Creator's Covenant
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Rules and related matters

$1000 Challenge rules

 

Creators Covenant is offering to pay US$1000  to anyone who can show a direct or clear New Testament connection indicating the 'Old Covenant' is the covenant between Israel and the Creator made at Mt. Sinai and described in Exodus 20-24.

Rules: Any translation quoted must be true to the generally accepted Greek and/or Hebrew original text.

Consider the following unacceptable examples:

Example 1:

Hebrews 9:18-21 is obviously talking of the confirmation of the 'Old covenant'.   It indicates Moses spoke to the people, and sacrificed animals and sprinkled the blood on the people.  The Sinai covenant confirmation is described in Exodus 24.  It also mentions these same things.  However it indicates that Moses sacrificed oxen or young bulls not calves and goats as is stated in the Hebrews account. 

Exodus 24 also indicates that Moses read from a book that apparently consisted of no more than Exodus 20-23.  Many fundamental principles of the law are missing from this section of scripture, e.g. offering for sin, the function of the tribe of Levi and even circumcision.  Hebrews claimed that Moses spoke every precept of the law (vs:19).  Certainly those three things are fundamental precepts of the law.  They are absent from what Moses read at Sinai.  

Hebrews says Moses sprinkled the Tabernacle and the utensils.  These are not mentioned at all in the Exodus account because they didn't exist.  Moses received the plans for the Tabernacle and furnishings after the confirmation of the Sinai covenant (See Ex. 25:8-9).  It was not built until about nine months later.  

So I think you can see that Hebrews 9:18-21 cannot be accepted as a 'direct or clear' connection between the 'Old covenant' and the Sinai covenant.  Actually since the Tabernacle didn't exist at the confirming of the Sinai covenant, it really indicates the Sinai covenant was not the 'Old covenant'. 

Example 2:

Hebrews 8:9 indicates that the 'Old covenant' was made "when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt".  Doesn't that connect to the Sinai covenant?  Actually this wording would indicate a covenant that was made in Egypt since in order to take them "by the hand to lead them out" they had to be IN Egypt.  Exodus 16:1, which covers a time before the Sinai covenant was confirmed clearly says they were already out of Egypt.

Again there is an inconsistency in the connection with the covenant made at Sinai.  Traditional Christianity seems to be guessing.  Shouldn't we be sure about something that the Creator himself spoke and wrote down for us?  What else was so important that He wrote it down Himself?

The above reference is interesting in that there is no record of a covenant actually being made in Egypt.  Consider though, is our Creator more interested in our geographical location or our state of mind?  Israel was described as being mentally in Egypt long after they crossed the Egyptian border (Num 11:18, 14:1-4, Acts 7:39).   Actually they were not separated completely from Egypt until they entered the Promised Land.  "This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you." (Joshua 5:9b)  One could say that the whole time they were wondering in the wilderness they were in Egypt.  There were two covenants made with Israel in this Egypt.  Most people are unaware of this other covenant and that it is a different covenant.

Consider also that scripture says quite a bit about how long His Covenant will last.  A few people will be confused about some other traditional Christian teaching.

Other Traditional Misunderstanding
 

First covenant

We should look at a few technical points, so no one is misled. Hebrews 9:18 calls the Old covenant the ‘first’ covenant. How can it be the ‘first’ if the Sinai covenant predated it? The answer is simple. The Greek word translated ‘first’ is ‘prote’. It actually indicates ‘first of a series’.  In this case we have a series of two, so 'first could be translated ‘former’. Hebrews is only comparing the Old Covenant with the New Covenant. It only deals with two covenants.  In this comparison, of course the Old Covenant is the first. We have to include other historical evidence to connect the Old Covenant with events recorded in the Law.

Malachi 4:4 indicates that the law was given to Moses at Mount Sinai. Wouldn’t that mean it was the Sinai covenant?  Israel departed Egypt on the 15th day of the first month (Num 33:3). They arrived at Mount Sinai on the first day of the third month (Ex. 19:1). Exodus 19 and the book of Jubilees (Ch 1:1-4, 9:11-22), which was regarded as highly as some Hebrew scripture by many in the early church and by many Jews, both indicate God spoke to the nation from Sinai within just a few days of their arrival. The confirmation of the Sinai covenant would have been immediately after that. However, they did not depart the area of Sinai until almost a year later. (Numbers 10:11-13)

Once a covenant is confirmed, it cannot be changed. Any later additions could not be considered part of the Sinai covenant. The great bulk of the Law was given to Moses in the area around Sinai, but it was after the Sinai covenant was confirmed (Ex 34:32, Ex 33:7, Lev 1:1, Num 1:1, Lev 25:1, 27:34, Lev 7:37-38). Also it should be noted that Israel knew at least the basics, if not the detailed judgments of the Sinai covenant, before they arrived at Sinai. "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?" (Exodus 16:28). Of course God spoke to all Israel from Mount Sinai. The covenant of the Lord did not come through Moses.

So the great bulk of the Law of Moses was given while Israel was camped around Sinai. However, it was given after the Sinai covenant was confirmed and not fully explained to the people until Deuteronomy, "Moses began to explain this law" (Deut 1:5b).

Jeremiah 31:32

Another scripture that might be quoted to seriously link the Sinai covenant with the Old Covenant is Jeremiah 31:32. This verse is also quoted in Hebrews 8:9.

"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 did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord."

Like the dedication of the Old Covenant as recorded in chapter 9 this must be read very carefully. In fact, this verse reinforces that the covenant made in Moab is the Old Covenant.

If you think about this carefully, the covenant that failed and none will be made like it again was made in Egypt according to this verse, not in the Sinai. When you take someone by the hand to lead them out of a room, they are obviously in the room. Even so, when God takes Israel by the hand to lead them out of Egypt they must be in Egypt.

The Sinai was not in Egypt (Ex 12:40-42, 13:3-4, 16:1). They left Egypt on the first day of Unleavened Bread. After leaving Egypt, they arrived at Mt. Sinai a month and a half later (Ex 16:1, 19:1).

So, to what covenant is Hebrews 8:9 and Jeremiah 31:32 referring? There is no record of any covenant being made in Egypt. But ask yourself this. Is God more interested in geographical location or state of mind?

The obvious answer is state of mind. Certainly many of the people still had their hearts in Egypt long after their physical crossing of the Red Sea and long after the Sinai covenant was confirmed (Num 11:18, 14:1-4, Acts 7:39). It wasn’t until after Israel crossed over the Jordan into the Promised Land that God considered they were separated from Egypt. "…This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." (Joshua 5:9) That was when God made the final separation between Israel and Egypt.  This was immediately after they crossed the Jordan, entering the Promised Land.

The covenant made in Moab was made just before Israel was led out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land, just before they left Egypt mentally. God separated them from their shameful inclination to return to Egypt at that time.

The law and the Moab covenant was to keep Israel in line with the covenant of the Lord (Gal 3:23), which they had proven incapable of obeying as agreed. Note the rest of this Hebrews/Jeremiah quote, "because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord." (Heb 8:9bc). God’s desire was that they obey HIS covenant, the Ten Commandments and the statutes and judgments that expounded on them (Deut 4:13, 5:31).

This verse is actually contrasting the Old Covenant of Moab with His covenant, the covenant of the Lord, as recorded in Exodus 20 and written with the finger of God (Ex 31:17-18).

The Law of Moses, the Old Covenant, was the covenant made in Moab, just before Israel went into the Promised Land. That is when they were separated from Egypt. It is the only covenant to which Hebrews could be referring. The Ten Commandments, His Covenant, was the "Words" or official terms of the covenant of the Lord (Ex. 34:28, Deut 4:13). Actually His covenant was just RE-confirming at Sinai the covenant originally made with the Patriarchs.

There are other scriptures that often are misunderstood and therefore can be confusing.  A number of scriptures from the New Testament are covered in the New Testament teaching page.  Jeremiah 11 can also be confusing if one approaches it with old assumptions.

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