You will notice as you follow my rantings (please follow this blog if you like what you are reading, and buy my book, too!) that I do not use the terms Old Testament and New Testament.
I call them covenants, and there is just the one book, to me, and should be only one book to anyone who is “Born Again”, no matter what religious affiliation you care to say you belong to.
So, why call it a covenant?
Mirriam Webster defines a covenant as:
“A written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action.”
A testament (also from Mirriam Webster) is defined as:
“An act by which a person determines the disposition of his or her property after death.”
The covenants God made with us can be defined in this way:
A legal contract with blessings for the fulfillment of it’s terms and consequences (curses) for failure to comply with the conditions and stipulations contained therein. In all these covenants we speak about a contract between God and man. All of the covenants are based (ultimately) on God’s grace.
Since God is alive, and we are to keep our part of the conditions while we are alive, it is evident God made covenants, not testaments. This is why I call them covenants. God gave us laws, regulations, commandments, mitzvot, etc. to perform while we are alive. Once we are dead, there is nothing we can do except face the consequences of what we did while we were alive.
Did you know that there are 5 covenants God made with us? The list below is condensed from a Messianics 101 Class I used to teach when I lived in Philadelphia. I hope you find this information interesting and useful as you learn more about God and as your relationship with Him matures.
First Covenant was with Noah (Noahic Covenant) after the Flood (Genesis 9). This covenant of faith stated God would not destroy the Earth by flood (catch that- not by flood, but that doesn’t mean He can’t do it some other way) and has supplemental laws, which are:
no idolatry; don’t take the Lord’s name in vain; respect property of others; respect life; chastity; blood is sacred; do not steal.
The Second covenant is the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12). This covenant of faith included:
the promise of the land; specified lines of blessing (to Abraham in Gen. 15:7-8, to Yitzchak in Gen. 26: 3-6, and to Jacov in Gen. 35:12); there was also a sign to mark the covenant (Gen. 17:9-14) and God was to bless all people through this covenant.
The Third is the Mosaic covenant (Ex. 31: 16-17). This is a covenant of obedience. The Ten Commandments are part of this covenant, within the total of 613 laws in Torah. Some main elements are:
this is the first covenant of obedience; blood is used for atonement; the Shabbat is a sign of the covenant.
Number four is the Davidic Covenant, found in 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17. This covenant of faith promised:
David would have a son on the throne of Israel forever (Messianic prophecy attesting to the lineage of Yeshua) and the kingly line of the children of Israel would be through Judah’s lineage.
Finally, the fifth and last covenant is what we refer to as the New Covenant (B’rit Chadasha), found in Jeremiah 31:31 (that’s right- it’s not in the New Covenant book. That’s because there is nothing “new” in the New Covenant- it is a Jewish book that completes the story of the Messianic prophecies in the Old Covenant.) This is a covenant of faith that promises:
forgiveness of sin that allows for eternal salvation; it is made with the physical seed of Abraham, and is available to all the adopted children of Abraham (we can pretty much call them the ones who accept Yeshua/ Jesus as their Messiah); it changed the mechanism of atonement, but not the means: there is still need of a blood sacrifice for sin, but instead of killing animals the blood of the one, true Messiah serves for all.
I hope you liked this little lesson. If you did, please “Like” this post and make comments. Also, as I asked above, please follow along. There is a link at the bottom right of this page where you can follow. Every time I make a new post (which is usually Mon-Fri) you will get an email notification. Word Press promises not to sell your email address.
Thank you, and Bless you.