| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 8 - Prophetic Truth - Page 120 of 304 INDEX | |
message is the basis of our testimony, the absence of that doctrine from the
pages of The Berean Expositor in the past can be easily understood. We do,
however, entirely endorse the teaching that the world can never grow better
apart from the personal presence of the Lord, neither can the great and
precious promises to Israel, the nations, or creation itself, be realized
apart from His return. All this is true, without altering our own sphere of
blessing and hope. Though different companies of the redeemed have as
their respective hopes varying phases of the Lord's manifestation, differing
as greatly as the hope of those whose inheritance is found 'above all
principality' differs from that of those meek ones who shall 'inherit the
earth', nevertheless all -- Kingdom, Church, Body or Bride -- are united in
the one blessed fact that the Lord Himself is their hope. Let us 'live ...
The English word 'covenant' is derived from the Latin convenio, to come
together, and is allied with such words as convene, convenient, convent, etc.
A covenant is an agreement or contract entered into by two or more parties
and containing certain conditions that must be fulfilled. The translation
'testament' is only justified when speaking of 'a man's covenant' (Gal.
3:15). The Hebrew word berith is derived from barah, 'to cut', the name
deriving from the practice of ratifying agreements by the offering of a
sacrifice, and by the covenanting parties passing between the severed
portions of the sacrificial animals. This is spoken of in some detail in
Genesis 15:9,10, where Abraham is commanded to take an heifer, a goat, a ram,
a turtle dove, and a young pigeon, and that he 'divided them in the midst,
and laid each piece one against another'. Consequently, where we read 'make
a covenant' in the Old Testament the original generally reads 'cut a
covenant'. In olden times an apprentice had his 'indentures', a word
referring to the 'teeth' or zigzag cutting of the document, the one half
being retained by the master and the other by the apprentice. Something
parallel seems to be intended here.
In Galatians 3:15, when Paul 'speaks after the manner of men' he refers
to the making of a will under Galatian law (see Adoption1), and this is the
only passage in the New Testament which can rightly render diatheke by
the word 'testament'. A covenant which demanded contracting parties is
differentiated from a promise in Galatians 3:17 -20 and the somewhat
difficult verse 'now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one'
bears upon this distinction. The meaning is that wherever there is a
mediator, more than one person is involved, but, unlike the giving of the
law, in the promise made to Abraham, God was the One and only party involved.
This aspect is stressed in Genesis 15, where Abraham is put into a deep
sleep, God alone passing between the divided limbs of the covenanting
In this Analysis we are particularly interested in terms that are
related to prophecy, and so, after a passing notice of one or two passages
that use the word 'covenant', we must devote the bulk of our space to 'The
New Covenant', which is of prime prophetic importance. The first covenant
mentioned in Scripture is found in Genesis 6:18 and 9:9, made with Noah and
his seed, the token of the covenant being the bow in the cloud (Gen.
9:12,13), and this covenant is called 'the everlasting covenant' (Gen. 9:16)
made with 'all flesh' 'for perpetual generations' (Gen. 9:12,16). The words
'everlasting' and 'perpetual' are both translations of the Hebrew olam,