Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 63
ABRAHAMIC & MOSAIC COVENANTS
As always, we’re so glad you’re with us. We trust that you’ll study and search the Scriptures with us. Again, we appreciate your prayers, your letters, and your financial help; everything that makes the ministry possible.
Okay, we’re going to continue right on where we left off in our last program. Again, in case we have someone who has missed the last two, three programs, we’re going through a study of the covenants. They started way back in the Garden of Eden where God mandated the environment, the responsibility of Adam and Eve in the Garden, and then the fall. Then, He lays out the program for life in the human race under the curse. That has carried on until our present time and will until the end of the Tribulation.
All right, the next covenant, as I mentioned at the beginning of our last program, is in the middle of the seven covenants that take place between Adam and the Kingdom. I’m going to come back and study it more in depth in a future program. We’ll just touch on it briefly in this program, before we move on into the next covenant, which would be the Mosaic covenant, the bringing about of the Law of Moses. But let’s first take a brief look at the Abrahamic, and like I said, we’ll come back to it in detail in a future program.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, (Now remember, he was clear down there in the area of the Persian Gulf, probably south of present day Baghdad.) and from thy kindred, (That is, your household and your relatives.) and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee:” Now, the first thing I always like to point out is: what kind of people was Abram’s family? The best way to explain that is to use Scripture. Keep your hand in Genesis, we’ll be right back. Come up with me to Joshua, chapter 24 verse 2, because we have to get the big picture as we go along. These things didn’t just happen in a corner.
“And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers (your forefathers) dwelt on the other side of the flood (- Or River, that’d be the River Euphrates.) in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: (Abraham’s brother) and they (the whole family, the whole community, the whole then known world) served (What?) other gods.” Now, you see that? That was what? It was idols, paganism. That’s all they knew.
Now, you want to remember, 200 years previous to the call of Abraham, you had the Tower of Babel. It was at the Tower of Babel that false religion was first introduced by Nimrod. From Nimrod on then, the whole human race was steeped in idolatry. Now, you want to remember that you’re only dealing with that small part of the world at that time, in the area of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, but they were all steeped in idolatry. They knew nothing of the one true God.
So, it was for that reason, come back to Genesis 12, that God had to separate this man that He’s going to use to bring about the Nation of Israel. He had to separate them from his idolatrous relatives. So He told him “to leave your kindred. Go from your father’s house unto a land that I will (future) show thee.”
Now, here comes the covenant, and we’re going to watch it carefully before we move on. Like I said, we’ll come back to it in a future program. God says in His covenant promise:
“And I will make of thee a great nation, (separate from all the rest of the nations of the world) and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:…” Isn’t it too bad that the world can’t believe that? But you see, if they did, that would spare Israel all the satanic attacks, and that is not going to be stopped until Christ returns. But nevertheless, this is the promise in this Abrahamic Covenant that God will bless those who bless Israel and He will curse those who are against Israel. Then, here comes the capstone of the whole covenant. This last part of verse 3:
“…and in thee (in Abram) shall all families of the earth be blessed.” No, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that. What does that mean? That through this man Abraham, God is going to set things in motion that will lead to the place where salvation will then go out and encompass the whole human race. That’s why I want to spend more time on the Abrahamic covenant than all the rest of them put together, because it’s on this covenant that our salvation rests.
It’s because of this covenant that Christ came. It’s because of this covenant that Christ suffered and died. It’s because of this covenant that the Apostle Paul came on the scene and became the Apostle of the Gentiles. That’s why Paul, over and over, refers to this man Abraham. So, that’s the Abrahamic Covenant, and we’re going to come back to it at a future time.
Now, I’m going to go ahead to the next covenant on our board and that is the Mosaic. The covenant that God made with Moses and the Children of Israel. Now, we’re going to jump all the way up to Exodus 19. Now in the interval, of course, we have the beginning of the Nation of Israel, with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and then the twelve sons. Joseph is sold down into Egypt as a slave by the eleven others, and that, of course, separated Israel from the Promised Land. It put them down in a place of slavery. It put them in a place of subjection to pagan, ungodly rulers, out of which God had to redeem the nation with the book of Exodus. We now find the nation at Mount Sinai, ready to receive – what should I call it? It is the foundation of the next covenant – The Law.
All right, let’s pick it up in verse 3, Exodus chapter 19 verse 3. The nation is now out of Egypt. They’re gathered around Mount Sinai and God is showing His presence on the mountaintop with thunder and smoke and fire. Verse 3:
“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, (That is a reference to the drowning in the Red Sea.) and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, (Not that they sprouted feathers and flew, but supernaturally, miraculously, God led them out of Egypt and through the Red Sea and down to Mount Sinai. It was a supernatural event.) and brought you unto myself.” Now, here the language already indicates – whose people are they? They’re God’s people. They’re His covenant people, and He has mandated it as such, and we’re going to see that now in a coming verse.
“Now therefore, (Since I have brought you out of slavery. I have supernaturally brought you to Myself.) if (Here’s the condition now.) ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then (and only then) ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above (What?) all people:…” Now, right there is the beginning of God elevating the Nation of Israel head and shoulders above all the rest of the nations and races of the world. This is why they are called the “favored nation.” They are called the “chosen people.” They are God’s covenant people and here is the first real indication of it. All right, finishing verse 5.
“…then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: (Here’s the reason.) for all the earth is mine:” What does that mean? He can do what He wants. God is Sovereign.
Now, you know, I learn every day. The other day somebody called and said, “Les, do you know the word Sovereign isn’t in our Bible?” Now, you know how often I’ve used it over the years. I said, “No, I didn’t know that.” So, I had to look and he was right. The word Sovereign, like the word Trinity, is not in our Bible. But certainly all the evidence of what Sovereignty means is here. So, I don’t have to stop using the word, not at all. But you know it’s interesting, here I’ve been using a word that I thought was as Biblical as anything could be. But it’s true. It’s not in our Bible, but certainly all the meaning of it is. Here is one of them: “for all the earth is mine.”
What does that mean? He’s Sovereign. He can to whatever He wants. This is what He chose to do. He chose to pick this one little nation of people and set them head and shoulders above all the other nations of the world, and He’s going to work through that one little nation. All the rest of humanity, as I’ve used it before, is just going to flow like Old Man River to the ocean. For the most part, they’re going to have nothing to do with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There will be isolated exceptions. Now, the first thing that Paul writes that exemplifies that so beautifully is in Exodus. Keep your hand in Exodus and turn to Ephesians chapter 2. Because a lot of times people kind of look at me cross-eyed when I let it be known that the Gentiles were never the object of God’s grace before the calling of Paul.
The Jews were never instructed to go to the Gentiles, except to go to Ninevah. They were never instructed to evangelize the Gentiles, but quite the opposite. They were to keep all of these knowledges of God. Boy, what a word! I coined one, didn’t I? All of these things pertaining to the knowledge of God, they were to keep to themselves. They weren’t to share it with the Gentile world, because God was not in the business of saving the Gentiles. A lot of folks just say, “Where do you get that?” Well, because of language like we’ve just seen here. But here, in Ephesians 2:11-12, Paul himself makes it so easy to understand. This leaves no room for any great number of Gentiles coming to salvation in the Old Testament economy. It was impossible.
“Wherefore (Paul is writing now to Gentiles at Ephesus.) remember, that ye being in time past (What?) Gentiles….” Now, maybe for the sake of one or two listeners out in television I’d better stop. What is a Gentile? Well, in plain language, he’s anybody who is not a Jew.
A Gentile could be an Arab or a Black or an Indian or a Caucasian or you name it. If they’re not members of the Nation of Israel, they are Gentiles. Now you see, all the way from Adam until Abraham you don’t have any particular Jew or Gentile separation. These are all just simply of the race and the birth of Adam. They are what I call the Adamic race of people. But now, with the call of Abraham, God separates out one little nation, and He calls them “Jews or Israelites.” The rest are Gentiles. So, from Abraham on we have that difference in Scripture of Jew and Gentile. All right, reading on in Ephesians. Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit says to remember you Ephesians, and of course the churches around them.
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision (What was that? That was a deriding term. That was the scorn that Jews had for the Gentiles.) by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;” Or the Jew. Now verse 12, and just see how plain this is.
“That at that time (While God was dealing with Israel under these covenant promises.) ye (Gentiles) were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the (What?) covenants of promise, (That’s why we’re studying them now, today. The Gentile world was strangers from the covenants of promise.) having no hope, and (What?) without God in the world:” Now, what does that mean? They were lost, every last one of them.
Well, it wasn’t God’s fault, because they had proved, for the first 2000 years, that they didn’t have any interest in the things of God. They had proved by their idolatry, out of which Abraham came, that they weren’t concerned about knowledge of the one true God. They were satisfied in their idolatry. Look, that’s the vast majority of people today. They’re content with their false religion. They’re content with no religion. They’re not interested in real salvation, and it’s always been this way.
All right, so the Gentile world, then, was totally separated from all of the covenant promises of Israel. All right, now back to Exodus 19, we can pursue this a little further for the next few moments. How that God is now going to supernaturally invoke the covenant promise of a religious system of Law. Now, most of you know, I do not like the term “religion.” Well, Judaism, The Law, was a religion. Because it was a works thing, based on faith, but nevertheless Judaism demanded works. It was a process and we’re going to be looking at that. They had to do this and they had to do that. In fact, you might as well drop back down to Exodus 19 verse 8, and that says it all.
“And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will (Believe? No, but rather – ) do.” So, they gladly embraced a works religion. All right, I think we can move on over into chapter 20.
What is it? The Ten Commandments. Hopefully you’ve all learned them when you were kids in Sunday School or Daily Vacation Bible School. The Ten Commandments which are causing such a furor today. Well, I’ve got mixed emotions. Naturally, they are certainly God’s format for society. The Ten Commandments are still the basic laws of God. I’ll never take that away. But for us as Grace Age believers, you see, the Law is moot, it’s been crucified with Christ. But for the unbelieving world, it is still God’s moral Law.
All right, now I’m not going to go through all the Ten Commandments. I trust you all know them forwards and backwards, but here in Exodus 20, now, is the unfolding of the first part of this three-part covenant. We have the moral law, the Ten Commandments. All right, when we come on over to chapter 21 verse 1, we come to the second part of what we call the Law. It’s the civil law, what I referred to, I think, in the last program. Now, in these succeeding chapters and on into the book of Leviticus, the civil law covered every aspect of human relationship with other humans. As I mentioned, if you have an animal that’s known to kill and you let it kill someone, then you are responsible for it.
It is like this all the way through. How you dealt with your neighbor in business transactions. Morally, how you behaved yourself in society. This was all covered in what I call the civil law. I think probably a good portion of Israel’s 613 laws, which the rabbis concocted out of the five books of Moses, would cover a lot of those little details. It’s interesting to see how much of Israel’s civil law is a part and parcel of our own Western civilization. I wouldn’t doubt that when the British, way back in history, put together the Magna Carta, those men took a lot of their ideas from Israel’s civil law. Because after all, God was the one who gave it.
All right, for just an example now, chapter 21, we start with the term “judgments,” which means in plain English, rules of government.
“Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.” Now, this is aside from the moral law, the Ten Commandment Law. All the way through, we have judgments covering the various aspects of Israel’s day to day experience within the nation. You come through all these succeeding chapters; these are the judgments to maintain society in the Nation of Israel.
Now, I’m going to take you all the way up to the next part of the law, which is the ceremonial or the ecclesiastical or the ritual part of the law. Now remember, you’ve got the moral law, the Ten Commandments. You’ve got the civil law – how to deal with your fellow neighbor. Now, we come to the ecclesiastical or the religious part of the law, and that is going to entail the priesthood and the tabernacle, which later became the Temple.
Okay, now I think we can come all the way up to chapter 24 verse 3, where we now have what I call the third part of the Law of Moses. Now, this is just sort of scratching the surface. I expect a lot of my listeners to dig a little deeper. You can do all this instead of watching the stupid television! Get into the Book and pursue this a little further in all three aspects. But now, we’re getting ready to establish the worship or the religious system of the Law.
“And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, (Do you see that? God said it.) and all the judgments: (all these rules and regulations) and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.” Well, you heard that before, didn’t you? All right, now going on down to verse 7.
“And he took the book of the covenant, (This mandate that God has now placed upon the Nation of Israel.) and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said, will we do, and be obedient. 8. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.” Now, you want to remember that blood has been the intrinsic part of God’s relationship with man, leading up to the shed blood of Christ on the cross of Calvary. All right, now as we move on down in chapter 24, come to verse 12.
Exodus 24:12 -13
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13. And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up unto the mount of God.” All right, now as Moses is up in the mountain, starting in chapter 25, God begins to lay out to Moses all of the ramifications of the tabernacle, all the aspects of it, all the materials of it. He lays out to Moses, just as plain as language can make it, that it was supposed to be built according to the tabernacle which was already in Heaven. This was merely a copy of it.
Now, as we come all the way through these chapters of Exodus, we get to the place of the priesthood in chapter 29, maybe I’m going too far. Just a minute, I want to start with the priesthood here, if I can. Chapter 29 verse 1, and I want you to remember that in order to exercise the religious system that is going to center around the temple, the sacrifices, and all of the ramifications of the tabernacle worship, you had to have a priesthood. You had to have designated men to carry out all these systems of worship. All right, here we come, chapter 29 verse 1.
“And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest’s office:…” Now, you haven’t seen this before. This is something totally new in human history, that God is establishing a priesthood.
“…Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish, 2. And unleavened bread,…” And so on and so forth. Then, verse 4:
“And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt (Watch this. Do what?) wash them with water.” That was one of the first processes of becoming a priest. It was wash, wash, and wash. This was not only for entering the priesthood. As they would begin to go through the ritual of accepting the sacrifices, stopping at the laver of cleansing, and going on into the ministry of the temple or the tabernacle, before they could begin to minister, what did the priests have to do? Wash! Wash! Wash! Even though physical water could never take away their sin, yet symbolically, it was speaking of a cleansing before they could step into the office of the priesthood. So, all of this now becomes the third aspect of this covenant of Law. First, there were the Ten Commandments. Then the judgments, or the rules and regulations of civil life. Then, the religious system to compensate for their time and again failures and their errors and their sinfulness. So, this is all part and parcel of the covenant of the Law. Dig deeper and study more, as you go along.