For a large part of the material in this study, I would like to acknowledge the following source:
The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread by Richard Booker, 1981 – Destiny Image Publishers
Hebrews 8:6-7 NKJV But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. (7) For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
The word “better” in the Greek means strong, or benevolently better (wanting to “do better” for the recipient, well wishing)
Think of this in light of a new and improved model of car that comes out. The manufacturer is not saying the old was bad and we are doing away with it; they are saying the redesign is better.
The Old Covenant was not done away with; it was fulfilled in the Lord Jesus.
The Old Testament is not bad, and the New Testament is good. The Old Testament was good, and the New Testament is better.
The two do not fight with each other. They complement and complete each other.
To understand why we have a better covenant, there are some things that we need to understand about the old covenant.
For one, the New Covenant is based upon the Lord Jesus Christ, whereas the Old Covenant was based on types and shadows of things to come.
We have a better covenant because the blood of animals is no longer necessary because the Blood of Jesus that was shed once and for all. His blood will never need to be shed again.
We must realize that the Bible is not a western book.
It is based upon eastern culture. You must take that into account when you are interpreting scripture.
The purpose of the Old Testament is to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ in God’s great Plan of Redemption.
The Old Testament is based upon types and shadows and works similar to a shadow picture that many of us had done when we were children. It bears the shape and resemblance of the real thing, but it is not the real thing.
Because God has already been in eternity future as well as eternity past, He was able to lay this foundation in the Old Testament with the purpose that the shadow would highlight the real thing when He did arrive.
This is how the Old Testament, and the New Testament are tied together: they both tell the same story.
The Old Testament says that it is going to happen. The New Testament says that it did happen.
The key to understanding the scripture was well said by St. Augustine: “The New is in the Old Testament contained, but the Old is by the New explained.”
The Old Testament is not a record of meaningless rituals, customs, places, names and unrelated events.
The Old Testament is an orderly, progressive, unfolding revelation from God, of the blood covenant He entered with man through the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread by Richard Booker
“You see, God has planned, that in His own appointed time, He would prepare for Himself a body just like ours and become one of us. Since He is God, He naturally knew everything He would do when He became one of us. He knew where He would be born. He knew by what name He would be called. He knew everything about the details of His life. He even knew that He would die. Therefore, He painted this shadow of Himself in the Old Testament so that everybody would recognize Him when He arrived on the scene. This is how the entire Old Testament points to Jesus. It is a picture of a person.
Isn’t this what we would do if we were going to meet someone who had never seen us before? Why, we would describe ourselves in great detail and even decide beforehand where we would meet. That way the person looking for our coming would recognize us when we show up.”
To understand the Scriptures, one must always look for the Blood Covenant as it is woven throughout the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
Let’s be mindful of some things that will help us in Bible interpretation:
- You must always be aware of who is doing the talking and how credible they are as a source of information.
The Bible is not literally true in the sense that every statement is a statement of truth.
The Bible is inspired by God and is truly stated but it is not a book where every statement in it is truth. You must consider the source.
Example: The Pharisees said that Jesus was a blasphemer; Satan said his throne will be exalted above God’s throne.
- Understand the rule of first mentions in the Scripture. God always has the best idea the first time around.
When you can establish a principle of truth in the Bible, it will remain throughout the rest of the Bible. It will not change as the Dispensations change. It is based on the immutability of God.
However, there is an exception to this:
- You cannot use marginal revelation to interpret a greater revelation.
You may begin interpreting the New Testament in light of the Old Testament.
When you interpret Scripture, you always use the greatest light you have to illuminate that particular subject.
When further revelation is given in the New Testament, it is meant to illuminate what we may have seen in the Old Testament.
The Blood Covenant (and the Plan of Redemption) is the common thread that runs throughout both Testaments and it is a covenant established in His blood.
Any time after the Fall of Man that you see God getting involved in the lives of men, the shedding of blood is always involved. Why?
Because of man’s sin, a holy God could not have any interaction with him unless there was life that was shed or spilled out because the penalty for man’s sin required it.
Have you ever noticed that we do not like the thought of blood and it beginning to flow?
To the eastern mind, blood takes on a different thought.
Genesis 9:3-4 NKJV Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. (4) But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
You can eat the animal, but you cannot eat the life of that animal.
Leviticus 17:10-11 NKJV (10) ‘And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. (11) For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’
The Bible states that the life of an animal or a person is in the blood. Blood is the life of that individual.
So, when we are talking about the Blood Covenant, we are talking about the mingling of two lives.
This is why God takes this so seriously.
The Blood represents all of who you are. Without blood you have no life.
The word covenant means “the shedding of blood”. So, we have a better shedding of blood in the new shedding of blood than they had under the old shedding of blood.
We have not entered into a blood covenant with men, but we have entered into a blood covenant with God.
Without the shedding of blood, there is no payment, pardon or forgiveness for sin.
A life is required to pay the penalty for sin.
Hebrews 9:20-28 NLT Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.” (21) And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the Tabernacle and on everything used for worship. (22) In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. (23) That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals. (24) For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. (25) And He did not enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. (26) If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, He has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by His own death as a sacrifice. (27) And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, (28) so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him.
The Holy One cannot dwell in the same place as sin and therefore blood must be shed to forgive or wipe away sin so that His presence can show up.
There is more to this than just the shedding of blood. God has a greater purpose in this because of His desire and need to be in contact with man.
God is a covenant God.
Covenant: (Hebrew Dictionary) berîyth ber-eeth’’ (To cut until blood flows)
The covenant is the very foundation of our contact with God and His contact with us.
Blood covenant is an ancient rite. God instituted the covenant almost immediately after the fall of man.
Genesis 3:1-7 NKJV Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (2) And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; (3) but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” (4) Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. (5) For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (6) So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (7) Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Genesis 3:20-21 NLT Then the man—Adam—named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live. (21) And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
Adam was ashamed and afraid after he sinned. He no longer possessed the faith and confidence to stand before God because of sin. When sin is present, shame, guilt and condemnation always accompany it.
- What does man do? He tries in his own strength and ability to cover for his sin and shame.
- What did God do? He sacrificed and shed the blood of innocent animals to clothe or cover the nakedness of man.
God’s plan was that man always be clothed with the Glory of God and he once was. After the fall, that clothing was lost and for the first time, man was truly naked before God. God shed blood to provide a covering for Adam and Eve.
A covenant is simply a contract between two parties. A Blood Covenant goes much deeper than just a contract or simple agreement.
A Blood Covenant is how two people enter into the closest, most enduring, and most sacred of pacts. Only death can terminate the pact.
God wants that kind of relationship with man!
In this study, we will cover the following:
- We will see the covenant in shadow form as it is spelled out in the Old Testament and how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament and how we relate to Him in the New Testament.
- We will learn exactly what the Blood Covenant is and walk through what a Blood Covenant ceremony would have been like in the Old Testament as we see for example in David and Jonathan.
- We will see how the covenant affected Abraham’s relationship with God because his whole relationship was based upon was the covenant.