Friday, December 28, 2012

Manifesto of the Disciples of the Way (Apostolic)


When a new enterprise is embarked upon, and others are expected to be influenced or to join in its proceedings it is only proper to set forth a manifesto detailing the purpose, views, and intention of the endeavor under consideration. Therefore, the following manifesto is set forth for Disciples of the Way (Apostolic)

As we view Christianity alongside other world religions, especially Islam and Judaism, it becomes very clear that the character of Christianity differs in very many ways from the character of all other faiths, but especially Islam and Judaism. The basic difference lies in the fact that both Islam and Judaism are masculine religions expressing aggressive characteristics; Christianity on the other hand is feminine and expresses herself through the softer characteristics of love, mercy, and forgiveness. 
In a world that hosts three monotheistic religions, two masculine -- one feminine, the aggression that is innate in the masculine constantly threatens the feminine.  This threat is apparent when the theology of all three groups are juxtapose. All three, Christianity, Islam and Judaism have theologies that decree world dominance. Christianity and Islam, in particular, are mandated by their holy Scriptures to convert all peoples of the earth to their individual faiths. Christianity is to “make disciples of all nations” through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and manifesting Christ to the world through acts of love, mercy, forgiveness; the characteristics of a mother (the Bride of Christ). While, Islam, on the other hand, is instructed by the Koran to convert all to itself by the means of the sword. Dozens of times the Koran states“slaughter is better than turmoil.” Christianity offers the world peace through the teachings of Jesus Christ; while, Islam offers the same world a different peace through the teachings of Mohammed: whose teachings declare that there are only two options apart from sharia law: death or subjection to servitude.
In the spirit of “speaking the truth in love” it must be stated with certainty that the Jewish world view is no friend to the Faith of Christ. Religious Jews hate Christians and teach that Jesus was the bastard son of a Jewish peasant girl. Zionist Jews (secular Israel) have driven Palestinian Christians from their homes throughout the area they control. The energy the West expends on Zionist Israel would better serve the Kingdom of Christ by being applied to the aid of Christians the Zionist have disenfranchised. Disciples of the Way (Apostolic) is opposed to the support of a political/religious system which rejected their Messiah and wars, even today, against His Kingdom. Christians who believe and teach Christian Zionism are misguided and must be instructed from their error.

Although Christianity claims one-third of the  earth’s population the enemy that she is facing in the 21st century is unprecedented in its ferocity. Disciples of the Way (Apostolic) will offer Christians a way to man-up in the face of the aggressive challenge coming from both Islam and Judaism.
To facilitate the the strengthening of feminine Christianity, to help position her as the militant force in the earth she must become, Disciples of the Way (Apostolic) proposes the blending of two ancient warrior/priest paradigms: the Warriors of Light of the Essenes - an ancient Jewish sect of the time of Christ and His apostles, and the Celtic Culdees (warrior society of the Celtic Church). Indeed, many historians see them to be one and the same. It is argued that the Essenes were transported to the British Isles in A.D. 37 by the Jewish Christians who accompanied Joseph of Arimathea. In this view the Jewish Essenes became the Celtic Culdees.
Continuing in the tradition of the Essene/Culdee, Disciples of the Way (Apostolic) will vouchsafe the deposit of faith that has been committed to the church by whatever means the Holy Spirit allows through the teachings of the holy Scripture; and, will propagate the Gospel of Christ throughout the earth.
Disciples of the Way (Apostolic) will be comprised of communities called Abbeys (physical and virtual). Each Abbey will be organized with the following structure: Novices, Culdees, Warriors of Light, Bishop, and an Abbot who serves under an Abbot General.
The Novice:
Upon entering association with Disciples of the Way (Apostolic) one enters his/her novitiate. The novitiate is a probation period where the novice may determine his/her suitability to the ministry of Culdee. The most important lesson for the novice to learn is obedience to the Mysteries of the Faith. The novice has no vote in the community.
The Culdee:
A Culdee is any person who has entered the office of Warrior Monk; and, who freely binds himself/herself to service either for a limited time or for life, and who accepts the sitting Abbot General as his/her earthly commander in chief. The Culdee advances through seven degrees of discipleship to attain to the position of a Warrior of Light. Each Culdee shall have an equal vote to elect his/her Abbot.
The Warrior Of Light:
A Warrior of Light shall be any Culdee who has mastered all seven degrees of discipleship, who has freely taken an oath of service for life, and who accepts the sitting Abbot General as his/her earthly commander in chief. Only the Warriors of Light may vote for a new Abbot General.
Bishop:
The Bishop shall be a Warrior of Light who has received the calling and unction of the Holy Spirit to be the Spiritual overseer and confessor for the community. Upon the manifestation of this calling and unction the Bishop shall be appointed by the Abbot who occupies the seat of Moses in the community with the Bishop occupying the seat of Aaron.
Abbot:
The Abbot shall be of the Warriors of Light and shall be elected for life. In the case of a new Abbey the Abbot may be appointed by the Abbot General. The Abbot sits in the seat of Moses and exercises full temporal authority over the community. The Abbot will acquiesce in spiritual matters to the judgement of the Bishop. The Abbot may be male or female.
Abbot General:
The Abbot General shall be of the Warriors of Light and shall be elected by that class of the Culdees for life. The Abbot General is recognized as the earthly commandeer in chief of all Abbeys. It will be assumed that the Abbot General alone hears from God in matters which concerns Disciples of the Way (Apostolic), through God's Word, spirit filled counselors, and direct inspiration. The Abbot General may be male or female.
The Community:
Disciples of the Way (Apostolic) will consist of communities called Abbeys. A mature Abbey will consist of thirteen persons: the Abbot and his/her Culdees. In the true spirit of the Celtic tradition the Abbey will be made up of both male and female Culdees which may include family units. When and where possible the members of an Abbey should live in close physical community. However, when separated by great distances Culdees will function as members of a Virtual Abbey.
The Mission Of The Abbey:
The mission of Disciples of the Way (Apostolic) is the defense and the propagation of the Kingdom Gospel of Jesus the Messiah. This is a polemic mission of Apologetics. The Lord of all the earth has chosen preaching as the means of salvation for the world; therefore the Culdee will be master swordsman in the craft of spiritual warfare. Education of the Culdee is the foremost objective of each Abbey. The Abbey must strife to provide the intelligentsia for its secular community. False religion, and especially false teaching within Christianity, will be confronted at every opportunity. The marching orders of the Abbey is “Educate and Engage.”
Veneration Of The Family:
 The cohesiveness of every society is the family unit. Disciples of the Way (Apostolic) emphasizes the veneration of the family.  The love shared between a man and a woman which in turn produces offspring as holy seed is considered the ultimate will of Father God for His children. (Consequently, the practice of homosexuality is an affront to the human race and is not to be looked upon with any degree of toleration; the practice of such a lifestyle betrays the fundamental purpose of mankind.)
Children of believing parents are holy seed; who qualify for all kingdom prerogatives. Such offspring are born into covenant privileges and are not to be considered as aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, but are citizens by right of birth. Consequently, children born to Christians are Christians by birthright and eligible for all Kingdom blessings.
Children are to be initiated into the community through a series of rites of passage. Christian baptism is to be administered by eight days old; following the Old Testament example of circumcision; first Holy Communion will be administered at eight years of age; confirmation into the faith at 12 years of age; and ordained a warrior monk at 18 years old.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Glory With the Father


Glory With the Father

Written by Bishop Jerry Hayes Sr. Abbot General of the Disciples of the Way (Apostolic)
John 17:5
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.


Of course, the Trinitarian feels that this scripture proves the pre-existence of the Son of God.  We will show that too much has been attempted, in that the problem created by such a view of this passage is insurmountable, even by those who hold it.  To the Trinitarian Jesus is asking the Father to glorify Him with the Father’s glory; notice: “And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self…”  If there are two God-persons in view here, and if Jesus is a separate God-person from the Father, there is a very big problem.  The problem lies in the simple fact that Father God will give His glory to NO other. Two passages of scripture declare this clearly:

1.     Isaiah 42:8 “I am the LORD (Yahweh), that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another.”

2.      Isaiah 48:8 “… and I will not give my glory unto another.”


Is Jesus praying an impossible prayer?  Obviously not.  Jesus is praying a correct prayer.  He is praying a proper prayer that could and would be answered.  If He was asking Father God, a separate being from Himself, to share His (the Father’s) glory with Him (the Son) then that would have been an exercise in futility.  It would have been so, because Isaiah 42:8 and 48:11 are Bible absolutes that can never be altered. (Psalms 119:89, “forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”)  If, on the other hand, the MAN Christ Jesus was praying to the Father to be glorified into fore ordained Son-ship, and not into Deity, then the prayer has great merit.


Second, Timothy 2:15 instructs us to “rightly divide the word of truth.”  In all truthfulness it is the Son which is praying, and the Son prays to be glorified with the glory that He (the Son) had with the Father before the world was created.  In order to understand what this  glory, which the Son enjoyed with the Father before the world was, we must “rightly divide the word of truth.”


The text before us (John 17:5) gives us two very important bits of information:

1.     Where this glory was experienced,

2.      When this glory was experienced. 

The ‘where’ was in the Father’s presence; the ‘when’ was before the world was.  We must then ask the question,”  What was with Father God, before the creation of the universe? (I say “creation of the universe”, because that is what the word kosmos means – here, translated world.)


The answer to the question, “What was with Father God before the creation of the universe?” is not another person of deity; although, this is what the Trinitarian concept of John 17:5 would demand.  We may be confident in this, because of the declarations of Father God Himself: He says in Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that  I, even I, am he, and there is no God with me:…”  Isaiah 44:24 “…I am the LORD that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.”  God the Father asks, “To whom will ye liken me and make me equal and compare me, that we may be like?” (Isaiah46:5).  The Trinitarian says “We will compare thee to the Son of God, and we will make thee equal to Him.” To such people the prayer of Jesus (John 17:5) was a request to be restored to equality with the Father.  No! And as thousand times No!  The assumed answer to Yahweh’s question put to Isaiah is: None, LORD, is Your equal, and we cannot compare You to any.


Now that we have seen what the answer to the question, “What was with the Father before the world (kosmos) was” is not, perhaps we can ascertain what the answer IS.


This we know, The Counsel of God was with God in the beginning.  John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…”  The logos  was with the Father before the world was. Logos is the expression of thought, as embodying a concept or idea (Vine).  Hebrews 11:3 states, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God …”


The Word (logos) was not a separate being from God the Father in the beginning, but was simply the expression of His thought, which embodied the conception or idea of Creation, and Redemption. (Therein, rests His Counsel.)


Three elements existed in the “Counsel of God,” before the world was:

1.     The Atonement;

2.     God’s Elect; and

3.     The Kingdom. 

Paul makes us aware in Ephesians 1:11 that God counsels with Himself before He performs any work.  What a work creation was!  But the work of creation pales in the energetic aurora from the labor of Calvary’s summit.  Creation and Redemption, one is predicated upon the other. Both were in the Counsel of God before the world was.


In the Counsel of God was The Atonement – before the world was: 1 Peter 1:19:20, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was fore ordained before the foundation of the world …” Again: Revelation 13:8 “…Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”  And again, Hebrews 4:3 “… although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”


In the Counsel of God was God’s Elect – before the world was: Ephesians 1:4 “…he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” Again, 2 Thessalonians 2:13 “… because God hath from the beginning chose you to salvation …” And again, Revelation 17:8 “… names … written in the book of life from the foundation of the world …” 


In the Counsel of God was The Kingdom – before the world was: Matthew 25:34 “…then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”


In the full Counsel of Cod, the Son (the humanity) was the paramount part.  When Jesus prayed to be glorified with the FORMER glory that He (the Son) had with the Father before the world was, He was referencing the Atonement; God’s Elect; and the Kingdom.  He was saying (this prayer He prayed the night he was betrayed): “Father, I am now ready to realize this FROMER GLORY through the suffering of the cross.  I was in your Counsel before the world was; I (as a man suffering for mankind) had glory with you, there and then, now, I am ready to receive that glory.” He said, “No man takes my life from me, I lay it down.”
Amen

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hebrews 13:8 vs 1 Corinthians 15:28


Hebrews 13:8 vs 1Corinthians 15:28
By Bishop Jerry Hayes Sr

 

Jesus as Yahweh - The existing One.

He 13:8 'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever".

This is referencing the eternality of Jesus. It is the same genre of saying as "He who is, was, and is to come" Re 1:8. Here, the writer of Hebrews is speaking of Jesus’ eternal Godhood. This is a "Yahweh saying" (Ex 3:14 "I am that I am" - the existing One, the One Who is) of the NT - there are many:(Jn 8:58;Jn 20:6 Ego eime "I am"; Col 1:17;He 12:2; Rev 1:8,*17;21:6; 23:13.)

 

Yesterday = past, into eterity past; today = present; tomorrow = future, into the eternal future.

 

This saying of the writer is a continuing of his theme of the surety of God to secure and equip the believer from:  v6  "The LORD (Yahweh) is my helper., I will not be afraid."  This theme continues through to the end of the chapter; see vv20-22: “The God of peace, ..., equip you in every good thing to do His will." So we are shown a Jesus that is truly the Author and Finisher of our Faith (He 12:2).

 

The Sonship, or Humanity of Christ

1 Cor 15:28 "...then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all,"

This signals the end of the administration of the Sonship of Christ.  Jesus, the Son of God, said: "…for the things concerning me have an end." peri emou telos echei (Lk 22:37).

 

 The present arrangement of deity as: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is not eternal. It is only God's present "economy." Before creation there was just God. After the redemption story is finished all of His economy will fold back into Himself and God will be as He was in eternity past - God will be all in all. (1Cor 15:28).

 

The end of the Sonship is not the end of Jesus the Great I Am. It is only the end of one administration of the economy of deity. "There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord" (1 Cor 12:5). Now, in relation to God there is but One Lord (Eph 4:5). On the road to Damascus Saul asked the arresting force: "Who are you Lord? and the Lord said: I am Jesus..."

 

The reason so many have a difficult time with this is because of a refusal to accept the biblical teaching of the Dual Nature of Jesus; Fully God and Fully man. The New Testament draws a stark distinction between these two different planes of Jesus' existence:

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Principles of Discipleship


The Principles of Discipleship

(For the Apostolic Disciples of the Way)

The principles of discipleship employed by the Apostolic Disciples of the Way (A.D.W. or, simply: the Disciples) consist of : 1. A  graduate  study of the Mysteries of the Faith, and 2. guided spiritual growth. (Paul instructs Timothy that the deacons must hold the Mystery of the Faith with a clear conscience, 1 Timothy 3:9.) The Mystery of the Faith consists of seven individual Mysteries.

The seven Mysteries to be entered into, and held with a good conscience, are presented in seven graduated degrees; each degree contains seven principle truths called Wisdoms. The seven Mysteries of the Faith are:

1.     The Mystery of the Gospel (Ephesians 6:19): this Mystery is a study of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

2.     The Mystery of the Godhead (Colossians 2:2; 1 Timothy 3:16): this Mystery is a study of the economy of deity.

3.     The Mystery of the Church (Ephesians 5:32): this Mystery is a study of the institution and workings of the corporate body of the Church.

4.     The Mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:1-6): this Mystery is a study of the one body of believers made up on both Jew and Gentile.

5.     The Mystery of the Apocalypse (Revelation 1:4, 0):  this Mystery brings the Disciple into the secrets of revelation knowledge.

6.     The Mystery Babylon (Rev 17:5): this Mystery examines the development and history of the church of lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-23).

7.     The Mystery of God’s Will (Ephesians 1:9):  this Mystery researches the hidden wisdom of God’s intended purpose.

Upon completing a novitiate (the time of being a novice) the Disciple will progress through the above Mysteries in degrees; advancing in stages toward the seventh degree, which is called Perfect: ( 1 Timothy 3:6; Ephesians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 2:6; and Philippians 3:17).

Our Lord Jesus and His apostles (especially Paul) applied the Mystery model to discipleship. The writings of these first century believers utilized a vocabulary to this end, to which they applied specialized meanings.  This specialized vocabulary consisted of such words as: mystery, wisdom/principles, hidden, knowledge, enlightened, novice, and perfect: (Matthew 13:10-11; Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 2:6-7; Hebrews 5:12 – 6:1).

Given here is a list of the specialized words and their meanings given by the writers of the New Testament.

·        Mystery:  a truth (secret) taught to the initiated of the faith, but concealed from the uninitiated; (Romans 16:25-26).

·       Wisdom/principle:  a particular component of a given mystery. (1 Corinthians 2:1-7).

·       Hidden:  this word when used with “wisdom” implies a truth intentionally concealed, by God, for disclosure at some future time; (1 Corinthians 2:7 compare to Romans 16:25-26).

·       Knowledge:  used in the sense of knowing God in His “hidden wisdom;” (Romans 10:2; Philippians 3:8; Colossians 2:3; 3:10; 2 Peter 1:5; 3:18).

·       Enlightened:  used for the initiated; i.e. those who had received Christian water baptism (Ephesians 1:16; Hebrews 6:4).

·       Novice:  used for a beginner; one who is learning the first wisdoms/principles of the Faith; ( 1 Timothy 3:6; Hebrews 5:12).

·       Perfect:  used for one who is fully mature – complete in the Mysteries; (1 Corinthians 2:6-7; Ephesians 4:13; Philippians 3:12-16; Colossians 2:27-28; 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

·       Perfection: the state of being perfect, i.e. fully mature in the Mysteries; (Hebrews 6:1; Ephesians 5:12; 2 Corinthians 13:9).

Jesus of Nazareth, the high priest of our profession (Hebrews 3:1), established His church as the true mystery religion.  It was to this end that He employed the parable as His paradigm of teaching. When He was asked why He taught in parables (Matthew 13:10-11), Jesus replied, “To you (the initiated) it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them (the uninitiated) it has not been granted.”  Therefore, the purpose of the parable model of teaching was twofold: the reveal, and to conceal.

We must acknowledge, at this point, that the disciples learned their mode of discipleship from Christ.  Jesus’ promise, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” ( Matthew 28:20b) was predicated on the command to teach “whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20a).  Since the power of the living Christ was ever present with His apostles we may assume that they did indeed teach what He had taught them.  Therefore, Jesus’ method of discipleship was perpetuated by His disciples.  This is seen to be true, insomuch that the foundations of the mystery teaching of Paul may be seen in the model of discipleship established by Jesus Himself.

The mystery paradigm of discipleship is seen in the method employed by Jesus in the following way:

·       There were multitudes that followed Him where ever He was ministering;  however, this vast number of followers were mostly superficial and were drawn to Christ because of the loaves and fish: i.e. His miracles (John 6:10, 26). Nonetheless, from this multitude Jesus chose seventy whom He brought into His company.  These, He taught, trained, and dispatched into the cities as the vanguard of His ministry (Luke 10:1).  Now, from this number of seventy He selected twelve men (Luke 6:12-16) whom He brought into His intimacy. Into these twelve Jesus fathered an anointing to establish His church (John 20:22-23; Luke 24:45).  Continuing this model of discipleship Christ then chose three from the circle of twelve whom He brought into greater revelation (Matthew 17:1-2); but, these three were required to accompany Him deeper into His suffering than all the rest (Matthew 26:36-37).  The circle of disciples contracted one last time to leave but one man standing with Christ.  Jesus brought this one deeper into His mission by giving him the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 16:18).  This supreme honor presented awesome authority, and fearsome responsibility; but, at the same moment required a terrifying purging (John 16:12-27; Luke 22:56-60), and an uncompromising commitment (John 21:15-19).

Each time the circle of disciples contracted the revelation, authority, and responsibility increased.

Therefore, having received this model of discipleship from the Lord Jesus and His disciples, and having the understanding that some disciples are prepared only for the milk of God’s Word (1 Peter 2:2) while others are able to progress on to more solid food (Hebrews 5:14), the A.D.W.   will advance the Disciple toward the degree of Perfect at a pace suited to his/her ability (and desire) to mature.

What follows is a Way of discipleship that will be applied throughout the fellowship of A.D.W.  It is our sincere prayer that the initiate will enter upon these mysteries with a heart submitted to both the High Priest of our profession (Christ, Hebrews 3:1) and His holy apostolic church.

 

DIRECTIVES

The Disciples of the Way will always conduct themselves by two directives:

1.     The Prime Directive:   In essentials, unity;  In nonessentials, liberty;  In all things, charity.

2.     The Secondary Directive:  Call Bible things by Bible names.

These directives will be repeated in the instructions to the novice.

  

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Gospel of Matthew (Greek or Hebrew?)

The oldest extant fragment of Matthew's Gospel is in Greek:


Dates from late first or early second centuries.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Blood Covenant (Sermon Outline)

The Blood Covenant (Sermon Outline) by Bishop Jerry Hayes, TM

Text: Matthew 26:26-28 “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, andbreak it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; Forthis is my body of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Hebrews 8:6, 13 “ But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established uponbetter promises. ... And that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old.

I. Introduction:
  •  Berith is translated "will,”"covenant,” and "testament," and comes from the word translated "to cut".
  •  Also from the Greek diatheke. Means to fetter (bind) by cutting. It is mentioned 300 times in Scripture.
  •  A covenant is an agreement between at least two contracting parties in which all members become one in the most radical sense of the term.
  •  A covenant is a relationship wherein the parties making the covenant bind themselves to fulfill certain conditions. • Since man is not in a position to covenant with God (because man is notan equal with God), God is sovereign in all His covenants.
A. Yahweh (Jehovah) is a God of Covenant:
  1.  Edenic Covenant (Genesis 1:26-31; 2:16-17).   
  2. Adamic Covenant (Genesis 3:16-19).   
  3. Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9:1-18).   
  4. Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-4; 13:14-17; 15:1-18; 17:1-8).    
  5.  Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 19:4-6 [YHWH's] 19:8 [Israel's] 20:1-31:18).   
  6. Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:4-16; 1 Chronicles 17:3-15).   
The New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31).
B. Our focus: The New Covenant (Jer. 31:31ff, cf Hebrews 8).    
  1. Better promises (Hebrews 8:6), i.e. The New Covenant promised remission (removal) of sins instead of atonement (a mere coveringof sin) (Hebrews 8:12 cf Matthew 26:28).   
  2. Better sacrifice (Hebrews 9:13 - 10:18) The new covenant offered the blood of the Son of God instead of the blood of animals.
C. The new covenant is the promised covenant with the houses of Judah and Israel (Jeremiah 31:31ff)
  1. The new covenant was cut at Calvary (Hebrews 8:8-12).
  2. Pentecost (A.D. 30) was the ingathering of Judah and Israel (Acts2:5)
  • Assyria and Babylon had scattered Israel (Israel and Judah).
  • Pentecost (Acts 2; AD 30) gathered the houses of Judah and Israel into one nation (1 Peter 2:9).


II. Understanding Covenant Principle:
A. The word “Covenant” (Heb: Berith [ber eeth]) always has blood contract in view. Berith means: “to fetter by cutting.”
  1. The Blood Covenant is the most ancient of contracts. The hand-shake to close a deal, or as a greeting comes from theblood covenant.
  2. In the Blood Covenant contract the parties become one. Blood covenant statements:                 a. “Blood is thicker than water.” Means: the blood covenant is more binding than the water of the womb.                                                                                                                                       b. “Blood is thicker than milk” (Arabic). Meaning: the blood covenant is more binding than the milk of a mother's breast.                                                                                                              c. “The shirt off my back.” Meaning: total communial property of covenant partners.
  3. The Blood Covenant is used by individuals, families, tribes andnations.
  4. The Blood Covenant is the most binding and sacred of contracts.
B. We may observe some Blood Covenants of the Old Testament:
  1. Yahweh /Abraham (Genesis chapters 15-17);   
  2.  Isaac/Abimelech (Genesis 26:26-31);   
  3. Jacob/Laban (Genesis 31:44-54);   
  4. David/Jonathan (1 Samuel chapter 18).
C. Particulars To The Blood Covenant: the manner of cutting a covenant.
  1. An animal is sacrificed: Usually a bull, a goat, or a lamb is killed and cut in half down the center. The two halves are separated with a pool of blood between them.
  2.  The exchange of coats: Each participant removes his coat, a sign of the tribe's identity and authority, and gives it to the other participant. By doing so, each is saying, "Everything I am, everything I represent now belongs to you."    
  3. The exchange of weapon belts: Each participant removes his weapon belt, which included his sword and bow. They would exchange these belts and, by so doing, declare to each other, "All my strength now belongs to you. Your enemies are now my enemies. My enemies are now your enemies." It was saying that when an enemy attacked then my blood covenant brother had a responsibility to defend me the same as he would himself.
  4.  The exchange of names: Each participant takes the other's name on himself. A person's name represents his individuality. This exchange of names demonstrated a death to being an "individual." Remember that covenant is the union of two people. In covenant you are no longer concerned only with yourself. Your concern now includes your blood covenant partner. You care for your blood brother the same as you care for yourself because the two of you are now one.
  5. The walk of blood: Each participant walks a path in the shape of a figure "8" between the halves of the slain animal, then stops in the middle in the midst of the pool of blood to pronounce the blessings and the curses of the covenant. It basically said, "The one who breaks this covenant will die just like this animal has died." A pledge was also made that said, "Just as this animal gave its life so I will give my life for you if necessary."
  6. The cut of the covenant: A knife is used to make an incision in either the palms or the wrists of each participant. This was to allow blood to freely flow. The Bible teaches that life is in the blood. The two participants then engage in a handclasp allowing the free flowing blood to intermingle. This symbolized the two bloods, the two lives, being joined into one blood and one life. In some cultures, the blood from each participant is mixed into a cup of wine. Each would drink from the cup demonstrating their union. The actual practice of "cutting the covenant" varies in its methods depending on the culture. When this event was finished, a substance would be rubbed into the wounds so that a scar would result. This was done so that a permanent "mark" would be left. Wherever these persons would go, each would be identified as a "covenant man" by the visible mark on their bodies.
  7.  The covenant meal: This is usually a meal of bread and wine. Each fed the other signifying that "all that I am is coming into you." The covenant meal usually ended the blood covenant ceremony. At this point a new relationship is born. It is a love relationship. This kind of love is called "Hesed" in Hebrew and "Agape'" in the Greek. It is a love that says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
D. Blood Covenant Is Illustrated by: Story of Henry M. Stanley.
  • The visible scars of covenant protected him and his party as they traveled throughout Africa in search of David Livingstone..


III. The Old Testament Mystery Of The New Covenant
  • Mystery: A veiled hint at God’s intention for the future. (Hebrew)
  • Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest , .... (Romans 16:25, 26a).
A. The Blood Covenant of David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18) has parallels in the New Covenant.
  1. Jonathan and David made a covenant (cutting) (v3).                                                                    a. Covenant requires two contracting parties of mutual character (v. 3 “loved him as his own soul”).                                                                                                                                             b. House of Jesse and the house of Saul; one righteous the other unrighteous. Someone from the house of Saul had to have the same heart of the house of Jesse. Jonathan                             c. New Covenant parallel: Salvation required a Blood Covenant be made between the Holy God and sinful man. How? A sinless man! Jesus Christ.
  2. Exchange of garments and weapons (v. 4).                                                                                    a. Meaning: All I have is yours; all my strength is yours; your enemies are my enemies etc.     b. New Covenant parallel: Jesus took our humanity (1Timothy 3:16),and our sin (1 Peter 2:22-24); we in turn are clothed in His Holy Spirit and righteousness (Isa. 61:10; Ps132:9)
  3. The David/Jonathan covenant extended to their future generations (1 Samuel 20:42)                 a. Meaning: The blood covenant made both one blood. The two families are now one. Any act upon the other is an act upon one's self.                                                                                         b. New Covenant parallel: The Blood Covenant of Christ extends to all who believe upon His name (Deuteronomy 7:9; Romans 5:19).
B. The Blood Covenant of Yahweh and Abraham (Abrahamic) (Genesis chapters 15-17) has parallels in the New Covenant..
  1.  Melchizedek meets Abraham in the valley of Shavel and officiates the covenant memorial meal of bread and wine before the covenant is actually cut (Genesis 14:18).                               a. Meaning; Melchizedek was the tabernacled presence ofYahweh (Hebrews 7:1-3) officiating at the cutting of the Abrahamic Covenant.                                                                                    b. New Covenant parallel: Jesus the Christ is Yahweh manifested in flesh (1 Timothy 3:16) who officiated at the institution of the Lord's Supper (the Covenant meal for the New Covenant) before the Covenant was actually cut. (Matthew 26:26-28).                                        c. Only God can establish a memorial to an event before the event takes place. He knows the ending from the beginning and calls those things that be not as though they were (Isaiah 46:10 and Romans 4:17 respectively).                                                                                                     d. Melchizedek = Yahweh = Jesus Christ.
  2.  Abraham is instructed by God to take five animals to represent Him in the covenant of blood (Genesis 15:9); Abraham's blood was shed in the act of circumcision (Genesis 17:10).              a. Meaning: The Abrahamic covenant was a real blood covenant in that the blood of two contracting parties was shed.                                                                                                            aa. The blood of God in the five animals (Genesis 15:9). Yahweh says: “Take me ...” ab. Abraham's blood was shed in the act of circumcision (Genesis 17:23-24).                                    b. New Covenant parallel: Jesus was the federal head of two contracting families: God and man.                                                                                                                                                    ba. Jesus is God (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:23; 1 Timothy 3:16).                                                      bb. Jesus is man (1 Timothy 2:5;) e.g. Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:1; Hebrews 2:18)               by the devil and God cannot be tempted (James 1:13)                                                                  bc. The blood of Jesus was the blood of the Son of God (i.e. the Lamb of God, i.e. man; 1 John 1:7), but also of GodHimself (Acts 20:28).                                                                              bd. Man enough to be tempted (Matthew 4:1); God enough toforgive sins (Matthew 9:5) and rebuke the elements of mature (Mark 4:39).                                                                                     be. Council of Chalcedon (AD 451). The dual nature of Jesus.
  3.  Abraham prepared the sacrifice and waited. Birds came to feed on the sacrifice and Abraham drove them away (Genesis 15:10-11).                                                                                            a. Meaning: the five animals include the total list of animals perscribed to be sacrificed in the Law. These animals represended Jesus the “Lamb of God” both in part and in whole. Abraham defended Yahweh's gift to the covenant from being devoured by agents that saw the sacrifice as common and neglected.                                                                                                                  b. New covenant parallel: The Believers' constant vigil against worldly agents who would preach “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4) and devour the Lamb of God with theologicalmisconceptions (Philippians 1:17).
  4. Yahweh did not permit Abraham to pass between the sacrifices. As Abraham slept God passed between the sacrifices alone in the dual presence of a “smoking furnace, and a burning lamp” (Genesis 15:12-17).                                                                                                             a. Meaning: This was the “cutting”; the time of swearing: of pronouncing the promise and the curse upon one's self if the covenant was broken. Yahweh did not permit Abraham to swear. God alone swore to keep the covenant. (“For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself” [Hebrews 6:13]).                                               aa. The Walk of Blood: figure eight between the pieces.                                                            ab. Smoking furnace represents: judicial justice (Genesis 19:28;Exodus 9:8).                            ac. Burning lamp represents: salvation (Isaiah 62:1); salvation is said to be “a lamp that burneth.”                                                                                                                                       ad. The Walk of Blood ends with Justice and Salvation face to face. (“Mercy and truth have met together; righteousnessand peace have kissed each other” [Psalm 85:10]).                          b. New Covenant parallel: Jesus alone in the surety of the NewCovenant.                                  ba. Hebrews 7:22 “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.”                        bb. Hebrews 6:13 “For when God made promise toAbraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.                                                                                                        bc, 2 Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, forHe cannot deny Himself.” (NASB) bd. Romans 4:24 “... for us... to whom it shall be imputed.” Righteousness of Christ is MERITORIOUS.                                                                                                       be. The Believers are to REST in the finished work of redemption(Hebrews 4:1ff), and in the faithfulness of the Mediator of our covenant (Hebrews 8:6) Who keeps covenant to athousand generations (Deuteronomy 7:19). bf. Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me.”
Stay in the yoke and your yoke partner will bring you home.


Conclusion:
The rite of circumcision was the passage into the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 17:9-10). The mohel takes the child in his lap (at eight days old); he then recites a blessing over the baby, saying: "Praised are you, Adonai our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us in the ritual of circumcision." The circumcision is then performed at which time the child receives its name. Then the father recites a blessing thanking God for bringing the child into the covenant of Abraham: "Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to make him enter into the covenant of Abraham our father." After the father has recited the blessing, guests respond with "As he has entered into the covenant, ...”

Meaning: the descendants of Abraham were to be set apart from the nations by the removal of the foreskins of the male private member. This signified the cutting away of the deadness (sin) of the heart. (Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer 4:4). Circumcision was their identity: it was here that they acquired their names (Luke1:59-60; and 2:21).                                                                                                     

New Covenant parallel: New Covenant circumcision is Water Baptism (Colossians 2:11-12).             a. Water Baptism is the rite of passage into the New Covenant (Galatians 3:27; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-5};                                                                                                                                                     b. The family name of “Jesus” is acquired at water baptism (Christian circumcision) (Acts 2:38 cf James 2:7).
The End