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[R5226 : page 127]

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT AND THE NEW COVENANT

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT is not the New Covenant, even as it is not the Law Covenant. The New Covenant is the name of that arrangement which God will make with Israel and all mankind who, during the period of Messiah's reign, desire to become "Israelites indeed." That New Covenant will be inaugurated as a measure for carrying out the blessings purposed in the Abrahamic Covenant.

The Abrahamic Covenant relates especially to the Seed of Abraham, which is to be made glorious and powerful, with a view to the blessing of the world. The New Covenant relates to the arrangement by which the antitypical Seed of Abraham, when glorified, will accomplish the honorable work assigned to it in the Abrahamic Covenant.

The fulfilment of the Abrahamic Covenant began in the person of our Lord Jesus, not when He left the Heavenly glory, nor when He was born a babe at Bethlehem, but when God accepted His consecration and begat Him to a new nature at the time of His baptism, perfecting Him in the new nature at His resurrection. The Man Jesus, before being begotten of the Holy Spirit, was not the Seed of Abraham according to promise, capable of blessing mankind; for so long as Jesus was in the flesh, even though perfect, the blessing of the world through Him was impossible. The world lay under a death sentence and could not be blessed until provision should be made for the lifting of that death sentence.

The provision of the Ransom, therefore, was necessary for the world. Jesus in the flesh, in providing the Ransom-price, would have had no life for Himself that He might become the King of Glory and Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psa. 110:4; Heb. 5:10) unless God had begotten and quickened and raised Him to the higher, spirit nature. Hence, although Jesus, through His mother, was of the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, He did not inherit this Abrahamic Covenant according to the flesh, but as the New Creature.

In order, therefore, to attain this higher nature, in order to be the Spiritual Seed of Abraham and bless all the families of the earth, it was necessary for Jesus to enter into a special covenant of sacrifice. The Church, members of His Body, must share all His experiences and lay down the earthly life also; for whether Jews or Gentiles it would still be true that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom. Hence the privilege of the Church is to enter into the covenant of sacrifice with Jesus. Thus we read, "Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."—Psa. 50:5.

It has required the entire Gospel Age for the gathering of these saints and the making of their sacrifices. Those sacrifices must be accomplished before they can attain to the Heavenly nature—before they can be members of the Spiritual Seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise. Thus the Apostle declares, "Israel hath [R5227 : page 127] not obtained that which he seeketh for [to be the Spiritual Seed of Abraham]; but the Election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."—Rom. 11:7.

The Election obtained this blessed state through the covenant of sacrifice, in which Jesus acted as their Advocate. The first members were accepted at Pentecost. The last members, we trust, will soon finish their course with joy. Then the Spiritual Seed of Abraham will be complete and ready to serve the world as the great antitypical Mediator—of the New Covenant.

The Abrahamic Covenant was God's own Covenant, or promise. Because it was unconditional, it has no mediator (Gal. 3:19,20), neither did it need to be sealed with blood. Rather, we might say that God sealed it with His oath. (Heb. 6:16-18.) The Law Covenant needed the blood of bulls and goats as an offset to the sins of the people, who were to be blessed typically. The New Covenant needs the blood of better sacrifices as satisfaction for the sins of the people, who are to be blessed actually. These two Covenants could not go into effect without the shedding of blood and the remission of sins.—Heb. 9:18-22.

But the Abrahamic Covenant centers itself in the New Creatures. From the first, God meant primarily the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, the New Creation, which has never known sin. Jesus Himself was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners, and needed not any atonement for sin in order to enter into that Covenant relationship and become Abraham's Spiritual Seed and Heir. Those accepted as His members would have had no such standing or worthiness except as He adopted them as His members, imputed His own merit to them and offered them sacrificially as His own flesh.

Hence, strictly speaking, we cannot say that the Abrahamic Covenant has ever been sealed with blood, or that it will ever be so sealed. This does not alter the fact, however, that not without blood (death) could Jesus have become the great antitypical Prophet, Priest and King; and not without blood (death) could we, His members, be accepted through Him. Only in this indirect way can it be said that the Abrahamic Covenant is sealed with blood. St. Paul intimates that it was sealed by the oath of Jehovah.—Heb. 6:13-18.


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