Posted by: dhkrause | January 6, 2014

The Everlasting Covenant

Before time began, a covenant was formed between the Father and the Son of God, with the Holy Spirit as the witness.  James L. Garlow and Rob Price in their 2013 book, “The Blood Covenant”, describe five distinct features of this everlasting covenant.

Five Distinct Features of the Everlasting Covenant

1. Eternal – This covenant was both outside of time and everlasting.  Hebrews 13 reveals that it included the commitment of the Son to give his life, and the promise of the Father to raise him from the dead:

Hebrews 13
20 Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus—the great Shepherd of the sheep—with the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 equip you with all that is good to do His will, working in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. Glory belongs to Him forever and ever. Amen.

2. Gift to Humanity – With the appearing of Jesus (Yeshua) as the Son of Man in the earth, God made available this covenant love to people made in His image.  Paul (Shaul) states in 2 Timothy 1 that we are redeemed by the power of this eternal covenant, not by any works that we have done:

2 Timothy 1
He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.
10 This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

3. Hidden from Angels – Paul describes in Ephesians 3 how God withheld the revelation of the everlasting covenant from the angelic host for a season:

Ephesians 3
This grace was given to me—the least of all the saints—to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of the Messiah, and to shed light for all about the administration of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things. 10 This is so God’s multifaceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens. 11 This is according to His eternal purpose accomplished in the Messiah, Jesus our Lord. 12 In Him we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

The four living creatures around God’s throne in Revelation 4 are a type of the angelic host, worshiping with ever unfolding fresh revelation about the love of God:

Revelation 4
Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty,
who was, who is, and who is coming.

James Garlow and Rob Price write: “Three times they cry “holy”, which means “set apart or sacred.”  Why three?  Holy is God the Father’s love toward the Son.  Holy is God the Son’s love toward the Father.  Holy is the Spirit’s ability to include a creature – humankind – in this dance of love!”

4. Humans were Chosen – Ephesians 1 describes God’s sovereign choice:

Ephesians 1
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.

James Garlow and Rob Price write, “Humankind is chosen to join this holy relationship within the Trinity.  This has nothing to do with our performance before him.  We did nothing to earn this right.  Instead we were chosen out of all God’s glorious creations across the universe to be “blood covenanted” to him.

“And not only were we chosen for something special, but Jesus was chosen for something special.  First Peter 1:10-20 says, “But with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” (emphasis added).  The Son, not the Father or the Spirit was chosen in the deep counsel of the Godhead before the creation of the world to be the Lamb of the blood sacrifice of the everlasting covenant.”

(In Acts 2:22-24 (KJV), Peter likewise refers to the death and resurrection of Jesus as by the “determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.”)

5. A Promise was Made – Every covenant involves a promise to another.  Paul declares in Titus 1 that God promised eternal life before time began:

Titus 1
Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to build up the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness, in the hope of eternal life that God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.

James Garlow and Rob Price write, “Was this “promise before time began” made directly to us as human beings?  No.  We didn’t exist yet!  The promise of the everlasting covenant was made between the Father and the Son.  And the One who oversees and mediates this covenant is the Spirit.  … Humankind was, in essence, included in the blessings of this covenant, but we were not partakers or even present when this covenant happened.  … God was up to something very significant before he “made the heavens and the earth.”  He was making a covenant.  An everlasting covenant.

In Leviticus  17:11, God declares, “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have appointed it to you to make atonement on the altar for your lives, since it is the lifeblood that makes atonement.”   Jesus knew that this verse was prophetically pointing to himself as “the Lamb of God” who would one day take “away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)  James Garlow and Rob Price write, “The sinless human blood of Jesus is the covenant blood of the everlasting covenant and was manifested to us as the new covenant at just the right time in God’s province.”

Their book concludes: “At its heart, the covenant is an expression of God’s faithful, enduring love, demonstrated in the death of Christ, from which flows reconciliation, relationship, authority and many treasures more.  The covenant was not merely made – it was lovingly kept for you and for us, and we enjoy the inexplicable benefits of it.

David Krause,,, 1/5/2013
(Bible Quotations are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.)

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