Dwelling Place of the Father's Seal by Pete Kovacs

Chapter 6:

Dwelling Place of the Father’s Seal

And Now to The Real Issue at Hand

"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Rev. 13:16,17.

Here, then, is the issue which according to this prophecy we are soon to be called upon to meet. Human organizations, controlled and inspired by the spirit of the dragon, are to command men to do those acts which are in reality the worshiping of an apostate religious power and receiving of his mark. If they refuse to do this, they lose their rights of citizenship, and become outlaws in the land. He who refuses to comply with these demands of earthly powers exposes himself to the severest penalties which human beings can inflict. On the other hand, he who does comply, exposes himself to the most terrible threatenings of divine wrath to be found in the word of God. The question whether they will obey God or man is to be decided by the people of the present age under the heaviest pressure, from both sides, that has ever been brought to bear upon any generation.

A Point of Common Interest

Thus far, we have learned that in these last days there will be a world wide unity based on false religion which the Bible refers to as "Babylon". It consists of three parts: the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. We have learned that the "Dragon" represents paganism, the "Beast" is Roman Catholicism and the "False Prophet" is apostate Protestantism. We have also learned that the United States of America (the lamb-like beast) is mentioned in prophecy and that it will form an "Image to the Beast." This "Image" (Protestant church-state) will be at the forefront to enforce the dreaded "mark". Now think about this for a moment. With all these diverse religions and nationalities working together for a common goal, we must conclude that the "mark" is something that Paganism, Catholicism and apostate Protestantism all hold in common. What could the "mark" be?

The word used for mark in this prophecy is charagma, and is defined as, "a graving, sculpture; sign, seal, token or a mark cut in or stamped." This figure of a mark is borrowed from an ancient custom in which a mark was impressed on the right hand or forehead of servants and soldiers denoting their allegiance to their superiors. Of course, we are not to understand in this symbolic prophecy that a literal mark is intended, but is used as a figure to illustrate the act of homage. The very same figure of speech is used in the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy in respect to God's law. "And thou shalt bind them (the Ten Commandments) for a sign (seal, token or mark) upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes (forehead)." Deut. 6:8. (See also Ex. 13:16) Making God's commandments as frontlets between the eyes represents having His law ingrained or stamped in the mind, so that they become your way of thinking. It naturally follows that when His commandments become part of your thinking that you will keep his commandments as is implied by the binding of them on the right hand. It also follows that if the binding of God's law represented paying homage to Him by obedience, then the mark of the beast upon the right hand and forehead must represent paying homage to the beast by thinking as the beast and keeping the commandments of the beast.

I would like to make mention that the "mark of the beast" is not something that can be forced on us against our will. Certainly pressure will be applied to accept it, but even so, it is something that we will have a choice in receiving or rejecting. John gives us evidence of this fact when, after witnessing those that receive the mark of the beast, he is immediately taken in the spirit to another class having the "Father’s name written in their foreheads." Rev. 14:1. (See also Rev. 7:3,4) "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Rev. 15:2."...These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God...Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."Rev. 14:4,5,12. And again it is said of them: "...the dragon was wroth with the woman (true church), and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (true Christians), which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Rev. 12:17. "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Rev. 22:14.

It is very plain and apparent that they who have gotten the victory over the beast, his image and his mark; that receive the "seal of God" and have "the Father’s name written in their forehead;" who are "redeemed from among men" and receive the reward of the saints, are those people that are associated with the keeping of God’s commandments. Likewise, those that receive the "mark of the beast", by means of some human tradition, transgress the commandments of God and receive His condemnation. Jesus spoke of this class when He said:"Why do ye also transgress the commandments of God by your tradition?...This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:3,8-9. The "seal of God" and the "mark of the beast" must deal with some issue concerning obedience to the law of God.

In Daniel chapter 7 and verse 25 we read, "he shall...think to change times and laws." The beast power is clearly shown to have attempted a change in some point of God’s law pertaining to time. By substitution the "little horn" power has replaced or changed some article in the law of God with one of its own traditions so that he "opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." 2 Thessalonians 2:4. It is God’s seal that this power has attempted to replace with his own mark.

Now, from what we have learned so far, it is perfectly reasonable to conclude that the"mark of the beast" is the complete opposite of the "seal of God." It also follows, that if we search the scriptures to find what constitutes the "seal of God," it will inevitably lead us to uncover the identity of the "mark of the beast." Does the Bible give us the clues we need to identify the "seal of God"? Let’s give it a try.

God’s Seal

A well known writer of the 1800's had this to say about God’s seal: "A seal is used to render valid or authentic any enactments or laws that a person or power may promulgate...[It] is used in connection with some law or enactment that demands obedience, or upon documents that are to be made legal or subject to the provisions of the law. The idea of law is inseparable from a seal...

"In a gospel prophecy found in Isaiah 8, we read: ‘Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.’ This must refer to a work of reviving in the minds of the disciples some of the claims of the law which had been overlooked, or perverted from their true meaning, and this, in the prophecy, is called sealing the law, or restoring to it its seal, which had been taken from it.

"Again, the 144,000, who [in Rev. 7]...are said to be sealed with the seal of God in their foreheads, are again brought to view in Rev.14:1, where they are said to have the Father's name written in their foreheads.

"From the foregoing reasoning, facts, and declarations of Scripture, two conclusions inevitably follow:-

"1. The seal of God is found in connection with the law of God.

"2. The seal of God is that part of his law which contains his name, or descriptive title, showing who he is, the extent of his dominion, and his right to rule.

"The law of God is admitted by all the leading evangelical denominations to be summarily contained in the decalogue, or ten commandments. (See Appendix G, Confessions of Faith on God’s law) We have, then, but to examine these commandments to see which one it is that constitutes the seal of the law, or, in other words, makes known the true God, the law-making power. The first three commandments mention the word God; but we cannot tell from these who is meant, for there are multitudes of objects to which this name is applied. There are "gods many and lords many," as the apostle says. 1Cor.8:5. Passing over the fourth commandment for the time being, the fifth contains the words Lord and God, but does not define them; and the remaining five precepts do not contain the name of God at all. Now what shall be done? With that portion of the law which we have examined, it would be impossible to convict the grossest idolater of sin. The worshiper of images could say, This idol before me is my god; his name is god, and these are his precepts. The worshiper of the heavenly bodies could also say, the sun is my god, and I worship him according to this law. Thus, without the fourth commandment, the decalogue is null and void, so far as it pertains to enforcing the worship of the true God. But let us now add the fourth commandment, restore to the law this precept, which many are ready to contend has been expunged, and see how the case will then stand. As we examine this commandment, which contains the declaration, "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is," etc., we see at once that we are reading the requirements of Him who created all things. The sun, then, is not the God of the decalogue; the true God is he who made the sun. No object in heaven or earth is the being who here demands obedience; for the God of this law is the one who made all created things. Now we have a weapon against idolatry. Now this law can no longer be applied to false gods, who "have not made the heavens and the earth." Jer.10:11. Now the author of this law has declared who he is, the extent of his dominion, and his right to rule; for every created intelligence must at once assent that He who is the Creator of all, has a right to demand obedience from all his creatures. Thus with the fourth commandment in its place, this wonderful document, the decalogue, the only document among men which God ever wrote with his own finger, has a signature; it has that which renders it intelligible and authentic; it has a seal.

"But without the fourth commandment, it lacks all these things.

"From the foregoing reasoning, it is evident that the fourth commandment constitutes the seal of the law of God, or the seal of God.

"But the Scriptures do not leave us without direct testimony on this point. We have seen above that in Scripture usage, sign, seal, token, and mark are synonymous terms. Now the Lord expressly says that the Sabbath is a sign between him and his people. ‘Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.’ Ex.31:13. The same fact is again stated by the prophet Ezekiel, chapter 20:12,20. Here the Lord told his people that the very object of their keeping the Sabbath, that is, observing the fourth commandment, was that they might know that he was the true God. This is the same as if the Lord had said, "The Sabbath is a seal. On my part it is the seal of my authority, the sign that I have the right to command obedience; on your part it is a token that you take me to be your God." Daniel and the Revelation, Uriah Smith.

A Multifaceted Word

The word Sabbath in itself is an interesting item. Although the word Sabbath has been interpreted to mean rest, it is actually derived from the combination of three Hebrew words. The first of which is Sab, meaning "our holy or learned father"; secondly B, meaning "house or dwelling place"; and lastly Oth, meaning "sign or seal". ( Derived from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance ) When put together we have Sabbath: "The dwelling place of our Holy Father’s seal." It is no wonder, then, that the LORD uses these very words after HE wrote the HIS eternal Ten Commandments in stone and gave them to Moses; "Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign (Strong’s #226-oth: seal or mark) between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed." Ex. 31:16,17.

As to the continuance of the Sabbath through all ages, scripture makes it very clear that "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord." Isa. 66:22,23. The Lord clearly revealed to Isaiah, in vision, that as long as there is a creation and created beings there will be a memorial to the One who created them. His stamp, seal or signature, whichever you prefer, will always be upon His work.

Sign of the Overcomer

Some claim that the Sabbath is only for the children of Israel and not for the Gentiles. Actually they are correct. You see, the word Israel means "overcomer" and all that overcome sin in the name of Christ are the children of Israel. A Gentile is only a Gentile as long as he chooses to be. "If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise." Gal. 3:29. "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name....To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Rev 3:12,21. (See also Rom. 2:28-29; 11:25-26; 1Peter 2:9-10)

When we completely give ourselves to Christ (rest in Christ) and truly believe that He is able to do what He promises (Heb. 11& Rom. 4:21), He gives us victory over sin and frees us from the penalty of the law (Roman 6:23). Then, by faith we become "overcomers" [Israel] through the merits of Jesus and become true keepers of His commandments in our hearts (Hebrews 8:10-12). Victory through Christ! No longer Gentiles! We become the children of Israel by "adoption." (Gal. 4:5.) "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now...for the son of the bondwoman [those in bondage to sin] shall not be heir with the son of the free woman [those that overcome sin through the grace of Christ]. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free [free from sin & penalty of the law]." Gal. 4:28-31.

We, in ourselves, have no power to do this. It can only happen if we learn to love God with all our heart, and let Him work in us and through us (Phil. 2:13). Then He will write His law in our hearts and minds, and we will want to keep His law and obey (Heb. 8:10). Keeping His commandments will become a delight (1John 5:3; Psalm 40:8) and the Sabbath will become a special, joyous time to spend with our Lord (Isa. 58:13,14).

Salvation Through Rest

There are some that would argue that keeping the Sabbath or any of the ten commandments is salvation through works, and that the ten commandments were done away with at the cross along with the old covenant. (See appendix D, What was nailed to the cross?) To those that would argue such, I would only ask these questions: If the ten commandments are done away with, then, is it now alright to murder or to commit adultery? Is it alright to worship idols, to have other gods, or to use the Lord’s name in vain? Can I show disrespect for my father and mother without God’s condemnation? Is it now righteous to lie or steal? With the moral law out of the way, surely I can now covet and lust all I want?

It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? James tells us "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. By breaking just the 4th commandment alone one would be guilty of breaking all of these other commandments as well.

The keeping of the Sabbath is salvation through rest, not works. It is a symbol of resting from the works of the flesh. In fact, if we look closely at the other nine commandments we will find that they are all commandments to rest as well. The first commandment requires us to rest from making other gods. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," that is to say "you will rest from worshiping other things besides me." The second commandment requires rest from making idols and the third from using the LORD’s name in vain. "Thou shalt not kill...thou shalt not commit adultery...thou shalt not steal...thou shalt not bear false witness...thou shalt not covet." All but the fifth commandment openly tell us "thou shalt not" in one form or another, but if we look closely we can see that even the fifth which commands us to "honour thy father and mother" in essence commands us not to dishonour or show disrespect toward them. It now becomes crystal clear that God never required any great task to be performed for salvation. HE simply says to us, "rest," and when we rest from our own works and allow Him to work in us (Col. 1:27 & Heb. 13:21), we honor HIM and keep HIS commandments.

"Remember the Sabbath day." Exodus 20:8. But why has God commanded us to remember the Sabbath? Is it not to remind us to rest from sin all through the week? It would be hypocritical to rest from sin only one day a week, would it not? If man had always remembered to keep the Sabbath holy in its true sense, there would never have been an atheist or an infidel in our world; but Satan has made an effort to keep God out of the mind, and has worked his plans to accomplish this; and having banished God from the memory of mankind, he puts himself, if possible, in the place of God. It was for this very reason God set up the Sabbath as a reminder. "Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you." Exodus 31:13. "Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them." Ezekiel 20:12. So long as we remember the true spirit of the Sabbath, every day of the week, we will remember our Creator and our great obligation to Him and His moral law and that only HE can give us strength to obey.

By now it has become quite apparent from the above verses that the Sabbath is really a symbol of sanctification (removal of sin from our lives), for it is written in Hebrews 4:10 that "there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" as did ancient Israel. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28. Resting from sin is what the Sabbath is all about.

In the third chapter of the first epistle of John we read: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4. To do away with the moral law is just an excuse to justify sin. To remove the moral law and the Sabbath would give excuse or license for every form of sin. Teaching that the moral law has been done away with has been the foremost cause of moral degeneracy in the world. Without understanding the true spirit of the Sabbath there can be no true sanctification.

The Two Covenants

"Many of the misunderstandings about God's moral law are rooted in a lack of knowledge concerning the two covenants. It has become common practice to use the terms Old Covenant and Ten Commandments interchangeably as though they are one and the same thing. Is this Biblically correct?

"First of all, we need to understand what a covenant is. Basically a covenant is an agreement or contract between two parties based on mutual promises. In the past God has established pacts or covenants with individuals such as Abraham, Moses, David and with the entire nation of Israel, but the most important covenant ever made was set up before this world ever came into existence. It was the covenant made between the Father and the Son way back in the vast eternity of the past. A pact was made for dealing with the eventuality of sin in which Jesus would offer Himself as the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" Rev. 13:8. He would become the atoning sacrifice to redeem man, should our first parents, Adam and Eve, choose to sin.

"That eternal covenant has never been changed or superseded in any way. Even though God has established many other covenants throughout the history of man, the terms of that first covenant have remained the same. The simple provision of salvation through faith has remained in effect from the very beginning for every person who is willing to accept it.

"Of all the covenants mentioned in the Bible the one that has caused the most confusion, without a doubt, is the one designated as the "Old Covenant" by the apostle Paul. In the book of Hebrews he clearly tells us that the Old Covenant was faulty, and he goes on to describe a new and better covenant that has some very important advantages over the old. See how he describes the two: "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them [the people], he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." Hebrews 8:6-13

"Clearly Paul’s description leaves no room for doubt. The Old Covenant was set aside for a more favorable one based on better promises; one in which God, Himself, will put His laws in our minds and write them upon our hearts. Millions have been taught that the Old Covenant that was set aside was the Ten Commandments, and they boast of being set free from the law and the Old Testament covenant of works.

Old Covenant Not the Ten Commandments

"If the Ten Commandments did vanish away with the Old Covenant, as some believe, we are immediately faced with some very serious problems. Let us take a look at these problems one at a time and compare scripture with scripture to resolve them.

"First of all, Paul tells us that the Old Covenant had some poor promises in it. He also tells us that the New Covenant "was established upon better promises." Heb. 8:6. Let me ask, has anyone ever found any poor promises in the Ten Commandments? Never! Even Paul declares to the contrary that they were very good. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor your father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on earth." Eph. 6:1-3.

"This scripture alone is sufficient to show that Paul was not attributing any poor promises to the moral law. Whatever the Old Covenant may be, it could never be the Ten Commandments.

"The second thing Paul says was wrong with the Old Covenant, was that it was faulty. He declares, "For if that first had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second." Heb. 8:7. Let me ask another question: Has anyone ever found a fault or flaw in God’s own handwriting? Remember, God wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger (Exodus 31:18). David declared "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." Psalm 19:7, and Paul wrote, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." Romans 7:12.

"How can something be perfect and faulty at the same time? By now it should be obvious that two different things are being spoken of.

"Finally, we are told that the Old Covenant was to be abolished. "In that He saith, a new covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." Heb. 8:13. (See also 1Cor. 3:7) Now comes the question that should settle every doubt in the matter. Did the great moral law of Ten Commandments vanish away? Anyone who has read the New Testament must answer, absolutely not. Paul affirms the exact opposite about the law. He asked, "Do we than make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." Romans 3:31.

"Does the Bible contradict itself? How can something vanish away and be established at the same time? Did Paul say opposite things about the same law? Just to be certain that he was not saying that the Old Covenant was the law, let us use the words "Old Covenant" in place of the word "law" in that same verse. "Do we than make void the Old Covenant through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the Old Covenant."

"That doesn't sound right at all, does it? We have already confirmed that the Old Covenant had vanished away and could never be spoken of in this way. So, as you can see, there can no longer be any doubt that the Old Covenant which came to an end could not have been the Ten Commandments.

So, What Was the Old Covenant?

"Now that we know what the Old Covenant was not, we can go to the Bible and discover what it was. In order to do so, we must go all the way back to the book of Exodus. God called Moses up into mount Sinai, even before He gave the law, and proposed a covenant between Him and His people: "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;...if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me...an holy nation. These are the words which thou shall speak unto the children of Israel." Exodus 19:3-6.

"God asked Moses to go and present His special offer to the people, and in so doing, we have here all the elements of a true covenant. Conditions and promises are laid down for both sides, and if the children of Israel accept God's proposal, a covenant will be established. How did the people respond to the divine offer? "And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord has spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people onto the Lord." Exodus 19: 7,8.

"Just as soon as Moses returned their answer to God, the basis for the Old Covenant was set up, and as with any contract, there had to be a sealing or ratifying of that pact before it was official. As we will learn later, this was a special kind of covenant that required the shedding of blood, and we find this ritualistic service described in Exodus 24:4-8: "And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. 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."

"Again we are reminded that this covenant was not the law itself but was made ‘concerning all these words.’ The Ten Commandments were the basis for the agreement. The people promised to keep that law, and God promised to bless them in return. The crucial weakness in the whole arrangement revolved around the way Israel promised. There was no suggestion that they could not fully conform to every requirement of God. Neither was there any application for divine assistance. ‘We can do it,’ they insisted. Here is a perfect example of leaning on the flesh and trusting human strength. The words are filled with self-confidence. ‘All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.’

"Were they able to keep that promise? In spite of their repeated assurances, they miserably broke their word before Moses could even get off the mountain with the tables of stone. Do we begin to see where the poor promises lay in the Old Covenant?

"The book of Hebrews begins to unfold. There God is reported as "finding fault with them." Hebrews 8:8. He said, "Because they continued not in my covenant ... I regarded them not." Verse 9. The blame is placed squarely upon the human side of the mutual pact. Thus, we can see exactly why Paul wrote as he did about this Old Covenant in Hebrews 8. It did gender to bondage, it proved faulty, had poor promises, and vanished away - all because the people failed to obey their part of the agreement. Putting all these things together we can see why a new covenant was desperately needed, which would have better promises.

"How were the New Covenant promises better? Because God made them, and they guaranteed successful obedience through His strength alone. I will put my laws into their mind ... I will be to them a God ... I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.’ Hebrews 8:10-12.

"How was the New Covenant ratified? In the same manner that the Old was confirmed - by the shedding of blood. But instead of an ox having to shed its blood, the sinless Son of God would provide the blood of sprinkling: ‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ.’ Hebrews 13:20, 21.

"What a contrast to the weak promises of the flesh made by Israel at Sinai. Instead of the people's ‘we will do,’ God's New Covenant promise is to ‘make you perfect in every good work ... working in you.’ It is no longer human effort. It is not so much you working, but Him ‘working in you.’ And how is this power made available? ‘Through the blood of the everlasting covenant.’ Because of what Jesus did on the cross.

The New Covenant

Based On Conversion

"This brings us to the very heart of the New Covenant operation. Obedience is made possible by the writing of God's law on the heart. Through spiritual regeneration the mind and heart are transformed. Christ actually enters into the life of the believer and imparts His own strength for obedience. By partaking of the divine nature, the weakest human being begins to live the very life of Jesus Christ, manifesting His victory, and crucifying the flesh.

"Paul describes that transaction this way: ‘For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ Romans 8:3, 4.

"The word for righteousness is ‘dikaima,’ meaning ‘just requirement’ of the law. In other words, because of Jesus' sinless life in the flesh, the requirement of the law can be fulfilled in us. He overcame sin in the same kind of body we have, so that He could impart that victory to us. He will actually live out His own holy life of separation from sin in our earthly bodies if we will permit Him to do so. This is the New Covenant promise for every believing, trusting child of God. And it is absolutely the only way that anyone can meet the requirements of the law: ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ Colossians 1:27. ‘The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’ Galatians 2:20.

It is most important for us to understand that the New Covenant law written on the heart is exactly the same law that was graven on the stone (See 2 Cor. 3). Those great spiritual principles reflect the very character of God, and form the basis for His government. The difference is not in the law but in the ministration of the law. Written only upon the tables of stone, they can only condemn and minister death, ‘because the carnal mind ... is not subject to the law of God.’ Romans 8:7. Received into the heart which has been spiritualized by the converting grace of Christ, the same law becomes a delight. The beloved John declared, ‘For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.’ 1 John 5:3. Not only is the law not grievous for the Spirit-filled child of God, but obedience becomes a joyful possibility. The psalmist wrote, ‘I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.’ Psalms 40:8.


No Change in the

New Covenant After Calvary


"Since the New Covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, it obviously could not have gone into effect until after Jesus died on the cross. This crucial fact must not be overlooked. Eternal life or death could hinge upon the proper understanding of this key point. Paul wrote, ‘For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.’ Hebrews 9:16, 17. The word ‘testament’ is the same as the word ‘covenant.’ Only after a man's last will and testament has been ratified by his death can the provisions be executed. In the same way, Christ's covenant or testament would begin to operate just as soon as He had confirmed the covenant by His death at Calvary.

"Another text leaves no question on this issue: ‘Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.’ Galatians 3:15. Paul is saying here that after a man's death, his will or covenant cannot be changed. Not one new addition can be made after the death of the testator. The covenant stands forever exactly as it stood when the testator died. After the death of Christ, no change whatsoever could be made in His provisions to save mankind. The conditions were all sealed and ratified by the shedding of blood. Every requirement had been laid down clearly by the perfect pattern of His sinless life and provision had been made for the writing of His magnified law, by the Holy Spirit, upon the mind of each believer.

"Under the terms of that New Covenant not one soul would be left to struggle helplessly against the powerful urges of a fallen nature. ‘Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.’ Romans 5:20. Eternal promises rooted in the changeless nature of God would provide power to overcome every inherited and cultivated weakness. No wonder the Bible emphasizes the ‘better promises’ of this glorious new agreement!

"Now it is easy to understand some of the things Jesus did just before He died. For example, why did He institute the Lord's Supper before His body had been broken? On the Thursday night before His agonizing death on Friday, Jesus met with His disciples in that upper room. Holding the cup in His hands, He said, ‘This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’ Matthew 26:28.

"Isn't it curious that Christ would say those words before His blood had been shed? He was commanding a memorial for an event which had not even happened yet! Why? Because it had to be introduced before His death in order to come under the New Covenant. Nothing could be added to or taken away after His death or else the covenant would be broken." Why the Old Covenant Failed, Pastor Joe Crews, Amazing Facts Publications

The Final Proof

The following is a narration by Pastor Joe Crews to illustrate the importance of this key point: "...I had just finished preaching on the subject of the Sabbath in one of my evangelistic crusades. As I stepped off the platform to greet the people as they left, three young men blocked my way in the aisle. One of them addressed me in quite a loud voice - loud enough to cause about fifty people near the front of the auditorium to stop and listen."

"Brother Joe," he said, "we were disappointed tonight with the way you put us back under the Old Covenant. Don't you realize that we are living under the New Covenant now, and should keep Sunday instead of the Sabbath?"

Although most of the congregation were leaving the building, the group near the front gathered closer to hear all that the young men were saying. It was obvious that I would have to take the time to answer this trio's challenging question. As I suspected, they turned out to be young seminarians in training at a local Bible college. Eagerly they held their Bibles in their hands and waited triumphantly for me to answer.

Usually, I do not like to debate controversial matters in a public forum, for fear of stirring combative natures, but there seemed no way to avoid dealing with these ministerial students. Anyway, they had my path completely blocked, and the circle of listeners looked at me expectantly for some explanation.

"Well, it seems as though you have studied the subject of the covenants quite deeply," I suggested.

"Oh, yes," they affirmed, "we know all about the covenants."

"Good," I replied. "You undoubtedly know when the Old Covenant was instituted." One of them spoke up quickly, "It was started at Mt. Sinai."

"And how was it ratified?" I asked. Without a moment's hesitation one of them answered, "By the sprinkling of the blood of an ox."

"Very good," I commented, "and how was the New Covenant ratified?" All three chorused the answer, "By the blood of Jesus on the cross."

I commended the young men for their knowledge of the Scriptures and asked them to read me two verses out of their own Bibles - Hebrews 9:16, 17 and Galatians 3:15. They responded eagerly to the invitation, and read the verses, commenting on each one after reading. "We agree that the New Covenant did not go into effect until after Christ died, and nothing can be added or taken away after He ratified it on he cross," the spokesman for the group asserted. All three nodded their heads emphatically over this point.

I said, "Now you must answer two more questions for me. Here's the first one, and you must think carefully to give me the correct answer: When did Sunday-keeping begin?" There was a moment of shocked silence, and then another, and another. The boys looked at each other, and then down at their feet, and then back at me. I gently prodded them for the answer, "Surely you can tell me the answer to this question. You have known all the others, and have answered correctly. When and why do you think people began keeping Sunday?"

Finally, one of them said, "We keep Sunday in honor of the resurrection of Jesus." I said, "Then I must ask you my last question. How could Sunday keeping be a part of the New Covenant? You just stated that nothing could be added after the death of Christ. He died on Friday and was resurrected on Sunday. If Sunday was added after Jesus died, it could never be a part of the New Covenant, could it?"

The three young men shuffled their feet, looked helplessly around, and one of them said, "We'll study into that and talk to you later." Then they fled from that auditorium as fast as they could go. I can assure you, also, that they never returned to talk further about the covenants.

The fact is that Sunday keeping, even if it had started on the day of the resurrection, would have been three days too late to get into the New Covenant. Both Bible and history prove that Sunday was never observed by the apostolic church....

Millions of modern church members regard Sunday as a sacred day which memorializes the resurrection of Christ. It is certainly true that Christ arose on the first day of the week, but nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to keep that day holy. Events such as the crucifixion and resurrection should mean much to every Christian, but not one intimation is given in the Bible for observing either Friday or Sunday. The only day ever commanded for weekly worship is the seventh day of the week - the same Sabbath Jesus kept during creation week, the same Sabbath He kept even in His death and the one He will keep with His people throughout all eternity. Genesis 2:1-3; Isaiah 66:22, 23.

The very strongest reason for rejecting Sunday worship is that it was not included in the New Covenant requirements which were ratified by the death of Jesus. If Christ had desired His resurrection to be memorialized by Sunday keeping, He could have introduced it on that same Thursday night of the Last Supper. Then it would have become a part of the New Covenant, along with the Communion service and foot-washing. Jesus did not hesitate to command the observance of His death, even though it had not taken place yet. Just as easily He could have commanded the observance of His resurrection, which was still future, in order that it might become a New Covenant requirement. But He did not! And no one else ever did either, until Paul's prophecy began to be fulfilled about an apostasy following his departure. Acts 20:29, 30. He spoke also of a falling away which would lead to the enthronement of Antichrist. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. But true it is that no hint of any change of the law is given in the Scriptures. The unchangeable moral law was preserved in both Old and New Covenants as the perfect revelation of God's will.


(For more on this subject see Appendix D Christ and the Law)

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