The Covenants, Gen. 1-3 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In the Bible, you are told to “rightly divid(e) the word of truth,” (2 Tim. 2:15). These right divisions can best be seen by studying the major covenants that God made with men. Many like to call a study of the covenants, “a study of dispensational truth.” But when we talk of dispensations we need to remember that dispensations don’t just begin and end. There can be overlaps and skips. So, a study of the covenants is a better way to study the divisions in the Bible. The easiest division to find is the division between the Old Testament and the New Testament. But it wouldn’t take a great deal of study to see that division. So, there must be other divisions.
A covenant is basically an agreement, promise or pledge that God made between himself and a man or group of men for a specified period. So, it is vitally important to study the covenants to rightly divide the word of truth. The major covenants are the covenant with Adam in Eden, the covenant with Adam after the Fall, the covenant with Noah, the covenant with Abraham, the covenant with Moses, the covenant with David, the New covenant, and the Eternal covenant.
THE COVENANT WITH ADAM IN EDEN
This covenant covers from Gen. 1:3 to Gen. 3:14, from Creation to the Fall. The token of this covenant is the tree of life. Under this covenant Adam and Eve could be naked without shame, they didn’t have to work for their living, and they could live forever (physically) by eating from the tree of life.
Modern fashion and education disregard that this covenant has ended. Clothing styles reveal more and more shameless nakedness and graduates from universities do little physical work. Millennials like to eat “freely,” (Gen 2:16).
Under this covenant, Adam & Eve just had to do what God said. No faith was necessary because they walked with him. Based on this covenant, though, there are people who think that they can get to “heaven” or “paradise” by taking better care of their bodies down here, using herbal remedies and eating healthy vegetarian diets. They are mistaken because this covenant is over.
THE COVENANT WITH ADAM AFTER THE FALL
This covenant is found in Gen. 3:15-19. It covers from the Fall through the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. The token of this covenant is the coats of skins that God made Adam and Eve.
Under this covenant the serpent was cursed to crawl on his belly (Is. 65:25); the seed of the woman (Jesus and his offspring) would bruise the head of the devil (Rom. 16:20); and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was prophesied (Ps. 22:16). Women experience increased sorrow, increased conception, painful childbirth, and subjection to their husbands (1 Cor. 11:3,7-9). The ground was cursed. Men must sweat and labor in the dirt to produce food. Thorns, weeds and thistles compete with the crops. In the end, men die and return to the dirt.
Science has tried to deal with this covenant with antidepressants, contraceptives, and anesthetics. Women’s rights groups are convinced that women should not be in subjection to their husbands, resulting in the destruction of the family. Herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers are used in the production of the food we eat. Air-conditioned offices, cars, tractors, homes, and grocery stores keep men from sweating. These advancements and have not remedied the main part of the curse; we still die. Beautiful, well-kept graveyards disguise the horrors of returning to the dust.
Adam’s descendants had to have faith in the shed blood of a lamb (as in Gen 4:4). Overlooking their need for an “innocent sacrifice,” there are men and women who think they can get to “heaven” by being good, hard working, salt-of-the-earth type people, who willingly work in this cursed earth and don’t hurt anybody else. They are mistaken because God had to shed the blood of a lamb to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness with coats of skin. Their fig leaves of self-righteousness wouldn’t cover them in God’s eyes.