| "Come Out of Her My People" - Jesus Christ
NOAH AND THE COVENANTS
|THE NOAHIDE COVENANT
In Genesis 9:1-7 God made a Covenant with Noah and his Family, and his descendants. It is God's covenant of righteousness by faith, with the acceptance of Noah and his generations to perform the will of God and keep the Commandments that are given to Noah. This Covenant has traditionally been called the Noahide Covenant, and the Commands are called the “Noahide Commandments”. The true worshipers of God, from all generations forward are to keep this covenant.
In this Covenant there exists Seven General Laws, and these seven laws are traditionally subdivided into about thirty lesser laws. Which are as follows:.
1. Prohibition against idolatry
To pray only to God
To offer ritual sacrifices only to God
2. Prohibition against blasphemy
To believe in the singularity of God
No idolatrous rituals
No following omens
To honor one's father and mother
3. Prohibition against murder
No Moloch worship (that is no infant sacrifice, this includes abortion)
4. Prohibition against theft
No kidnapping of persons
5. Prohibition against sexual immorality
Formal legal marriages
No incest with close relatives
Not to crossbreed animals
6. Prohibition against eating the limb of a living animal
Not to eat a limb torn from a creature while it is still living
Not to eat or drink blood
Not to eat carrion
7. Establish courts of justice
To establish courts and a system of justice
No false oaths
As you the reader may notice all of these laws can be found in the New Testament and are still binding today upon the Christian.
The covenant with Noah was with all peoples. Later God made a separate covenant with Abraham, while he was still under the Noahide covenant. The Abrahamic covenant declared that because of Abraham's faith, God promised him a son in whom all nations will be blessed. Abraham believed God, as a gentile and his faith was "accounted as righteousness" . This occurs before the covenant of circumcision in the flesh and 430 years before the covenant of law which was given to the children of Jacob ( the children of Israel). Remember there is no Covenant of Moses at this time. No doubt the righteous requirements of the Noahide Covenant were included in the Covenant with Abraham.
Years later, God made another covenant with Abraham and his particular children for the rest of their generations. In this covenant all the males and anyone employed by them or owned by one of Abraham's children must be circumcised in the flesh. In this covenant only those physical decedents from Abraham are to be circumcised in the flesh, it excludes the rest of the world. It is a "sign" between Abraham and "his seed" after him. From then on Abraham removed the foreskin of every male of his family and every servant of his family. This Covenant was between God and Abraham’s family. We understand then that only Abraham's descendants are required to be circumcised.
THE MOSAIC COVENANT
430 years later came the covenant at Mount Sinai. This covenant was made with the Children of Jacob (Israel). That is the physical descendants of Jacob only. In this covenant God gave them all the laws of Moses, and the children of Israel agreed to keep the laws [Exodus 20-24]. This covenant is strictly between God and the children of Israel.
The gentiles were never required to obey the laws of this covenant. As you read the Old Testament you will never see a Gentile condemned by God for breaking the terms of this Covenant. They are always condemned for breaking the laws that God gave to Noah and his decedents.
The sabbath, new moons, holy days, tithing, food laws, washing laws, sacrifices, offerings and hundreds of other laws, were all a part of the Old Covenant, that the gentiles were not expected to observe. These additional laws were a part of the special covenant between God and the children of Jacob only. The gentiles didn't agree to keep any of it and are not commanded to observe it. The Mosaic Covenant was to last until the promise of Abraham was fulfilled by the coming of Messiah.
Galatians 3:17-19 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ [The Abrahamic Covenant], the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
THE NEW COVENANT
When the Messiah, Jesus Christ, came he made a New Covenant, and all the World is invited to enter it and be blessed. The New Covenant was added to the Noahide covenant and Abrahamic covenant that promised to bless the entire world on the basis of righteousness of faith. The Old Covenant [Mosaic Covenant of Law] was completed by Christ, and it has since vanished away.
Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Through the New Covenant all people on the basis of faith in God and his gracious provision for salvation are saved. They are saved apart from the covenant which was made at Mt. Sinai; Just as Abraham and Noah were saved by faith hundreds of years before the Moses.
Romans 3:21-22 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
STANDARD OF JUDGMENT?
The laws of Noahide Covenant still stand to condemn those who refuse the New Covenant. The laws of the Old Covenant still stand for Israel , to condemn them for refusing the New Covenant. The world is still under the covenant with Noah, and Israel is under its special covenant with God. But neither of these Covenants offer Salvation today. Both pointed men to Messiah, which would come to take away the sins of the World. Thus these Covenants exist to judge and to condemn those who reject Salvation through Jesus Christ, as Paul said:
Romans 2:12-16 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law [written law of Moses], do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law [Law of Nature/Noah] written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
WARNINGS AGAINST PLACING ONE’S SELF UNDER THE OLD COVENANTS
Many in the early church did not understand the concept of the Covenants, nor the Covenant of Grace. Many Jewish believers commanded the Gentile Christians to be Circumcised and to observe the Laws of the Mosaic Covenant. The Apostles called together the Elders to meet at Jerusalem to settle the debate. There it is recorded that the “Law of Moses” was a “yoke of bondage” and that the Gentile believers were not to be put under it. But for of the Noahide prohibitions were recommended [Read Acts Chapter 15].
Then there were some Gentiles who believed in Christ, but who desired to place themselves under the signs and rituals of the Mosaic Covenant. For instance some Gentiles were thinking of being circumcised. This is what Paul said to them:
Galatian 5:1-4 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage [law of Moses]. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace [Covenant of Grace].
Galatians 3:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
The Gentiles did not understand that by taking upon them the ‘sign of circumcision’ which was a sign of the Mosaic Covenant, that they were proclaiming themselves to be under that Covenant, and thus a debtor to keep all 613 laws of that covenant.
You see a Gentile cannot be under both the Covenant of Grace and the Mosaic Covenant, and the Old Covenant only speaks to them who are under it. Many of the laws found in the Old Covenant are purely signs and shadows that were given just to Israel to point them to the Messiah, and the Gentiles are not to observe them.
In the end, all who shall be saved, shall be saved by the righteousness of faith apart from the covenant of law made at Mount Sinai. Abel, Enoch Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Melchezedec and all of their wives were saved that way. So were all the righteous gentiles not mentioned in Scripture and so are Christians today.