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The Covenants of God

The Christian religious organizations of the world mainly preach that there is the Old and New Covenant, but the Bible talks about several other covenants that God made with man. These agreements help us to understand the dealings God was having with man and the results that would occur. (present or future) A covenant is a binding agreement that is made by two or more persons or parties. God's covenants were simple and direct.


The Edenic Covenant: The covenant in Eden is the first of the general or universal covenants. In it, Adam is charged to: 1. populate the earth, 2. subdue the earth, 3. exercise dominion over the animal creation, (Genesis 1:28) 4. care for the garden of Eden and enjoy its fruit, (Genesis 1:29; 2:15) 5. refrain from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). God proposed to Adam and Eve a great and wonderful existence: happiness, family, dominion over the animals, peace, no hunger, no sickness, no wars, no hate, no crime and life through-out the ages. Unfortunately, they didn't obey God! The first humans refused to fulfill their part of the covenant and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The punishment was swift:


Editor's note: The marriage covenant would be included in the Edenic Covenant


To the woman God said:

I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. (Genesis 3:16)


To the man God said:

Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, You must not eat of it, "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. (This meant end of life for both Adam and Eve)               (Genesis 3:17-19)


God also banished them from the Garden of Eden, and placed a cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. The breaking of the first law of God had terrible consequences, but what a witness this simple rule must have provided to all of God's heavenly creation. It showed for the first time what God's sentence would be for those who chose to rebel against Him. And as such, it became a primary goal for the one who was likely the first universal rebel, to have this rule broken. He raised the question for all living creatures of whether God has the right to expect their obedience and love.


Editors note: The Edenic Covenant had a clause that resulted in punishment: Don't take from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or else you will die. Humans populate the earth, we have subdued the planet, we mostly have dominion over animals and we enjoy food. God did not throw out the entire agreement He made with Adam and Eve. This should be a reminder to us that our disobedience to God will result in penalties, but God is also merciful, long suffering and loves His creation.

The Adamic Covenant: The covenant with Adam is the second general or universal covenant. It could be called the covenant with mankind, for it sets forth the conditions which will hold sway until the curse of sin is lifted.

The serpent, the tool used by Satan to effect the fall of man, is cursed. The curse affects not only the instrument, the serpent, but also the indwelling energizer, Satan. Great physical changes took place in the serpent. Apparently it was upright; now it will go on its belly. It was the most desirable animal of the animal creation; now it is the most loathsome. The sight or though of a snake should be an effective reminder of the devastating effects of sin.


Satan is judged---he will enjoy limited success, but ultimately he will be judged.

The first prophecy of the coming of Messiah is given. 

 (Genesis 3:15)

There will be a multiplication of conception.

There will be pain in childbirth.

The woman is made subject to her husband.

The ground is cursed and will bring forth weeds among the food which man must eat for his existence.

Physical changes takes place in man; (male/female) they will perspire when they work. They will have to work all their life long, until they die. (pain, suffering, wars, death, sickness and unhappiness will endure all of their days )

The Noahic Covenant: The covenant with Noah is the third general or universal covenant. Noah has just passed through the universal flood in which all the world's population had been wiped out. Only Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives (eight people) constitute the world's population. Noah might have thought that the things provided by the covenant with Adam had now been changed. However, God gives the Noahic Covenant so that Noah and all the human race (to follow) might know that the provisions made in the Adamic Covenant remain in effect with one notable addition: the principle of human government which includes the responsibility of suppressing the outbreak of sin and violence, so that it will not be necessary to destroy the earth again by a flood. The provisions of the covenant are:

The responsibility to populate the earth is reaffirmed

The subjection of the animal kingdom to man is reaffirmed

Man is permitted to eat the flesh of animals. He is to refrain from eating their blood

The sacredness of human life is established. Whatever sheds man's blood, whether man or beast, must be put to death

This covenant is confirmed to Noah, all mankind, and every living creature on the face of the earth

The promise is given never to destroy the earth again by a universal flood

The rainbow is designated as a testimony of the existence of this covenant

It has been assumed that human government was officially instituted after the great flood in Genesis 9. However, some form of law and order undoubtedly existed prior to this period. This is strongly suggested by both Jesus and Jude. Jesus in Luke 17:26-27 says that prior to the Flood in Noah's day people conducted their affairs in much the same manner as we do today. Jude gives us the text of a message Enoch preached to sinners prior to the Flood. We learn that one of the main factors which brought about the Flood was man's disobedience to the revealed law ( system of order ) of God. At any rate, there is certainly no doubt concerning the source of human government. God Himself is its divine author.

The Abrahamic Covenant: The covenant with Abraham is the first of the theocratic covenants (pertaining to the rule of God). It is unconditional, depending solely upon God who obligates Himself in grace, indicated by the unconditional declaration, I will, to bring to pass the promised blessings. The Abrahamic Covenant is the basis of all the other theocratic covenants and provides blessing in three area: (Genesis 12 1-3)

National: "I will make you a great nation".

Personal: "I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing".

Universal: "In you all families of the earth shall be blessed". ( The Messiah )

This covenant was first given in broad outline and was later confirmed to Abraham in greater detail (Genesis 13:14-17, 15:1-7, 15:18-21, 17:1-8). The Abrahamic Covenant constitutes an important link in all that God began to do, has done throughout history, and will continue to do until the consummation of history. It is the one purpose of God for humans into which all of God's programs and works fit.

The Covenant of Circumcision: Then, Abram was ninety-nine years old , God appeared to him and said, "I am your God. So be pleasing to Me and don't do anything that you can be blamed for, and I will establish a Sacred Agreement (covenant) between you and Me; and I will also give you great prosperity. (Genesis 17:1-2) I will also extend My Sacred Agreement between you and Me to the seed that comes from you, through (all) its generations. It is a Sacred Agreement (covenant) through the ages that (I) will be your God and the God of the seed that comes from you. Also, I will give the land where you are (now) living as an alien, to you and to your seed. This includes the entire land of Canan. It will become yours through the ages, and I will be a God to them. (Genesis 17:7-8) This is the Sacred Agreement (extended portion) between you and your seed through all its generations, and Me: All your males must be circumcised, the foreskin of your flesh must be circumcised. This will be the sign of the Sacred Agreement (extended portion) between you and Me. (Genesis 17:10-11) Paul was correct in teaching that circumcision was not required of the gentiles! The Covenant of Circumcision was a land agreement between God and Abram, that the land of Canaan would always belong to his (Abram's) descendants through Isaac. (Genesis 17:21)

The Mosaic Covenant: The covenant with Moses is the second of the theocratic covenants (pertaining to the rule of God) and is conditional. It is introduced by the conditional formula, "if you will indeed obey My voice...then you shall be a special treasure." This covenant was given to the nation Israel so that those who believed God's promise given to Abraham in the Abrahamic Covenant would know how to conduct themselves. The Mosaic Covenant in its entirely governs three areas of their lives:

the commandments governed their personal lives particularly as related to God

the judgments governed their social lives as they related to one another

the ordinances governed their religious lives so that the people would know how to approach God on the terms that He dictates

The Mosaic Covenant in no way replaced or set aside the Abrahamic Covenant. Its function is clearly set forth by Paul (Galatians 3:17-19) who points out that the law, the Mosaic Covenant, came 430 years after the Abrahamic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant was added alongside the Abrahamic Covenant so that the people of Israel would know how to conduct their lives until "the seed" the Anointed One, comes and makes the complete and perfect sacrifice, toward which the sacrifices of the Mosaic Covenant only point. ( It's important to note that this is what Paul was taking about when he said, the law was done away. It was the ordinances of sacrifices that Christ did away with...)


The Mosaic Covenant was never given so that by keeping it people could be saved, but so that they might realize that they cannot do what God wants them to do even when God writes it down on tablets of stone. We are saved by grace, but God's Spirit helps us to overcome our weaknesses and sins. Its only through Jesus that God's Spirit is offered!

The Palestinian Covenant (The land of Canaan)

The covenant concerning Palestine is the third of the theocratic covenants. The Palestinian Covenant has two aspects:

the legal aspects which are immediate and conditional

(Deuteronomy 27-29)                 

the grace aspects which are future and unconditional 

(Deuteronomy 30:1-9)

The enjoyment of the immediate blessings are introduced by the conditional formula:


"if you diligently obey the voice of God .....God will set you high above all nations of the earth" (Deuteronomy 28:1). Sadly, Israel did not meet the condition of obedience, and is still experiencing God's curses and punishment for their disobedience.

(Deuteronomy 28:15-68)              


The unconditional grace aspects of the Palestinian Covenant have yet to be realized. God will regather the scattered people of Israel and establish them in the land He has promised to give them. Deuteronomy concludes the Palestinian Covenant with a final warning and challenge for obedience. (Deuteronomy 30:1-20)

The Davidic Covenant: The covenant with David is the fourth of the theocratic covenants (pertaining to the rule of God). In this covenant David is promised three things: ( 2 Samuel 7:4-17)

a land forever

an unending dynasty

an everlasting kingdom


The birth of Solomon (David's son) is predicted. His particulate role is to establish the throne of the Davidic Kingdom forever. His throne continues, though his seed is cursed in the person of Jeconiah (Coniah), who was king under whom the nation was carried captive to Babylon. Jeremiah prophesies that no one whose genealogical descent could be traced back to David through Jeconiah and Solomon would ever sit on David's throne (Jeremiah 22:24-30). Joseph, the legal, but not physical, father of Jesus traces his lineage to David through Jeconiah  (Matthew 1:1-17). David, however, had another son, Nathan. His line was not cursed. Mary, the physical mother of Jesus, traces her lineage back to David through Nathan (Luke 3:23-38). Notice the care and the extent to which God goes to keep His word and to preserve its truthfulness. The virgin birth was absolutely essential not only to assure the sinless character of Jesus but also to fulfill the Davidic Covenant. Jesus receives His "blood right" to David's throne through His earthly mother, Mary, and His "legal right" to David's throne through His adoptive earthly father, Joseph. The virgin birth guarantees that one of David's line will sit on the throne and rule forever, while at the same time preserving intact the curse and restrictions on the line of descent through Jeconiah.

The Holy Seventh Day of God Covenant: The seventh day of the week was made Holy at the recreation or rebirth of our world. This day was made for man, not man for this day. This agreement was for all humans, and its blessings were to be a benefit for everyone. God reintroduced the Holy Seventh Day to Israel through Moses. Exodus 31:16 states: "Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath (Holy Seventh Day), to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant". God also introduced additional Holy Days (Sabbaths) throughout the year, which correlated with His festivals.

(Leviticus 23) These Sabbaths (Holy Days) gives us the opportunity to draw closer to God and to understand His plan of salvation, not only for us, but for all of mankind.

" If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My Holy Day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the Holy Day of God honorable, and shall honor God, by not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in God. And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of God has spoken". (Isaiah 58:13-14)

" For the Son of Man (Jesus the Anointed) is Lord even of the Sabbath" (Matthew 12:8)

The New Covenant: The New Covenant is the fifth and last of the theocratic covenants.

Four provisions are made in this covenant: (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Regeneration: God will put His laws in their inward parts and write them in the heart

A national restoration: The Eternal will be their God and the nation will be His people

Guidance by the Holy Spirit: they will all be taught individually by God

Full justification: the opportunity to have our sins forgiven and completely removed



The New Covenant is made sure by the blood that Jesus shed. That blood which guarantees to Israel its New Covenant and also provides the way sins can be forgiven for the believers who comprise the church of God (spiritual Israel). Jesus' payment for sin is more than adequate to pay for the sins of all who will believe in Him. The New Covenant is called "new" in contrast to the covenant with Moses which is called "old" (Hebrews 8:6-13) because it actually accomplishes what the Mosaic Covenant could only point to, that is, the child of God living in a manner that is consistent with the character of God.



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