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The Law of the Kingdom: Old & New Covenant | Part C

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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Why was the covenant made at Sinai?
Yahuwah was just giving His law. The promise of the Israelites to keep it perfectly, and their failure, brought them face to face with the consequences of violating the law of Yahuwah. The consciousness of guilt, and a sense of its consequences, would be much more forcibly impressed upon their minds than if they had not made the promise which they did. And being thus brought face to face with their sin, and realizing its full enormity, they would be driven to the only source of help, ample provision for which had been made in the covenant with their father Abraham. Thus it might be said that the first covenant was made in order to bring the second covenant (all the terms of which were the Abrahamic covenant) into bolder relief, and to secure its acceptance by the people.

When it was demonstrated that the first covenant, the Sinai covenant, contained no provisions for pardon of sins, some will at once say, "But they did have pardon under that covenant." The trouble arises from a confusion of terms. It is not denial that under the old covenant, i.e., during the time when it was specially in force, there was pardon of sins, but that pardon was not offered in the old covenant, and could not be secured by virtue of something else, as shown by Hebrews 9:15. Not only was there the opportunity of finding free pardon of sins, and grace to help in time of need, during the time of the old covenant, but the same opportunity existed before that covenant was made, by virtue of Yahuwah's covenant with Abraham, which differs in no respect from that made with Adam and Eve, except that we have the particulars given more in detail. We see, then, that there was not necessity for provisions to be made in the Sinai covenant for forgiveness of sins. The plan of salvation was developed long before the gospel was preached to Abraham (Galatians 3:8), and was amply sufficient to save to the uttermost all who would accept it; the covenant at Sinai was made for the purpose of making the people see the necessity of accepting the gospel.

Hebrews 9:1 is a text that hinders many from seeing that all Yahuwah's blessings to man are gained by virtue of the second covenant, and not by the first. That text reads: "Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary." This, together with the fact that when men complied with these ordinances of divine service, they were forgiven (Leviticus 4), seems to some conclusive evidence that the old covenant contained the gospel and its blessings. But forgiveness of sins was not secured by virtue of those offerings. "for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins." Hebrews 10:4. Forgiveness was obtained only by virtue of the promised sacrifice of Yahushua (Hebrews 9:15), the mediator of the new covenant, their faith in whom was shown by their offerings. So it was by virtue of the second or new covenant that pardon was secured to those who offered the sacrifices provided for in the ordinances of divine service connected with the old or first covenant.

Moreover, those "ordinances of divine service" formed no part of the first covenant. If they had, they must have been mentioned in the making of that covenant; but they were not. They were connected with it, but not a part of it. They were simply the means by which the people acknowledged the justice of their condemnation to death for the violation of the law which they had covenanted to keep, and their faith in the mediator of the new covenant.

In brief, then, Yahuwah's plan in the salvation of sinners, whether now or in the days of Moses, is: The law went home emphatically to the individual, to produce conviction of sin, and thus to drive the sinner to seek freedom; then the acceptance of Yahushua's gracious invitation, which was extended long before, but which the sinner would not listen to; and lastly, having accepted Yahushua, and being justified by faith, the manifestation of the faith, through the ordinances of. the gospel, and the living of a life of righteousness by faith in Yahushua the Anointed.

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