Today we want to go to the heart of what Blood Covenant is all about. What is the purpose? Why does God want to make covenant with us in Blood? What’s God’s plan and purpose behind it all? To understand that we need to go back to the beginning, to Genesis and give you the big picture of what God has in mind and what He wants to fulfil, so that we can cooperate with Him; so that we can be part of it.
God’s original plan when He created man was to create someone that He could have fellowship with, who could actually interact with Him on His level. In one sense, we can never be on God’s level because He is God. He is the Creator and we are the creature, but as far as it is possible for the creature to be on the same wavelength and to share the same life and the same nature -that is what God intends for us.
He wants to bring us in to the very fellowship that exists in God Himself - the Triune God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who exists in loving fellowship with one another.
God wants to bring us into that same fellowship. He wants to share His life with us.
And that is why God made us in His image.
He made us higher than the animals. He made us higher potentially, even than the angels.
And I believe that when God announced that He was going to make man in His image the angels went ‘ah, wow,’ because although the angels are glorious, wonderful beings, to be on the level of God, to be in His very image, that was a thing amazing to them, because until then, there was only One who was in the image of God. The Bible says: ‘the Son is the image of the invisible God.’ He is the exact image and representation of the Father. But now God was saying: “Let us make man in Our image” (Genesis 1:26).
In other words God is saying: ‘Let us make man to be just like us.’ Yes, God is infinite and we are finite but nevertheless God is saying ‘I am going to make a created image that is just like Us’. The only difference is God is infinite and we are finite. God is infinite love, we are finite, but yet God has made us to be just like Him, to be made in His image. I want you to get a comprehension of that. ‘Let us make man in Our image, in Our likeness, and let them have dominion, let them rule over all the creation.’
v27: “And so God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.” Actually part of the image of God is in masculinity and part of the image of God is in femininity. God’s image is in man. None of us can carry the whole image of God, but we are made in His image. Why would God make us in His image? What is His purpose here? So that He could share His life with us. So He could have fellowship with us. So everything that is in His heart He could share and communicate with us. And God wants to know us and for us to know Him intimately.
We can understand this with animals, you know. Probably the best relationship you can have with an animal is with a dog, I guess. Certainly I don’t have much fellowship with my cat. I mean we have an understanding that if I leave her alone she won’t be upset with me. That’s about as far as it goes. There is no sharing, no kind of reciprocation. With a dog there is a bit more. You get a bit more feedback, but it is very limited and you can only communicate one or two things. Sometimes I think I would like them to be able to talk, then I could understand really what is on their mind, but probably it would get pretty boring. It would be like ‘give me food,’ ‘give me food,’ ‘is it lunch yet?’ It would be a boring conversation. It’s a little bit of stuff going on, but really they are not on our level, they are made after a different image. They are not made after our image. There isn’t that connection.
There cannot be that connection, because we are made in the image of God. We can operate on the God level, in the God life, in the God nature. We are not God. I think I have made that clear, but we can operate on His level. God has made us so that we can have fellowship with Him.
A dog cannot have fellowship with God. You won’t find your dog worshipping and praying to God, because he is not made in the image of God. He doesn’t have that connection. So God has made us in His image so that we can look at Him face to face. So we can communicate and understand one another, and so He can share His interests; everything that is in His heart He can share with us. And we can also share with Him. and have that relationship.
That is what God is interested in doing.
The reason He made the covenant was to make that happen, to make it real.
It is interesting in Genesis 2:19 God made Adam and he was alone and God provided a dating service for him. It says: “God formed all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air, and He brought them to the man to see what he would name them” and it is almost like God is teaching man what he needs. And so the man gave names to them all, but it’s interesting it says, v20: “But for Adam no suitable helper was found.” Well, literally, it means there was no one answering to him, no one that was on his level. No one that he could really find that satisfying union with. And so the elephant came along, and he thought well, ‘I like this elephant and all that but it is not it.’ Why? ‘Because the elephant isn’t in my image, isn’t corresponding to me. I can’t really have fellowship with this elephant.’ And then the kangaroo popped along, but no that’s it. And so on all the animals came before Adam two by two.
And Adam noticed that all these animals had their partner, who had the same image as them, who they could be with. But Adam was on his own. So Adam’s heart yearned for a companion, for someone who was in his same image, whose whole spirit, soul and body answered to his, who he could have face to face fellowship with, to share his heart and life with, expressing and receiving love, someone who would be his perfect match. Thousands of animals were brought to Adam but none of them were IT.
Then suddenly the Lord God made a woman which He had taken out of the man, in other words in his image, and brought her to the man and the man said: ‘wow’. The Hebrew says it well: ‘This is it.’ This is someone who matches me. We are in the same image. I can share everything with her and she can share everything with me. We can have that fellowship.
Maybe it feels like this in dating that the elephant and the kangaroo and all the rest come along but it isn’t quite it, is it? And then suddenly he/she comes and ‘wow’, as Adam said: ‘This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh’, and right at that point is where they make covenant. They enter into marriage. He declares they are one now: ‘bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman’ (man with a womb) for she was taken out of Man. And for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” They are in a marriage covenant now. That was the first marriage and the first covenant (blueprint) in the Bible, and what was
its purpose? What was the covenant for?
It was to establish and to seal these two lovers into a union where that love would be put on a secure and permanent basis so it would flourish. The purpose of the union is not just that they would have a relationship (husband and wife), but that they would have fellowship forever.
They would share their lives with one another. That is what fellowship means - the self-giving of ones life to the other, the sharing together of that life. Fellowship is a participation in
a common life, and the covenant was made
to provide a firm and secure foundation
for continual fellowship.
The Bible is a romantic book, because it starts with a marriage and it ends with a marriage.
In fact, redemption is like a romance because God Himself wants a bride, a wife, as it were. He wants to enter into marriage covenant with us and that covenant is the New Covenant. At the end of the story, at the back of the Bible we find this marriage is gloriously consummated. God is now being united through covenant to His people, so that they can truly live happily ever after. They can have eternal fellowship. with each other, and that is what the whole thing is about - not just that our sins would be forgiven, but that now through covenant, we are bound into an eternal relationship with God, so that we can know God and have fellowship with God forever.
If you think the Christian life is a lot of ‘doings’ and if it is not done in fellowship with God, then you are missing it. That is not what it is all about. It is not like some religion that says:
‘do this, do that and you are satisfying God.’ That is why some people like Islam for instance, because it has a simple set of rules and if you keep the rules everything is fine. Christianity can’t be explained so simply, because it is not about a set of rules. It is about a relationship, It’s about knowing God. It’s about fellowship with God and you can’t just reduce it to a little set of five rules. It’s not like that, it’s real, its life. And so what ever spoils that fellowship, that is sin to you. And whatever is done apart from that fellowship with God is of little value. What it is all about is your fellowship with God.
A covenant (like marriage) relationship is designed to create a permanant, secure relationshipwithin which loving fellowship can thrive. There is a difference between relationship and fellowship. Hilary and I have a relationship created by the marriage covenant. Once that is made we have that relationship and it is permanent and unchanging. But we are not always in fellowship. Now most of the time we are, but things can happen that can spoil the fellowship, the communication, the sharing. It can get cold. You know when that fellowship is broken, don’t you? You can feel it and the thing to do is to fix it rather than just let it continue.
Fellowship can be broken, but does that mean that we are not married any more?
‘I don’t feel married now, so I’m not married.’ No, we are still married. The relationship is fixed.
Likewise you are in a relationship with God, if you have accepted the covenant that Jesus offers to you through His death. That is a forever relationship. If you sin now against God, what you do is you break your fellowship with God but you do not break your relationship.
It’s also like a father and a son. As soon as the father and mother give birth to this son there is a relationship there. Nothing can happen to destroy that relationship; it’s there. But they might grow apart; they might not have any fellowship. Does that mean he is not longer the son? No, he is still their son. The relationship
is there, but the fellowship is broken.
It’s not good; fellowship needs to be restored.
What God gives us is a relationship with Him. When we put our trust in Jesus Christ and accept His blood covenant, we become sons of God.
In the other picture we are betrothed to the Lord. We come into a covenant relationship with Him. We have that relationship now which also opens the door for fellowship to flourish.
God just doesn’t want a relationship. You know, it’s pointless saying: ‘well, I married Hilary, so now we are married, we don’t need to talk anymore now because we are married.’
That would be silly wouldn’t it? Because the whole purpose of entering into the relationship is that our fellowship would be secured forever. Isn’t it? And so it is pointless coming to the Lord and saying: ‘well, praise God, I’m saved now,
I don’t have to talk to God anymore.’
You are completely missing the point. You come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ so that now you can have wonderful fellowship and you can enjoy His presence everyday forever and that is what God wants.
He says: ‘what I want from you is not a lot of do’s and don’ts’ but He says ‘I want you to love with all your heart and with all you soul, and all your mind and your strength. I want to share My life with you. I want to pour My love into you and I want you to respond and to give it back.’ And that is what God is wanting, that dynamic fellowship. In fact His purpose is that we would enjoy the same kind of life that God enjoys in the Trinity, the sharing of life that is in the Trinity.
God is love. God exists in eternally as love. Before He created the world there was this loving fellowship in the Trinity, and that is the eternal life that God eternally enjoys, the dynamic sharing of His being between the 3 persons of the Trinity.
John 1:1: ‘In the beginning was the Word (the Son of God who became flesh, Jesus Christ), ‘and the Word was with God and the Word was God.’ WITH is the word PROSE which means face to face. So here we see the Father and Son together; they are looking at, loving and knowing one another face to face. They’re loving one another. They’re knowing one another perfectly.
How do they know one another? Through giving themselves to each other. The Father gives His love to the Son, and the Son gives His love back to the Father. And what they give to each other is the Spirit of God. The Spirit Himself is a Person, He is the gift that the Father gives to the Son and that the Son gives to the Father. (As a Person Himself the Spirit is a giving gift, giving of Himself to the Father and the Son).
Everything the Father gives is breathed out of the Father in the Holy Spirit. So He is the Spirit of the Father. But He’s also breathed out of the Son and given by the Son to the Father (so He is also the Spirit of the Son). It is like an electrical circuit. There is this continual flowing of love back and forth between the Father and the Son. They continually give themselves to each other through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit knows all things in the Father. He takes them, and communicates (gives) them to the Son. And likewise the Son gives all things that are in Him back to the Father through the Holy Spirit.
This is the dynamic fellowship of God, the total sharing of themselves with one another.
That is why it says God is love. And what God wants to do is bring us into that same fellowship,
the fellowship that eternally exists between the Father and the Son. He now says to us:
‘I want you to come into that same fellowship.’ -so that we would be in Him and He in us,
just as they are in each other, praise God.
And a covenant is necessary to bring that to pass. And the angels gasp with astonishment, that we should be brought into the very fellowship of the Trinity. That is far above even the highest angel.
Let me share with you an interesting speculation. Lucifer was a Cherub, and the Cherubim were the highest category of angels, the guardians around the throne. But Lucifer himself was the highest of these Cherubim, because he is described in Ezekiel 28 as the anointed Cherub that covers. While the other Cherubim were around the throne, Lucifer was over the throne and so was the highest and most glorious angel. He was the worship leader in heaven and greatly admired by all the angels. Now it’s possible that one day when God revealed His plan to make a new being who would be in the very image of God, part of the family of God, who would be taken into the inner circle of the Trinity, who would not just be around the throne or above the throne, but would actually sit on the throne with God (Yes, we are talking about man!) Lucifer heard about this plan and became jealous, because he would lose his place of being the highest of all the creatures.
Some believe that this jealousy is part of the reason why he turned against God causing him to rise up in pride against God and to claim equality with God and to demand worship. As a result he fell like lightning as he was thrown out of heaven.
This explains why he hates man.
Not only is man the image of God and of course satan hates God, but also man has been given the position on the throne of God which Lucifer himself coveted and tried to grasp for himself.
Jealousy and covertedness is indeed a deadly sin. We should be content with what God gives us, with the position and the gifts that God gives us. Sometimes we don’t like when someone is promoted above us. We mustn’t get pulled into that kind of pride. Let us be content with whatever God calls us to do and glory in that.
When the angels discovered that God’s plan for man was to make beings in the very image and likeness of God, that wouldn’t just be guardians around the throne and above the throne,
but would sit on the throne, united to God,
that was something they couldn’t comprehend but that is God’s plan and destiny for you - that you will rule and reign with Him, forever united to Him in wonderful fellowship.
Why does it need a covenant to accomplish this? The problem, of course is that man sinned against God. Adam had fellowship with God through the Spirit, but it wasn’t made firm, so that when he sinned, he didn’t just break fellowship with God, but also the actual relationship was broken. Because that relationship was not secured by a covenant, that relationship was vulnerable and was broken by sin, so that as a result man was in the devil’s kingdom, under the power of darkness, with no relationship with God, a serious situation!
Now what was needed, was not just a covenant, because a simple covenant could not undo the effects of sin. It had to be a blood covenant, because only through blood is there forgiveness and remission of sins, and only through blood now can this relationship be fully restored.
But what blood could achieve this?
The blood of animals? no way;
the blood of sinful men? no way.
Only the pure and perfect and precious blood of the Son of God Himself could possibly purchase our redemption.
But God instituted blood sacrifice in the human race to teach and prepare mankind, so that he would understand blood covenant, so he would understand the power and purpose of blood, so that when finally in the fullness of time God’s Son came to the earth, taking upon Himself human flesh and human nature and then offering His life to God and allowed Himself to be cut open. And allowed His blood to be poured out Himself as a sacrifice, to make that perfect covenant to bind God and man forever, we would be able to comprehend it and receive it.
Jesus was cut in His flesh on the Cross, and the new covenant was made between God and man in His blood. And He still bears the signs in His hands and feet, and His blood still speaks declaring the covenant in heaven (Hebrews 12).
Why did He do it? So that: 1. our relationship
and 2. our fellowship with God might be restored.
The first thing that the new covenant does is provide redemption from sin, so that we might be forgiven and back in relationship with God.
But that’s not the end of it. Jesus did not die just so we could be forgiven. No, the whole point of being forgiven from our sin is that our fellowship with God might be restored, that we might know God personally. It is not just about being forgiven and being in relationship with God. That’s just the starting point, enabling us now to enter into a loving fellowship with God, whereby we can enjoy Him forever, and He enjoy us. We now share our life with Him, and He shares His life with us forever.
The first thing the covenant does is to provide redemption from sin, because sin had to be dealt with first. Ephesians 1:7:“In Christ we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins.” This causes our relationship with God to be restored. The Bible says that: “all who receive Christ, receive the right to become children of God, who are born not of flesh, but of God” (John 1:12,13). As soon as you believe in Christ and receive His sacrifice, your sins
are forgiven, you are born of God, you are a
new creation. You become a child of God.
God becomes your Father; and you are His son, in the image of the Son of God!
Now you have a permanent relationship with God. But that is not the end. That is just the beginning. Now this relationship is not vulnerable like Adam’s, because now your relationship is founded on the blood of God,
on the blood of Jesus Christ, Hallelujah.
Now you are in something strong, that’s what
a covenant does. It binds you into a strong forever relationship with God. You’re a child of God, so that when you fail, when you sin,
it’s not the end. Yes, you need to deal with it.
You need to confess your sin, but you don’t lose your salvation because you sin. You lose your fellowship with God, but not your relationship.
This new covenant was prophesied in,
“The time is coming declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant with
the house of Israel, with the house of Judah.”
Thank God we get in on it as well.
“It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers” (That’s the Old Covenant through Moses). “When I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke My covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the Lord.”
Though Israel had a covenant it was not in the blood of Christ, it was in the blood of animals and therefore it was weak and it couldn’t deal with sin. It couldn’t establish that relationship with God. It was a forerunner. It was to teach people about covenant. But God is saying in Jeremiah that the real thing is coming, the New Covenant. He says this new covenant will not fail. The other covenant failed, because we fail but the new covenant will not fail: “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time declares the Lord. I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be My people. No longer will the man teach his neighbour or man his brother saying:
‘know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me from the least of them to the greatest.”
To know Him, what does that mean? To know Him face to face, like a husband and a wife.
Its that sharing of life. Jesus said in John 17:3: “this is eternal life, to know God.” What does it mean? It’s the fellowship life that I described within the Trinity. How does the Father know the Son? It’s through the Spirit, for they give the Spirit to one another. The Father gives all He has and the Son gives all He has back and that bond of fellowship is the dynamic Spirit flowing between them. Therefore they know each other perfectly through the Spirit.
This is confirmed in 1 Corinthians 2:7–12: “we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things which have been freely given to us by God.”
So the new covenant is designed to deal with the problem of our sin and get us into a relationship with God where we can know the Lord ourselves face to face through the Spirit. We can share our life with Him and it will be real. It says: ‘they will all know Me from the least to the greatest.’ They will have personal fellowship with God.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and I will remember their sins no more.” This is what the new covenant will do. Because of the blood of Jesus ours sins will be remitted, opening the way for us to know God through dynamic fellowship (which is through the work of the Spirit, as the other great prophecy of the New Covenant declares in Ezekiel 36:26, 27).
God says that sin will not be in the way anymore, so that now we can be in His presence without any barrier and we can know Him through the exchange of life. God says: “I will give them everything I have and I will reveal Myself to them and they will love Me back.” This will all happen through the Holy Spirit. He’s not talking about dead religion, of rules and rituals. He is talking about a dynamic life with God through the Holy Spirit. It’s all about knowing the Lord personally. It’s the Spirit that makes this happen. There is no substitute for your fellowship with the Lord. Your work for the Lord flows out of that.
Isaiah 43:25: “I, even I am He who blots out your transgressions for Mine own sake.”
Did you catch that? Why does God do it?
You would have thought it was for our sake wouldn’t you? ‘I’m going to forgive your sins for your sake, because otherwise you are going to go Hell.’ But actually God says: ‘I’m doing it for My sake.’ Why? Because He desires to have fellowship with you, He wants to enjoy you, He wants your love; your prayers; your praises; He wants to know you, and He wants to give Himself to you and pour His love upon you.
And He can’t do that, with that sin barrier there. He wants to have fellowship with you so much, that He’ll do whatever it takes to remove the barrier that is separating you from Him.
So He says: “I will blot out your transgressions. I’ll send My Son to die on that cross, to pay the price to remove those sins from between us, for My own sake, so that we can be one, and we can give ourselves to each other.”Hallelujah. He says ‘I will not remember your sins. I have removed them as far as the East is from the West’
Then He says (v26): “Put Me in remembrance. Let us plead together.” He says on our side, we are to claim the covenant; we are to plead the blood; we are to put God in remembrance of His covenant. In other words, He wants us to stand in faith in this covenant. He says ‘put Me in remembrance of My promises.’ He says (v26): “let us plead together, declare it that you may be justified.”
In other words He wants us to say to Him:
‘I’m in covenant with you.
I receive forgiveness. I receive the Spirit.
I receive my healing from you. I thank you Lord you have purchased it in your blood and you have promised it to me in Your Word.”
The covenant creates a new reality.
We enter into this reality by faith. Plead
the covenant by faith. God wants us to do that.
In a covenant each person gives themselves to the other. So what does God give us in the New Covenant? He gives us the best. He gives us Himself, He says: ‘I am the Lord your healer.’
Jehovah Rophe. The Jehovah names of God are Covenant Names. They declare who He is to us in the covenant. He is giving Himself. He is binding Himself to us. He is not just saying: “I’ll heal you sometimes.” He says in the covenant now “I am your healer.” He binds Himself to us by bringing us into His Name, for:
He is OUR Healer. He doesn’t just say:
“I give you healing.”
He says: “I am your healer.
I am your provider. I am your wisdom.
I am your life. I am your strength.
Through the covenant I am all in all to you.”
He gives Himself to us.
Call upon Him-
Confess His NAME, who He is.to us in the Covenant
You are my Healer, Victory etc.