A New Home Page
by Hubert F. Sturges, www.covenantreflections.com, January, 2015Topics:
A Frank Discussion
My Wish List
More Than a Promise
My Wish List
More Than a Promise
This website deals with quiet thinking about the covenant, showing the beautiful intent and love of God, and how it applies in our lives. The chapters will mostly be shorter, taking just one topic at a time, and examining each topic in more detail.
In Pilate’s first interview with Jesus, Jesus said, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?” (John 18:37, 38). In the corrupt society of Roman politics, Pilate had heard very little truth. One can read into this, a cynical question, or a sincere desire to know what Jesus meant. If only Pilate could know, Jesus, the embodiment of truth stood before him.
That question still comes before us today: “What is Truth?” And it is still just as difficult today to know the answer to this question! The articles of this website are given as a source to know more about the truth of God as given in the Bible.
Questions and Comments are always welcome by email.
A Frank Discussion
New presentations of the covenant are being presented by members of my church - the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It has been my goal to bring the truth of the Covenant to my church, and I believe that the Holy Spirit has brought these new presentations into view so that this is accomplished. In the past, a modified dispensationalist view was common among Adventists, namely that Israel lived under the “Old Covenant” up to the time of Jesus’ death on Calvary, or to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Then Jesus introduced the “New Covenant.” This view, I believe, is mistaken.
The Everlasting Covenant is the covenant made within the Godhead, that Jesus would come, live a sinless life on this earth, then die a sacrificial death on Calvary to pay the penalty for the sins of men, be resurrected after three days, and mediate His blood as our high priest in Heaven thereafter.
The Everlasting Covenant has been presented to men on repeated occasions. It becomes a covenant with men when men accept the covenant by faith, believing that God will fulfill all that He has said, and consent to the work of grace to change his life.
It was my finding, after study of the Bible since 2004, that the New Covenant represents what God has done by His initiative to change the lives of men. As such the New Covenant was first made with Adam and Eve after they sinned.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; and it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15).
In this brief statement, God gave Adam and Eve – and all mankind – a conscience to know what was right; and the promise of the Redeemer Who would eventually destroy sin. It was from this beginning that my book “More Than a Promise” was written, which is also presented on the website www.everlastingcovenant.com. This is a presentation of the covenants made with men throughout history, and an attempt to answer the hard question about the covenant.
(The book "More Than a Promise" is available from TEACH Services, Inc, 8300 Hwy 41, Unit 107, P.O. Box 954, Ringgold, GA, 30736).
I (the author) have long realized that as a layman, I did not have the ability to present Jesus Christ, the center of the covenant in all His beauty and attractive love. This has been done by David Asscherick in his presentations of “Christ and the Covenant” on YouTube, and on DVDs from American Christian Ministries, P:.O. Box 922, (5431 Jonestown Road, 15112), Harrisburg, PA 17112, USA.
David presents the central truth that “God is Love” and shows how the Covenants have arisen from that love.
An article has recently come out, “The Everlasting Covenant” by Peter M van Bemmerlen in an online magazine called “Perspective Digest.” This can be accessed on the website: http://www.perspectivedigest.org/article/147/archives/19-4/the-everlasting-covenant .
Peter M. van Bemmelen, Th.D., is Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.
Dr. van Bemmelen presents the central Everlasting Covenant of God, and how each covenant made with men begins with this Everlasting Covenant. The covenant made with Abraham included special promises to Israel and to the church that will continue till the end of time. Further, the covenant made with Abraham illustrates best the “response of faith” and obedience to God’s law that God looks for. This covenant was made with Abraham and to “his seed after him” (Genesis 17).
These men have presented truth in a way that I have not. Yet there are some things that need to be emphasized: Over time, misconceptions have arisen that need to be addressed. Paul had conflicts with the “Judaizers” who tried to require that new Gentile converts “become Jews” before they could become Christians. These conflicts are shown in (Acts 15; Romans 2:21-29; 2 Corinthians 3; Galatians 3 and 4; and the book of Hebrews.)
There are special problems in the book of Hebrews, especially with Hebrews 8 and 9. I have addressed this as comparing an old corrupted belief in the ceremonial law, with the ministry of Jesus Christ with His life, death, and mediation as High Priest in Heaven.
These chapters can also be seen as a comparison of the old earthly sanctuary and earthly temple with the true and effective ministry of Jesus Christ in the Heavenly Temple. This is something that I am still studying.
I came across a booklet written by Richard ‘Aharon’ Chamberlin, a Jew. It is a commentary on “The Book of Hebrews,” The booklet is available from Petah Tikvah, 165 Doncaster Road, Rochester, NY, 14623-1348. They also have a website: www.petahtikvah.com.
In this booklet, the author brings out the comparison between the old and new in Hebrews 8 and 9 as being a comparison between the old human priesthood in Israel, and new heavenly priesthood of Jesus Christ after His resurrection. This seems to me, a very attractive view and answers several difficult questions. Especially being that it fits best with the context of the discussion of the priesthood of Jesus Christ in the preceding chapters.
The discussion of the sacrifices in the earthly sanctuary in Leviticus 4 emphasize that through the blood of the sacrifice, the sinner was given pardon and atonement. From this we look for pardon and atonement also from the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. This is generally accepted. What needs further discussion is the meaning of the Day of Atonement that began in 1844.
As I mentioned before, this is a frank discussion. It indicates the kind of discussion that is going on, and changes that may be made in our understanding of the Covenant of God.
More Than a Promise
“More Than a Promise” is a book I have written from my study since 2004. It is presented in total on a website, www.everlastingcovenant.com, which deals with theological aspects of the Covenant of God. It is a presentation of the covenant through history. It is designed to answer questions about the Covenant, and lead one to put together a belief in the covenant as presented in the Bible in all ages.
God made the Plan of Salvation to restore men to the image of God. He will destroy sin and sinners, and restore Eden to an earth made new. By grace and the work of the Holy Spirit, men are again made in the image of God.
The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan is the theme giving a behind-the-scenes view of the war that began in Heaven. This war that continues on this earth, explains many of the actions of God, and events that we see on earth.
The Gospel focuses on the willing sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary, in which He takes the place of men in the judgment of God.
The Everlasting Covenant is the commitment of God to save men, giving men assurance of the purpose of God. The faith response of men makes the blessings of God possible. One will find different terms used to describe the covenant.
There is overlap among what these terms describe. When you put these things together, a beautiful picture of the purpose and love of God becomes apparent. Careful study of the Covenant also puts the doctrines and stories of the Bible into a coherent whole.
God bless you in your study of the Bible.
Hubert F. Sturges, M.D. author.