Covenant Primer

Covenant Primer

Scripture: Exodus 19:5
Date: 04/10/2021  Lesson: 2
This week is a quick summary of the whole quarter, as we take one day each to look at the early covenants, the ones that were all, in their own way, present-truth manifestations of the true covenant, the one ratified at Calvary by the blood of Jesus, the one that we, as Christians, enter into with our Lord.

The Savior and the Serpent - Paper or Digital Download

The Savior and the Serpent - Paper or Digital Download
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Jëan Ross: Hello, friends, we'd like to welcome all of you to Sabbath School Study Hour here at the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. We would like to welcome our online members, our Sabbath School members across the country and around the world, as well as those of you who are joining us on the various television networks or on the Internet. Very warm welcome to you. We'd also like to welcome those who are here in person, our regular Sabbath School members. It's always a joy to be able to see you, Sabbath after Sabbath, ready to study the Word.

Now, today we have an important lesson. It's lesson number two in our new lesson quarterly, talking about the covenant, and today is "Covenant Primer." That's lesson number two if you follow along with us. We'd like to let our friends know about our free offer for today: we have a book that we'd be happy to make available to anyone who calls and asks. The book is entitled "The Savior & the Serpent," and if you'd like to receive a free copy of the book, the number to call is 866-788-3966, and you can ask for offer number 798. We'll be happy to mail that to you, of course, anywhere in North America. We also have a digital version of the book that we'll be happy to make available to you if you text the code on the screen. We'll be able to send that to you as well.

Well, before we get to our study this morning, we have a special musical item that will be brought to you at this time. ♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪ I come to the garden alone ♪

♪ while the dew is still on the roses, ♪

♪ and the voice I hear falling on my ear, ♪

♪ the Son of God discloses. ♪

♪ And He walks with me,and He talks with me, ♪

♪ and He tells me I am His own; ♪

♪ and the joy we share as we tarry there, ♪

♪ none other has ever known. ♪

♪ He speaks, and the sound ♪

♪ of His voice is so sweet, ♪

♪ the birds hush their singing, ♪

♪ and the melody that He gave to me ♪

♪ within my heart is ringing. ♪

♪ And He walks with me, and He talks with me, ♪

♪ and He tells me I am His own; ♪

♪ and the joy we share as we tarry there, ♪

♪ none other has ever known. ♪

♪♪♪

♪ I stay in the garden with Him, ♪

♪ though the night around me be falling. ♪

♪ But He bids me go; through the voice of woe ♪

♪ His voice to me is calling. ♪

♪ And He walks with me, and He talks with me, ♪

♪ and He tells me I am His own; ♪

♪ and the joy we share as we tarry there, ♪

♪ none other ♪

♪ has ever known. ♪♪

Jëan: Well, before we get to our lesson, as we always do, we need to ask God's blessing on our time together. You know, the Bible is His book and if we're going to rightfully understand it, we need the Holy Spirit, right? So let's just bow our heads for prayer.

Dear Father, indeed, we are so grateful that we're able to open up Your Word, thank You for giving us Your Word. It's quick, it's powerful, it gives us hope and instruction and guidance, and so today we invite Your presence. Come speak through us and help us to understand this passage-- these passages of Scripture that we'll be looking at. We commit this time in Your keeping, in Jesus's name, amen.

I'd like to invite Pastor Doug to come forward and we're going to be doing a little bit of a tag team preaching, or teaching I should say, this morning, together, and—

Doug Batchelor: Here we go.

Jëan: Yeah, here we go. But just before we do that, Pastor Doug, we just want to remind our friends about something very exciting that's going to be coming up on, actually, the 2nd of April, that is a Friday. We're going to start a special weekend focusing on the Sanctuary. It's actually going to be an intensive seminar, starting Friday evening at 6:30 right here and it's going to be all-day Sabbath. So we do have some flyers, they look like this, and you'll be able to receive one in the back on your way out this morning.

For our friends who are joining us online, we're happy to let you know that this is also going to be livestreamed and broadcast on Amazing Facts TV, so you can go to the Amazing Facts website, there's a big banner you can click on that'll give you all the details. We have a number of great speakers, Pastor Doug, that's going to be joining our Amazing Facts team in looking at these various themes found in the Sanctuary, so you don't want to miss that. And that's going to start April 2, 6:30 right here at the Granite Bay Church.

Doug: All right, I didn't hear if Pastor Ross said anything just before his prayer, but we're going to make a confession here. I prepare for the lesson in advance and I start preparing for the next week's lesson on Sunday. But when you begin a new quarter, you can't download the new lesson yet. I can't, because we study the lesson three weeks in advance. So the church does not put out the new lesson until the old one's done. But I have kind of a special relationship with the translators and they've given me a website where I can download the new lesson and I have a digital copy and I study it.

Well, I don't know what happened, because this just came to my attention. All week long I've studied the wrong lesson. I've got a really good lesson to share that has nothing to do with the lesson in your quarterly because I was reading it on my computer and a few minutes ago I was opening up the hard copy in here and I said, "This doesn't look anything like what I studied this week." And my little heart went, "Pitter-patter," and I said, "We got a problem, Houston." So I told Pastor Ross and he said, "Well, you want me to help you?" I said, "Yes."

So this is going to be what you call "fresh." It's going to be a little extemporaneous and spontaneous and cold-turkey, whatever you want to call it, but we're going to be teaching the lesson as we read it with you. So it is a good lesson. I was telling him as I looked and I said, "Boy, it's a good lesson, I wish we had more time." And we're going to be talking about the covenant. It's called "Covenant Primer." And I had studied Genesis 3 on the Fall. It was the wrong lesson. It's called "Covenant Primer," and it's based on the various covenants that you find spread through the Bible.

And the lesson today is sort of an overview, giving the high points of a number of the covenants, such as the covenants with Abraham, with Moses, with Noah, the new covenant, and so forth. And we have a memory verse. And the memory verse is Exodus 19, verse 5, where we read: "Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed and keep My covenant, then you will be a peculiar treasure unto Me of all the people of the--for all the earth is Mine."

And so this is a promise just before the Lord delivers the Ten Commandments in Exodus chapter 20, and it does tell us, if you read in Deuteronomy chapter 4, it says: "God delivered unto them His covenant which He commanded them to perform even Ten Commandments." So the Ten Commandments are a summary of the will of God and all the covenants of God are connected with that.

Jëan: Now, if you get to Sunday's lesson, it's entitled, "Covenant Basics," and Sunday kind of deals with the concept of a covenant. Where does the idea come from? What's involved with that? There's different words that you can find in the Bible that have a reference to the covenant. Some that you might be familiar with and not quite know that the original root is the same word used for "covenant" and that is "testament." We have the Old Testament, we have the New Testament, but the root word for testament is the same word that's used for covenant.

So when you talk about a covenant, you're talking about an agreement that two individuals make. And like any covenant, there are certain commitments, the covenant that God has with us, the covenant that we make with other people. We have some examples of covenant. Even way back at the very beginning of the Bible, we have the covenant of marriage. Marriage is a covenant two individuals enter into. There are agreements, there are commitments they share together. There are benefits and blessings. And so it is with the covenant that God wants to have with His people. There are certain conditions to the covenant. And we probably will get into some of those when we look at Noah and Abraham and some of the others.

What are some of the covenant conditions that God has for us? What are the benefits that we, as God's people, receive through the covenant? Of course, the greatest benefit of all is salvation. And the first reference that we have of the covenant, sometimes called the everlasting covenant, was right after Adam and Eve sinned and they were driven from the garden. God made a covenant with them, symbolized by those coats of skin that God made. Those robes of skin, the covenant in essence, was that a Messiah or a Savior would come who would pay for the penalty--pay the penalty for their sins, and thus give them hope of everlasting life. But there were certain conditions, one of which was faith in God and obedience to His Word.

Doug: When you say "covenant," some people think it's a mystical, biblical word, but we are involved in covenants all the time. When you go to the market, you're involved in a covenant. Someone is offering you some goods and you agree to exchange currency for the value of the goods. A covenant is an agreement. If you're going to buy a house, usually you'll make an offer. The other person will make, usually, a counteroffer and you say, "Okay, I accept this." Then once you get a verbal agreement, then you write down the contract, you've gone into covenant. You're going to buy this house for this amount and perhaps over this much time. And so that's called a covenant.

And all law, all contractual law, is based upon understanding covenants. There are usually witnesses involved so you can't say, "Well, he said this, and there's no witnesses, and I said that," so there's witnesses involved. Marriage is a covenant. There's always witnesses there. And there it's an agreement.

In the new covenant, man's got a problem. We are doomed because of sin. The penalty for sin is death. God said, "Look, I love you and I will save you, but there are terms. Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life," so one of the terms is, will you have faith? And what does it mean to believe? Jesus says, "Don't say just, 'Lord, Lord,' but he that does the will of My Father in heaven," believing in His sacrifice, a willingness to do His will, and accept that in your heart, so all covenants have these basics involved in them.

Jëan: Now, we'll probably be looking at more the specifics of some of the covenants that we have in the Old Testament but I want to begin with one covenant that I think we're all familiar with that we don't always think of as a covenant, and that is the Ten Commandments. You find it in Exodus chapter 20.

It's interesting that there is an introductory statement prior to God actually declaring the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai and, as Pastor Doug mentioned, there were witnesses there. You had the children of Israel, you had the angels present, God was speaking His law, and the law is sometimes referred to as God's covenant. And notice, in verse 1, it says: "And God spoke all of these words, saying, 'I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before you--or before Me.'"

So here before God even gets into the specifics of the Ten Commandments, He tells them first what He has done for them. When it comes to the covenant relationship between God and His people, God is the one that makes the first move. In the case of Adam and Eve, after they sinned, it wasn't Adam and Eve looking for God, but God came looking for them in the garden. And God made the covenant first. He said, "I will provide a means of salvation." Their response was to exercise faith and obedience in God. So when God came to the children of Israel and He gave them the Ten Commandment law, before He spoke about their responsibilities, meaning obedience, keeping the Ten Commandments, God reminded them that He's the one that brought them out of slavery. He brought them out of bondage. It's always God that makes the first move. Every covenant relationship, we're responding to something that God is doing for us.

Doug: Amen, so there are several covenants in the Bible. The lesson isn't covering all of them. You have a covenant that God makes with man before there was even sin. It's called the Edenic Covenant. In the garden of Eden, God said, "Eat from this tree, live; eat from the wrong tree, die; and here's the agreement, you live," and so there's an agreement there about what would perpetuate life. And then even after the Fall, God makes in Genesis 3 the Adamic Covenant, a covenant with Adam, saying that, you know, when He covered their sins because of their nakedness, He establishes the sacrificial system.

He said there was going to be a certain curse, but there's a promise in Genesis chapter 3:15 that the seed of the woman would crush the serpent's head. That's a covenant that's being made right there. And then what happens, as long as they maintained a difference between those who worship God and those who did not. We know Cain separated. He slew his brother, and the children of Cain began to multiply and he built a city quite a ways from Eden, and Adam and Seth and their posterity continued to worship God.

As long as they were separate, then they maintained the true worship. But you read in Genesis chapter 6: "It came to pass that when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them," the word "men" there means Enos, carnal men, the children of Cain. "Daughters were born to them, that the sons of God," the descendants of Adam and Eve and Seth that were still worshiping God.

How do we know that these sons of God are humans? You read in 1 John chapter 3, verse 1: "Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called sons of God." Believers are sons of God. "When the children of Seth saw the daughters of Cain, that they were fair; and they took them wives of all they chose," should believers marry with unbelievers? When that happens, then wickedness filled the earth and then God told Noah, "I am going to destroy everything on the earth."

Now here's the first covenant with Noah, Genesis 6, verse 18. Well, I can read verse 17: "I, myself, am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh," why? Because it says: "The thoughts of men's hearts were only evil continually. Violence filled the earth because the believers had intermarried with the unbelievers and they lost their distinct identity. But, verse 18, "I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall go in the ark, you, and your sons, and your wives, and your sons' wives, and every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female."

Then it goes on, he elaborates on this. "Thus Noah did." Noah accepted the terms. "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." He obeyed and began to build an ark.

Jëan: Now again, you see the two parts of the covenant illustrated here. First you see God making the first move. There in verse 18, God says, "But with thee I will establish My covenant." So God is saying, "I'm going to make a covenant with you," but then there's a condition that Noah and his family have to fulfill, and what was that condition? Well, they had to go into the ark.

Now, the principle that we find in this very first covenant here, the one God makes with Noah, we find an important principle. God will deliver those who enter into the ark. Now, of course, in this case, it was an ark of gopher wood, but there is an ark of safety that God has prepared for those who believe in Him and that ark is Jesus. We enter into Christ, we have hope, we have forgiveness, we have safety. There is a judgment coming upon the world, a judgment that's going to be as detrimental as was the flood. And not a flood of water, but a flood of fire. Those who lay hold of God's covenant, entering into Christ, our safety, our ark, will be preserved. So the principle of this covenant is found right at the very beginning, even before the flood came.

Doug: Amen, and in the same way that there was an opening made in the side of Christ from which came the blood and the water, there was an opening in the ark. How many doors to the ark? One door. How many ways of salvation? Who does the Bible say the door is? Christ said, "I am the door, I am the way, all others are thieves and robbers," so the ark is a type of Christ. So after Adam and his family, they survive the flood, and the animals survive with them, you read about another covenant God makes.

If you go to Genesis 9, verse 15, remember after the flood, I'm sure there was a lot of mist that was evaporating from the earth as the clouds were constituting the whole new atmosphere. And there was a majestic rainbow. They had never seen this before. It had never rained before. And God said, "This is a sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you," starting with verse 12, "and with every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth." Not just with Noah, but with all the creatures. "And it will be when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud: and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh."

Now have there been big floods? Yeah, but He says there'll never be a global flood to destroy all flesh. All the other floods since the days of Noah have been local. You can look and see the rainbow and say, "Ah, it won't last forever." Karen and I went on vacation one time. You know, usually when we go on vacation, we kind of mix a little ministry with our vacation. We just came back from Mexico and we did some preaching there and we also had some vacation. Finally, we said, "We're going to take a vacation and not have any other responsibilities, just take a vacation." And we went to Hawaii. And it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. It really did. It rained. Now, we weren't there 40 days and 40 nights. We were there for a week of that 40 days and 40 nights, but it rained every single day we were there. And they did have a flood. They had a dam that broke. Some of you may remember that time. But I knew--I saw a few rainbows and I said, "No, it won't last forever." It got sunny after we came home.

Jëan: Now, if you read on a little bit, you've got the story of Noah. Of course, God delivers Noah and his family. His descendants begin to multiply upon the earth, and then we find God making another covenant with a very important Bible figure and that is Abraham. And you actually find that in chapter 12 of Genesis. Genesis chapter 12 and beginning in verse 1, you read about God calling Abraham to come to-- or come out of his country to the Promised Land. Verse 1 says: "Now the Lord had said to Abram, Get out of your country, from your family, and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you: and I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I'll make your name great; and you shall be a blessing." Verse 3: "And I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you," and here's the key part of the promise: "And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

So there are several parts to this covenant, this promise that God makes. First of all, notice who makes the first move. Once again, it's God, it's God speaking to Abraham, and God says, "I will do these things," but there was a condition that Abraham had to meet. Could God bless Abraham and multiply his seed exceedingly, and through Abraham have the Messiah come if Abraham stubbornly refused to move and leave Ur the Chaldees, wanted to stay behind? No, in obedience to God's promise, Abraham had to leave, which, of course, you know he did. And the key promise here, not only would Abraham have many descendants as the sand of the seas and the stars of the heavens, but through his descendants, the Messiah would come.

Now, the Messiah part, or the covenant made with Abraham, is a reflection back to the covenant promise made to Adam and Eve, right after the garden of Eden, after they sinned, where it talks about the seed of the woman crushing the serpent's head. Now, here that promise is being amplified in the experience of Abraham and his descendants.

Doug: Amen, and a little later, if you go to Genesis 15, God reaffirms the covenant that He makes with Abraham. If you've got your Bibles you can start with-- oh, let's see here, go to Genesis 15 and it says, verse 4: "Behold, the Word of the Lord came to him, saying, This one shall not be your heir; but the one who will come from your own body shall be your heir. And He brought him outside, and said, Look now towards the heaven, and count the stars, if you're able to number them: and He said to him, So shall your descendants be. And he believed the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness."

Now, this is a very important verse in the Bible because Abraham was declared righteous because he believed. That's called what? Righteousness by faith. He was declared righteous because he believed. And so when he accepted the promise of God, you go on to read the rest of the chapter, he makes a sacrifice. Covenants were often sealed, these kind of biblical covenants, with a sacrifice. Hopefully, if you're buying a house, you don't have to sacrifice an animal, but I talked about that earlier, with a contract. But--so this is a biblical sacrifice that is sealed with blood. And we are cleansed because of a sacrifice that is made. We are saved by faith.

Then at the end of chapter 15, something interesting happens here. He gives him a prophecy. That night after the sacrifice is made, verse 17, "it came to pass, that, when the sun came down," Genesis 15:17, "and it was dark, behold there appeared a smoking oven, and a burning torch that passed between the pieces of the sacrifice. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham, saying, To your descendants I have given the land, from the River Euphrates to the great river: to the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaims, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites," and I always want to say, "and the termites." But--so, but there's something else I want to insert here: he makes a prophecy. So here's a covenant that He makes and He seals it.

Notice there's a burning pillar of fire that goes between it. And go to verse 12. "Now when the sun was going down," this is Genesis 15:12, "a deep sleep fell upon Abraham; behold, a horror of great darkness fell upon him. Then He," God, "said to Abraham, Know certainly," it's like a dream now, "that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs." Where was that? Egypt. He said, "I'm going to keep My covenant, I'm going to give you this land, but they're going to be in another land for a while." "They'll be strangers in a land that is not theirs. They will serve them; and they will afflict them 400 years," meaning from the time of Abraham. "And also that nation, whom they serve, I will judge afterwards and they will come out with great possessions."

It says they spoiled the Egyptians when they came out. And did the children of Israel go through a fiery trial as slaves in Egypt? So this is--God says, "I'm making a covenant. Because I make a covenant doesn't mean there won't be trials." That's an important point to remember.

Jëan: Likewise, do we go through trials, the believers in Christ, do we go through trials before our deliverance comes? Before the children of Israel were to go up out of Egypt, we had plagues, they came upon Egypt. Of course, there were ten plagues, but it is interesting to note that only three of the plagues, the first three of the plagues, tested the faith of the Israelites. In other words, they experienced those first three, but the last seven plagues only fell on the Egyptians. Their faith was tested, the judgments came, the last seven plagues, but then after the plagues came, then came deliverance.

Well, if you parallel that with the experience of spiritual Israel, or the Israel of God in the last days, according to Revelation, we know that before our deliverance comes, Jesus comes to take us to our heavenly Canaan. There is also going to be a time where our faith will be tested and tried, as was the faith of the children of Israel. There will be judgment that will come upon the wicked. Revelation talks about the seven last plagues. God did not deliver Israel from the plagues; He delivered them through the plagues.

So even though the world might experience plagues, those who have faith in God, God'll take care of them. God will protect them. That doesn't mean they won't be free from suffering. They will experience at least some of the heat, because it talks about in Revelation, one of the plagues is an intense heat. Revelation speaks about in Revelation 7, says that "they don't hunger anymore, neither thirst, neither shall the sun light upon them nor any heat." So to some degree, God's people experience heat. Nevertheless, God deals with them. He provides for them. He sees them through. We have nothing to fear for the future, all right? Unless we forget how God has led not only us but His people throughout all of the Bible history.

Doug: Yes.

Jëan: Oh, Pastor, one more thing before we move to the next topic. You know, you mentioned here, reading about this covenant that God made with Abraham, that God said to him, this is chapter 15, that he was to take some animals and he was to cut these animals into pieces and set them on either side. It was part of the sacrifice. And probably the blood of the animals ran down into some sort of a little trench in the middle but all day long it says, Abraham was there flapping his arms, scaring off the birds of prey until nighttime came and then there was this deep sleep that came upon Abraham and then he say this fiery pillar come and pass through the very midst of the animals. And of course, that fiery pillar represents Christ.

And the interesting thing about that is I did some research on the significance of that covenant and, if you made a covenant back in Bible times, with somebody, and you split the animal, you would pass through the midst of that animal, signifying that if you broke your side of the covenant, you could be treated as those animals. And it's interesting to note that God enters in through the midst of those sacrifices saying, "If I am not faithful, you can treat Me like one of these animals." But amazingly enough, in order for us to receive salvation, He had to be the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. Wonderful imagery that we find in this first covenant promise that God makes with Abraham.

Doug: Yes, and when the children of Israel went through their fiery trials, God went with them. That's the promise. A pillar of fire was with them through the wilderness. You know, now we're going to look at the covenant of Moses. Now, Jesus did not come through the line of Moses. Jesus does descend from Adam. Jesus descends from Noah. Jesus descends from Abraham, from Isaac, from Jacob. But when you get to Moses, Moses is from the tribe of Levi. He is sort of a spur on the family tree of Jesus, but Jesus is not directly descended from Moses or from Levi. But He makes a covenant with Moses that "through you, I am going to lead the people out of Egypt."

You read in Exodus chapter 6, it says: "The Lord said to Moses, Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land. And God spoke to Moses, and said to him, I am the Lord: I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, by my name the Lord I was not known to them," meaning Jehovah. "I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; I have remembered My covenant. Therefore say to the children of Israel, I am the Lord, I will bring you out from under the burdens of Egypt, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments: I will take you as My people, and I will be your God: then you'll know that I am the Lord your God, who brings you up from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I'll bring you into the land, which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, Jacob; and I will give it you as a heritage: I am the Lord."

So what God is doing here, He's saying even though time may go by, and you think that God's forgot His promise, it's like Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My word will not pass away." When God makes a promise, He's going to keep it. He said, "I remember what I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The children of Israel may think I've forgotten. I remember and now I'm going to act on that promise and they're going to see that I will bring them out of the land of their captivity." So He has Moses, of course, as the vehicle for this. Moses is a type of Christ. He goes to the Pharaoh, says, "Let my people go." The Pharaoh's a type of the devil. The Pharaoh does not want to let go and, through Moses, who is born from slaves but he is not a slave. Jesus was born as a human but He never sinned. He's never a slave to the devil. And through Moses, this deliverance comes.

Jëan: The deliverance that God had in mind for Israel was quite different than the deliverance that Moses had, at least in the first 40 years of his life when in Egypt. I think he believed at an early age, probably through the instruction from his mother, that he was going to play a role in God delivering Israel from Egypt. And he thought, "Well, I'm going to have to do it on my terms." And you know the story, how that he killed the Egyptian and then he ended up having to go into the wilderness.

You see, God's ways are not man's ways. The Bible says: "It's not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord." So, you know, you'd think-- this great controversy occurs, the devil rebels against God in heaven, he's cast unto the earth. You'd think God's way of dealing with this problem is with power and force and immediately destroying His adversary.

But God's solution to the sin problem is sending His Son, Jesus coming to bear our sins and die in our place. It's quite different than the worldly ambition or the worldly mind. And Moses had to learn that, that God's way of deliverance was different than at least what he had thought or what most people would think. And for 40 years, he wandered there in the wilderness until he came to the burning bush and you read about this in the previous chapter where God appears to Moses in the burning bush and God says, "I've chosen you, Moses, to go and bring My people up out of Egypt," and suddenly Moses's attitude is different. He realizes in his own strength he can't do it, and even though God had promised to be with him, he's still reluctant. He says, "Lord, I can't go, they're going to ask, well, who sent me?" And I love that response. God says, "Tell them that the I Am that I Am has sent you."

In God's promise, in God's covenant, He's always promising to be with us. He doesn't expect us to do it alone. He says, "I am with you. I am with you. Trust in Me." And of course, you know what happened: as God sent Moses, great plagues came upon Egypt. God delivered the children up out of Egypt. Again, before He even gave them His law from Mount Sinai, He brought them deliverance from their enemy.

In order for us to receive deliverance from our enemy, sin and Satan, we need to come to Jesus just the way that we are. We can't work our way into heaven. It's not based upon our righteousness, but we come humbly to Jesus, confess our sins. He will forgive us, He will cleanse us, and then He will empower us to do that which we couldn't do in and of ourself. Because God is the I Am. He's not at the--only the beginning of our experience but He's with us every step of the way. So we can trust in God.

Doug: Hm, amen, yeah, Jesus-- if you look in the Gospel of John, Jesus says, "I am" more than any other Gospel, and it's the Greek wording of what God said to Moses. He said, "Before Abraham was, I Am." And when they came to arrest Jesus in the garden, they said, "We're looking for Jesus of Nazareth." He says, "I am he," and they all fell down. And over and over, Jesus said, "I am the door, I am the way, I am the Good Shepherd, I am." He's introducing Himself as the great I Am many times.

Now, the lesson goes now on to the new covenant but, you know, before we do that, I think we ought to--yeah, I think if there was time, the lesson would want to put in the Davidic Covenant is a very important covenant. Turn with me in your Bibles to 1 Chronicles chapter 17. Just going to talk briefly about that because Christ is always referred to as the Son of David, and it's based upon this Davidic Covenant.

After David conquered all of his enemies, he's sitting in his house, he's brought the ark up to Jerusalem, and, you know, he can look out his window and see the ark is still in a tattered tabernacle that had been built in the days of Moses. It's probably looking pretty patchy. And he's thinking, Hiram had just built this beautiful house of cedar for him, Hiram the king of Tyre, and David is saying, "It's not right that here I am in a house of cedar and the ark of God is in a tent." And he's thinking about building a temple for the Lord.

So Nathan the prophet comes to him and he sends him a message from the Lord. And you go to verse 7, this is 1 Chronicles 17. You can start with 7: "Now therefore thus shall you say to my servant David, Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel: and I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all of your enemies from before you, and I've made you a name like the great men of the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their place of their own, and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously."

That's obviously not talking about in the world because God's people, the Jews and Christians have been oppressed by the wicked through history. So He's looking beyond here. He's talking about a spiritual promise. "Since that time I commanded the judges to be over My people Israel. I will also subdue all your enemies. Furthermore I will tell you that the Lord will build you a house," here's the promise. "The Lord will build you a house and it shall be that when your days are fulfilled when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, and--who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He will build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever."

Is He talking about Solomon or is He talking about Jesus? Yeah, I don't think He's talking about Solomon. This is what you call a dual prophecy in the Bible, because, yes, He did establish Solomon who built a temple. That temple's been destroyed. And the house of David after Solomon, there was a civil war and the kingdom was divided. He's saying, "I will set up your house, your son. He will build Me a house that will last forever." What did Jesus say in the Gospel of John? "Destroy this temple that is made with hands and in three days I will make one without hands." And they thought, well, it's taken 42 years to renovate the temple, you're going to raise it up in three days? But He spoke of His body.

So in the Resurrection, Christ established a house. The church is called the body of Christ. And in the new earth, it's going to be established or it's going to be inhabited by the redeemed. So when He says, "Of your sons I will establish His kingdom, He will build Me a house and I will establish His throne forever. I will not take My mercy away from Him as I took it away from him," King Saul, "who is before you. And I will establish Him in My house and in My kingdom forever. His throne shall be established forever." Now do we know who it's talking about? Jesus the son of David. So this is called the Davidic Covenant that the Messiah would come through the house of David and it's talking about the Christ, the kingdom of Christ, really.

Jëan: And--Pastor Doug, it mentions there, talks about establishing or He'll build a house, Jesus, speaking of the temple in Jerusalem, He said, "Destroy this house or this temple, and in three days I'll raise it up again." Well, He wasn't talking about the physical building in Jerusalem, but He was talking about the spiritual house, meaning the church, the sanctuary, the spiritual sanctuary that was referenced way back even to David so here we find Jesus the builder of a new house.

Now, of course, the Bible tells us God's way is in the sanctuary and if we want to understand our part of that covenant relationship with God, we need to look at the sanctuary and the services that we find presented there. Remember, God brought the children of Israel up out of Egypt, He delivered them from slavery, and then He gave them the sanctuary.

Now, the sanctuary, as you know, it's divided up into three parts. You have the courtyard that's got two articles of furniture. You've got the altar of burnt sacrifice. That represents Jesus. Justification is the theological term you can use for that. When we come, repenting our sins, we receive Jesus as our personal Savior, we are justified. We are forgiven of our sins. And then as you move closer towards the actual tent part of the sanctuary, you have a big basin called the laver filled with water and prior to the priest entering into the sanctuary, he'd have to wash his hands and his feet.

Now you might be wondering, "Well, why is the priest the only one that washes his hands and his feet symbolizing baptism? What about the children of Israel?" It's interesting to note that Paul says the children of Israel were all baptized through the Red Sea. So they did experience some type of baptism, at least in shadow or in type. So we receive Jesus as our personal Savior. We make that public profession of our faith. We are baptized, and then we enter into the first compartment of that sanctuary, and there were three articles of furniture in that first compartment. And I think this is key for us, even today.

What is it that we need to do in order to be faithful to our part of the covenant that God has made with us? Well, the table of showbread represents the Word of God. We need to feast upon the Word of God. The altar of incense represents prayer. If we want to be faithful to our side of the covenant, we need to read the Word, we need to spend time in earnest, fervent, prayer, and the candlestick or the light represents sharing our faith. We need to be witnesses of what God has done for us. That's our work in this covenant relationship: feeding the Word, time in prayer, shining forth the light or the gospel, and then you enter into the most holy place. By the way, the first compartment is called sanctification, the court's justification. The first compartment is sanctification.

You enter into the most holy place and that's a reference to glorification in the very presence of God and, of course, that reaches its fullness when Jesus comes again and the dead are resurrected and we are called up to meet the Lord in the air. So, frankly speaking, what is our part of the covenant? Yes, we need to believe in Jesus, we need to receive Him as our personal Savior, but we also need to make a commitment daily to feast upon the living bread and to spend time in prayer if we want to grow and be spiritually healthy.

Doug: Amen, well, we got six minutes to talk about the new covenant. Where do you first find the new covenant? In the New Testament? It's in the Old Testament. If you look in Jeremiah chapter 31:31, that's easy to remember: "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord," by the way, this is quoted verbatim in Hebrews chapter 8. "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I'll make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and the house of Judah."

I want to pause here. When the new covenant is quoted in the New Testament, it quotes it here from the Old Testament, He says, "I'll make a new covenant with the Gentiles." Is that what it says? Do you find anywhere in the Bible where it says, "I will make a new covenant with the Gentiles"? There is no covenant with the Gentiles. I always like to remind people that if you want to get to heaven, you've got to be a Jew. You become spiritual Jews. That's right, we're grafted into the stock of Israel. It says, "I make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah."

Remember those two kingdoms were divided: southern kingdom, Judah, and northern kingdom, Israel. But both of them could be saved in this new covenant. "Not according to the covenant I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt." It's not like the covenant of Moses. "My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord: but this is the covenant that I'll make with them and with the house of Israel after those days. I will put My law in their minds, and write them on their hearts."

Now, does the new covenant--does it demolish or delete the law? Or does it change the place the law is written? Ten Commandments are still part of that. "I'll put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; I'll be their God, and they will be My people. No more shall they--every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I'll remember no more." So believing in that forgiveness.

Now, just real quick before we get to the New Testament, if you look in Jeremiah chapter 33, verse 19: "And the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, Thus says the Lord; If you can break My covenant with the day," day and night, "and My covenant with the night, so that there's no more day and night in their season; then My covenant may be broken with David." And you notice He's referring now to what covenant? Covenant that the Messiah would come through David. He says, "I'm not going to break My covenant with David, My servant." "So that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne." See, when Jeremiah writes there's no--the Babylonians are getting ready to destroy them and there's going to be no Son of David, saying, "I've made a promise that Son of David will reign forever and I'm going to keep that promise." That's got to be Jesus, okay.

Jëan: Now, the new covenant, of course, is God writing His law where? In the heart. He wrote on tables of stone and it's interesting you read the account in Deuteronomy where Moses is talking to the children of Israel, recounting their experience. He again talks about the Ten Commandments and he goes through the Ten Commandments, then he gives some additional information. He says, "After God gave the Ten Commandments, the children of Israel said, 'Everything that God has said, we will do.'"

And then Moses in communicating with God, takes the message back and says, "Yeah, all the children of Israel said they're going to do everything You've told them to do." God responded to Moses and said, "Oh, that there was a heart within them that they would love Me and keep My commands--or fear Me and keep My commands." So right after the children of Israel said, "Yes, Lord, we'll do everything You want us to do," God recognized that there had to be a change of heart and that's the thing that the children of Israel were so reluctant to do. They failed to surrender their all to God. And that's why God couldn't bless them the way He wanted to.

Doug: Yeah, in Ezekiel, He words it a little differently. He said that "I'll take the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh." And, you know, God wants to soften our hearts where we're motivated by love instead of selfishness. Now, we've probably all heard somebody say, "Well, the old covenant is based on the Ten Commandments but the new covenant is just based on the Spirit and loving the Lord and it's based on Jesus, and--"

Both covenants are based on the Ten Commandments, meaning that one is the law. It's kind of on the outside based on the promises of the people. The people were making a promise. "All the Lord has said, we will do it." It's based on what they will do. New covenant said, "I will do it." It's based on His promise, not the promise of the people. "I will put My law in their hearts. I will remember their sins no more." And when we have faith in what God will do, it becomes reality and we can experience that new heart.

Jëan: And, of course, that is the essence of the new covenant. It's not doing away with the Ten Commandments. He maybe--Pastor Doug referenced that some Christians today say, "Well, we don't have to keep the Ten Commandments. We don't have to keep the law because that's part of the old covenant, it's done away with." No, rather, Paul makes it very clear that if we love God and we receive the grace of God, we will keep His commandments. Jesus said, "If you love Me," do what? "Keep My commandments." But the motivation is different. You see, the Jews in the time of Christ would try to keep the Ten Commandments to earn their way into heaven. Those who received Christ kept the commandments because they loved Jesus, they were motivated by love. That's the kind of motivation that God wants to see in His people who are experiencing this new covenant experience.

Doug: Yeah, and then you get to the end of the Bible, Revelation chapter 22:14: "Blessed are those that do His commandments that they might have a right to enter through the gates of the city and eat from the tree of life." It's pretty clear that God--what the purpose of the covenant is, to change our hearts and give us hearts that are willing to obey, amen? Well, I think we've got a minute left. You got anything else to say?

Jëan: Well, we want to remind those who are joining us about our free book that we have, it's called "The Savior & The Serpent," and we'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks if you're in North America. The number to call for that is 866-788-3966 and you can just ask for offer number 798. We'll get it in the mail. We'll send it to you. If you're outside of North America, you can also go to the website, just amazingfacts.org or .com and you'll be able to read the book at our free library.

Doug: And one more time, if you missed it earlier, in just a couple of weeks we're going to have a very special series called "Amazing Sanctuary," bringing in some great guest speakers. We're going to have Carlos Muñoz, Daniel Hudgens, Don Mackintosh, Steven Bohr, James Rafferty, and yours truly, and we're going to be talking about how you find some of the secrets of salvation in the ancient sanctuary tabernacle, sometimes called the temple. And so we think that you'll really be blessed by that.

Well, thank you very much, how did we do, considering we didn't have a chance to study? Oh, no, we don't want applause. No, just an "Amen" will work. Anyway, well, thank you, praise the Lord, and we just pray the Holy Spirit would bring our Scriptures back to our mind again and we look forward to studying God's Word with you again next week.

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announcer: "Amazing Facts" Changed Lives.

Peggy Toolen: My name is Peggy Toolen. I'm originally from Houston, Texas. We lived in Midland for about 14, 15 years. When my husband had a job offer to move to Detroit, we went, you know, expecting things to be easier as far as financial situations go, and, you know, once we got there we realized the cost of living there was actually worse than it was here. And so, he was working more, he was out of town a lot because he was a truck driver, and there was a time when I felt like I was taking care of my girls on my own and any situation that would come up, he wasn't there, you know, it was just me trying to take care of everything.

And I felt kind of angry towards God for that. Felt kind of angry toward my husband for that, you know? And at that point, I was already kind of angry with God because He hadn't been answering my prayers. 'Course, my prayers back then were really selfish-type prayers. They were more, you know, "God, we need more money. We've got, you know, we need financial help," and I just thought, "What's the point? God's not listening to me. I don't even want--I don't even want to have anything to do with Him anymore."

There was one night I had been reading Revelation and I'd read through the whole thing and it made no sense whatsoever to me. And I, after I finished it, I said--I prayed, "Lord, help me to understand what this means. You must want me to understand, it's in your Word. I must--I need to know what it means." And so I went on to bed and couple of days later, we got a flyer in the mail that said, "Amazing Facts presents Revelations Prophecy Seminar." And I was, like, "Wow, that's answered a prayer."

You know, I was so excited. My husband was too. And so we decided we were going to go to that seminar. And I just knew when I got through the whole seminar, I just knew that's where I was going to be. With Amazing Facts, I have learned so much about the Bible and about how to study the Bible, which was what I needed before because without knowing how to study the Bible, you can't get to know Jesus. And that's the most amazing thing to me is that I--God has led me to the place where I am now, to where I can learn every day more and more about His character and how much He really does love us.

Looking back, I'm just happy that He led me the way He did, even though I wasn't really listening. God has a way to just lead you where you need to be and take you down the right path but I looked at my life now and I think, "Wow, if it could have been that way before, and I would have had Him in my life this way all along, you know-- I don't know, I'm just--I'm just happy now, you know? It doesn't matter what's going on in my life, I am-- I'm happy with God. God's Word is life to me.

Announcer: "Amazing Facts" Changed Lives.

Female: Well, my conversion story is when I was in the Philippines, I just graduated as a nurse and afterwards I did not have any religion and one time I found myself inside a small church, Catholic church, in Manila, and before a big cross. And I was kneeling before and I could hear Jesus telling me to enter the convent, save myself and also my family. And I said, "Lord, I would like to follow You all the way."

At that point, I seemed to be happy externally, but because inside the convent we don't read the Bible, we don't study about the Word of God. We prayed the rosaries, we also at the same time studied the lives of the saints and also our founders, and the encyclicals of the Pope and the Virgin Mary. And so I do not know the truth and I had this torture of conscience, the guilty feelings that cannot be resolved. So I would confess to the priest in the confessional box, saying, "Father, forgive me, since my last confession was last week. Since then I have committed the following sin," including the root cause. Why am I falling and falling in that same sin over and over again?

And still for 21 long years, I struggle and I struggle and I struggle. I realized that I was totally empty, I was totally helpless and hopeless. And so depressed and so desperate that I would like already to end my life. I was working for five years as dean of the University of San Agustin College of Nursing in Iloilo City, one of the islands in the Philippines.

After five years I received a commission from my parents to help my sister who is being a battered woman. This is one of the reasons why I came over to United States. It is because my sister needs my help. As I was working in the hospital in New York, my boss-- he was so gracious enough to give me an invitation to the Millennium Prophecy.

As I was listening to Pastor Doug Batchelor's presentation, my heart really was beating so fast, and my mind, I'm able to grasp the truth, that this is the truth that I've been longing to hear all my life, that I have been seeking for so long. My personal relationship with Jesus, I can see Jesus as my personal Savior. He is not only the Savior of the whole world but He is my personal Savior. He was the one who delivered me mightily from the depths of sin, from the mighty clay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor has been used by the Lord in my conversion. The Amazing Facts, I owe to them. The Lord really blessed this ministry and I'm so proud I was able to attend this Millennium Prophecy. My life has never been the same. It has given me the peace, the joy, that never--I have never tasted in my life, and now I am set free to be able to work for Him and to follow Him.

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