Chapter 8 -


"What?!" you might say. "I thought all that was done away by Jesus when He came and died for us." You would be partially right because animal sacrifices do not wash away human sin or release the Holy Spirit to us as a saving gift. For these more important matters of eternal life Jesus came the first time to live, die and be resurrected. That comes n the next chapters.

First, back to the prophecies. The why's are perhaps open to debate, but the Bible indeed prophesies both the rebuilding of the Temple and the resumption of animal sacrifices in connection with the return of Jesus Christ as King of Kings.

Space prohibits extensive discussion in this book, but I will outline some of the why's and wherefore's and some of the scriptures that relate to them. (Daniel 11:31-12:3; Matthew 24:15; Revelation 6:9­11; 11:1-14 are some.)

The Bible is a collection of books making up what is generally referred to as the Old Testament and the New Testament. But just as the Bible is One collection of many books, so it is One Covenant with several expressions or magnifications of that One Covenant as applied to different contexts of time and place, and in dimensions temporal or eternal.

The primary divisions are the Old and New Testaments. I prefer to call them the Sinai Covenant and the New Testament. Both are really expansions upon the original Promise made to Abraham, the father of the faithful. They are simply different teaching methods and contextual applications of One Truth originating from One God.

The New Testament does not take the place of the Old or Sinai Covenant: it completes it. The Sinai Covenant and the New Testament are complementary - performing different functions in God's unified, overall program to educate all peoples in His ways.

God’s Promise to Abraham

Genesis 17:1-8 relates God's promise to Abraham. The Promise is actually made up of a number of more specific promises. Abraham was to become the father of many nations of physical human beings. His designated heirs were to inherit the promised land of Canaan as an eternal possession. This Promise was passed down to the children of Israel who did inherit the land for some hundreds of years.

And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojourn, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. (7-8)

God promised an eternal possession. This implies eternal life. In Genesis 22:16-18 reference is made to “the” seed in whom all nations of the earth would become blessed, i.e. Jesus Christ, Yeshua and Messiah. It is through Jesus' sacrifice that sin is blotted out. Without sin to separate man from God, God can place His Holy Spirit within us, co-present with the human spirit of creative identity.

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:16-17)

Ultimately, God will grant believing mankind -Abraham's spiritual sons of faith - the earth as an eternal possession. To possess anything eternally implies an eternal life which is only possi­ble with an immortal existence.

The Sinai Covenant

The eternal conditions of God's covenant promise with Abraham were spo­ken to the children of Israel from Mount Sinai: The Ten Commandments. Just as God spoke His promise of an inheritance and a Savior to Abraham so He spoke the Law. (Exodus Chapter 20)

He then wrote them with His own finger on two tablets of stone (Exodus 31: 18), which were called the "words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments." (Exodus 34:28) Jesus came to magnify the law, not do away with it. (Isaiah 42:21 and Matthew 5:17-20)

Written in the Book of the Covenant were other statutes and judgments based on the foundation of the Ten Commandments. These were conditional stipulations that specifically applied to the children of Israel in their time and/or when living in the Land of Promise.

The Torah Law includes many civil laws and legislation designed for a nation of mor­tal men living over three thousand years ago. They were the practical application of the Ten Commandments in that ancient social context. Altogether, they expanded upon the simple promise of temporal and eternal life in an eternal inheritance, which God had originally made with Abraham and initially fulfilled in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt.

Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going to possess it. (Deuteronomy 6:1)

God gave the statutes and judgments through Moses to pass on to the Israelites in his capacity as their civil ruler or judge. They were to be followed by those circumcised and adopted into the nation of the tribes of Israel. The actual genealogical heritage made little difference except for the priesthood.

Israel is simply the covenant name of those who believe God's Promise enough to live by it in the obedi­ence of its stipulations or requirements.

The laws were to be followed in the land where God was King. Most of the daily governance was handled on a local basis under the leadership or judgeship of elders selected by the people them­selves. (Deuteronomy 1:9-18; 16:18-20 and elsewhere.) The only functioning central government was God as represented by the mortal Levitical Priesthood. The Levites and priests were to teach the Law and judge those problems brought to them that the elders could not settle by themselves.

This was a national magnification and practical application of the original covenant between God and Abraham. Moses codified it in the wilderness. It is contained in the first five books of the Bible called the Torah, or Teaching Law. I prefer to call it the Sinai Covenant instead of the Old Testament because of its eternal and prophetic relevance.

The Sinai Covenant created a kingdom of mortal men called Israel ruled by the LORD God. This covenant was expanded over time to become Israel's constitution, by-laws, history and wisdom. The purpose of the Sinai Covenant was to create a society for mortal human beings that would encourage spiritual maturation towards the perfect love of God.

Sinai Covenant in Prophecy

In Jesus' future thousand year reign, the Sinai Covenant will be revived in modified form along with temple worship and animal sacri­fice. It will be the rod of iron by which the immortal and resurrected Messiah will rule mortal nations of human beings, a civil law of the land based on spiritual truth and purpose.

Following the ancient principles of the Law of God, this covenant will once again be restated and adapted to incorporate society's social and technological advances (the status of women, electricity and mod­em appliances, for example). Any modifications of God's future civil government for man expressed in Law will be based on His original covenant promises and purposes.

The Sinai Covenant's purpose was to prepare the way for each individual member of that ancient Israelite culture to enter into a New Covenant relationship with God. Prior to Jesus' life on earth, the righteous looked forward to His sacrifice. The believer today looks backward in history. From either perspective, it is by faith alone that sin is covered and the mind converted.

The Sinai Covenant is national and societal in scope: it deals with behavioral training techniques that lead men to being humbly honest with themselves in recognition of their sin and need for divine help. Until humility and repentance arrive for a person there is no place for faith. Humility is at its core an individual issue, not a societal one.

Therefore, the New Testament does not seek to change societies or national cultures, but individuals within a society, any society. It makes no difference if you are a circumcised Israelite or an uncircum­cised Gentile. What is important is the birth of the Holy Spirit within you, which is a miracle of faith.

Although Jesus came approximately two thousand years ago, not everyone has faith in Him today. It will be so even in His future mil­lennial rule from Jerusalem. The restored sacrifices will show that the end of sin is death for everyone who does not repent and per­sonally believe the gospel of Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection. The Sinai Covenant updated and modernized will have the same goal as the original one: humanity's salvation.

But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore, the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:23-26)

The New Testament

The New is a Testament because it is empowered by the death of the Son of God, Jesus, as our Passover sacrifice. This creates the spiritual first fruits as related earlier. The New Testament is unmerit­ed grace that is by nature spiritual and individual. It is a change in attitude and spirit by faith as opposed to behavioral works such as the social training of a nation as expressed in the Sinai Covenant.

In the New Testament Covenant expression, God's purpose is revealed in its fullness on an individual and personal basis. Each man or woman is joined through the Holy Spirit to the all other converted individuals creating the Church of God, the Bride of Christ. Those begotten of the Holy Spirit will be resurrected in spirit bodies, immor­tal, at Jesus' return to constitute the Kingdom of God. The Church also takes on the covenant name of the Messiah's Wife, Israel.

So is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body…

Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (I Corinthians 15:42, 50)

For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. (Galatians 6:15-16)

Go to the top of this page.