Blood Covenant is the secret to understanding the Bible. A Covenant is a binding obligation, the ultimate expression of committed love and trust. Its purpose is to establish and bind a relationship that had already been in the making. The strength behind it is that God is involved.
God revealed covenants to man in order to reveal Himself, His absolute love and commitment to us He makes covenant with us to bind us to Him forever in love and trust, so that our relationship with Him and our faith in Him might be made sure and that thereby God and man might be united forever.
We all want strong faith in God and His promises but how? Romans 10:17 says that: ‘faith comes through the word of God …’ -through hearing the word of God. But our faith in someone’s word is not just determined by how well we know what he has said, but also by our confidence in the character of the one who said it. Two people may make the very same promise to me, but I might have much more faith in one because I know that I can trust in his reliability - that what he said, he would also be faithful to do.
So as well and knowing what has been said, we need to know the character of the One who said it. We need to know what stands behind his Word. We need to know God’s promise, but we also need to know His faithfulness, that He will be faithful to do what He has promised.
Thus the quality of our faith in God is determined first by our knowledge of His Word and secondly by our knowledge of His character. -His faithfulness and commitment to perform His promise. it’s not just knowing what God has said it’s knowing His character, His faithfulness,His reliability, that stands behind what He said. You might know what He said, but if you have little confidence in His faithfulness, then your faith will be weak. That’s why a Bible scholar might have less faith than somebody who has not had much education, but yet they know the God that they believe in. Their faith is strong because they know the faithfulness and the reliability of the One who said the word.
And so the quality of our faith, yes, it depends on our knowledge of God’s Word. We need to study God’s Word. We need to know what it says. But secondly the quality and the strength of our faith depends on God’s faithfulness that stands behind His Word. Do you know that God is faithful to watch over His word to perform it? Jeremiah 1:12 says: “My Word will not return to Me void, but it will bring to pass what I sent it to do.” Numbers 23:19: “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent, has He said it and will not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
Do you believe in the faithfulness of God -that if He has said something, He means it and will bring it to pass? For the strength of your faith depends on your assessment of God’s character.
Imagine someone promises to give me a £1,000 I will immediately make an assessment of their character. I can’t help it. If somebody makes you a promise, you will immediately make an assessment of their character.
Number 1. Does he have the power to do it? Does he have the resources? Has he got a £1000? Number 2. You assess him for his love. Does he have that love, that he would actually want to give me that promise?
Number 3 - His faithfulness. Is he a person of integrity, that if he makes the promise, he will surely do it? We make an assessment of that.
And whether you realise it or not when you read God’s word and God makes a promise to you, that you can’t see with your eyes, but God is promising it to you, you are making an assessment of God’s character:
1. Does God have the power to do it?
2. Does He have the love to do it and
3. Is He a faithful God?
Our faith is so bound to God’s faithfulness, that in the original languages of the Bible, the words for faith and faithfulnessare identical, because our faith depends entirely on God’s faithfulness. If God is not faithful, we can’t have faith in Him.
If you do not have that faith and confidence in the character of God, your faith will be weak and when there are contradictory circumstances
in life, your faith will falter. Why does it falter?
It is not necessarily, because you don’t know the Word. You may know what it says in black and white, but do you have the confidence in the reliability of the One who said it, the confidence that will hold you firm through thick and thin? That’s the issue. We’ve got to have that confidence in God, that He is truly faithful.
Praise God He is faithful! But we’ve got to come to that conclusion. We have got to deal with any unbelief in us, and come to that conclusion that God is faithful. That’s the faith that Sarah had.
Hebrews 11:11: “By faith Sarah herself also receive strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age” (90 years old) What was the key? “because she judged Him faithful who had promised.”
Notice: “she judged Him faithful.”
It’s one thing to know God’s promise, but if you are really going to believe God’s promise, if you are going to commit yourself to God’s promise, if you are going to trust yourself to God’s promise, you have to make a judgement about God’s character. You have to judge Him faithful.
That was a major thing for a 90-year-old lady with a 100-year-old husband to believe and receive power to conceive. You’ve got to judge Him faithful who promised! It is not enough to know the promise, you’ve got to know the faithfulness of the One who stands behind that promise. And part of her mind would have gone ‘impossible’, but the other part of her would have looked at the faithfulness of God, and she decided to judge Him faithful and powerful enough to do it.
Romans 4:21 says Abraham went through the same process: “Abraham was fully persuaded that what God had promised He was also able to perform.” We know that God is powerful enough to do it. We know He loves us enough to do it, and that He is faithful to do it, and when we are convinced of that, we can put our trust in His promise that it will come to pass, and that is faith.
Hebrews 10:23 says: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope (our confident expectation that the promise will be fulfilled) without wavering.” How can we have the kind of faith that doesn’t waver under pressure? It goes on to say: “for He who promised is faithful.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23,24 says: “May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; may your whole spirits, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” What stands behind that promise? “He who calls you is faithful, who also do it.” He is faithful. He will do it.
Has God made promises to you? Have you struggled a bit, because it hasn’t come to pass immediately? “He who calls you is faithful, he will do it.”
2Thessalonians 3:3 says: “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” God is faithful to establish you in your life and your calling and He will guard you. But you have to trust His faithfulness.
Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This is telling us something about faith. Faith is the conviction of things not seen. In other words faith is seeing the invisible. It’s your sixth sense. It’s spiritual sight, whereas unbelief is described in the Bible as blindness. (2Cor 4:4: “The God of this world has blinded the eyes of those who do not believe.”) An unbeliever just sees this world. He sees nothing else. There is no other reality. He is blind to the spiritual world. A believer sees past this visible world into the invisible realm. He sees God who created this world and providentially rules over it.
An unbeliever will look at the Bible and read it but won’t see (understand) it.
But a believer looks past the ink and sees that these are not just ordinary words. These words are formed and filled by the breath of God. It sees God standing behind His Word to fulfil it and it sees into the future to see every promise come to pass. But an unbeliever is blinded to this and lives in the spiritual darkness.
Have you seen the Matrix?
There is a lot of spiritual analogy there. In the Matrix almost the whole world is lying in a deception, living in a computer generated reality. Occasionally one of them gets woken up into reality, and they see that their whole life was just part of a computer programme. When they wake up, they find themselves hooked up to a machine and discover what reality really is:
That there is another world, that the world that they had been living in was a kind of unreality. It was real, but it wasn’t the ultimate reality and they find out that all men are in bondage. They are living in this virtual reality, but they are in bondage to the machines that have taken over. Only those who had woken up and seen the reality were free from the domination of the machines. For some of them it is a frightening reality. They wake up into a new world where there is a battle going on over mankind. In the story there is also a Messiah figure. The place where all the believers (those who have had their eyes opened), is called Zion.
This is what it is like for an unbeliever - they are living in a world that seems very real to them, but they are not in touch with ultimate reality. Reality isn’t all nice. When some people woke up they wanted to get back into the computer world. You become a believer when the shades of unbelief come off you, and suddenly you see reality. What is reality?
There is a God who rules this universe and there is a spiritual battle going over all the souls of men and we have apart to play in it. Once we have our eyes open to see the spiritual reality, we are now beginning to operate in faith. Before we were just ordinary human beings in unbelief, but when God opens our eyes, the Word of God develops our spiritual sight. It gives us faith so that we can see and receive the spiritual realities.We come to know His promises and we become convinced that His promises are true and that
He is true to His Word, He is faithful to fulfil it.
So the key to a strong faith is knowing the Word and knowing what stands behind His Word - our faithful God. That should be sufficient for us to have a strong faith, but God has gone one better.
That we might know that we know, that we might be fully assured, having a strong unshakeable faith, God has done something else to bind Himself to His Word, that we might have an absolute confidence that what He says will come to pass, that He is totally committed to fulfil His Word to us. What He has done is to make a covenant with mankind and He has sworn a covenant oath to fulfil His Word. He swore by Himself that He will fulfil His promise.
Hebrews 6:12: “Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (How can we have a faith that patiently endures while we wait for the manifestation?) For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying:
“Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after Abraham had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and a (covenant) oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by a (covenant) oath, so that by two immutable things (His promise and His covenant oath) in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation (strong faith) who have fled torefuge to lay hold of the promise set before us.”
Today we are studying Blood Covenant in order to see what stands behind God’s promises, so that our faith in God’s Word can be made strong.
To have really strong faith we need to know His Word, His faithfulness, but also there is another layer of revelation we need, and that is to know that every promise of God is based upon a Covenant, soaked in the blood of God Himself. He has made covenant, and that means it is doubly impossible that He could ever break His Word. So by studying Blood Covenants we are seeing what stands behind His promises. That’s what makes our faith strong. If you do not have a strong faith, it’s either because you do not know the Word of God. Or you do not know the faithfulness of the One who stands behind His Word, or you do not understand the Blood Covenant
that makes His Word doubly sure to us.
Strong faith knows God’s faithfulness, but it also knows the Covenant in blood that the Word is established in, and that is what I want to build your faith with today, so when God gives you a promise you will not waver, you will not find it difficult to accept it. But you will say:
“God is faithful and He has established this promise in His blood.”
If we say: ‘I know God will do this, because we have a covenant with God’, what I want to know now is what is behind this covenant we have with God? What is the strength, the foundation of this covenant? What is backing this covenant? Is it something that I can totally rely upon?
The Bible tells us God taught the human race from the beginning that the only thing that is strong enough to guarantee a covenant is blood. It is only by the shedding of blood. Nothing else is of sufficient value. You see if we were redeemed with silver and gold, if God paid a million pounds for my salvation, I’m in trouble because my soul is worth much more than that.
Jesus said in Mark 8:37: “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” The ransom price to save even one soul is greater than the wealth of the whole universe.
Psalm 49:6 says: ‘Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches, none of them can by any means redeem his brother, not give to God a ransom for him – for the redemption of their souls is costly, no payment is ever enough that he should continue to live eternally and not see the Pit.’
There has to be an infinite price paid to redeem me from sin and the punishment it deserves. If God paid with all the wealth that is in this universe that would not provide a salvation for me that would last more than a second. It has to be something that is much more valuable, much stronger, that means that God will fulfil every promise to me and save me to the uttermost. But what can there be because there is nothing in this physical universe that is strong enough?
God had to prepare the human race for this revelation and Leviticus 17:11 says: ‘The life of the flesh is in the blood, for I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’ He is saying the only thing
that can cover and save you is blood.
Actually of course, the blood of animals is not of sufficient value to purchase my salvation. Animal blood cannot do it. All the animal blood was simply a picture of the blood that God would ultimately provide, the blood of Jesus
(the God-man), the blood of God Himself and in that Blood the New Covenant is established.
God was teaching the human race from the beginning even in Genesis 3 when man sinned. When they sinned they lost the glory that surrounded them. Adam and Eve radiated glory but suddenly now the glory shut down and they saw themselves in their nakedness. They were a lot better looking than we are, because they were less ravaged by the fall. Nevertheless they were ashamed, because they had lost their glory and it says in Genesis 3:7: “the eyes of both were opened and they knew they were naked.”
They were ashamed and were feeling the effect of having sinned against God, so they came up with an answer, and this is man’s answer - religion.
“They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” You see man knows he has to be covered, because of his sin and that is the meaning of atonement, and so here is the start of man-made religion. They sew fig-leaves together and they think: “Oh, I’m respectable now I’ve got clothes on.’ But of course as soon as the glory of God turns up walking in the garden, they hide themselves. Suddenly they realised their fig leave were useless, because standing in the presence of God they were exposed in all their sin. People who have religion they think: ‘If I do these religious things, if I follow this list of rules, if I do these religious motions and these rituals, I’ll be respectable before God.’ But the moment that the glory of God shows up and they stand before Him, His eyes will see right through those fig leaves. That is not a true covering. That is not an answer. Every man made religion is worthless in the sight of God.
So God does something. He teaches them something. v21 says: “For Adam and his wife the Lord made tunics of skin and clothed them.” He gave them a fur coat.
Now why is that important?
What was wrong with the fig leaves?
It was perfectly adequate clothing actually.
Eve would have done a good job. It would have been a lovely fashionable fig leaf dress. Nothing wrong with the clothing, so why did God say: ‘take off those fig leaves, I’m going to give you a lambskin coat’? We know that it was a lamb or a sheep, and this was the first death.
God killed an animal to provide them with the skin, to cover them. God was saying that being covered with fig leaves, by your own works, is useless -you have to be covered with blood. Only blood will avail. The only covering, the only salvation, is found in the shedding of innocent blood, in a life poured out, and God told the human race that right from the start.
Why? Because He wanted them to understand that ultimately He would send His Son to be the Lamb of God who would die and pour out His lifeblood, and the lifeblood of the Son of God would have sufficient value, infinite value, be so precious that the Covenant established in that blood would be all sufficient for eternal salvation and life for all of us. God needed the human race to know that our own works will not avail. Salvation has got to be through blood.
Adam was the first Bible teacher and he taught his children that, and in the next chapter we see they had 2 children Cain and Abel. One received the truth, the other rejected it.
It says in Genesis 4:3: “that it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of fruit…” ‘it came to pass’ literally means:‘at the end of days.’ They had something like a Passover festival once a year on the anniversary of the first sacrifice in the Garden of Eden. They would have something like an annual Passover when they should have brought the animals to the Garden of Eden and offer them up as a blood sacrifice.
This blood sacrifice was a picture of the final sacrifice, and so in the end of the days Cain deliberately rejected God’s instructions. He brought a basket of fruit instead. He was saying to God ‘I will do it my way.’
But Abel brought the first born of his flock. He brought a lamb and the Lord received Abel’s offering. Why? Because it was a blood sacrifice, it was done in faith and obedience.
But Cain’s offering was not accepted, because it was the fruit of his own labour that he was offering up to God. God said:
‘No, that is not acceptable’, and Cain got angry at that and he ended up killing his brother. And the Cain’s have been killing the Abel’s ever since, persecuting those who trust in the blood.
Now God is teaching the human race that the life of the flesh is in the blood, and only blood is of sufficient value to procure our salvation.
Later then Israel had their own Passover. The founding sacrifice of the Old Testament was the Passover Lamb and they were to kill this lamb and the blood would be shed, and the blood would be applied to the door posts and then the family would enter in under the blood and they would accept the Covenant, and it would be through that blood that they were in that Covenant and under the protection of God.
God said: “When I see the blood on your door, I will pass over you.” Most people misunderstand this when God says in Exodus 12:13: “The blood shall be a sign on your houses, when I see the blood I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you” and this is the same word for Passover as used in Isaiah 31:5 which says: “As birds flying, so will the Lord defend Jerusalem and deliver it PASSING OVER, He will preserve it.” The picture of the Passover is God hovering over them in His power. God wasn’t the destroying angel. He says: “when I see the blood, I will hover over you and protect you from the destruction that is coming through.”
Likewise, when you accept the blood of the new covenant and put your trust in Jesus and His blood shed for you, then the Spirit of God hovers over you, and the destroyer can’t touch you, because you believe in the Blood Covenant which guarantees your protection and blessing.
Notice that although they were saved on the basis of the blood of the Lamb, they also had to apply the blood by faith to their lives as confirmed in:
Revelation 12:11: “They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” Thus we have to receive and trust in the blood in our hearts, and also confess it with our mouth over our lives. When we apply the blood, declaring God’s promises that are soaked in the blood, then God covers us and manifests His blessings in our lives, protecting us from the destroyer. He spreads His wings over us.
Red paint or a list of good deeds would not avail. Only the blood of the Passover Lamb can protect us. We should apply the blood over our lives, our families, our possessions, our hearts and minds. When you receive and apply the blood God passes over you. He hovers over you. He protects you. The power of the Covenant is in the Holy Spirit, but its foundation is the Blood.
The New Covenant is established on the basis of the Blood. In the Blood of Christ is enough value and preciousness to purchase every blessing for you. Every promise of God is sealed and soaked in the blood of Jesus. Hallelujah.
When you receive the promises of God realise that they are soaked in the blood of Jesus.
They are in Christ.
They are in His blood,
and if you receive them in that way, and
apply the blood to your life by confessing these blood-soaked promises, then the Holy Spirit will hover over you to manifest the promise of God.
You believe it in your heart and you speak it out with your mouth. You apply it to your life by saying: “His stripes, by His blood I am healed. By His blood, Jesus is my Healer.
By His blood, Jesus is my Saviour.
By His blood, Jesus is my wisdom.”
His promise to be all these things to you is based on the covenant in blood, and if you understand this, your faith will be unassailable.
When a covenant was cut the covenant partners would sit down for a covenant meal to confirm and celebrate their new relationship. They would have fellowship together at table. Every year the people of Israel on the anniversary of the Passover have their covenant meal.
Then at one certain covenant meal 2,000 years ago, Jesus passed round the bread and the wine and He used that to say:‘OK, now that was all a picture but now is the reality.’ He said that the broken bread represented His body broken for us. (When covenants were made animals were killed and their bodies broken open into two parts, and their blood was shed and the covenant partners would walk through the pieces and make covenant, signifying that the Covenant was made in that Blood). Jesus was saying:
“My body is going to be broken for you and My blood is going to be shed for you, and a new covenant will be established in my Blood.”
Matthew 26:28: “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Luke 22:20: “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, shed for you.” This means: ‘the new covenant is ratified, established in My blood.’
How do we know how firm the promises are? The strength of the covenant depends on the Blood that was shed. Thank God we are not in a covenant based on animal blood!
We are not in a covenant based on the blood of an angel or some other human being.
We are in a covenant with God’s own blood!
Let me show you that in Acts 20:28.
This is a proof that Jesus is God in the flesh. Acts 20:28: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” The Church is purchased with the blood of God, for Jesus was the God Man. He was fully God and fully man and therefore when the God Man shed His blood, He represented both God and man in the covenant which binds God and man.
From man’s point of view, He shed the blood of a perfect human being and in the shedding of that blood He was making a declaration to God of mankind’s obedience, worship and loyalty to God alone. And God accepted that obedience and righteousness and in Him we stand in that same righteousness before God, the rightousness of Christ.
But He also was God’s representative and the blood flowing in His veins was also the blood of God, because He was the God Man. And when He shed His blood He was shedding the blood of God, and God stood in that blood and declared every salvation blessing of abudant eternal life.
God promised bestowed it upon Jesus Christ. And in the power of that declaration God raised Jesus from the dead, and now Jesus possesses every spiritual blessing.
And because He is our representative,
every promise now is ours in Christ. Hallelujah.
And we have the promises of God, because they are soaked in the blood of God. Hallelujah.
And Jesus being a man is also our representative before God and we stand in His righteousness. And we stand in the covenant with the same standing as Jesus Himself, for we stand in His place and righteousness, therefore every promise of God is as surely ours as it is Jesus’, if you are in Christ. Hallelujah.
Our salvation in the New Covenant is based on the blood of God! As 1Peter 1:19-20 says:
“you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold but with the precious, infinitely valuable blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He was foreordained before the foundation of the world but was manifest in these last times for you.”
God knew from the beginning of time that He would offer up His Son and that His blood would secure the eternal New Covenant in which we would stand. But He had to teach the human race first with animal sacrifices to prepare us so that we could understand and receive it.
Hebrews 13:20: “May the God of peace,
who brought up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, the great Shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the everlasting covenant.” What’s the basis for the resurrection? His blood! Through the blood He received His resurrection into glory, and if you are in Christ,
your resurrection and eternal glory is founded
and secured in that Blood.
The remission of your sins, every blessing that you have is secured in that blood.
God has shed His blood for you. That is what is standing behind every promise of God to you.
It is not just His word. It is not just that He is faithful to His Word. It’s that He has put His Blood on the line, to make a Covenant where in that Blood, He swears with an oath to fulfil His promise to you. If you know that you’ll have the faith that cannot be shaken.
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for Your precious blood. Give us the revelation that through Your death, You made covenant with us through Jesus, that You shed Your blood, the blood of God, and You have declared every promise is ours in Christ on the basis of that blood.
Oh God forgive us for ever doubting You, because You have done everything You could do to make our faith firm and strong.
Jesus we believe in You.
We thank You Jesus for taking our place,
for being our representative.
We thank You that through Your Blood there is an unconditional, eternal Covenant established, that is unbreakable and that if we accept you, Jesus, as our representative we are in that covenant forever and that every blessing of that covenant is ours. Every promise of God to us is ‘Yes’ in Christ. That forgiveness and healing You promised us, Lord, is ‘Yes’ in Christ, sealed in Blood.
I thank You that You have done it all for us. You’ve paid the price. Our salvation is secure. Every blessing is ours in Christ. We believe it. Amen