John H. Stephens, Teacher

Thoughts of a Spiritual Nature June 1997

by: John H. Stephens

Concerning covenants, one of the major areas of confusion for Christian is the difference between the Abrahamic, Mosaic, and the New Covenant. The base difference is that the Mosaic Covenant is between God and the people of Israel. God gave a set of rules to live by and the people would be blessed by following those rules. It is like a contract, you do something (or do not do something) and I will do this (or not to this.)

The Abrahamic and the New Covenant are not agreements between two individuals, i.e., a contract, but are testaments, or wills, or One person agreements. God made the covenants, and we have to believe that He will do what He says He will do. There is NOTHING required on our part, except to believe Him. The sign of the Abrahamic covenant was circumcision.

Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (NKJ)

God says "I will make you a great nation - I will bless you and make your name great - I will bless those who bless you - I will curse those who curse you." Please notice, Abraham had to believe God, and go where God told him.

Genesis 12:7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. (NKJ)

Again, God says "I will give this land."

Now we learn something about Abraham. He believed God enough to leave his home and go where God directed him, but when tough times came, he trusted his own thinking to get him and his family through a famine. He went to Egypt! Not only did he not stay where God directed, but when he got to Egypt, he lied about Sarah, saying his wife was his sister (she was his half-sister) in order to protect his own life. This sounds like you and me, we believe God for some things, but fail to believe Him for others.

Now God comes to Abraham and in:

Genesis 15:1-21 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward." But Abram said, "Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?"
Then Abram said, "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!" And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." Then He brought him outside and said,
"Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Then He said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans,
to give you this land to inherit it." And he said, "Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?" So He said to him, "Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." Then he brought all these to Him and cut
them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.
Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. "Now as for you, you
shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. "But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch
that passed between those pieces. On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates--"the Kenites, the Kenezzites, and the Kadmonites, "the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Rephaim, "the
Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites." (NKJ)

This passage has many beautiful thoughts for us, but we will concentrate on the covenant and our part in it. First, note that God, again, says "I will" and Abraham only believes. Second, it is a one sided agreement, God does everything, even at the actual covenant ceremony, Abraham is asleep!

What are the results of the covenant?

1. God is his shield.
2. Abraham will have an heir.
3. His descendants will be multitudes, like counting the stars.
4. Abraham shall die peacefully.

Next week we will consider other features of the Abrahamic Covenant and how these blessings are passed to us.

John H. Stephens, is a good friend of Evangelist Perkins and this Ministry. John's page will be up-dated on a regular basis, so keep visiting his page. You can respond to his articles via According To Prophecy Ministries email given below. John 's email will be submitted to this page in the near future.

John H. Stephens: Secularly educated at the University of Texas and the University of Houston in Phycology, John found the real answer to life's questions and problems was in Jesus the Christ and His Word. Called to the ministry of pastor and teacher in 1973, he served as pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he served as co-pastor of a nondenominational church and began teaching seminars in the Houston area. He has served on the operational staff on Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Morris Cerullo World Evangelism. He teaches several seminars, including the "Triumphant Church", "End-time Evangelism" and "Privileges of the Bride of Christ."

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