In the present day, words mean little to nothing. We see politicians say one thing but do another. We see governments amend founding laws of the land. It is even becoming impossible to trust a regular person’s word. The notion of a “Yes being a Yes” and a “No being a No” is quickly fading away. So much so, that we start to apply the same dynamics to God’s Word. His Word is used today as and when it is advantageous. Christians pick and choose what they like out of Scripture and leave the rest. They make out God to be a person who changes His Word.
But things were not always so. In the time of the Old Testament Scriptures and even in the New Testament Writings, a word spoken could not be easily backtracked. Covenants, which are essentially agreements whether it be spoken or written, given as a law or a blessing, were more so in this nature. There are many such earthly examples in the Bible, and today we will browse through some of these events.
1. Isaac gives Jacob the Firstborn Blessing
Have you ever wondered why Isaac did not reverse the blessing? Why he could not give the same to Esau? After the word is spoken it could not be changed.
Gen 27:33-37 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
2. Joshua is tricked by the Gibeonites
The Gibeonites who heard news of the incoming army of Joshua, made themselves to be like travelers from far away, and got Joshua to make a Covenant with them. Later when Joshua got to know of the trickery, even though Joshua wanted to he could not change the Covenant for any reason.
Jos 9:15-20 And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them. And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them. And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim. And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them.
3. King Darius and Daniel
The Decree signed by King Darius to stop praying to any other Gods but the King, was used against Daniel. And even though the King wanted to change his words, it was impossible.
Dan 6:9-15 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
4. King Ahasuerus and Haman’s Decree
Haman who created a Decree to kill the Jews with the blessing of the King was later found out. But the King could not reverse the Decree. Instead, He made a new decree allowing the Jews to rightfully defend themselves against the coming attack.
Est 3:9-13 If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy. And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee. Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring. And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.
Est 8:8-11 Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse. Then were the king’s scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language. And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed it with the king’s ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries: Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,
5. Pilate writes a title for Yeshua
Pilate’s title placed on Yeshua’s stake proclaimed that He was the King of the Jews. Even though the Chief Priest wanted it changed, Pilate gave his famous answer “I have written, what I have written” as a word spoken or written could not be later changed even at that time.
Joh 19:19-22 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
Paul explains the Unbreakable Covenant
One of the best explanations of the immovable nature of Covenants was made by Apostle Paul. He says even an earthly covenant cannot be changed after it is made. In the same manner, The Mosaic Covenant does not override or amend the Abrahamic Covenant which was made 400 years before.
Gal 3:15-17 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
As we have done in an earlier study, we know that God, His Word & His Covenants do not change. We see Paul explaining this by comparing it to earthly Covenants. Even though at the present age, a word, a law or a covenant means little to nothing, it was strictly unchanging in Biblical times. We must start looking at our Bibles through the Biblical lens of time, rather than trying to understand it using our own backgrounds. Let our Yes be Yes, and our No be No, as we look into His unchanging Word.
This is the best explanation I have ever read on Hebrews (I clicked on the link at the bottom in the “Conclusion” section to get to it.) Thanks for sharing and all of your hard work. Shalom, Lynn
The promise given to Abraham in Genesis 17 was that if he obeyed God (circumsion of all his seeds – sons) that God would make his Seed a great nation. This is the first promise/Covenant that the law, given over 430 years later, would never annul.
The Seed not seeds as Paul says is Christ.
Therefore, the promise of Christ, is BEFORE the Law.
Jesus, when on earth, kept the Law perfectly. His life was sinless. How do we know that? Because of the Laws in the Old Covenant.
He even says that He doesn’t abolish the Law, “not one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law until all is fulfilled.” Matt 5:18
To paraphase, no part of the law shall exit from the law before all the law is fulfilled.
What does Matt 5:17 say again?
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Therefore, Jesus, with His death and resurrection, fulfills the Law and the Prophets.
So what happens now? See Jeremiah 31:31-34 .. after Jesus fulfills the old Law God makes a NEW COVENANT!! (John 16)
The old is complete, the new has come.
God’s Word stands. His old Covenant never changed, it was completed. HE never broke His Covenant, MAN did, for years and years!
Now we have the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin.
If anything has changed it is the basis of sin. (This is my opinion only, until I search the Scriptures more thoroughly) Sin has gone from an outward, visible type sin — what others see us eat or do or don’t do, a Nation’s sin if you will — to a very intimate, personal sin known by the Holy Spirit that dwells within our hearts ..that Jesus says even our THOUGHTS can cause us to sin!
Almost enough to understand how come this blog is desperate to prove the old laws still apply.
according to your understanding what is the New Covenant? Who is it made with? What exactly does God do in it? I’m interested to know your perspective. Also when Yeshua says I did not come to Abolish the law but fulfill it? Do you think He was saying I did not come to abolish the law but to put an end to it? If you are interested, there is a study on it here. Please note that the purpose of the blog is not to say that Yeshua’s sacrifice and the Grace we receive through it is of no use. It’s exactly the opposite. Because of the abundant grace shown towards us, we should do and teach to keep God’s commandments because we love Him.
Be a blessing to everyone around you!
I will let God’s Word do the speaking.
What is the New Covenant?
Jesus tells us in Mark 14:24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.
Who is it made with and what does God do in it?
John 3:16, 17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
In another blog, you spoke of Jesus as the New High Priest. A little further in Hebrews is where God tells us of His new covenant and that it makes the old obsolete.
Hebrews 8:7- 13 (7) For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. (8) Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— (9) not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (11) None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. (12) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
(13) In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
So, what does God do in the new covenant?
v10 — He makes it personal, writing His law in our mind and on our hearts. The tablets of the old law are not needed.
v10 — we can have a personal relationship with Him. 2 Corinthians 6:18 states :“I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”
v 11 — ALL will know God personally. Pharisees and scribes are no longer needed to teach His law to people
v 12 — repeated animal sacrifices are no longer necessary to atone for sin.. God will forgive our sins and remember them no more
Isn’t God amazing! Praise God for his Grace and Mercy!
Micah 6:8 tells us what God requires of us . . .
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God.
Grace and peace be to you through the Lord Jesus Christ.
As per your understanding He is writing the Law (Torah in Hebrew as recorded in Jer 31:33) inside our Hearts and putting inside us right? But how is it then abolished? or come to an end?
In Hebrews 8:13, is the word “covenant” in the text? Is it talking about a new covenant or a new priesthood?
Be a blessing to everyone around you!
Yes, it says a new covenant just as it says a new covenant in Hebrews 8:8 (KJV)
Mosaic Law/Old Covenant was written on stone tablets and needed a mediator to teach and intercede for the people. No Bibles were available so the Pharisees, Scribes and Prophets taught the people about the LORD their GOD.
New Covenant Law is written on our hearts by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and Jesus is the Mediator who intercedes on our behalf. We all have access to Bibles so that we can discern for ourselves and learn about God our Father and His Son Jesus. The Holy Spirit now convicts us of sin.
And, as previously stated… the new commandments given by Jesus Himself are a summary of the Old Testament commandments.
Are you sure that the word “covenant” is there in v13? Have you checked this a little closely? According to my understanding there are no two laws. The Law which was given on Sinai is the same law written on our hearts. Yeshua did not give a new law but fully taught it… brought it to its fulness.
Yes, the Holy Spirit does convict us of Sin. But if there was no law, we would not know what sin is…(Rom 7:7). The law was not the bondage Yeshua, Peter and Paul was talking about. It was the Traditions of the Fathers. I did not know what that was. I believe you don’t either. Much of this confusion of seeing the Law as bondage comes from not knowing the context and history of the book we read. The Law was and is not the way to salvation… that is only God’s grace through Yeshua. But once we come to God, we would not know how to continue our walk if not for the Torah and Scriptures. Please do a little more research on it. You do not need to agree with me. But we should all know the subject material before we make up our minds.
Be a blessing to everyone around you!
Ramesh, I wish you well. I, myself, do not have the energy to verbally spar with you. May we continue this discussion in Heaven one day when Jesus can show us His Truth.
You believe you need the Old Law to show you how to behave and how to know what sin is. I believe Jesus has given me all I need to live for Him in the New Testament.
As you say, be a blessing to everyone around you!
The above exchange is a good example of why those who presume to teach should first know some basic hermeneutical principles before embarking on the venture. Dee needs to honor the Scriptures by reading the entire teaching and honoring all the words spoken by the Lord on at that event (better yet, all he taught on the subject). One example, to say that the Torah and the prophets are made void or finished because they were fulfilled, is to do such violence to the text that hit requires chastisement! 1) Yeshua tells us that heaven and earth will have to pass away! 2) He then proceeds to warn law-breakers that they will be the least in the kingdom for doing just what Dee has done! 3) God, throughout the Scriptures uses His creation’s eternal properties as a promise to NOT be a breaker of His covenants–It is a dangerous thing to teach God’s breaking of his promise and His covenants! God forbid! 4) The last comment is a form of verbal abuse, “you believe…(insert condescending belief statement) and I believe…(insert statement of spiritual pride) This is common among the “spiritual” christians today. (I didn’t say, “Spirit-led”). 5) Yes, the verse Hebrews 8:13 does say “covenant” but for goodness sake, don’t use a verse as a sledge hammer on a nice person if you are unwilling to exegete the full sentence!
(Hebrews 8:13 KJV)
In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.
To be clear, the “old” is waxing old, not dead. To be even clearer, the writer tells us, it is READY to pass away! I love this verse because all who would bury the Lord’s commandments and covenants always use this verse, but it actually PROVES the very opposite. This epistle is written some 30 years after the cross. We are told at the cross, it was “finished” (out of context) and that the Torah (instructions/law) and the covenants, was set aside, nullified and made void (or some would say 90% of it). But read every word: the covenant had not passed away yet–even 30 years later. The Greek word used relates to a future event to come. A few examples of its use.
THE SECOND COMING:
(Matthew 24:33 KJV)
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors.
(Philippians 4:5 KJV)
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.
SECOND COMING, THE JUDGMENT, ET AL
(Revelation 1:3 KJV)
Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand.
6) You should define your terms from the Hebrew and Greek. The word used to say Yeshua came to “fulfill” does in no way mean to bring an end to, it means to . The Torah / “law” were books of prophecy (some of the most important regarding Yeshua and the new covenant). Yes Jesus came to fulfill some prophecies but if your definition of “fulfill” is accurate, there is no second coming. I have a problem with that. Tell meh what you think of the following use of the word:
Joh 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Rom 15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Do the above verses mean that our joy, the gospel and our fullness of God are now null?
To address the rest is not necessary, especially in a comment section. I will admonish this, do not take a cavalier attitude toward our holy Messiah’s holy Scriptures. Teachers are held to a standard that should strike us with fear before we open our mouths. Do not lead the sheep astray. I hope you will reconsider in the future.
@rameshdesilva You were very patient and kind in your comments, and correct.