[b][color=0000CC]Yes, Adam and Eve are in heaven, waiting for their resurrected bodies![/color][/b]
[b]THE BLOOD COVENANT[/b]
[b][color=FF0000]A ribbon of Blood[/color][/b] runs throughout the Bible. If we look closely we can see the first blood, shed by God Himself, so that He could clothe Adam & Eve in the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis 3:21. Adam & Eve shared this true story and God's requirement with their two sons. One believed, and the other did not. The next blood that we see that is shed is found in Genesis 4:4 when Abel offers an innocent lamb, sacrificed on the altar, to cover his own sin. Abels sacrifice was pleasing in Gods eyes. Cains offering of the fruit of the ground, which represented nothing more than the fruit of his own labor, was rejected by God. Blood had to be shed from a first born lamb, without spot or blemish to cover mans sin, until the final firstborn son of God (Jesus Christ) would come in the future to take away the sin of world. Genesi 3:15 tells us of Gods prophecy- that Satan will be defeated by the seed of the woman (women dont have seed, men have seed). This seed of the woman refers to Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, the Son of God, who will come to this earth, in a body of flesh and blood, and will bruise Satans head. All poisonous serpents carry their poison in their heads. God prophesized that Satan would bruise Christs heal. Only in the capital punishment of crucifixion is the heel severely bruised. The one that is being crucified on the cross is actually being asphyxiated, and has to continually push against the cross with the heel that is nailed closest to it: 15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Christ would come to redeem fallen man to Himself, by being crucified and shedding His blood, and dying in our place, and taking all of the sin of mankind on/in himselffrom the beginning of the time to the end of the time. All sin---past, present & future.
Hebrews reminds us this truth when we read:
"there is no remission without the shedding of blood" - Hebrews 9:22
[b]Jesus is referred to as THE Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world in John 1:29. Jesus is also referred to as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5). He came the first time as a Sacrificial Lamb, and He will come again the second time as a Conquering Lion![/b]
Every time in every church before we take the Holy Communion, we hear the pastor reading a passage from 1 Corinthians 11:24-25:
"24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.
25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
When we read our Bible carefully, we notice that since the fall of mankind, God initiated covenants with man. He made covenants with Noah (Genesis 6:18), with Abraham (Genesis 15:18, 17:2), with David (2 Samuel 23:5), with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The last and yet the most powerful one is the New Covenant or an everlasting covenant (Isaiah 55:3, 1 Corinthians 11:25).
[b]In its simplest definition, a "covenant" is an agreement between two parties. We seldom use the word "covenant" today, and only in regards to the marriage covenant, where it is lightly regarded and it's true meaning not even understood. The Bride and Groom publically exchange vows before God (..till death do us part
), exchange wedding rings, the bride receives a new name, and the two of them become one. The shedding of blood takes place when the bride and groom come together and know each other for the first time, thus creating a[/b] [b][color=CC0000]blood covenant between them. (Female human beings are the only mammals on the planet that have a hymen) [/color][/b]
In present society, the word covenant is a word that has lost its meaning and significance. In Old Testament and Biblical times, the word covenant involved a promise, commitment, faithfulness and loyalty even unto death. A covenant is a union of two parties in which all assets, talents, debts and liabilities are held mutually.
[b]What is the definition of a covenant?[/b]
Mutual understanding between two or more parties each binding himself to fulfill specified obligations; a legal contract; a binding agreement; a written agreement. Also means the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture.
[b]In the Old Testament, The Hebrew Word Beriyth is used 264 times.
- Beriyth: implies the thought of cutting a covenant. The word is also defined as a covenant, pact or compact. These covenants are made between men, or between God and men (Jeremiah 34:18).[/b]
[b]In the New Testament the Greek word Diatheke is used 23 times.
- Diatheke: a disposition, arrangement, testament or will. This word signifies an unequal covenant, where one does all the giving and the other does all the taking[/b]
[b]2. Suntithemai: To put together, place together, make an arrangement. The animals were placed in a specific arrangement, having been cut down the backbone and the middle of the head, cutting the animal in two.[/b]
Then He said to him, I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it. And he said, Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it? So He said to him, Bring Me a three year old heifer, a three year old female goat, a three year old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two.
And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete. And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates.
In this covenant, we see that God initiated the first Blood Sacrifice Covenant with Abraham. In the modern day we hold a covenant with another person by his signature on a piece of paper which the person signs in front of a legal notary or a higher authority or by his word.
Since God is the highest authority, He cannot take an oath to another supreme authority. He can only guarantee His promises by His own word and by shedding blood to seal His covenant.
In the ancient Hebrew or Hittite Blood Covenant both parties would walk between the bleeding pieces of cut animals taking an oath of loyalty to his Blood Covenant partner. God established a covenant with Abraham in the terms that Abraham could understand, in accordance with the Hebrew covenant ritual.
In the Bible, we see in the Old and New Testaments, the Jewish ritual of making a covenant. There are 9 steps or conditions which where both parties must fulfill.
[b]1. Take Off Coat or Robe[/b]
Both parties will take off their robes to exchange. This means Im giving you all of myself. I pledge to you my life and whatever I have.
A robe usually represents the status of a person. God does not have a physical robe therefore He offers all of Himself unto Abraham. He said, ...I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward (Genesis 15:1). This means everything, whatever God has including His holiness and His righteousness.
[b]2. Take Off Belt[/b]
A belt is used to hold the armor together. It means - Im giving you all my strength, support, protection, and ability to fight. Your battle will my battle. Ill fight for you, Ill defend and protect you. And youll do the same for me.
In this case we know the lesser party will benefit from the stronger party. So with Abraham since God doesnt have a physical belt, God promised Abraham, I will curse him who curses you, (Genesis 12:3) and I am your shield (Genesis 15:1). In other words whoever comes against you comes against Me (God Himself).
[b]3. Cut The Covenant[/b]
God selected the animals and instructed Abraham to cut them into halves and place them opposite one another. In this covenant, both covenant parties had to walk between the bloody halves of the animals with their backs to each other. After reaching the other end they will turn around, face each other and walk through the animals in a figure eight, each arriving on the opposite side of where he started.
In doing this they are saying first: We are dying to ourselves, giving up all our rights to the other party and beginning a new walk with the new covenant partner unto death.
Secondly they are saying, May God do so unto me (like the animals) if I try to break the covenant.
Blood is very important to seal a covenant. There is life in the blood. Therefore sacrifice is life for life. To seal the covenant with blood means they hold the covenant until death. If one breaks the covenant let death come unto him.
When God made a covenant with Abraham we see in Genesis 15:12 that Abraham fell into deep sleep. And Genesis 15:17 says, Behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. It wasnt Abraham who walked through the bleeding pieces of sacrifical animals--it was God Himself.
In other words God was saying to Abraham, "I am making the covenant, doing all of the work, and you are a recipient of this covenant, with no responsibilities on your part". The Lord was theInitiator of the covenant and He put Abraham to sleep. God did all of the work in this Covenant, not requiring anything from Abraham to establish the covenant. This dramatic act preshadows God's precious gift, Jesus, who condescended to die on a degrading cross for all mankind,thus doing all of the work for us to be saved.
We can see here that God:
A. Initiates the covenant
B. Gives the requirement
C. Administrates the outcome
D. Himself is a Guarantor
[b]4. Mix Blood[/b]
Both parties will cut their palms and bring them together to mix the blood as they swear allegiance to each other. This means their lives are intermingling to become one thus putting off their old natures and putting the nature of the blood covenant partner.
With Abraham God said in Genesis 17:10, This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised.
He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or brought with money from any stranger who is not your descendant.
Circumcision here is a sign of man entering a blood covenant with God.
[b]5. Exchange Names[/b]
Both parties will take each others last name. In Hebrew God is called YHWH. He took the H and He put it in Abram and Sarais names. So Abram became Abraham and Sarai became Sarah. God now becomes known as the God of Abraham.
[b]6. Make a Scar[/b]
Both parties rub their blood together, they make a scar as a permanent testimony to the covenant. This is one of the reasons why God asked every male Hebrew to be circumcised so that there is a mark on their bodies (Genesis 17:10-14). The seal of circumcision of the Abrahamic covenant is fulfilled in the New Covenant circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:24-29).
[b]7. Covenant Terms[/b]
Both parties will stand before witnesses and give the terms of covenant. All my wealth, assets, posessions are yours. At the same time they also exchange liabilities so when one faces a financial problem, hell say, I will use our money to settle it.
We see that the weaker party will benefit from the stronger party. With Abraham, God said that through Abrahams seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:3 and 17:16).
We know very well that all good things on this earth come from God. Abraham not only became a channel of blessing but more than that he is called the friend of God (James 2:23).
[b]8. Eat Covenant Meal[/b]
After doing all the above they close the covenant with a meal. Bread and wine are served.
[b]9. Plant A Memorial[/b]
Both parties will plant a tree sprinkled with the blood of the animal as a memorial to the covenant. All their children are included in the covenant. Later when their children come to an age of understanding about the covenant, they can choose to stay in it or reject it.
Abraham understood very well the meaning of the covenant he made with God. Therefore he knew God had the right to ask for Isaac as a burnt offering. By his willingness to sacrifice Isaac he showed that he was prepared to fulfill covenant terms. Abraham chose to obey God where later God the Father fulfilled His part of the covenant by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, as a sacrificial offering for all human race.
From the Abrahamic Covenant and the word covenant in Greek, Diatheke which means an unequal covenant we know very well that we as humans have nothing to give to God - in fact we are His creation and His possession. On the other hand, God is a Supreme Being, the self sufficient, self existent One, the Eternal Being, the Almighty, the Creator. In other words God gives all that He has while we give Him nothing. Man can gain all the positive benefits from God. What can man give to God and what can God gain from men - the sin, the transgression, the rebellion, the self centeredness, the pride and the arrogance of the highest order, the wickedness, the diseases - and all the negative things you can think of.
Who in their right mind would want to enter into an agreement or covenant where he gets nothing in return - no one !!! Usually people enter into a covenant because they can benefit from it. The stronger party will enjoy the benefit of having the weaker partys manpower and the weaker party will get protection or finance. Example, the mafia - you work for me, you do all the dirty work and in return I protect you and your family.
I thank God, He is who He is. We all know He is powerful, He is awesome, He is wonderful, He is the prince of peace, He is our healer, He is our banner, He is our deliverer, He is our provider, He is our stronghold, He is our refuge, He is our everything. He can be and is everything for us because He is a God of love who gave Himself to us by giving His only begotten Son for us.
It is His nature and it is His heart to love.
It is His nature and it is His heart to give.
Therefore it is His nature and it is His heart to initiate covenants with man. The covenants are the greatest manifestation of Gods love, grace and mercy.
In order for man to be in covenant relationship with God, He must reveal the covenant to man openly declaring the promises and terms where the heavens, the earth and all creation can witness it. All this was fulfilled in the New Testament by God sacrificing His only Son, Jesus Christ.
The New Testament
[b]1. Exchange Robe[/b]
For He (Jesus) has clothed me with the garments of salvation. He (Jesus) has covered me with the robe of righteousness.
Jesus, who is the Son of God, fully righteous, takes on all our unrighteousness. We can take on His robe of righteousness.
But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
[b]2. Exchange Belt[/b]
We know very well we cannot protect God but God can protect us and He took on our weaknesses.
9. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily
10. and you are complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
[b]3. Cut Covenant[/b]
Jesus gives His own body as the sacrifice broken for us.
His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness.
God knows that animals are corruptible, only He and His Son, Jesus, are incorruptible, eternal. God has to sacrifice Jesus, the eternal Being, so we all can have eternal life. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
[b]4. Mix Blood[/b]
Jesus who is fully the Son of God must come to earth as the Son of Man so that His blood could be shed for mankind. When we receive Jesus as our Saviour, we are one with Him. We know that He is holy, righteous and perfect. Thus, in Jesus we can put off our old nature and put on the new nature of Jesus.
22 That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
[b]5. Exchange Names[/b]
Jesus who is fully Son of God took the name Son of Man.
No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
We take on His name.
And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
[b]6. Make a Scar[/b]
Jesus bears the scar in His hands, the scars of crucifixion. When Jesus had risen, Jesus showed Thomas His scarred hands.
John 20:25 & 27
25 Thomas declared, unless I see the nail marks in His His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.
27 He said to Thomas, Put your finger here, see My hands. Reach out your hands and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.
God doesnt require us to be circumcised as the Jews as it was done by Jesus.
Colossians 2:11 & 14
11 In Him you were also circumcised, with the circumcision made without your hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ.
14 having wiped out the hand writing requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
[b]7. Terms of Covenant[/b]
11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
13 who were born, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God
Man must willingly receive what he has been freely given and respond to what God has done by repentance, faith and obedience.
[b]8. Eat Covenant Meal[/b]
In the Old Testament, God did not sit with Abraham and eat the covenant meal, but in the New Testament, Jesus instituted the Lords Supper as the New Covenant.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
"23. For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
24. and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.
25. In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.
26. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lords death till He comes.
Jesus was not only the blood sacrifice, He was also the covenant meal. John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.
Man must acccept by faith what Christ did for him and live by obedience to Him.
John 6:54 & 56
54 Whoever eats of My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up the last day.
56 He who eats My flesh, and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in Him.
Eating and drinking is to be understood spiritually. The expression is used figuratively of partaking of the benefits of the death of Christ. To believe in Christ is to partake of Christ.
[b]9. Plant A Memorial[/b]
In the Old Testament, God and Abraham didnt plant a tree as a memorial to the covenant. God fulfilled this in the New Covenant when Jesus was crucified on the cross and His blood was poured out. The cross is the memorial tree of the New Covenant. Every time we and our descendants look at the cross we are all reminded of Gods covenant.
1 Peter 2:24
Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed.
17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.
After reading about The Blood Covenant, we see the significance of the shedding of blood by Jesus. We also see how much God honors His covenant which He initiated. We see in the Old Testament and the culture of Jews that they believed if one party breaks the covenant, let death come upon him (just like the cut animals). Because Jesus fulfilled Gods promise by shedding His blood, Jesus boldly exclaimed, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6).
Also, we must never forget --- "there is no remission without the shedding of blood" - Hebrews 9:22
I was wondering today if we are gonna meet Adam and Eve in heaven. Is there any biblical ground for that?
I have always considered God wrought salvation for them both in His mercy and killed a animal and clothed them, replacing the "religious" endavours of man to justify himself with "aprons".
7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Yet Here is God providing the "blood" sacrifice looking to the redemption found in Jesus Blood:
21Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
So from this I do believe they will be in heaven. I would love to hear what other people think.