The Love Covenants

Divine Contract to Save Your Soul

The terms of the New Covenant are the same as the terms of the Old Covenant:
obey and live; disobey and die.

With the simple act of purchasing a house, Mary and James Hurd forever changed American history.  After the Hurds bought the house May 9, 1944, their neighbors, Lena and Frederic Hodge, brought a lawsuit against them in an attempt to keep them from owning or living there, arguing that it would diminish the value of the Hodge’s home to have a black family living in the neighborhood.  When the house was built in 1905, there was a covenant in existence “prohibiting the sale of the house to anyone of the Negro race.”1  The fight went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. 

16 Bryant St., NW, Washington, DC

The house that changed US law:
16 Bryant St., NW, Washington, DC.

In an ironic twist, two of the chief justices had to recuse themselves because they, too, lived in neighborhoods with established covenants forbidding the sale of their homes to persons of a specific race or religion.  Almost four years to the day later, after a contentious fight, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the Hurds, paving the way for the abolishment of other covenants that restricted the sale of property to not only blacks, but many other nationalities and even some religions.

Such legal battles are becoming more common in the United States where Homeowner’s Associations seek to control everything from exterior painting schemes, landscaping and more.  A legal covenant is simply “An agreement, contract, or written promise between two individuals that frequently constitutes a pledge to do or refrain from doing something.”2 

Scripture presents a legal covenant, too.  It’s the most important legal contract ever entered into.  It is the agreement between the Most High and every individual who has ever lived for the salvation of the soul.  A great deal of confusion exists over what the agreement is precisely, and what conditions are required in order to benefit from the agreement.  Scripture refers to both the “old covenant” and the “new covenant.”  The very terminology seems to suggest a difference between the first, “old” covenant and another, “new” covenant.

This misunderstanding has brought in a whole host of errors.  The primary error that has arisen is the belief that under the terms of the “new covenant,” the “law was nailed to the cross” and is no longer binding.  Many sincere Christians argue that with Yahushua’s death, all are “freed” from the divine law so none are required to keep it anymore.  Such a belief contradicts Scripture. 

The law of Yahuwah is a transcript of His character of love.  John wrote: “He that loveth not knoweth not Yahuwah; for Yahuwah is love.”  (1 John 4:8)  The Creator declares through His Word: “I am Yahuwah, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)  It is the Father’s character of love that bears long with His sinning children.  If humanity were no longer required to keep the divine law, there would be no cause for Him to say that it is His unchanging character of love that preserves sinners from being “consumed.”

Laws are necessary

No earthly kingdom can exist without laws; neither can the divine kingdom.  If law were set aside, the entire kingdom would descend into anarchy.  It was the breaking of the divine law that brought the chaos of sin to earth.  The divine law is perfect and shall stand throughout all eternity as the only means to happiness and holiness.  The terms of inheriting the promises of the New Covenant are the same as the terms for inheritance under the Old Covenant: obey and live; disobey and die.

The word translated “covenant” comes from the Hebrew word beriyth  (#1285).  It means:

(in the sense of cutting) . . . (because made by passing between pieces of flesh): -- covenant, league, confederacy, . . . The first occurrence of the word is in Gen 6:18 . . . The great majority of occurrences of beriyth are of [Yahuwah’s] “covenants” with men . . . [Yahuwah’s] “covenant” is a relationship of love and loyalty between [Him] and His chosen people . . . (Ex 19:5-6)3

The covenant agreement between Abram (and his seed) and Yahuwah and His seed (Yahushua) was ratified when Abram divided the sacrifices and he and Yahuwah passed between them.  It was an ancient legal ratification that said, in essence, “Thus shall it be done unto me and more also should I break our covenant agreement.”  The rite of circumcision was given at that time as a sign of their covenant agreement.

The old covenant looked forward to the death of Yahushua on the cross.  It promised forgiveness and cleansing for all who accepted by faith the sacrifice on their behalf of the promised Messiah.  The blood sacrifices taught in type what would be fulfilled in the great anti-type: the Lamb of Yah that taketh away the sins of the world.  Thus, all who lived and died before the coming of the Saviour could still be justified by His blood shed on their behalf.

A new legal covenant can have many of the same terms as the previous legal covenant.  It does not necessarily set aside everything in the previous covenant or agreement.  This is the case with the new covenant in Scripture.  The new covenant looks back to the death of Yahushua on the cross.  Like the old covenant, it promises forgiveness and cleansing for all who accept by faith the sacrifice made on their behalf.  Whether a person lived before the death of the Messiah or afterward, the terms of the covenant remain the same.  The provisions also remain the same: one must accept by faith the sacrifice made in his/her behalf.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of Yahuwah: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)  Yahushua’s death is sufficient for all, under either covenant.

A Common Mistake

Under the Law? Or Under Grace?

Under the Law? Or Under Grace?

A mistake occurs when people assume that the death of the Messiah “nailed the old covenant to the cross.”  They go on to say, “We’re under grace now.  The law no longer has to be kept.”  Scripture reveals this belief for the pernicious lie that it is:  “For I am Yahuwah; I change not.”  (Malachi 3:6)  “Yahushua is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”  (Hebrews 13:8)

The death of Yahushua fulfilled the divine terms of the old covenant.  The Creator did give His only Son to die for the sins of mankind.  It did not, however, fulfill the human terms of the old covenant.  Those terms remain applicable to every new generation born.  The terms are simple: obey and live through faith in the sacrificial death of the Saviour or disobey and die.  The choice to obey or disobey remains the human part of the covenant.  You obey, you keep the covenant.  You disobey, you break the covenant.

The first covenant “failed” not because of any shortcoming in the divine part of the agreement.  Rather, the people failed to perfectly keep the law of Yah, which was their part of the agreement.  Just as soon as Yahuwah had delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, He sought to renew the Abrahamic covenant with them.  In one of the most revealing passages of Scripture regarding the divine/human covenant, Scripture records:

Moses went up unto Yahuwah, and Yahuwah called unto him out of the mountain, saying, . . .


Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto Myself.


Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine:


And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.


And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which Yahuwah commanded him.


And all the people answered together, and said, All that Yahuwah hath spoken we will do.  (Exodus 19:3-8)

“All that Yahuwah hath spoken we will do.”  While the intent to keep the divine law was good and necessary, it was not enough.  No one can keep the divine law in his own strength.  All who attempt to do so are destined for failure, just as the children of Israel were.  Within six weeks, they had apostatized by building a golden calf, proclaiming the blasphemous words: “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”  (Exodus 32:4)  This act was a clear violation of their covenant agreement for Yahuwah told Moses: “Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them.”  (Exodus 32:7-8)

When Israel broke their covenant agreement with Yahuwah, He was likewise freed from His part of the covenant.  “And Yahuwah said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.”  (Exodus 32:9-10)  Yahuwah forgave the Israelites, but they were never able, in their own strength, to keep the terms of the agreement.

The “new” covenant still requires surrender and obedience as the human terms of the legal agreement between Creator and creature.  “Do we then make void the law through faith?  Yahuwah forbid, we establish the law!”  (Romans 3:31)  Thus, blood sacrifice is no longer practiced since the type (symbol) has been fulfilled in the anti-type (the reality) at Calvary.  However, the feasts are still to be observed.  They, like the seventh-day Sabbath, are “holy convocations” to Yahuwah. 

The New Covenant & The Feasts

The observance of these sacred feasts, under the new covenant, is different than under the old covenant.  As the sacrifice has already been made, no more blood is to be shed, either by sacrifice or circumcision.  Instead, under the new covenant, these holy anniversaries are observed using the symbols that Yahushua instituted at the last supper: the bread and the wine.

And as they were eating, Yahushua took bread, and blessed it, and brake 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;


For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  (Matthew 26:26-28; see also Luke 22:15-20 and Mark 14:22-24.)

Yahuwah's Feasts: Perpetually Binding

Yahuwah's Feasts: Perpetually Binding

The word here translated “testament,” comes from the Greek word diatheke.  It means a contract or covenant.4 It is the same word as is translated throughout Hebrews as “covenant.”  “And to Yahushua the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”  (Hebrews 12:24) 

The apostle Paul clearly saw in the Last Supper the establishment of a new covenant under the same terms of obedience as the old covenant.

For I have received of the Master that which also I delivered unto you, that the Master Yahushua the same night in which He was betrayed took bread:

And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.


After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.


For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew Master's death till He come.

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Master, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Master.


But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.


For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning Yahushua's body.  (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)

This is an important passage of Scripture.  If the law were truly no longer binding, it would not be possible to partake of these emblems “unworthily” causing “damnation” to oneself.  Furthermore, Hebrews refers to the covenant (singular) as “everlasting”: “Now the Eloah of peace, that brought again from the dead our Master Yahushua, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.”  (Hebrews 13:20) 

Obtaining Yahuwah's Righteousness

Obtaining Yahuwah's Righteousness

The death of Yahushua fulfilled the divine terms of the covenant agreement.  Believers are living under the “new covenant,” but that is still part of the “everlasting covenant” because the terms have not changed.  Salvation is still freely offered to all who will accept it.  The divine part has been fulfilled.  The human part, obedience to the divine law, is still to be fulfilled in the lives of every individual.

As a Pharisee, Paul had an extensive knowledge of the law and, more than any other writer, wrote about the two covenants.  Recalling the history of the children of Israel, he explained the necessity of keeping the divine law through faith as the human part of both the old and the new covenants.

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.


For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.  For he spake in a certain place . . . If they shall enter into my rest.


Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: . . . There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of Yahuwah.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as Yahuwah did from His.


Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.  (Hebrews 4:2-6, 9-11)

The chance to enter into a covenant relationship with the Creator is still possible.  Lay aside your human efforts.  Accept by faith the merits of the Saviour.  Invite Him into your heart today.  Obey and live.  It is possible when He lives out His life in you by faith.

“I am crucified with Yahushua: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Yahushua liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of Yah, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”  (Galatians 2:20)

Suggested Reading:

3 The New Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 383.

4 Diatheke, #1242, Ibid., p. 1036.