God’s Covenants, an Introduction

Our God is a God of covenants. He has made many covenants with His people. Like many of us, I have not been studied in them enough to understand what they mean to us.

I am determined now to know what covenants we as believers are under in order to better understand and obey the faith God calls us to.

Every where I have been reading in the Bible, I see faith as an integral part of God’s covenants. Faith is the mortar that connects the bricks of God’s covenants. Grace is the paste that keeps them together.

Amazingly, God has been slowly revealing His plan for us from the beginning. He has shown us that it is a cooperative effort between our obedience to the faith He gives us and His guidance through grace.

In order to lay the foundation of God’s covenants for His people, we have to understand the meaning of faith.


The Biblical Definition of Faith


Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,

the evidence of things not seen. 

For by it the elders obtained a good report. 

Through faith we understand

that the worlds were framed

by the word of God,

so that things which are seen

were not made of things which do appear.

Hebrews 11:1-3


For most of my Christian life, I have thought that faith was believing and hoping. I thought that if I just believed, I would be okay and get to heaven. Not so much anymore. Now I realize faith is fragile and needs to be nurtured . . . by God through obedience.

What has always amazed me is that faith is a substance.

A substance of things we hope for. God shapes our hope and one day it will become tangible.

The interaction of God’s will by faith through grace is an integral part of all of God’s covenants and will be further explained in the following 5-part series on God’s Covenants.

Faith is an action word. It becomes the reality of God’s will in our lives through submission to His word, grace, and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Faith initiates a holy journey.

Once again, I find it amazing how God wills His intentions, purpose, and plan in our lives through our obedience of faith.


A word of warning. Faith can be lost. Mine was once. I lost faith in God, I no longer believed the Bible was true, and fell under the bondage of my sinful nature.

This is especially important since scripture consistently warns believers that their faith can become shipwrecked. This cannot be stressed enough. God is longsuffering and kind. His grace reaches out to us encouraging us to come back to Him. If we fail or remain faithful, in the end, He will give to all justly, either with rewards unto life or judgment unto death.

Scripture exhorts believers over and over to stand firm to the end lest we be found wanting, to be judged and subject to the wrath of God (Romans was written to believers in Christ).


This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy,

according to the prophecies which went before on thee,

that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 

holding faith, and a good conscience;

which, some having put away concerning faith

have made shipwreck: 

of whom is Hymenæus and Alexander;

whom I have delivered unto Satan,

that they may learn not to blaspheme

(1 Timothy 1:18-20).


We need to guard against having our faith shipwrecked and stand firm. One more point needs to be made regarding the passage above:

Paul was not afraid to name names of those who have caused others faith to fail or become jeopardized. The New Testament church practiced discipline, which is rarely seen these days.

As a result, we have compromised the church deeply. Divorce, remarriage, adultery, pornography, materialism, and many other sins are tolerarated in the church today.

God is not mocked. those who practice sin and not righteousness will not inherit the Kingdom of God.


Hebrews Hall of Faith


By faith Abel offered unto God

a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,

by which he obtained witness that he was righteous,

God testifying of his gifts:

and by it he being dead yet speaketh.


Able though faith his obedience of faith was able to obey God and his works were witnessed as his righteousness. This is exactly what was said of our Lord, Jesus:


By faith Enoch was translated

that he should not see death;

and was not found, because God had translated him:

for before his translation he had this testimony,

that he pleased God. 

But without faith it is impossible to please him:

for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,

and that he is a rewarder of them

that diligently seek him. 


Enoch was so faithful to God that he was given the honor of foreshadowing Christs ascension and the rapture when the dead are raised and those that are alive and remain are gathered together to Christ at His second coming.

This is why we must remain faithful unto the end. Because God rewards those who diligently seek Him.

He does not reward those who say a prayer and then continue to live in the bondage of sin. We are commanded to be diligent and overcome our sinful nature and live by the spirit.

We have to like Enoch show that we believe through our daily life unto the end. Then and only then will we raech the end of the race and claim our heavenly prize.


By faith Noah,

being warned of God of things not seen as yet,

moved with fear,

prepared an ark to the saving of his house;

by the which he condemned the world,

and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 


The Noaic covenent was the first covenant God made with the people of the world. Before the flood it had never rained. Noah is also an example of active faith and we should heed his example.

Noah feared God.

So much of Christianity has lost the fear of God. Jesus spoke to His followers about Hell and warned the apostles to fear Him who could destroy soul and body in hell.

The first covenant with Noe was both a picture of Jesus’ death and His second coming. It took Noah 100 years to build the ark with never any rain on Earth and in the face of a violent and evil generation. That is obedient faith.


By faith Abraham,

when he was called to go out into a place

which he should after receive for an inheritance,

obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise,

as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles

with Isaac and Jacob,the heirs with him of the same promise: 

for he looked for a city which hath foundations,

whose builder and maker is God.


Abraham’s faith took him on a long journey, with a hard life of tent dwelling, to unknown and fearful places. His faith was repeatedly tried over and over again.

His wife was also a participant in the covenant God made with him.

Abraham was hoping in things not seen and one day will dwell in a living city built by God.


All heirs of the kingdom of God will receive the promise because of Abraham’s active faith.


These four examples of faith are all linked either directly or indirectly to one of God’s 5 greater covenants. God calls us to obedience and we must have faith in order to obey Him. Lest no covenant will ever come to fruition.

So, the beginning of all of God’s covenants starts with the calling of a faithful servant. Like Jesus, who is our supreme example of faith and obedience to God, we must also learn the faith of obedience.


Who in the days of his flesh,

when he had offered up prayers and supplications

with strong crying and tears

unto him that was able to save him from death,

and was heard in that he feared; 

though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience

by the things which he suffered; 

and being made perfect,

he became the author of eternal salvation

unto all them that obey him;

Hebrews 5:7-9

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them,

and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 

And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:13-16).


Conclusion

The foundation of any covenant is God and the active ingredient is a faithful servant submitting his will to the graceful works of his master.

It is an awesome thing to realize that God in all his wonder chose to create a universe, inhabit it with humans, come down to live among them so He could redeem to Himself a holy and righteous people.

God made 5 covenants with us:

  • The Noaic Covenant
  • The Abrahamic Covenant
  • The Mosaic Covenant
  • The Davidic Covanant
  • The Messianic Covenant

Four out of the five covenants above are active today and are relevant to us as Jesus’ disciples.

We will review all five greater detail in order to know how they should be applied to an obedient and faithful people.

Now we understand better the main ingredient God uses to mix in our heart and use in His covenants. We must be faithful to water it, fertilize it, and grow it to maturity as God calls.

Blessings in Christ,

~ D

Working out our Salvation

I hear much talk of different isms: Calvinism, Arminianism, Methodism, Catholicism, Baptist(ism), New Evangelicalism, etc. Where does it all comes from? Our carnality. Even so, most “isms” of our day have strayed far from what Paul and Appollos was preaching. Sure there is much truth in some and less in others but; even in our current divisions, there are divers errors that divide us within our errors.


While we work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:11-13), we should consider the verse below. If this applies, there is yet much work to be done on a personal level. No one can work out their salvation on a corporate level, so it doesn’t really matter what your church organization believes. It can’t save you. Only the word of God living and working in you can do that.


“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?” (1 Corinthians 3:3-5).


If we are not working out our salvation with fear and trembling, I plead with you reader, please go back to the Bible and see what was missed . . . because something was.


“Trembling for fear lest you miscarry and come short. Be careful to do every thing in religion in the best manner, and fear lest under all your advantages you should so much as seem to come short . . . Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:1,11).


Here is an excerpt from Matthew Henry Commentary that explains this concept further.

I. He exhorts them to diligence and seriousness in the Christian course: Work out your own salvation. It is the salvation of our souls (1 Pet. 1:9), and our eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9), and contains deliverance from all the evils sin had brought upon us and exposed us to, and the possession of all good and whatsoever is necessary to our complete and final happiness. Observe, It concerns us above all things to secure the welfare of our souls: whatever becomes of other things, let us take care of our best interests. It is our own salvation, the salvation of our own souls. It is not for us to judge other people; we have enough to do to look to ourselves; and, though we must promote the common salvation (Jude 1:3) as much as we can, yet we must upon no account neglect our own. We are required to work out our salvation, katergazesthe. The word signifies working thoroughly at a thing, and taking true pains. Observe, We must be diligent in the use of all the means which conduce to our salvation. We must not only work at our salvation, by doing something now and then about it; but we must work out our salvation, by doing all that is to be done, and persevering therein to the end. Salvation is the great thing we should mind, and set our hearts upon; and we cannot attain salvation without the utmost care and diligence. He adds, With fear and trembling, that is, with great care and circumspection: “Trembling for fear lest you miscarry and come short. Be careful to do every thing in religion in the best manner, and fear lest under all your advantages you should so much as seem to come short,” Heb. 4:1. Fear is a great guard and preservative from evil.


Are you working out your salvation with fear and trembling? Or are you already confident? Think about that for a moment. Don’t seek guidance from others (or me for that matter) who will reinforce your confidence or current belief system. Who knows how much ism has already crept in. Rather, seek to understand the whole council of God unencumbered by preconceived bias. I am trying hard to do this and some of what I am coming up with is not popular even among my Christian brethren.

Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Apostles spoke a great deal about why people should have fear and trembling, namely Hell. In the New Testament, the realities of Hell was primarily spoken to the religious, followers of Christ, believers, and those who perceived they were following after God. Hell was not spoken much to unbelievers. That reality in and of itself should cause us to ponder.


The Biblical concept of working out our salvation by implicit definition means; it is not yet complete.

God’s Covenants, Part 2

The Abrahamic Covenant


When Abram was 75 years old, well established in his community, God called him to leave his extended family, the comfort of his home, his country, and journey toward the land of Canaan living in tents as a sojourner.

It was to Abram that God made this covenant.


 

Now the Lord had said unto Abram,

Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred,

and from thy father’s house,

unto a land that I will shew thee: 

and I will make of thee a great nation,

and I will bless thee, and make thy name great;

and thou shalt be a blessing: 

and I will bless them that bless thee,

and curse him that curseth thee:

and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 

 (Genesis 12:1-3).


This act of Abram to leave all the comforts of home and journey to a land unknown took incredible faith. Faith is not just believing in something.

It is acting in a way that makes that belief a reality. Every day we choose to live out faith or ignore it. Faith is what we must be obedient to because the object of our faith is God, who provides for us every step of the way.


The covenant began when Abram chose to listen to God and follow God’s leading. This covenant has no end. Because in it God promises to bless all the families of the world. This blessing is eternal.


The initial condition was that Abram had to leave his land. If he did, God had many promises waiting.

  • If he did, a great nation would come from his seed: in Deuteronomy 1:10, the fulfillment began: “The Lord your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.”
  • God would bless him and make his name great. The three major religions of the world Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all hail the name of Abraham. He will be remembered forever.
  • in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed: Jesus Christ came from the seed of Abraham. Now all the families of the Earth can be blessed.
  • “Unto thy seed will I give this land” Genesis 12:7: Abraham was shown to be living in the  promised land in Genesis 13:12. God’s people would later be removed from the land due to disobedience. But because of God’s promise to Abraham, they would return to the land according to the promise. One fine day in the future, all the families in the world will share this more perfect land together.

He also had to have the sign of circumcision to remain in the covenant. This sign of the covenant was to last forever.

 And God said unto Abraham,

Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou,

and thy seed after thee in their generations. 

This is my covenant, which ye shall keep,

between me and you and thy seed after thee;

Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 

And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin;

and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.

Genesis 17:9-11


To this day, the Jews are circumcised and are demonstrating the sign of this covenant. They have suffered greatly and have been blessed beyond measure – the ultimate blessing is still to come.

Many non-Jews also choose to get circumcised not to follow the law but out of respect for the covenant God made with Abraham.


I am not sure how this sign will continue forever. Under the Mosaic covenant, Jews practice this. But the Mosaic covenant has ended and so, its practices.

This is in need of further study since circumcision is no longer a requirement to partake in God’s promise of blessing. I have never read anything specifying the eternal aspect of this sign.


There are differing opinions regarding the application of this sign of circumcision. Some messianic Jews believe Gentiles should continue this practice.

But Paul had something to say about this. But first, this consideration, which helps to describe the gospel of the Law of Christ.


Paul had Timothy circumcised in order to witness to the Jews.

Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him,

and he took him and circumcised him

because of the Jews who were in those places,

for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

Acts 16:3


Yet Paul said,

It was for freedom that Christ set us free;

therefore keep standing firm

and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision,

Christ will be of no benefit to you.

And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision,

that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.

Galatians 5:1-3


Paul wanted to be all things to all men. Here is understanding,

For though I am free from all men,

I have made myself a slave to all,

so that I may win more.

To the Jews I became as a Jew,

so that I might win Jews;

to those who are under the Law, as under the Law

though not being myself under

the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;

to those who are without law, as without law,

though not being without the law of God

but under the law of Christ,

so that I might win those who are without law.

To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak;

I have become all things to all men,

so that I may by all means save some.

I do all things for the sake of the gospel,

so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23


Paul did all things for the sake of the gospel. The gospel is about reaching out while not compromising the holy things of God, which are now becoming us.

We are His temple on Earth and His temple should not be defiled. Paul did all these things in accordance to gospel obedience and the gospel is obedient to the Law of Christ.

This is what Paul demonstrated for us all. We should strive to emulate him as he emulated Christ.

We should realize that serving God surpasses our cultural biases, our personal interests, and our sinful nature.

This is what being a disciple (Christian) means. Denying all these things, picking up our cross, and following Him.


Israel, who, “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” still holds to the old (dead) law.

They cannot even attempt to keep it because there is no temple.

I believe the building of a new Jewish temple will quickly bring the Antichrist into view, part of the final judgment of this world because of disbelief and rejection of Christ.

When the fullness of the Gentiles comes, their blindness will end and usher in the coming of our Lord. This will not be without tumultuous tribulations.


One part of the promise, . . . and curse him that curseth thee: is a warning for the whole world.

I fear that perhaps more than any other people, Abraham’s first son’s seed, Ishmael, composed mostly of Arabic Muslims will suffer greatly under God’s curse. They are not a part of the promise of Abraham.

I believe this curse is eternal just like the covenant is. Oh, what awaits in hell for those who curse God’s people.


We are to live in a way that shows everyone, Jews an Gentiles alike, the truth of Christ’s Law. Obeying the Law of Christ is the gospel.

Jesus commanded us to go to all the world and make disciples, which includes the Jews.

Paul was compelled to provoke them to Christ for the sake of the gospel.

 For I speak to you Gentiles,

inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles,

I magnify mine office: if by any means I may provoke

to emulation them which are my flesh,

and might save some of them. 

For if the casting away of them

be the reconciling of the world,

what shall the receiving of them be,

but life from the dead?

Romans 11:13-15


Obeying the promise of Abraham has eternal consequences for those within and without:

But when the Son of Man comes in His glory,

and all the angels with Him,

then He will sit on His glorious throne.

All the nations will be gathered before Him;

and He will separate them from one another,

as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;

and He will put the sheep on His right,

and the goats on the left.

“Then the King will say to those on His right,

‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father,

inherit the kingdom prepared for you

from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat;

I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink;

I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;

naked, and you clothed Me;

I was sick, and you visited Me;

I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him,

‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You,

or thirsty, and give You something to drink?

And when did we see You a stranger,

and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?

When did we see You sick,

or in prison, and come to You?’

The King will answer and say to them,

‘Truly I say to you,

to the extent that you did it to one of these

brothers of Mine, even the least of them,

you did it to Me.’


Are you doing this according to God’s word? If you are not, it doesn’t matter if you have said a prayer of forgiveness or accepted Jesus into your heart.

It is what you did for Him that counts. Faith without works is dead. The following will happen to non-believers and professing Christians who do not obey the gospel and forfeit the promise given to Abraham.

Living for Christ means just that, living for Christ.


 “Then He will also say to those on His left,

‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire

which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat;

I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;

I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in;

naked, and you did not clothe Me;

sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’

Then they themselves also will answer,

‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty,

or a stranger, or naked, or sick,

or in prison, and did not take care of You?’

Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you,

to the extent that you did not do it

to one of the least of these,

you did not do it to Me.’

These will go away into eternal punishment,

but the righteous into eternal life.”

Matthew 25:31-46


God has promised us much through the blessings of Abraham. In order to receive the promise, we must repent, sin no more, and journey into an unknown land in the service of our Lord. He has blessings awaiting you.

Remember Jesus’ commandments to us?

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind 

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

These we must keep.

There is no other way.

God’s Covenants, Part 3

The Mosaic Covenant


 This is the only covenant that is called the old covenant. This is significant because it implies something new has replaced it.

And so it has. Part 5 will discuss the replacement of the Mosaic covenant with the Messianic covenant.

But first, we need to understand the Mosaic covenant and its relevance in our lives.


 And it came to pass in process of time,

that the king of Egypt died:and the children of Israel sighed

by reason of the bondage, and they cried,

and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.

And God heard their groaning,

and God remembered his covenant

with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

And God looked upon the children of Israel,

and God had respect unto them.


This covenant came out of the Abrahamic covenant and was a initiated 430 years later at Mount Sinai.


Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians,

and how I bare you on eagles’ wings,

and brought you unto myself. 

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed,

and keep my covenant,

then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me

above all people: for all the earth is mine:

  and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,

and an holy nation.

These are the words which thou shalt speak

unto the children of Israel.

Exodus 19:4-6


Moses, the recipient of the covenant was commanded by God to pronounce the covenant made to his people, the Israelites.

The covenant was primarily concerned with the honor of living in the promised land. This honor was conditional upon Israel’s obedience.

This covenant had 613 laws (including the 10 commandments) attached to it. One can see how the Pharisees and Sadducee could get caught up in legalism over the centuries.

The laws addressed every aspect of their lives including worship, diet, and relationships.

God promised dominion of the land. He also ensured health, prosperity, and fertile soil if the people obeyed the covenant.

Disobedience would bring famine, death, pestilence, invasions, and all sorts or calamities.

Persistent disobedience eventually cost them the banishment from and enemy occupation of promised land.

The laws are a glimpse of the holiness of the Lord. They peal back the coverings of heaven and hell. All the families of the world would learn from the laws of God placed on His holy people.

To this day, God has shown through His people, the blessing and the curse. Currently, they are blinded and unknowingly await the opening of their eyes and the grafting back in to God’s vine.

This covenant was limited strictly to the land of Israel, the Jewish people, and those who chose to willingly submit and adopt their ways.

It provided security and protection with obedience or death and destruction in rebellion. Just like the choice presented to us today through the Messianic covenant.


An example of the depth of the Jewish curse for disobedience is found here:


The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption,

and with a fever, and with an inflammation,

and with an extreme burning, and with the sword,

and with blasting, and with mildew;

and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. 

And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass,

and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.

The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust:

from heaven shall it come down upon thee,

until thou be destroyed.

The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies:

thou shalt go out one way against them,

and flee seven ways before them:

and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air,

and unto the beasts of the earth,

and no man shall fray them away.

Deuteronomy 28:22-26


The Jews have suffered this curse many times over the centuries. Currently, they are still in unbelief.

But God is working on them.

He has brought them back to the land after nearly 2,000 years.

It can’t be too much longer before their eyes are reopened and the whole world benefits from their grafting in.


God showed us through His people that we shouldn’t play games with Him.

He means what He says and He says what He means. How can we not fear a God who can destroy both soul and body?

This blessing and curse will happen to all of us.

Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats and give each according to their works.


When the Son of man shall come in his glory,

and all the holy angels with him,

then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

and before him shall be gathered all nations:

and he shall separate them one from another,

as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 

and he shall set the sheep on his right hand,

but the goats on the left.

Matthew 25:31-33


His judgment will be final. Jesus will bless the sheep and curse the goats. Just like in the Mosaic era. But then, it will not be a learning experience.

It will be eternal with weeping and gnashing of teeth. And it will be entering into the Kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world.

So now, the time is here. He calls us to work out our salvation, obey His commandments, and live a holy life fleeing sin and its power through the teachings of His grace.

If we obey Him, paradise awaits. If we choose to ignore Him or continue in sin, judgment awaits.


But he giveth more grace.

Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud,

but giveth grace unto the humble. 

Submit yourselves therefore to God.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.

Cleanse your hands, ye sinners;

and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

James 4:6-8


The Mosaic covenant has ended. It ended with Christ. All the laws of Moses and their immediate consequences died with the coming of Christ.

The Mosaic covenant is over, finished, done. 

The Law of Christ reigns now and forever more.

We can and should continue to learn from it rich depth and wisdom for buy-and-large, the Old Testament proclaims its great truths.

Nevetheless, I say:

Halleluiah!


For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus

hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law could not do,

in that it was weak through the flesh,

God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,

and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,

who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:2-4


Might I add one more thing . . . continue the good fight, pursue holiness in truth, seek the wisdom of God, and do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies.

Do you not know that the Holy Spirit dwells inside His people?

This covenant more than any other should be a sobering reminder that God is not mocked. Take nothing for granted. He won’t. He judges everyone and everything.

All will be revealed on His glorious day.

Even so Lord Jesus, come.

God’s Covenants, Part 4

The Davidic Covenant


The Davidic covenant happened at a time the the Israelites had accomplished much the God had planned for them.

Nearly all of the promised land was theirs. Remember the Abrahamic covenant was about acquiring the promised land.

The Mosaic covenant was about occupying the promised land.

The Davidic covenant was made nearly 1,000 years later when Israel was at its peak.

Here is the prophet’s message to David regarding God’s covenant with him. Mind you, it is a long but important in its message.


And it came to pass that night,

that the word of the Lord came unto Nathan, saying, 

Go and tell my servant David,

Thus saith the Lord,

Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?

Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time

that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt,

even to this day,

but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.

In all the places wherein I have walked

with all the children of Israel spake I a word

with any of the tribes of Israel,

whom I commanded to feed my people Israel,

saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?

 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David,

Thus saith the Lord of hosts,

I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep,

to be ruler over my people, over Israel:

and I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest,

and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight,

and have made thee a great name,

like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.

 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel,

and will plant them, that they may dwell

in a place of their own, and move no more;

neither shall the children of wickedness

afflict them any more, as beforetime,

and as since the time that I commanded judges to be

over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest

from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee

that he will make thee an house.

And when thy days be fulfilled,

and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers,

I will set up thy seed after thee,

which shall proceed out of thy bowels,

and I will establish his kingdom.

He shall build an house for my name,

and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

I will be his father, and he shall be my son.

If he commit iniquity,

I will chasten him with the rod of men,

and with the stripes of the children of men:

but my mercy shall not depart away from him,

as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established

for ever before thee:

thy throne shall be established for ever.

2 Samuel 7:4-29


The first thing of note I see in this proclamation is what Jesus said to the sheep in the sermon on the Mount.

In as much as you have done this to the least of these my brethren, you have done it to me. I see God identifying more closely with His people in this covenant and even more closely in the next.

God said he dwelt in tents just like the Israelites. I realize the Ark of the covenant was in a tabernacle.

It is the connection with the brethren I find telling because this is exactly what Jesus said we should do. When we are providing for the least of our brethren, we are providing for God.

God wanted a more permanent residence with His people and David was to answer God’s request that was made repeatedly in the wilderness.

God tells David that He provided for him up to that point in time as promised in the Mosaic covenant.

He is also promising David that through his seed God will set up a permanent kingdom and thrown forever.

He would continue to provide for David’s needs because He was still under the Mosaic covenant.

He also promised to discipline David when he sinned and remain merciful, unlike King Saul.

This is the promise of our coming King Jesus. Who will reign not just over Israel but over the whole world.


This covenant has no end. Some of the specifics of the covenant were conditional.

The people and kings were suppose to keep the commandments of God and God would continue the promise of their authority over the land.

David was suppose to build God’s temple. But God denied him because he sinned.

His son, Solomon built the temple instead because David’s sin of blood shed that prevented him from doing so.


Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said,

Hear me, my brethren, and my people:

As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house

of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord,

and for the footstool of our God,

and had made ready for the building: 

but God said unto me,

Thou shalt not build an house for my name,

because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.

1 Chronicles 28:2-3


God promised mercy to David. When David sinned, he repented of his sins and continued to walk with God just like we are suppose to do now.

I believe God will do this to anyone to follows the same path of sin and repentance as David did since this covenant is another picture of God’s coming grace, mercy, and judgment.


God wants to dwell in us. Like David’s sin of bloodshed, God does not want to dwell in a house stained with sin.

When we repent of our sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us.

But God does not want to dwell where sin reigns.

I do not believe anyone who believes in Christ and practices the sins mentioned here will have the Spirit of God continually inhabit his person.

If we are unrepentant and allow the sinful nature to reign in our body, I don’t believe we will inherit the Kingdom of God.

God’s mercy only goes so far. How far? That I have not figured out.

I do believe this.


 

“For if we sin wilfully after that

we have received the knowledge of the truth,

there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

but a certain fearful looking for of judgment

and fiery indignation,

which shall devour the adversaries.”

Hebrews 10:26-27


and this . . .


If we say that we have fellowship with him,

and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,

we have fellowship one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin,

we deceive ourselves,

and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:6-8


We are to walk in a way that allows Christ to cleanse and keep us cleansed from all sin. We are to walk in His ways and not our ways or the ways of the world. We are to deny sin.

We are not to deceive ourselves. This is not what Christianity is all about. It is about truth, honesty, and living as Christ calls us to live.

God loves us and wants the best for us. This we must seek with all our heart. The next covenant should shed more light on how we can do that and live in the assurance of our salvation.

 

God’s Covenants, Part 1

This is a 5-part series. That will be cursorily exploring what a covenant is and which covenants apply to us as followers of Christ.

There are 5 greater covenants that apply to God’s people. One is exclusively for the Israelites and does not apply to non-Jews.

Knowing about God’s covenants help us to better understand our role as followers of Christ. These covenants apply to our behavior and thinking about the world.

I recently saw an article that described how the U.N. has been deceptively inoculating women in Africa with tetanus vaccines that were laced with HCG with the effect of sterilizing over 1 million women.

The U.N plans to continue and expand this vaccination program. I am deeply concerned with any vaccine propagated by a government agency.

But the point of this article is that it is directly opposed to the first covenant God made with us, the Noaic covenant. It is described below.

Some covenants apply to the church. Some to people in general. When these covenants are ignored, God is displeased and can bring judgment.

This is only one of the reasons it is important to have a basic understanding of the covenants and how they apply to us.

First we must clarify between a contract and a covenant and differentiate the types of covenants.


What is a contract? According to Webster’s Dictionary it is a bargain; to make a mutual agreement, as between two or more persons.

We have contracted to buy a car on payments or we have contracted with a builder to construct a barn on our property. Contracts can be broken like some covenants.

The main difference between contracts and covenant is that contracts are between two or more parties that are dependent upon each other.

God does not make contracts because He is not dependent upon us.

God only makes covenants and some sacred things in our lives are reflective of this. One is marriage.

Marriage is a covenant by nature. Man has turned it into a contract distorting its image, meaning, and purpose all while ripping God out of the fabric of one of our most precious personal relationships.

As a result, many have fallen into difficult times because they have misunderstood the covenant of marriage and its reflection of God’s image on our lives.

Marriage is symbolic of God’s covenant will probably be discussed in a later post.


God is always the greater party making the agreement independent of us. He does not need us to fulfill His end of the covenant.

He directs the stipulations determining whether a covenant is conditional or unconditional. There is no point in bargaining with God.

I have done this in the past. Thankfully knowing more about covenants have helped understand the futility of attempting to bargain with God.

Every time you read something that looks like a contract in scripture, you can be sure it is a covenant if it comes from God because God is always the greater party and not dependent upon us.


There are many covenants in the Bible but only five major (or greater) covenants. The people of the world or God’s chosen people. God also made covenants with individuals. One example is Cain.

Of the five major covenants, some are unconditional and others are conditional.  Four of the five covenants apply to us in general. Regardless of the age or type of covenant, if it applies to us, as God’s children are commanded in scripture to honor them.


When studying this, 5 main concepts arose about God’s covenants.

1. Who is the recipient?

2. What is the duration?

3. Is the covenant conditional or unconditional?

4. What is its purpose?

5. Is there a promise or a judgment associated with the covenant?

 


Covenant #1: The Noaic Covenant

The first Covenant was with Noah, his family, and all the peoples of the world thereafter.

It binding until the end of the age. We are still under this covenant. One of the things God’s covenants are showing me is how we as a people often get caught up in the world’s concerns and forget about God’s covenants.

This covenant is unconditional. God will not remove any provisions of this covenant regardless of what we do. There are  some expectations of behavior and these exceptions should guide our thinking today.

We should consider and honor everything the God provides us in this covenant and we need to teach these principles to our children.

And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

God repeats this twice implicating its importance). God is promising us life on Earth until the Earth falls under judgment again.

This is implicit in the covenant and revealed later in His word. That means He will make sure that as long as the Earth is not undergoing

God’s judgment, it will have enough provisions for all the worlds’ population: food, shelter, and clothing. There is no shortage of any of this on the planet, only the sin in man that deprives.

And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. 

The subjection of animals to human in nature. I see every day with the animals I husband on my property. Never in history has an animal asserted control over humans.

Sure, larger animals attack and can kill us but that is out of fear or dread. It is also because of an earlier curse made upon man in the Garden of Eden,

And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: (Genesis 3:11).

God cursed all the animals of the Earth as well as us in the curse of sin. God further explains the course of the curse in this covenant regarding animal behavior and their purpose.

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 

We are free to eat whatever we like animal or plant on the Earth.

But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

We are not suppose to eat live animals or raw flesh like wild animals do. How we do this is by draining the blood of animals during slaughter before we eat them to make sure they are dead.

Now, it is impossible to get every drop out, but we try to follow the principles involved in the responsibility of caring for and killing animals.

And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 

Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Human life is sanctified, thus the penalty for murder is death. It does not matter if the killer is human or animal. They must die.

This is the moral component of the covenant. Without this, violence, wickedness, and evil will once again become rampant on the Earth.

Now we see people who no longer sanctify life, killing babies through government sanctioned abortions, the abolishment of the death penalty, sterilization, and burgeoning police state here in America.

And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; 

and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

Here is the pronouncement that the covenant is for every living creature on the Earth.

And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

There will never be another flood on the Earth again!

And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, 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 the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. 

And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth (Genesis 9:1-17).

The rainbow is a symbol of God’s unconditional covenant to everyone and a reminder to Him that He will go on feeding the human race. There is enough food to feed the whole world’s population according to the U.N., unfortunately, in our sinful nature, we as a people do not share the world’s food and many are sick and die daily.

This covenant stipulates 6 things:

  1. We are to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. This means we are to remain in our covenants of marriage, have children, and teach them to do the same.
  2. Animals are subjected to us and we are responsible for them.
  3. We are to free to eat any animal or plant on Earth as long as we do not eat animals like wild beast, raw. Some foods are harmful. We are to use common sense.
  4. The death penalty applies to any animal or man that commits murder. Proof this covenant was not instituted until the flood is demonstrated by how God dealt with Cain after he murdered his brother.
  5. The inhabitant of the Earth will never again be destroyed by a flood.
  6. God will provide a symbol to remind Him and us of His covenant with us with a rainbow. 

God promised that:

 . . . I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done (Genesis 8:21b).

This also is a picture of redemption. God will preserve the Earth for man and all living things even though our heart is evil.

He will provide a remedy, a way of redemption that will deal with our sin permanently. The final covenant will address the fulfillment of God’s wonderful plan for mankind.

This covenant will remain in effect until there is no longer a need to preserve the Earth for us. I think we all know when that time is.


Part 2, The Abrahamic Covenant.


 

The List

The following is a list of sins that will keep anyone who practices them away from God’s presence.

All these sins are taken directly from the 10 commandments. That being so, it is of the utmost importance that we have a well rounded understanding in order to obey them.

Christ came and fulfilled everyone one of the OT laws. We are to see them through His eyes. Unfortunately, most of us are nowhere near the place of having the mind of Christ even though we are commanded to do so.

One cannot separate the 10 commandments from the mind of Christ since they are inexplicably connected and reflect the image of God.


The first four of the commandments teach us how to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength. The last six teach us how to love our neighbor as ourselves.

The last commandment in particular is perhaps a pivot on which all others are guided. Since it addresses our inward thoughts, our heart, and the submission of our will to the will of God; Thou shalt not covet.


Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?

Be not deceived:

neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.


Here, we are called to completely forsake sin. That means to no longer practice any of it. By being renewed by the Holy Spirit we are to become sanctified after we are justified.

Being justified is the imputing our faith as righteousness before God when we believe on Him.

Being sanctified is the work He does in us when we have forsaken all sin and completely submit our life to Him.


Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:of the which I tell you before,

as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. ~ Galatians 5:19-21.


Here Paul is talking to believers and telling them that if they do any of these things listed, they will not inherit the kingdom of God.

It is safe to say all Christians and unbelievers who practice such sins (of the flesh) will inherit eternal hellfire.


Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. ~ Ephesians 5:5-6.


Now we are beginning to get the antidote for sin. Walking in the love of God shed abroad in a heart sacrificed to God.


Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.~ Romans 8:12-14


We don’t owe sin anything. Nor are we subject to its power anymore as Christians.

When we sin as Christians, we are doing it willfully. We are also mortifying the Spirit of God in our heart.

We are to be led by the Spirit reflecting the image of God. Then we can know we have been restored from the fall of Adam as sons and daughters of God.


I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means,

when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.


Paul is living his life as an athlete strives at being the best at his craft. We are to live our lives free from hypocrisy not giving others any reason to mock God.

Our bodies are not innately sinful. It is within our soul that the seed of sin dwells. God wants to replace that seed with indwelling of His Spirit so our bodies can be used as tools of righteousness through the Grace of God.


“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (Corinthians 10:12).


There is nothing more to say here. Measure carefully your life and walk accordingly. Your eternal destiny is at stake.


“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death.

There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death” (1 John 5:16-17).


This is a hard saying and one that I do not understand yet.

The sins mentioned above do lead to death if not abandoned in repentance and a walk committed wholly in Christ.

We can also conclude that Christians as well as non-believers can commit these sins and reap what we so.


“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” ~ Galatians 6:7-9).


All of these NT passages are written for your admonishment. Consider them carefully my Brethren.

And remember Eve’s example; living a perfected life by the power of God’s Grace. She was deceived and failed to follow the order of things ordained by God, not submitting to Adam’s authority who was also living a perfect life in the image of God.

We all now have the same knowledge, experience, the reality good of evil. Our collective sin through the ages has distorted us even more.

Don’t listen to the Serpent’s lie that disobeying God and sinning will keep you on in the kingdom of God. “You surely shall not die!” ~ Gen. 3:4 is as valid today as it was so long ago.

Be not deceived, God is not mocked, especially by professing followers. Consider Demas if you will.


God wants to restore us to His image. This is a process we should seek after diligently and allow its fullest work in our life today. If we wait, it may be too late.

Man’s Devices

“Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device” (Acts 17:29)

When was the last time you saw a graven image of Jesus in wood, stone, gold, or on the blue or silver screen?

We ought not think it as God. These are all deceptions and devices of man.

Separating ourselves from man’s devices is a challenging and continuous process. The more closely we align ourselves with the world, the more difficult it becomes.


If you want to get a more accurate representation of what Jesus looked like, look to the Bible not to man’s depiction. Here are some scriptures that paint a clearer picture. Keep in mind, we are not to make any image of Him.

Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? (1 Corinthians 11:14)

I don’t think Paul would teach us men to do something that Jesus would not do, namely have long hair like women should have:

For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered . . . But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering (1 Corinthians 11:6, 15)


He was not handsome according to our worldly understanding,

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him,
there is no beauty that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2)


Jesus at some point had a beard,

I gave my back to the smiters,
and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair:
I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (Isaiah 50:6)


So no. We do not know exactly what Jesus looked like and should not try to make an image of Him in any form.

What we should do is wait according to the teaching of God’s grace for His coming while we work zealously for Him.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee (Titus 2:11-15).


We will know him if we remain and are alive at His coming, we will behold Him in all His glory. The angels told us this,

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:6-11).

Our Example, John the Baptist

Jesus said of John the Baptist, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11). If he was the greatest among men, we should seek to understand the principles of his life and take them into consideration in our walk with Christ. He forecast Christ’s commands that we should reflect.  Jesus Christ accorded great honor upon him and what he proclaimed. His words were a stark warning of the wrath to come.


One of the things that immediately come up with John is his persecution. He was imprisoned and eventually beheaded for his obedience to God. He was firm in his stance, not a reed shaken with the wind. We should expect persecution if we follow Christ unless we shrink in fear, are silent, and tacitly approve of those upholding evil.


And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, “Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me” (Matthew 11:1-6).

If the greatest among men doubted Jesus, we should expect this to be a strong possibility in our lives. It becomes clear that we need to protect against such things that can cause doubt in our faith in Christ.

Jesus wanted John to know that John’s work was not in vain. People’s greatest needs were being met through Jesus’ miracles. He had the power to raise the dead and the poor were gaining wealth beyond any worldly measure. He also wanted John to know that God would show favor and sanctify those who do not turn away from Him. Jesus use John’s disciples to share all they witnessed.

I am confident that Jesus exactly what John needed in order to confirm his faith, refresh his resolve, and provide hope for his heavenly home.

I don’t know too much about how ancient Roman culture but I do imagine that John’s disciples put themselves in jeopardy by going to John in prison to testify for Jesus. So even that act of confirmation held strong significance.


John was an answer to prayer.

But the angel said unto him, “Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John” (Luke 1:13-17).

John was also Jesus’ elder cousin. He knew Jesus as a family member. He had knowledge how Jesus lived His life and that Jesus was perfect in all His ways. When it came time to baptize him, John did not feel worthy.


Jesus loved John:

And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, “What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.”

And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4, Mark 1:6).

John lived in poverty. He had a camel skin robe held by a leather belt. He ate honey and locusts, food known to be eaten by the poor living in the area even today. Some claim John was a vegetarian and try to make the Bible fit their beliefs and denominational doctrines but the Greek word (akris/ακρις) is specific to a species of grasshopper. These were perfectly lawful for John, a Nazarene, to eat. Also, observant Jews ate meat at least once a year on the Passover. Since John was the greatest of men born of women, no doubt he followed God’s commands. Letting the Bible interpret the Bible, we see John ate locusts and that he was not a vegetarian.

One thing I find interesting about the food mentioned is its character. Honey is used for healing Genesis 43:11 and as a symbol of the promised land, Exodus 3:8.

Locusts were used as a form of judgment by God, in the past: Exodus 10:4, Leviticus 11:22, Deuteronomy 28:38, 1 Kings 8:37, 2 Chronicles 6:28, Psalm 105:34  and in the future, Revelation 9:3.

I find the preeminent message from John’s example here is that we should turn from all worldly desires, God will richly provide for our needs, heal us, and reward us with a sweet and eternal richness that only He can do.


Jesus also said, “But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

John was distinguished by his way of life. He rightly considered his lowly position in relation to Christ. He was not a king, not a general, he was a prophet, actually more than a prophet. Jesus’ description of John has me at a loss as to what “more than a prophet” means.


And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matthew 11:7-14).

John was the last of the Old Testament prophets. He was in opposition to the religious authorities of the day and God was about to bring their authority to an end. The Pharisees and Sadducees did not want to relinquish their power. The old was about to pass and the new was being birthed. John was given the responsibility to present this transition. What an honor.


What was John’s message?

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judæa, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at handFor this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight . . . Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judæa, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentanceand think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fireI indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with firewhose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:1-12).


John’s message was:

Repent, prepare for God, get baptized, live a faith that is known by its works. If you don’t bring forth fruit good for repentance, God will cut you down and cast you according to your sins into judgment. God will baptize you either with the Holy Ghost or with (hell) fire. This is the same exact message we see taught by the apostles throughout the New Testament. In essence, John was the forerunner to what Jesus disciples were.

John called us to turn from our sinful ways, submit to God, and live according to the works that Christ wants to do in you.


John was truly humble.

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he suffered (allowed) him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.


God loves John the Baptist. Through his commitment and doubt he trusted in Jesus. He endured until the end. Just like Jesus calls us to do.

Ye shall know them by their fruits . . . (Matthew 7:16).

John was an unmatched example as a disciple of Christ. He should be ours.