6/4/08 Oaths and Covenants by Pastor Don Moore

Wednesday, June 04, 2008
 

Oaths and Covenants by Pastor Don

Hebrews 6:16-17 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,

Verse 16 and 17 are tied together, regarding oaths. In our culture it is a foreign idea to us, for oaths do not have the same importance as they did in the past. Recently one Senator chose to swear on the Koran, and that can set a dangerous precedent. Our country was founded on Biblical principles and if we relax the standards of what can be used to swear in on, is it not conceivable that the satanic bible or other documents could be used?

Vociferous minorities are beginning to change the laws of the land. We see increasing acceptance of homosexual “marriages” when the Biblical definition of marriage is one man and one woman. Our Lord made it clear regarding what He considers a family to be. Civil rights laws are seeking to change what God has spelled out in His Word.

Anyone can choose to sin, but we don’t have to make it a law of the land in opposition to God’s laws. Only 3 to 4 percent of the population is homosexual or bisexual. That does not justify changing the laws. If people honestly looked at social research and history, they would see ANY culture given over to an acceptance of homosexual behavior historically implodes. This is the beginning of our culture imploding. As it is, if promiscuity (both homosexual and heterosexual) was decreased there would be a decrease of diseases.

There are oaths made in certain circumstances and situations. What is the basis? Do we swear on the Bible or swear to one another. In history a person would swear an oath that they would hold to their marriage because of honor and respect to a higher power.

When we reduce God, there is no one to swear to, or take an oath to. If society chooses there would be no one who sits in authority over society, and we would find that our culture would end up in anarchy. People try to justify not placing God in charge by claiming relativism which tries to state, what is right for you may not be right for me, and what is right for me may not be what is right for you. We should be able to worship when and in any way we want to. There is a problem with this line of thought though, for it only works if there is no ethical or moral standard. And if there are no standards, anarchy would ensue.

There are world-wide moral and ethical standards. If we were just an accident of creation there would be no moral and ethical standards. If there are moral and ethical standards they have to come from a supernatural being, God. If there were no standards, and everything is relative, we could have no solid, verifiable, ethical or moral statements. But there are standards of behavior held globally in all cultures, regardless of religion.

No culture would permit taking a baby and torturing it for fun, people would say that is unethical. Cultures do not permit murder, stealing is frowned on. Cultures have standards for friendliness and hospitality.

Someone brought up the point that, if these laws are passed, can churches be forced to do marriages God does not want? Pastor Don said, years ago, when our church bylaws were written – well before this became a potential problem, our church has rules against this that will stand up in court.  But, this is a cost the Church will have to pay as we approach the end times. What standard will we hold? God’s law or laws that are ungodly?

In some countries there are anti-conversion laws with severe penalties for converting to Christianity. Those who are ministers are punished, as are those who convert. In some places it can be a huge fine, being cast out of the family, imprisonment, beatings, loss of property. Yet these believers are willing to pay the cost of persecution, and their faith remains firm in spite of what people do to them.

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

There are not many places where the Gospel is not being preached – some areas in central India, Africa, China, and the backwoods of Burma, where we can’t get in there. We are seeking to spread the Gospel to all places.

The Church will be removed before God can bring punishment on the earth that rejected Him. If we refuse to live by God’s morals and ethics, and choose to be an atheist or a relativist there is a repercussion for this choice.

Why fight so hard, if you are an atheist, against God in whom you do not believe? Why fight at all against God unless you believe in Him on some level? Many atheist’s claim they are good people, why be good if there is no God and judgment? Why not just act as hedonistically as you want? If you are deciding what is right and wrong, the only way you can do that is if you believe there is a person above and beyond us who can determine right from wrong. Where does your power come from? Can you separate from your situation?

There were standards of right and wrong from the beginning of time. All men in all parts of the world have adopted standards similar to God’s standards.

When we are dealing with a non-believer, we need to listen to them and help them get back to the personal experience to find the juncture in life where something did not turn out well for them. Most kids have no problem believing in God, and when there is a separation from God, it usually is the result of something happening. Who promised them something and did not perform what the promised? They have to blame someone, so they end up blaming God.

Pastor Don spoke about the movie Expelled and pointed out how it showed some of the erroneous thinking of our day.

Hebrews 6:17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,

Oaths are important. We went to look at the oath to Noah and his descendants.

Genesis 9:1-2 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand.

This is similar to the oath made to Adam and his descendants, but because of the flood, God made the same oath to Noah.

Genesis 9:3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.

Man is no longer vegetarian, after the flood.

Genesis 9:4-9 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man. And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.”  Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying:  “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you,”

Here is the prohibition against blood, and God made a Covenant, an oath with Noah and His descendants after Noah.

Genesis 9:12-13  And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:  I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.”

Therefore, the oath is accompanied by a token (in this case the rainbow). There is no one greater than God for God to swear to, so God swears to Himself, and makes an agreement with Man.

Genesis 9:16-17 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

This covenant still applies to us, for we are part of Noah’s generation, and we still see the rainbow.

Genesis 14 speaks of the covenant with Abraham that Abraham made after his meeting with Melchizedek Genesis 14:22-24  But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’— except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.”

Genesis 17:1-2 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”

The reality is, God established that covenant back in Chapter 12:1-3  Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, 
to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Genesis 12 was when God first appeared to Abram, but now that Abram is 99 years old, God reestablished the covenant. We may not remember the first time God established His covenant with us as a child, but that covenant with us is still effective. But sometimes God reminds us of the covenant.

The covenant with Abram was made before the Law, and even before Abram did anything regarding the covenant (ie circumcision). When the Law is applied to the consciousness of man, he knows he did sin, rebellion, hatred, self abuse, abuse of others. We don’t want to let the devil beat us like Adam and Eve, who permitted their thinking to be deceived. We have free will and choose to believe, to not be depressed, to not be rebellious, etc.

Genesis 17:7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.

So God provided this covenant, and we are under the Abrahamic covenant.

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;

The obligatory part, circumcision as a picture of the spiritual lesson that they are supposed to learn – to have a circumcised heart. To cut away from them the things that cause you to sin against yourself and God. Sin is defined as sin. It isn’t that you just hurt others, but you hurt yourself when you sin. Sexual promiscuity, anger,  etc. also hurts us.

God is not in heaven and mad at everybody, but for our sake He does not want us to violate ourselves. He cares about us.

Genesis 18:1-3 Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.

Favor is grace and ability.

Genesis 18:4-5 Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant.”
They said, “Do as you have said.”

Genesis 18:10  And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.)

Another confirmation of the covenant of Abraham’s generations. There is a progression to the fulfillment of the covenant. First there is an oath, and Abraham sets out on the promise. The promise was made before Abram acted or carried out a single part. The oath is made and founded on the PROMISE of GOD. Sometimes the fulfillment of an oath takes a series of seasons, times and processes to get to fulfillment.

As believers, we get a Word from God, and think now I have it all, and we want the response from God instantly. But sometimes the fulfillment of the covenant occurs after tests and trials, and a time period to arrive at the promises. The promise in the oath is connected to other things.

An example is if you promise your child a trip to Disney, it involves airlines, car rental, food, tickets, hotels, etc. All of these are part of the trip to Disney. God gives us a whole series of steps in the process of fulfilling an oath. It includes all the steps, excitement, struggles, trials, etc. For example, in the trip to Disney the airplane may be delayed, or you can’t rent a car, etc.

We need to recognize that the oath is based on better promises. His (God’s) hand is not short. He can deal with all that is necessary to fulfill the oath, and He will complete the process. We need to remember not to get hung up on the bumps in the road. Speed bumps remind you to slow down and take your time. At other times we are to put the petal to the metal. When we go too fast, God puts down speed bumps to slow us down and cause us to make wise decisions.

When we get an oath from God, we know that it will become reality in His time frame, for He knows what is in our best interest.

After Sarah suggested Abraham impregnate Hagar, she realized she had missed it, by trying to help God fulfill His promise. God had all the pieces worked out, and because of Hagar’s child all of history was changed.

When we make a wrong interpretation of a prophetic word, God will not destroy you. He is God of the second chance. The Lord Jesus can redeem our situation.

Sometimes we think we are asking God, and we are, but often after we ask, we do not listen. We need to listen to what is God’s best for us, what He has to say to us. Even with the detours we sometimes take with our lives, God can redeem the time.

We need to HEAR God. God gave us ears to listen, just because you give the appearance of listening does not mean that you are hearing what is being said.

Hebrews 6:17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,

MORE ABUNDANTLY, and we are heirs of promise.So that we can receive the “more abundantly” we need to hear what God is saying.

God is immutable – He does not change. The covenants with Abraham and Noah, are still in effect.

Hebrews 6:18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

God does not lie, and He does not change His counsel confirmed by an oath. If God makes an oath, it will come to pass.

If God has told you that He has elevated you for an office, you will attain that office. But it may not be tomorrow. David spent 17 years from the time that he was anointed King until the time he became king.

While we are waiting we need to remember that: 1. It is impossible for God to lie and 2. The hope set before us (Jesus). Those who were persecuted waiting for the oath to come to fulfillment could cling to the hope. Human hope can be fleeting, but we need to seek refuge in the Hope that God has promised us in order to reach the promises.

Hebrews 6:19-20 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Jesus is the promise of our hope.

Psalm 91:1-2 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”

AMEN AND AMEN!

Praying your night is blessed.

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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