it. And that is the promise of an Eternal Location.  2 CHRON. 16.13-18  13 O seed of Israel His servant, You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!  14 He is the LORD our God;  His judgments are in all the earth.  15 Remember His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, 16 The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac, 17 And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,To Israel for an everlasting covenant,  18 Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan As the allotment of your inheritance”So we see from these verses, that the land of Canaan is indeed the Promised Land. With Jerusalem destined to be the epicenter of the worldwide administration of the Everlasting Covenant.To begin to conclude this message today, I’d like to turn to a passage in EZEK. 37, which kind of summarizes the main points that we have covered. These verses tie together these two aspects of the Everlasting Covenant. That of Vocation and Location. Speaking of the “Better Promises” of a righteous administration through King David, and by extension, also through us. EZEK. 37.21-28   21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.  24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.   28 The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”’”OK, So let’s recap the highlights of what we have covered, regarding the Everlasting Covenant. We have defined a Covenant as a binding agreement or contract that individuals make with God. The contract has two sides; what we promise to do, and what God promises in return.Simply stated, in that contract or covenant we pledge to Obey God’s Voice, which means to live by every word of God. And in return, God promises to entire into a special relationship with us- by giving us His Holy Spirit, thereby being our God and to consider us His people.Moreover, if we remain faithful to that agreement to the end of our physical lives, the result is the promise of eternal life, living forever in that covenant relationship with God. Therefore, it is indeed an Everlasting Covenant.Contrary to what is commonly taught, God offered this covenant relationship to Adam and Eve in the Garden, but upon there rejection to Serve and Obey Him, God withdrew the offer, symbolized by their removal from having access to the Tree of Life.God, hence forth entered into the covenant relationship with Abel. Hebrews 11, informs us that Abel fulfilled the terms of the covenant, by being listed as one of the heirs of the Kingdom of God.Furthermore, the Bible records that throughout the time between Abel and Abraham, that God continued to enter into the Everlasting Covenant relationship with various people.   For example, Enoch walked with God, and Noah was a preacher of righteousness. These individuals and others, had the same covenant relationship that those with God’s Spirit have today. GEN. 26.5 informs us that Abraham obeyed God’s voice and kept His charge, His commandments, statutes, and laws.” And because of Abraham’s faithfulness, God promised to entire into the same Covenant relationship with his descendants, the nation of Israel. All Israel had to do was to keep the same laws and commandments that their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had kept. The same rules, and the same covenant. However, as we covered in some detail, by and large the nation of Israel refused to Obey God’s Voice.Acts 5.32 tells us that God, only gives His Spirit to those that obey Him. And as we all know from our own personal conversion. We mustFirst show God by our actions, that we are striving to obey Him in the letter of the law, and then and only then will He grant us the gift of His Holy Spirit.So with Israel’s rejection of the agreement, to obey God, in even the letter of the law, God over time disregarded them and made the First covenant with Israel null and void.Scripture reveals that Israel’s failure was primarily a result of poor and inconsistent leadership. Be it Aaron and the Elders in the golden calf incident, or with the Levitical priesthood and various kings that were to follow.However, God promises to make a New or 2nd Covenant with the nation of Israel, and by extension in time with all of mankind in the millennium and beyond. But in order to rectify the flaw with the leadership of the first covenant, God is now in the process of calling and preparing the Leadership.The First-fruits, as the Spiritual firstborn, will fulfill the roles that were originally given to the Elders, priesthood and kings under the first covenant. We will judge, rule and teach all of mankind to live by the terms of the Everlasting Covenant, which simply stated, is to Obey God’s Voice. Which at that time, will be Our voice as well, since we will be spirit born members of God’s Eternal family.So the New Covenant is not new in the sense of being a different agreement. The terms of the covenant are the same, and have always been the same. Obey God’s Voice and then He will be our God and we will be His people. That’s the agreement that God wanted to make with Adam, and it’s the same agreement that God made with Abraham, and has continued to make with his descendants down through time.Be it ancient Israel, the Church as Spiritual Israel, or the reunited physical nation in the millennium. And then the vast majority of mankind that will be grafted into Spiritual Israel during the white throne judgement period.And as we have seen, what makes it better, is that the New Covenant, which in reality is a continuation of the Everlasting Covenant, will be taught and administered by the Melchizedek Priesthood, of which we will all be a part.Well friends, that about sums up the first two aspects of the Everlasting Covenant. In closing let’s turn to the Book of Revelation, were we can get a glimpse of the ultimate fulfillment of the Everlasting Covenant.REV. 21.1-3 1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.  2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  Brethren, this last verse kind of summarizes the ultimate fulfillment of the Everlasting Covenant does it not?  And just one more verse to kind of conclude where we began.  REV. 22.3 Speaking of New Jerusalem;  “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him”Yes, brethren, the curse that mankind has brought on himself, that we read about in ISA. 24.6, for failure to live by the terms of the Everlasting Covenant. That curse, that is soon destined to bring mankind and this planet to the brink of utter destruction. That self inflicted curse, which is the result of mankind’s sins,  will at last be removed forever.And this will be the result of all mankind, finally living by the terms of the Everlasting Covenant. Obeying God’s Voice, in the Everlasting Kingdom of God.

May God Speed that Day!

Thomas C. Trinka

September 11, 2010

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