The Seal of God in the Old and New Covenants

   
The Tables of Testimony The Ark of the Testimony

Exo 24:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law [towrah - H8451], and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

Exo 25:16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.

Exo 31:18  And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Exo 32:15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.

Josh 4:16 Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan.

Rev 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament:
 

The Tables of the Covenant - The Ark of the Covenant

Deu 4:13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.

Num 10:33 And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

1 Sam 4:5 And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.

Heb 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

So the Ten Commandments written on stone were called the tables of testimony, and the tables of the covenant, and the ark that contained them was called the ark of the testimony, and the ark of the covenant. Note these next verses closely:

Isa 8:16  Bind up the testimony, seal the law [towrah - H8451] among my disciples.

Isa 8:20  To the law [towrah - H8451] and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

What is the testimony spoken of in the above two verses?

The testimony sealed among the disciples of God in Isaiah 8:16 is the Ten Commandments, the Law of God written on two tablets and contained in the Ark of the Testimony. So according to Isaiah 8:20 anyone who speaks not according to the Ten Commandments of God has no light in them.

Note also the following:

Deu 5:12  Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.
Deu 5:13  Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:
Deu 5:14  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God:

Deu 6:6  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

Deu 6:8  And thou shalt bind them for a sign [seal] upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

Now the word "sign" in Deu 6:8 is owth:H226, which means mark or sign:

226. 'owth, oth; prob. from H225 (in the sense of appearing); a signal (lit. or fig.), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.:--mark, miracle, (en-) sign, token.

And sign is synonymous with seal:  

Rom 4:11  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith ...

So clearly the Law of God, the Ten Commandments are to be a sign, or seal, in the hearts and minds of His people.

The Old and New Covenant

The Old Covenant was a promise by the people of Israel to keep the letter of God's Law, and the mediator of the Old Covenant was Moses:

Exo 19:8  And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

After the terms of the covenant were agreed to by the people of God, the covenant was solemnly inaugurated by the sprinkling of blood of sacrificed animals:

Exo 24:5 And he [Moses] sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD.
Exo 24:6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
Exo 24:7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.
Exo 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.
Exo 24:9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:
Exo 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.
Exo 24:11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

Heb 9:18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
Heb 9:19  For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
Heb 9:20  Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

Note that to confirm the covenant, there was a meal on mount Sinai attended by representatives of Israel. The blood of the testament signaled that the covenant with God was now in effect, and both parties were bound by its terms. The terms of the Old Covenant were the Law of God, obedience by Israel to the Ten Commandments, the two tables of stone inscribed by God with His Law, and kept in the Ark of the Covenant.

How did the Old Covenant fail?

Deu 5:27 Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.
Deu 5:28 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.
Deu 5:29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

Deu 31:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

Rom 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Rom 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

The Old Covenant is called by Paul the ministration of death and condemnation: The New Covenant is the ministration of the spirit, and the ministration of righteousness:

2 Cor 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
2 Cor 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
2 Cor 3:8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
2 Cor 3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

How is the New Covenant different?

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
Heb 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
Heb 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
Heb 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

The animal sacrifices under the Old Covenant were mere symbols of the yet to be sacrificed lamb of God, whose sacrifice, death, and shed blood would inaugurate the New Covenant. The New Covenant is also made with Israel:

Heb 8:6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Heb 8:7  For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Heb 8:8  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Heb 8:9  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
Heb 8:12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Heb 10:14  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Heb 10:15  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
Heb 10:16  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Heb 10:17  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 10:18  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Heb 10:19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Heb 10:21  And having an high priest over the house of God;
Heb 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Heb 10:23  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Rom 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

The terms or substance of the New Covenant are the same as that of the Old Covenant, obedience to the Ten Commandments. However, the New Covenant is a better promise, a promise by God to write His laws into the hearts and minds of the people of Israel, and to remember their sins no more.

The Last Will and Testament of Jesus Christ

When did the New Covenant go into effect and who is the mediator?

Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Heb 9:15 And for this cause he [Jesus] is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of [His] death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Heb 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
Heb 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

The New Covenant came into effect with the sacrifice, shedding of blood, and death of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. As this Testament of Jesus Christ was put into effect by His death, the terms of the Testament cannot be changed by anyone after that.

Gal 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

A covenant, testament or will cannot be changed by anyone once the testator has died. Paul in Hebrews 9 is saying that the New Covenant is the last will and testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and as such it is not subject to alteration or annulment of its terms (Gal 3:15). The terms of the New Covenant, in effect from the moment of the death of Jesus, and not subject to change by anyone, are the Ten Commandments of God. The Ark of the Covenant / Ark of the Testimony contained the substance or terms of both covenants, the Ten Commandments. It is impossible that the Sabbath commandment could be changed, that Sunday could replace the Sabbath in the New Covenant, after the death of Jesus on the cross! To attempt to change the terms of a last will or testament after the death of the testator is illegal and fraudulent in any court of law.

Consider this. The purpose of a last will and testament is to reveal the names of those who will inherit.  The last will and testament of Jesus Christ therefore includes a list of beneficiaries or inheritors. What do they inherit? Eternal life and the kingdom of God. This list or testament is also called the Lamb's book of life! (Phil 4:3, Rev 3:5, Rev 13:8, Rev 17:8)

Now think about this. When in scripture is the last will and testament of Jesus Christ opened and read, so that the inheritors can all be identified?  Here is the clue. In the ancient Roman world, a will (a Praetorian Testament) was sealed with the seals of seven witnesses to attest to the validity of the will. See Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, edited By William Smith, LL. D., Second Edition, Boston, Little, Brown, & Company, 1870, entry on Testamentum, pg. 1117. A praetor was a Roman magistrate, a judge. When Jesus was examined by Pilate this was done in the praetorium or judgment hall (John 18:28,33; 19:9), which is also where He was mocked and given a crown of thorns (Matt 27:27; Mark 15:16).

Yes! The last will and testament of Jesus Christ is the scroll with seven seals in Revelation 5:1 - 8:1! It could only be opened by the mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ Himself. While it is being read, the investigative judgment is still underway. When the reading of the will concludes, probation for humanity comes to an end because all those who will inherit have been identified.

 The cup of the Lord's supper is an acceptance of this New Covenant.

Mat 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

So when you partake of communion, you are expressing faith in Jesus Christ as your saviour, an acceptance of the New Covenant, to let God write His law in your heart and mind (Heb 10:16). By doing so, you are added to the list of beneficiaries in the last will and testament of Jesus Christ, the Lamb's Book of Life. You might just say we are sealed by this New Covenant as a child of God.

The Slave Woman and the Free Woman - Two Covenants

[NIV] Gal 4:24  These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar.
Gal 4:25  Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children.

Hagar represents works righteousness, a failed attempt at justification by keeping the law by the flesh, by human effort, apart from God, not by faith. 

Gal 4:26  But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.

Gal 4:30  But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son."
Gal 4:31  Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
Gal 5:1  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Gal 5:2  Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
Gal 5:3  Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.
Gal 5:4  You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

The free woman (Sarah) represents righteousness by faith, faith in Jesus Christ, who kept the law perfectly for us, and shed his blood to satisfy the demand that the sinner's blood be shed.

Gal 5:5  But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
Gal 5:6  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

So it is not the law that is cast out with the Old Covenant, rather there is a change in how the law is viewed - in the New Covenant, the Law of God is internalized by His people:

2 Cor 3:3  You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
2 Cor 3:4  Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.
2 Cor 3:5  Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
2 Cor 3:6  He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Cor 3:7  Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was,
2 Cor 3:8  will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?

So the New Covenant differs in that it is not a covenant with God to keep the letter of the law written in stone, but a Covenant of faith, a faith that is automatically obedient to the spirit and will of God as expressed in His Law. A true faith does not view God's Law as a burden to be kept externally, but an expression of love to be taken into the obedient heart and mind.

The only difference in the New Covenant, as shown above, is that the Law of God is now written in the hearts and minds of God's true people, the people of faith who express their love of God by obedience to God's Law:

OLD TESTAMENT

(Exo 20:6 KJV)  And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

(Deu 5:10 KJV)  And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

(Deu 7:9 KJV)  Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

(Deu 11:1 KJV)  Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

(Deu 11:13 KJV)  And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

(Deu 11:22 KJV)  For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;

(Deu 19:9 KJV)  If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three:

(Deu 30:16 KJV)  In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

(Josh 22:5 KJV)  But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

(Neh 1:5 KJV)  And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

(Psa 119:127 KJV)  Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.

(Eccl 12:13 KJV) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

(Dan 9:4 KJV)  And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

NEW TESTAMENT

(Mat 19:16 KJV) And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.[entole:G1785]
Mat 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Mat 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

(Mark 10:19 KJV) Thou knowest the commandments [entole:G1785], Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

(Luke 18:20 KJV) Thou knowest the commandments [entole:G1785], Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.

Based on the above parallel verses in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, it seems clear that every instance of [entole:G1785] cited below in the New Testament refers specifically to the 10 Commandments of God:

(John 14:15 KJV)  If ye love me, keep my commandments [entole:G1785].
.
(John 14:21 KJV)  He that hath my commandments [entole:G1785], and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

(John 15:10 KJV)  If ye keep my commandments [entole:G1785], ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments [entole:G1785], and abide in his love.

(1 John 5:2 KJV)  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments [entole:G1785].

(1 John 5:3 KJV)  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments [entole:G1785]: and his commandments [entole:G1785] are not grievous.

(2 John 1:6 KJV)  And this is love, that we walk after his commandments [entole:G1785]. This is the commandment [entole:G1785], That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

(Rev 12:17 KJV)  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments [entole:G1785] of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

(Rev 14:12 KJV)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments [entole:G1785] of God, and the faith of Jesus.

(Rev 22:14 KJV)  Blessed are they that do his commandments [entole:G1785], that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

The Ten Commandments of God are to be written in the hearts and minds of His people (The New Covenant in verity), the very seal of God on His people, and that includes the seventh day (Saturday) Sabbath commandment.

Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Heb 10:16  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

Will you as a professing Christian let God do as Heb. 8:10 and 10:16 says, or not? If not, will Hebrews 8:12 and 10:17 apply to you? Will you let the seal of God into your heart and mind? If not, aren't you really saying you reject the New Covenant? What do you think the results of that would be?

Prov 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

Do you accept the terms of the New Covenant?


Joe Crews' presentation on The Two Covenants (mp3) from the 1984 camp meeting in Bowden, Alberta Canada. He was the speaker director for Amazing Facts for nearly 30 years until his death in 1994.

More Classic Sermons by Joe Crews.


Sunday is NOT the biblical Sabbath day.
Did the Apostles keep Sunday?
Offering Strange Fire Before The Lord.

The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast.
The Battle of Armageddon.
What Does The Word VATICAN Mean?



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