The Seven Everlasting Covenants / September/October 2005

The most common argument put forth by Christians in opposition to the Torah and the Law is based on Covenant Theology. They argue that the New Covenant has replaced the Old Covenant. Our printed English Bibles are organized that way. There is an old part and new part. This has to do with their definition of “covenant.” They define “covenants” in the Old Testament more like contracts. Then there is the word “Testament” and its definition. The New Testament is treated like it is “God’s Last Will and Testament,” replacing (the Old Testament) His former Last Will and Testament. Just as governments put a new law on the books replacing an old law, Christians will say that God did the same by replacing the Law of Moses with the Law of Christ. But is this what the Bible really says? Are God’s covenants conditional like a contract? Did God make a New Last Will and “Testament” as a result of the Messiah’s death?

Before we go any further, we need to explain “Covenant Theology” a bit further. Theology is the study of God, or an explanation of how God and man relate together. According to “Covenant Theology,” there are two types of covenants that God makes with mankind: a covenant of works and a covenant of grace. Another variation of “Covenant Theology” labels three of them, adding a covenant of redemption that relates specifically to the Messiah. Covenant Theology says that all of the previous covenants (those in the Old Testament) were covenants of works. They remain in effect only if the conditions are met. It is also added that Israel failed to keep the conditions; therefore, the covenant is done away with (It is fulfilled). Covenant Theology defines the New Covenant as a covenant of grace, and it remains in effect forever.

Whenever a believer references the Torah and approaches another believer referencing “Covenant Theology” there is conflict and immediate disagreement. Why? Because “Covenant Theology” says that the Old Testament has been replaced by the New Testament, and the Old Covenant is no longer the proper source of spiritual instruction. Covenant Theology lumps all former covenants (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David) into one “Old Covenant,” labeling it as a covenant of works and making the New Covenant a covenant of grace.

The Bible is organized and printed by the Church Fathers to support their theology about the Old Testament (everything is lumped together as the Old Covenant), and then starting with the Gospels, headed by a page never written by any Apostle, there is a page called “The New Testament.” This definition for our present Bible did not actually happen until the fourth century when Jerome (the Bishop of Rome) put the book of Hebrews into his compilation of the New Testament. Prior to that, the book of Hebrews was disputed as appropriate for the Bible.

The debate about the book of Hebrews is an ancient argument. The debate about “Covenant Theology” was won or lost, depending on your position, when the book of Hebrews was inserted into the Bible. I am not going to solve those conflicts in this article. What I am going to do is address where covenants are given, what promises are given, and define those covenants with the symbols and language used by the Scripture. You can then decide whether “Covenant Theology” and the writer of Hebrews are consistent with those Scriptures.

With that said, let us examine the covenants that God has made with mankind throughout history. The Scriptures say that God has made six covenants with us and plans to make one more when the Messiah returns. The Scriptures define a covenant as a “cutting” agreement. The Hebrew word is “Brit.” Have you ever heard the expression “cut a deal?” As you will see, God “cuts” something to make a covenant with us.

The following list summarizes the name of the person and the symbol used by God for each covenant. Because of the length of this subject, this article is divided into two parts. Part 1 discusses the first four covenants; Part 2 discusses the last three.

1. Adam (the Adamic Covenant) symbolized by the Ground of the Earth
2. Noah (the Noahic Covenant) symbolized by the Rainbow
3. Abraham (the Abrahamic Covenant) symbolized by the Stars
4. Moses (the Mosaic Covenant) symbolized by the Two Tablets of the Law
5. David (the Davidic Covenant) symbolized by Jerusalem
6. Messiah Yeshua (the New Covenant) symbolized by the Passover Cup and Bread
7. Peace (the Covenant of Peace) anticipated by the Messianic Kingdom

While each of these covenants are with different persons and made at different times, they all share one description. God refers to them individually and collectively as an “Everlasting Covenant.” The symbol used to express them all is “salt.”

Salt is one of the basic ingredients of life that never goes away. From generation to generation, salt is an essential ingredient to our lives. It is more than the white substance in the “salt” shaker. In ancient times the most common payment for labor was not money, it was salt. You may have heard the expression, “He is worth his weight in salt.” The modern word “salary” is a derivative of the word “salt.”

God has always used simple things, things that are readily a part of our lives, to help us understand His relationship with us. Yeshua the Messiah spoke of this very subject when He taught the Sermon on the Mount.

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
Matthew 5:13

With every sacrifice offered by Israel, the priests were instructed to put salt on it.

Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.
Leviticus 2:13
All the offerings of the holy gifts, which the sons of Israel offer to the Lord, I have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you, as a perpetual allotment. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord to you and your descendants with you.
Numbers 18:19

Salt is referred to as a preservative.

Let us examine each covenant and see how God symbolized it for our understanding.

The Adamic Covenant
The Ground of the Earth

Adam was the first man with his wife Eve. At first, they lived in the Garden and everything was wonderful, but that all changed. God made a new agreement with man because of their exit from the garden. That agreement is called the Adamic Covenant, and to this day, it is still with us.

And I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He [the Messiah] shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel. To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you shall bring forth children; yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Now the man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. And the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.
Genesis 3:15-21,23

The Adamic Covenant is symbolized by the “Ground of the Earth.” From the dust of the ground man came, and to the dust he returns. When God “cut” the skin from the animals, He made a covering for Adam and Eve. He made the covenant.

To this day, women still bear children in labor and travail. Men must labor and work the ground to be able to eat and provide for their needs. Any gardener or farmer will tell you that every field will produce thistles and weeds on its own. It requires work to grow a particular plant or crop and retard the weeds. The Earth is man’s base and the ground of the Earth is where we labor to live. God’s faithfulness is demonstrated to us daily by the cycles of the Earth. The sun rises and sets each day. The moon and its cycles serve as our steady clock for each month. Season after season, year after year the world sustains us. The Psalmist has explained the covenant God made with Adam (man) this way.

He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever.
Psalms 111:5

The Noahic Covenant
The Rainbow
Apparently, man living on the Earth enjoying the faithfulness of God was not enough. Man became more corrupt to the point that every thought was evil continually. Therefore, God judged the world with a great flood. A new definition was needed between God and mankind.

But I will establish My covenant with you [Noah]; and you shall enter the ark— you and your sons and your wife, and your sons' wives with you.
Genesis 6:18
Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth. And I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. And it shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
Genesis 9:9-17

The Rainbow is the symbol for God’s covenant with mankind. He will never judge man with a flood of water again (he intends to use fire next time). You will notice that God made this covenant with man and the Animal Kingdom as well. To this day, rainbows appear in the sky after it rains, and they mean exactly the same thing today as they meant to Noah in his day.

How was this covenant “cut?” As soon as the flood was over, Noah emerged from the ark and sacrificed one of every “clean” animal. The rainbow became our covering. The covenant with Noah did not replace the covenant made with Adam; it was added to it.

The Abrahamic Covenant
The Stars

Ten generations after Noah and the flood, God began to develop a “friendship” with man through Abram (that was his name then). This friendship began with promises and a future hope.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 12:1-3

The first part of the Abrahamic Covenant began with the theme of “Father” and “Blessing.”

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your reward shall be very great.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
Genesis 15:1,5

The second part of the Abrahamic Covenant defined the covering – the stars in the sky. Abram asked a natural question. How was he to have many descendants since he had not fathered any children to that point? How could this covenant be? God then instructed Abram to “cut” the agreement by preparing five sacrifices. Abram did as the Lord said and God, in the form of a whirling tornado, walked between the flayed sacrifices. God then prophesied about Abram’s descendants.

And God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve; and afterward they will come out with many possessions.”
Genesis 15:13-14

This is a prophecy that defines the children of Israel in Egypt, and God’s promise to bring them out of Egypt after 400 years. This part of the Abrahamic Covenant was characterized by “a son, and many other sons” and “sacrifice.” The final part of the covenant came with Abram’s name changing and the seal for the covenant.

And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.
Genesis 17:2
As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Gen 17:4-8

This is when Abram became Abraham and the reason it is called the Abrahamic Covenant. It wasn’t just with Abraham. Just as God had three parts to the covenant, so he used three generations of fathers and sons to establish it. We will examine that more in a moment, but let’s understand the name change a little bit further. Abram had one letter added to his name. The letter “Hey.” This letter is an actual picture of a slightly open doorway. The meaning of this letter is “that which is revealed.” God was revealing Himself (His Glory) in His relationship with Abraham. Abraham’s name was now glorfied. Let’s look at the final part of Abraham’s Covenant.

God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.”
Genesis 17:9-13

The “cutting” of the foreskin (circumcision) was the making of the Abrahamic Covenant. Not only do we still have stars in the sky at night, but God directly said that this covenant was an everlasting covenant. It is a covenant commanded by God to a thousand generations. It is a promise from God that Abraham believed even before he had his first son. Abraham’s faith in God’s promises is the very definition of our faith today.

While it is attributed to Abraham, this covenant was actually made with three generations of fathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.
Genesis 17:21
He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
Psalms 105:8-10

Even Moses reminds us about Abraham’s covenant, and how it is flows into the covenant with Moses.

Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and Hislovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
Deuteronomy 7:9

The stars of Heaven are the symbol for the Abrahamic Covenant. This covenant is everlasting to future generations. Just for the sake of discussion, how many generations have there been since Abraham? Abraham lived more than 3,500 years ago. If you estimate liberally 5 generations in every century and there have been 35 centuries, then there have only been 175 generations since Abraham. We are still a long ways from testing the “limits” of God’s promises.

The book of Romans defines faith as believing in the promises of God. It is faith in God’s promises that is our righteousness. Abraham believed in the promise of a son (Isaac). We believe in the promise of God’s Son (Yeshua the Messiah). Our faith in Him is counted for righteousness.

The covenant with Abraham did not replace the covenant made with Adam or Noah; it was added to them.

The Mosaic Covenant
The Tablets of the Law

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived their lives finally resulting in the sons of Jacob (Israel). Jacob and his sons relocated down into Egypt to set the stage 400 years later for Moses and the Exodus. A major change took place in God’s relationship with man. This friendship and its promises were no longer with just a few named individuals. It became a relationship with a nation of peoples called the Children of Israel. This included the physical descendants of Jacob and those escaping from Egypt. The nation itself was born out of the Exodus of Egypt.

So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Exodus 2:24

Just because Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob died, the covenant did not go away. If you will recall, it was also made with their future generations. God had promised that the descendants of Abraham would come up out of Egypt and live in the land promised to Abraham.

And I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned.
Exodus 6:4

God did what He said He would do; He brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt by the leadership of Moses. Just as He said to Moses, He brought Israel to the mountain where God commissioned Moses. It was at Mount Sinai that God offered, the people agreed, and they made a covenant. It was a marriage with God and His people. We call it the Mosaic Covenant.

Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you [Moses] shall speak to the sons of Israel.
Exodus 19:5-6

The story has been told many times. The people agreed to obey God’s voice and keep His covenant even before they heard His voice or the commandments. God spoke the Ten Commandments, and the people were afraid. Moses was sent up the mountain to get the other instructions, ordinances, and statutes called the Torah. The people immediately forgot Moses and the Lord. Moses returned with the two tablets and broke them because of Israel’s sin with the golden calf.

God did not quit the covenant, even though Israel did not keep it. People don’t quit a marriage just because there is a problem. God forgave and graciously made another set of tablets. This time Moses had to bring them up to the mountain and God once again “cut” the letters out of the stone with His finger. This is how God described the covenant He made.

Then God said, “Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth, nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the Lord, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you.”
Exodus 34:10
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
Exodus 34:27-28

The Ten Commandments (the two tablets) today symbolize this covenant. It is the Law of Moses (the Torah) that actually established the nation of Israel. Moses wrote down the commandments of the Lord along with the Ten Commandments.

This is a simple fact of life. A nation can not survive without the rule of law. There is no freedom or safety in a community without the rule of law. When believers say that we no longer need the Torah or God’s rules for life as a community, they literally destroy themselves. Israel did this repeatedly throughout their history. Churchmen who hold to “Covenant Theology” understand the need for the rule of law. They know there must be rules for a corporate body of believers. However, they want to use their own set of rules, which are constantly being revised. Fundamentalist Christians resist the rule changes, but they hold to the changes made by the early Church Fathers. All of them agree that the Old Covenant rules used by the Jews must be changed.

Justin Martyr, in the very earliest years of the church, debated a Jew name Trypho on this very point. He said, “For the law promulgated on Horeb is now old, and belongs to yourselves alone; but the [New Covenant] is for all universally. Now, law placed against law has abrogated that which is before it, and a covenant which comes after in like manner has put an end to the previous one; and an eternal and final law – namely, Christ – has been given to us, and the covenant is trustworthy, after which there shall be no law, no commandment, no ordinance … As I stated before, it was by reason of your sins and the sins of your fathers that, among other precepts, God imposed upon you the observance of the Sabbath as a mark.”

As absurd as Justin Martyr’s anti-Jewish statement is, Churchmen believe it. Justin Martyr equated the commandments of God to man’s law, which are subject to revision and correction by additional laws. He clearly erred by saying that the “New Covenant” was given to all universally. That is the meaning behind the word “Catholic.” Catholic means “universal.” Justin Martyr was saying the New Covenant was given to the “Catholic Church.” When we address the New Covenant specifically, you will see who the covenant was given to – and it wasn’t the Catholic Church.”

Throughout the past centuries, Churchmen have built on Justin Martyr’s error. The Augsburg Confession of Faith, article 28, written by Melanchthon, approved by Martin Luther in 1530 said this about the Church conflict of Sunday versus Sabbath worship. “Great, say they, is the power of the Church since it has dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments.”

There are two types of Christians today: Catholics and protesting Catholics. Protestant Christians are still under the authority of the Catholic Church Fathers for their decision to dispense with the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Covenant. Christians, for the most part, have no idea about their history. Evangelical Christians are particularly unaware of how they came to be. They actually think that they are the spiritual remnant dating back to the original disciples of Jesus. Their traditions are only a few hundred years old, and their Bibles are a product of the Catholic and Protestant Church Fathers.

Moses reiterated the covenant made by God for the nation of Israel elsewhere in the Torah.

So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.
Deuteronomy 4:13
And it came about at the end of forty days and nights that the Lord gave me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant.
Deuteronomy 9:11

Do you remember Justin Martyr’s reference to the Sabbath as a “mark” for Israel? The connotation of the word “mark” sounds like something bad, like the “mark” of Cain. God called the keeping of the weekly Sabbath a sign, connecting the covenant made with Adam to the Children of Israel. It is referred to as a everlasting covenant just like the perpetual cycle of the days, the weeks, the months, and years. A wedding ring is the same kind of never ending sign for a marriage covenant.

So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.
Exodus 31:16
Every Sabbath day he shall set it in order before the Lord continually; it is an everlasting covenant for the sons of Israel.
Leviticus 24:8

Previously, we talked about the Salt Covenant as the Everlasting Covenant. The Law of Moses requires every sacrifice on the altar to have that salt.

The Children of Israel did receive the promised land. After Moses, Joshua led the people across the Jordan and into the land, but Israel struggled with many instances of not obeying nor keeping the commandments of the Lord. Moses knew this would happen to them. He even understood that the Lord would eventually kick them out of the promised land, and scatter them throughout the nations. Did that mean the covenant would be ended and done away with as Churchmen teach? Not at all. Moses prophesied all of these things. Here is what God said He would do with us and the Mosaic Covenant in the latter days.

So I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you.
Leviticus 26:9
Then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land. Yet in spite of this [Israel’s unfaithfulness], when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the Lord.
Leviticus 26:42,44-45

In the time of the Judges, Israel was reminded about the Everlasting Covenant and God emphatically said that He would never break the covenant.

Now the angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you, and as for you, you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed Me; what is this you have done?”
Judges 2:1-2

Never is a pretty strong word to be used by God. According to these prophecies of Moses and the book of Judges, Justin Martyr and other Church Fathers do not understand the covenant God made with Israel, nor the New Covenant for that matter. Sadly, many brethren today are in the same position because they follow the teaching of these past Church leaders.

Jeremiah the prophet has also weighed in on the everlasting part of the covenants. He has reminded Israel that from the beginning of creation to their day these covenants remain in place and have not gone away. The same words are true for us today.

Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day, and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; the Lord of hosts is His name: “If this fixed order departs from before Me,” declares the Lord, “Then the offspring of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever.” Thus says the Lord, “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 31:35-37

The fixed order of the sun and the moon are still with us. Israel is still with us. Sabbath is still with us. The Lord is still faithful to His word. No one can measure the Universe, nor search out the foundations of the Earth. God has not cast off the descendants of Abraham. Regardless of what any Churchman says, God’s word still stands. Ezekiel reminded us of the same.

Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.
Ezekiel 16:60

The covenant made with Moses did not replace the covenants made with Adam, Noah, or Abraham; it was added to them.

Part Two

The Davidic Covenant

There came a time in Israel’s history when the people called for a king to be over them. No longer did they want Judges to oversee the rule of Law. The Lord was their king, but they wanted a man king like the other nations. The last Judge of Israel was Samuel, who also was a Prophet. Samuel anointed Saul to be the first king over Israel. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin. Then the Lord chose David, the son of Jesse, from the tribe of Judah. Samuel anointed David and he later became king of Israel.

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
1SA 16:13
So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them before the Lord at Hebron; then they anointed David king over Israel.
2SA 5:3

But unlike Saul, David was anointed with a covenant.

Do you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?
II Chronicles 13:5

David was a psalmist. The Psalmist defined the covenant made with David.

If your sons will keep My covenant, and My testimony which I will teach them, their sons also shall sit upon your throne forever.
Psalms 132:12
Truly is not my house so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me, ordered in all things, and secured; for all my salvation and all my desire, will He not indeed make it grow?
2SA 23:5

The House of David became leadership of all Israel. From the House of David comes the Kingdom of Israel. This is why the Messiah is to be the son of David, but David will call Him Lord. King David was referred to as “the man who sought the heart of God.” He had it in his heart to build a house for God – the Temple. The prophet Nathan told David that he could work toward the Temple, but that one of his sons would actually build the House of the Lord. So David purchased a threshing floor, built an altar, gathered the materials and established the city of Jerusalem. But Solomon, the son of David actually directed the building of the Temple. This was really a Messianic prophecy of how the Son of David (the Messiah) would build the Temple in our hearts. Yeshua talked about this frequently. All of the Scriptures about Jerusalem are expressions of the Davidic Covenant. The city of Jerusalem and the Temple’s location symbolize that covenant. This is the covenant that begins to manifest how the Messiah is to be King forever and rule from Jerusalem – the city of the King.

And it came about, when David dwelt in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I am dwelling in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under curtains.” Then Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.” And it came about the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell David My servant, ‘Thus says the Lord, “You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in; for I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from one dwelling place to another. In all places where I have walked with all Israel, have I spoken a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people, saying, ‘Why have you not built for Me a house of cedar?”’” “Now, therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, “Thus says the Lord of hosts,’ “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be leader over My people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a name like the name of the great ones who are in the earth. And I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place and be moved no more; neither shall the wicked waste them anymore as formerly, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I tell you that the Lord will build a house for you. And it shall come about when your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up one of your descendants after you, who shall be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.” According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
I Chronicles 17:1-15

Essentially, God did to David what David wanted to do with God. God promised to build the House of David. The House of David is the Messianic line leading to the Messiah being king over us all. This is the reason why the prophet Isaiah is speaking of the Messiah’s everlasting covenant made reference to the Davidic Covenant

Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David.
Isaiah 55:3

How did God “cut” the covenant with David? It was the sacrifices on the altar offered by David that became the permanent altar for the temple and Jerusalem.

Then David built an altar to the Lord there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to the Lord and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.
I Chronicles 21:26
Then David said, “This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”
I Chronicles 22:1

The covenant made with David did not replace the covenants made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, or Moses; it was added to them.

The New Covenant
The Cup and the Bread of the Messiah

He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name.
Psalms 111:9

The son of David, Solomon, built the temple and Jerusalem increased. However, the northern tribes rebelled and division arose within all of Israel. No longer did the northern tribes wish to follow the House of David. As a result, the House of Israel (northern kingdom) and the House of Judah (southern kingdom) were formed. The House of Israel refused to go to Jerusalem to worship the Lord. Instead, they built replica temples with idols in Bethel and in Dan. The House of Israel was unfaithful and ignored God’s warnings of defeat and captivity. Several kings later, the House of Israel went into captivity by the hands of the Assyrians. The House of Judah had to deal with the same issues of defeat and captivity.

Jeremiah, a prophet to Judah, prophesied of a New Covenant that would unite the two houses of Israel and Judah one day. In fact, part of the reason for the New Covenant was for that exact purpose.

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
Jeremiah 31:31-34

Do you remember Justin Martyr’s statement about who the New Covenant was given to? How many times have you heard Churchmen say that the New Covenant was established with the church (meaning the Gentiles)? According to the Bible, the New Covenant was given to the House of Israel and the House of Judah to re-unite them by putting the commandments on their hearts. When Yeshua established the covenant by the cup and bread, there was no Church sitting there, nor Churchmen. The disciples, who would become Apostles of Yeshua the Messiah, were men from the House of Israel and the House of Judah.

According to the Scriptures, the New Covenant is like the covenant with Moses and Israel. The difference is where God writes the commandments. The Covenant was not given to a different people, nor were there different commandments given. God “cut” into their hearts and wrote the Ten Commandments. Paul called this cutting “the circumcision without hands on our hearts.” How in the world did the Church change this definition so quickly after the Apostles were no more? This is reminiscent of how quickly Israel disobeyed the instruction of Moses after they crossed into the promised land.

Jeremiah describes the New Covenant with the same language for every other covenant made previously by God.
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.
Jeremiah 32:40

Messiah Yeshua instituted the covenant prophesied by Jeremiah using the elements of the Passover remembrance, when God delivered Israel out of Egypt. Just as they heard the voice of God at the mountain, so God’s voice was right with them at the Seder. The third cup of the Passover is the cup of Redemption according to the teaching and tradition of the Passover Seder. This was the same cup (the cup after the meal) that the Messiah used to institute the New Covenant.

And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”
Mark 14:24
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
Luke 22:20
In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
I Corinthians 11:25

The Messiah then took the Afikoman bread, the special broken unleavened (matzah) bread used for the best part of the Passover Seder, saying that the bread represented His body broken for us.

There is much more to this teaching about how the Messiah came in accordance with all of the previous covenants manifesting and revealing God’s plan of redemption. If you scan back to the beginning when God made the covenant with Adam, you will hear the promise of the woman’s seed crushing the head of the other seed. Noah was able to recover from God’s judgment leading to Abraham. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob established a family. Moses was able to transform that family into tribes forming a nation. David established the kingship of that nation, and the Messiah made redemption possible for all men to fulfill the promise to Adam and Abraham, “In your seed will all the families of the Earth be blessed.” This is what Paul, the Apostle, said to the new Gentile believers.

Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
Galatians 3:6-9

With all the covenants working together building to the Messiah and His work of redemption, you would think that everyone would share the same conclusion. All Israel (both Houses) would believe that Yeshua is the Messiah and all the Gentiles would see that God had been manifesting the plan of all families joining them. But such is not the case about Israel or the rest of mankind. The leadership of Israel rejected the Messiah and the new Gentile believers rejected Israel and God’s plan to restore Israel. Instead, the Church was formed and a whole Testament took over replacing the Old.

Just as Israel has rebelled from the instruction of Moses so Christians have rebelled from the instruction of Yeshua. Why did the Jews disagree with Yeshua? Because, they were in disagreement with Moses. Why do Churchmen disagree with Moses? Because, they are in disagreement with the Messiah. What goes around, comes around. We are sons and daughters of the ancients making the exact same mistakes of unbelief and disobedience. We honor God with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him.

So, how did the early Gentile believers get so befuddled and confused about God’s covenants? There are probably a number of reasons relating to past mistakes already mentioned, but I personally believe that the greater number of Churchmen have been mislead by something put into the New Testament – the book of Hebrews. Consider this verse from Hebrews.

When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
Hebrews 8:13

Remembering all of the previous Scriptures, doesn’t this verse seem contrary to the Everlasting Covenant – the Salt Covenant? Bible scholars argued for centuries about the book of Hebrews, whether it should even be in the New Testament part of the Bible. Primary in this debate was the question of its authorship. Some said that the Apostle Paul. The book speaks of Timothy who worked with Paul at the very end. Others argue that the book was written in the second century by a Church leader (possibly Clement) in Italy trying to move Hebrew Christians to leave their Jewish ways. All of the other books of the New Testament are written by Apostles with first-hand testimony to the Messiah with first century testimonies. All of the books were scrutinized extensively to ensure continuity with the words of the Messiah and the previous Scriptures. The Gospel of Thomas (even though he was an Apostle) was rejected because it failed to emphasize the deity of Yeshua as the Gospel of John and others do. However, they made an exception for the book of Hebrews. Apparently because of its opposition to the Law of Moses, which Jerome agreed with. There are contradictions and mistakes in the book of Hebrews that have Bible scholars scratching their heads to this day. Let me give you some quick examples.

The word “new” is a relative term and its use in the New Testament does not automatically mean that something there is “old” and done away with as Hebrew 8:13 says. The Messiah gave His disciples a “new” commandment in John 13 to “love one another.” It turns out that it is not a “new” commandment at all; it is a very “old” commandment, but it was “new” to them because they had never obeyed it before. Following the example of Yeshua, you could make the exact argument for the “new” covenant prophesied by Jeremiah. Since Israel had never obeyed with their hearts, having the commandments written on their hearts would certainly be a “New” Covenant for them. The writer of the book of Hebrews went another direction with the word “new.” He used the opposite logic. If something is “new” then something before it must be “old.” Then there are the mistakes in the book of Hebrews that relate directly to our discussion of God’s seven covenants.

Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. And behind the second veil, there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron's rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant. And above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
Hebrews 9:1-5

Wait a minute, the Mosaic Covenant is not the first covenant. The covenant with Adam was the first. If the word first means the former covenant, it is still not right. There are many former covenants (plural), not just one (singular). The writer has simplified the previous Scriptures to the extent that they are distorted. Look a little further at this passage. The writer states that the golden altar of incense was stationed with the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. This is incorrect. The Altar of Incense was in the Holy Place with the Menorah and Table of Shewbread. A teacher making that mistake today would be considered incompetent to the task of teaching the Bible. Why do I bring these particular mistakes up? Because these obvious errors are immediately following the statement that the New has made the Old obsolete. Hebrews 8:13 is immediately followed by Hebrews 9:1-5. When the Biblical text was originally written, chapters and verses were put in the Scripture later for referencing purposes by Bible scholars. The separation of these verses are artificial.

What if the word “new” used by Jeremiah was in the same manner as that spoken of by the Messiah with the disciples and as the Bible says elsewhere “There is nothing ‘new’ under the Sun?” What if there are not just two covenants in the Bible, the first one and the New one? What if the New Covenant is really the sixth covenant forming part of the Everlasting Covenant? That is what Jeremiah prophesied the New Covenant to be. What if the writer of Hebrews is really opposed to the Law of Moses, preferring to do something “new” that is different from the Temple in Jerusalem? He minimizes the teaching of the Temple, its service, and its principles of worship and makes simple mistakes about what actually sits in the Holy of Holies. What if he overstates the argument for the priesthood of the Messiah by discrediting and finding fault with the priests after Aaron? Is that a valid way to properly explain the Messiah, finding fault with others anointed by God to do what they did? Is the book of Hebrews an example of Scriptures written by Holy Men moved by the Holy Spirit, or is it a better example of a second or third century Churchman trying to sound like a first century Apostle with an agenda to get rid of the Jewish writings (the Old Testament). By the way, the book of Hebrews is one of the last books put in the New Testament. It was included in the New Testament by Jerome, the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) in the fourth century. Jerome referred to the Jews as “accursed of God.”

The problems with the book of Hebrews don’t stop there. If you go a bit further the writer continues.

For where a covenant is, there must of be (of necessity) the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.
Hebrews 9:16-17

There is a major difference between a testament and a covenant. The last will and testament of a dying person has the strength of a vow. Vows are used in covenants. God vows to us when He makes His covenants. A vow of marriage makes a covenant of marriage. But a covenant of marriage does not require the death of anyone. If you review all of the covenants God has made prior to the New Covenant, who of necessity died that made the covenant? The God we serve is the God of the living; He makes living covenants. Eternal life is what makes Biblical covenants everlasting. This statement in Hebrews applies to a last will and testament of a person, not to a Biblical covenant made by God. If you are starting to get confused a little bit, welcome to the study of Biblical covenants as taught by the book of Hebrews. The definition of covenants made in verses 16 and 17 is false. It is not consistent with any previous discussion of covenants elsewhere in the Bible; the emphasis on death is all wrong. Yeshua didn’t just die to bring about the New Covenant; He rose from the grave and is seated at the right hand of the Almighty. He is the God of the living.

Maybe the writer of Hebrews was confused. Maybe he forgot. Maybe he just didn’t make the best argument. I still agree with many of the statements and conclusions offered in the book. I also agree with many positive statements made by many Christians leaders and teachers throughout history. I just find that when the writer of Hebrews references the Law of Moses and the previous covenants, he fails to speak with precision and accuracy as other New Testament writers do, especially the Apostle Paul.

Obviously, the debate about the book of Hebrews goes on to our day. But let’s get something straight before I am falsely accused of not believing in the New Testament or the New Covenant. I think that Churchmen, who base their “Covenant Theology” on the book of Hebrews, would be well advised to understand what else the Scriptures have to say about those former covenants, before locking in on the idea that the New has replaced the Old. They may want to take that idea with a “grain of salt” and learn about the Salt Covenant (the Everlasting Covenant).

There should be no confusion about the New Covenant even if the book of Hebrews overstates it. It was prophesied by Jeremiah. Messiah Yeshua initiated and ratified it. There is no conflict between the previous covenants, including the Mosaic Covenant, and the New Covenant. The New Covenant is an everlasting covenant just like the other covenants and we are still looking into the future for its fulfillment.

“And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Jeremiah 31:34

This is the Gospel message of today, and I am still teaching others to know the Lord. It wasn’t a conflict for Jeremiah to speak of the New Covenant in his day and should not be a conflict for us to speak of any previous covenant in our day. They are not mutually exclusive. That is also the reason why we can speak of another covenant that is still to come and not do harm to the New Covenant we now have.

The New Covenant given by the Messiah did not replace the covenants made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, or David; it was added to them.

The Covenant of Peace
Messianic Age (Kingdom)

The problem with a theology that has God replacing covenants and peoples is that there is nothing to stop God from replacing those replacements either. Covenant Theology should scare the Church and Christians half to death for their future. The sins of the Church are even more pervasive than what Israel did. You can measure that any way you want. The Church has no righteousness to commend itself. The Church would be well advised to look for their replacement covenant according to Covenant Theology. But thank God, He does not do that. Our God makes a covenant and does not break it, even if we mess up.

The truth is that there is another covenant prophesied in the future, but it won’t be replacing the New Covenant. Our God has promised us a seventh covenant which seems to get even better than the Hebrews writer’s definition of a better New Covenant. Unlike the logic of the writer of Hebrews, this future covenant won’t replace any commandment either. The Covenant of Peace will not replace the covenants made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, or with the Messiah; it will be added to them to make the Everlasting Covenant. Isaiah describes this future covenant, once we are in the Messianic Kingdom (when the Messiah has returned).

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the Lord who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10

The prophet Ezekiel says this:

And I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land, so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. And I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever.
Ezekiel 34:25-26

We don’t know a lot about the Covenant of Peace. It is a future covenant that will be brought to us when we dwell with the Messiah in His Kingdom. However, there is one tantalizing element of the covenant of peace we have already seen. Someone previous to us has already received it. His name is Phinehas. He was the priest who slew Zimri and Cozbi after listening to the counsel of Balaam, just before the children of Israel crossed the Jordan into the promised land. It is not a very long story in the Scripture. What is interesting is that God kind of “fast forwarded” to the kingdom and gave Phinehas the seventh covenant.

Therefore say, “Behold, I give him [Phinehas] My covenant of peace;”
Numbers 25:12

The scribes of the Torah have also indicated this special thing by writing the word “peace” in the verse in a unique way. The word for peace is Shalom. The third letter in the word is a Vav. The scribes write the letter in two parts. The vertical stroke of the letter has a gap in the middle. It is the only place in the Bible where this occurs. It is sometimes called the “broken Vav.” It is like the letter has been “cut” in two.

But what does it mean? It seems to be a secret in the Scripture.

The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He will make them know His covenant.
Psalms 25:14

Maybe you know His covenant now… sprinkle a little salt on it. He always cuts something when He makes a covenant.


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Editor - Monte Judah
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