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step missing? That’s what reading the Bible, hearing it preached, or trying to live the Christian life is like when you don’t understand

what a blood covenant is. The Blood Covenant is not some new doctrine. It is God’s name for the contractural agreements He made with His people. An understanding of the absoluteness of God’s Blood Covenant and all that it provides will meet all the needs that now cause people to go to counselors and seminars regarding marriage, family relationships, teenagers, healing and health, insurance (life, health, property, creditor, etc.), investments and prosperity, confidence-building, and all the other areas of our lives that need to be made whole. In other words, Blood Covenant principles apply to every facet of our redemption—not just the “ticket to heaven” and “fire escape” parts. This book has been written down for those who have never heard of a blood covenant . . . and for those who have and desire a deeper understanding of the promises. It is the result of years of study and of listening to the Holy Spirit of Truth. If someone has to unlock the door for you, then you’re dependent on them; but if they give you the key, you can unlock the door whenever you need to. The Blood Covenant is the key. Sought Out and Blood Bought is straight and narrow. It is not a book to be casually scanned, nor is it designed to be a speed-reading project for some rainy afternoon. It has been written line upon line and precept upon precept for the purpose of kicking out all tradition, contradiction, and limitation that we’ve heard about the Word of God, God’s Blood Covenant with us. The truths in this book call for decisions and actions. It’s a matter of life and death.

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Sought Out And Blood Bought The Blood Covenant • Vardell

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ave you ever tried to climb a step ladder which had the bottom

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Sought Out and Blood Bought

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When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us. Hebrews 6:16–20 THE MESSAGE

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Sought Out and Blood Bought

a study guide to understanding god’s blood covenant with us

Written down by Carolyn Vardell

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Copyright 2007 by Carolyn Vardell Revised 2010 All rights reserved.

If you can use any of these materials in your work for God’s glory, help yourself.

All poetry written down by Carolyn Vardell. Cover design and all illustrations by Eric Fulghum, my son. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version, Cambridge, 1796. Scripture quotations marked amplified are taken from the Amplified Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. Scripture quotations marked THE MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, © Copyright 1963 by Finis Jennings Dake. All rights reserved. The New Testament in Modern Speech by Richard Francis Weymouth, © 1996 Kenneth Copeland Publications. All rights reserved. The NKJV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament, Copyright © 1994 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, © 1996 by W. E. Vine Copyright, Ltd., Bath, England. Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers. All rights reserved. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible by James Strong. Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc. Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Copyright © 1976 by G. & C. Merriam Co. All rights reserved. ISBN 978-1-4507-2290-2 For teaching materials, lesson plans, and DVDs, contact the author at cndunsn@yahoo.com.

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This book has been written down to the glory of my God, in honor of my Redeemer, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit of Truth, and for all whom Jesus freed from captivity by paying their ransom— the sought out and blood bought.

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No One else but Jesus could shed His blood for me. As the spotless Lamb of God, my substitute was He. No One else but Jesus could covenant with God. Only He could never fail and never break His Word. No one else but Jesus could intercede for me. Mediator, Advocate, and High Priest now is He. In the pow’r of endless life, He ministers for me— Holy, harmless, undefiled as no One else could be. No One else but Jesus could come again for me— King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Redeemer of the free. Alpha and Omega, the Almighty God is He. No One else but Jesus Christ could do all this for me.

John 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 6:16-20; 7:22; 9:12-17 Hebrews 7:16, 25–26; 8:1, 6; 1 John 2:1 Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 1:8; 5:9–10; 19:16

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Contents Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi Part I: Defining a Blood Covenant 1. What Did They Know? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2. How Did They Make It Work? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant 3. Both Agree to Come Together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 4. “All I have is yours,” . . . “and all I have is Yours.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 5. Seal the Cut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship 6. Heir and Joint-heir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 7. Exchange Coats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 8. Exchange Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 9. Exchange Weapons and Armor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 10. Pronounce Blessings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 11. Pronounce Curses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 12. Establish Memorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 13. Blood Covenant Meal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 14. Blood Covenant Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175 Signature Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193 Benediction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194

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From in the house of David, the seed of Abraham, Immanuel was born that night in tiny Bethlehem. I promised you a Saviour, Messiah, and King; I sent My Son, Jesus the Christ, new life for you to bring. Come out of the shadow and walk in the Light! Come out of the shadow and walk in the Light! New Covenant people, redeemed by His blood, Come out of the shadow and walk in the Light! If you’re a child of Almighty God, a joint-heir with His Son, You’re in Covenant relationship through what His blood has done. The Old one’s gone, it has been fulfilled—“It’s finished,” Jesus cried! The New one has better promises. They’re yours! For you He died! Come out of the shadow and walk in the Light! Come out of the shadow and walk in the Light! New Covenant people, redeemed by His blood, Come out of the shadow and walk in the Light! Walk in the light of His righteousness, no bondage now to sin; Walk in the light of His great health, no sickfulness within; Walk in the light of prosperity, not bare necessities— Take all that’s in the New Covenant and live in victory! Come out of the shadow and walk in the Light! Come out of the shadow and walk in the Light! New Covenant people, redeemed by His blood, Come out of the shadow and walk in the Light!

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Preface In the early part of the 1900s, there was a man who lived in Europe, and he had a very hard life. He said, “If I could just get to America, things would be better. I know they would.” He began to save his money; and after a very long time, he finally had enough money to buy his boat ticket. He had a little bit of money left over, so he bought cheese and crackers to eat on the crossing. Finally, the day arrived, and he went on board—full of expectancy for a better life. Each day at mealtime, he would go and look through the small glass windows in the doors that led into the dining room, and he’d watch all the other passengers eating the wonderful food. Then he’d go back to his cabin and eat his cheese and crackers. When the boat docked in New York City, the ship’s steward came to him and asked, “Sir, I noticed you never came into the dining room to eat with the other passengers. Did we do something to offend you? Was there something wrong with the food?” The man replied, “Oh, no. I’m sure the food was good. I didn’t have the money to pay for the food, so I ate cheese and crackers in my cabin.” The ship’s steward exclaimed, “The food was included in your ticket!” No one had ever told the man all that was included in the cost of his ticket. The same is true in the Church today. God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

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Acknowledgments There are several quotes herein by people from whom I have received truth, but I want to especially acknowledge Malcolm Smith and his teaching on the Blood Covenant. I was given a set of his cassette teaching tapes in the mid-1970s, and that was the beginning of my quest to understand and walk in Covenant with my God. I have listened to them over and over and over; and when I realized I was memorizing them, I put them away for a few months but continued to meditate on what I’d heard. I was aware that my perspective, thought processes, and reactions about everything were beginning to come from the Covenant. As I continue to grow in it and apprehend more and more of that for which I was apprehended, I often remember a phrase or example that Malcolm Smith gave and realize, “That’s what he was talking about!” Truth is like that. I am so thankful for his hungering heart and listening ear, his studying and teaching, and his continuing in the Covenant. In addition, I would like to thank Holly Bell, Tonja Daniels, and especially Martin Boe for their incalculable assistance with the publishing of this book.

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Introduction Have you ever tried to climb a step ladder which had the bottom step missing? That’s what reading the Bible, hearing it preached, or trying to live the Christian life is like when you don’t understand what a blood covenant is. The Blood Covenant is not some new doctrine. It is God’s name for the contractual agreements He made with His people. I grew up in a denominational church and was told to believe Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood to save me from my sins. Even as a child, I always wanted to know, “Why did He have to die to save me, and why did it take blood?” No one could ever answer my questions. It wasn’t until I began to learn about the Blood Covenant as an adult that I began to receive answers. We cannot really understand Calvary—why God would even require it, much less, how Jesus could do it—unless we understand the absolute necessity of the Blood Covenant to guarantee its provisions and to provide the unshakable confidence its participants need. God established the Blood Covenant as the guarantee that He would do what He promised, and mankind’s taking hold of it shows his total commitment to God. It is the sure and steadfast foundation on which everything must be built. When Christians eventually become Blood Covenant-minded people so that everything they think, pray, plan, speak, do, and minister is from Blood Covenant perspective, then God at last will truly be able to say, “I am your God, and you are My people!” Even brand new Christians will walk as giants of faith who do exploits consistently. An understanding of the absoluteness of God’s Blood Covenant and all that it provides will meet all the needs that now cause people to go to counselors and seminars regarding marriage, family relationships, teenagers, healing and health, insurance (life, health, property, creditor, etc.), investments and prosperity, confidence-building, and all other areas of our lives that need to be made whole. In other words, Blood Covenant principles apply to every facet of our redemption, not just the “ticket to heaven” and “fire escape” parts. This book has been written down for those who have never heard of a blood covenant and for those who have and desire a deeper understanding of the promises. It is the result of years of study and of listening to the Holy Spirit of Truth. Just yesterday I read this Oswald Chambers quotation: “Always have a dictionary and a concordance by you. Never intend to look up a word—do it now.” I realized that’s what I’ve always done, but it hasn’t been like the prospectors who hoped they’d find gold. When the Spirit of Truth nudges me to look up a word, I know there’s a wonderful treasure waiting to be discovered. Sought Out and Blood Bought is straight and narrow. It is not a book to be casually scanned, nor is it designed to be a speed-reading project for some rainy afternoon. It has been written line upon line and precept upon precept for the purpose of kicking out all tradition, contradiction, and limitation that we’ve heard about the Word of God, God’s Blood Covenant with us. The truths in this book call for decisions and actions. It’s a matter of life and death. If someone always has to unlock a door for you, then you’re dependent on them; but if they give you the key, you can unlock the door whenever you need to. The Blood Covenant is the key.

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Thus saith the high and lofty One Who inhabits eternity:

“My name is Holy, and I dwell in the high and holy place with you who come to dwell with Me.

I have revived you in your spirit and made this Covenant with you.

My Spirit is within you, My words are in your mouth, teach them to your children, and to their children, too. You are My very holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, sought out and blood bought, My people, never forsaken.

I am the high and lofty One Who inhabits eternity.�

(See Isaiah 57:15; 59:21; 62:12.)

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Part I

Defining a Blood Covenant

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The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear—revere and worship—Him, and He will show them His Covenant, and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning. Psalms 25:14 amplified

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One

C hapter

What Did They Know?

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If you have just done what I used to do—skip over the Preface and Introduction, I encourage you to take a few moments and read them before beginning this chapter. Otherwise, what you are about to read will be like walking into the middle of a conversation and trying to figure out “who’s on first.”

hat empowered Abraham to believe God’s promise and consider not his and Sarah’s dilapidated bodies which he saw every day? How could Abraham immediately obey and go to offer Isaac? Remember, he didn’t know the ram would be in the thicket. Why was Moses so bold before Pharoah? and the Red Sea? Where did David get that absolute confidence that made him fearless before Goliath and made him sure the giant’s head was coming off? What made Daniel so peaceful in the lions’ den? If the account of the three Hebrews being thrown into the fiery furnace in Daniel 3 had read, “Shadrach, Meshach, and [my name or your name],” would we have entered as bravely as they did? How different the report from Columbine High School would have been if those kids who were Christians had known what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew! There are many examples of people in the Bible who were better taught than people today because they turned to God first, not last. What did they know that we don’t seem to know? Why were they so confident in God’s Word and His faithfulness to it, and why were they sure His power was sufficient to meet their every need? The Blood Covenant is the answer to all of these questions. If they wanted to guarantee someone would not break their word, or guarantee someone would never turn against them and become their enemy, or guarantee someone would always come to their aid no matter how great the need or how life-threatening the danger, they would enter into a blood covenant with that person, king, city, or nation. A blood covenant is not explained and spelled out in the Bible because the people in the Bible already knew what it was. It was their way of life. When Abram asked God for proof that He would keep His promises to him in Genesis 15, God told him to go fetch certain animals; and Abram immediately knew they were going to enter into a blood covenant, an unbreakable guarantee. When Jesus gave His disciples the bread and the cup and talked about the New Blood Covenant, His disciples didn’t ask, “What’s a blood covenant?” They knew. Ephesians 2:12 describes a very pathetic condition—“ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” If we’re without a blood covenant partner, then we’d better have some alternatives; but if we have Almighty God If we have Almighty God as our Blood Covenant Partner, why turn to an alternative? as our Blood Covenant Partner, When you’re faced with a problem, what is your first why turn to an alternative? thought? Stop and think about it. What is your first thought? If we really understood our Blood Covenant with

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Part I: Defining a Blood Covenant

God and believed it so that Blood Covenant governed our lives, our first thought would be, “My Blood Covenant with my God is my answer! He is my source. I don’t need a Plan B!”

Webster—Binding Agreement Webster defines covenant as a formal, solemn, and binding agreement. It is a perpetual, indissoluble, immutable, and unbreakable contract. All of these terms depend upon someone’s keeping their word, their integrity. Webster says integrity implies trustworthiness and incorruptibility to a degree that one is incapable of being false to a trust, responsibility, or pledge. Where is integrity today? Everyone we’ve ever known at some time has let us down and violated the trust we had in them. As a result, we approach every new contact, relationship, or possible contract with the apprehension, “They may let me down, too; so I’m not going to put all my eggs in the basket this time.” Webster defines trust as to place confidence in, to commit or place in one’s care or keeping, to permit to stay or go or to do something without fear or misgiving, to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of, to believe; and Webster says trust implies assurance based on faith that another will not fail one. As we read these definitions, we’re thinking, “That’s what I’ve been longing for—someone that I can really trust without fear or misgiving no matter what; someone that I know will keep their word, even if it turns out to be to their own disadvantage; someone that I can depend on 100 percent; someone that I know will always tell me the truth; and somewhere that I can feel absolutely safe and secure.” In order to demonstrate trust to the congregation, a preacher and his son did a skit one Sunday morning. The boy was blindfolded and guided to the edge of the platform. His dad was standing about three feet below him on the floor of the auditorium. He said to his son, “Fall forward, and I will catch you. Put your hands in your pockets, please.” Without a moment’s hesitation, the boy obeyed, and his dad caught him. The confident assurance that the son had in his dad was based on the many occasions over their years together when his dad had kept his word and had proved he could be trusted. Later on as I meditated on this skit, I wondered what would have happened if they did the same thing, say three times (fall, catch; fall, catch; fall, catch); but on the fourth time, his dad did not catch him? What would have happened if the dad, after helping his son get back on his feet, bandaging any cuts or scrapes, and drying his tears, had asked his son to put the blindfold back on, put his hands in his pockets, and fall once again, saying, “This time, I promise, I’ll catch you,” would the boy do it? Would you? No! The trust had been broken. Similarly, every time it looks like God didn’t keep His Word, every time it looks like there was a “faith-failure,” and every time we don’t get what we were “believing for,” we need to get in God’s Word and in His face and find out what went wrong, with the confident assurance that it wasn’t God that missed it because He cannot lie and He cannot fail. Every time we hear tradition, limitation, and information contradictory to what God said and we accept it, that unbelief is diminishing and destroying by degrees our ability to trust God and His Word. My sisters and I were so very, very blessed to have a wonderful daddy who always kept his word, who always did what he said he would do, and who never lied to us nor teased us. On the other hand, I have a friend whose father did what he said sometimes, tricked her sometimes, teased her sometimes, lied to her sometimes, and “failed to catch her” sometimes just so, he said, she’d learn never to trust anyone but always look out for herself. That underlying distrust is even lurking in the shadows as we come to God regarding His Word to us. We’ve seen and heard about so many seeming failures, and it’s affected our ability to trust God. It’s so important to go back to the Word for ourselves, because if we don’t get an answer from the Bible about what happened to Sister So-and-So (who said she was believing and yet she died), then the next time we need to believe and receive what God has promised, that nagging thought will keep bombarding us, “But what about Sister

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What Did They Know? So-and-So? You know, she was believing and she died, and she was a lot better Christian than you are. You better not try that faith stuff.” Sound familiar? That’s the “whisssssspering” rumormonger who’s roaming about seeking whom he may devour, and the only ones he can devour are the ones who don’t know what their Blood Covenant says and don’t know Who and what are guaranteeing it. Whenever the outcome of a matter looks like a “faith failure,” don’t settle for an explanation like, “You never know what God’s going to do. His thoughts are above ours. After we get to heaven, we’ll find out why He took her away from us. You can’t put God in a box! God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.” Beware! Deception always contains an element of truth, and throwing in a portion of the Isaiah 55:8 scripture is part of the deception process. Here’s the truth: We always know what God’s going to do. He’s always going to do exactly what His Word says, because He’s faithful, which means He’s firm in adherence to His promises. No exceptions. That’s why we can trust Him. Oh, yes, we can put God in a box—the same box He’s already put Himself in—His Word! “God moves in mysterious ways” is not in the Bible, and there’s nothing mysterious about Him and His ways when you have His Holy Spirit. That’s why we have this Scripture text: “No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, never so much as imagined anything quite like it—what God has arranged for those who love him.” But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way (1 Corinthians 2:9–13 THE MESSAGE).

During the centuries that followed the early years of the Church, as people began to not 100 percent believe because they allowed doubt to creep in, they realized that they were not seeing the signs and wonders like the Bible said they should. They began to make excuses for their unbelief, like saying, “The miracles ended when the last apostle died;” like praying, “Heal me, if it be Your will;” and even going so far as to say, “God made me sick to teach me something,” and “God must have needed her more in heaven than her husband and four children needed her down here.” The truth is: traditions are what we have created to excuse our own unbelief. When we see that tradition, according to Webster, is the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction, then we recognize how many traditions are in churches today, even in “faith” and “Word” churches. Jesus said, “Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:6)—no results, no manifestations, just excuses. Traditions have no guarantee, but the Word of God does; and it’s a guarantee signed in the blood of Jesus. Judge the matter by the Word, not by anyone’s opinion, or experience, or deceitfully-handled scripture quoting. The Bible pattern If we don’t believe, is: if we believe the Word, we receive what the Word says; if we don’t we don’t receive. believe, we don’t receive. God is faithful to His Word. He cannot lie. It’s not that He won’t lie, He can’t lie! The fault is ours, not God’s, if we don’t receive what the Word says.

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Part I: Defining a Blood Covenant

The purpose of these evil reports that try to make God the villain and the “heavy” is to erode our confidence in God and in His Word. We need to set all that aside. Those were people. When we are talking about the Blood Covenant, we’re talking about God! This is not a man’s word. This is the Blood Covenant Word of Almighty God Himself. He is everything described in the definitions of integrity and trust and so much more! The reliance on the truthfulness and accuracy of God’s Word that Noah had, the commitment to place themselves in God’s keeping that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had, the hope in advance of other confirmation that Abraham and Sarah had, the assurance to go without fear into the lions’ den that Daniel had, the confidence and security in God that Joseph had, and many, many other examples of trust found in the Old and New Blood Covenants are the results of understanding what the Blood Covenant is and believing it. Blood Covenant confidence destroys doubt! I’ve used a considerable amount of time on this trust issue because it’s only when we totally trust someone that we are willing to give ourselves away to them.

Hebrew—Cutting According to Strong’s, the Hebrew for covenant means cutting, i.e., a compact made by passing between pieces of flesh [an agreement that is guaranteed by blood]. The person entering into a blood covenant would choose an animal to take his place, and the other person would do the same. They’d kill the animals and cut them down the middle, then they’d walk back and forth between the pieces of flesh in the unending shape of a figure 8. They were giving themselves (their lives) away to the other person in an unending blood covenant. There were two requirements: death and blood to prove that death. The dead animals were substitutes for the covenantors and represented their having died to their own rights in order to live for the other person. By the shedding of blood wherein is life, “For the blood is the life” and “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Deuteronomy 12:23; Leviticus 17:11), those entering into a blood covenant were also signifying, “If I don’t keep my part of this blood covenant, you or your family and heirs can take my life (see Jeremiah 34:17–20). By laying my life on the line, I am promising I’ll keep this blood covenant with you forever.” This is the unbreakable bond the American Indians have, as do many tribes in Africa. It’s also found in a perverted form in several secret organizations in America and in the Mafia. You may be asking, “Why doesn’t this author just say, ‘Covenant’? Why does she keep on saying, ‘Blood Covenant’ over and over?” The answer is simple—this is not a paper contract with some big shot’s signature on the dotted line that we’re talking about, and that a codicil can be added to later on. This is the perpetual, indissoluble, immutable, and unbreakable Blood Covenant that has been paid for by the sinless blood of Jesus, our redeeming Testator. This Blood Covenant is a matter of life and death—ours and His.

Greek—Transfer Property According to Strong’s, the Greek for covenant means disposition. Webster defines disposition as the transfer of property from one to another. When two people enter into a marriage covenant, each one tells what they’re giving to the other—their strengths, weaknesses, assets, debts, perks, and quirks. This equal exchange is seen by the balance scales that are even. Suntheke is the Greek word for this reciprocal giving and receiving, and it is not used in the Bible. In contrast, if a very wealthy man were walking down the street in New York City and saw a homeless beggar curled up in a doorway trying to stay warm, and if this multibillionaire chose to enter into a covenant with such wretchedness, he would say, “I want to give you full rights to everything I have—to my name, to my bank accounts, to my credit cards, to my homes, to my automobiles.” If the beggar chose to accept the offer, he has nothing to give except his pitiful rags and “Thank you.” This unequal exchange is pictured

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What Did They Know?

by the uneven balance scales. The Greek word for this kind of covenant is diatheke— where one party does all the giving, and the other party does all the receiving. In Hebrews 8:10–12, when God was describing His New Blood Covenant that He would make with us, He used diatheke. In 1 Corinthians 11:25, when Jesus said He was making the New Blood Covenant in His blood and giving His all to us, He used diatheke. What a transfer of property this is—God does all the giving, and we do all the receiving! By combining these definitions from Webster, Hebrew, and Greek, we now have a thorough explanation of what the New Blood Covenant is. THE NEW BLOOD COVENANT IS A BINDING AGREEMENT BASED ON THE INTEGRITY OF THE GODHEAD, GUARANTEED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS THAT TRANSFERRED PROPERTY TO ME! It is important to note that even though Webster’s definition says transfers, it is vital that we understand the property has already been transferred. The death has taken place, “it is finished,” and the transfer has been made—past tense. Therefore, we will always use the past tense of the word. At the beginning of each class that I teach about the Blood Covenant, everyone participates as we illustrate this definition so that we’re saying it, hearing it, and doing it. A Binding Agreement Hold your hands in a grip (as when two train cars hook up) so that your hands are securely bound together (as shown in the illustration below), and say, “a binding Agreement based on the integrity of the Godhead.” Guaranteed by Blood There’s a particular kind of sign language that uses this movement for the word blood; and when I first saw it demonstrated, my spirit jumped for joy! Position your hands as shown in the illustrations below. Your right-hand fist becomes the hammer that drives the spike into your left wrist as you say, “Guaranteed by the blood . . . ” Now do the same thing with your left-hand fist as it drives the spike into your right wrist as you say, “ . . . of Jesus.”

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Part I: Defining a Blood Covenant

That Transferred Property

Holding your Bible with both of your hands (see illustrations below), extend them heavenward; and as you say, “that transferred property to me,” bring your hands and your copy of the Blood Covenant down close to your person—rejoicing! This part of the definition can be demonstrated in another way, too. I stand on a step stool in front of Jim and ask him to hand me his Bible. Next, Jim says and does the motions for a binding Agreement based on the integrity of the Godhead and guaranteed by the blood of Jesus, described above. Then, with his opened hands close together, he stretches them heavenward. From my elevated height on the step stool (symbolizing God), I reach up and place Jim’s Bible in his extended hands; and as he says, “that transferred property to me,” he brings his copy of his Blood Covenant with God down close to his person—rejoicing!

Declaration Then everyone in the class holds his own Bible, and as a group we all declare: This is my Blood Covenant with You, Father. This is my inheritance as Your child. I am who it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of the Word of God. I will not receive any limitation—no matter who says it. I will check out everything I hear with the Word of God, and I’ll believe the Word of my God. I confess my heart is receptive, my mind is alert, and my body is refreshed. I will never be the same—never, NEVER, NEVER! I won’t leave here like I came in Jesus’ Name! Be it unto me according to Your Word. So be it. 1 This declaration should be the attitude of our hearts every time we hear, watch, or read teaching about God’s Word, including this book. If every Christian would check out everything they hear, and believe only what God says about the matter in His Word, we’d turn the world right side up! That’s what the folks in the Berean Church did—“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).

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First Person . . . Present Tense This phrase will begin the conclusion of each chapter. The concluding statements will apply the truths of the chapter to us (which is who needs it) for right now (which is when we need it)—first person . . . present tense. If we would substitute the word covenant every time we read the other terms in the Bible that are referring to this binding Agreement (e.g., teachings, commandments, laws, book of the law, counsel, judgments, statutes, words, plans, precepts, promises, truth, oath, will, testament, etc.), then we’d begin to see how prevalent it is. The references for the word covenant in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible occupy three columns, and that’s a big book with fine print. My attention was particularly drawn to the many times God said over and over again, “My Covenant.” He wants us to possess it, too, as our very own, “This is my Blood Covenant with You, Father.” A study of the verbs used with the word covenant shows the extent of God’s commitment—establish, make, keep, remember, declare, be mindful of, give, enter into, bring, command, perform, confirm, show, have respect to, avenge, and disinherit. These verbs show the commitment (or lack of commitment) of mankind—take hold of, enter into, continue in, hear and do, obey, forsake, forget, transgress, break, corrupt, profane, and make void. We are the reason God created everything, and He gave us the power of choice because He wanted us to choose to respond to His love and care, His protection and provision. He designed and defined the Blood Covenant for our benefit, so that we’d not only have the confidence of an unbreakable guarantee, but we’d also have a way to get back into fellowship with Him when we chose to disobey. Blood Covenant oneness with us was so cherished by God that He was willing to send Jesus to cut the New Blood Covenant for us, so that we’d be free from the sin nature and be able to dwell in the secret place continually as His heirs. Before the end of this book, it will become plain that every reference to Calvary, the Cross, the blood, the Lamb, redemption, born again, inheritance, and many other terms are all pointing to the Blood Covenant, because they were all put in place either to bring about the Blood Covenant, or to be the result of it. The Blood Covenant is God’s heartbeat, and the Word of God is His Blood Covenant. From the Garden of Eden to the present, and forevermore, it has been His paramount desire to be in absolute relationship and intimate fellowship with mankind—not only in the cool of the evening, but spirit to spirit and face to face all the time. Everything God thinks, says, and does is from Blood Covenant perspective. That is what is needed and required of us, too.

THE NEW BLOOD COVENANT IS A BINDING AGREEMENT BASED ON THE INTEGRITY OF THE GODHEAD, GUARANTEED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS, THAT TRANSFERRED PROPERTY TO ME!

Chapter notes: 1 Portions of this are from John Osteen’s ministry, for which I am grateful. The last line is from Luke 1:38.

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God said, “It’s all yours. All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! . . . Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” (Joshua 1:5–9 THE MESSAGE) Jesus said this to God about us, “Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth. . . . I’m consecrating myself for their sakes so they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.” (John 17:17–19 THE MESSAGE) Jesus says to us, “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you. . . . So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.” (John 8:31–36 THE MESSAGE)

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Two

C hapter

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How Did They Make It Work?

hen I first heard about the Blood Covenant, it seemed so foreign to what I’d been hearing as I grew up in church, yet, it was really good news. I knew all these things were in the Word because I’d been reading them all my life, but they’d always seemed out of reach and, obviously, were not happening to me. I was still “eating cheese and crackers.” I wondered, “How am I going to apply this to my everyday life and change all this limitation I’ve been living in?” I needed to get the same picture in me that God had in Him, so that our thoughts would be the same, and we could walk together in Blood Covenant communion. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).

“...Be Renewed In The Spirit Of Your Mind” (Ephesians 4:23) Get a New Word-Picture As I diligently read the Word and listened to the Holy Spirit of Truth and to several teaching tapes about the Blood Covenant that had been given to me, a new Word-picture (which means, the picture that the Word of God paints in me) of how God sees me began to form in me. I began to see that I am freed from captivity by payment of ransom; an heir of God; a joint-heir with Jesus; living, moving, and having my being in Him; doing what Jesus did and even greater works; more than a conqueror; whole; and have every need supplied. This Word-picture became my earnest desire, my goal, my hope. As the acronym on this page reminds us, to be full of hope means to see ourselves with the full manifestation the Word promises, and it means to hold onto that Word-picture by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). As a result, hope becomes the sure and steadfast anchor of our mind that keeps us steady, because the Word-picture is guaranteed by God’s counsel and God’s oath of the New Blood Covenant. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of

H O P E

OLDING NTO

ROMISED XPECTATION

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Part I: Defining a Blood Covenant

the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 6:16–20).

One of the facets of the Blood Covenant is, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts” (Hebrews 8:10 amplified, emphasis added). The God of hope said it is His responsibility, not ours, to renovate our minds. I questioned, “Since God is responsible to paint this new Word-picture in me and to renew my mind so that I think like God thinks, what am I supposed to do?” The Spirit of Truth answered, Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality—faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses (Hebrews 11:1 amplified).

I saw it! My responsibility was to feed on the Word of God; and then, God promised faith would come—the faith that manifests hope. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). See FAITH acronym on this page. Again, I was reminded,

F A I T H 1 2

[Blessed is the man whose] delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law—the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God—he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth his fruit in its season; his leaf also shall not fade or wither, and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity] (Psalms 1:2–3 amplified, emphasis added).

ATHER

LWAYS1 NFALLIBLY2 AKES OLD

without exception not able to err, mislead, deceive, or disappoint

This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success (Joshua 1:8 amplified). My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:20–23 amplified). And these words, which I am commanding you this day, shall be [first] in your own mind and heart; [then] you shall whet and sharpen them, so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when

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How Did They Make It Work? you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets (forehead bands) between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:6–9 amplified).

What Does Meditate Mean? These scriptures are God’s description of how we are to feed on His Word. The word used repeatedly in the Bible is meditate. Most of us have heard no teaching about how to meditate on God’s Word, because the “dark side” of the spirit world talks a lot about transcendental meditation; and we’ve wanted nothing to do with meditating. But it’s clear from God’s Word that meditation was His idea and plan long before they started perverting it; so we are accurate, wise, and safe to do what He said. Then we’ll get the results He promised. Meditate means to ponder and to mutter to oneself in the Hebrew; and to revolve in ones mind, to imagine in the Greek. Webster’s dictionary defines meditate as to reflect on or become absorbed in thought over; contemplate [to view or consider with continued attention]; intend [to have in mind as a purpose or goal, to plan]; purpose [something set up as an object or end to be attained]. Webster further says meditate implies a definite focusing of one’s thoughts on something so as to understand it deeply. (The text in brackets [ ] is the definition of the word immediately preceding.) All of us are thinking about something all the time. When we watch something else on the news, or see a gruesome scene while surfing the television channels, or hear a favorite song on the radio that reminds us of our past, or hear an evil report, we are suddenly given the choice to change what we had been thinking and think about something new. We’ve been coasting along in life, thinking we were hearing good teaching from the Bible, but questioning why we were not seeing the results the people in the Bible had seen and that we were longing to see for ourselves, saying, “Everybody else we know lives on Barely-Get-By Street at the corner of Aches-and-Pains Drive which dead-ends into We’ll-Understand-It-Better-By-and-By Lane. This must be all there is to the Christian life.” Now we’re hearing about the Blood Covenant, and it almost sounds too good to be true! We have suddenly been given the choice to change what we’ve been thinking about God’s protection and provision for us, to believe what’s been in the Word of God all along, and to begin to think, say, and do everything from the Blood Covenant perspective, that is, to become Blood Covenant minded. Choosing this new point of view will also change our understanding of familiar Bible stories and miracles, of scriptures we’ve quoted many times, and of hymns and choruses we’ve sung for years. It will also change how we pray—because most of us have been asking God to become Who He already is, to do what He’s already done, and to give us that which the Word says we already have. How Do I Meditate? If we know how to worry, then we already know how to meditate. Worry is just meditating on the negative. When someone worries, they reflect on and become absorbed in thought over that situation, they view or consider it with continued attention, they try to plan in their mind a way to solve the situation, they imagine the worst-case scenario, and they focus their thoughts so as to understand the situation deeply—even to the point of muttering to themselves: “If only I hadn’t . . .” or “What am I going to do if they . . .” or “Maybe if I try to . . .” or “I’m afraid it’ll never work out because . . .”

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Part I: Defining a Blood Covenant

Here is an example of meditating on the promises in 1 John 5:14–15, which reads: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

I begin by looking up every word in the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, and then, in Webster’s Dictionary, I look up the definitions of the words I found in Strong’s. You don’t have to do this, but it gives me a more complete picture of God’s intended meaning. For example: if I read the word love in the Bible, it means affection based on admiration to me; but the Greeks had four root words for love—all painting very different pictures. I read aloud the scripture and my word study many times, intentionally focusing my thoughts on it as a whole verse, and then on just one word or phrase at a time. I plan how the magnified meaning of this promise will change how I believe, think, and respond to doubt, fear, and symptoms of the curse— because believing this promise activates the faith shield that stops all the weapons Our confidence in Him will be formed against me and quenches all the in direct proportion to our fiery darts. Most important of all, I listen to knowledge of the Blood Covenant. the Spirit of Truth. The following is a result of meditating on this scripture: If we ask anything in conformity with His Blood Covenant (remembering that Webster’s definition of will includes a written instrument [Covenant] legally executed [Jesus’ blood]), God is legally bound to hear it. It’s His own Word we are returning to Him, and He said, “It won’t return unto Me void” (see Isaiah 55:11). If He did not hear it, He would be denying His own Word. Therefore, if it’s His Word we’re asking in faith, He hears; and He’s bound by His own Blood Covenant to do what He said, for it is impossible for Him to lie! That Blood Covenant guarantee is what gives us the confidence in Him [faith]; and that’s why these verses go on to say, and if we know He hears us confidently making a demand on His Covenant, then we know we have what we ask. He’s already guaranteed by blood that He’ll keep His every promise to us! Therefore, consider it done! The converse is also true—if He does not hear His Word in faith, He does not act.

The two words that jumped out at me were “in Him.” Our confidence is not in us, in our faith, or in our ability. Our confidence is in Him Who cannot lie and cannot fail. Our confidence is in our Blood Covenant with Him and His faithfulness to the blood of Jesus. Our confidence in Him will be in direct proportion to our knowledge of the Blood Covenant. People didn’t learn how to read silently until several hundred years after Jesus left the earth. Up until that time, all reading was done aloud. What a difference it makes to see it with our eyes, speak the words with our mouth, and hear those words with our ears. It’s also helpful to emphasize a different word each time the verse is read. In the above verses, emphasizing in Him made a great difference to me, and the same was true for according to and confidence. When we meditate on God’s Word, the Spirit of Truth will make that promise come alive in us, making it ours. He’ll remind us of other promises in the Bible that work together with it, or He’ll nudge us to pick up a book that we haven’t read in a long time just so we’ll

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How Did They Make It Work? find another treasure. That scripture will be on our mind when we wake up in the morning, and it’ll seem like it’s even there when we didn’t decide, “Well, now I’ll meditate on that verse some more.” Sometimes we’re aware that others have been led to think on the same promise—it’s the subject of several teachers on television, it’s referred to in songs on the radio, and it’s even the selected verse on our desk calendar at the office. Listening to the Spirit of Truth is the most important thing we are to do when we meditate on God’s Word. He is the one Who inspired those who wrote it down. He knows exactly what God meant when He said what He said. Jesus said, Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you (John 16:13–15).

What a promise to meditate on, believe in, and live by! How Do I Change My M.O.? Whenever we move to a new location and are asked for our telephone number and address, we really have to concentrate at first, or the old information will just spill out automatically. That’s how it’ll be now as we become Blood Covenant minded. For example, when the old information was all we knew, we would have expected and accepted the flu bug; but as we learn that our Covenant inheritance states we have been freed from captivity to all sickness and disease, we’ll realize we don’t have to sign for that flu bug package anymore when the delivery man comes knocking at our door. When I decide to change my routine and do things differently (you know, get into a new habit), I make notes to myself. For If you want a change example: I want to start walking when I first get home from work, in your status quo, so I’ve made a sign that says, “WALK,” and I have it on top of my you’ve got to make a change slippers. When I get home at night and feel like kicking back, that in your M.O. note says to me, “If you want a change in your status quo, you’ve got to make a change in your M.O. (Method of Operation).” Maybe you don’t need to do that, but it’s working for me. In the not-too-distant-past when I desperately needed to change another habit—too much TV watching, I made big signs to cover the screen: “Will this matter in eternity?” or “The Lord hath need of thee!” or Smith Wigglesworth’s quote, “God has a passionate desire for a full response from the Spirit He has placed in us.” It worked! Habits are great assets, especially when they’re Blood Covenant habits! Perhaps some signs would be helpful reminders to turn our thinking, planning, and responding toward Blood Covenant mindedness, signs like: All God has is mine! My need is God’s, and His supply is mine! Is this part of my inheritance? Question: “What would Jesus do?” Answer: “Whatever the Blood Covenant says.” Therefore: “Go and do thou likewise.” Doesn’t that verse say, “And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates,” dashboard, computer, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, even your closet floor? In other words, keep it before your eyes. (See Deuteronomy 6:9 in the Amplified Bible.) So often when we hear a cassette teaching tape that really hits home, and we say, “That’s exactly what I needed to hear,” but we put it in the drawer and forget about it in no time at all. Or, a scripture comes alive in us for about fifteen minutes, and then we get distracted and don’t think about that heirloom again. The verse in Proverbs 4:21 says, “Let them not depart from your sight.” Jesus was teaching this when He said, “Don’t let the seed be aborted or miscarried so easily! Pull the choking-weeds and stumbling-stones out, and keep them out! Keep nurturing the seed—feeding it, watering it, and protecting it from all trespassers,

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Part I: Defining a Blood Covenant

so it’ll grow and flourish and manifest itself in your life.” (See Luke 8:5–15, which should be called the Parable of the Soil. There’s nothing lacking in the Sower or the Seed. It’s the soil that determines the harvest.) It’s so very important that we choose to continue thinking about the incorruptible seed the Holy Spirit of Truth implants in us. You know, if we were worried about something—I mean, really worried, we’d think about it 24/7. That’s the perseverance and diligence Deuteronomy 6:6–9 and Proverbs 4:20–27 are talking about. Regarding each new truth that comes alive in you as you read this book, keep it before your eyes and heart, go back and review previous chapters frequently, both what you’ve underlined and what you haven’t. Plan on how you’ll apply that revelation which just leaped off the page and into your spirit. How will that truth look manifested in your life? How will it change the way you face your day and that challenge looming before you? When we meditate on God’s Word, (1) The Spirit of Truth reveals His Word to us on the subject at hand— for example, healing, that is, to be made

W ithout H arm O r L ack E verywhere

(2) We get the Word-picture of how that healing will look manifested in us, which is,

H olding O nto P romised E xpectation

(3) We believe God is Who He says He is and that He’ll do what He said because the Blood Covenant guarantees He will, that’s

T horoughly R est U pon S ure T ruth

(4) We refuse to doubt by looking at any other picture, but we hold fast to the previews of coming attractions in our Word-picture, which means we

S teadfastly T rust A nd N ever D espair

(5) This 100 percent believing hooks up with God’s power, and substance is given to the Word-picture in us, which is,

F ather A lways I nfallibly T akes H old

The manifestation of a promise in God’s Word isn’t supposed to be a long-timecoming, hang-in-there thing! That’s not the Bible pattern—but rather, immediately, suddenly, and straightway, especially where our Blood Covenant inheritance is concerned. If we could see each manifestation from the spiritual perspective, we’d realize that’s how and when we’ve received everything that we’ve ever received from God—by faith, real faith, Bible faith. Saying the Word but picturing something else with the eyes of our heart (in our thoughts) is not believing. Also, expecting the manifestation “someday” is not believing, when what we need is already in our inheritance (which is already on deposit in our redemption account). It’s a law that we receive according to our faith—Word results; or according to our unbelief—world results.

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How Did They Make It Work?

First Person . . . Present Tense When we meditate in the Word day and night and diligently refuse all doubt (every thought, habit, assumption, tradition, symptom, or fear that limits or contradicts God’s Word) by superseding the doubt with the Word of our Blood Covenant God, then Bible-believing faith is what is left! As we stay in God’s presence and as we listen and hearken to the voice of the Holy Spirit of Truth and nothing else and no one else, we will believe and doubt not. That is giving our undivided attention to His words, inclining our heart-ear unto His sayings, letting them not depart from our eyes, and keeping them in the midst of our heart with all diligence. The manifested Word is what we have! Our God said, “If you have faith, and doubt not” (see Matthew 21:21). If we’ll do our part, He’s covenanted in blood to do His part! “ALL things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23, emphasis added). ALL means ALL—and there is no asterisk with a footnote that lists the exceptions Mr. Doubt whispers. We receive whosoever’s report we believe. It’s our choice. Those that are diligently seeking Him have the Word-picture inside, and they know—Blood Covenant confidence know—that He is firm in adherence to His promises. Blood Covenant confidence destroys doubt and paints the hope-picture, and the Blood Covenant guarantees its manifestation.

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Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

C O V E N A N T

OMMITMENT F, ERILY,1 VERYTHING —— ULLIFYING2 LL EED OGETHER

certainly, confidently making ineffective by legal action

1 2

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Part II

Entering into a Blood Covenant

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Jesus made a Covenant with God, the Father, Sealed it with His Own precious blood; And I became a joint-heir of the Covenant He made When I confessed Jesus as my Lord. It’s the New Covenant, and it’s better than the Old, Filled with better promises, you see. Now He’s the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, The God of Jesus, and me. The written Word of God is full of Covenant-talk, Telling what God’s promised He would do; When I believe, and talk, and act on what He says, His dynamic power makes it true! It’s the New Covenant, and it’s better than the Old, Filled with better promises, you see. Now He’s the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, The God of Jesus, and me. All I have is His, and all He has is mine. He supplies my ev’ry want and need. I just praise and worship Him with Covenant-talk— I’m learning how to live abundantly! It’s the New Covenant, and it’s better than the Old, Filled with better promises, you see. Now He’s the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, The God of Jesus, and me. Verse 1: Verse 2: Verse 3: Chorus:

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Hebrews 7:22; 9:11–15; Romans 8:17. 2 Peter 1:2–8; Hebrews 4:12, 14–16. John 16:15; Philippians 4:19; Philemon 6; John 10:10. Hebrews 8:6; Galatians 3:9, 14, 29; Ephesians 1:3; Hebrews 8:10

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Three

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Both Agree to Come Together

hen a man sees a woman and is attracted to her, he introduces himself and asks if they can become acquainted. If she agrees, they spend time with each other in talking, listening, sharing, caring—really communicating, not just surface chitchat. He sends her greeting cards and love notes, just-because flowers, calls in special requests for their favorite song on the radio station she listens to driving to work, and even hires a sky-writing pilot to spell out his love for her for all to see! He tells her not only his secret sorrows, but also his secret joys. He tells her his dreams and lays out his plans for making them become reality. He watches and listens closely as she responds by revealing the hopes that have been in her heart since childhood. Days, weeks, months, maybe even years go by, and there are planned and unplanned opportunities for them to get to really know each other—including what makes each other laugh, cry, and become angry. It becomes his heart’s desire for them to be committed to each other forever in marriage. He proposes this to her and tells her what he will be to her as her husband, and he tells her what he expects her to be to him as his wife. Then he waits for her answer. The Bible says the marriage union is a picture of the relationship between Jesus and His Church, so this teaching regarding the first step of entering into a Blood Covenant will use the parallels of courting, proposing, and choosing; the second step is becoming one. Many of us are already in Blood Covenant relationship with God, and this teaching is set forth to bring full understanding and manifestation of the miracle we have received. This love story began even before the Garden of Eden—“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love” (Ephesians 1:4 THE MESSAGE). God has always wanted a people to love, protect, provide for, communicate with, and pour Himself into—a people who would love and revere Him in return. His goal was to say to His people, “All I have is yours,” and for each one to respond, “and all I have is Yours.” 1 He founded His plan on an absolute covenant, the Blood Covenant, knowing it would give the people the confidence to trust Him. He was sure they’d respond to such love. But in His all-knowing, He also knew about the wrong choice they would make when the wrong voice came whisssssspering; and He knew about the terrible and far reaching consequences that choice would have—not only for those people, but also for everyone thereafter. If that had been you or me, we probably would have said, “Oh, just forget about it! Their fellowship is not worth all the blood, sweat, and tears it’ll take to bring it to pass.” In meditating on God’s love from Blood Covenant perspective, the phrase ultimate love came to me. Webster says ultimate implies either the last stage of a long process, or a stage beyond which further progress or change is impossible. It was God’s ultimate love that came to our rescue even before our need began. The above reference in Ephesians continues, Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish giftgiving by the hand of his beloved Son (Ephesians 1:4–6 THE MESSAGE).

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Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

Jesus was the last stage of a long process beyond which further progress or change is impossible. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). When Abram came on the scene, God saw in him the characteristics of someone with whom He could cut a blood covenant. God promised Abram protection and provision, he responded, and the Old Blood Covenant was made (see Genesis 15). But there was one problem—the sin-less, lie-less, fail-less, change-less holy God had entered into Blood Covenant with a sin-full, lie-full, fail-full, change-full unholy man. The Old Blood Covenant couldn’t produce continual intimacy between God and His people, because they were in captivity to sin, its consequences, and its author. God began to promise He would redeem His people from their adversary. Hope rose up in the hearts of His people—“Our Redeemer’s coming! Messiah’s coming!” Every event happened just as God promised, and Jesus came. My Son, I hear the captives’ cry to be set free from sin’s domain! So, will You go and give Your life and give them light to see again? Then I AM said, “I will, I will do ev’rything You ask Me to, Your heart’s desire completely fill, I want to show My love for You.” Our very brief history lesson has covered pre-Genesis, the fall in the Garden, Abram and the Old Blood Covenant, and God’s promise and provision of Jesus, our Redeemer. That brings us to the twenty-first century—you and me, here and now, first person and present tense.

Courting God and Jesus have already cut the New Blood Covenant—“It is finished.” Father God has had us in mind all these years, having settled on us as the focus of His love, and He has already decided long ago— He wants YOU . . . and ME . . . and THEM! As Jesus described how tenderly God woos us, He said: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him (John 6:44, emphasis added). For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10, emphasis added). Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it (Matthew 13:45–46, emphasis added). How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! (Luke 13:34, emphasis added). For the Lord’s portion is His people. . . . He found him in a desert land, in the howling void of the wilderness; He kept circling around him, He scanned him (penetratingly), He kept him as the pupil of His eye. As an eagle that stirs up her nest, that flutters over her young, He spread abroad His wings; He took them, He bore them on His pinions (Deuteronomy 32:9–11 amplified, emphasis added).

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Both Agree to Come Together Even after we’re in the family of God, He continues to woo and pursue us when we go astray in order to bring us back to Himself. When He puts the lost-but-found on His shoulders, that leaves only one set of footprints in the sand. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing (Luke 15:4–5, emphasis added).

The instructions to Adam (and every other husband thereafter) were, “cleave unto your wife” (see Genesis 2:24). In the Hebrew cleave means to cling or adhere, and (figuratively) to catch by pursuit. To the Greeks cleave means to glue to, join self, and keep company. Webster adds that cleave stresses strength of attachment. God planned that this would be an ongoing action—for as long as you both shall live. God refers to Himself in Isaiah 54:5 and Jeremiah 31:32 as the Husband in the Blood Covenant He had with Abram and his offspring. He refers to Jesus in Ephesians 5:23–32 as having the same relationship with the Church. Jesus kept company with all kinds of people—men and women, old and young, religious and heathen, rich and poor, bond and free, educated and uneducated, popular and unpopular, sick and well, kind and cruel— because ultimate love knows no prejudice. God is pursuing everyone, and the invitation reads “whosoever will . . . all.”

Proposing God uses messengers. They’re called “labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38), and they deliver His messages to us. They may be our parents, grandparents, a Sunday School teacher, a song on the radio, a bumper sticker, or a gentle “God really loves you” from a smiling cashier at the grocery. Or, suddenly we remember a scripture verse that we learned as a kid, or we realize we’re humming, “Yes, Jesus loves me . . . the Bible tells me so.” In a critical emergency we find ourselves saying, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1), and we’re surprised by how much of that psalm we remember. All of these love notes, flowers, and singing telegrams are sent by God through His Holy Spirit for one purpose—to tell us what He will be to us . . . • I love you, right where you are, just as you are. I know all about your past and present; and if you’ll allow Me, I know what your future can be. “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” (Jeremiah 29:11 amplified). •

I want to be your Protector and Provider in every part of your life. I’ve written My love letter to you, the Bible, so that you can know all the miracles I’ve already done for everyone who would trust Me. No one and no thing is ever too bad, too hard, too far gone, too late, or too anything else! I don’t know the word incurable. For Me, there’s no impossibility!

I’ve written down My proposal to you in a contract which I’ve called My Blood Covenant. You will find this in Jeremiah 31:33–34 and Hebrews 8:10–12 in the Amplified Bible, so you can read it for yourself as often as you like. These are the four main provisions: 1. I will imprint My laws upon your mind, even upon your innermost thoughts and understanding, and I will engrave them upon your heart. 2. I will be your God, and you shall be My people, My heir.

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Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

3. You will know Me—that is, perceive, have knowledge of, and get acquainted by experience with Me, your God, your Lord God. 4. I will be merciful and gracious toward your sins, and I will remember your deeds of unrighteousness no more. •

I am prepared to give you all that I am if you choose to enter into this Blood Covenant with Me. As I’ve already said, you would become My heir, My child, and that would make you a joint-heir with Jesus, My Son. He said, “All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he [the Spirit of truth] shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you” (John 16:15). Just before He died for you, He was praying to Me for you, and He ended His prayer by asking, “That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26).

I inspired one of My poets to describe what I am offering to you by writing: There is One Who can make you one with God. There is One Who can set your spirit free. He’s bought you back from satan’s pow’r. He’ll break your chains this very hour . . . I that speak unto thee am He. There is One Who can fill your life with love. There is One Who can give you peace within, Give you joy for all to see, Help you live consistently . . . I that speak unto thee am He. There is One Who can answer ev’ry question you have. There is One Who can make the pieces fit, Give you wisdom and knowledge, too, Give direction for all you do . . . I that speak unto thee am He. There is One Who can heal ev’ry sickness and disease. There is One Who can make you whole again— Lengthen legs, open eyes, Heal your body inside . . . I that speak unto thee am He. There is One Who can give you ev’rything you desire. There is One Who can fill your ev’ry need, Show you how to make your way Abundant living ev’ry day . . . I that speak unto thee am He. There is One Who can teach you how to spread the Word around, Share God’s love with your friends and fam’ly, too, How to show them in the Word The price is paid, the vict’ry’s won, Set them free in spirit, soul, ’n body, too. There is One Who is coming, coming back again to take His Church to be forever by His side. They will have a marriage feast

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Both Agree to Come Together Like a Husband and His Bride . . . I that speak unto thee am He. I that speak unto thee am He. I that speak unto thee am He. My name is Jesus, the Risen Lord, The Great I AM, the Living Word. I that speak unto thee am He! • This just barely scratches the surface of all that I will be to you, but I must also make it clear what I expect of you. My Word is up front and makes it very plain, as I will now: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30). All of Me is committed to you, and all of you must be committed to Me if we are to walk together as one. I’m asking you to commit to Lordship, obedience, and intimacy—forever. Then I will be your God, and you will be My child. How I long to say to you, “All I have is yours,” and to hear you say in response, “and all I have is Yours.” •

Let Me be God in your life. I truly love you. I’m waiting and listening for your answer.

Even as the young man tells the young lady he’s courting what he will be to her as her husband, he also tells her what he expects her to be to him as his wife. God does the same thing as He declares what He requires of us. Lordship God requires lordship, and He wants us to count the cost. Jesus said, “Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, you can’t be my disciple” (Luke 14:33 THE MESSAGE, emphasis added). It’s not a quick fix at the end of the church service—walk down front, fill out a membership card, and we’re set for eternity. Entering into the Blood Covenant means giving ourselves to His Lordship forever—no longer me, myself, and mine. Romans 10:8–10 is the passage in the Bible that we’ve focused on as the way to enter into the family of God. It says, The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (emphasis added).

A detailed Greek-Webster word study of this passage was enlightening regarding the word confess. We’ve heard it means “the words we speak” for so long, it’s a challenge to realize it means more than that. In the Greek, confess means to assent, i.e., covenant, acknowledge. In Webster, confess means to declare faith in or adherence to. Confess means our believing, our coming together with what someone else has proposed, and recognizing the rights, authority, and status of Jesus as our Lord. It’s not enough just to believe God raised Jesus from the dead. There has to be a coming together of me, a surrender of me, an unbreakable commitment of me to Him as my Lord, so that we have the same thoughts, the same words, the same desires. That is what it takes to enter into the Blood Covenant with Him . . . to be born again.

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Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

This evidence of 100 percent Blood Covenant commitment is what Jesus was talking about in John 6:53–69. This requirement of Lordship Those of His followers who were “offended” and didn’t want to is the most important part! make Him their Lord and Master “went back, and walked no more with Him.” Selah (This is Hebrew for pause and think on this.) This requirement of Lordship is the most important part! It’s not enough that “thou believest that there is one God . . . the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). It’s not enough to know that Jesus died on the cross. Satan knows that, too. It’s not even enough to believe that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. There has to be the decision, surrender, and total commitment to Jesus as our Lord. Years ago when I first understood Lordship from this Blood Covenant perspective, I shared it with my pastor; and I said, “This means there are many people warming the pews in churches that are not born again, but they think they are. They’re good people, and they love God; but they’ve never made Jesus their Lord; and, according to the Bible, they’re not born again. They’re not in the Blood Covenant.” He replied, “You’re right, but I’m afraid to preach that because I’ll lose my job.” As I’ve thought about his answer, as sad and selfish as it sounds, it’s very real; and I’ve realized that pride has a big part to play. Ugly old Pride (with the big I right in the middle of its name) rears up its arrogant, stiff-necked head and tries to prevent the religious from becoming the righteous and those-in-right-standing-with-people from becoming those-inright-standing-with-God. Perhaps a long-time, upstanding member of the deacon board, or a Sunday School teacher who has been teaching for thirty years, or the organist, or maybe even the pastor—think about an adult who has been a leader for years, and ugly old Pride wants to prevent him or her from admitting, I’ve been religious, but now I see that I’ve never really been born again. I’ve never surrendered to Jesus as my Lord and never really trusted Him to take the reins of my life. It’s only what God’s record book says about me that really matters—not what you think about me; but I want you to know I haven’t purposefully set out to deceive anyone about this. I have only responded to what I was taught, but I have never heard Lordship and the Covenant relationship explained like this before. Deep down inside, I know this is right; and I know this is why I’ve lived in a half-baked, sitting-on-the-fence, all-the-spark-plugs-never-firingat-the-same-time struggle on the inside of me. I’ve put on a good front and have become quite an actor for my family and all of you to see, but I’ve known something was missing. But now that I know the truth, I’ve counted the cost and I’ve made my decision. I’m surrendering and committing all of me to Jesus today and forever. Jesus is the Lord of my life! It’s just like the church sign that I saw the other day said, “If God’s your co-pilot, change seats!” And I want to be baptized again, too. The first time when I was a kid was just a bath. Before whoever-baptizes-me speaks, I want to say something as I stand there in the water, “I’ve been crucified with Christ. Please bury me.” Oh, I can hardly wait! I’m new! I’m really new, brand new! I am His, and He is mine! It’s not just words to a song—it’s my song! In Romans 10:8–13 in THE MESSAGE, Paul begins by quoting Moses, The word that saves is right here, as near as the tongue in your mouth, as close as the heart in your chest.

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Both Agree to Come Together It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!” Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.”

Only you and God know if you have ever made Jesus your Lord and Master. If you haven’t, then do what you know to do. It’s also possible that you did; but over the years, you have taken back the control over a certain area of your life—never consulting God, refusing to respond to His nudgings to let Him have it back, and making excuses to justify your defiance. Whenever we have gotten off the freeway God had planned (“All I have is Yours”) and have ended up on a side road, as soon as we admit our detour and want to get back on track, God always provides an onramp. It doesn’t mean you need to be born again again. You just need to get in the passenger seat and let God have the controls again. The term used in many churches is rededicate your life. Lordship is absolute, which means it’s free from restraint, restriction, exception, and qualification—nothing hidden in the closet or swept under the rug and nothing held back, saying, “I’ll give You everything except such-and-such, except my Saturday nights, except the tithe.” When God says “All,” He means all. Obedience God wants our obedience to His written Word and to His spoken Word in our spirits—that still small voice, that nudging, that knowing what we ought to do. In Luke 6:46–49, Jesus said, And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But He that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. (emphasis added)

Would you please stop reading for just a moment, and get a piece of paper that’s at least the size of this page of the book? Now place your paper over the illustration of this scripture (on page 29) so that only the house in the top frame of each column is visible; now move it down one frame; and down one more. The houses are identical in framing, construction, and finished product. Now move your paper down so that the fourth frame is seen—both houses were hit by the same storm.

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Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

Finally, remove your paper from the page to see what happened. One had a foundation of obedience, and the other did not. “Hear and do” has been the pattern from the very beginning. Obedience drew the line between blessing and cursing when God said through Moses: And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: and all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee (Deuteronomy 28:1–2, 15, emphasis added).

When there was a change of command from Moses to Joshua, God knew there would be plenty of storms as the children of Israel possessed their promised land; and He included this requirement of obedience in Joshua’s marching orders: This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Joshua 1:8, emphasis added).

When we believe God is Who He said He is and that He will do what He said He would do, when we love Him and know He loves us, and when we have surrendered to His authority out of reverence, obedience is our response to His Word. To despise His commandment, to believe Him not, or to not hearken to His voice are all disobedience. Not obeying God’s voice is the same as rejecting the Word of God, and He calls disobedience rebellion (see Deuteronomy 9:23). I am (we all are, individually) the only one responsible to do what I’ve heard, and I am to stand strong on what I know I’ve heard when others try to sway me to compromise. They haven’t heard what I’ve heard. To tell myself compromise is okay is deceiving my own self, and great ruin will be the end result of such disobedience. Intimacy God is wanting intimacy with us, and us with Him. Think of intimacy as meaning into-me-see. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand] (Psalms 91:1 amplified). The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear—revere and worship—Him, and He will show them His covenant, and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning (Psalms 25:14 amplified). The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but the things which are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever, that we may do all of the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29 amplified). The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God] is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts (Proverbs 20:27 amplified).

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OBEDIENCE

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Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

Thus says the Lord Who made the earth, the Lord Who formed it to establish it; the Lord is His name: Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know—do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand (Jeremiah 33:2–3 amplified). Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit, for the (Holy) Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God—the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny. For what person perceives (knows and understands) what passes through a man’s thoughts except the man’s own spirit within him? Just so no one discerns (comes to know and comprehend) the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit (that belongs to) the world, but the (Holy) Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts (of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly) bestowed on us by God (1 Corinthians 2:10–12 amplified). For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power—making it active, operative, energizing and effective; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [that is, of the deepest parts of our nature] exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:12–13 amplified).

There is a holiness about this word intimacy, and God intended it to be that way. He planned that only people who were pure in every way, toward Him and each other, would be able to see so deeply into each other, entrust their thoughts to each other without reserve, and become one. Webster says intimacy is the state of belonging to or characterizing one’s deepest nature; marked by a warm friendship developing through long association of a very personal or private nature; and it stresses the closeness and intensity rather than the mere frequency of personal association, and suggests either deep mutual understanding or the sharing of deeply personal thoughts and feelings. When we trust someone so completely that we are willing to give them that which is most precious to us and that which no one else has ever had or even known about, that’s intimacy. The most precious thing God has to give us is His Word, His Blood Covenant. When the Spirit of Truth reveals God’s Word to us and we receive it, a new life comes forth and we are born again. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23). From then on, the Spirit of Truth continues to implant God’s Word deep inside us and to make it come alive in us, so that we know how to live as new creatures in Christ Jesus. That process is called revelation knowledge. In describing the Spirit of Truth’s ministry to us, Jesus said, But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come (John 14:26; 16:13).

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Both Agree to Come Together There is no “buzz” or “high” or “trip” that can even come close to the indescribable ecstasy of hearing that still small voice and knowing you have just received truth directly from the heart of very God! That is ultimate intimacy, and that is the experience the enemy of our souls has been trying to duplicate through alcohol, drugs, and all the other abuses he’s spawned. Satan’s counterfeits are made with the intent to deceive, but they are only imitations of the real thing. Remember: a crooked stick can look almost straight from a certain angle; but when you lay a crooked stick down beside a straight one, you can tell a crooked stick every time. Premarital Sex Whenever a husband and wife have been sexually intimate before they were married, they need to get that slate cleared before God and with each other. From God’s Word, each one needs to understand that it was a sin, acknowledge that before God, and receive forgiveness and cleansing from Him. Regarding the two of them—even if the woman initiated it, the man is held responsible as the covenant head of that union. He should have been strong and refused to participate. (That is why Adam is held responsible for the sin in the Garden of Eden.) The husband needs to recognize and acknowledge his failure to value and protect her at that pivotal moment and ask her to forgive him, and the wife needs to completely forgive him. If this slate is not thoroughly cleared between them, it will eventually surface as resentment, distrust, jealousy, anger, hatred, revenge, and other roots of bitterness. They will never become one as God intended. Adultery When a married woman receives seed from a man other than her own husband, it is called adultery. She has been adulterated, which means she has been made impure by the addition of a foreign substance. In Isaiah 43:10–12, God said, Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. (emphasis added)

Strange god is a Hebrew idiom which means to turn aside, be a foreigner, strange, profane, (specifically) to commit adultery. This idiom is translated in the King James Version as come from another man, come from another place, go away, estrange, strange, stranger, strange god, strange thing, strange woman. In essence, God was saying, “When you depended on Me and Me alone, I took care of you; and you knew it was Me that rescued you. You’re My witnesses. But when you turned aside from Me, when you profaned (treated something sacred with irreverence) Me and My Word, when you received ‘seed’ from someone other than Me, your Blood Covenant Partner, then I had to back off and watch you get the results of your unfaithfulness.” In the promise in 1 Peter 1:23 discussed earlier, the Word of God is called the incorruptible seed; and when it is planted and received in the good soil of our spirit, it lives and abides and brings forth life. But if we hear teaching that contradicts or limits God’s Word, and yet, we receive it as if it were truth, when in fact it’s unbelief (corruptible seed), it will also live and abide and bring forth—not life, but death.

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Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

Certainly physical adultery was going on in the villages where Jesus was teaching, but I believe when He repeatedly called them an “adulterous generation,” He was referring to this spiritual adultery of receiving the corruptible seed of unbelief as though it were truth. Jesus warned them and us, “Take heed what ye hear,” and “Take heed therefore how ye hear” (Mark 4:24; Luke 8:18, emphasis added). Face to Face God already knows everything about us, including the things we’ve thought we were doing in secret; and when nothing bad happened to us immediately, we’ve thought we got away with it. But something bad did happen—our face-to-face fellowship with our God was broken when we tried to hide it from Him, rather than running to Him for forgiveness and cleansing. God not only wants us to know that He knows, but He also wants us to want Him to know. He wants us to trust His love for us so much that we wouldn’t think of trying to hide or hold back anything from Him. In Hebrews 4:13 in the Amplified Bible, God said, “All things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.” He wants to be that way toward us, and He wants us to be that way toward Him. That’s intimacy. Have you ever seen a little boy who totally trusted his daddy—knew his daddy loved him no matter what he did, knew his daddy always did exactly what he said he would do, knew his daddy always knew what was best for him, and knew his daddy would never do anything to hurt him. That little guy was always glad to see his daddy when he came home from work and would run into his arms to tell him how much he loves him and to hear him say, “I love you, too, son, and I’ve really missed you”? When that little boy does something that his daddy told him not to do, he doesn’t try to hide or pretend he didn’t do it; but he can hardly wait to get the slate wiped clean, because he can’t stand the barrier that’s come between them, the strange feeling of wanting to hide from daddy’s eyes, and the knowing that if his daddy knew, he’d be sad. That’s intimacy. God, can I talk real plain with You? There’s no one else I can tell it to. My dreams are gone, my bubble’s fizzed. God, can I tell it like it is? Even when I’ve blown it bad, Even when I’ve made You sad, You stick by me through thick and thin— No matter how big o’ mess I’m in. You love enough to tell me “No,” When my way is not the best way to go. You even step across my road To help me turn and to take my load. So glad I don’t have to explain— You know Your child’s in need again. Your arms are holding me so close— You know I need a double-dose! And He said,

“That’s what Fathers are for, watching for you at the door, only My footprints on the shore . . . that’s what Fathers are for.”

When we see intimacy from these Blood Covenant perspectives, it’s easy to see why satan has pulled out all the stops to degrade it and to promote infidelity and all its perversions.

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Both Agree to Come Together Forever God’s offer is a forever proposition. He uses terms like everlasting, without end, eternal, and forever when He speaks about His Blood Covenant, both Old and New. That’s why the ones cutting a covenant would walk back and forth between the pieces of animal flesh on the ground in the unending shape of a figure 8. Even today’s mathematicians use 8 as the symbol for infinity. If a marriage is entered into with both persons understanding and committing to what that covenant means, and if both are in Blood Covenant union with God, the marriage will never end; and divorce will become a thing of the past. A supposed-to-be-forever marriage contract that has a pre-nuptial agreement does not know the meaning of commitment or forever. Talk about a Plan B simmering on the back burner! Play the Field Don’t think we can enter into Covenant with God and still “play the field.” It requires our decision to turn our back on what we have been and die to self and the self-life. We can’t mix the two—God’s way and our way, married life and single life. You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.” So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet (James 4:4–10 THE MESSAGE).

Fifty-one out of Fifty-two Would you want to marry someone who said they’d give you fifty-one weeks out of every year; but they want one week all to themselves to do what they want, when they want, where they want, with whom they want—and you aren’t to ask any questions or have an attitude about it, either? Would you want that kind of a marriage? Neither does God. Some people never want to marry Jesus. They just want to date. They want to go out with Jesus on Sunday morning, and go out with somebody else the rest of the week. Satan, the other suitor who’s after our affections, wants us dead; and he’ll do his best to keep us procrastinating regarding God’s invitation, all the while looking for a way to cut us off forever. Jesus described satan’s only proposal to us when He said, “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of ” (John 10:10 THE MESSAGE). Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link

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up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.” The Word of the Master, God (2 Corinthians 6:14–18 THE MESSAGE).

Divorce One of the rock-solidly thrilling promises God made about His Blood Covenant says, Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us (Hebrews 6:17–18).

Immutable in the Greek comes from the combination of two words—not + change sides. The resulting word means unchangeable, and it’s translated in the King James Version as immutable. Not change sides! Webster says immutable means not capable or susceptible of change. Then I looked up change and put not before the definition so that we’d have a more amplified definition of immutable—not modify, not transform, not reverse, not switch, not alter; and it implies not making either an essential difference often amounting to a loss of original identity or not substituting one thing for another. If we remove every not in these definitions, we’d have a good definition for divorce, because divorce changes sides, modifies, transforms, reverses, switches, alters, makes an essential difference which often amounts to the loss of original identity, and substitutes one thing for another. It’s plain to see that immutable and divorce are exact opposites. One Hebrew word for divorce means a cutting—not to cut a covenant, but rather a cutting of the matrimonial bond. The other Hebrew word for divorce means to drive out from a possession. The Greek word for divorce is from the combination of two words meaning loosen + away, and it means release, dismiss, depart, let die, divorce. Webster says divorce means to get rid of one’s spouse by a legal dissolution [separation, severance] of the marriage; to dissolve the marriage contract between; to disunite; and it implies separating two things that commonly interact and belong together. God hates divorce because, even as a marriage pictures the union of Jesus and the Church, a divorce pictures someone’s treading underfoot the blood, turning away from God, and breaking their part of the Blood Covenant agreement. Once Saved, Always Saved? The New Blood Covenant is between God and Jesus; and because both of Them are sin-less, lie-less, fail-less, and change-less, the Blood Covenant They cut is perpetual, indissoluble, immutable, and unbreakable. God’s plan is that everyone who enters into the New Blood Covenant through making Jesus their Lord would do so with the same perpetual, indissoluble, immutable, and unbreakable commitment. Since God’s plan is for the Blood Covenant union to be a forever relationship, is it ever possible for it not to be? Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Jesus also said, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand (John 10:27–29).

In these promises we have our Covenant Partners’ word that They will never kick us out, neither shall any one else be able to pluck us out of Their hand.

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Both Agree to Come Together But that leaves one other person—me. I am the other covenantor in the Blood Covenant relationship I have with God through my Lord, Jesus. It was my decision to choose to enter in, and it is also possible for me to choose to leave. The Word says: For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame (Hebrews 6:4–6). For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:26–31).

God is the only One Who can determine if someone has “counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing.” That is the “sin unto death” referred to in 1 John 5:16–17, If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

Only by continually listening to the deceiver’s voice and not heeding the voice of the Good Shepherd could anyone ever get to the place described in these references. Bottom Line God’s proposal is:

All things that pertain unto life and godliness.

God’s conditions are:

Lordship, obedience, intimacy, forever.

Choosing Remember the example of the unbalanced scales and the multi-billionaire’s offer to enter into covenant with the homeless beggar? The beggar had to make a choice. We have to choose, too; and it’s not a quick decision. We’re being invited to give away our life to God and to receive what He is offering to us. He is proposing that we give up all rights to ourselves, our own things, and our independent living. Oswald Chambers said it so well, “my claim to my right to myself.” An invitation to enter into the Blood Covenant is a call to come and die. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). A cross screams out, “Come and die!” But what happened on the cross? Jesus cut the Blood Covenant with God on our behalf. Therefore, take up your cross means “Come and die. Enter into the Blood Covenant with God through Me. Die to yourself and come alive through Me, in Me, with Me. Follow Me.” God said,

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I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days (Deuteronomy 30:19–20).

If you say “no” or “not now” to God’s proposal, He will keep on wooing, keep on bringing flowers, keep on leaving love notes at your heart’s door, and keep on sending messengers to tell you how much He loves you—even to the point of having died for you. But because He is God, the Omniscient, He’ll know if you get to the place that you’ll never soften your heart and turn your stiff neck toward Him in surrender. If you reach that place, there’ll be no more wooing; and without His pursuing, you can’t come to Him. That “no . . . not now” place is so dangerous—don’t go there! If you’re there— please leave! Remember: satan’s devious stratagem is to get you to procrastinate and make excuses until you become the next notch on his gun.

First Person . . . Present Tense Oswald Chambers said, “There is only one thing you can consecrate to God, and that is your right to yourself.” It’s the most important choice you’ll ever make. Nobody else can make it for you—this is between you and God.

Chapter notes: 1 I first heard these phrases (from the believer’s perspective—“All I have is Yours, and all You have is mine. My need is Your need, and Your supply is my supply.”) on Malcolm Smith’s teaching tapes on the Blood Covenant. Contact: Malcolm Smith, 7986 Mainland Dr., San Antonio, TX 78250, 800-457-0947, www.malcolmsmith.org.

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Four

C hapter

B

“All I have is yours” . . . “and all I have is Yours”

efore the man can make his marriage proposal to the woman he loves, he has to have already decided for himself to give up all his own rights to independent living and thinking only about me, myself, and mine—his being absorbed with protecting and providing for his needs, his plans and dreams to fulfill his desires, his freedom to use his money any way he pleases, and his responsibility for and accountability to no one but himself. He is self-centeredness personified. The husband-to-be must be the first one to choose to die. To an outsider the decision looks painful and sad, but to the man—the preciousness of the prize far exceeds the purchase price! Once he has made this choice, he is as committed to her and to their covenant of marriage as he’ll ever be. Even though she hasn’t accepted his proposal yet and the marriage ceremony hasn’t happened yet, to him, it’s as if they have. At the same time, he wants her choice and commitment to him and their union to be as absolute as his, so he waits patiently, hopefully.

Jesus, the Bridegroom, Counted the Cost . . . and Chose In Bible times, when someone was so far in debt that he could never ever get out, he declared his bankruptcy by writing on a piece of sheepskin the list of all his creditors and how much he owed each one. He would then fasten the list to the outermost part of his dwelling so that it could be read by everyone that walked down the street. It was very humiliating, but it was his only hope. If a very wealthy person came by and read the list and the total amount owed, if he had the money, and if he wanted to, he would double up the sheepskin and secure the bottom to the top so the indebtedness was no longer visible; and he’d write his own name on the sheepskin—indicating that he would cover all the debts. All the creditors had to do was come to him to have the indebtedness satisfied. This was called giving the double . . . Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins (Isaiah 40:1–2).

This explains the meaning of atonement, namely—

paying for an offense by which the guilt is done away, and the obligation of the offended person to punish the crime is canceled.

From the Beginning Blood has always served as an atonement for sin, for “without the shedding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment

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for sins” (Hebrews 9:22 amplified). Every time there was an encounter with God, sacrifices were offered; and the blood covered their unrighteousness so that they could worship God in His presence. Because of the sin nature, man was unable to keep his part of the Old Covenant; and God began to speak that He would send the Redeemer to reconcile man back to God by giving them a picture-preview of what the Redeemer would be—the tabernacle with its sacrificial offerings, special days, high priest, special furnishings, and separate rooms. That first plan contained directions for worship, and a specially designed place of worship. A large outer tent was set up. The lampstand, the table, and “the bread of presence” were placed in it. This was called “the Holy Place.” Then a curtain was stretched, and behind it a smaller, inside tent set up. This was called “the Holy of Holies.” In it were placed the gold incense altar and the gold-covered ark of the covenant containing the gold urn of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, the covenant tablets, and the angel-wing-shadowed mercy seat. But we don’t have time to comment on these now. After this was set up, the priests went about their duties in the large tent. Only the high priest entered the smaller, inside tent, and then only once a year, offering a blood sacrifice for his own sins and the people’s accumulated sins. This was the Holy Spirit’s way of showing with a visible parable that as long as the large tent stands, people can’t just walk in on God. Under this system, the gifts and sacrifices can’t really get to the heart of the matter, can’t assuage the conscience of the people, but are limited to matters of ritual and behavior. It’s essentially a temporary arrangement until a complete overhaul could be made. The old plan was only a hint of the good things in the new plan. Since the old “law plan” wasn’t complete in itself, it couldn’t complete those who followed it. No matter how many sacrifices were offered year after year, they never added up to a complete solution. If they had, the worshipers would have gone merrily on their way, no longer dragged down by their sins. But instead of removing awareness of sin, when those animal sacrifices were repeated over and over they actually heightened awareness and guilt. The plain fact is that bull and goat blood can’t get rid of sin. That is what is meant by this prophecy, put in the mouth of Christ: You don’t want sacrifices and offerings year after year; you’ve prepared a body for me for a sacrifice. It’s not fragrance and smoke from the altar that whet your appetite. So I said, “I’m here to do it your way, O God, the way it’s described in your Book” (Hebrews 9:1–10; 10:1–7 THE MESSAGE).

Blood-cutting is the heart of the Blood Covenant, for without the blood, there is no Blood Covenant. The blood-cutting is saying, “I’m giving my life to you and for you.” For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11).

It’s not the cross that we are to cherish and cling to, but it’s the perpetual and indissoluble Blood Covenant that was cut with the blood that was shed there. It’s not the blood, but it’s the immutable and unbreakable Blood Covenant that the blood of Jesus guarantees. When God was giving Moses the detailed instructions for the passover that would free them from captivity, He said, in essence, As I said to Abraham, I say to you, “Fear not; I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (See Genesis 15:1.)

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“All I have is yours” . . . “and all I have is Yours” When I see the blood on your door—the evidence of your confidence in the Blood Covenant I made with Abraham and his heirs, including you—that Blood Covenant will be the shield that the fiery dart of the death messenger will not be able to penetrate, even as it’s shielded you from all the plagues hitherto. (See Exodus 8:23; 9:4, 6–7, 20, 24–26; 11:7; 12:12–13, 23.)

The power is not in the blood—the power is in the Blood Covenant Word of God that blood guarantees. God said He’s magnified His Word above His name (see Psalm 138:2). He did not say, “I’ve magnified Jesus’ blood above My name.” God’s Word is everything to Him, and He even gave His Son the same name, The Word of God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, . . . and his name is called The Word of God (John 1:1, 14; Revelation 19:13).

These phrases that we use about the blood—I plead the blood of Jesus, on the basis of the blood, there’s power in the blood, the blood will never lose its power, nothing but the blood—are all referring to the Blood Covenant. • When an accusation is brought against us, our response should be, “I plead the Blood Covenant and all that it provides.” • When someone asks what is the foundation for our all-outspoken confidence, we can immediately say, “It’s on the basis of the Blood Covenant I have with God through Jesus, my Lord.” • When the whisssssspering rumormonger tries to make us doubt that our past could ever be forgiven and forgotten, we can quench that fiery dart with, “There’s power in the Blood Covenant—freeing, whitening, cleansing, life-giving, wonder-working power!” • When we’re challenged about our faith to believe for the impossible to happen, we can boldly declare, “The Bible is full of miracles where the impossible became possible, and that Blood Covenant will never lose its power!” • What can atone for sin and make me whole again?—nothing but the Blood Covenant my Jesus cut for me! I feel like I should ask you to remove your shoes before you read the next paragraph . . . the truth in it is so holy, so awesome. When two covenant heads were entering into a blood covenant, each of the exchanges necessary to make the covenant effective (names, coats, weapons, etc.) showed the degree of their commitment. The final exchange represented the ultimate commitment—they exchanged their firstborn sons. Each would give his son to the other covenantor for him to raise from that point on. Now we understand why Abraham did not hesitate when God asked for Isaac (see Genesis 22:1–18). And when Abraham committed his all, so did God, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (see John 3:16). Jesus knew why He was coming, knew Who the tabernacle had been picturing, and knew He was the Lamb of God that would take away the sin of the world. That’s why He paid for the sin offense in full— thereby ridding the people of the hounding guilt and canceling the obligation of their just and holy God to judge their sins.

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Christmas

Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

Our Redeemer put on a body in order to free us from captivity by paying our ransom. That’s what Christmas is really all about. Jesus knew that the only way for us to become like Him was for Him to become like us, and He chose to come to earth to cut the New Covenant with God for us. At creation, Jesus was with God to create all we see; But to come to earth to ransom man, a servant He must be; So He left His place of glory, laid aside His deity, And was made in likeness of a man—Love made Him come for me. But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven’s “tent”—the true Holy Place—once and for all. He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all. If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God. Even the first plan required a death to set it in motion. After Moses had read out all the terms of the plan of the law—God’s “will”—he took the blood of sacrificed animals and, in a solemn ritual, sprinkled the document and the people who were its beneficiaries. And then he attested its validity with the words, “This is the blood of the covenant commanded by God.” He did the same thing with the place of worship and its furniture. Moses said to the people, “This is the blood of the covenant God has established with you.” Practically everything in a will hinges on a death. That’s why blood, the evidence of death, is used so much in our tradition, especially regarding forgiveness of sins. That accounts for the prominence of blood and death in all these secondary practices that point to the realities of heaven. It also accounts for why, when the real thing takes place, these animal sacrifices aren’t needed anymore, having served their purpose. For Christ didn’t enter the earthly version of the Holy Place; he entered the Place Itself, and offered himself to God as the sacrifice for our sins. He doesn’t do this every year as the high priests did under the old plan with blood that was not their own; if that had been the case, he would have to sacrifice himself repeatedly throughout the course of history. But instead he sacrificed himself once and for all, summing up all the other sacrifices in this sacrifice of himself, the final solution of sin (Hebrews 9:11–14, 18–26 THE MESSAGE).

Gethsemane In the garden, there was agony, He was God’s precious Son; And He knew that He must be made sin, He knew what must be done. Yet, He saw it was the only way redemption could be won. It was Love’s consent for me to die—Love said, “Thy will be done.” Contrary to the tradition we’ve been taught, Jesus was not God in an earth-suit of flesh. If He had been, He would not have needed to be empowered, “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him” (Luke 3:22) and anointed, “How God

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“All I have is yours” . . . “and all I have is Yours” anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). Jesus was a man, filled with the Holy Spirit of God. When He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was flesh, bone, and blood—just like us. He’d never experienced separation from oneness with His Father, nor sin and the curse. He knew what it was going to take to give the double, to sign the contract in His own blood, and to pay in full the debt we owed. That’s why He prayed, in essence, “If there’s any other way to set them free and get them back into fellowship with You, Father, let’s do it; but if there’s no other way—and I know there isn’t, because there’s only one way and that is for My sinless blood to cut the New Blood Covenant with You on their behalf—then I’m willing to see this through to completion. I’m going to keep My eyes on the joy set before Me— You and Your blood covenant family reconciled at last, for the preciousness of the prize far exceeds the purchase price.” (See Luke 22:41–44; John 10:11; Hebrews 12:2.)

The Cross Jesus Christ hates the wrong in man, and Calvary is the estimate of His hatred. —Oswald Chambers The blood of a goat, or sheep, or bull could cover man’s sin, but only a To pay for sin, He could have died any form of death; man could pay for man’s sin. “It was a but to pay for the curse, He had to hang on a cross. perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people” (Hebrews 10:14 THE MESSAGE). To pay for sin, He could have died any form of death. He could have been laid out on the top of a stone altar like the thousands of lambs before Him, or been stabbed, or even beheaded—because the payment sin demanded was death and blood to prove that death. But to pay for the curse, He had to hang on a cross; for it is written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13; Deuteronomy 21:23). Jesus was not the first person to be crucified. In fact, crucifixion was the common form of death for criminals at that time; and every time He saw other crucifixions during His lifetime, He knew that was the way He was going to die, too. He knew He wouldn’t be paying for Himself, as other victims of the cross did. He would be taking the curse for all mankind for all time—and that meant all sickness, all disease, all forms of captivity and bondage, all forms of family problems, and everything else that is listed in the curses in Deuteronomy 28:15–68. He Who had never been sick and Who had been healing “all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Matthew 4:23) couldn’t appropriate that same anointing on Himself; because His assignment was to “bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). He knew He’d have all diseases, all plagues, all forms of infection, all cancers, all arthritis, all fever, all organ failure (kidney, liver, stomach, heart, brain, glands), and every other disease named in Deuteronomy 28, including “every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law” (see verse 61). Just one of these would be bad enough, but all of them that could ever be placed on each and every person for all time—all at one time! We can’t even imagine that!

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In addition to what would literally be put on His body (and remember, He’s flesh, bone, and blood just like us), He’d also have to suffer the inhumane scourging with His flesh laid open, the cruel thorns gouging deeper and deeper no matter how He turned His head, the invading and merciless nails ripping through His hands and feet, the weight of His own body pulling those piercings open wider and wider, the humiliation of being stark naked, the blasphemies, jeers, and taunting of the people gaping at Him, the thirst and bitter vinegar, and the blackness of the separation from God! It took all of this to pay in full the debt demanded by the curse for us—so that we do not ever have to have any of the curse on our body! He knew it would take His body and His blood to free us from captivity by paying our ransom, yet He still set His face and His heart to cut Covenant for us! His dependency was on His Father’s faithfulness to His Old Covenant promise to Him, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10). He knew the same Holy Spirit Who had been with Him in the one-on-one confrontation in the wilderness and throughout His ministry would also perform His Father’s promise, “When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” (Isaiah 43:2). When I read about His power that had calmed the angry sea, How He healed the sick, and raised the dead, and set the captives free, Then I saw—He had the power to come down from that tree, And I knew that it was love, not nails, that held Him there for me! God could have prevented the cross and prevented the horrible death He watched His Son enduring, leaving us damned in the devil’s dominion; but He loved us more than Himself and His Own Son. Jesus could have stopped the torture, the indescribable pain of the spikes, the curses, and the abyss between His Father and Himself, and could have escaped the hellish torment He was destined for by calling on His Father to activate more than twelve legions of angels to set Him free; but He loved His Father and us more than He loved Himself. “It is finished” was the cry of the Roman general when he could see from his vantage point on the mountaintop that the battle was won, and all that was left was “cleaning things up.” That was the cry that Jesus made! He knew the battle was won—sin and the curse had been paid for. All that was left was defeating satan in front of his hordes, and then taking His own blood, the blood of the everlasting Covenant, to the mercy seat in heaven. Jesus knew, “It’s too late for anyone or anything to stop Us now! We’ve won! It is finished!” How His cry must have puzzled the Roman soldiers who heard it! Under the old plan, the split-upon, sacrificial animals used when people cut covenant not only represented the people, but also represented the curse that would come on the covenantors if they broke their covenant. When Jesus had paid for our sin and our curse on the cross and at the same moment He died, the veil in the temple that had prevented the people from entering directly into Father’s presence was split in two. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh. . . . (Matthew 27:51; Hebrews 10:19–20).

Hell “I’ve got Him where I want Him!” satan said when Jesus died. “He won’t be both’ring me again; at last, He’s crucified! Just look at Him, the Son of God, He’s hanging on a cross! Now ev’ryone’s deserted Him, and all He owned is lost!

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“All I have is yours” . . . “and all I have is Yours” He’s covered with disease. He’s laden down and black with sin. Oh, what a fool I’ve made of Him! He lost. He didn’t win! Let’s see . . . I’ll take Him back with me into the pit of hell— Wait ’til my men see what I got and hear what I will tell!” But Father God had different plans and through His Son had said, “I’ll die, but after three days, I’ll be raised up from the dead.” Down deep inside, God smiled with joy while watching what they’d done; For He could see the empty tomb, the keys, the rising sun! Satan didn’t really understand what was happening, or he would never have prodded the Pharisees and puppet-crowd to crucify Jesus! The father of deception was totally deceived and didn’t even know it. Jesus went to hell to pay the ultimate penalty of sin—death, and to defeat him that had the power of death, the devil. When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it (Ephesians 4:8–9; Colossians 2:15).

Later, when Jesus described this experience, He said, “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:17–18). The Resurrection When Jesus had paid our debt in full, the high court of heaven declared Him justified; and by the power of the Holy Spirit, God raised Jesus from hell’s death! Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it (Acts 2:23–24). Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:5–7). And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you (Romans 8:11 amplified).

He took His blood to the Holy Place in heaven itself and appeared in the presence of God for us. Jesus cut the New Blood Covenant with God for us. By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. . . . into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. . . . but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (Hebrews 9:12, 24, 26).

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The seal of the Holy Spirit was given to Jesus for Him to give to all who enter the Blood Covenant, and this first of His many wedding gifts to His Church will be discussed in the next chapter. Jesus chose to give His everything for us, and these are the results of His choice: He took our sin and our curse. He died our spiritual death. He satisfied the curse’s penalty. He freed us from captivity to satan by paying our ransom in full. He arose victorious and triumphant. He reconciled us to God by His Own blood. He gave us His Holy Spirit to seal us in the Blood Covenant. The Covenant Contract is signed in Jesus’ blood, and legally Sin has no more power — for we are forgiven! Sickness has no more power — for we are healed! Satan has no more power — for we are free! The curse has no more power — for we are redeemed! Now Jesus says to us, in essence, “I’ve made the way so that I can protect you and provide for you. In My proposal when I asked for you to give your all to Me, that included your needs, too. Your needs become My needs. Whenever you’re in trouble, I’ll come to your rescue. Whenever you need healing, safety, peace, wisdom, direction, a hug, a pat on the back, a rap on the knuckles, just someone to be there, or you can’t seem to find the right words to say—when you need anything, I will be your source of supply. Where you are concerned, nothing will ever be unimportant or impossible for Me. I am all that you’ll need! All I have is yours. Will you enter into this Blood Covenant with Me? A contract is the exchange of things . . . a covenant is the exchange of lives.

—Malcolm Smith

The Bride-to-Be Counts the Cost . . . and Chooses When we say, “Yes, Lord,” we are saying, “Jesus, I believe what You’ve done for me, and I believe Your words and promises to me. I receive Your death and resurrection for me and make You my Lord and Master. I give You everything I am and everything I’m not. Here—take all my needs! I receive Your supply to meet all of them. Just like the bride says to the bridegroom, I now say to You, ‘I do. All I have is Yours.’ Wow! Now I understand the words in that old invitation hymn I’ve sung all my life. Because I’m coming to You . . . Just as I am, everything I am and am not without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me, that’s the Blood Covenant and that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, that’s Your proposal to me O Lamb of God, I come! I come! I do! All I have is Yours!” Nobody ever has treasured in me the facets1 the Jeweler cut skillfully.

Matthew 13:44–46 Colossians 1:12

Nobody ever has said about me the special things You have said so tenderly.

Isaiah 62:3–4, 11–12 1 Peter 2:9–10; John 15:11

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“All I have is yours” . . . “and all I have is Yours” Nobody ever desired time with me, to just be together in sweet unity.

Matthew 6:6; 11:28–30 John 14:20–21, 23

Nobody ever shared secrets with me, unwrapped precious heirlooms2 to hold carefully.

Matthew 13:11 John 15:15

Nobody ever has listened to me Jeremiah 33:3; Psalm 139:1–18 or wanted to know how I tick—why I’m me! Hebrews 4:12–13 Nobody ever has gently wooed me His heart’s one desire and possession to be. Nobody ever has owned all of me— but now I surrender to You willingly.

John 6:44 Ephesians 5:25–27 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 Romans 10:8–10

We are now in Blood Covenant relationship with God, in His Blood Covenant family. All that we were has been exchanged for all that God has offered to us in His proposal. Led into the wilderness ..................................................now I don’t have to be. Depressed in dark Gethsemane.....................................now I don’t have to be. For three days, He was down in hell ............................now I don’t have to be. It’s the great exchange . .............................................. and He did it just for me! He took all my sinfulness...........................................that I might righteous be. He took away the doubt and fear . ...................................... now I have victory. He took away the curse of death . .........................................gives life eternally. It’s the great exchange . .............................................. and He did it just for me! He took all the sickfulness ............................................that I might healthy be. He took all the poverty ................................................ that I might wealthy be. He took the curse of the broken law................ paid the ransom price for me. It’s the great exchange . ...............................................and He did it just for me! 1+1=1

C O V E N A N T o f, e m r m i i l t y, m e n t

v e r y t h i n g—

u l e l l e l d i f y i n g

o g e t h e r

This acronym for covenant is a great way to remember— “Jesus committed His all on my behalf; and when I commit my everything to His protection and provision, then all my needs are made null and void.”

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Ephesians 5:21–33 in THE MESSAGE describes God’s plan for a marriage, which He says is the earthly picture of the intimate relationship between Jesus and His Bride, the Church: Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage. No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

A marriage like this is the longing way down deep in every woman’s heart. God put this desire in her so that she’d respond when the man who wanted to protect her and provide for her pursued her. Her desire may be buried under the rubbish of abuse, tradition, lies, rejection, dashed hopes, and society’s brainwashing, but it’s still there—even as the desire to protect and provide is in the heart of every man, although it may also be buried in the trash heap. God put these desires in us, because He wouldn’t design a plan and then fail to give us the capacity to fulfill it. This kind of a marriage relationship is so foreign to what we see today that it almost sounds like a once-upon-a-time-and-happily-ever-after fairy tale, but it is God’s plan for every marriage covenant. How many couples do we know like this? Is even one hand needed to count them? This ought to really jerk a knot in us and help us see how far astray every part of our society has gone. Everything that perverts God’s plan to any degree is seeking to steal, kill, and destroy the marriage, thereby annihilating the family and everyone in it. What would you do if a thief came into your house to rob you? Stop and think about it—what would you do? Why, if you discovered a thief in your home, you’d kick him out! You wouldn’t let him have anything that belongs to you! The very idea! Intruder! Trespasser! Once a thief is discovered, his plans are thwarted; because when you know a thief ’s schemes, then you are alert and watchful for them, and you can prevent his gaining a foothold that eventually can become a stronghold. If the thief has already broken into your house, it’s time to discover where he got in and restore the damaged area; and then you can look around for similar places of weakness where he might try to attack—rebuild each one and get them plumbed by God’s plan in the Word. If we’ll get back to the Owner’s manual, we’ll get the results He ordained—“no longer two, they become one flesh.” This oneness is demonstrated by using two candles that are two inches tall and one inch in diameter. Using a coping saw with a fine blade, cut each candle in half from top to bottom, just to the right of the wick. The cut has to be completely straight.

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“All I have is yours” . . . “and all I have is Yours” Even though only half of each candle is being cut away, let it symbolically represent each covenantor’s totally dying to themselves in order to live for the other. If either one wants to hold on to something from their single life, it’s the same as a notquite-half candle that has a “chunk” of wax bulging out, instead of a clean straight edge. The flames may come close, but they’ll never merge into one flame. Continuing the parallel of Jesus and His Church to the earthly marriage, these are examples of “chunks” that people hold onto and that prevent their oneness with Jesus and Father God: not sold-out and radical, just a nominal Christian; not the tithe; not the Holy Spirit baptism and tongues; and only Sunday morning. These are examples of “chunks” that will prevent absolute intimacy in a marriage: secrets; lies; broken trust; prenuptial agreement simmering on the back burner; Saturday night with the guys, and you aren’t to ask questions or have an attitude; run home to Momma if I don’t get my way; my own bank account; bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, and offenses; not sold-out, not totally committed; and addictions that compromise intimacy. Use the two half-candles that have a wick on the straight side, and discard the wickless halves. From the side view, they look like two candles. Light them and slowly rotate the candles (flat side to flat side) and watch the two flames merge as the two parts make one whole candle that burns twice as bright! As the new “candle” continues to burn, it melts together—the two become one! This is God’s idea of the unity candle—1 + 1 = 1 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. . . . for in him we live, and move, and have our being (Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:17–18; Acts 17:28).

First Person . . . Present Tense The courting, proposing, and choosing may have happened quickly, or it may have taken a long time, even years—depending on our yieldedness or hardheartedness; but the moment we chose, the instant we made that 100 percent surrender and commitment, the nanosecond we said, “Yes, Lord,” we were reborn from above; that is, we were born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God; that is, we were made a brand new creature with all the old things dead and gone and, behold, all things are become new; that is, we were placed in the Blood Covenant family of God; and in that same nanosecond we became heirs—heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus! Like a will that takes effect when someone dies, the new covenant was put into action at Jesus’ death. His death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one, canceling the old obligations and accompanying sins, and summoning the heirs to receive the eternal inheritance that was promised them. He brought together God and his people in this new way (Hebrews 9:15–17 THE MESSAGE).

Even as Jesus’ death caused the transition from the old to the new, in the same way, our death to our old life marked the transition to our new life in His Lordship and canceled the old obligations and accompanying sins. The New Blood Covenant was put into action, and we were brought together with our God as His people.

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Father, I’ve believed that Jesus died and ’rose again for me. I’ve confessed Him as my only Lord and giv’n my all to Thee. If You loved me so much then You’d give Your only Son to die, How much more I know You love me now that Your Own child am I! And as Your child, I have relationship within Your family. If I slip, I regain fellowship by saying, “Forgive me.” Jesus Christ poured out His blood to give me new identity! Heav’nly Father, I’m so very glad Love did it just for me! Now He’s summoning us, His heirs, to receive the eternal inheritance that He has promised to us! It is not a gradual process for an inheritance to become effective—all it takes is a death. As for me, that has happened—His and mine. You, the reader, will have to speak for yourself. From this point on, Sought Out and Blood Bought will be addressed to those who have received their sought out and blood bought position . . . first person and present tense. This is a good time for us to remember—the New Blood Covenant is . . . a binding Agreement based on the integrity of the Godhead guaranteed by the blood of Jesus that transferred property to me. The binding Agreement and guaranteed by blood facets have already been examined. Now for the inheritance part. It’ll take the rest of this book to even scratch the surface of who we are and what we’ve inherited; but when it’s the Blood Covenant we’re talking about, we come up with gold under our fingernails every time! We have been made partakers in God’s New Blood Covenant through our Lord, Jesus Christ. The “wedding” has taken place, and now it’s time to open His wedding gifts to us! Safe in the union— by Him, with Him, in Him. It is knowing that my Father surely is Who He says He is. Dwelling in the secret place of the Most High God, my Lord; Being sheltered under His wings— safe from the storm, By the Word of my Father hidden deep in my heart, real to me, Now I openly trust Him, knowing His love for me—walking free.

Chapter Notes: 1 Facet implies one of a multiplicity of sides each of which manifests the central quality of the whole. 2 Heirloom is a piece of property that descends to the heir as an inseparable part of an inheritance; something of special value handed on from one generation to another.

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Five

C hapter

Seal the Cut As the different parts of a blood covenant are explained in these remaining chapters, we will begin to recognize them as details of God’s plan throughout the Bible—details that we had never noticed before; and it’ll be like reading God’s Word in the brilliance of a chandelier, rather than the flickering glow of a single candle.

I

n lands where blood covenants are the way of life, after the two people have made their commitment to each other and guaranteed it with the blood of sacrificial, split-open animals, they also make a small cut in their own bodies, usually in the wrists, so that their bloods mingle together. They seal each wound by rubbing gunpowder or some other substance into the cut so there will always be a scar. This seal marks both of them as being in a blood covenant. If an enemy (let’s call him Bad Guy) approached one of them and saw the scar in his wrist, Bad Guy would know that person was in a blood covenant with someone who is pledged to come to his aid whenever needed; and because Bad Guy doesn’t know how big, how strong, how mean, or how close that blood covenant partner is, Bad Guy will back off and leave him alone. Yes! Webster defines seal as something that confirms, ratifies, or makes secure. In Hebrew seal means to mark, to close up, a signature-ring, seal, or signet. Seal in the Greek has many definitions: to stamp with a signet or private mark for security or preservation; to attest [to affirm to be true or genuine]; a signet [a seal used officially to give personal authority to a document in lieu of a signature; a small engraved seal as in a finger ring] as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation [to wrongly take exclusive possession of]; the stamp impressed as a mark of privacy or genuineness. (The words within the brackets [ ] are Webster’s definition of the preceding word.) By combining all these, our definition of seal will be marks, affirms to be genuine, makes secure, guards against trespassers. A few examples are: ✓✓ The brand on cattle is a private mark for security that prevents anyone else from taking exclusive possession of them wrongfully. ✓✓ When gunpowder is rubbed into the covenant-cutting incision, the result is a scar which confirms that person is in a blood covenant and is thereby made secure from trespassers. ✓✓ Athletic uniforms confirm who is on which team. ✓✓ Special marks on money ratify that it’s not counterfeit. ✓✓ A birth certificate affirms the person to be who they say they are. ✓✓ A wedding ring is a signet—a finger ring that protects from misappropriation. ✓✓ A fence is built around property to make it secure. ✓✓ Good Housekeeping’s seal of approval attests the product to be genuine. God put His seal of approval on Jesus and affirmed Him to be genuine: And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like

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a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:16–17). While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him (Matthew 17:5). For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (2 Peter 1:17). Jesus said, But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me (John 5:36–37).

Jesus also promised to put His seal of approval on the gospel we preach. “And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence” (Mark 16:20 THE MESSAGE). He does not validate tradition, contradiction, or limitation of His message.

Seal of the Old Blood Covenant God chose circumcision as the seal that would mark Abraham and his seed after him as being in Blood Covenant with God. Circumcision cuts off that which covers the source of life, and it was the way Abraham’s blood would be shed in cutting the Blood Covenant. Abraham was the head of a Blood Covenant family that culminated in Jesus, the Messiah; and the nation that was to bring forth the Promised Seed had to be committed totally to God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant (Genesis 17:9–14). And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof: but every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof. And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof (Exodus 12:43–45, 48).

When David, the young shepherd boy, was trying to encourage his brothers and the other soldiers in King Saul’s army as they were trembling in the trenches because of Goliath’s threats, David said, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26). David understood the Blood Covenant that he and all of Israel had with God; and, in essence, he was saying,

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Seal the Cut Don’t be afraid of that giant! He’s not in the Blood Covenant with God—we are! Almighty God is on our side, and He’s blood-covenanted to be our Shield and Defender! No weapon that is formed against us shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against us in judgment—including that loudmouthed giant—we are to condemn. This is our inheritance as the servants of the Lord, and our right-standing is of Him, saith the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—our Covenant-keeping God!

When his brothers, the other soldiers, and even King Saul continued to put him down, David stood firm in his Covenant confidence as he answered King Saul’s doubt: Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou has defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands (1 Samuel 17:36–37, 45–47).

The whole victory of David over Goliath was the result of David’s confidence in the Blood Covenant he had with God, yet we never heard it taught that way as children or as adults. It no longer sounds like a fairy tale, but now it’s a blood-and-guts overwhelming victory over formidable odds—all because one young lad had absolute confidence in his Blood Covenant with God. When we look at it from Blood Covenant perspective, it becomes something we can do! Remember the definition of seal is—marks, affirms to be genuine, makes secure, guards against trespassers.

Seal of the New Blood Covenant In Jesus . . . Scars in His Hands, Feet, and Side When Jesus appeared to the ten disciples on the evening of the first Resurrection Sunday (Thomas skipped church that night), to prove to them that He had risen, He said, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself ” (Luke 24:39, emphasis added). A week later Jesus appeared to the eleven and specifically said to Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27, emphasis added). The marks are still in Jesus’ glorified body—His hands and feet to prove it was on a cross, His side to prove His life’s blood was poured out! The only man-made things in heaven are there as eternal reminders that Jesus cut the New Blood Covenant with God for us. In Us . . . The Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit of God is the Agent Who fulfills all the meanings of seal in the New Blood Covenant. First of all, He seals us in the Blood Covenant and the Blood Covenant in us.

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Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life. . . . His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself (Ephesians 1:13–14; 4:30 THE MESSAGE, emphasis added). God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete (2 Corinthians 1:21–22 THE MESSAGE, emphasis added).

We receive a new birth certificate. Actually, it’s a Certificate of Adoption. It is the Holy Spirit Who makes sure this signet [this seal used officially to give personal authority to a document in lieu of a signature] is affixed to our name in the Lamb’s Book of Life for all the spirit world to see. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12–13). To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father (Galatians 4:5–6). Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will (Ephesians 1:5). For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but he have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:14–15).

The Holy Spirit makes our new position in God, in Jesus, and in the Blood Covenant come alive in us so that we know we’re born again, and we know we have a new Father. This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! (Romans 8:15–17 THE MESSAGE).

Even as circumcision was the proof in the Old Blood Covenant, circumcision is also the identifying mark in the New Blood Covenant—only it’s the circumcision of the heart, not the flesh. Our circumcised heart becomes our new birthmark. Paul explained it to the Romans in 2:25–29 THE MESSAGE: Circumcision, the surgical ritual that marks you as a Jew, is great if you live in accord with God’s law. But if you don’t, it’s worse than not being circumcised. The reverse is also true: The uncircumcised who keep God’s ways are as good as the circumcised—in fact, better. Better to keep God’s law uncircumcised than break it circumcised. Don’t you see: It’s not the cut of a knife that makes a Jew. You become a Jew by who you are. It’s the mark of God on your heart, not of a knife on your skin, that makes a Jew. And recognition comes from God, not legalistic critics.

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Seal the Cut The Holy Spirit cuts away the dead, hard, stony heart (the nature of satan, spiritual death) and gives us a new spiritually alive heart that is soft, pliable, receptive, willing, and obedient. When our heart was circumcised, the Holy Spirit applied the blood of Jesus to us and removed the sin nature which had enveloped our spirit. Now the life of God comes forth, instead of the death of sin. Out of this new heart come the issues of life, which are words to procreate more Blood Covenant believers. Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart (2 Corinthians 3:3).

When we hear the Good News, count the cost, and choose (that is, believe in our heart and declare with our mouth that Jesus is our Lord), we are made new. This is not a gradual process. The Holy Spirit makes us new—all new! It’s a one-time event and a complete work, and the effects of it continue forever. Here are some of the seals or brands that are evidences of the work that has been done in us by God’s Holy Spirit: BRAND NEW

LIGHT & SALTY

MY WORKMANSHIP

MY CHILD

SET-APART ONE

STRONG IN THE LORD

CHRISTIAN

FAITHFUL

PAID FOR IN FULL

RANSOMED

WHOLE

SOUGHT OUT & BLOOD BOUGHT

SANCTIFIED

CONSECRATED

OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY

BELIEVER

BLAMELESS

ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW

CLEAN

NOT GUILTY

YOU’RE TWICE MINE

DELIVERED

RECONCILED

IN RIGHT-STANDING

RE-CREATED

HOLY

FREED FROM CAPTIVITY

REDEEMED

UNLIMITED

SEATED IN HEAVENLY PLACES

FORGIVEN

IN HIM

ROOTED AND GROUNDED

FAULTLESS

APPOINTED

RAISED UP . . . FAR ABOVE

PARTAKER

PURE

QUALIFIED BY GOD

These are a few of the many things that the Bible says we are now—not that we have to strive or work for, but are . . . now! Remember the declaration mentioned in chapter one that was said while holding your copy of your Blood Covenant with God, “I am who it says I am”? Our thoughts and our words are to be the same as our Blood Covenant Partners’ thoughts and words; so if we will put “I am” before each of the brands in these three lists and say them aloud, believing what we’re saying, we’ll never be the same! Check it out for yourself! Sometimes in teaching this truth, I position my hand as if I’m holding a red hot brand that’s just been taken off the altar that Isaiah wrote about. As I extend my hand toward the believer’s chest, I imitate the sizzling sound of a brand making its mark; and speaking on God’s behalf, I say—(Pssss-) “Redeemed,” (Pssss-) “You’re Twice Mine,” (Pssss-) “Forgiven,” (Pssss-) “In right-standing,” (Pssss-) “Rooted and Grounded,” (Pssss-) “Qualified by God” . . .

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Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

When your Father says, “My child, I have a job for you to do. I will reveal the what and where and when, and I’ll be there to see you through.

“Don’t get ahead or lag behind Me, Child; be sure to hearken to My voice. You are the best one for this job, you see; of all the others—you’re My choice! “There will be some along the way, and they will try to drag you down. They’ll say, ‘You’re living in a fantasy!’ You will be tempted to turn ’round. “But I have prayed you will withstand the test, that you’ll be strong through flood and fire! I will encourage and sustain you, Child, and through each test, I’ll lift you higher.” Then know you’re qualified . . . qualified by God— empowered and equipped, enabled and made fit. Yes, you are qualified . . . qualified by God— empowered and equipped, enabled and made fit.

H O L Y

1

The Spirit of God . . . the Holy Spirit of God—He Who hovered and brooded over the without-form-and-void nothingness, waiting for God to speak words so He could manifest them; He Who indwelled, anointed, and empowered Jesus and Whom Jesus called “the Father that dwelleth in Me” (John 14:10)—this same Holy Spirit hovers and broods over the darkness and emptiness that is in us before we hear God’s words of invitation, and He manifests our new birth the moment we RSVP our acceptance. The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus frees us from captivity to the spirit of death, and He makes us holy, instead of unholy pure, instead of impure blessed, instead of cursed righteous, instead of unrighteous new creatures, instead of worms and wretches children of light, instead of children of darkness partakers, instead of aliens to the covenants of promise 1 swept, garnished, and clean, instead of corrupted, polluted, and damned heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus, instead of being without God and without hope.

ALLOWEDUT

IFE ... ES

!

set apart for holy use

All of these new seals of authenticity were applied in the moment of our new birth, but the effects last forever and are continually being nurtured, fed, watered, and protected by the Spirit of God as we grow from glory to glory more and more like our Father God and Brother Jesus—holy (see HOLY acronym on this page). Our growing is in direct proportion to our hearing His Word rightly divided. God’s original plan for us to be “in Their image” and “after Their likeness” comes to pass.

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Seal the Cut Have you ever met another person, and even though you’ve never seen him before, you immediately know whether or not he’s a Christian? In explaining that knowing, perhaps you said, “I could just tell!” The Spirit of God in the two of you was bearing witness. We’re spiritually branded, and it is obvious to everyone who has spiritual eyes (including satan and his kingdom of darkness) that there is a brand, a mark, yes, the seal that we’re in Blood Covenant with God. Conversely, unholy spirits in people hook up, too. A lusting spirit in a man searches for a lusting spirit in a woman. Maybe you’ve wondered why a sensual man approached that come-and-get-it-looking woman standing beside you, but he didn’t notice you at all— this is the reason. Homosexual spirits connect: pornography spirits do, too. Gossiping, complaining, and obscene language spirits feed off each other. If the heart is not made new, if Jesus is not their Lord, if there has been no new birth, then that person is not in the New Blood Covenant. The heart is still dead, and it’s uncircumcised. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit This re-creation has not been planned, purchased, and implemented so we can just walk around feeling giddy and all covered with glory bumps. (A goose has nothing to do with it, you know.) The reason our ransom was paid to free us from captivity is so we can bring many more brethren into Blood Covenant relationship and fellowship with God. There’s work to be done—people to tell, captives to free, sick to heal, lepers to cleanse, dead to raise—just like Jesus did. It’s in red because He said it: Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do (John 14:11–14 THE MESSAGE).

If you want to see more than you’ve seen, you’ll have to be more than you’ve been. —Lisa Bevere If you want to do what Jesus did, you’ll have to have Who Jesus had— the Father-that-dwelleth-in-Him—the Holy Ghost. —Malcolm Smith You can, as a member of Jesus’ Body, possess the Spirit in the same measure as He. God does not expect us to fulfill John 14:12 with less equipment than Jesus had. —John G. Lake God longs intensely for unhindered communication and total response between Himself and us, the believer indwelt by the Spirit. — Smith Wigglesworth Jesus didn’t have to be born again, because He was not fathered by a man in the Adamic race who would have passed on the sin nature to Him; but before Jesus could begin His ministry, He had to be equipped—anointed and empowered. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).

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Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

Unlike Jesus, we were born with the sin nature we inherited from Adam, and we must be born again; but like Jesus, we must also be equipped before we can do what He’s told us to do. Remember: Jesus was a man—a flesh, bone, and blood man just like us. If He needed the anointing and power of the Holy Ghost, so do we—so that we can say what He said, do what He did, and get the same results He got. The Holy Spirit has sealed us in the Covenant and sealed the Covenant in us; but our equipping and furnishing are the results of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and Jesus is the Baptizer. All we have to do is ask Him. In referring to Jesus, John the Baptist said, “I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost” (Mark 1:8). The subject of the baptism in the Holy Ghost should be approached with holy reverence because it was purchased with such a great price—Jesus died on the cross, defeated death and the devil, arose triumphant, and presented His blood on the heavenly mercy seat in order to secure it for us. When we talk about the Holy Spirit baptism, speaking in tongues, healing, or prophecy, we should always speak with reverence— because we are talking about God. It has always been God’s plan for the Holy Spirit to be given in fullness at the time of new birth, but it hasn’t been taught that way. If we didn’t hear about the baptism in the Holy Spirit at the same time we heard about Jesus’ dying for us, then we could not have received them simultaneously, because we only have faith to receive what we hear is available to us. Most of us didn’t even hear of the Holy Spirit baptism until after we’d been struggling for years—trying to live what the Word said a Christian is to be, but never being able to do it consistently because we had no power. John G. Lake said, “The life of the Christian, without the indwelling power of the Spirit in the heart, is a weariness to the flesh. It is an obedience to commandments and an endeavor to walk according to a pattern which you have no power to follow.” If we heard about the baptismal filling later on, wanted it, and asked for it in faith, then we received it; and our spirit can now commune with God in a secret language, in other tongues. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). Lake continued, The action of God . . . causes your spirit to speak by its voice. What a joy it was when that pent-up, bursting, struggling spirit of yours found its voice and “spake in tongues!” Your spirit speaks to God, He answers back . . . in that unknown tongue by which God communicates with your spirit. Will a man speak in tongues when he is baptized in the Holy Ghost? Yes, he will, and he will heal the sick when he is baptized, and he will glorify God out of the spirit of him with praises more delightful and heavenly than you ever heard. And he will have a majestic bearing. He will look like the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will be like Him. Blessed be God.1 Prayer—Covenant partners communicating. Tongues—Covenant partners communicating intimately. If we’ve never heard about this Holy Spirit baptism, or if we were told “it was of the devil,” then we could not have received this wonderful promise of the Father in baptismal fullness. Let’s zoom in a little closer on that phrase—it was of the devil. The following verse is in red because Jesus said it: But you shall receive power—ability, efficiency and might—when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends—the very bounds—of the earth (Acts 1:8 amplified).

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Seal the Cut Jesus said this Holy Ghost baptism would result in dynamic power and in our being witnesses of Jesus. It’s no wonder satan fights the baptism and speaking in tongues so hard! Why, he even has entire denominations set against it. Others who believe in the baptism have been deceived into thinking the tongues part isn’t really necessary—that part that (1) makes it possible for us to communicate with our Covenant Partner, Almighty God, intimately (see Romans 8:26–27); (2) makes it possible for us to receive secrets straight from His heart (see 1 Corinthians 14:2); and (3) makes it possible for us to be built up in our faith (see Jude 20). It’s obvious why satan would try to discredit the resources God provided for us—they’re our supply line! Satan knows that if we ever get a hold of the Holy Spirit of God, and He gets a hold of us, the same Spirit that was in Jesus and that raised Him from the dead will be in us. Satan knows that we’ll start doing the same things to him that Jesus did to him—destroying all his works. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (Acts 10:38; 1 John 3:8).

Remember, satan is the father of lies, and there’s no truth in him at all! Deception is always his tool. That’s why satan tells us what God wants us to have is actually coming from him (satan), so we won’t want it. For example: by satan’s spreading the teaching “tongues are of the devil,” he figures we won’t want it. Or, satan tells us what he’s doing to us is actually from God, so we won’t fight it. For example: by satan’s spreading the teaching “God made us sick to teach us something,” satan figures we won’t go to God for our healing (for how could we fully trust someone to heal us if we thought He was responsible for our being sick in the first place); but instead, we’ll turn to his (satan’s) methods. This is a good plumb line to remember regarding whatever we hear being taught as God’s Word—if it would not be good news to a destitute person, then it does not agree with the Bible as seen in Jesus’ life and ministry. The Holy Spirit’s Assignments The Holy Spirit of God has many assignments in the Church. He’s here and He’s ready to manifest Himself in our lives as the Father-that-dwelleth-in-us: 1. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth: [Jesus said] I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you (John 16:12–15). 2. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter: [Jesus said] And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you (John 14:16–18). 3. The Holy Spirit is the Teacher and Reminder: [Jesus said] But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26). 4. The Holy Spirit is the Revealer: He implants in us what is most important to God, His Word Seed. [Jesus said] Blessed art thou . . . for

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Part II: Entering into a Blood Covenant

flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven . . . upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew16:17–18). 5. The Holy Spirit is the Convincer: [Jesus said] Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged (John 16:7–11). 6. The Holy Spirit is the Manifestor of the nature of God in and through us: But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely (Galatians 5:22–23 THE MESSAGE). Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies (1 Corinthians 13:4–8 THE MESSAGE). 7. The Holy Spirit is the Manifestor of the power of God in and through us: God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful: wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when (1 Corinthians 12:4–11 THE MESSAGE). 8. The Holy Spirit is manifested seven-fold and anoints us to do what Jesus did: [As joint-heirs with Jesus, we can say] The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him [and me], the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord, and shall make Him of quick understanding, and His delight shall be in the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord. And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, neither decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness and justice shall He judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the meek, the poor and downtrodden of the earth; and He shall smite the earth and the oppressor with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His waist, and faithfulness the girdle of His loins (Isaiah 11:2–5 amplified, emphasis added).

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Seal the Cut The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives, and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord—the year for His favor—and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion, to give them an ornament—a garland or diadem—of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened and failing spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified (Isaiah 61:1-3 amplified). 9. The Holy Spirit is the One God uses to quicken our mortal bodies: And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you (Romans 8:11 amplified).

First Person . . . Present Tense It’s the outworking of the Holy Spirit within us that causes everyone to recognize— “They’re in Bood Covenant with God!” “They’ve been with Jesus!” That’s the purpose of the Seal of the New Blood Covenant— to mark, affirm to be genuine, make secure, and guard against trespassers. Then we can say with Jesus, “The Father-that-dwelleth-in-me—He doeth the works.”

Chapter Notes: 1 John G. Lake, His Life, His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, © 1994 Kenneth Copeland Publications.

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship

The life of God now abides in me; What makes God God is inside of me. Through Jesus, His Son, united as one— The life of God lives within me.

His love, His joy and compassion, His faith, His peace, and His grace, His strength, His pow’r, and His wisdom, too— Manifested through me for this time and place.

The life of God that abides in me Is there to share with the world I see. As I let Him live and reach out and give, The life of God sets people free. John 5:26; 14:11-21; 1 John 5:11-15

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Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship

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Our Covenant-keeping God says to us . . . I am your Shield and your Defender, Your Fortress and your Hiding Place. I am your Rock and your strong Tower, Your Buckler as you run this race. I am your Shepherd and your Helper, Redeemer, Lord, and King to thee. I am your Strength, your Life, your Portion. I am Almighty God to thee. I am the Horn of your salvation, The Balm in Gilead to thee. I am your strong and mighty Habitation. I’m all that you will ever need! Verse 1—Ps. 28:7; 59:17; 144:2; 32:7; 31:3; 61:3; 18:2 Verse 2—Ps. 23:1; 54:4; 19:14; Rom. 10:9; Ps. 44:4; 18:1; 27:1; 119:57; Gen. 17:1 Verse 3—Ps. 18:2; Jer. 8:22; Zeph. 3:17; Ps. 71:3; Eph. 1:3–23

When we enter into Blood Covenant with Him through Jesus, then our response echoes back to Him . . . You are my Shield and my Defender, My Fortress and my Hiding Place. You are my Rock and my strong Tower, My Buckler as I run this race. You are my Shepherd and my Helper, Redeemer, Lord, and King to me. You are my Strength, my Light, my Portion. You are Almighty God to me. You are the Horn of my salvation, The Balm in Gilead to me. You are my strong and mighty Habitation. You are all that I’ll ever need!

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Six

C hapter

Heir and Joint-Heir

I

This chapter is especially important because it gives us a new point of view of the Word of God and everything in our lives—and that’s exactly what we need, because our lives are being lived so far short of the Blood Covenant redemption Jesus purchased for us. Let’s get into the “Inheritance” hot-air balloon and get a new perspective—God’s perspective. All aboard? Up, up, and away!

n lands where blood covenants are the way of life, the two people who cut covenant become heads of blood covenant families; and the promises they make to each other and the blessings and curses they pronounce on each other are passed on to their heirs. These covenantors understand that it is their responsibility to teach their children about their blood covenant inheritance—its conditions and provisions—and they, in turn, will teach their children, and so on. There are several terms in this chapter that need the magnifying glass of a concordancedictionary word study. I know this is very detailed; but the two characteristics that distinguish a blood covenant from every other kind of contract are: (1) it is guaranteed by the covenantors’ blood, and (2) its conditions and provisions become the inheritance of its heirs, who have been taught by their parents how to live in it and how to pass it on. Therefore, a thorough understanding of these terms in the original languages and in our language is vital. I haven’t always been so attentive to words, but my hunger and thirst to be more than I’ve been and to see more than I’ve seen have driven me to the books to find, and hear, answers. Even if you don’t consider yourself the word-study type, you’ll still be blessed by reading these definitions. The Holy Spirit of Truth will whisper insights to you and remind you of details in the Word that never had caught your attention before. ANCESTRY

Webster

line of descent; lineage—specifically, honorable, noble or aristocratic descent; persons initiating or comprising a line of descent; ancestors; it stresses the image of a family tree branching and ramifying as it ascends; only brothers and sisters have exactly the same ancestry

BIRTHRIGHT

Webster

a right, privilege, or possession to which a person is entitled by birth; it applies to property, rank, or privilege coming by right of birth

HEIR

Hebrew

[noun & verb] to occupy (by driving out previous tenants and possessing in their place); to inherit: [translated in KJV] dispossess, drive out, give to inheritor, leave for inheritance, make to possess, have in possession, seize upon, succeed

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship Greek

Webster

HERITAGE

Hebrew

Greek

Webster

INHERIT and Hebrew INHERITANCE

Greek

[noun] partitioning, i.e. getting by apportionment; a sharer by lot, i.e. an inheritor; by implication a possessor: [translated in KJV] [verb] heir to be an heir to: [translated in KJV] be heir, inherit, obtain by inheritance one who inherits or is entitled to inherit property; one who receives the property of a deceased person especially by operation of law or by virtue of a will [covenant]; one who inherits or is entitled to succeed to a hereditary rank, title, or office; one who receives or is entitled to receive some endowment or quality from a parent or predecessor [noun] a possession: [translated in KJV] heritage, inheritance, possession [noun] something occupied; a conquest; also a patrimony: [translated in KJV] heritage, inheritance, possession [noun] something inherited, i.e. occupancy, or an heirloom; an estate, patrimony or portion: [translated in KJV] heritage, to inherit, inheritance, possession [verb] to inherit (as a mode of descent), or to occupy; to bequeath, or distribute, instate: [translated in KJV] divide, have inheritance, take as an heritage, make to inherit, leave inheritance, cause to possess [noun] a portion; an acquisition (especially a patrimony): [translated in KJV] heritage, inheritance, lot, part property that descends to an heir; something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor; legacy; tradition; birthright; it implies anything passed on to heirs or succeeding generations but applies usually to things other than actual property or money

[noun] something inherited, i.e., occupancy, or an heirloom; an estate, patrimony or portion; possession: [translated in KJV] heritage, to inherit, inheritance, possession [verb] to inherit (as a mode of descent), or to occupy (by driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place); to bequeath, or distribute, instate: [translated in KJV] dispossess, divide, drive out, have (inheritance), take as an heritage, make to inherit, leave for inheritance, be made to possess, seize upon, succeed [noun] heirship, i.e. a patrimony or a possession; a portion; an acquisition: [translated in KJV] heritage, inheritance, lot, part [verb] to be an heir to, to allot, i.e. to assign (a privilege): [translated in KJV] be heir, inherit, obtain by inheritance

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Heir and Joint-Heir

Webster

[noun] inheritance; the act of inheriting property; the reception of genetic qualities by transmission from parent to offspring; the acquisition of a possession, condition, or trait from past generations; something that is or may be inherited; it implies that which passes from parent to child [verb] inherit; to come into possession of, receive; to receive as a right or title descendible by law from an ancestor at his death; to receive from ancestors by genetic transmission; to have in turn or receive as if from an ancestor; to take or hold a possession or rights by inheritance

JOINT-HEIR

Greek

[noun] [from union + inheritor] a co-heir, i.e. participant in common: [translated in KJV] fellow (joint)-heir, heir together, heir with

PATRIMONY

Webster

an estate inherited from one’s father or other ancestor; anything derived from one’s father or ancestors; heritage; it applies especially to property passed down in a direct line of descent

If someone came to us today and said they were going to give us a fortune, our first thoughts and words would be about how we’d pay off this, invest in that, purchase our dream house and car, and find a way to pay as little taxes as possible—not about who would inherit our windfall after we’re gone. If we don’t pass on what we have to our heirs, then it all stops with us. Even as covenant is not the way we think, neither is inheritance; but it is the pattern in both the Old and New Blood Covenants. It is plain to see God is inheritance minded, because the Bible is full of phrases like “to you and your descendants . . . throughout their generations . . . an everlasting solemn pledge . . . and to thy seed and thy seed’s seed;” not to mention how many times heir, heritage, inherit, and inheritance are used. Nothing says love like the Blood Covenant— For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son [to cut a New Covenant for us] that whosoever believeth on him should not perish [as aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world] but have everlasting life [as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus] (John 3:16, emphasis added).

Jesus died to give His Father a Blood Covenant family—heirs. The main reason God wanted a family was not for fellowship The Lord has brought us only, but it was for inheritance. Fellowship is included, too; but out of limitation it’s possible to have fellowship with someone who is not an heir to to be unto Himself your family’s inheritance. Only brothers and sisters born to the a people of inheritance. same father (that is, having the same ancestry) are entitled to the family’s inheritance; and Jesus came as the “firstborn of many brethren” (see Romans 8:29). “The Lord hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day” (Deuteronomy 4:20, emphasis added).

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship Inheritance in the Old Blood Covenant

What Is an Inheritance, and Who Gets It? The word study gives these highlights: • a possession that passes from parent to child • an estate or heirloom derived from one’s father • property passed down in a direct line of descent God commanded Abram to leave the safety and comfort of his familiar surroundings, and Abram obeyed (see Genesis 12). Then God spoke to Abram in a vision and enumerated the inheritance He had planned for him, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward . . . and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee . . . all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God (Genesis 15:1; 17:8).

Abram’s response was that he had no heir to pass on such an inheritance to, “Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless?” (Genesis 15:2). As Abram tried to figure out who would get this abundant inheritance, God interrupted him and gave him His plan— that his heir would be his and Sarai’s child and that their extended family would be as numberless as the stars. Abram’s immediate response was, “Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” That’s when God told him to get the animals so they could cut Covenant, as we have already discussed. (See Genesis 15:8–9.) • God proclaimed His protection, provision, and promised land; • Heirs were established to receive the inheritance; and • The Blood Covenant was cut to guarantee all of it! What a pattern! The whole idea of a Blood Covenant came from the heart of God, and He’s the One Who decided there would be blessings and cursings. When Adam and Eve, and later Cain, disobeyed God’s Word, they were banished from the Garden of Eden; and curses were laid on them. When everyone on the earth except Noah and his immediate family continually disobeyed God’s Word, the curse came on them. As God was presenting His Blood Covenant to Abram, He told him the blessings and even described how his heirs would come under the curse. And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance (Genesis 15:13–14).

Throughout the Bible as promises of blessings are given, there are always conditions; and if those conditions are violated, the would-be recipients of the blessings are assured they will receive the curses that are denounced. God said, See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 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. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

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Heir and Joint-Heir I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them (Deuteronomy 30:15–20, emphasis added).

God did not enter into a Blood Covenant with the entire human race, but with only one man—Abraham God did not enter into a Blood Covenant and his seed. The only way to be entitled to the with the entire human race, “blessings of Abraham” was to be born in Abraham but with only one man— and Sarah’s family, because they were the ancestry God Abraham and his seed. established in the terms of His Blood Covenant with Abraham. Isaac was the only child from Abraham and Sarah’s union. Ishmael was Abraham and Hagar’s son; and God told Abraham He would bless Ishmael, “but my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee” (Genesis 17:21). After Sarah died, Abraham married Keturah; and they had six children, to whom Abraham gave gifts, but no Blood Covenant inheritance. (See Genesis 23:1; 25:1–2, 6.) As Abraham and Sarah’s only heir, Isaac received all the inheritance of the Blood Covenant Abraham had with God. “And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac” (Genesis 25:5). Hebrews 11:9 names Abraham, his seed, and his seed’s seed, “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.” When Does an Inheritance Take Effect? Webster’s definition of inherit in the word study is to receive as a right or title descendible by law from an ancestor at his death. An heir may know he’s going to receive the inheritance, but he doesn’t actually get it until the ancestor dies. Inheritance demands a death. “Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years . . . and it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac” (Genesis 25:8, 11). This is when Isaac received his inheritance; and he continued in the Covenant, as his father had. The only one of Isaac’s twin sons to take hold of the Covenant was Jacob. He had twelve sons, and they continued in the Covenant, as their father had. There is a very important phrase in Webster’s definition of heir, • one who inherits or is entitled to inherit property • one who inherits or is entitled to succeed to a hereditary rank, title, or office • one who receives or is entitled to receive some endowment or quality from a parent or predecessor. Being born into the family entitles the son or daughter to the inheritance, but it is not automatic. The heir can refuse the heritage, as Isaac’s other son did. Esau sold his birthright (his possession to which he was entitled by birth) for food to satisfy a temporary need. (See Genesis 25:27–34.) How Does an Heir Know What His Inheritance Includes? From the word study: • heirs receive their inheritance by operation of law or by virtue of a will • will means a legal declaration of a person’s mind as to the manner in which

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship

he would have his property or estate disposed of after his death; especially, a written instrument legally executed by which a man makes disposition of his estate to take effect after his death. bequeath means to give or leave by will

In our society, the way to know what is included in an inheritance is obvious—read the ancestor’s Last Will and Testament; but it was not that easy in the Old Covenant days because they didn’t have all the methods of communication we do (make a photocopy and mail it out, or even faster, email it). Their way to pass on information was by word of mouth. God Himself wrote down the laws He gave to Moses on Mount Sinai (see Exodus 31:18); and He later instructed Moses to write Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy so that every jot and tittle of the Old Blood Covenant was in black and white. He further commanded that whenever all the tribes came together for a high and holy feast day, the Law was to be read aloud to them again in order to keep it fresh in their minds. But once again, there was no King James, no Gutenberg, and no Christian bookstore on the corner. Teaching on a daily basis was the way to get the Word out and keep it active in their lives. As the eyes of the Lord were running to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in the behalf of one whose heart was perfect toward Him, they stopped on Abram because, God said, For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him (Genesis 18:19).

God did not say, For I know him, that he will pass on what’s left of his land and wealth to his kids; he’ll give them a good education to guarantee their success; he’ll show them how to climb the corporate ladder; he’ll teach them how to read the Wall Street Journal; he’ll demonstrate how they can live right on the edge of right and wrong but steer clear of the legal system’s detection; he’ll teach them how to ease their conscience on Sunday morning and live as they please the rest of the week; he’ll illustrate how to not keep their word if it’s to their advantage to renege; and he’ll describe how to justify their own lack of integrity so it doesn’t keep them awake at night or give them ulcers.

In essence, God said, There’s the man I can enter into a Blood Covenant with, because I know he’ll teach his children about the Covenant and their inheritance, so that they will live in the fullness of My protection and provision. They, in turn, will teach their children, and so on. Without that teaching, they won’t know what they’ve inherited, they won’t know how to make withdrawals from their Covenant account, and the next generation will be impoverished—all because no one ever told them they were heirs of My Blood Covenant.

The father’s responsibility to teach the Blood Covenant to his children always has been paramount in God’s plan: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. . . . for where there is no vision, the people perish” (Hosea 4:6; Proverbs 29:18). And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

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Heir and Joint-Heir And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord our God hath commanded you? Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand: and the Lord shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes: and he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us (Deuteronomy 6:6–7, 20–25, emphasis added). Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 32:7, 46, emphasis added). And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord (Exodus 10:2, emphasis added). And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? that ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses (Exodus 12:26–27, emphasis added). Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments (Psalm 78:1–7, emphasis added).

Joshua said, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15, emphasis added). Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6, emphasis added). Paul wrote, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, emphasis added). You are my special child, my very special child. You are the heritage of God, His gift to me to teach and train you in His Word. You are my special child, my very special child. You are a blessing unto me, a source of joy as I instruct you in the Lord.

God planned that I should be the one to teach you how to hear His voice, to teach you how to understand and be a doer of His Word.

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship You are my special child, my very special child. You’re a disciple taught of God, wrapped in His peace, obedient in all your ways. You are my special child, my very special child. As you continue in God’s Word, the world will see you’re blessed of God all of your days! (Psalm 127:3; Proverbs 22:6; 23:24; Genesis 18:19; Isaiah 54:13; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Isaiah 61:9)

How Does the Heir Make Withdrawals from His Inheritance Account? When the Blood Covenant was cut, God established an account in His Inheritance Bank; and the Blood Covenant head made deposits for his heirs to draw on as he reverenced God—believed Him, hearkened unto His voice, and obeyed His Blood Covenant Word to him. Withdrawals were made by calling on the provisions of their Covenant as the heir reminded God of His promises guaranteed in blood and trusted in His faithfulness. The term often used in the withdrawal transaction by the heir or by the President of the Bank Himself was “for his sake,” referring to the head of the Blood Covenant family. Abraham’s inheritance account was opened the moment “he believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness. . . . therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:22, emphasis added). Day by day and year by year as he considered not, staggered not, and was fully persuaded, the faithful steps of Abraham were making deposits. After Isaac married Rebekah and their twin sons were born, there was a famine in the land, and the Lord appeared unto Isaac and reconfirmed their Blood Covenant, saying, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake (Genesis 26:2–5, 24, emphasis added).

Abraham’s great-grandson, Joseph, reverenced the Covenant inheritance that was his as an heir, because he had been taught well by his father. No matter where he was or what happened to him, he remained true to God. When he was sold as a slave by his brothers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was his shield and his exceeding great reward—through thick and thin. And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he

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Heir and Joint-Heir had in his house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured (Genesis 39:2–6, emphasis added).

That was the thick—here’s the thin: But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper (Genesis 39:2–6, 21–23).

The inheritance transfer system explains the account of David and Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel. Years before Mephibosheth was born, David had entered into a blood covenant with Jonathan, the son of King Saul (see 1 Samuel 18:1–4). Jonathan and King Saul were killed in a battle. As King David looked at the scar that daily reminded him of his covenant with Jonathan, it was his desire to carry out the terms of their covenant with Jonathan’s heirs to give them the balance left in Jonathan’s account. When David learned about Jonathan’s only heir, Mephibosheth, the king brought him into the palace and said, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am? Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master’s son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house. Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master’s son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master’s son shall eat bread alway at my table. . . . as one of the king’s sons. But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the Lord’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul (2 Samuel 9:7–11; 21:7, emphasis added).

When our eyes are open to inheritance, we see it everywhere! For example, when King Jehoshaphat was being confronted by the great multitude of the enemy, he made a withdrawal from his covenant account when he reminded God (and himself and the people) of His promise to Abraham: And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying, If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear

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and help. And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children (2 Chronicles 20:3–13, emphasis added).

Jehoshaphat’s Blood Covenant withdrawal slip said, “You are our God, and we are Your people. We are looking to You and You alone, expecting You to be faithful to Your Covenant with us. Our need is now Your need.” God, in essence, immediately responded, “I am your God, and you are My people. Your need has become My need, and My supply is now your supply!” And He said, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s . . . Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you. And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord . . . and stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. . . . and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much. . . . for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies (2 Chronicles 20:15, 17–19, 22, 24–25, 27).

Many centuries later, in Jesus’ prayer just before He went to the cross to cut Covenant for us, He said, “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (John 17:19, emphasis added). When Jesus was consecrating Himself so that we can be consecrated, in essence, He was saying, “For their sakes and for their account, as the Head of the Church, I’m depositing consecration in their account for them to draw on!” Who Was Responsible to Enforce the Inheritance? The one authorized to supervise the operation, execution, or administration of the heritage to prevent (or detect and prosecute) violations of rules and regulations was the head of the Covenant group, whatever its size—father of the family, ruler of the tribe, king of the nation. It was the father, as the head of his family, who had the seal in his body to daily remind him, “I am in Blood Covenant with my God, and it is my responsibility to train up my heirs, to instill in them the terms of our Blood Covenant, and to make sure they live in their manifested inheritance. If I see my children are not walking in their inheritance, I am to correct them so they can get back on track. In God’s eyes, they’re always my children no matter their age. Inheritance isn’t limited to age. I remember Eli’s mistake, and I’m not going to let that happen to me and my children.” Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the

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Heir and Joint-Heir congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them. And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord. . . . Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me. . . . And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not (1 Samuel 2:22–25, 27, 29, 34; 3:11–13, emphasis added).

When God brought His people out of Egypt and was about to bring them into the land they had inherited from their fathers, The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them. And Moses by the commandment of the Lord sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel (Numbers 13:1–3, emphasis added).

When they saw the circumstances in the promised land, ten of the twelve forgot all about their Covenant with God and what they had seen Him do with their own eyes when He freed them from captivity in Egypt; and they came back and reported to Moses and all the people they were heads of and rulers over, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey . . . Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great . . . We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we (Numbers 13:27–28, 31, emphasis added).

In essence, they were saying, “It is what God said it would be, but we can’t do what God said we can do.” This is an example when there was no safety in the multitude of counselors, because their counsel was anti-Blood Covenant. And when they gave their evil report, All the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! (Numbers 14:1–2).

But the other two of the twelve reverenced God and believed His Word more than the circumstances they saw; and Caleb was the first one to say, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30). Then Joshua and Caleb both spoke to the people, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which

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floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not (Numbers 14:7–9, emphasis added).

That was Covenant talk! But the whole congregation agreed with the evil report of the ten heads—full of fear and doubt! Everyone 20 years old1 and upward who murmured against God died in the wilderness—everyone except Caleb and Joshua. What a lesson for us to learn about the power of covenant headship! If those ten leaders could have been fully persuaded of their Blood Covenant God’s faithfulness, as were Caleb and Joshua, the forty years in the wilderness would not have happened. When the heads of the households and the leaders of the tribes of God’s Blood Covenant people no longer reverenced God and His Word and became slack, too busy, too distracted, too tired, and too complacent, everything began to fall apart: And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that he did for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: that through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not (Judges 2:7–8, 10–12, 16–17, 20–22).

Inheritance in the New Blood Covenant Once a person’s will has been ratified, no one else can annul it or add to it. Now, the promises were made to Abraham and to his descendant. You will observe that Scripture, in the careful language of a legal document, does not say “to descendants,” referring to everybody in general, but “to your descendant” (the noun, note, is singular), referring to Christ. This is the way I interpret this: A will, earlier ratified by God, is not annulled by an addendum attached 430 years later, thereby negating the promise of the will. No, this addendum, with its instructions and regulations, has nothing to do with the promised inheritance in the will.

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Heir and Joint-Heir What is the point, then, of the law, the attached addendum? It was a thoughtful addition to the original covenant promises made to Abraham. The purpose of the law was to keep a sinful people in the way of salvation until Christ (the descendant) came, inheriting the promises and distributing them to us. Obviously this law was not a firsthand encounter with God. It was arranged by angelic messengers through a middleman, Moses. But if there is a middleman as there was at Sinai, then the people are not dealing directly with God, are they? But the original promise is the direct blessing of God, received by faith. If such is the case, is the law, then, an anti-promise, a negation of God’s will for us? Not at all. Its purpose was to make obvious to everyone that we are, in ourselves, out of right relationship with God, and therefore to show us the futility of devising some religious system for getting by our own efforts what we can only get by waiting in faith for God to complete his promise. For if any kind of rule keeping had power to create life in us, we would certainly have gotten it by this time. Until the time when we were mature enough to respond freely in faith to the living God, we were carefully surrounded and protected by the Mosaic law. The law was like those Greek tutors, with which you are familiar, who escort children to school and protect them from danger or distraction, making sure the children will really get to the place they set out for. But now you have arrived at your destination: By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God. Your baptism in Christ was not just washing you up for a fresh start. It also involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe—Christ’s life, the fulfillment of God’s original promise (Galatians 3:15–27 THE MESSAGE).

What Is Our Inheritance—and Who Gets It? Once again, the word study gives these highlights: • a possession—that passes from parent to child • an estate or heirloom—derived from one’s father • property—passed down in a direct line of descent As God watched His people continue to fall away from their Blood Covenant oneness with Him, He began to promise a better Covenant that would be strong where the old one had been weak. He wrote about it in Jeremiah 31:31–34 and Ezekiel 11:19–20, but we will use the account in Hebrews 8:7–13 from the Amplified Bible, For if that first covenant had been without defect, there would have been no room for another one or an attempt to institute another one. However He finds fault with them, [showing its inadequacy], when He says, Behold, the days will come, says the Lord, when I will make and ratify a new covenant or agreement with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day when I grasped them by the hand to help and relieve them and to lead them out from the land of Egypt, for they did not abide in My agreement with them, and so I withdrew My favor and disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And it will nevermore be necessary for every one to teach his neighbor and his fellow citizen or everyone his brother,

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saying, Know—[that is,] perceive, have knowledge of and get acquainted by experience with—the Lord; for all will know Me, from the smallest to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more. When God speaks of a new [covenant or agreement], He makes the first one obsolete—out of use. And what is obsolete—out of use and annulled because of age—is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether.

Because Jesus is the Seed of Abraham, the inheritance of Abraham is passed on to us, too, as joint-heirs with Jesus—unless, of course, a provision in the Old Covenant is replaced by one in the New Covenant. For example, the sacrificial system to cover their sin was superseded by Jesus when He cut the New Blood Covenant with God and paid for our sin in full. Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin (Hebrews 10:9–10, 18).

This is our inheritance: • He writes the Covenant inside us • He is our God, and we are His people • We know Him intimately • We have a new spirit and a new “want to” • plus all the blessings of Abraham Our and we in the bulleted list above need to be clarified, and that will be the answer to the second half of the question—“and who gets it?” There may be some repetition here, but that’s beneficial when we’re becoming Blood Covenant minded and getting the inheritance point of view of everything we thought we already knew. The Old Covenant was weak because it was between God and a sinful man, and it was the sinful man part that had to be superseded. No One else but Jesus could shed His blood for me. As the spotless Lamb of God, my substitute was He. No One else but Jesus could covenant with God— Only He could never fail and never break His Word. God did not enter into this New Blood Covenant with the entire human race, but with only one Man— God did not enter into this New Blood Covenant Jesus, and His joint-heirs. The only way to receive all with the entire human race, that God provided in the inheritance is to be a direct but with only one Man— descendant in God’s New Blood Covenant family Jesus, and His joint-heirs. through the only way into that Covenant—Jesus, the Lamb, the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Way. The only prerequisite for receiving an inheritance is being born into the family. You’re either born into it, or you’re not; and that’s why being born again is so vital. When we made Jesus our Lord, we were re-born into God’s Covenant family. This new birth is — not of natural descent, not of natural blood, nor of a natural father, nor of a physical impulse, but it is of God — by the incorruptible seed of the Word of God.

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Heir and Joint-Heir When we live, move, and have our being in our Blood Covenant inheritance, we will be manifested here on earth as the heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus. What could possibly be better than that! “For (even the whole) creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known—waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship” (Romans 8:19 amplified). It’s all that really matters now, and it’s all that will last for eternity. Dr. Myles Munroe calls it the Kingdominion of God (Kingdom + dominion of God) that Jesus told us to pray to come on earth now. It is us, as God’s heirs, walking in the fullness of our redemption, and manifesting His Will on earth as it is manifested in heaven! For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:14–17, emphasis added).

H E I R

AS XCLUSIVE

1

NHERITANCE IGHTS

2

3

limited to possession by a single individual or group 2 that which passes from Parent to child 3 the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled 1

Heir of God and joint-heir with Christ are terms that can only be understood and experienced from the perspective of our Blood Covenant inheritance; otherwise, they are impossible and out of reach. There’s no way to write the full meaning of these positions; but even as the hunter gives his hound only the scent of the rabbit, and the hound puts his nose to the ground until he finds it, I will give only the essence of these heirships, and the Spirit of Truth will reveal the whole to you as you listen. Applying the definitions of heir and joint-heir in the word study to myself, first person and present tense, these are some of the meanings of heir of God: • God is occupying my life because I trusted Him to drive out the previous tenant and to possess my being in its place. • I have received or am entitled to use all that God has by virtue of His Will— His Blood Covenant. • I have received my inheritance because His divine power has given me all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called me to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto me exceeding great and precious promises: that by these I might be partaker (sharer by lot, inheritor, possessor) of His divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (See 2 Peter 1:3–4.) • I have inherited or am entitled to succeed to the same authority, power, and dominion Jesus had. • I have freely received or am entitled to freely receive all the equipment I need for my new life as God’s heir. These are some of the meanings of joint-heir with Christ: • I am in Blood Covenant union with the Son of God. We are co-heirs. I have

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not received lesser rank, lesser equipment, lesser authority, lesser power, fewer gifts, or less of God’s loving protection and provision. Jesus said, “That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26). Co- and joint mean equal. No wonder laity is not in the Bible! I have inherited the right to participate in all that Jesus did, because He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do [heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils, still the storm, multiply food, etc.] shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12, emphasis added). [There is one exception—whatever Jesus did in cutting the Blood Covenant with God was for Him and Him alone. He is the only Lamb, the only Messiah, the only Redeemer. No one else will ever have to take the sins and curses of the world to the cross and to hell, and his own blood to the heavenly mercy seat. It is finished!] All that God gave to Jesus as His Son is in my inheritance, too, as His jointheir. Jesus said, “All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he [the Spirit of truth] shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 16:15; 20:21, emphasis added). He was never lacking in love, wisdom, peace, joy, power, protection, or provision in His ministry. That’s mine!

These statements of Jesus are available for me, too: • • •

• •

“He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). “He that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him” (John 8:26). “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (John 12:49–50). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ‘The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth’” (John 5:19–20). “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30).

Inheritance is not based on what we do (on our works), now or ever. In all the definitions in the word study, nothing was mentioned about earning the possession, property, heirloom, right, rank, title, privilege, endowment, portion, lot, or part. So subtly the how-can-I-earnthat and I’ll-do-better-so-I’ll-deserve-that syndrome operates insidiously against us! Paul was confronting it in his congregations, too, and he wrote: You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the Cross was certainly set before you clearly enough. Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it?

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Heir and Joint-Heir Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up! Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you? Don’t these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God (Galatians 3:1–7 THE MESSAGE).

An heir receives an inheritance— not because of anything he’s done, but only because his Benefactor left it for him. It costs the heir nothing, but it costs the Benefactor everything—His life and His death. That’s GRACE. When Does Our Inheritance Take Effect? For a will and testament is valid and takes effect only at death, since it has no force or legal power as long as the one who made it is alive. [Christ, the Messiah] is therefore the Negotiator and Mediator of an [entirely] new agreement (testament, covenant), so that those who are called and offered it, may receive the fulfillment of the promised everlasting inheritance, since a death has taken place which rescues and delivers and redeems them from the transgressions committed under the [old,] first agreement (Hebrews 9:17, 15 amplified, emphasis added).

The New Blood Covenant that was cut between God and Jesus took effect when our Redeemer presented His blood on the heavenly mercy seat—rescuing, delivering, and redeeming us from sin and the curse. At that moment, the inheritance was in force and had legal power, and it was available to all who would receive His call and offer. That’s what His death did. When I heard His call, counted the cost, and accepted His offer, I was reborn into God’s Blood Covenant family. At that moment, the inheritance had legal power and went into effect for me. That’s what my death-to-self did. Inheritance demands death—His and ours. In the split-nanosecond of our new birth, we received our inheritance . . . all of it! Picture a family and the attorney sitting around a conference table for the reading of the Last Will and Testament of the family patriarch who has died. Some of the family members are excitedly anticipating what they’ve inherited because Papa, the head of the family, had everything! As the attorney begins to read the Will, he’s telling each one in the family what has been transferred to their account. He reads and reads . . . Look at what’s happening. Some of the hearers are ecstatic and already making plans how they’ll use their inheritance: “It’s mine! I’m an heir! Thanks, Papa!” But others just haven’t grasped it yet. They’re observing but not receiving. They’re thinking: “I wish I had done more.” “How can I earn that?” “Maybe someday.” “I don’t deserve that. Just to be in the family is enough for me.”

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That’s what has been happening in the Church, too! The second group (the ones who hadn’t grasped their inheritance yet) were just as entitled to it as the first group. The nonreceivers were the or-is-entitled-to ones in Webster’s definition of heir— • one who inherits or is entitled to inherit property; • one who inherits or is entitled to succeed to a hereditary rank, title, or office; • one who received or is entitled to receive some endowment or quality from a parent or predecessor. Even though someone is entitled to an inheritance does not mean they are automatically walking in it. There are notices in the newspapers from time to time that notify people of money or property they’ve inherited but have not claimed. I wonder if there are storage areas in heaven labeled “Unclaimed Inheritances.” Is my name on some of that stuff? Is yours? How Do We Know What Our Inheritance Includes? The word study says an heir is one who receives the property of a deceased person especially by operation of law or by virtue of a will. If someone dies without leaving a will, his heirs never get what should rightfully be theirs by inheritance. The same result happens when there is a will, but the heirs don’t know what it says. Both add up to “eating cheese and crackers.” The Last Will and Testament is the key; and every time we hear covenant, we should remember—this is the legal document that is necessary in order for us to receive all that is already ours as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus. Have you ever known or heard about anyone who received a very, very large inheritance? In a moment of time (the death of the testator), the benefactor’s Last Will and Testament became valid, and the heir became very, very wealthy. Everything about the way the heir thinks, responds, plans, gives, works, prays, and lives changes—especially if the heir had been a pauper. But no matter how great the inheritance, there is always the nagging thought that it could run out someday. The stock market crash and Great Depression proved that. It’s Already Ours As New Covenant Christians, we have received an inheritance that can never crash, never run out, never be rescinded; and yet, very few of us, if any, are living in the fullness of what has been passed down to us—that is, what we are entitled to. How do we know? Our thinking, responding, planning, giving, working, praying . . . our living hasn’t changed much. If we would listen to how we pray and to the songs we sing, we would realize we’re asking God to do what He’s already done, to give what He’s already given, and to bring to pass what He said is already finished. If we are asking Him to do what He said is already done, we’re asking Him to do it again and are, in essence, saying the first time wasn’t enough. Selah. There’s nothing more for God to do to get our inheritance to us. We need to pay attention to the words that are in the past tense in the Bible, because that means it has already happened. He wrote out His Last Will and Testament, died so it would become of force, and then arose again to be sure it’s carried out. Our inheritance is already on deposit, and now it’s up to us to lay claim to it and live in it. There’s nothing In the Old Covenant (the law of sin and death), sin and its more for God to do curse had creditor-power because the debt owed had never been to get our inheritance paid—just put off, appeased, refinanced, mortgaged; and the to us. borrower was subject to the lender. The Old Covenant inheritance was bondage to sin and its curse because of the law.

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Heir and Joint-Heir But in the New Covenant (the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus), the debt owed to sin and its curse has been paid in full. Sin and its curse no longer have any authority and power over a New Covenant believer. When a mortgage is paid off, the mortgagor can no longer demand payments of the mortgagee, because a paid-off mortgage is a null and void mortgage. Similarly, a pawn shop owner can no longer demand more money once the amount owed has been paid in full and the item has been reclaimed and removed from the pawn shop. That’s redemption! Our New Covenant inheritance is freedom from captivity to sin and all its curse because the ransom has been paid in full. Nothing Missing and Nothing Broken When Jesus cut the New Blood Covenant, He took sin and its curse and paid the penalty for sin and its curse with His own body. Nothing else is owed. The curse includes every form of stealing, killing, and destroying, and every sickness and every disease, too. (See Deuteronomy 28:15–68.) Sin and its curse have no more power over those in the New Covenant. The only power a creditor has over us is when we still owe him something. Once our debt has been paid in full, the creditor is powerless as far as we are concerned. Therefore, sin and its curse (including all sickness and disease) are legally powerless as far as we are concerned. Our New Covenant inheritance is wholeness— nothing missing and nothing broken! Because sin and its curse are legally powerless because of the blood of Jesus, our inheritance is salvation; but that’s not limited to “fire insurance” and “a ticket to heaven.” Every time we hear, or think, or read salvation, we must remember its full definition in the Greek—deliverance, healing, pardon, preservation, restoration, safety, soundness, and wholeness. What an inheritance! It covers everything! The New Blood Covenant covers everything, and there are no codicils attached to it, nor will there ever be. All means all! Past Tense Accomplishment – Present Tense Reality Even as the heir of an estate learns about their inheritance from their predecessor’s Last Will and Testament, we also learn about our inheritance by reading, meditating on, and believing God’s Blood Covenant Word. Deuteronomy 28:1–14, Psalm 91, and John 14–17 are good starting places to learn what is already ours. For more heirlooms in our inheritance, read Paul’s letters (especially Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians) and make a list of all the things Brother Paul told those believers had been done for them and, therefore, for us—e.g., delivered, transferred, transformed, quickened, strengthened, grounded, rooted, filled, enlightened, adopted, justified, obtained, healed, redeemed, received, reconciled, blessed, sanctified, restored, renewed, old things are passed away, etc. Past tense accomplishment: present tense reality. —Keith Moore In Ephesians 1:17–18, Paul, in essence, was crying out, “O, that you would receive and live in ALL that you have inherited!” THE MESSAGE says it so well, I ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians!

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We Must Know What’s Ours and What’s Not We must know what is in our inheritance and what is not. For example: Genesis 1 says the grass, trees, animals, flowers and pollen, and everything else that God created, He said, were “very good.” What God called “very good” in Genesis 1 is still “very good” today; therefore, allergies to things God created are not part of our inheritance. Just think of the many Christians we know who are tormented year-round by something that’s not in their inheritance and that should have no effect on them, but they’re being destroyed for lack of knowledge of their inheritance. If we don’t go to our Attorney Jesus, our Advocate, and find out where we stand, how can we expect to receive what has been handed down to us? If we do not know our rights, we don’t have what’s rightfully ours. If we don’t know what’s included in our binding Agreement that If we do not know is guaranteed by blood and that has transferred property to us, we will our rights, be destroyed for that lack of knowledge. Jesus said, “And ought not this we don’t have what’s woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these rightfully ours. eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” In essence, He was saying, “Wholeness has always been in her inheritance as a descendant of Abraham, and she should have been healed eighteen years ago! Either she didn’t know it was rightfully hers, or she didn’t know how to lay hold of her heritage. Regardless the reason, the responsibility is on those who should have been teaching her what God’s Blood Covenant says. It’s high time she gets what’s been hers all along!” Then He laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. (See Luke 13:11–16, emphasis added.)

Is This in My Inheritance? If it’s stealing, killing, or destroying, it’s not part of our inheritance! If it’s in the Old Covenant but was made better in the New Covenant, then the better is part of our inheritance. For example, Gideon depended on a fleece to know if it was God talking to him, but we are to hear and obey His voice, not a circumstance. (See Judges 6, John 10.) Heirs are to reign! We need to draw the line and get on the inheritance side. The straight edge we are to use to draw that line is our Blood Covenant with our God. If it’s not in the Will, don’t accept it! Don’t sign for it! “Is this in my The litmus test, the filter, the clearance for everything in our lives inheritance?” should be to ask ourselves, “Is this in my inheritance?” I keep this filter If it’s not in the Will, handy by remembering the first letter of each word, I-T-I-M-I. ITIMI don’t accept it! [pronounced it-a-me] isn’t a word, so this isn’t an acronym; but it gets Don’t sign for it! the point across. I T I M I s h n y n i h s e r i t a n c e?

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Heir and Joint-Heir Regarding everything in our lives—what we think about, believe, read, hear, watch, say, pray, sing, plan, do, expect, accept, desire, where we go, even what we consume—we should ask ourselves, “Is this in my inheritance?” If it is, enjoy. But if it isn’t, refuse it! stop it! turn it off! change channels! throw it away! sing in the Spirit or sing the Covenant promise that supersedes the unbelief in that song that everyone else around us is singing! In churches of all kinds (denominations, non-denominations, post-denominations, new paradigm, seeker-oriented, even “faith” and “Word” churches), hymns, songs, and choruses are being sung that are asking for what is already ours by inheritance—thinking it’s humility, when, in fact, it’s ignorance. No matter how old the song is, how dear to us, how it makes us cry and feel so close to God, how Granddaddy loved it, how Mother taught it to us, or any other excuse, unbelief is unbelief. We’re joint-heirs, and everything we do should reflect that position. Are we watching stuff and hearing things that are not part of our inheritance? Even television commercials are advertising the inheritance of the children of darkness, the curse—allergies (it’s a year-round gimmick), diseases (even giving the percentage probabilities of our contracting it), and infirmities of all kinds. At the same time they’re advertising their drug, they are also sowing fear and trying to make us responsive and susceptible, so that we expect them and accept them. Not me! Do Not Move the Boundary of Inherited Property The Constitution of the United States is a covenant that has been paid for by the blood of our forefathers and countless soldiers throughout history; and the liberties it provides are not based on what we have done, but on the ones who gave their lives to purchase those freedoms for us. However, it is up to us to refuse to allow enemies (no matter their disguise, foreign and domestic) to take our freedoms from us! The same is true of our Blood Covenant inheritance from God. It’s not because of what we’ve done (past, present, or future), but it’s because of what Jesus did when He gave His life to purchase our inheritance for us. However, it is up to us to refuse to allow the enemies of tradition, limitation, and contradiction (spelled U-N-B-E-L-I-E-F) to make our inheritance of none effect in our lives. God has always been very adamant about not moving the boundaries of inherited property: Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee to possess it. Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen. Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set (Deuteronomy 19:14; 27:17; Proverbs 22:28).

That’s what unbelief does. It moves the absolute line provided in our Blood Covenant inheritance. When the Word says “all,” unbelief adds, “But not for you, not your disease.” When our Blood Covenant says “now,” unbelief says, “Don’t get your hopes up. Gradually is good enough; and besides, it may not even be God’s will, you know.” The Blood Covenant and the inheritance it guarantees are Unbelief is immutable and absolute—unchangeable and without exceptions. If our the #1 inheritance says “all . . . now,” then that’s what we have—all . . . now! landmark-mover! Unbelief is the #1 landmark-mover! Jesus said the sin the Holy Spirit would reprove the world of was (not murder, not adultery, not stealing, nor any of the other ten) unbelief. Jesus said unbelief is sin. (See John 16:8–9.) The Greek definition of sin is to miss the mark and so not share in the prize. That’s talking about inheritance. All forms of unbelief have but one purpose— to prevent us from sharing in our prize, our inheritance. We are to recognize this enemy for what it is and refuse to let our inheritance be limited or taken away altogether.

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We Have a New Family Tree Now When we are born from above and enter into God’s New Blood Covenant family, we have a new Father, a new family, a new family tree—the cross! “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). All means all. In the Old Covenant, curses and judgments were visited on third and fourth generations, but not so in the New, for there are no more curses! They’ve been nullified, that is, made ineffective by legal action! [This subject will be discussed more completely in Chapter 11.] Oh, how this needs to be shouted from the housetops and the pulpits. There are no generational curses nor inherited diseases in our inheritance! We’ve inherited blessings, not curses! We’ve inherited healing and health, not diseases! God’s definition of terminal is terminates at Calvary! We are free indeed in our new family tree! “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). How Do We Make Withdrawals from Our Inheritance Account? When an heir has heard the reading of the Will and knows he has received an inheritance, he doesn’t go to the bank and beg for mercy in order to get his property, he doesn’t strive to try to get it, and he doesn’t work trying to deserve it. No way! He goes to the source and lays claim to it, writes out a check, or fills out a withdrawal slip. Mercy made its final bow when Jesus died on the cross for us. We’re not asking for mercy any longer. We’re taking what’s ours. What a difference in our attitude and actions when we’re taking what is ours, as opposed to begging, hoping, pleading for mercy! Mercy is not part of an inheritance. In fact, a people only need mercy when they do not have an inheritance, like those folks in Ephesians 2:12: “At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” How do we make withdrawals? #1 – by believing God is No Covenant – no hope. Who He says He is; and #2 – by expecting Him to do what He Know Covenant – know hope! said He would do—His Word, His Blood Covenant, His Will. That’s how God defines faith in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” We lay claim to our inheritance when we remind God of our Blood Covenant with Him and write on our withdrawal slip, “Be it unto me according to thy Word” (Luke 1:38, emphasis added). Don’t Sign for the Package If It’s Not Part of Your Inheritance! The full meaning of our redemption-inheritance should be the focus of our thought life so that we are meditating on our inheritance day and night. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 says our helmet is the hope of salvation, which means the Word-picture (hope) in our thought life (helmet) should always be deliverance, healing, pardon, preservation, restoration, safety, soundness, and wholeness (the full meaning of salvation in the Greek). If the UPS man came knocking on our door and had a box of snakes with our name on it, would we sign for it? No way! In the same way, we should not sign for anything that’s not in our inheritance! Every time a thought, a symptom, or a spoken word tries to put something on us (knocking at our door) that’s opposite to deliverance, healing, pardon, preservation, restoration, safety, soundness, and wholeness, we must stop it—believing and saying, “No way! That’s not in my inheritance! Get out of here! I am a joint-heir with Jesus! I am delivered, healed, pardoned, preserved, restored, safe, sound, and whole!”

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Heir and Joint-Heir As we apply the “Is This In My Inheritance?” filter to everything that comes our way, we could also determine, “Is this (whatever the thing is) part of my deliverance, healing, pardon, preservation, restoration, safety, soundness, and wholeness?” If we did that, then all we’d ever accept or see ourselves walking in would be

deliverance,

healing,

pardon,

preservation,

restoration,

safety,

soundness, and

wholeness!

The tendency is to get bored with this repetition and to skip over this list of eight words, saying to ourselves, “blah, blah, blah” or “etc., etc., etc.” We have been taught that salvation means being born again—our “fire insurance” to escape hell and our “ticket to heaven.” These reasons are true, but they’re only for the future. The full meaning of salvation is for the here and now. How many people do we know who are presently living • delivered from every form of captivity, • healed of every sickness and every disease (including chronic ailments), • pardoned and free of guilt, • preserved from every fiery dart hurled and every weapon formed against them, • restored to face-to-face intimacy in God’s secret place 24/7, • safe and inaccessible no matter how fierce the storm, • sound in their spirit, soul, mind, body, family, finances, business, etc. • absolutely whole? Using the first letter of each word, I made up this syncopated jingle to help me remember these words— D, H, and dou-ble P R, doubl’ S, and dou-ble U Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! Repetition (not as a will-less parrot, but focusing one’s thoughts with intent to understand and having Let the redeemed it in mind as a purpose) is an excellent method for becoming Blood Covenant minded. “This is who I am and where I am—I am delivered, of the Lord say so! healed, pardoned, preserved, restored, safe, sound, and whole! I am an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus. The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and its curse [incipient death]. My inheritance is first person and present tense—for me and right now—nothing missing and nothing broken!” There is no process when it comes to receiving our Blood Covenant redemptioninheritance. We don’t have to “speak of things that are not as though they were” when it comes to our inheritance. It is ours already, and it will manifest the moment we believe— Bible-believe 100 percent. Hope is seeing it as our inheritance that’s already legally ours. In the past, our lack of hope and our doubting unbelief have prevented our inheritance from becoming experientially ours, but those days are over. We are not making a withdrawal if we’re thinking, “The ball is in God’s court, and He’ll do this when He thinks I’m ready for it;” or “I’ll get healed in God’s good time.” God’s good time was at Calvary! This is supposed to sound humble, but it’s just another way to try to shift our responsibility back on Him.

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But when we acknowledge, “It’s in my inheritance, which means, it’s already done,” then the responsibility has shifted back on me, where it should be. Now the question is, “What will I do with my inheritance—live in it, or ignore it?” Who Is Responsible to Enforce Our Inheritance? The whole purpose of Jesus freeing us from captivity by paying our ransom was to make us heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus and to transfer our inheritance to us. If we never hear about it, or if we hear and don’t receive it—then all that Jesus did was useless as far as we are concerned. If we receive the born again part but never hear that we’ve also inherited the physical healing He purchased on the cross; or if we hear and refuse to appropriate it, then the mutilation Jesus bore for us was in vain. The same parallels are applicable to all the other facets of our inheritance. Oh, but when we do receive what He paid for, He rejoices and says, “It was worth it just to see them made whole again!” In the earthly scheme of things, Papa doesn’t get to see the joy as his heirs hear, receive, and use what he provided for them; but Jesus is alive, and He and our heavenly Father rejoice every time we reign in life as Their heirs and joint-heirs. The father in Luke 15 gave his two prodigal sons their inheritances long before he died because one of them asked for it. That same one promptly squandered it on riotous living and ended up feeding pigs, which was definitely not a part of his inheritance. His plan was to go back home to his father, not as an heir, but as a servant. Meanwhile, the other son was still trying to earn what was already his, but he had not been appropriating it. If I were the daughter of a millionaire, I would not consider going into debt or choosing a financial source other than my inheritance. Since I am an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus, why would I even think about choosing a source other than God to meet my needs?!? During the centuries that have followed the early years of the Church as the eyewitnesses of Jesus’ ministry began to die off, God’s Blood Covenant people began • to listen to others’ opinions more than to God’s plan, • to seek sources other than God for their protection and provision, • to magnify others’ evil reports above God’s good report, • to make excuses for their own unbelief (it’s called tradition), • to limit what God said, • to disobey His command to teach their children, and • to not love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Everything began to fall apart in their marriages, families, homes, churches, businesses, and bodies. They were no longer living in their inheritance and reigning in life because they weren’t being taught the Blood Covenant. God’s plan for the fathers to teach the heirs hasn’t changed, but most fathers today have relinquished their teaching responsibilities to the preacher and Sunday School teacher; or they have decided their wife has more time and knows more about it than they do. They let her do it alone, instead of the two of them teaching the children (their heirs) together. In most of today’s homes, the mother works, too. She’s even busier than the father because when she gets home, she can’t sit down with the paper in front of the TV. She still has to be the mother and homemaker before she finally falls into bed. So who is teaching the kids? Nobody. Sunday School teachers and the preacher only have access to the children for about one hour per week. Parents daily have lots more time than that with their kids; or they would have, if their schedules and their children’s schedules weren’t so full of things that won’t matter in eternity. Then there would be plenty of time for Deuteronomy 6:6–7, 9:

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Heir and Joint-Heir And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. . . . and thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

What is the point here? What we do with our inheritance determines its effect on us, and it determines what we pass on to our heirs, physically and spiritually. What Is Our Responsibility Regarding Our Inheritance? This is the chapter where we have to shift gears from what He did . . . to what is ours. Somehow we’ve gotten hung-up in neutral between knowing what He did and appropriating all of it to us now—not “gonna be,” nor “wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’ for Him to give it to us whenever He’s ready,” but really grasping, “This is who I am now, because the Blood Covenant is my inheritance now.” It is our responsibility to walk in our inheritance ourselves, then shout it from the housetops and tell it on the mountains. If someone were teaching a weight-loss class and they weighed 300 pounds, would we believe them? No. Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself (Hebrews 13:7–8 THE MESSAGE).

And we’re joint-heirs! Jesus said it this way, Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life . . . Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously. Pass on what you heard from me . . . to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others (Matthew 28:19–20; 10:7–8; 2 Timothy 2:2 THE MESSAGE).

First Person . . . Present Tense God has already done everything He’s going to do. It’s the preaching and teaching that have to change in order for the Church to walk in her full redemption. “Becoming Inheritance Minded” should be the number one sermon topic for preachers and the number one passion for believers, because the Church is full of heirs who aren’t walking in their inheritance and full of redeemed joint-heirs who are still in bondage in satan’s Pawn Shop—“eating cheese and crackers” and being destroyed for lack of knowledge.

And now, brethren, I commit you to God—that is, I deposit you in His charge, entrusting you to His protection and care. And I commend you to the Word of His grace— to the commands and counsels and promises of His unmerited favor.

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It is able to build you up and to give you [your rightful] inheritance among all God’s set-apart ones—those consecrated, purified and transformed of soul. Acts 20:32 amplified, emphasis added

A death has taken place. The Will is in effect. We have an inheritance. Let’s receive . . . exclaiming, “Be it unto me according to Your Word— Your binding Agreement based on the integrity of the Godhead, guaranteed by the blood of Jesus, that transferred property to me.”

Chapter Notes: 1 Ages 19 and under were not considered heads of anything by God; and He, therefore, held them guiltless and put the full responsibility and judgment for the murmuring on those 20 and older. (See Numbers 14:29.)

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Seven

C hapter

Exchange Coats These next several “wedding gifts” are not in any particular order, because they’re all given at the same time—when we enter the Blood Covenant. In lands where blood covenants are the way of life, as part of the ceremony the covenantors exchange their coats, which best represent who each person really is. In Bible times, a man’s coat represented who he was—his nationality, his religious standing, his occupation, and his financial status.

Exchange of Coats in the Old and New Blood Covenants Adam and Eve’s first garment, their first covering, was the glory of God. It was only when they disobeyed God’s Word and chose another overlord that their garment was changed. “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Genesis 3:7). But God intervened with blood to cover their sinfulness, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). King Ahab was going into battle and didn’t want to be recognized as the king of Israel, so he took off his kingly robe, “And the king of Israel [Ahab] said unto Jehoshaphat [king of Judah], I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle” (1 Kings 22:30, emphasis added). When King Saul went to get direction from the witch at Endor, he didn’t want his royal robes to give him away, “And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night” (1 Samuel 28:8). The stark clothing of prophets was to show their contempt of earthly splendor, “And he [the king of Samaria] said unto them [his messengers], What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words? And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite” (2 Kings 1:7–8, emphasis added). Similarly, John the Baptist’s attire made him stand apart from everyone else, “And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey” (Matthew 3:4). You could tell— • a blind beggar by his garment, and Bartimæus knew he wasn’t going to need that identifying uniform after Jesus finished with his eyes, “And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus” (Mark 10:50). • the virgin daughter of a king by her robe, “And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king’s daughters that were virgins apparelled” (2 Samuel 13:18). ��� a widow by her garment, “And she [Tamar] put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a veil, and wrapped herself ” (Genesis 38:14, emphasis added).

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a harlot by her attire, “When Judah saw her [Tamar], he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face” (Genesis 38:15, emphasis added). “And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart” (Proverbs 7:10). the proud scribes by their long robes with enlarged borders, “Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes. They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments” (Luke 20:46; Matthew 23:5).

In the tabernacle, the high priest wore a beautiful, regal garment; but when he was to make atonement for himself and the people, he put on a plain garment like them. When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the outer court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people (Ezekiel 42:14).

That’s what Jesus did when He came here as a man so He could take our place. He laid aside His glorious attire and put on flesh like us. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (Galatians 4:4–5; John 1:14).

Special garments were given when old covenants were restored or reconfirmed, and when new covenants were made: • the father of the younger prodigal son gave him the best robe—the festive, honor robe, “But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet” (Luke 15:22). • Jacob gave his favorite son, Joseph, a coat of many colors, and his brothers hated him because of it, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours” (Genesis 37:3). • David and Jonathan exchanged robes when they cut covenant, “Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle” (1 Samuel 18:3–4). The guests at a wedding wore a special garment, and not having on that wedding garment was proof the intruder had not received an invitation. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:11–14).

The overcomers and the redeemed will be known by their white robes dipped in blood. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment. And white robes were given unto every one of them. A great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.

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Exchange Coats And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 3:5; 6:11; 7:9, 13–14).

At the marriage supper of the Lamb, His Bride will “be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Revelation 19:8).

From Rags . . . to Riches From Rags . . . In the New Blood Covenant, there is a specific exchange of coats. Before we respond to God’s invitation—hear the Good News, count the cost, and decide to enter into the Blood Covenant, we have on a garment: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). For example: mental garbage emotional garbage paranoid loneliness cutthroat competition brutal temper addictions envy & jealousy hateful & hating God covetous, greedy, selfish deceived & deceiving conscienceless covenant-breaker proud, arrogant, boastful frenzied grabs for happiness fear, terror, dread, anxiety

heartless, merciless, I-could-care-less “secret” sins all-consuming yet never-satisfied wants “I’m an exception!” unable to love or be loved unforgiving & vengeful small-minded & lopsided pursuits compromises of all kinds boastful of & flaunting sin habitual procrastinator bicker, gossip, backbite, slander despair, dismay, depression dishonoring & disobedient to parents lazy, slothful no reverence & respect for authority blasphemous sexual impurity & lusts of all kinds idolatry of all kinds worshiping the created instead of the Creator unthankful knowing what’s right but not doing it lack, want, debt trusting everything & everyone but God etc. approving & applauding others who do wrong etc. vain imaginings, foolish reasonings, stupid speculations etc. sickness, disease, fear of inherited disease etc. [see Galatians 5:17–21; Romans 1:21–32]

An effective way to demonstrate this “exchange of coats” facet of the Blood Covenant is to write [with a marking pen] each one of these filthy rag labels on a strip of cloth torn from an old sheet. The strips are taped [using masking tape on both ends of the strip] around a volunteer model (who is representing each one of us) until he is bound up like a mummy— completely encased by the filthy rags of the spiritually dead person that we all were. But when we accepted God’s proposal for us to enter into Covenant with Him, we say [the volunteer model is prompted from inside the burial cloths to repeat], “Oh, God, I believe what Jesus did for me in His death and resurrection. I make Jesus my Lord and Master. All I have, including these filthy rags, is Yours.” And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the

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filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by (Zechariah 3:1–5).

We hear Almighty God, our Father, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him! Loose him and let him go!” All those standing around begin loosening the strips of cloth, letting them fall to the floor at the model’s feet. In just a few minutes, his old coat (that which best represented who he was) is gone, and he is free! To Riches Now what coat will our new Covenant Partner, our Father, give in exchange for the rags we’ve given Him? I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).

He Hath Clothed Me with the Garments of Salvation We have already established that salvation in the Greek means: Deliverance Restoration Healing Safety Pardon Soundness Preservation Wholeness Material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension Nothing missing and nothing broken The love nature of God is described in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 in “The Message,” as follows: Love never gives up Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth Love cares more for others than for self Love puts up with anything Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have Love trusts God always Love doesn’t force itself on others Love always looks for the best Love isn’t always “me first” Love never looks back Love doesn’t fly off the handle Love keeps going to the end Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others Love never dies Love doesn’t take satisfaction when others are abased Lastly, the fruit of the God’s Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22–23 (from the King James Version and “The Message”) adds the following characteristics: Love – affection for others Joy – exuberance for life Peace – serenity Long-suffering – willingness to stick with things Gentleness – sense of compassion in the heart Goodness – conviction that a basic holiness permeates people Faithfulness – loyal to commitments Meekness – not needing to force my way in life Self-control – able to marshal and direct my energies wisely Each one of these labels (in the three lists above) is written [with a marker] on strips of cloth torn from a white sheet. The strips are hung loosely [with masking tape on only one

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Exchange Coats end of each strip] like a free-flowing garment on the volunteer model. This is truly “from rags to riches”—from the bondage of filthy rags to the life and freedom of salvation! He Hath Covered Me with the Robe of Righteousness The Lord continues the exchange of coats from Isaiah 61:10. A beautiful long robe [a crimson red linen tablecloth can be used] is draped around our representative model’s shoulders, and a sign, “IN RIGHT-STANDING IN JESUS,” is pinned to the robe where it comes together below the model’s chin. He begins to parade up and down [like a fashion model on the walkway] for all to see the new attire that now best represents who he really is! Remember, the volunteer is representing all of us. This exchange of garments is what happened to us in the very moment we made Jesus our Lord, and we entered into the Blood Covenant with God through Him. We suddenly realize, “Look! We look just like Jesus! We’re recognized in Jesus at the Throne, and we’re recognized in Jesus at the gates of hell!” The combined definitions of righteousness from Webster’s and Strong’s are right, guiltless, blameless, proven right, equal. That’s our new dog tag, our new mug shot, our new Eternal Security Number, our new photo I.D. We are in our Covenant Brother Jesus; and we’re right in God’s eyes because we’re one with Jesus. The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness (Philippians 3:7–9 THE MESSAGE).

As we stand boldly before the Throne of God, the scepter of His Kingdom is held out to us that we may live, the scepter of absolute right-standing. Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom (Esther 4:10–11; 5:1–3). But unto the Son he [God] saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows (Hebrews 1:8–9, emphasis added). And we’re joint-heirs!

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship

We have exchanged coats! The model twirls around as if parading in a fashion show, as the others read: Therefore if any person is (ingrafted) in Christ, the Messiah, he is (a new creature altogether,) a new creation; the old (previous moral and spiritual condition) has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 amplified).

All we had is His, and all He has is ours. Look at our coat now, at what best represents who we really are now. These are our Covenant Partner’s clothes, our permanent wardrobe. His anointing is in these garments and the robe we’re wearing to heal, set free, and make whole all who touch us. We’re in Him, and He’s in us! The Past Is Just That—PASSED No matter what I’m doing, I like to clean up as I go: I secure a paper sack to the step ladder for the little strips and pieces that are left-over when I’m hanging wallpaper, I keep the trash basket at my right side under the sewing table, and I put a large trash bag in a corner of the living room on Christmas Eve so it’s ready for all the crumpled wrapping paper and bows that will be flying everywhere on Christmas morning. When the strips of filthy rags were being taken off the mummified model, my first impulse was to tell those who had loosed him to pick them up; but the Spirit of Truth had other plans—plans to lead and guide us all into all truth. Once upon a time, there was a king. He decided to give a big feast for his people. He had signs made and posted at all the important places. They said, “On such-and-such a date, the king is giving a feast, and all are invited to come. Royal dress is expected.” A beggar came down the street and saw the sign. “Now,” he said to his friends, “I can’t attend that feast. You can’t attend the feast. The king knows that we do not have any royal apparel to wear.” The beggar went to see the king. He made so much fuss about it that they let him see the king. “I cannot attend because I do not have any royal robes,” the beggar complained to the king. The king called one of his servants and asked him to bring his son to them. The son came in, and the king explained that this man wanted to attend the feast, but he did not have a royal robe to wear. “Can you help him?” the king asked. “Come with me,” said the son. He took the beggar into a large room completely filled with royal robes. “Pick one out,” he said. The beggar took off his rags and piled them on the floor while he donned his new robe. “Now,” said the king’s son, “you can come to the feast.” As the beggar departed, he reached down and picked up the bundle of dirty rags. The son said, “You will not need them anymore. The robe I gave you will stay bright and beautiful all through your life.” “But,” said the beggar, “I have had them for so long . . . I wouldn’t feel at home without them.” “As you wish,” said the son. The beggar came to the banquet wearing his new robe and carrying his bundle of dirty rags. He tried laying them on his lap, but they slid off to the floor. He picked them up and held onto them. When the steak came by, he could not get a steak without dropping his bundle of dirty rags. He only got a little gravy. All the other great foods passed him by in the same manner. All the other guests had a feast, and he went home hungry because he would not let loose of his rags to get the food.

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Exchange Coats Sometime later, someone reported to the king that they had found a beggar dead in a deserted cottage . . . and that he was wearing one of the king’s robes. “Will you come and see about it?” The king came to the cottage. The beggar was lying on a cot wearing his royal robe and still holding onto his bundle of dirty rags . . . and the king wept.1 Think about how large the windshield on your car is, as compared with how small the rear-view mirror is. There’s a message there. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee (Proverbs 4:25). Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:18–19). Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

God never told us to dissect, work through, figure out, relive, place blame The past is just for, or understand the past. The past is just that—passed. “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and that—passed. beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Galatians 4:9). The only reason God kept mentioning Egypt was to remind His people how He had brought them out of the bondage into promised freedom. The only reason to look back is to be encouraged by God’s faithfulness. Go back and look what I’ve done for you— ev’ry trial, I brought you through!2 And when the waves were mounting so high, I lifted you up, and I kept you dry! And when they threw you in the fire, called you “a fool” and said I was “a liar,” I kept you safe! You weren’t alone . . . for you are My child, My very own! We are the righteousness of God in Christ. Everything is brand new. Those filthy rags are passed away—dead. We are not to pick them up, nor allow anyone else to. That would be “communicating with the dead,” which is a big no-no: There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee (Deuteronomy 18:10–12, emphasis added). You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be eventempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it (Colossians 3:9–14 THE MESSAGE).

If any accuser tries to bring up our past to condemn us, we are not to give that symptom a second chance! With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that. The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us. Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s

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Exchange Coats Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children (Romans 8:1–16 THE MESSAGE, emphasis added).

If we’ve allowed any of the filthy rags to get back on us, it was through our enemy’s deception and our ignorance. If deception and ignorance got them back on us, knowledge of the truth will get them off! It is our responsibility to wield that Sword, put those beggarly rags in the fire, like Colossians 3:9 said, and give them place no longer! [To complete the skit with the representative model, gather up all the “filthy rags” on the floor and stuff them in a white plastic bag on which you’ve drawn flames of fire, as you quote, “You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire!”]

First Person . . . Present Tense A really exciting thing happened with one of the representative models—a tall, upstanding young man who knew what right-standing meant and lived it 24/7. As we were almost finished taping the filthy rags around him, and he was feeling very much like a real mummy, he tilted his encased head upward and extemporaneously prayed, “Oh, God, I can hardly wait until You set me free and make me new!” Then, after he had been loosed from his past and clothed with the free-flowing garments of salvation and covered with the robe of righteousness, I began to teach this part about not letting anyone or anything put the filthy rags back on you. I tried to make my voice sound like the fiendish accuser of the brethren as I reached down and picked up one of the rags on the floor near his feet, and with baiting and beguiling words attempted to tape it on him again. Prompted only by the Spirit of Truth, the model instantly grabbed hold of his robe of righteousness with his left hand and swept it across in front of his body and up to his right shoulder as a shield, shouting something like, “You are a liar! I am redeemed! My past is dead and gone—I’m in Jesus now! Get out of here!” Hallelujah! Amen! We are now clothed in the garments of salvation’s wholeness and covered by the robe of right-standing in Jesus. Accepted!

Forgiven!

New!

There has been an exchange of coats!

Chapter Notes: 1 Bits and Pieces of a Lifetime by O. B. Spencer. Copyright 1992. Used by permission. 2 “I didn’t cause the trial; but when it came on you because of sin and the curse, and you called on Me, your Covenant Partner, for help, I was right there in your fiery furnace, and I brought you out without even the smell of smoke on your new clothes. I brought you through.”

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It’s in the Name, the Name of Jesus these signs shall follow them that believe. And in that Name, they’ll tell the Good News— man has been reconciled, he’s been set free! And in that Name, they’ll have authority over the enemy and his ploy . . . He cannot harm or even hurt them; he cannot steal, kill, or destroy. And in that Name, they’ll speak new languages, they’ll talk in secrets with God above, And through their hands the sick will be made well— it’s in His Name, His pow’r, His love! The Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth— it’s in His Name, His pow’r, His love! Mark 16:15–18

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Eight

C hapter

Exchange Names

I

n lands where blood covenants are the way of life, the covenantors exchange their names, or parts of their names, so that they are forever identified as being in covenant union. When two people enter into a covenant of marriage, they exchange names. The wife takes the groom’s last name as her new last name; and from that day on, he is known as, “Mary Smith’s husband.” In some marriages, both the husband and the wife join the other’s last name to their own with a hyphen. When there is a lack of understanding of a blood covenant and, in particular, this facet of exchanging names, sometimes the wife chooses to keep her maiden name, rather than take her husband’s name and proclaim their union and commitment to each other to everyone they meet. Webster defines name as a word constituting the distinctive nature of a person or thing; the embodiment of a reputation; and spiritual qualities in a concentrated form. The Hebrew defines name as a mark or memorial of individuality, identifying title. The Greek defines name as authority, character. Finally, Vine’s Dictionary adds that name means all that a name implies of authority, character, rank, majesty, power, excellence. By combining all of these, our definition of name will be nature, reputation, spiritual qualities, identifying title, authority, and character. When we hear someone’s name, we immediately think about their character, their reputation, their nature and spiritual qualities, and their authority. It is their identifying title. For example, consider what you think, see, and even feel when you hear these names: Jesus, Jezebel, Marilyn Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Judas Iscariot, Hitler, Lassie, Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth, Charles Manson, Joan of Arc, Michael Jordan, (your child’s name), President Nixon, President Clinton, or President Bush. If you don’t happen to know one of these people, their name is no different than the anonymous John Doe. You don’t think, or see, or feel anything.

Exchange of Names in the Old Blood Covenant God of Abraham When God entered into the Blood Covenant with Abram, there was an exchange of names. God took the most prevalent letter in His name Jahweh and put it into Abram’s name and Sarai’s name, too. From that day on, they were known as Abraham and Sarah. And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship

And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her (Genesis 17: 1–5, 15–16).

Then, to complete the exchange of names, God added Abraham to His own name; and from then on, His Covenant name was the God of Abraham. And the Lord appeared unto him [Isaac] the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake (Genesis 26:24, emphasis added).

As Abraham’s descendants came on the scene, God’s name was enlarged to include their names, too—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because as Abraham’s heirs, they were partakers of his Blood Covenant inheritance. And when the Lord saw that he [Moses] turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God (Exodus 3:4–6, emphasis added).

Other Names of God As God’s Covenant people, Abraham and his heirs listened to (but sometimes ignored) His voice, obeyed (but sometimes disobeyed) His Covenant, and lived in (but sometimes lived outside of ) their inheritance. They had many needs that were always met by His faithful supply. At times, He would give them another of His many names—identifying titles that revealed His authority, character, rank, majesty, power, and excellence—to help them remember His Blood Covenant commitment to them. I AM And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations (Exodus 3:13–15).

In essence, God was saying, “Whatever you need, I AM the supply of that need. You need deliverance? I AM. You need water and food? I AM. You need protection? I AM. You need healing? I AM. You need to get paid for 400 years of slave labor? I AM. You need a shield against every weapon formed against you? I AM. You need directions? I AM. You need victory? I AM.” Jesus said, And I will do—I Myself will grant—whatever you may ask in My name [presenting all I AM] so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in [through] the Son. [Yes] I will grant—will do for you—whatever you shall ask in My name [presenting all I AM].

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Exchange Names And when that time comes, you will ask nothing of Me—you will need to ask Me no questions. I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that My Father will grant you whatever you ask in My name [presenting all I AM]. Up to this time, you have not asked a [single] thing in My name [that is, presenting all I AM] but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete (John 14:13–14; 16:23–24 amplified).

In Matthew 14 when the disciples were caught in a violent storm and were so terrified, Jesus walked on the water to come to their rescue. That frightened them even more. The King James Version says in verse 27, “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” The literal Greek for this verse in The NJKV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament says, “Have courage! I AM. Do not be afraid.” Our Covenant-keeping God’s very name proclaims the bottom line of our Blood Covenant: “All I have is yours. Whatever your need is, I AM the supply.” “My Son, I hear the captives’ cry to be set free from sin’s domain! So, will You go and give Your life and give them light to see again?” Then I AM said, “I will, I will do ev’rything You ask Me to; Your heart’s desire completely fill; I want to show My love for You.” “Thou Son of David passing by, have mercy on me is my plea! O listen to my life-long cry—open my eyes, I want to see!” Then I AM said, “I will, I will do ev’rything you ask Me to; Your heart’s desire completely fill; I want to show My love for you.”

John 3:16 Hebrews 10:5–7

Mark 10:46–52 Acts 10:38

“He’s coming. See the crowd out there. He’s not afraid of leprosy! Luke 17:11–19 Oh, Master, please come over here, and make us whole, and set us free!” Then I AM said, “I will, I will do ev’rything you ask Me to; Matthew 8:16–17 Your heart’s desire completely fill; I want to show My love for you.” The Great I AM is here today! His blood can cleanse the toughest stain. If you believe, then simply pray, “Lord Jesus, make me whole again!” I AM will say, “I will, I will do ev’rything you ask Me to; Your heart’s desire completely fill; I want to show My love for you.”

Romans 10:8–10 Luke 4:18–19

“My Son, the time has fin’lly come once more to enter sin’s domain; 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 So, will You go and bring them home—with Us forever to remain?” The Great I AM will say, “I will, I will do ev’rything You ask Me to; Psalm 40:7–8 Your heart’s desire completely fill; I want to show My love for You; I will, I will!” Jehovah-Jireh Jehovah will see (to it) [margin note: The Lord will see, or, provide] And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen (Genesis 22:13–14, emphasis added).

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship

Jehovah-Raphah Jehovah (is) my physician

And [the Lord] said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee (Exodus 15:26, emphasis added).

Jehovah-Nissi Jehovah (is) my banner And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: for he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation (Exodus 17:14–16, emphasis added; also read verses 8–16 for the complete picture—as long as Moses held up the rod of God, His banner over them, they prevailed and ultimately won.)

Jehovah-Shalom Jehovah (is) peace And the Lord said unto him [Gideon], Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites (Judges 6:23–24, emphasis added).

Jehovah-Tsidkenu Jehovah (is) our right Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:5–6, emphasis added).

Jehovah-Shammah Jehovah (is) thither It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there (Ezekiel 48:35, emphasis added).

Exchange of Names in the New Blood Covenant What name do we bring to exchange? Sinner There’s only one identifying title that fully describes our nature, reputation, spiritual qualities, lack-of-authority, and character when we are in captivity to satan, sin, and the curse of sin, and that is sinner. No matter how religious and good we think we are, if we’re strangers from the covenants of promise, we are sinners; and we have missed the mark and are not sharing in the prize. What Names Do We Receive in Exchange? Christian Christian in the Greek means a follower of Christ. By combining Webster’s meaning of the suffix -ian with Christ (which means anointed in the Greek), Christian means:

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Exchange Names • • • •

one that is of or related to the Anointed One one that is skilled in or specializing in the Anointed One one who is identified with the Anointed One one who is like the Anointed One

“The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26, emphasis added). “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28, emphasis added). “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf ” (1 Peter 4:16, emphasis added). Instead of saying, “I’m a Christian,” are we bold enough to say, “I’m Christlike”? All He thinks and says and does, He now can do through me. I’ve been made a Christlike one in ev’ry way, you see. I am not my own; He bought me with His blood. Now I will think and say and do His Word today. I’m to do the works He did and greater, greater ones— Heal the sick and raise the dead, feed hungry, hungry ones; Calm the angry storm and set the captive free; But the greatest work of all . . . to make you family. I’m to tell you, “Jesus died and ’rose, He arose again! He’s redeemed you from the law of death, the curse of sin. Just believe His Word, confess Him as your Lord, Then you will be made new and have His life within. “Now you’re in the Family because you’re born again, In Covenant with Father God through Jesus Christ, the Lamb. You’ve a right to all He has; you’re joint-heir with the King! His Holy Spirit sevenfold abides within. “All He thinks and says and does, He now can do through you. You are now a Christlike one! He lives, He lives in you! You are not your own; He bought you with His blood. Now you can think and say and do His Word today.” Friend Friend is a blood-covenant term. In the lands where covenants are made and honored, if you introduce someone as “my friend,” it is immediately understood by everyone else that you two are in a blood covenant with each other. That’s why God referred to Abraham as “My friend.” But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God (Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23, emphasis added).

As Jehoshaphat was presenting their case before God, he said, “Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?” (2 Chronicles 20:7, emphasis added). Proverbs 18:24 says, “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Why? Because that friend is a blood covenant partner. Someone has said, “A friend is the family we choose.” And Jesus said He now calls us friends, not servants:

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Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you (John 15:13–15, emphasis added).

Now when we sing these old hymns, they will have a whole new meaning to us—“What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear . . .” and “I have found a Friend in Jesus—He’s everything to me . . .” Jesus The most important name we are given when we enter into the Blood Covenant is the right to use the name of Jesus.

JESUS

His personal name

Jehovah-saved is the meaning of the Hebrew word Jesus came from

CHRIST

His title

the Anointed One, Messiah

LORD

His position

reached its full significance after His resurrection

SAVIOR

His assignment

Redeemer—frees from captivity by paying the ransom

J E S U S

USTIFIES 1 —— TERNALLY AVES,

2

3

TTERLY

4

ANCTIFIES

5

releases from sin and guilt and its merited punishment, and accepts as in right-standing 2 endlessly 3 makes whole 4 totally 5 separates and sets apart 1

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Exchange Names Whether we read the above acronym as “Jesus justifies—eternally saves, utterly sanctifies,” or as “Jesus releases from sin and guilt and its merited punishment, and accepts as in right-standing—endlessly makes whole, totally separates and sets apart,” this acronym certainly describes Jesus’ nature, reputation, spiritual qualities, identifying title, authority, and character, including His rank, majesty, power, and excellence. And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name (Luke 10:17, emphasis added). And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18–20, emphasis added). And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen (Mark 16:15–18, 20, emphasis added).

The name of Jesus! No college or seminary degree after their name, no cassette tape library, no impressive study Bible in their hand, no bumper sticker, no high-back velvet and gold chair on the The name of Jesus! platform of the largest church in the city, no worldwide mailing list— It was all the early Church just the name of Jesus. It was all the early Church believers had, and believers had, they knew it was all they needed. and they knew it was all The Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, and all the other religious they needed. leaders in Jerusalem were enraged with jealousy because their religious system was being turned right-side-up by the Christians. Even though they didn’t believe in the Jesus these believers were preaching, they quickly saw their miraculous power was coming from the name of Jesus. One day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up, expecting to get something from them. Peter said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked. . . . The man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing and praising God. [Peter said] “Faith in Jesus’ name put this man, whose condition you know so well, on his feet—yes, faith and nothing but faith put this man healed and whole right before your eyes.” While Peter and John were addressing the people, the priests, the chief of the Temple police, and some Sadducees came up, indignant that these upstart apostles

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were instructing the people and proclaiming that the resurrection from the dead had taken place in Jesus. They arrested them and threw them in jail until morning, for by now it was late in the evening. But many of those who listened had already believed the Message—in round numbers about five thousand! The next day a meeting was called in Jerusalem. The rulers, religious leaders, religion scholars, Annas the Chief Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander—everybody who was anybody was there. They stood Peter and John in the middle of the room and grilled them: “Who put you in charge here? What business do you have doing this?” With that, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: “Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.” They couldn’t take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that? They sent them out of the room so they could work out a plan. They talked it over: “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute that. But so that it doesn’t go any further, let’s silence them with threats so they won’t dare to use Jesus’ name ever again with anyone.” They called them back and warned them that they were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. As for us, there’s no question—we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard” (Acts 3:1–8, 16; 4:1–20 THE MESSAGE, emphasis added).

What are some of Jesus’ other identifying titles—names that reveal His nature, reputation, spiritual qualities, authority, character, rank, majesty, power, and excellence? Savior Shepherd Mediator Counselor Immanuel Our Passover

Lord Healer Messiah Christ Rock The Light

King of kings Lord of lords The Way The Truth The Life Word of God

Prince of Peace Balm in Gilead Word of Life Son of God Alpha and Omega The Door

Lion of Judah The Chief Shepherd Lamb of God Son of Man Chief Cornerstone Faithful and True Witness

But what is His Blood Covenant name? His purpose in coming to the earth was to redeem mankind, to free us from captivity by paying our ransom, and He was given a special name for that assignment. His Blood Covenant name is JESUS! When we have a need—no matter how big it is, how urgent, how hopeless, how seemingly impossible, how unimportant to everyone else . . . when we have a need, saying the name of

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our Blood Covenant Partner, immediately transfers the spotlight to Him and gives the microphone to Him. We’re like the producer pointing to the Master of Ceremonies and saying, “You’re ON!” It’s no longer us in need. It’s Jesus, and His supply swallows up our need. Because we’re in Blood Covenant together, He said, “If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14). Just saying the name of Jesus like a parrot is not what we’re talking about. It’s believing Him and His faithfulness to His Word that is all important here. When the pressure is on and our back is against the wall, out of the heart the mouth will speak. If there’s fear inside, that’s what we’ll speak. If there’s panic, that’s what we’ll spew out. If there’s hopelessness, despair will pour forth. Even if there’s no time to say a single word, it’s the believing that counts. (If everything hinged on what we say, where would that leave the mute who haven’t gotten their voice yet?) There must be real faith—the kind that only Blood Covenant confidence can give. When we say “Jesus,” the fullness of the infallible Blood Covenant is on the scene! The right and authority to use the name of Jesus is part of our inheritance. We are joint-heirs with Jesus; and believing and saying His name is our withdrawal slip that brings all that He is When we say “Jesus,” on the scene in full manifestation and power, no matter what or the fullness of the where that scene is—just as surely as if He were there in person, infallible Blood Covenant as He was when He said, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is is on the scene! I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39). Have you ever said, “If Jesus were here, He’d fix everything and make me whole”? He is here, and our believing His name is what gives Him the microphone and turns the spotlight on Him. It’s in red because Jesus said it: “All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23, emphasis added). Jesus did not say, “In Jesus’ name, Lazarus, come forth!” because He was the authority Himself. When we say, “In Jesus’ name, Lazarus, come forth!” we are making a withdrawal from our Blood Covenant Partner’s authority and power storehouse, our inheritance account. The name of Jesus activates the transfer! We don’t do the raising. We do the believing, and the Father-that-dwelleth-in-us does the raising. Those who don’t understand the Blood Covenant will be surprised and maybe even offended by such boldness because they don’t know we are joint-heirs. We should never allow such unbelief as, “But that was Jesus! I’m only human,” in our thoughts or mouths. Can you imagine a storm refusing to obey Jesus? A deaf ear refusing to open at Jesus’ touch? A

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crooked back refusing to straighten at Jesus’ command? A dead body refusing to rise at His call? Then we should never allow any fear of that in our lives and ministry either. Unbelief was the only thing that caused Peter to move from ON the water to IN the water. When we say “Jesus” in ministering to others’ needs, all heaven comes to attention; and all hell obeys. The hordes of hell see us ministering in Jesus’ name and think, “Jesus is on the move again!” They know when someone believes in Jesus and in His name, and when someone is just saying His name without any believing to draw on the power therein. Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded (Acts 19:13–16).

We are warned that not everyone saying His name is necessarily His. Jesus said, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:15–16, 21–23, emphasis added). And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Then if any shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before (Matthew 24:4–5, 23–25, emphasis added).

When Jesus said, “For many shall come in my name, saying, ‘I am Christ;’ and shall deceive many” in Matthew 24:5, it has been interpreted to mean that the person will say that he himself is the Christ, and then proceed to deceive the gullible that believe him. That’s happened numerous times throughout history. But this verse can also be understood to mean that the person will say, “Jesus is the Christ;” but then the person will include the leaven of tradition, limitation, and contradiction along with the other words he speaks, thereby deceiving the gullible who believe him and do not check out everything he says by the Word of God. That’s happening all the time in our churches, on television, and in books. Selah. Whichever interpretation Jesus meant for His words to have, we have been warned. Knowing the importance of the name of Jesus, it’s no wonder satan moves on people to blurt out “Jesus” in vain and even in cursing. Why does satan never tempt them to say, “Abraham,” or “Buddha,” or “Mohammed”? And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. And

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Exchange Names Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:30–33, 38, emphasis added). The angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matthew 1:20–23, emphasis added). God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they (Hebrews 1:1–4, emphasis added). Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9–11, emphasis added).

First Person . . . Present Tense Jesus received His name by inheritance, and we have received the right to use His name by inheritance. We have the Blood Covenant authority to use the name that is above every other name—Jesus Now—He’s the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob . . . Jesus . . . and us!

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The Lord told Noah, “Build an ark; make sure it’s watertight, and I will make the rain to rain for forty days and nights; and ev’ry living thing will die that’s not inside with you. then I’ll give you My Covenant, signed with My rainbow’s hue.” And He did it like He said it—ev’ry word, ev’ry line, not a minute late or early, but exactly right on time! The Lord told Moses what to do—“By faith lift up your rod, and I’ll divide the sea by wind; you’ll go across dry shod; but when ol’ Pharoah tries to cross with horses and char’ots, too, they’ll drown; and I’ll be glorified as I take care of you.” And He did it like He said it—ev’ry word, ev’ry line, not a minute late or early, but exactly right on time! And Jesus told His followers, “I will be crucified, but after three days rise again, just as was prophesied.” They all forgot—no one believed! They said, “He’s dead and gone.” They came to finish bury’ng Him, not knowing Life had won! But He did it like He said it—ev’ry word, ev’ry line, not a minute late or early, but exactly right on time! Today, if you delight in Him, and His words abide in you, what you desire, that is His will, and He says, “You’ll have it, too! Just trust Me by your childlike faith. I’ve heard your earnest cry. I’ll do precisely what I’ve said, and you will testify . . .” My God did it like He said it—ev’ry word, ev’ry line, not a minute late or early, but exactly right on time! Verse 1: Genesis 6:8 – 9:17 Verse 2: Exodus 14:13–31 Verse 3: Luke 24:1–8; Psalm 16:10; Romans 3:3–4 Verse 4: Psalm 37:4; John 15:7; Hebrews 10:35–36 Chorus: Isaiah 55:11; Joshua 21:45; Isaiah 66:9; Habakkuk 2:3 Noah’s Rainbow, Israel’s Rescue, and Jesus’ Resurrection are in the Bible because of Isaiah 46:9–11 and Romans 15:4.

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Nine

C hapter

I

Exchange Weapons and Armor n lands where blood covenants are the way of life, the covenantors exchange their weapons and armor, that which represents their strength and power. This exchange of strengths, even if one’s strength is actually weakness in comparison, is saying: • I will always be on your side • I will come to your aid whenever you are in trouble • I will defend you and rescue you whenever you are attacked • I will never use my sword against you or be your enemy • I will never use my shield as a barrier to push you away from me • I will never take advantage of you when you are vulnerable In E. W. Kenyon’s booklet, The Blood Covenant, he refers to an occasion when Stanley was searching for Livingstone in Africa. Stanley came in contact with a powerful and very war-like equatorial tribe whom he was in no condition to fight; and his interpreter suggested that he make a blood covenant with them—saying, “Everything the chieftain has will be yours if you need it.” When it came time to exchange gifts, the old chieftain wanted Stanley’s new white goat, which Stanley desperately needed for its milk to nourish his poor health. He finally gave up the goat, and the old chieftain handed him his seven-foot, copper-wound spear. Stanley thought he had been gypped; but he found that wherever he went in Africa with that spear, everybody bowed to him and submitted to him—because his having that spear let them know he was in a blood covenant with that tribe, and the chieftain and his warriors would come to Stanley’s aid if he ever needed them.1

Exchange of Weapons (Strength) If a tribe were in danger of being destroyed by another tribe who was their near neighbor, the weaker tribe would try to find a way to enter into a blood covenant with the stronger, as in Joshua 9:3–27. The word league used in this passage is the same Hebrew word cited in Chapter One in our definition of covenant—cutting, a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh). It’s translated in the King James Version as confederacy, covenant, league. And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, they did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; and old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league

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with us. And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you? And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye? And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the Lord thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth. Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us. This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy: and these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. And the men took of their victuals and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them. And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them. And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim. And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them. And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them. And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us? Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God. And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the Lord thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing. And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do. And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not. And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the Lord, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose (emphasis added).

When David and Jonathan entered into covenant in 1 Samuel 18:4, there was an exchange of weapons. “And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.�

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Exchange Weapons and Armor God’s Protection Track Record in the Bible God’s track record is proof of His almighty strength to protect and rescue His people. Here are a few of the many examples: Noah from the Flood And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. And God said unto Noah, . . . Make thee an ark of gopher wood . . . And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him. And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year . . . the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark. And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; . . . I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh (Genesis 6:5–6, 8, 13–14, 17; 7:1–3, 5–6, 19, 23; 8:13, 15–16; 9:1, 9, 13–15).

Hebrews from the Plagues [God said] I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. And I will put a division [also translated redemption] between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be. [Moses said to Pharaoh] And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel. And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land. And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle

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of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one. And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: they saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings (Exodus 8:22–23; 9:4–7, 24–26; 10:22–23, emphasis added)

Hebrews from Death And Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. [God said to Moses] For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. [Moses said to the elders of Israel] For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you (Exodus11:4–7; 12:12–13, 23, emphasis added).

Hebrews from Pharaoh And the children of Israel went out with an high hand. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea. And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: but lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and

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Exchange Weapons and Armor upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: and it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians. And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses (Exodus 14:8–10, 13–31, emphasis added).

Can we begin to imagine the joy? The shouting? Superbowl fans had better step aside and take a few cheering lessons to even begin to compare with what happened on the shores of the Red Sea that day! Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath,

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which consumed them as stubble. And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation (Exodus 15:1–13, emphasis added).

David from the Giant And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man [Goliath], fled from him, and were sore afraid. And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee. And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth (1 Samuel 17:24, 26, 32, 37, 42–43, 45–49, emphasis added).

Elisha from Syrian Army Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.

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Exchange Weapons and Armor Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha (2 Kings 6:8–17, emphasis added).

Jehoshaphat from Three Armies Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea. . . . And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? O our God, . . . we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies (2 Chronicles 20:2–3, 6–7, 12, 15, 17, 22, 24, 27, emphasis added).

Ezra and Company from the Terrorists Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.

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So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us. And the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way (Ezra 8:21–23, 31, emphasis added).

Three Hebrews from the Fire When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down to the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar, the king ordered that the furnace should be heated seven times hotter than originally planned— And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellers, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God . . . because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort (Daniel 3:20–29, emphasis added).

This is a note of explanation regarding verses 17–18 in Daniel 3 [not quoted here], lest they be misinterpreted, as some have done in the past: The king had said, “If you don’t bow down and worship my image, you’ll be thrown into the fire.” Shad, Shack, and Abed answered, “If you do throw us in there, our God will deliver us. If you do not throw us in there, we still will not worship your image.” There was no doubt in them. They did not think, “God may or He may not—you never know what God’s gonna do.” That’s what some have taught, and that’s doubt! If they had had any doubt, they would have fried in that fire! They believed God would be their shield no matter what the king did, and it happened according to their faith. Some have taught that “But if not” (in verse 18) means, “But if God does not deliver us.” The remainder of the verse is the proof that is not the correct interpretation; for if He did not deliver them, how could fried, crisp, cremated young men still have the opportunity to serve the heathen gods or not? DUH! How important it is that we check out everything we hear with the Word of God, like the Bereans did in Acts 17:11, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

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Exchange Weapons and Armor Daniel from the Lions Darius, King of the Medes and Persians, promoted Daniel, a Hebrew foreigner, above all the other presidents and princes in his kingdom because an excellent spirit was in him. Those other guys (the presidents, governors, princes, counsellors, and captains) plotted to get rid of Daniel by tricking the king into making an irrevocable decree that anyone who asked a petition of any god or man for thirty days, other than of the king, would be cast into the den of lions. Their scheme worked; and when Daniel continued to pray and make supplication before the Lord God of Israel, he was caught. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. A stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den (Daniel 6:14, 16–24, emphasis added).

These scriptures may seem lengthy, but there is nothing as important, as infallible, as quickening, and as faith-producing as the Word of our God; therefore, it is given its due place of honor here. God’s Protection Track Record in the Present Day The miraculous rescues above happened long ago. But what about today? Are any protection miracles happening now? Yes! I’ve heard of many, and I’m certain there are thousands upon thousands that I haven’t heard! Here are a few: The founder of the Kerr Canning Jar Company had his glass factory in San Francisco—wooden building, wooden roof, filled with glass and glass jars, surrounded by wooden fence. When the great San Francisco earthquake and fire happened in the early 1900s, Mr. Kerr was out of town. His staff contacted him to say they couldn’t tell the extent of the damage yet, because the city was on fire. Mr. Kerr said he was certain his factory was protected because he was a tither, and the Bible says God will rebuke the

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devourer for the tither (see Malachi 3:10–12). When the staff finally saw the glass factory, they found all the buildings on all sides of the Kerr Company were in ashes; but the Kerr plant was untouched (fence, building, and roof not even scathed), and not a glass jar was broken! The earthquake and fire that had devastated the entire area had no effect where there was faith! There are numerous testimonies of sole survivors of airplane crashes and how they believed and what they spoke! A believing preacher and his family in a torrential rain storm in the Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas area, began to hydroplane. He immediately said, “JESUS!” and he heard the Holy Spirit say, “Keep your foot off the brake!” He knew the voice and obeyed. The car skidded across several lanes of traffic, into the oncoming lanes, and finally came to rest on the far shoulder of the oncoming lanes, facing in the wrong direction. No one in the believer’s car was hurt, nor his car, nor any other car on the road! There was a believing lady in California whose home was being threatened by a raging forest fire. She was gathering up her Bible and purse to flee, when she suddenly remembered she had power over the weapon that was being formed against her to steal, kill, and destroy. She boldly stood in faith and rebuked the fire. Instantly, immediately, suddenly—the wind shifted! Her home, possessions, and property were not touched by the fire that ravaged everything on all sides of her! How many times have you seen news reports that said a tornado leveled the entire mobile home park except for one trailer that it somehow skipped right over? Or, only one house on that street is left, and it’s unharmed? During the San Francisco earthquake a few years ago (the one that happened on the opening day of the World Series), what about that tractor-trailer rig that was at the end of the section of freeway pancaked by the collapsed freeway above? That rig was untouched! I want to know about the driver. Either he was a real believer, or his wife or other family member was—somebody had him covered by the Blood Covenant! Why don’t the news reporters interview them? If they would, I’m sure they’d learn they were full of faith; and therefore, God did what He said He would do! On April 16, 1998, I was in an all-glass building on West End Avenue, directly across the street from Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee, when the tornado uprooted many large, old trees in the park and then continued toward the downtown and east Nashville areas causing much destruction. No harm came to anyone in our building, not even a broken piece of glass. I don’t know if there were any other believers in our building, but I know I was! What faith and peace rose up in me as I began to believe and speak promises of safety! I even softly sang that old hymn, “When I See the Blood, I Will Pass over You.” The next day, my sister asked me if that was the first tornado I’d ever been in. Until she said that, I hadn’t even thought of myself as having been in the tornado. That’s how protected I felt! I was in another tornado in 2003. I was working a second job; and when I got home late that night and parked my car, I noticed a paper sack (that would hold a hamburger and fries) from a fast-food place and a large styrofoam cup sitting upright on the grass just in front of my car. I was awakened by the wind around 3:00 in the morning. I got my Bible and set my heart, mind, and body to believe Psalm 91. The electricity went off, and I went back to bed. When I awoke around 6:00, I learned that a tornado had come through the area where I lived, taking the roof off the complex immediately behind me. When I went outside, I saw broken tree limbs just three parking places to the right of my car, and a fallen tree five places to They had no the left of my car—but the sack and styrofoam cup were still upright “Plan B” simmering on on the grass in front my car. The tornado left a long and wide trail the back burner. of destruction, but it did not come near my dwelling! My Covenantmaking and Covenant-keeping Father is faithful that promised!

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Exchange Weapons and Armor No “Plan B” The people in all of these scriptures and present-day examples had one particular thing in common—they had no “Plan B” simmering on the back burner. Their 100 percent confidence was in God and His faithfulness to His Blood Covenant with them. That’s all they needed. The next time we are in a raging storm or “between a rock and a hard place,” we must focus our undivided attention on God and His track record that proves His power to protect and rescue those who trust Him. This “between a rock and a hard place” scenario has three possibilities (remembering that in the Blood Covenant, a rock is The Rock, Christ Jesus):

∇ q m

hard place

Rock

me

∇ m q

hard place

me

hard place

so we don’t have to contend with the hard place,

Rock

m ∇ q me

We should always keep Jesus between us and the hard place

Rock

and so the hard place doesn’t get between us and Jesus, our Defender!

God’s Blood Covenant with us clearly warns us about the forms “Plan B” can take; and when we really get down to it, they are all unbelief. For example: •

We are warned to not trust in man’s weapons and strength: Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright (Psalm 20:6–8).

One of the curses of not hearkening to God’s voice and not observing to do His Word is: And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee (Deuteronomy 28:52, emphasis added).

The question for us is, “What are we trusting in?” If we’re trusting in locked doors, gated-communities, alarm systems, guard dogs, or any other arm of the flesh (or even a geographic location not usually favorable to earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes, or in the daylight so we can see if a tornado is approaching), then we are not fully trusting in the name of the Lord, our God.

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No Trespassing Laziness and indifference are also forms of “Plan B,” but they’re not as obvious as the others already mentioned. While driving down the highway, have you ever seen a fence with a sign that says “NO TRESPASSING”? Think about what that really means, “You are not allowed on this property unless the owner has given you permission!” Have you also seen a fence with that same sign but where it had not been enforced? The gate had obviously been forced open and was all bent over, and the property showed definite signs that trespassers had done their thing, saying, “Huh! You can’t keep me out!” If the person owning the property is not enforcing the NO TRESPASSING law, intruders can get in; but if the proprietor is alert and on his toes, he won’t allow any trespassers. When God told His people to put the lamb’s blood on the door of their house that last night in Egyptian captivity, it was a NO TRESPASSING sign that their faithful obedience enforced, and the destroyer could not enter to kill their firstborn. For us, the Blood Covenant is the NO TRESPASSING sign over our lives. But . . . • if the NO TRESPASSING sign is not enforced by our faith, and the fence is broken down, • if we don’t know we’ve been redeemed, • if we don’t know what’s included in our inheritance, • if we’re indifferent and lazy, • if we’re not alert and vigilant, • if we’re attending to and looking at other things • if we’re counting on a “Plan B” • if we’re believing and speaking fear and limitation, instead of God’s Word to us • if we’re receiving as truth, seeds from anyone other than our Covenant God, . . . then we are being hearers-only-and-not-doers-of-the-Word; and we will reap what we’ve sown and be destroyed for lack of knowledge, when all that the Blood Covenant provides was legally ours all along . . . ours for the believing. What Show of Strength Do We Bring to Exchange? We are designed to function adequately in many kinds of situations, but when pressure is put on us beyond that, we reach our breaking point. Our strength is something like sewing thread. It serves its purpose when used for sewing; but if we pull on it with too much extra pressure, it breaks. Now picture an five-foot section of rope about one inch in diameter. No matter how hard we pull on the rope, it won’t break. If we put a drinking straw (writing pencil, coffee stirrer, etc.) through the middle of the spool of thread so that the spool can freely spin, then the thread can unwind . . . up, up, up . . . and be twisted around and around and around the heavy rope. No one can break that thread now! It’s just common sewing thread; but because it’s twisted around that rope, the weakness of the thread has been swallowed up by the strength of the rope. Now the thread can do whatever the rope can do—even tow a car, which common sewing thread could never do on its own. The thread is a picture of our strength, the rope is a picture of God’s strength, and the drinking straw is our expectancy—willing to reach out with what we have, as weak and flimsy as it is, so that the strength of our Blood Covenant Partner swallows up our weakness; and we receive His strength in exchange. “All I have (thread) is Yours, and all You have (rope) is mine!” This example illustrates the meaning of the Hebrew word for wait in Isaiah 40:31—to bind together by twisting, to collect, to expect:

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Exchange Weapons and Armor Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength—causing it to multiply and making it abound. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and the selected young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord—who expect, look for and hope in Him—shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]: they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint or become tired (Isaiah 40:28–31 amplified).

WARNING: With the drinking straw still inserted through the spool of thread and the thread still unwinding and twisting around the rope, place your thumb on the spool of thread. What happens? The spool stops unwinding! That’s what unbelief does—it stops faith from working. All fear, doubt, and “Plan B” are spelled U-N-B-E-L-I-E-F. This exchange of strengths in a Blood Covenant relationship is why God would say to Paul, “My strength and power are made perfect—fulfilled and completed and show themselves most effective—in [your] weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 amplified). And Paul responded, Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities [as described in 2 Corinthians 11:23–28—not a sickness or disease in the list], that the strength and power of Christ, the Messiah, may rest—yes, may pitch a tent [over] and dwell—upon me! I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me— I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me, [that is, I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency] (2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 4:13 amplified, emphasis added).

Strength – Inheritance Withdrawal Slips In the Blood Covenant, all the strength, power, and might of our Father (the Omnipotent One, Who is wonderful in counsel, excellent in working, and mighty to deliver) is the supply that meets our needs. He is the arsenal of strength we have received in exchange for our threadbare weakness. Here are a few of the myriad of entries we are entitled to write on our inheritance withdrawal slips: • • • • • •

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord (Isaiah 54:17). Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety.2 And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety (Leviticus 25:18–19, emphasis added). The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe [literally, inaccessible] (Proverbs 18:10, emphasis added). In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety2 and confident trust (Psalms 4:8 amplified, emphasis added). Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (Jeremiah 33:3). [The Lord says] Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me? [And we answer] Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven

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• •

and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee” (Jeremiah 32:27, 17, emphasis added). I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears [literally, fright]. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear [literally, reverence] him, and delivereth them (Psalm 34:4, 7, emphasis added). But now thus saith the Lord that created thee . . . and he that formed thee . . . Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour. . . . Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee (Isaiah 43:1–3; 41:10, 13, emphasis added). Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8, emphasis added).

If we fear* anything, we are not fearing** God. * are afraid of ** reverencing, honoring, believing The psalms are replete with metaphoric names for God that show His protection for us: Shield (28:7) Fortress (144:2) Buckler (18:2) Redeemer (19:14)

Defender (59:17) Rock (31:3) Shepherd (23:1) Strength (18:1)

Hiding Place (32:7) Strong Tower (61:3) Helper (54:4) Habitation (71:3), etc.

Psalm 91 Psalm 91 is our Blood Covenant Insurance Policy.

Psalm 91 is our Blood Covenant Insurance Policy—the ultimate withdrawal slip. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High” is our responsibility. Our words in verse 2, “He is my refuge and my fortress! My God! In Him will I trust,” will not be something we have to try to do; but those words will be the spontaneous outflow of that intimacy of living, moving, and having our being in Him. Verse 9 confirms that it is our choice where we continually dwell, “Because thou hast made the Lord, even the most High, thy habitation.” We choose by our believing. The remaining verses of Psalm 91 are God’s responsibility, beginning with “shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty,” in verse one. If we are dwelling, then God guarantees we’ll be abiding within His protection. The secret place is not a place to try to get into on Sunday morning; but it is that spirit-to-spirit, face-to-face, ongoing communion in absolute Blood Covenant oneness where God shares with us the secrets of His Covenant. It is where God says, “All I have

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Exchange Weapons and Armor is yours,” and we respond, “And all I have is Yours.” We are always in the secret place because that’s where Jesus always is, and we are in Him. But if we don’t know that, we won’t believe that; and we won’t experience (receive) the benefits of the secret place and all the other facets of our inheritance. Psalm 91 Compilation After the terrorists’ attacks on September 11, 2001, I was nudged to do a word study of Psalm 91 to make us aware of the all-encompassing coverage of this provision of our Blood Covenant with God. I looked up every noun, verb, adjective, and adverb in the original Hebrew in Strong’s. Then I looked up the definition of those words in the dictionary. Finally, I compiled all those definitions and wrote, what I have called, a Psalm 91 Compilation, which is found on the following pages. Each paragraph in the compilation is to be read in parallel to each verse in Psalm 91. Sometimes it’s easy to pigeonhole these promises to a shepherd’s hillside encounter with a bear or lion thousands of years ago when David wrote it down; but a study through the magnifying glass of a concordance and dictionary word study suddenly brings this psalm right into our families, freeways, farms, and foxholes—first person and present tense. On the following pages, we will spotlight some of the other definitions of the original Hebrew text that are so clearly applicable to us in the twenty-first century. (Words in brackets [ ] are the author’s comments.) He that chooses to stay united in close, permanent, and intimate union in the sheltered and secluded, yet accessible, presence of God Himself shall continue in a stable and constant existence within the defense of the unconquerable and unassailable all-powerful One Himself, Whose covering intercepts and shelters from danger or observation. He [that chooses this secluded retreat] will declare it publicly and emphatically, officially naming Him, saying, “The Lord is my protection from danger, my source for help in difficulty, the One I trust! He surrounds me with His angelic forces who resist the action of usually toxic substances! He is my God, and I am His. [We have a Blood Covenant that guarantees it, and that’s why I entrust my keeping to Him in complete confidence in His truthfulness and faithfulness.]” Without a doubt—don’t give it another thought, you can count on it, rest assured, know of a certainty—He shall free you by prompt or vigorous action from the trap of those seeking to confuse, capture, or kill you; and from the noxious, contagious, or infectious epidemic disease that is marked by rapid, severe, and malignant course, and that is able to overcome bodily defensive mechanisms, and that lays waste, overpowers, and overwhelms, causing widespread ruin and desolation. He shall afford protection and security to you by hiding, encircling, and keeping you safe from injury or destruction by any means with Himself—His nature, being, and essence; and being overhung, protected, and concealed by His angelic army, you shall have confidence in Him, depend on His care without fear, and rely on His truthfulness. His Word shall be a cactus-hedge encircling you, guarding you as if by prickliness. [Even as the thorns of a cactus surround it and make the plant itself inaccessible to all intruders, when we believe that God is firm in adherence to His promises, His Word encompasses us, makes us inaccessible to all weapons formed against us, and quenches all the fiery darts!] You shall not be full of fear about a disaster that could suddenly happen at night [when you can’t see], not be full of dread about a weapon that could pierce into your space in a threatening or menacing motion [in broad open daylight when

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everything seems to be safe], not be concerned about a disastrous calamity that is carried out mechanically and indifferently but is not clearly recognizable or understandable, and not be apprehensive about being annihilated by means of a slow process in a set interval of time. A very large number will drop down wounded or dead beside you, and an innumerable multitude will suffer ruin and defeat at your right hand; but the devastation shall in no respect or degree even come close to you! At the very least, you’ll scan the calamity, as a non-participant observer would, and recognize the punishment of the ungodly [those who are without Christ, strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world]. Since you have determined and appointed the Lord God as the One in Whom confidence is placed, even the Most High, your place of privacy and safety; There shall not any condition of suffering, destitution, affliction, calamity, or disaster take even preliminary steps toward you, and in no respect or degree shall any disastrous evil or affliction lay a hand upon you or fall within a field of view of your home, tent, building, or whatever your shelter is named. For He, the Most High, the Supreme One, the Lord God Almighty, [and your God], shall give His authorized angelic messengers direct orders concerning you to impose a responsibility on them to overlook and dominate your situation from a strategic position and be at His immediate disposal to look after or take charge of you, to enclose or protect you as if with a hedge, to watch over and defend you, to preserve you in an unspoiled condition, and to guard, cover, and shield you from injury or destruction in your every course of action, in all your travels from place to place, and during the whole sequence of events in your life. They have the power to sustain without flinching or breaking; and they will fetch, lead, escort, help, lift, and carry you in their power, so that you will not so much as stub your toe against a rock. You shall trample upon not only carnivorous and venomous varmints, but also people resembling lions in courage and ferocity and persons as stealthy, malignant, and treacherous as vipers. You shall inflict injury and destruction upon villages covered in by walls; and upon violent, combative, or very strict persons who serve or collaborate with another especially in the commission of base acts, you shall tread heavily so as to bruise, crush, and beat. Now the Lord, your God, speaks: “For the reason that he [the one that chooses this secluded retreat] delights in, clings to, desires, longs after, and sets his love on Me—because of that, I will get him out of the way, cause him to escape, carry him away safe, and deliver him; I will make him safe, strong, not usable for access, not open to influence, and not obtainable because of the fact that he recognizes, discerns, and is convinced of My name, character, and authority. He shall approach Me and speak face-to-face to make his request; and I will pay attention to him and respond without resistance or delay. I will be sufficient for and will satisfy the question, demand, call, or need that he makes known to Me. I will be right there with him and on his side when he’s in trouble—the place of active hostility, difficult to get through or out of, and packed or compressed to the limit, thereby effecting immobility or impenetrability. I will strengthen, equip,

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Exchange Weapons and Armor draw out, remove, and deliver him; and I will treat him with respect and fulfill the terms of My Blood Covenant with him. With a life that is prolonged beyond the usual time will I carry out the terms of our Contract and gratify him to the full. I will demonstrate, prove, and display for him and for the notice of others My salvation—preservation from destruction or failure; deliverance from danger or difficulty; help, aid, relief; removal of something oppressive, painful, or distressing; freedom from outside domination; exempted, relieved, or released from a burdensome, noxious, or deplorable condition or obligation; not bound, confined, or detained by force; not subject to the rule or control of another [stresses the complete absence of external rule and the full right to make all of one’s own decisions]; freed from harm or risk; secured from threat of danger, harm, or loss; freed from injury, disease, flaw, defect, or decay (absence of disease, weakness, or malfunction); healthy (the condition of being sound in body, mind, and soul . . . whole).” Psalm 91 is your own personal copy of—

Noah’s Flood Insurance Policy the Hebrew children’s Plague Insurance Policy Moses’ Tidal Wave Insurance Policy Ezra’s Terrorist Insurance Policy David’s Giant Insurance Policy Daniel’s Wild Animal Insurance Policy Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s Fire Insurance Policy Jesus and all believers’ Health Insurance Policy Joseph and Peter’s Unlawful Detainment Insurance Policy Paul and Silas’ Earthquake Insurance Policy Paul’s Viper Insurance Policy—and everyone in the Bible who lived a long life and died a natural death, the nine who were raised from the dead, and all believers’ Life Insurance Policy! The Soldier’s Psalm A story coming out of World War I indicates that the 91st Infantry Brigade of the U. S. Expeditionary Army was preparing to enter combat in Europe. Most of the men were “green soldiers” who had never seen combat. Its commander, a devout Christian, called an assembly of his men where he gave each a little card on which was printed the 91st Psalm. They agreed to recite and believe The Soldiers’ Psalm daily. The 91st Brigade was engaged in three of the bloodiest battles of World War I: Chateau Thierry, Belle Wood, and the Argonne. While other American units similarly engaged had up to ninety percent casualties, the 91st Brigade did not suffer a single combat-related casualty!3 THE MESSAGE says it this way . . . You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon. Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you. You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses. Yes, because God’s your refuge, the High God your very own home, Evil can’t get close to you, harm can’t get through the door. He ordered His angels to guard you wherever you go. If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling. You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes, and kick young lions and serpents from the path. “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!”

Psalm 91 is our Blood Covenant Insurance policy with our God — bought and paid for in full by the blood of Jesus, our Redeemer. It is ours for the believing!

Exchange of Armor The same Hebrew and Greek words for weapon are also translated armor; therefore, this step of cutting a blood covenant also includes exchanging armor. Look at the picture of the knight in full armor. Armor is designed to keep life in and keep death out. This knight trusts his armor because it has worked over and over and has kept him alive.

Armor is designed to keep life in and keep death out.

What Armor Do We Bring to Exchange?

Before we hear the Good News about God’s love for us and choose to come to Him, we have on satan’s armor because we’re still spiritually dead. Everything satan does is a perversion of what God designed; therefore, satan’s armor keeps death in and keeps life out, keeps darkness in and keeps light out. These are some of the pieces of satan’s armor that he has used successfully for a long time to keep the truth away from us, to prevent the light from shining into the

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darkness of our captivity, and to keep life from overpowering the incipient death of sin and the curse: lies luck guilt hurt strife greed temper pride despair

addictions blasphemy new age rebellion astrology religion limitation strongholds failure

the “blues” unforgiveness bitterness disobedience thrill-seeking murmuring being offended fence-sitting impurity

the past Murphy’s Law seared conscious hard-heartedness doctrines of men traditions of men “Hath God said . . .?” blaming God for satan’s work excuses

Let’s see how satan’s armor works, remembering that it is designed to keep death and darkness in, and life and light out. For example, rebellion . . . Rebellion armor on teenagers: When their parent or someone in authority over them gives them an instruction, rebellion rears up to make them resist. It twists their thinking until they see that authority figure as “cramping their style;” when, in fact, those rules and regulations are like the guard rails on a mountainous road—not cramping their style, but actually keeping them safe from danger and death. Rebellion armor on the highway: The speed limits are the authority and are meant to keep life in; but rebellion rears up to make the drivers resist, whispering, “Go faster! Everybody else is doing it! You won’t get caught! If you go the speed limit, you’ll cause major traffic problems!” “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him,

satan with lies, deception, whissssssperings, and fiery darts isolates, watches, and guards his stronghold a pseudo-peace—“There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21). Jesus “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

he taketh from him all his armour

“He [Jesus] stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets” (Colossians 2:15 THE MESSAGE, emphasis added).

wherein he trusted,

“I [Jesus] am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18, emphasis added).

and divideth his spoils.” “He captured the enemy and seized the booty” (Ephesians (Luke 11:21–22) 4:8 THE MESSAGE). BUT—when we enter into Blood Covenant with God, all of satan’s armor loses its hold on us, even as the filthy rags died and passed away. The armor that kept death and darkness in is part of the old things that are no longer a part of us, the new creatures, the children of light. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:12–14).

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Exchange Weapons and Armor What Armor Does God Bring to Exchange? God’s armor keeps life in and keeps death out; keeps light in and keeps darkness out. Be strong in the Lord—be empowered through your union with Him; draw your strength from Him—that strength which His [boundless] might provides. Put on God’s whole armor—the armor of a heavy-armed soldier, which God supplies—that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood—contending only with physical opponents—but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore—hold your ground—having tightened the belt of truth around your loins, and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God; And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the (covering) shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Pray at all times—on every occasion, in every season—in the Spirit, with all [manner of ] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people.(Ephesians 6:10–18 amplified).

Jesus has already proved this armor works: And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke (Isaiah 59:16–17).

This is permanent armor—not something to be taken off and put back on. It’s our inheritance: strong in the Lord our Blood Covenant position power of His might our Blood Covenant strength whole armor of God our Blood Covenant battle attire stand, remain victor in the field our Blood Covenant status There’s Only One Weapon There’s only one weapon—the sword of the Spirit, which is the Blood Covenant Word of our God, alive in our heart and confidently and boldly coming out of our mouth.

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Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord (Psalm 149:6–9). For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12).

There’s Only One Shield There’s only one shield—which is presented from three different perspectives: 1. The shield is GOD Himself—we are protected and defended by the Lord God Almighty! The angel of the Lord encampeth round about us that reverence Him, and delivereth us; and God Himself is our defender, fortress, hiding place, high tower—our strong and mighty habitation. “After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram [and us as his heirs through Jesus] in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1, emphasis added). This shielding commitment of God was alive in Paul, and he wrote, “If God be for us, who [can be] against us?—Who can be our foe, if God is on our side? Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us” (Romans 8:31, 37 amplified). 2. The shield is FAITH—our faith in God and in His faithfulness to our Blood Covenant, knowing He cannot lie and He cannot fail. “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16). If we insert God’s definition of faith (as found in Hebrews 11:6), this verse in Ephesians will read, “Above all, taking the shield of believing God is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” 3. The shield is the WORD of God—“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (Psalm 91:4). The first verse of Psalm 91 gives the one condition that must be met before all the blessings in the rest of the psalm can be experienced: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High.” When we are abiding and dwelling in the secret place of our Covenant God, His Word is our shield. The Hebrew meaning of shield in Psalm 91:4 is to guard as if by prickliness, and it comes from the root word meaning a cactus-hedge. Have you ever touched a cactus? Ever tried to reach the actual plant (the part the thorns grow out of ) without getting pricked? It’s impossible to get to the plant itself, because it is completely surrounded and guarded by the thorns. Those prickles make the cactus inaccessible to every enemy that would try to steal, kill, or destroy it.

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Exchange Weapons and Armor I was so excited when I discovered this treasure that I immediately purchased a small cactus plant to daily remind me that—just as the cactus thorns completely surround and guard the plant, making it inaccessible to every intruder and devourer, the Word of God completely surrounds and guards me, making me inaccessible to every weapon formed against me, and quenching every fiery dart hurled at me. That’s what this promise in Psalm 91 says! We are to see ourselves totally surrounded as if by prickliness, for that’s the picture of the impenetrable shield that God has provided for us in our Blood Covenant: • by Himself as our God, • by His Word, His truth, and • by the faith His Word brings to our hearts. Now, here’s another picture to consider: Take your right hand and get a strong hold on your left arm—I mean, really grasp your arm with all your might. Okay, now let go. Could you use that same strong hold and grasp that cactus? No way! (You can almost feel the prickles as you consider that, can’t you?) Let’s apply this principle to us personally. If we are abiding and dwelling in our Covenant God and in His Word, no stronghold can get a strong hold on us, because it can’t get past the shield, the cactus-hedge that guards us as if by prickliness! If satan has been able to put a stronghold on us, he did it by deceiving us into giving him a place. He goes about seeking whom he “may” devour, and we gave him permission, either out of ignorance or knowingly, willingly. Remember—if deception got it on us, the truth will get it off of us! We must make a quality decision and break our allegiance with that stronghold, asking God to forgive us for the unbelief that let it in and the disobedience that let it stay around. Let’s kick the stuff out! It was our decision to give it a place, and now it’s our decision that will evict it, all of it! We must realize and believe what God says, that our position is If deception in Him, inside the cactus-like shield; and that’s who we really are and got it on us, where we really are, if we are in Covenant with God through the blood the truth of Jesus, born of His Spirit, born from above, born again. will get it off us!

First Person . . . Present Tense There has been an exchange, and we now have a new weapon and new armor. Our part is to believe it, dwell in Him, take our position by inheritance, let Him be God, and— stand fast . . . abstain from . . . fight and lay hold . . . let . . . shrink from . . . hold fast . . . set yourself . . . keep aloof from . . . guard and keep . . . devote . . . flee from . . . aim at . . . throw wholly . . . shun . . . press . . . Sin’s ultimate dominion was enthroned in hell’s dark grave, but Jesus’ Resurrection proved He could not stay sin’s slave! Because He ’rose triumphant with the keys of victory, He holds the door to freedom open wide each day for me! If Jesus could not stay the captive of sin’s penalty, then neither can I stay enslaved by sin’s authority! As I depend upon His Resurrection life within, the Pow’r that raised Him from the dead delivers me from sin! When I decide to let His Word reign in supremacy, there is no sin—there is no chain that can imprison me; And as I choose to let His Word continue inside me, then His disciple I will be, and I’ll be free indeed!

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me,” saith the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 (emphasis added)

Chapter Notes: 1 Portions quoted from The Blood Covenant, by E. W. Kenyon, Compiled and Edited by Ruth A. Kenyon, 29th Edition, Copyright 1995 by Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society. 2 Hebrew word for safety and safely in these verses means place of refuge; safety both in fact (security) and feeling (trust). 3 From Pink, Michael and Brenda Pink. The Ultimate Shield: Psalm 91. (Iowa Falls, IA: World Bible Publishing, 1993).

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Ten

C hapter

Pronounce Blessings

I

n lands where blood covenants are the way of life, the covenantors pronounce blessings on each other, listing all the benefits that are now available to each of them. BLESSING

Hebrew - benediction; by implication prosperity Greek - to speak well of, i.e., to bless (thank or invoke a benediction upon, prosper) Webster - [from Old English word blood] the act of one that blesses; approval; a thing conducive to happiness or welfare.

Pronouncing Blessings in the Old Blood Covenant When God entered into Blood Covenant with Abram, God listed all the blessings He was making available to him. Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: • and I will make of thee a great nation, • and I will bless thee, • and make thy name great; • and thou shalt be a blessing: • and I will bless them that bless thee, • and curse him that curseth thee: • and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:1). After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: • I am thy shield, • and thy exceeding great reward (Genesis 15:1). And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. • And I will make my covenant between me and thee, • and will multiply thee exceedingly (Genesis 17:1–2). And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, • my covenant is with thee, • and thou shalt be a father of many nations. • Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. • And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, • and I will make nations of thee, • and kings shall come out of thee.

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• • • • • • • • • •

Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God (Genesis 17:3–8).

In Genesis 15:1, God said, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” In the Hebrew reward means payment of contract, maintenance, salary, compensation, wages. When we insert that definition in the scripture, it reads: “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great payment of contract, maintenance, salary, compensation, and wages.” Blessings are available, but they’re not automatic. They are based on the condition of obedience, which is faith—believing God is and that He’ll do what He said . . . be the Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. All of the blessings of the Old Blood Covenant have to do with the outer man. When God established His Covenant with Abraham’s heirs after He had freed them from captivity in Egypt, He reminded them again of the blessings of being in Blood Covenant with their God— All of the blessings of the what He was giving to them and what He expected from them. Give Old Blood Covenant special attention to the conditions He established, and especially the have to do with conditional word if. the outer man. The following lists are taken from Deuteronomy 28:1–14 in the Amplified Bible. They are written so that you can say “If you” before each bullet in the list on the left, which clearly shows what you are responsible for. Similarly, you can say “Then God” before each entry in the list on the right and know exactly how God will respond to your obedience.

IF YOU . . . •

THEN GOD . . .

will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord our God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day,

• •

will heed the voice of the Lord your God

• • •

• • • •

will set you high above all the nations of the earth will cause all these blessings to come upon you and overtake you. shall bless you in the city, shall bless you in the field. shall bless the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your beasts, the increase of your cattle, and the young of your flock. shall bless your basket and your kneading trough. shall bless you when you come in, and shall bless you when you go out. shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before your face;

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Pronounce Blessings • • • • •

will keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and walk in His ways,

• • • • •

will heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day, and are watchful to do them, and shall not go aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

shall cause your enemies that come out against you one way to flee before you seven ways. shall command the blessing upon you in your storehouse and in all that you undertake; and will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. will establish you as a people holy to Himself, as He has sworn to you. will cause all the people of the earth to see that you are called by the name [and in the presence] of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of you. shall make you have a surplus of prosperity through the fruit of your body, of your livestock, and of your ground in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. shall open to you His good treasury, the heavens to give the rain of your land in its season, shall bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath,

It was a good Covenant, but not good enough. God’s Word was carved on tablets of stone, glaring down at the people, saying, “Thou shalt not . . .” God was their God on His part, but they didn’t really know Him and weren’t His people, because they kept going after other gods. They were controlled by their sinful flesh and mind and were, therefore, open prey to the curse. But God . . . had a plan to free mankind from captivity by paying our ransom. He began to speak through the prophets that the Redeemer was coming—a better way, a better tabernacle, a better sacrifice, a better Covenant. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach

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no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (Jeremiah 31:31–34). And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God (Ezekiel 11:19–20).

Pronouncing Blessings in the New Blood Covenant What Blessings Does God Offer? The New Blood Covenant contains all of the blessings of the Old Blood Covenant plus the ones that make the New Covenant better. God planned these. These are the four things that He said would make the New Blood Covenant better. They were important enough to send Jesus for, and we need to value them the way God values them. However He finds fault with them, [showing its {the first covenant’s} inadequacy], when He says, Behold, the days will come, says the Lord, when I will make and ratify a new covenant or agreement with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day when I grasped them by the hand to help and relieve them and to lead them out from the land of Egypt, for they did not abide in My agreement with them, and so I withdrew My favor and disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: •

I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts,

and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

And it will nevermore be necessary for every one to teach his neighbor and his fellow citizen or every one his brother, saying, Know—[that is,] perceive, have knowledge of and get acquainted by experience with—the Lord, for all will know Me, from the smallest to the greatest of them.

For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more (Hebrews 8:8–12 amplified, emphasis added).

God was saying, “I’m going to fix you on the inside by doing these four things: 1. 2. 3. 4.

I will give you a new spirit and a new want to. I will write My Covenant inside you. I will really by your God, and you will really be My people. I will cause you to see into me, to know Me.”

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Pronounce Blessings All of the blessings of the New Blood Covenant have to do with the inner man.

All of the blessings of the 1. I will give you a new spirit and a new want to. New Blood Covenant This is listed as the last one in the Bible, but it is preceded have to do with by for (which means because), which makes this one the the inner man. prerequisite for the others. Here’s how it works. He forgives our sin and guilt and cancels the penalty, the curse. He cancels the due and merited punishment (the curse) that should come to us for our sin. (More on this in the next chapter.) His commandments are no longer glaring rules to condemn us, but rather encouraging promises that assure us, “You won’t want to steal anymore. You won’t want to lie anymore.” He blots out and cancels our transgressions for His own sake, which means, if He remembered our sins, He would have to allow His Word to judge our sins, and that’s why He forgets them (see Isaiah 43:25 amplified). 2. I will write My Covenant inside you. He has said it is His responsibility to renew our mind—His! We are to read, meditate, study, and give our attention to His Word, making it first place and final authority in our lives; but it is God’s Holy Spirit of Truth that reveals it to us and renews our mind, subconscious, and spirit. God reprograms us, transforms us by His Word. Then, from down deep inside, we know right and wrong; and we are equipped to choose. In Malcolm Smith’s Blood Covenant teaching tape series, he gave the following illustration: A man’s wife was going back to England, their homeland, to visit her family for several weeks, leaving the husband and three young daughters at home. Before she left, she wrote instruction notes and placed them throughout the house. The notes would tell the girls everything that had to be done from the moment they awoke in the morning until they walked out the door to go to school. There were also notes for the evening; and, of course, there were notes for the husband regarding meal preparation, laundry, etc. Notes all over the place! It worked. But, oh, the night before Mother was to return, Daddy and the girls went throughout the house and took down all the notes. That didn’t mean there was going to be lawlessness now, quite the contrary. The writer of the rules was coming home now, and they’d do everything the instructions said and a whole lot more, and better. This illustration gives us a picture of what happens in us. The Writer of the rules, the Holy Spirit, comes to live inside of us; and He sees to it that we keep all the instructions—and a whole lot more, and better! The rules and instructions are written on the inside of us. 3. At last, I’ll really be your God, and you’ll really be My people. The definition of people is congregated unit, tribe, flock; and it comes from the root word meaning to associate, to overshadow by huddling together, to hide. That’s been the Father’s heart since the very beginning, to have a people who would fellowship with Him so He could be their Father, Waymaker, Caretaker, their I AM, their Ruler; and He could give everything He has to them. Only a Blood Covenant can make that possible as the blood makes them new on the inside and recreates them in the likeness and image of their Covenant Partner. Two can walk together only when they are agreeing, “All I have is yours,” and “All I have is Yours.”

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4. I will cause you to see into Me, to know Me. God has made the way so we can know Him— • • • • • • • • • • •

what He’s thinking, what He wants, what He doesn’t want, what He wants to do, what He wants to say, where He wants to go, when He wants to admonish, correct, teach, encourage, comfort, or brag on us, if He’s offended by something or someone, if He’s joyful or angry, if He wants to be quiet and just be with us—no words, or if He wants to hold us.

It’s called intimacy (into-me-see). It is absolute and ultimate oneness with the Father, and it’s by the Holy Spirit. When you really know someone and someone else tells you something false about the one you know, you can boldly say, “No way! I know her! She would never do what you’ve just said!” That’s how we ought to be about God, too! We should know Him so well because we’ve spent time in His presence and in His Word that when someone says, “God made me sick to teach me something,” we can boldly say, “No way! I know Him! He would never do what you’ve just said!” Jesus said, And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, Whom You have sent (John 17:4 amplified).

These are the reasons Jesus redeemed us—so that we, at last, could have an intimate relationship with God as His heirs. These are the reasons the Holy Spirit was given, and they are the results of His sealing us in the Blood Covenant and sealing the Blood Covenant in us. As it was with the Old Covenant, it still is with the New Covenant: blessings are available, but they are not automatic. They are conditional, meaning they are based on obedience, which is faith. As a result of Adam’s selling out to satan, curses are out there, too; and they have the authority to try to come on us if we are in disobedience, which is unbelief. God put His promises into being by His Covenant. We put them into motion by our choices. — Kenneth Copeland There are many other blessings provided in the New Covenant, but they all come under these four main blessings that, God said, make the New Blood Covenant better. Here are just a few of the other blessings: • All that the Father has . . . is ours (see John 16:13–15) • All things are ours . . . and we are Christ’s (see 1 Corinthians 3:21–23) • All spiritual blessings (see Ephesians 1:3) • All needs supplied—because Blood Covenant means, “My need is Your need, and Your supply is my supply.”(see Philippians 4:19) • We are complete in Him . . . (see Colossians 2:10) • All things that pertain to life and godliness . . . (see 2 Peter 1:3–4)

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Pronounce Blessings All the blessings of the Blood Covenant are ours! They have been bought and paid for! There has been a great exchange, and the transfer of property has taken place. We are no longer trying to please God through living by a list of rules that we have to try to keep. We are living spontaneously by the new life that’s written on the inside of us. There’s no place for begging and crying—it dishonors Father. I’m not asking for mercy—I’m calling on what is mine! —Malcolm Smith What Blessings Do We Offer? We’ve been looking at the blessings God brings to us, but the Covenant is an exchange. What blessings do we bring to this Blood Covenant relationship? We bless our Covenant Father the most when we receive what He’s purchased for us, obey His Word, and thankfully praise Him as we live, move, and have our being in oneness with Him. Our Covenant Father’s response always is, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4).

First Person . . . Present Tense Blessed be the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed me with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

according as He hath chosen me in Him, having predestinated me unto the adoption of children, wherein He hath made me accepted in the beloved, in Whom I have redemption through His blood, wherein He hath abounded toward me in all wisdom, having made known unto me the mystery of His will, in Whom also I have obtained an inheritance by the binding Agreement based on the integrity of the Godhead, guaranteed by the blood of Jesus, that transferred property to me! (See Ephesians 1:3–11.)

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Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself . . . That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the Cross. He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse. (Galatians 3:13 THE MESSAGE) Jesus said, “See what I’ve given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you.” (Luke 10:19 THE MESSAGE) The curse always knows your address because you’re still in the world; and it may still knock at your door— but don’t sign for the package! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy. (Psalm 107:2)

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Eleven

C hapter

Pronounce Curses

I

This sounds like such a negative subject; but, actually, we are going to shine the light of the Word on the darkness. We are going to paint a picture of redemption; and, for that reason, this is my favorite chapter! Get ready to be set free!

n lands where blood covenants are the way of life, the covenantors pronounce curses on each other—listing all the consequences that will come on each person if they break their part of the covenant contract. CURSE

Hebrew - execrate [to declare to be evil and detestable] Greek - imprecate [to invoke evil upon] Webster - to call upon supernatural power to send injury upon

CONSEQUENCE

Webster - something necessarily following from a set of conditions; a condition traceable to a cause.

Do you remember the television game show, “Truth or Consequences”? It’s really true to life. The Bible calls it sowing and reaping, and it’s a law. The only thing that supersedes that law is the Blood Covenant that’s guaranteed by the blood of Jesus. So often when there is teaching about curses, people hear it from the witchcraft perspective; but we need to hear it from God’s perspective, which is that a curse is a consequence of disobedience or sin (see CURSE acronym on this page). The curse started in Genesis. God gave His Word, the rule, in Genesis 2:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (emphasis added). Satan tempted Eve when he challenged God’s Word by exalting his own word above the knowledge of God and audaciously said God’s Word was a lie.

C U R S E

ONSEQUENCE 1 —— ULTIMATE

2

ESULT 3 (OF) IN’S

4

NTRAPPING

5

something necessarily following from a set of conditions—— eventual 3 conclusion (of) 4 a transgression of the Word of God—an offense against God 5 luring into a compromising statement or act, catching in (or as if in) a trap, and holding the one caught at the mercy of the captor 1 2

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Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:1, 4–5).

Eve and Adam chose to disobey God’s Word, and the consequences of separation from God (death) came on them exactly as God said it would.

Pronouncing Curses in the Old Blood Covenant When God was establishing His Blood Covenant with Abraham’s heirs, He listed the blessings (as we saw in the previous chapter); and then He immediately listed all the curses that would come on them and overtake them if they chose to disobey the terms of His Covenant with them. A loving and just parent always states the rules, and includes the blessings of obeying them and the consequences of disobeying them. The curses are listed in Deuteronomy 28:15–68. I read the curses from several different translations, and I also looked up almost every noun and verb. Then I asked the Holy Spirit to show me how to word each one so that they are applicable to our present day and pattern of life. I know it’s a long list, and, yes, it’s not too edifying to read; but it’s important to look at these eyeball-to-eyeball and determine if any of them have snuck into our lives—by hook or crook.

Verse Curse 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Statement of what causes the curse to come—our choice to disobey what we heard the Lord say! cursed at home, at work, and everywhere we go cursed is what we buy and what we make cursed are our children and our sources of livelihood cursed coming and going everything we set out to do will be cursed and confused until we’re destroyed and perish quickly contagious, infectious, epidemic diseases will cling to us until we’re destroyed feebleness, burning fever, drought, wasting away, paleness, and death of body parts will pursue until we perish the source that causes our work (farming in Bible times) to produce will be dried up rain will be powder and dust (not water droplets) until we’re desolate we’ll be tossed to and fro and utterly defeated by our enemies birds and beasts will eat our carcass and no one will frighten them away we’ll have boils, tumors, scurvy, and itch that cannot be healed we’ll have insanity, blindness, mental and spiritual loss of power to carry on because of sudden fear, anxiety, or great perplexity we’ll search without finding, never succeed, and always be oppressed and robbed with no one to rescue us we won’t be able to enjoy what’s ours—spouse, home, or the fruits of our labors

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Pronounce Curses 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39–40 41 42 43–44 45–47 48 49–57

58 59 60 61 62 63–64 65 66 67 68

our possessions will be violently taken and not returned, and no one will help us we’ll see our children being given (as if forced by others) to another people, and we’ll be powerless to prevent it foreigners/strangers will devour our stuff, and we’ll be oppressed and crushed continually we’ll be driven insane by what we see we’ll have incurable sore boils in our knees and legs that will spread from head to toe we and our entire nation will be captured and forced to serve manmade idols everyone will mock, scoff, sneer, and jeer at our predicament devourers will consume all but a trace of our harvest our most valuable commodities (grapes and olives in the Old Covenant) will be devoured and aborted we won’t enjoy our children because they’ll go (as if by their own choice) into captivity the source of our own food and that which we would market will be destroyed the stranger will be our master, and we’ll be his servant Stop and remember what’s causing all this—our choice to disobey what we heard the Lord say! we will serve our enemies in hunger and thirst, nakedness, want of all things, and a yoke of iron will be around our neck we’ll be overcome by a foreign nation—language we can’t understand, harsh face, cruel to all ages (young and old, too), and they will devour our food until we perish; we will even resort to cannibalism of our own children; we’ll have no place to hide from the oppressors; the most refined and kind person will do the most horrible, despicable, and unthinkable things Stop and remember what’s causing all this—our choice to disobey what we heard the Lord say! on us and our children will come extraordinary strokes and destruction of life, great plagues and pestilence of long continuance, grievous sicknesses of long duration all the diseases of Egypt (we saw and feared them, but we were immune to them then) will cling to us every sickness and every disease not mentioned in this Book will come on us and destroy us Stop and remember what’s causing all this—our choice to disobey what we heard the Lord say! we’ll be ruined, destroyed, kidnapped, scattered, and forced into idolatry we’ll have no ease, no rest, trembling heart, failing eyes, fainting mind, and languishing spirit our life will be suspended and uncertain, full of fear day and night, and we’ll have no assurance of our life we’ll have painful apprehension and uneasiness of mind and heart because of the sights we’ll see with our own eyes, and it won’t be “a movie” the places of limitation and captivity God brought us out of by His mighty hand we’ll return to in the bondage of men’s “slave-ships.”

In Deuteronomy 29, Moses stood before the people and reminded them of all that God had done to free them from captivity to the Egyptian tyranny. He exhorted and warned them:

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Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do. Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God . . . with your little ones, your wives . . . that thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into his oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day: that he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; and it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: the Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven. Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt . . . and the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book (Deuteronomy 29:9–13, 18–20, 25, 27).

Then Moses encouraged them and gave them God’s multiple-choice quiz, even gave them the correct answer to it: And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; that then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee (Deuteronomy 30:1–3). If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law. . . . For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it (Deuteronomy 30:10–11, 14). See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 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. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them (Deuteronomy 30:15–20, emphasis added).

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Pronouncing Curses in the New Blood Covenant Has it bothered you that the Old Covenant repeatedly says God did destructive things against people, like the flood? Like when it clearly says God was ready to administer judgment on the Hebrews, but Moses successfully intervened on their behalf (see Exodus 32)? These are only two of many instances. Elijah knew the curses as well as the blessings, and he heard God’s voice inside and knew that drought was the judgment that should come on Ahab and his kingdom because he had turned away from God and gone a whoring after other gods. When Ahab tried to shift the blame for troubling Israel to Elijah, the man of God answered, “I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim” (1 Kings 18:18). We don’t hesitate to say Elijah called forth the curse of drought, but we want to find a way around saying God did thus-and-so in the Old Covenant because it seems to oppose His actions through Jesus in the New. There are the scriptures that say, “For I am the Lord, I change not;” and “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17, emphasis added). And Jesus, Who was the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person, and Who only did and said what He saw and heard His Father do and say, and Who always did those things that pleased His Father—Jesus said in the New Covenant, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). “How could this seeming contradiction be?” has been a question I’ve had for a long time. I’ve heard it taught that “The Hebrew language has both causative and permissive tenses; and since the translators had already been taught that God was the One bringing bad things on them, they chose the causative tense when translating the Old Covenant books, when they should have chosen the permissive tense.” But this explanation did not answer the question that was in me, because the Bible is Good News for whosoever will, not whosoever knows the ins and outs of the original languages. So, I just kept listening for the Spirit of Truth’s answer, and He reminded me of these truths: • • •

God is still the same now as He was in the Old Covenant—He always keeps His Word, He always responds in love, He is always just. God hasn’t changed—but the Covenant He’s bound to has changed. Under the Old Covenant, after He listed the blessings, He immediately gave the curses that would come on the disobedient. But under the New Covenant, He lists NO curses because they’ve been legally paid for, for all who are His heirs! God is no longer dealing out the judgment that the curse should have brought; and to His heirs who are disobedient and repentant, He says, “Your sins and iniquities I will remember no more.” God hasn’t changed—but

the Covenant He’s bound Because the Old Blood Covenant was between God and sinful to has changed. man, curses were pronounced to warn each person what would happen to them if they broke their part of their Covenant with God. Sin had not been forgiven, and the curse had not been paid for; therefore, sin had to be judged, and the curse (the consequences of choosing to disobey) had to reek its havoc. Elements of the Old Covenant curse happen today to those who are outside the New Covenant because satan, sin, and the curse are alive and active in the earth—from Genesis 3:1 to the end of the Book, when, in reality, there’ll be no more satan, no more sin, and no more curse. The New Blood Covenant was made between God and Jesus; and because neither of Them could lie or fail to keep it, no curses were pronounced. However, this New Covenant

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was made for the purpose of also bringing mankind into this Blood Covenant with God through Jesus’ reconciling sinful man back to God—forgiving their sin and paying for their curse. Christ purchased our freedom (redeeming us) from the curse (doom) of the Law’s (condemnation), by [Himself ] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified); [Deuteronomy 21:23] (Galatians 3:13 amplified).

“Then why do things listed in the curses come on those who are inside the New Covenant, on Christians?” Unbelief, either from ignorance or negligence of their inheritance. Jesus canceled the power of sin and the curse over us—legally. We, these new heirs of the Covenant, though legally set free from the curse, are in a world where the curse runs rampant; and we are constantly faced with choices regarding God’s Word—to obey or not to obey . . . that is the question. When we hear God’s Word and obey it (which is faith), we are shielded from the curse just like an umbrella shields us from the rain. The choice to obey brings blessing. But if we choose to step out from under the obedience-blessing umbrella, we’re in disobediencecursing territory (which is unbelief ). The choice to disobey brings cursing. The choice is ours. Lessons from a Pawn Shop Joe owned a guitar, and he decided to give it to Sam, who kept it for a while, but then chose to pawn it in order to have the cash to buy something else. Sam never went back to the pawn shop because the guitar wasn’t that important to him. When Joe learned that his guitar was being held at the pawn shop, he decided to go get it back. “How much will it take to redeem that guitar?” he asked. The pawn shop owner gave him an inflated price, but Joe decided it was worth it. He paid it in full and walked out with his treasured guitar. He freed his guitar from captivity by payment of ransom. As Joe walked down the street, can the pawn shop owner holler at him and say, “Hey! Wait a minute, Buddy! You owe me some more money on that guitar! Come back here!” Can he do that? No, because the guitar was paid for in full and redeemed, or Joe never would have been able to take it out of the pawn shop. Redemption is a finished work. We all understand the principles on which pawn shops operate, and I want to use that similarity to help us see more clearly what has been done for us in God’s great plan of redemption. Webster’s definition of redeem is to free from captivity by payment of ransom. God gave Adam that which was so precious to Him— His likeness, image, and dominion. Adam kept it for a while, Webster’s definition but then he heard about a deal that would “open his eyes of redeem is—to free from and make him as the gods knowing good and evil,” and he captivity by payment of decided that sounded better than what he already had. Adam ransom. chose to pawn what God had entrusted to him in exchange for what the whisssssspering rumormonger was offering. By obeying satan, Adam, as head of the human race, sold himself and all of mankind into satan’s dominion. The sign over the door of the establishment where this transaction took place was “Satan’s Pawn Shop— The Curse.”

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Pronounce Curses Ages later, Jesus walked into Satan’s Pawn Shop where mankind had been sold by Adam’s high treason, and asked, “What will it cost to redeem My people from your dominion and the curse?” Satan said, “The price is death! The soul that sins must die.” Jesus decided we were worth it, so He died on the cross and paid the price for us. Picture His nail-pierced hands extended as He went back into the pawn shop and said, “I have died for __________’s (insert your name) sin, and I have paid the price in full to redeem __________ from the curse—spirit, soul, and body! I have freed __________ from captivity to sin and its curse, including all sickness, by paying the ransom! Loose _________ and let him/her go!” To demonstrate this chapter and this truth of redemption in teaching a Blood Covenant class, we do the following activity: •

On a blank wall, tape a large sign which says “Satan’s Pawn Shop—The Curse.” • In advance, in lettering large enough for the participants to see, write the curses from Deuteronomy 28:15–68 on pieces of paper, one curse per piece of paper. Tape the curses on the wall and group them by category, so it will be obvious how many have to do with bodies, kids and home, provisions, enemies, etc. • Place a small chair in front of the wall, and put a doll in the chair. (I have Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls, so that both men and women, boys and girls, can participate effectively.) • Prepare name tags for each participant as they volunteer to take part in the skit. • Allow plenty of time for everyone to study the wall—a wailing wall, for sure. Especially notice all the sicknesses; and even if you don’t see the particular one that has come against you, it’s covered by verse 61, “every sickness and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law.” • Place the name tag of the first participant on the doll, and give the volunteer a few moments to fully apply the wailing wall to themselves— first person and present tense—because they’re about to go on stage, holding the microphone, and acting out, as it were, what happened when they entered into their Blood Covenant redemption. When the participant is ready, he (or she) reaches down and picks up the doll that represents them and, as they walk out of the pawn shop, they look at the wall and say, “I’ve been freed from captivity to the curse! You curses—every last one of you—no longer have power over me! I owe you nothing! Jesus paid my ransom in full! I’M REDEEMED—how I love to proclaim it!” • One by one, each participant’s name tag goes on the doll, and they proclaim their freedom. The truth of redemption gets more and more real as everyone watches. Expect to see signs and wonders as Bible-believing faith springs forth! Remembering that God said, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19), here is a chart that summarizes what has been presented regarding blessings (in the preceding chapter) and curses.

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BLESSINGS (life) 1. 2. 3. 4.

CURSES (death)

new spirit and “want to” Covenant written inside know God intimately my God . . . My people

(curses from wailing wall)

DISOBEDIENCE (hear and ignore)

OBEDIENCE (hear and do)

When I teach this in a Blood Covenant class, I take 1-inch-wide, red plastic adhesive tape and draw a vertical line on the floor in front of the wailing wall of the Pawn Shop, which becomes the center line of the chart (above). Handwritten signs for the other labels in the chart are put in place on the floor chart, also. Then we— • take all the curses off the wall and place them (face down) on the right side of the chart, arranging them in the shape of the Cross—where they were paid for; and • using a 3 x 1½-inch, self-inking stamp with red ink, that says

we stamp PAID IN FULL in red all over the curses—until all that can be seen under the label CURSES is the cross and PAID IN FULL in red! At any time after this, if satan tries to send a symptom of a curse your way, don’t accept it! If a witch—not one in a black hat and cape and riding a broom, but a real, sold-out-tosatan witch—walked in and tried to start putting a curse on us, what would we do? Why, we’d use the name of Jesus and the Word of God to kick it out! That’s what we need to do with the first sign of a symptom of the curse, or a symptom of who we used to be before we entered into Blood Covenant with God. We are to “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). It’s a finished work! Don’t give a symptom a second chance! Don’t let any part of the curse come on you! It’s your choice, remember! You can say something like:

Don’t give a symptom a second chance!

No! My debt has been paid! I owe you nothing! I don’t have to give in to any junk of the curse! I’ll give you no place—not my time, my health, my peace, or my money! I’ve been sought out and blood bought! My Redeemer has paid my debt to you by dying my death demanded by you. That same act of redemption made Jesus and me Blood Covenant partners.

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Pronounce Curses I’ve been redeemed from all the curses and brought into all the blessings; translated from the prison of the pawn shop and brought into the promised peace of the palace! I’m FREE! You’re trying to trespass on purchased property, but you can’t cross the blood line! I won’t let you! SCAT in Jesus’ name! I stand fast in all that Jesus has done and is doing for me! I’m redeemed—freed from captivity by payment of ransom! Blotting It Out And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Colossians 2:13–14).

Vine’s Dictionary gives this explanation for the handwriting of ordinances or title: “In the Roman Empire, in the case of a criminal on his way to execution, a board on which was inscribed the cause of his condemnation was carried before him or hung around his neck. The inscription was termed a title. The four gospels state that at the crucifixion of Jesus, the title was affixed to the cross—Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews” (emphasis added). (See John 19:19.) But the real cause of His death was mankind’s sin, the curse of the law due them, and satan’s dominion over them. By pouring out His life and blood, Jesus was cutting a New Blood Covenant with God, taking the place of mankind, paying what was demanded, paying it in full. Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible explains blotting out as erasing ink from a parchment by a fluid; or erasing oriental inks of burnt ivory, cork, and gum water by a wet sponge. No trace of the writing can be seen afterward. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see Colossians 2:14 portrayed in a movie about Jesus’ life! Just picture it, • Jesus, hanging on the cross, has just dismissed His spirit and died, • the soldiers have nailed above His head the parchment inscribed with the title Pilate had said was the reason for His crucifixion—Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews; • then, with the camera focused on the top of the cross, showing just the top of Jesus’ head (hair and bloody crown of thorns) and the bloody hands and nails on the crossbeam, • the hand of a person carrying another piece of parchment comes into focus in the foreground (at lens of camera) with an element of the curse written on the parchment . . . he climbs a crude ladder leaning against the cross; • the hammer hits the nail, securing the new title to Jesus’ cross; and as the nail pierces the parchment, the power of the blood being spilled on that cross obliterates the handwriting of that ordinance (curse) that was against us—blotting it out! • then another part of the curse comes in focus in the foreground, to the cross, the hammer’s blow, curse blotted out—then another, and another . . . • the hands, type of nails, style of hammer, parchment changing to paper, style of writing—all change . . . as do the names of the elements of the curse, of sins, of diseases, even the names of well-known sinners who’ve been transformed throughout history (e.g., Mary Magdalene, Zacchaeus, Saul of Tarsus, John Newton, etc.) . . . • Put my name on a piece of paper and nail it up there, too—not that I’m well-known, but I have been transformed! Yours, too?

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• All of these become more and more updated as they move toward the twenty-first century, until—arthritis, cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, etc., are being nailed to the cross and blotted out—erased so that no trace of writing can be seen afterward!

PAID IN FULL!

Freed from captivity by payment of ransom! Blotted out!

This whole scenario should not be rushed. The script writer should spend much time pondering and listening for the names to be written on the titles—for all times, throughout history, and be very specific.

Can you imagine the faith that would leap inside of you if you had been diagnosed with cancer, for example, and you saw that disease being nailed to the cross and blotted out?!?!?!? What revelation would flood your being! What deliverance! What healing! The truth would set you free! Four Principles Need to Be Firmly Established Here #1 – Only the Cross Could Pay for the Curse Any method of death would have been sufficient to pay for sin, because all that was needed was death and blood to prove that a death had taken place; therefore, Jesus could have had His throat slit like every other lamb before Him. But to pay for the curse, He had to die on a cruel, torturous, mutilating, and humiliating cross. Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the Cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse (Galatians 3:13 THE MESSAGE). He [Jesus] personally bore our sins in His [own] body to the tree [as to an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24 amplified, emphasis added).

Jesus bore our sins and consequences in His body. By paying the price of sin-in-thebody with His Own body (not His spirit, but His body), the stripes afflicted to His body purchased for us the opposite of sin-in-the-body, which is healing. Jesus bore our sin and our curse in His body and offered Himself as the demandedpayment-of-death sacrifice on the altar of the cross, that we might cease to exist (die) to sin

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Pronounce Curses and its curse, and therefore live in right-standing. Jesus released us from sin and its curse by paying the death-punishment for sin and its curse that we owed. There’s a law in the mathematical world that says, “Quantities equal to the same quantity are equal to each other.” Consider this:

1 + 3 = 4 4 = 2 + 2 1 + 3 = 2 + 2

sickness = curse curse = canceled sickness = canceled

Using the above illustration of the mathematical principal, we can conclude that what happened in the pawn shop scenario was specifically to cancel the power of sickness and all the other elements of the curse. (I’m presenting the truths in this book from different perspectives; and, at first reading, there may appear to be useless repetitions, but my goal is to reach all who read it. For example, a lady in one of the classes was listening but just not grasping this facet of our redemption; but when these three equations were written on the easel chart, [ZAP!] it became the living Word in her!) Sin and the curse cease to have power over us because they have no power over a dead person—“that we, being dead to sin.” Weymouth’s translation of 1 Peter 2:24 says, “that we, being alienated from our sins.” Webster defines alienate – to make unfriendly, hostile, or indifferent where attachment formerly existed. A dead person can’t be tempted to sin and can’t be made sick. That means sickness is officially and forever powerless over our body! Healing is our right and our inheritance—ours! From the beginning of America’s history, soldiers have fought on our behalf against our enemies. By their sacrifices we have been freed from captivity to all tyranny. That’s the same principle proclaimed in the promise in 1 Peter 2:24, which in essence says, “Jesus fought on our behalf against our enemies (satan, sin, and the curse); and by His stripes (representative of all that was done to His body), we have been freed from captivity to all sickness. We are healed. Jesus’ stripes cured us, healed us, and made us whole.” We can name every other facet of the curse and put its name in the place of the word sickness, and then insert the blessing in the place of the word healed. For example: The curse of our children’s being the captives of the mighty (being given to another people) and the prey of the terrible (because they choose to go into captivity) is officially and forever powerless! Our redemptive right and inheritance blessing is children who are free from all captivity, who are obedient to God, His Word, and us, who are full of great peace and joy, and who are growing in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and doing exploits, signs, and wonders! #2 – A Box of Curses with Your Name on It—Don’t Sign for the Package It’s as if there’s a box of curses that has your name on it, and it’s scheduled to be empty before it finishes you off. There’s one box for everyone in the world. But Jesus stepped between that box of curses and you . . . and said, “I’ll take her curses. . . and his. I’ll take mankind’s curses. Put those curses on Me. I’ll pay ’em off—PAY IT IN FULL!” That’s redemption! We owe the curse nothing, because it’s already been paid for! The curse always knows your address because you’re still in the world; and it may still Don’t sign for the knock at your door, but don’t sign for the package! Instead, believe and speak package! the Blood Covenant truth that supersedes that curse, and it will flee from you as you slam the door shut! “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy” (Psalm 107:2). All the blessings of the New Blood Covenant are our inheritance—salvation, God’s presence, God’s voice, His fellowship, right-standing, forgiveness, power, peace, victory, health, prosperity, wisdom, and so on. These blessings are already on deposit in our account, but they don’t come to us by automatic withdrawal. We have to withdraw them by laying

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claim to them and taking hold of them, which means choosing the blessing and refusing the curse! Our response (and our responsibility) is to believe it so that we will receive it into our lives. Our response will either be faith when we choose the blessing or unbelief when we choose the curse. The author of sin and the curse is roaming about seeking whom he may devour— steal, kill, and destroy; and he hurls darts at us in the form of symptoms, fears, doubts, temptations, and thoughts to see if we know they’re legally powerless against us. He has to get our permission. Jesus said all power and authority had been given to Him. Then He commissioned us to go in the power and authority of His name and do what He did. (See Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 16:15–20; John 14:12–14.) “Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). Holding these promises together with Deuteronomy 30:19, which clearly says it is up to us to choose life or death, blessing or cursing . . . I ask you, “Whose responsibility is it? Who has the ball in their court . . . us or God?” Answer: It is up to us to choose to stand fast in the authority we have inherited as joint-heirs with Jesus; and it is up to us to live, move, and have our being as the Question: Who has the ball in their redeemed of the Lord! Those who say, “God allowed it court—us or God? (the test, sickness, accident) to happen to me,” need to quit Answer: It is up to us. blaming God for their own wrong choice, which is spelled U-N-B-E-L-I-E-F! #3 – Read the Owner’s Manual If I bought a new car and ignored the Owner’s Manual, I might put Kool-Aid in the radiator, vegetable oil in the crankcase, Elmer’s glue in the master brake what-cha-ma-call-it, vinegar in the battery, Coca-Cola in the gas tank, and coffee in the power steering thing-a-majig. Then when the car wouldn’t run right, I’d take it to a mechanic. He’d probably say, “I’ll try to get you out of this mess you’ve gotten yourself into, but you must read the Owner’s Manual and follow the directions, or the same thing will happen again—or even worse.” God, in essence, said to His people who were enslaved in Egypt, “I will deliver you from this mess you’ve gotten yourself into. Then you must get back to My instructions, so you won’t get in this predicament again. Disobeying My Owner’s Manual is sin, and it always has consequences.” Jesus, in essence, said to the woman taken in the very act of adultery, “I’ve delivered you from this mess you had gotten yourself into: now go and sin no more. Do what the Owner’s Manual says.” (See John 8:3-11.) After healing the man that was waiting for an angel to stir up the water, Jesus said, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14). After God created everything in the beginning, He created man and told him what he was to put into his body for nourishment— And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat” (Genesis 1:29, emphasis added).

Herb in the Hebrew is be green and grass (or any tender shoot), and it’s translated in the King James as grass or herb. Meat in the Hebrew is food, and it’s translated consume, devour, eat, food, meat. Meat was a general term used for food and did not always mean animal flesh, like it does at the present time. Our Owner’s Manual, the Bible, says we are to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. The people who followed these instructions lived a very long time. After the flood, God said

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Pronounce Curses they could eat flesh, “But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat” (Genesis 9:4, emphasis added). The life span was greatly shortened thereafter. Having no refrigeration, whatever flesh they ate was eaten immediately after killing, koshering, and cooking it. Only vultures and other scavengers eat flesh that’s been dead for a while. Most of the sickness that fills hospitals, nursing homes, asylums, and cemeteries is the result of the wrong fuel that we have been putting into our perfectly designed bodies. When we eat and drink contrary to what our Designer and Creator instructed in His Owner’s Manual, we usually do not get sick immediately. It may take years before our bodies are no longer able to adapt to and overcome the chemicals, preservatives, and foods that were cursed in the Bible, animal blood, fat and clogging agents, and the other lifeless stuff (so depleted of nourishment it’s not worthy to be called food) we’ve been consuming because it was tasty and convenient—filling but not satisfying fast-food for our fast-life. We’ve been wrongly taught to apply 1 Timothy 4:3–5 like a purifying tablecloth over the “American diet,” and led to believe it will supersede all other scriptures: And commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

When this “purifying” teaching has been challenged, the followers of it have said, “It only works if you believe it.” I’ve noticed they are not eating steamed poison ivy, tossed hemlock salads, and barbecued rat, which were also created by God. What has been overlooked are the conditional words in the verse—“God hath created to be received.” God will respond to our faith-filled prayer and heal us and deliver us from the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into; but to stay well and be healthy, we must sin no more by putting the wrong things in our bodies. For example: What will happen to a diabetic who gets healed by God (and it is confirmed by those who diagnosed the disease from its onset) if that person continues to eat and drink that which caused the malfunction and eventual breakdown in the first place? This is a vital subject that we have ignored and excused ourselves from taking responsibility for, saying, “Only quacks, heathens, and New Age people are into nutrition.” Do we know anyone who does not have something wrong with their body, some chronic ailment, even? Are you absolutely whole? What one thing do we all have in common? Food—food contrary to our Owner’s Manual. One of the reasons we have been missing the mark and so are not sharing in the prize (the meaning of sin in the Greek) of health is because we have not been following the Owner’s Manual to know how to nourish our fearfully and wonderfully made bodies. If we’re smart enough to care about what we put in our automobiles, shouldn’t we care even more about what we put in our bodies? Genesis 1:29 is a good place to start. With knowledge, people would then be able to intelligently choose between a system that promotes wellness through proper diet and lifestyle versus a system that promotes disease and rewards an industry with a vested interest in sickness and disease. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare says: “It has become clear that only by preventing disease, rather than treating it later, can we hope to achieve any major improvement in the nation’s health.”1

I have just had occasion at my work to see numerous photographs made at parades, festivals, and barn dances in rural middle Tennessee in the early to mid-1900s. I suddenly realized there was not a single overweight person in any of the pictures of the men and

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women of all ages! I thought about what the pictures would look like if they were made today. What’s the difference between now and then? Fresh food, more exercise, slower pace, etc. This nutrition information has only scratched the surface, but I trust it will be the sufficient scent for the champion hunter and needed nudge for the treasure seeker. If we were eating like God said and getting the results He planned, then perhaps it could be asked in our churches as it was in James 5:14, “Is any sick among you?”—rather than what is asked now, “Is there anyone not sick among you?” He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Church. How many times have we read these warnings on complicated and delicate pieces of equipment: Read the operating instructions carefully and completely before operating the unit. Be sure to keep the operating instructions for future reference. All warnings and cautions in the operating instructions should be strictly followed, as well as the safety suggestions. This product is to be serviced only by the manufacturer. For instructions on how to obtain service, refer to the warranty included in the operations manual. Yet, so many proudly brag, “I never read the Owner’s Manual.” Our bodies should only be repaired by our Creator—God, our Physician. People say, “God is my Healer,” yet they seek after, cling to, give their attention to, and, if they’re really honest about it, are looking to doctors and the medical web to cure them. Others refuse the doctor/drug/surgery route and depend on their own mental processes to cure them. Still others depend on nutrition—putting in their body only the food and drink that it was designed to assimilate. God said, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Jeremiah 33:3; Proverbs 4:20–22; Exodus 15:26).

The narrow line is who or what are we seeking after, clinging to, attending to, and depending on—all of which show who or what we are really trusting in? The best way to know if we’re trusting in someone or something (or not) is to ask, “If it were suddenly taken away from me, would I panic?” If the answer is “yes,” then we’re trusting in that, we have faith in that, and we are believing in that person, thing, process, product, or healthy food. Keeping our mind on what God says and not being conformed to what’s so acceptable and accessible in the world’s system for our physical body is good. Doing everything we can to feed and care for our bodies according to our Owner’s Manual is good. But, no one else and nothing else has died for our healing—only Jesus! We must always keep our God’s definition trust in Him. of terminal is . . . Covenant principles always apply to every facet of the TERMINATES AT Blood Covenant. Whoever we depended on for entering into CALVARY! the Covenant (being saved) is the same One we are to depend on for healing, for safety, for meeting our needs, for wisdom, and for

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Pronounce Curses every other part of our inheritance. If we really believe nothing is too hard for Him, why go elsewhere for help? No matter what has come against you . . . No matter how long it’s been there . . . No matter what the doctor’s told you . . . God’s waiting now to hear your prayer. He doesn’t know the word incurable! With Him, there’s no impossibility, And He is ready with your miracle; So now, give Him an opportunity! I found the cure—His name is Jesus, The Great Physician everywhere! You want to know where He has His office? It is right here . . . Praise God, He’s here! And it is time for your appointment, So don’t be late—or cancel, please; For Jesus is your Balm in Gilead! He is the cure for ALL disease!

C U R E

HRIST

1

TILIZING

2

EDEMPTION’S FFECT

3

4

Jesus, the Anointed One putting into action 3 freedom from captivity by payment of ransom’s 4 reality 1 2

#4 – Your New Family Tree Has No Generational Curses Believer, you have a new family and a new family tree! God predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:15) For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:15–17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1) There are no generational curses nor inherited diseases in this family tree—Calvary! You’ve inherited blessings—not curses! You’ve inherited healing and health—not diseases!

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship In Exodus 34:6–7 in the Old Covenant, we read: The Lord passed by before him [Moses], and proclaimed, The Lord , The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation (emphasis added).

The curses were passed on to succeeding generations because the sin had not been cleared, and the consequences had not been done away with. In the Hebrew, clear means to be (or make) clean, extirpate. Webster says extirpate means to pull up by the root; to wipe out; and it implies removal of means of propagation. Clear is translated in KJV as: acquit, be blameless, hold guiltless. But generational curses no longer have power in the New Covenant—not legally, because: • our sin has been cleared, pulled up by the root, and wiped out; • the old sin nature from which sins and curses were propagated is dead and buried and has been superseded by our new recreated spirit in which we are seen as acquitted, blameless, and guiltless; and, finally, • the consequences (curses) of sin have been done away with—nailed to the cross, blotted out, erased, and no trace of the handwriting against us can now be seen! Then, in Jeremiah 31:29–34, God had Jeremiah explain the difference between the Old and the New, specifically as pertaining to the consequences of one’s sins (curses): In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. . . . for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (emphasis added)

First Person . . . Present Tense We have a new Father, a new family tree, and a new inheritance—blessings, not curses! Let the redeemed of the Lord . . . say so! Let the redeemed of the Lord . . . stay so!

Chapter notes: 1 God’s Way to Ultimate Health, by George H. Malkmus, Copyright 1995 by Hallelujah Acres Publishing, P.O. Box 2388, Shelby, NC 28151 (www.hacres.com)

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Twelve

C hapter

I

Establish a Memorial

n lands where blood covenants are the way of life, the covenantors establish a memorial as a reminder to keep their covenant commitment alive and ever before them. For example, they each contribute a sheep, and the resulting flock becomes a memorial to their alliance; or they plant trees, and the forest stands as a reminder of their pledge; or they pile up stones as a monument to their confederacy.

MEMORIAL

Hebrew – [from word meaning to mark (so as to be recognized), i.e., to remember] a memento (or memorable thing, day or writing); by implication, commemoration: [translated in KJV as] memorial, memory, record, remembrance, scent.

Greek – [from word meaning to exercise memory, i.e., recollect] a reminder (memorandum), i.e., record: [translated in KJV as] memorial.

Webster – something that keeps remembrance alive; monument [a lasting reminder of someone or something notable]; commemoration [to mark by some ceremony or observation]; memento [something that serves to warn or remind; also, souvenir]; record, memoir [a narrative composed from personal experience]; of or relating to memory.

If the same thing happened to you as you read these definitions, that happened to me as I typed them, we’re remembering many things from our past—childhood memories, trips we’ve taken, places we’ve lived or worked, perhaps a prize we won, or an athletic ribbon or trophy on the shelf at home. One of the above definitions that’s special to me is the word scent. It’s used in Hosea 14:7 in the Amplified Bible, “They that dwell under his shade shall return; they shall revive as the grain and blossom as the vine; the scent of it shall be as the wine of Lebanon” (emphasis added). I remember the smell of peach fried pies that Mother had cooked just before my older sister and I came home from school. Perhaps you remember the aroma of homemade bread, lilacs blooming, or your daddy’s Old Spice aftershave. Memories are memorials. Baby books, photo albums, high school yearbooks, and even scrapbooks are records that keep our remembrance alive. The monuments in the family cemetery are there as lasting reminders of those who are very special to us. Birthdays are celebrations that call to mind the events of the honoree’s life—from birth to the present. Our rebirthday is a time for us to recollect the day we entered into the Blood Covenant with God, as the hymn says, “O what a wonderful, wonderful day, day I will never forget.” Wedding anniversaries are unique memorials because they remind the husband and wife of the covenant commitment they made to each other; and these nuptial commemorations keep their vows alive, as do the pictures in their wedding album and their honeymoon souvenirs. America has many memorials—our flag, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence; famous speeches and memoirs of our founding fathers; portraits of heroes; and re-enactments of famous battles. We also have special observations that no other country celebrates—Thanksgiving Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July,

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Labor Day, Presidents Day, Mothers Day, and Fathers Day. Monuments of outstanding presidents and war heroes (both individuals and groups) and mementos of events (some catastrophic) are reminders of turning points in our country’s history and resolve.

Memorials in the Old Blood Covenant As we learn that establishing a memorial is part of entering into the Blood Covenant and that God deems them to be very important, our eyes are opened to see these reminders throughout the Word of God. An example of exchanging sheep and planting trees as memorials is seen in the covenant that Abraham and Abimelech made: And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen . . . and gave them unto Abraham. . . . And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness [from Hebrew word meaning recorder] unto me, that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them. Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land many days (Genesis 20:14; 21:27–34, emphasis added).

God established His Blood Covenant name as a memorial: And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations (Exodus 3:15, emphasis added).

God’s Blood Covenant with His people became a memorial: And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them (Exodus 2:23–25, emphasis added).

God established His deliverance of His people from Pharaoh and Egypt as a memorial, because He always used it as both an encouragement and a warning to remind His people of His faithfulness to protect and provide for them on the account of His Blood Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These are a few of the innumerable references to this event: Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the Lord thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt; the great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the Lord thy God brought thee out: so shall the Lord thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid. Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the Lord thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day (Deuteronomy 7:18–19, 21; 15:15, emphasis added).

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Establish a Memorial God established feasts as special observations to perpetually remind His Covenant people of His love and care for them, and Passover was such a feast. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token [which also means monument in the Hebrew] upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped (Exodus 12:12–14, 26–27, emphasis added).

God told His people to keep His Word before them at all times as reminders of their Covenant. That means our copy of the Blood Covenant, our Bible, is a memorial, reminder, monument, memoir, and memento: And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates (Deuteronomy 6:6–9).

He knew what happens otherwise—out of sight, out of mind; look away, go astray: And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers. . . . then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. . . . Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statues, which I command thee this day. . . . Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. . . . And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish (Deuteronomy 6:10, 12; 8:11, 14, 19, emphasis added).

God commanded Moses to write an account of His Covenant provision in a book as a memorial record: And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar [a monument, lasting reminder of something notable], and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi (Exodus 17:14–15, emphasis added).

God instructed Moses to build a monument and to write on it the record of how they crossed the Jordan to possess their inheritance: Therefore it shall be when ye be gone over Jordan, that ye shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in mount Ebal, and thou shalt plaister them with plaister. And there shalt thou build an altar unto the Lord thy God, an altar of

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stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them. . . . And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly (Deuteronomy 27:4–5, 8).

In addition, God told Joshua to erect a monument on the far side of the Jordan as a memorial, which Joshua did; and he also erected a monument in the middle of the river: Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: and Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel. And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan [a monument], in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day. And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch [in the Hebrew, raise up, make to stand up] in Gilgal. And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever (Joshua 4:4–5, 9, 20–24, emphasis added).

The names of the children of Israel were engraved on Aaron’s ephod and breastplate for a memorial: With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders for a memorial. And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually (Exodus 28:11–12, 29, emphasis added).

Keeping the sabbath holy was established to be a “for ever” and “perpetual” sign [in the Hebrew, signal, flag, beacon, monument]: Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed (Exodus 31:13–17, emphasis added). Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them (Ezekiel 20:12, emphasis added).

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Establish a Memorial The tithe was designed to be a forever reminder and tribute to our Covenant-keeping God’s faithfulness to provide all of our needs, and it is to be practiced forever—in the New Covenant, and even in heaven (see Hebrews 7:8). Deuteronomy 26 gives us the blueprint. Please permit me to paraphrase its 19 verses: Verses 1–4 God says, “When you come into your inheritance as My heir, take the first ten percent of all your increase to the storehouse to which I have led you and give it to the ministry there.” Verses 5–7 Remember what I have done for you . . . and say, “I was oppressed, afflicted, and evil treated in limitation; but I cried out to God, and He heard me.” Verses 8–9 “My God brought me out mightily, and He brought me into all that He had promised.” Verses 10–16 “I acknowledge that He is my God, and all I now am, and have, is because of His love and faithfulness. I haven’t kept any of the tithe for myself, nor have I given any to unclean or dead things; but I have heard and obeyed my God; therefore, ‘Be it unto me according to Your Word.’ I now worship, reverence, and thank my God as I joyfully give.” Verse 17 “I now affirm: The Lord is my God, I will walk in His ways, I will keep His Word, and I will hearken to His voice.” Verses 18–19 God will affirm: “You are My jewel, My closely shut up treasure, and special to Me. As you keep My Word and are holy unto the Lord thy God, I will make you high above all nations in praise, name, and honor as I promised you.” That’s Covenant talk! The tithe acronym on this page says these nineteen verses in five words. When I was growing up, tithing was a ritual and legalistic. But tithing has become a joy since I’ve realized: • I’m not trusting God to supply all my need with the ninety percent that I have left, but • I’m trusting Him to supply all my need according to His unlimitedness! • We’re in covenant; and all I have is His (represented by the tithe), and all He has is mine! • My response is, “Be it unto me according to Your Word” (see Luke 1:38).

T I T H E 1

ITHING S RUSTING IM XPLICITLY

1

fully developed, unreserved and certain in expression...implies such plainness and distinctness that there is no room for ambiguity or reason for difficulty in interpretation

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship Memorials in the New Blood Covenant

Even as exchanging sheep, planting trees, and piling up stones were reminders in the Old Covenant, there are similar memorials in the New Covenant, too. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, called His Church His sheepfold; and as the sheep, each one of us is a memorial—something that keeps remembrance alive, a lasting reminder of something notable, a narrative composed from personal experiences—of the New Blood Covenant. When He told Peter and us to feed His sheep, He was telling us to feed the memorials of His Blood Covenant. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter [and to us] . . . Feed my lambs . . . Feed my sheep . . . Feed my sheep (John 10:16; 21:15–17, emphasis added).

We are called trees in the Old and New, and several arborescent terms are used to describe our Father’s care and plans for us: Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. . . . that they [the redeemed] might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified (Isaiah 60:21; 61:3, emphasis added). And he [that delights and meditates in God’s Word] shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:3, emphasis added). That Christ may dwell in your heart by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:17, emphasis added). As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6–7, emphasis added).

Even as Jesus is called the Chief Cornerstone, we, as His joint-heirs, are called stones, and terms unique to the building trade are used regarding us: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19–22, emphasis added). Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5, emphasis added).

Other terms used to show that we are memorials of the New Blood Covenant include: But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph—as trophies [something that serves to remind] of Christ’s victory—and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance [scent] of the knowledge of God everywhere. (2 Corinthians 2:14 amplified, emphasis added).

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Establish a Memorial For we are his [God’s] workmanship [a lasting reminder of Someone notable], created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10, emphasis added). And with great power gave the apostles witness [someone who keeps remembrance alive] of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all (Acts 4:33, emphasis added).

So many, O my Lord, my God, the wonders You have done— The things that You have planned for us unfolding one by one. The love You show by what You do, there’s no one to compare; And when I try to tell them, they’re too many to declare. A sacrifice and offering are not what You desire. For me to listen and obey is all that You require. Lord, I have come to do Your will, to walk the path You’ve planned, Responding to Your gent’lest nudge, fulfilling each command. Proclaim in the assembly all Your truth and righteousness, Your steadfast love and mercy, and Your grace and faithfulness. Proclaim Your power to protect, deliver, and set free. O Lord, my God, be magnified, get glory now through me. Our new name, Christian, is a memorial because it has marked us so as to be recognized as “related to the Anointed One.” We are epistles [record, memorandum, memoir–a narrative composed from personal experience] that others read. For some, we are the only Bible they ever lay eyes on—“Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2). For others, our lives remind them of what they used to walk in; and that memory becomes the scent they need to get them back to where they really want to be—like the smell of homemade bread fans the desire to go back home. Jesus said the action of a certain woman would become a worldwide memorial: Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her (Mark 14:9, emphasis added).

An angel of God told Cornelius that his prayers and neighborly acts had brought him to God’s attention: And when he [Cornelius] looked on him [the angel], he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God (Acts 10:4, emphasis added).

Here’s another wonderful promise along these same lines: Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name (Malachi 3:16, emphasis added).

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship First Person . . . Present Tense

Perhaps after reading this book, these items will become mementos that will serve to remind us of the binding Agreement that we have with our God, guaranteed by the blood of Jesus, and that transferred property to us: uneven balance scales, a prickles-encased cactus plant, thread entwined around a rope, 1 + 1 = 1 candles, a soaring hot air balloon, a pawn shop, blotted-out titles above His head, and PAID IN FULL stamped across a canceled debt. Amen! The questions, then, that we should ask ourselves are: “Am I a trophy of His triumph? Am I living in my full inheritance to the praise of the glory of His grace?” If we aren’t the memorial He purchased us to be, we can run to our Father, knowing He is God and the Rewarder of those that diligently seek Him, and say, I have been tempted to fall, and the pressure’s been tight; But now I choose to depend on Your strength and Your might. And now I choose to obey what I’ve heard in Your Word— Know as reality the victory of my living Lord! Not by my might, nor by my power, but by Your Spirit, O my Lord! That’s Covenant talk! We are to keep the memory of Jesus’ Redemption alive as we proclaim the Blood Covenant that frees people from captivity because their ransom has been paid! God set us apart as established memorials—His workmanship and witness, rooted, grounded, and fruitful, lively and fitly framed, builded together on the firm Foundation. Our lives are to remind Him and everyone we contact that we are in Blood Covenant with Him! Of all the memorials in the New Blood Covenant, there’s only one that Jesus singled out and said, “When you do this, you’ll be remembering Me.” That means the most important memorial is not water baptism, Holy Ghost baptism, the cross, the empty tomb, Christmas, Resurrection Sunday, or Pentecost Sunday. The most important memorial of all is the Blood Covenant Meal.

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Thirteen

C hapter

Blood Covenant Meal

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n lands where blood covenants are the way of life, the covenantors say and do several outward things to state and show their commitment to each other, which we have been studying up to this point. Then they share the covenant meal. As they receive and eat the bread, they are taking into themselves that which represents the other person; and the other person becomes a part of them. As they receive and drink the fruit of the vine, they are taking into themselves that which represents the very life of the other; and the other life becomes a part of them. Their blood covenant has now become inward, affecting and consuming all of them. They are now committed to each other in every way, inside and outside. This evidence of 100 percent Blood Covenant commitment is what Jesus was talking about in John 6:53–57: Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

Old Covenant Meal God instituted such a covenant meal with the Hebrew people on the eve of His bringing them out of bondage. He called the memorial feast Passover, and He told them to observe it every year as a reminder to them that He had set them free from captivity, fulfilling His covenant with Abraham when He said, “And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance” (Genesis 15:14). To assure that the generations that followed would also keep the feast, God gave them specific directions: And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children say unto you, What mean ye by this service? that ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses (Exodus 12:24–27).

New Covenant Meal On the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion, He celebrated Passover with His disciples; and, in essence, He said to them:

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I have longed to eat this Passover with you, more so than the others we’ve eaten together; because this time I get to tell you, “I am the Passover Lamb. I am the One for Whom you and your ancestors have been looking. I am the fulfillment, the completion, of this memorial. My blood and My body will deliver mankind out of captivity to sin and the curse today. My blood will be applied—not on the doorposts, but on the heavenly mercy seat to cut Covenant with God for you; and when you trust in this New Blood Covenant, the destroyer will pass over you” (see Luke 22:15–20).

He took the bread (vs. 19), gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and The Great Physician said, “This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me.” Then Jesus took the cup (vs. 20), and The Lamb said, “This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” Then a little later that same night as He cried out to God in the Garden, in essence, He said, “If there’s any other way to redeem mankind and reconcile them back to You, any way other than My death, let’s do it. But if not, I’m willing to go through with what You’ve assigned to Me as My purpose. I’m willing to drink the cup that only the Redeemer can drink.” (See Luke 22:42.) The New Blood Covenant Meal is the fulfilled name of the Passover meal of the Old Covenant. There was no time that they were to stop celebrating the Passover, because God said it was to be a forever memorial. When Jesus picked up the cup, He changed the focus of the Passover meal—from God freed us from bondage in Egypt, to Jesus freed us from captivity to satan, sin, and the curse! The Jews (and even Jesus and His disciples as they celebrated the last Passover recognized by God) partook of the Passover and hoped (held onto promised expectation). We are to partake of the New Covenant Meal and believe, knowing it’s done! Take, Eat, Drink Jesus told us many things that we were to keep on doing after He left—pray, fast, give, go, teach, preach, heal the sick, deliver the captive, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, and others. But there was only one thing that He told us to do; and as we did that one thing, He said we would be keeping His memory alive—partaking of the Covenant Meal. Jesus singled out this one memorial as all-important. He wants us to value it like He does. These are the things Jesus said we are to do with His body and blood: And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:26–28).

Definitions TAKE Greek - to take, to get hold of: [translated in KJV as] accept, catch, have, hold, receive, take (away, up).

Webster - get into one’s possession, power, or control.

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Blood Covenant Meal EAT

Greek - eat: [translated in KJV as] eat, meat.

DRINK

Greek - imbibe: [translated in KJV as] drink.

Webster - ingest, chew, and swallow in turn [ingest means absorb, that is, assimilate into the mind and thoroughly comprehend; and it stresses an incorporation into the substance of the body]. Webster - swallow, imbibe [imbibe (from the Latin to drink in, conceive) means to receive into the mind and retain; to assimilate or take into solution; and it implies a drinking in with noticeable or profound effect]; to absorb; to receive into one’s consciousness.

By substituting the above Webster-Greek definitions in these verses, Jesus was saying: TAKE—“Get into your possession and control what My body has done for you. Accept, catch hold of, and receive what My body purchased for you.” EAT—“Absorb into your mind and thoroughly comprehend what My body did for you. Incorporate into the substance of your body the wholeness My curse-canceling body purchased for you.” DRINK—“Imbibe, drink in, and conceive My Blood Covenant. Receive it into your consciousness and retain it; drink it in so that My satan-defeating, sin-erasing, Covenant-cutting blood has a noticeable and profound effect on your whole life.” ALL—“Drink all of My Blood Covenant and be made every whit whole!” When we partake of the New Blood Covenant meal as Jesus intended, we are saying, “I have been freed from captivity to sin and the curse by payment of ransom.” Grammar Lesson Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body (1 Corinthians 11:27, 29).

In the above scripture, Paul uses the word unworthily, and too often it has been misunderstood. The Greek word is irreverently, which Webster defines as not honoring, respecting, paying attention to, i.e., not recognizing the worth of. Unworthily is an adverb, and it describes HOW, not WHO! Unworthily is an adverb, We are worthy to partake of the Blood Covenant Meal because and it describes HOW, of the blood of Jesus; and we can never be more worthy than we not WHO! are right now, if Jesus is our Lord and we are in Blood Covenant with God through our Redeemer. Unworthily in these verses is not describing us and who we are; but rather, it’s referring to how we partake, how we value, and how we receive and appropriate what Jesus did for us in His death—and that determines if we partake worthily or unworthily. This is a description of what it means to partake unworthily: when we do not receive and live in that redemption, when we allow any sin or any part of the curse to come on us and stay there, or when we choose an alternate method for freedom from sin and the curse other than the body and blood of Jesus, then we fail to honor, respect, pay attention to, and recognize the worth of what He did for us. Here is 1 Corinthians 11:26–31 with the definitions for shew, unworthily, guilty, damnation, discerning, and judge inserted in brackets. Words in parentheses are author’s comments:

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For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew [make known by open declaration] the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily [not honoring, not respecting, not paying attention to, not recognizing the worth of ], shall be guilty [responsible] of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily [not honoring, not respecting, not paying attention to, not recognizing the worth of ], eateth and drinketh damnation [judgment] to himself, not discerning [recognizing, understanding, and receiving] the Lord’s body (meaning: what He purchased for us). For this cause, many are weak (Greek: feeble, sick) and sickly (Greek: deteriorating) among you, and many sleep (Greek: be dead). If we would judge ourselves (face our areas of disobedience and get back into obedience, face our areas of unbelief and get back into believing what our Blood Covenant says), we should not be judged (getting the consequences). (When we acknowledge we missed the mark and turn from our errors, God forgives and His Word cleanses us, freeing us from being sentenced like the rest of the world.)

1 Corinthians 11:23–32 in THE MESSAGE reads: Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, broken for you. Do this to remember me.” After supper, he did the same thing with the cup: “This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you. Each time you drink this cup, remember me.” What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt. Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe. If you give no thought (or worse, don’t care) about the broken body of the Master when you eat and drink, you’re running the risk of serious consequences. That’s why so many of you even now are listless and sick, and others have gone to an early grave. If we get this straight now, we won’t have to be straightened out later on.

Provisions Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:4–5).

For is such a small word, but it surely has a big meaning! In the Hebrew, for means reason or motive. We were the reason and motive for Calvary. For indicates the recipient of the action that filled a need, and it shows that redemption belongs to us.

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Blood Covenant Meal Webster’s dictionary goes into great detail to define this little word; and after inserting its definitions (see underlined words below) in the above scripture, this is the meaning of Isaiah’s prophecy: We are the purpose, the intended destination, the object toward which His activity of redemption was directed. Jesus took sin and the curse because of, in support of, in place of, on behalf of us. He gave Himself in exchange as the equivalent for us that we should and that we might be whole. The following reveals the meanings of the other Hebrew verbs and nouns in this scripture which describes what was done to Jesus as He took our place and died for us: Jesus was . . . for our . . . wounded (defiled, polluted, slain, stained) transgressions (revolts, rebellions, sins) bruised (crumbled, beaten to pieces, crushed, iniquities (perversities, moral evils, faults, destroyed, humbled, oppressed, smitten) mischiefs, punishments, sins) chastised (bodily punishment needful to peace (shalom—health, welfare, obtain peace) prosperity, rest, safety, all is well, wholeness) striped (bound with stripes, black and blue healing (mend by stitching, to cure, welt marks, bruises, hurts, wounds) cause to heal, repair, make whole), Calvary was for us, and now wholeness is for us! As Jesus gives us the bread, He says, “This is My body, your wholeness. I bought it—for you!” As He gives us the cup, He says, “This is My blood, your freedom. I paid for it—for you!” “You’ve got My Blood Covenant Word on it!” There’s healing in partaking of the Covenant Meal, just as the Hebrews were made whole when they ate the Passover lamb just before they came out of Egypt. In essence, Psalm 105:37 says, “There was not one wavering, tottering, stumbling, weak, or decayed [full meaning of feeble in the original] person among their tribes.” Remember: until the night before their exodus, they had been slaves! The Covenant Meal is our contact point for receiving. The woman with the issue of blood needed to touch the hem of His garment, the blind man needed the mud-pack and water, Jairus needed Jesus to come to his house, and Jesus gave us the Covenant Meal. What a deceptive tool of the enemy to try to keep us ignorant of what it means, to persuade us to let it become a meaningless ritual, or to get us in a hurry to get to the restaurant for lunch before the crowd does. If we value and receive the redemption the Covenant Meal represents, we’re healed. If we don’t, we stay sick and even die early. Jesus is our Healer and our Great Physician! We should run to our personal communion table and get our healing from God! No one else needs to be involved—just our God and us. The only items in our “medicine cabinet” should be the bread and the cup. Our healing is what Jesus paid for on that cruel cross, and that’s what Jesus told us to remember when we receive the bread and the cup, believing and proclaiming . . .

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“This sickness, this pain, this infirmity, and all this curse that’s trying to get a hold on me—all of it is already paid for! I owe it nothing! It has no legal power over me, and I won’t give it any! I believe in and I value what Jesus did for me. I choose blessing, not cursing. I choose life, not death. I choose God’s report in His Word, not what everyone else says. I’ve been redeemed, and I say so! I’ve been freed from captivity to every sickness and every disease because my ransom has been paid in full by Jesus, my Lord!” Receive everything He purchased! Resist everything He bore! —Kenneth Copeland Remember when you were a child and had chicken pox? From that time on when a child in school was sent home with chicken pox, your mother would say, “Don’t be concerned, Honey. You’ve already had chicken pox, and you never have to have it again.” GOOD NEWS! Jesus has given us Blood Covenant immunity because He has already had every disease and every sickness that could ever come against us. We are legally free, exempt, not Jesus has given us susceptible, and not responsive [Webster’s meaning of immunity] Blood Covenant immunity! to them; and if we’ll believe it, that immunity will be ours experientially, too. As Oft As You Drink It Jesus said, “This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:25, emphasis added). Get some grape juice and matza bread and partake of the Covenant Meal yourself at home, and do it often. If the only time you’ve taken communion has been at church on the first Sunday of the month (or whenever your church observes it), you’re in for wonderful blessings as you participate in the quiet of your “closet” in your Father’s presence. It won’t be a monotonous ritual, but just the opposite! Your intimate communion with God as you sit in His presence will become more and more precious. One of the verses of the old hymn “I Am Thine, O Lord” says, O the pure delight of a single hour that before Thy throne I spend, when I kneel in prayer and with Thee, my God, I commune as friend with Friend—remembering that friend is a Blood Covenant name. As you take the bread, you are believing and receiving: • You are the Bread of Heaven . . . broken for me. • You are my Health and Wholeness. • You are my Source of all nourishment. • You are my Strength. • You sustain and preserve me. • Your body has freed me from captivity to sin and the curse by paying my ransom in full. • Your body took my sin and released me from the guilt and limitation of it. • Your body has canceled the curse that was aimed at me—the due and merited punishment that I deserved for my sin. • I receive all that Your body has done for me. • All I have is Yours, and all You have is mine. As you take the cup, you are believing and receiving: • Your life’s blood has been poured out for me. • With Your blood, You have cut Covenant with Almighty God for me. • You were willing to die for me, so that I could be reborn and live in union with God through You, as His heir and Your joint-heir. • I am cleansed and positioned in right-standing in God’s presence by Your blood.

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Blood Covenant Meal • • • • • •

Your blood seals the Covenant Word of God to me. I am shielded and protected by the Blood Covenant of my Lord, my Savior, and my Redeemer. You now live by the power of the everlasting Covenant to watch over Your Last Will and Testament and to guarantee its fulfillment. I drink all of the New Blood Covenant. I receive all that Your blood has done for me. All I have is Yours, and all You have is mine.

In Remembrance of Me When Jesus said, “This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of “I was acquiring My me” (1 Corinthians 11:25, emphasis added), in essence, He was saying: Dr. Jesus degree for “I do not want you to just remember that I died, as you sit there your benefit.” picturing Me hanging on the cross all bloody and limp. No way! I want you to remember that— • I had your sin on Me; • I had your curses on Me, too; • I had given My back to the smiters in your place, and I was acquiring My Dr. Jesus degree for your benefit; • I was purchasing your freedom from the bondage of sin and the torment of all the curses—including all diseases; • I was freeing you from captivity by stamping your ransom note—PAID IN FULL; • I was ‘giving you the double;’ • I was cutting Covenant with God for you; and I not only want you to remember that, I want you to— The Blood Covenant • believe that; makes the difference • appropriate that; between the world • take hold of all that your Blood Covenant provides, so that it has a and the Word. noticeable and profound effect on your entire being; • be a trophy for Father and Me to hold up before everyone—living proof that the Blood Covenant makes the difference between Egypt and Canaan, between bondage and freedom, between the world and the Word; • receive all of your inheritance; • stand fast in your freedom; • come and dine—no more ‘cheese and crackers!’

When My joint-heirs live in the fullness of their inheritance, it makes all that I suffered for you all . . . worth it.” When I sit before my Father, and I hold the bread and wine in remembrance of what Jesus did and survey all that’s mine . . . It’s a Covenant with Father God, and it’s better than the Old. All I have is God’s; all He has is mine—sweetest story ever told. Broken bread speaks of His body and the bleeding stripes He bore; how He took all sickness and disease, gives healing evermore; And the wine speaks of His crimson blood that He shed for all my sin; how He died and went to hell for me, my redemption thus to win.

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For three days He suffered agony; satan thought he had Him chained. Then the Court of Heaven said, “Justified!” By the Spirit, born again! And it also says He arose again; my High Priest now is He. In His death, He was my substitute—this the table means to me. The Covenant Meal should be an ecstatic, hilarious, joyful, jubilant, hallelujahcelebration, because we have the perfect remedy for every sickness and disease! It works every time! Completely! No side effects! It’s already on deposit in our Blood Covenant Inheritance account, and it’s ours for the believing and receiving! Participants The Passover meal in the Old Blood Covenant was to be eaten only by those in the Blood Covenant: “For no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof ” (Exodus 12:48). The New Covenant Meal is only for those who have made Jesus their Lord and have been reborn into God’s New Blood Covenant family—only for His heirs. Communion comes from

com + unio (with) + (oneness)

=

mutual participation

Companion comes from

com + panis (with) + (bread)

=

an intimate friend

Covenant communion is only for Covenant companions.

First Person . . . Present Tense Communion is taking possession of our inheritance and receiving God’s supply for everything we need and desire. Every time we partake of the Covenant Meal, we are proclaiming, “I am free from captivity by payment of ransom! I receive all of my redemption, my inheritance!” Another example from the Malcolm Smith teaching tapes: In the British Isles, during the time when any Christian caught worshiping God was imprisoned or executed . . . in the wee hours of the morning, a young lady slipped through the darkness to go to the clandestine meeting of her local church where they would be partaking of the covenant meal. Suddenly, a soldier stepped across her path! With his weapon pointed right at her, he yelled, “Where are you going?” She knew she had to tell the truth; yet, if she did, he would force her to show him where the meeting was, and he’d arrest or “My elder brother kill everyone. She listened for God’s way of escape He had has died, and I’m going promised to always give. to hear the reading of His Counting on the soldier’s ignorance of the Blood Will and to receive my Covenant, she said to him, “My elder Brother has died, and I’m going to hear the reading of His Will and to receive my part of the inheritance.” part of the inheritance.” Her enemy stepped out of her way and let her go.

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Fourteen

C hapter

Blood Covenant Attorney In this book, we’ve learned what a Blood Covenant is, how to enter into one, and what we inherit when we do. If you’re like I was when I first heard it, I said, “This is all so new and so different! How am I ever going to make all the changes in my thinking and living? Where do I start?” Well, the great news is—God knew we’d have that need, and He’s already supplied the answer, His very Own Spirit. Jesus called Him, “the Father that dwells in Me.” That same Holy Spirit is the Covenant Attorney. He is working in us to will and to do God’s good pleasure. We are not alone.

I

n lands where blood covenants are the way of life, there is a designated witness of the ceremony, the covenant attorney. That person knows that a blood covenant is a perpetual, indissoluble, immutable, and unbreakable legal contract; understands all of the terms of the covenant that has just been cut; and agrees to be responsible to remind the covenantors of their commitment to each other should they ever fail to keep their blood-sealed promises. Webster’s definition of attorney is one who is legally appointed by another to transact business for him, specifically, a legal agent qualified to act for petitioners and defendants in legal proceedings, one who advises as to legal rights and obligations.

Covenant Attorney in the Old Blood Covenant Each time the Covenant was read to God’s people when they gathered for a memorial feast day, it was the witness to both comfort and correct them; but as they continually disobeyed, there was more of the latter than the former. It wasn’t enough for the people to hear the book of the law read just periodically; like sheep, they needed the staff and rod of someone with them to teach and prod. Some of the terms used for the covenant attorney were prophet, prophetess, seer, judge, and the man of God. The Spirit of the Lord anointed these designated witnesses with a listening ear, a bold mouth, and a lot of courage; and God exhorted, edified, and comforted them by saying things like: And the Lord said unto Samuel, They [the people] have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them (1 Samuel 8:7, emphasis added). Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying, To morrow about this time I will send a man. . . . And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! (1 Samuel 9:15–17). Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified

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thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. . . . for I will hasten my word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:4–7, 12).

It was not an easy assignment because people who have chosen to disobey don’t usually respond favorably when they are told they’re living far short of their inheritance or that they’ve blatantly disobeyed God’s instructions. Here are a few of the many accounts: • Samuel to King Saul after he had impatiently offered the burnt offering which only Samuel was authorized to offer— And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee. . . . now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee (1 Samuel 13:13–14).

Nathan to King David when he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and arranged to have her husband murdered— And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. . . . Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? (2 Samuel 12:7, 9).

Jeremiah to the nations— And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee (Jeremiah 1:9, 17–19).

Jesus was operating under the Old Covenant, also; and when He confronted the Pharisees and other Jews regarding their Covenant obligations, they retaliated— [Jesus said] Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by (John 8:19, 24, 37–40, 59).

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Blood Covenant Attorney

Covenant Attorney in the New Blood Covenant In the New Blood Covenant, the Holy Spirit of God is • the One Who is legally appointed by Another—by God and Jesus between Whom the New Blood Covenant was cut—to transact business for Them; • the Legal Agent Who understands all of the terms of the Covenant and is best qualified to speak for all the participants—on God and Jesus’ behalf to us, and on our behalf to Them; • the One Who advises us as to our legal rights and obligations. If ever anything has qualified to be called awesome, it is this—that the Spirit of very God is in us to lead and guide, to warn and chide, and to give us God’s mind on each matter, His point-of-view, His plan. He is the same Spirit—and in the same portion—Who endwelled, empowered, enlightened, and exhorted Jesus. Selah. God loves us, believes in us, and is committed to seeing the fulfillment of everything He’s planned for us and through us. He has already made every provision so that we can: • consistently walk in the fullness of our inheritance, • hear His voice, hearken to His Word, and be blessed—not cursed, • reign in life as we live and move and have our being in Him, • do the works that Jesus did and greater ones, and • be His people . . . and He, our God. [Gabriel said to Mary] For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible (Luke 1:37; Mark 10:27, emphasis added).

The Holy Spirit of Truth knew I was reading these words, but I was hearing and believing something other than and less than what it actually says. Suddenly—I saw myself standing at the half-court line of a basketball court. I was given a basketball and told that if I could make a basket from half-court, I would receive one million dollars. Now, for me, that’s totally impossible! I wasn’t even sure I could get the ball to the goal, let alone in the basket! Then I looked over on the sideline and saw Michael Jordan standing there with a basketball in his hands, waiting for his turn to make a basket from half-court; and I said to myself, “For him, it’s possible, but for me—no way!” I saw it! As I’d been reading the above scriptures, I’d been omitting the word with and reading, “for God nothing shall be impossible,” along with, “for Michael Jordan, it’s possible.” But these promises don’t just say for, they say for with! With is a covenant term. You can’t have a covenant if you’re alone. A covenant is made with someone—God with me. I am in the Father in Blood Covenant union. It’s no longer just puny little ol’ me trying to do what He said all alone. No! I am with God, and He is with me! It’s the Father-that-dwellethin-me that does the exploits! We are a majority! “For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Lo, I am with you alway” (Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20). Our Covenant Attorney has a long list of responsibilities and an equally long list of credentials: His Voice All the way through the Bible, God has been speaking to man. Just stop and think about that! Almighty God—the Creator of all that is, the All-knowing, All-seeing, Allpresent, All-powerful One; the One Who upholds all things by the Word of His power; the One Who calls the stars by their names; the I AM, Elohim, El Shaddai—the Lord God Almighty Himself speaks to us . . . and causes us to hear and know it is His voice . . .

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and He hears our voice, answers us, and cares about everything that concerns us! We are the focus of His love. We are the purpose of all He’s made and all He’s done. We are the reason He sent Jesus. What a privilege to hear His voice! That is how He guides us, encourages us, corrects us, chastens us, teaches us, nudges us, and gives us insight and His-sight on the matter before us. Here are a few of His many promises about His voice: And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left (Isaiah 30:21 amplified). He wakens me morning by morning, He wakens my ear to hear as disciples— as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I have not been rebellious or turned backward (Isaiah 50:4–5 amplified). . . . [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12 amplified). [Jesus said] I am the Good Shepherd . . . (John 10:1 amplified, emphasis added). The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it, and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out. They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call (John 10:3, 5 amplified). [Jesus continued] . . . and they will listen to My voice and heed my call. The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice, and I know them and they follow Me (John 10:16, 27 amplified).

How to Know God’s Voice We have all asked, or have been asked, “How do I know when God is talking? How will I know it’s His voice?” First of all, believe His Word on the matter. He said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). From now on, don’t ever say, “I don’t hear His voice,” because He says you do. Begin to believe and say what your Covenant Partner says—“I am His sheep, and I hear His voice.”

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Blood Covenant Attorney As you spend time in His presence, reading and meditating on His Word, you’ll get to know Him; and you’ll learn how He’s spoken to other people like you. When He whispers or nudges you, you’ll know it’s Him—the Holy Spirit will see to that. Think of your parent or your spouse, even your child. You’ve spent lots of time with them, and you know them—know what they think about particular subjects, what they want, when they’re offended, when they have something on their mind, what makes them laugh, cry, and get angry. And above all, you know their voice—no matter if they’re tired, scared, irate, or not feeling too swift. If some imposter called you on the phone and said she was your mother, you’d know she wasn’t because you know your mother’s voice. That’s how it’ll be when you get to know your Father God—you’ll know His voice; and that spiritknowing will also expose any imposter who says he is God, or is speaking for God. Obeying Turns Volume Up, Ignoring Turns Volume Down Each time we obey that still small voice, it’s as if the volume is turned up a little more the next time we hear it. But also, our willingness to obey and our tenderness of heart that shuns anything that would cloud our union with God work together to increase the finetuning of our receiver to His transmission. Even as a mother’s voice changes as she gives instructions to her child depending on the urgency of the situation, the Holy Spirit’s voice varies, too; but we still know it’s His voice. Conversely, each time we ignore His nudging, it’s as if the volume is turned down a little more the next time. Actually, it is our hardness of heart and our rebellious stiff neck that have muffled His voice, and that is hell on earth. But, the moment we make a one-hundredeighty-degree turn back to Him, He says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Keep Your Eyes and Ears on His Word And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary [opposite in the Greek]. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous [mighty, powerful, and strong in the Greek], he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased (Matthew 14:22–32, emphasis added).

As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus and his spirit-ears on His word to him, “Come,” he walked on what had been terrifying him; but when Peter put his eyes on the opposite of what Jesus had said and listened to the mighty and strong storm, he was in the water. The instant he made the one-hundred-eighty-degree turn from fear back to faith, Jesus rescued him and gave him the straight talk Peter needed to hear; and he once again walked on the opposite as they walked on the water back to the ship. Then the wind ceased.

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Faith never fears! The moment the latter is chosen, the former disappears— and vice versa! It’s never the degree of difficulty of the problem! It’s whether or not we trust in the Holy Ghost to support what we’ve gotten from the Father—whether it’s a word from the Lord or the Word of God alive in our spirit. We are to put our foot out! The Holy Ghost will hover over the problem and under our feet, and we’ll walk on the water—on the opposite! Only manifestation gives glory to God! When we willfully choose to obey the Spirit of God, then and only then will we walk in the manifested victory that we chose. We are to stand strong by what we know we’ve heard in our heart when others try to sway us to compromise. To tell ourselves compromise is okay is deceiving our own selves. They haven’t heard what we’ve heard, even as the other disciples hadn’t heard in their heart what Peter had. We are the only ones responsible to do what we’ve heard. To hear and do what we heard is to build our lives on rock. To hear and not do what we heard is to build our lives on sand. Don’t let the Lord be saying, “NO!” on the inside of you; and then you sheepishly say, “Well, okay,” to those pressuring you. You have to turn your head off. Don’t get manipulated by their rejections. Don’t be afraid of hurting their feelings. The sin of allowing someone to control you is just as great as their sin of trying to control you. Let your yes be “YES!” and your no be “NO!” —Joyce Meyer Finding Lost Things When someone or something is lost, our Covenant God will tell us where it is. Allow me to paraphrase 2 Kings 6:1–7: Elisha was God’s prophet in the land at the time, and he had several young prophets-in-training who were learning from him. They had outgrown their living quarters and were cutting down trees to build a bigger dormitory. Suddenly, an axe head came off the handle and went [plop!] into the river. The young prophet came to Elisha and said, “Alas, master! for it was borrowed!” It was very costly to even have an axe head; and even worse, it wasn’t his, but was borrowed. Remember, this was over 2,000 years ago, and Home Depot wasn’t down at the corner. Elisha could already see the miracle God was going to do through him, and he asked, “Where fell it?” The young prophet pointed out on the river, Elisha threw a stick out on the water; and the Bible says, “and the iron did swim!” Gravity was superseded! That which was lost . . . was found! God is no respector of persons; and what He did for Elisha, He’ll do for anyone who will believe Him and listen for His voice!

I have used this Covenant example to find numerous things in my own life and have shared it with others who, in turn, have found what they had lost. At my former place of employment, so many people (from those who had a personal relationship with God to those who thought His last name began with the letter D) were finding things by believing “the iron did swim,” that my employer asked me to keep a list. The first entry says— Debbie (my employer) had been invited to speak at a large meeting of her peers (several thousand people); and she wanted to repeat a speech she had made elsewhere and use the same notes and slides, too. She had searched her extensive files of notes and slides several times, had looked in all her briefcases and everywhere else those two pieces of notebook paper and one plastic, slotted page containing five slides could possibly have been.

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Blood Covenant Attorney She heard about this scripture and released her faith for the lost notes and slides to be manifested. Two days before she was to leave on the trip, she came to my desk and said, “That iron really does need to swim!” I said, “Listen to your spirit.” Immediately, her attention was drawn to two of her briefcases which were under her desk, which she had previously searched and found to be empty. (I had also looked in them a few days before and found them empty.) There was still nothing in them—except two pieces of notebook paper and five slides in the slotted page! As I reread the list, I noticed the various ways people used to tell how they knew where to look (not quite having the courage to say, “and I heard God say”) and also the opportunities to doubt that they faced: • • •

“All of a sudden, I had the thought to go check . . .” After two days, there was an opportunity to waver by contemplating retyping the lost forms; but, “No! The iron does swim!” At that moment, the phone rang. The documents had been found! Pressured by a time deadline, another person exclaimed, “If ever there was a time for that iron to swim, it’s now!” The first folder her eyes landed on, there the missing papers were, closed up inside! We all heard her joyous laughter as she said, “When it floats, it floats big time!” Another fellow-employee had been hearing about this lost-and-found list and had said, “I want to lose something so I can be on the list!” Her faith was already on ready; and after losing a notebook and applying “the iron did swim,” within ten minutes she found it. Someone who had lost her honorarium check said, “Immediately my attention was drawn to a stack of papers on the floor. But I thought, ‘No, I don’t want to deal with those things now.’ I turned to do something else, but I couldn’t get my mind off that stuff on the floor. I picked up the stack of papers, and the check was in there!” Another lady lost an envelope containing $350 in gift certificates. After searching everywhere and applying this scripture, seemingly to no avail, she had the thought of going back to the sources of the certificates, giving her sob story, and asking for replacement certificates; but, she said, “That just didn’t set right in my spirit, so I said to the Lord, ‘No, I’m trusting You to find that envelope.” While at work that day, talking to a co-worker in her office, with no reason to look in a particular stack of papers, she suddenly reached her hand into the very bottom of the stack, and there it was—the envelope! Still another couldn’t find the travel information she needed for the convention. The very next thought was—not despair, but—“Let’s apply the scripture for the iron to swim.” Within five minutes the travel packet was in her hands! A large stack of papers had disappeared from the secretary’s desk, and she said, “Something told me to go look in the recycle bin, and there it was!” Someone apparently had seen the disheveled stack of papers, assumed it was trash, and put it in the recycle bin. Another had returned from a business trip but couldn’t locate the envelope containing her expense receipts, which meant she would receive no reimbursements. Someone else quickly said, “The iron will swim.” The traveler said, “It’s probably swimming out on the garbage dump!” At that moment she remembered the plastic grocery bag that she had used for

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collecting the trash when she cleaned out her car; and when she looked in her car, there it was! She hadn’t thrown it in the dumpster, as she thought. The expense receipts did swim! My favorite entry on the list is— Nancy was taking notebooks off the top shelf in a group workroom, heard a noise like a paper clip falling, looked around on the floor but saw nothing, and continued her project. Seven hours later she discovered she had lost one of the antique earrings she had worn that day. She looked and looked in her office but found nothing. As she was walking down the hall toward the kitchen for her afternoon coffee break, she passed the doorway of the workroom where she had been earlier; and she heard that paperclip-falling noise again, like a replay. She went to the shelf area and began to look on the floor . . . was nudged to look inside the base of the step stool [the kind libraries have that moves easily if no one is standing on it, but is stationary and strong when in use] . . . and found her earring! This happened in April of 1998, but I still remember the look on her face—the awesomeness of realizing, “God cares about every detail of my life!” No one was involved in this miracle but Nancy and God! God has been locating donkeys, axe heads, coins, sheep, and children for a long time— all of which appeared to be lost to the owner or parent, but never were missing from His watchful eye. For thus says the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will give safety to your children and ease them. I will hiss for them. . . and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall increase again as they have increased before (Isaiah 49:25; Zechariah 10:8 amplified).

Benchmarks Webster says a benchmark is a point of reference from which measurements of any sort can be made. Each time we know we’ve heard God’s voice, we should rejoice in it and thank Him, “I am Your sheep, and I am hearing Your voice.” Each example can become a benchmark—a point of reference for the next time when we need direction about a particular matter; and we want to be sure that we’re hearing God and not our own emotions, “goose bumps,” strong will, or bullheadedness. My employer’s young teenage daughter, Keri, had been with her best friend’s family in their van one evening. All of a sudden, Keri heard an authoritative voice inside say, “Fasten your seatbelt!” She immediately did it! Within seconds, the van was in an intersection where another car was running a red light, and the van’s driver had to put on the brakes fast and hard! If Keri’s seatbelt had not been fastened, she most probably would have been seriously injured. When my employer told me about this the next morning, I encouraged her to help Keri recognize that it was God’s voice and that she needed to always remember where the voice came from inside her—making that the benchmark to know where her spirit is. When we have a particular challenge before us, God will encourage us in a seemingly unrelated matter to let us know that He’s hearing us and we’re hearing Him.

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Blood Covenant Attorney My sister had a particularly difficult situation happening in her home, and she felt very alone and overwhelmed. In the midst of all that, one morning she heard, “Go check the coffee warmer.” She immediately thought of her husband’s coffee warmer by his chair; and when she checked it, sure enough, he’d left it turned on several hours earlier when he left for work. She turned it off. She was so encouraged to know with certainty that she was hearing God. She knew if He cared about that small thing, He certainly cared about the difficult situation; and she was confident she would recognize His directions about that, too. The same voice that said, “Let there be light!” also says to us— • “Go check the coffee warmer.” • “Your antique earring is inside the step stool.” • “Fasten your seatbelt!” • “The scripture you’re looking for is Luke 1:45.” • “This man is not trustworthy. Do not sign that contract.” • “Your sister needs a hug from Me. Go to her.” • “Come aside for a while . . . I want to talk with you.” Keep listening! His Wisdom and Words Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and will teach you what you shall say (Exodus 4:12 amplified). Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it (Psalms 81:10 amplified). [Jesus said] But when they deliver you up, do not be anxious about how or what you are to speak; for what you are to say will be given you in that very hour and moment. For it is not you who are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you (Matthew 10:19–20 amplified, emphasis added). So they could not in the presence of the people take hold of anything He [Jesus] said to turn it against Him, but marveling at His reply they were silent. And some of the scribes replied, Teacher, you have spoken well and expertly—so that there is no room for blame. For they did not dare to question Him more (Luke 20:26, 39–40 amplified, emphasis added). The attendants replied [regarding Jesus], Never has a man talked as this Man talks!— No mere man has ever spoken as He speaks! (John 7:46 amplified, emphasis added). But they [the religious debaters and disputers] were not able to resist the intelligence and the wisdom and [the inspiration of ] the Spirit with which he [Stephen] spoke (Acts 6:10 amplified, emphasis added).

Jesus said— For I [Myself ] will give you a mouth and such utterance and wisdom as all of your foes combined will be unable to stand against or refute (Luke 21:15 amplified, emphasis added). The Father that endwelled Jesus is the One Who told Him to say Mark 11:2–3; 14:13– 15; John 8:7, and many others. The Holy Spirit will do the same for us as joint-heirs. We need to value and obey His voice in us and be sure to give Him all the glory.

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His Peace

Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship

Sometimes in the Bible, God’s voice was audible to all those around; and at other times, it was audible only to the person that needed it. Today, sometimes it’s an audible voice; but at other times it’s a whisper, a gentle nudge, a knowing, a peace. A pastor and his wife lived in the high desert east of Los Angeles, California. It was Wednesday evening, and they were on their way to minister in a sister church. As they drove across the desert toward the church, they passed the little restaurant that had been their favorite place to eat when they were dating, and they made a date to stop there as they went back home after the church service. The wife was especially excited—a special time just for the two of them. A few hours later as they drove home, the pastor was deep in thought about the service they’d just led and the needs of the people to whom he had ministered. He just completely forgot all about their date and drove past the restaurant and into the desert night. The wife was immediately offended! Her countenance changed—and her attitude! Instantly, she heard the Holy Spirit say in her spirit, “What will you sell your peace for? A hamburger?” She had a tender heart toward her Lord’s voice, and she immediately kicked that offense out and moved back into peace.

“What will you sell your peace for? A hamburger?”

Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble (Psalms 119:165 amplified). You [the Lord] will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You and hopes confidently in You (Isaiah 26:3 amplified).

And the effect of righteousness shall be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness, quietness and confident trust for ever (Isaiah 32:17 amplified). Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything by prayer and petition [definite requests] with thanksgiving continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace which transcends all understanding, shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6–7 amplified). And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from the Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts—deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds (Colossians 3:15 amplified, emphasis added).

Let peace rule, and peace will be the outcome.

—Gloria Copeland

When we obey God’s Word and are walking in peace, it is the Holy Spirit Who gives us the understanding of that peace— • You’re listening! • You are exactly where God wants you to be—when He wants you to be there! • Right on! Keep on! • I hear the Father saying, “This is My heir in whom I am well pleased!”

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Blood Covenant Attorney When we disobey God’s Word and have no peace, it is the Holy Spirit Who makes it plain— • This offends the heart of God. • This is not in your inheritance. • This limits and comes up short of your redemption. • This will lead you back into the Egypt-limitation God brought you out of. Egypt comes from a Hebrew word meaning limit, which comes from the word meaning hemming, which comes from the primitive root word meaning cramp, i.e., confine; and that root word is translated in the King James Version as adversary, assault, beset, besiege, bind (up), distress, inclose, lay siege, put up in bags. Bottom line: Egypt = limitation. Since I discovered this word-study treasure, every time I read where God said, “I have brought you out of Egypt,” I know the first-person, present-tense meaning for me is, “I have brought you out of limitation!” When we are presented with a choice, the lack of peace we sense is the Holy Spirit’s guard rail to keep us on the straight and narrow where there is safety and blessing. He’s letting us know we are being tempted to do something that will grieve the heart of God and offend His Covenant Word. The Spirit of Truth always speaks what He hears God speaking, and to disobey that nudging is to disobey God Himself. Don’t give someone else what they want from you at the expense of losing your own peace. —Joyce Meyer

The Spirit of Truth always speaks what He hears God speaking, and to disobey that nudging is to disobey God Himself.

Along a similar line, this is a word of warning: When we are following God’s instructions to us, and opposition comes against us from satan to steal, kill, and destroy what’s being accomplished, we must keep a keen ear for our Covenant Attorney’s direction. He will give us discernment, words and wisdom, a way of escape from the SCUD (Satan Continuously Uses Distractions) missiles; and He will lead us through the “mine field” safely. Some Christians who are being bombarded have wrongfully determined “if they’re on the right track” by how much opposition from satan they’re experiencing, rather than by having an attentive ear for what their Covenant Attorney is saying.  They’ve ignorantly said, “I must be doing the right thing, because satan’s pitching a fit and raising all kinds of hell!”  They’re actually giving satan’s opposition the credit for showing them what the Holy Spirit is assigned to show them as their Covenant Attorney--that is, let them know when they’re on track or off. Bottom line:  we aren’t to seek confirmation from or be led by anyone or anything except God’s Holy Spirit and God’s Word--not feelings, not circumstances, not opposition (or the lack thereof ), and not what others say. Selah. His Comfort Jesus said: I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you (John 14:16, 18).

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But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26). But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me (John 15:26). Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you (John 16:7).

The Greek word for Comforter literally means to take hold–together–with–against! The Holy Spirit is our rod to correct and our staff to support, protect, and sustain. In Malcolm Smith’s Blood Covenant teaching tape series, he gives this account: There was a former heroin addict in New York City, who had been gloriously set free from his in-the-main-vein heroin addiction the moment he was born again; but every time the pressures of life really came in on him—problems at home, at work, or with money—he was strongly tempted to get a fix in order to escape. He had yielded to the pressure several times and felt so bad that he’d let his Lord down, his wife, his pastor, and himself. But then he heard the teaching about the Blood Covenant: “All I have is Yours, and all You have is mine. My need is Your need, and Your supply is my supply.” One day when he was really being pulled back toward the needle, a friend gave him $80 in cash to deposit in a bank on Times Square, which he passed every day on the way from the subway station to his work. He knew exactly where to go to get the stuff, and he knew he’d never make it to the bank. When the subway doors opened, he called on his Covenant Partner to take over—looked toward heaven and said, “God, have You got a problem!” Instantly, the Holy Spirit in him took his need and gave him His supply. The Father-that-dwelled-in-him . . . took hold–together–with–against! The former addict deposited the money, and he has never been tempted with that again. His Advice Jesus said: And when He [the Spirit of Truth] comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness—uprightness of heart and right standing with God—and about judgment. About sin, because they do not believe on Me—trust in, rely on and adhere to Me. About righteousness— uprightness of heart and right standing with God—because I go to My Father and you will see Me no longer. About judgment, because the ruler (prince) of this world [satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him (John 16:8–11 amplified, emphasis added).

In the above scripture, Jesus grouped all sins together into one—unbelief. God’s Counselor to us causes us to see clearly what is truth and what is unbelief. Only the Word of God can draw the line between them when deception is so strong and tradition is so deeply rooted in the Church.

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Blood Covenant Attorney Here are some examples of the legal counsel He gives: • I know everyone you know thinks taking the world’s way to remedy this situation is the right thing to do, but I have shown you by the Word it is a tradition and is not what the Covenant provides. Stand fast in your liberty. God confirms His Word, not tradition. • Jesus was radical, too! Radical means marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional; tending to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions. Yes! • You are not alone in this. Remember what I whispered in My still small voice to Elijah when he recognized God’s people had forsaken His Covenant, and he felt so alone—I said, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18). Shout from the housetops what I tell you in the closet, and others who are hungry and thirsty for the straight and narrow will come together to fellowship and do exploits. • So what if no one you know agrees with you—even persecutes you and says all manner of evil against you falsely! You’re in good company. “I’ve got Him where I want Him!” satan said when Jesus died. “He won’t be both’ring me again; at last, He’s crucified! Just look at Him—the Son of God—He’s hanging on a cross! Now ev’ryone’s deserted Him, and all He owned is lost! “He’s covered with disease. He’s laden down and black with sin. Oh, what a fool I’ve made of Him! He lost. He didn’t win. Let’s see . . . I’ll take Him back with me into the pit of hell . . . Wait ’til my men see what I got and hear what I will tell!” But Father God had different plans and through His Son had said, “I’ll die, but after three days, I’ll be raised up from the dead.” Down deep inside, God smiled with joy, while watching what they’d done; For He could see the empty tomb, the keys, the rising sun! The enemy may laugh at you and say, “I’ve got you now! The things you thought you heard God say just didn’t work somehow. Now ev’ryone is laughing, and they’re saying you’re deceived. You went too far with that ‘faith stuff ’—the lies that you believed!” Just press-in closer to your God. Stay safely in His hand. He hasn’t changed a word He said, nor altered what He planned. Ol’ Noah did, and Abraham . . . Jairus pressed-in, too . . . There’s Daniel, Joseph, Joshua—just to name a few. So keep your eyes on what He sees and echo what you hear, Then you will be protected as they laugh and scoff and jeer. God hasn’t finished what He started out to do for you! Now trust His love and know that ev’ry word He said—He’ll do! The enemy will see and in frustration he will say, “I wish I’d never messed with her—how I regret that day!”

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But you’ll say, “See, I told ya! I’m a winner! I can’t lose! Now SCAT in Jesus’ name! It’s God’s perspective that I choose!” His Mediation between God and Jesus . . . and Us

So too the (Holy) Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the (Holy) Spirit—what His intent is—because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will (Romans 8:26–27 amplified).

I made out a list of my desires and my needs, and I found in God’s Word what He had said about these. Then I got down to pray—my petition to make, and I came before God of His wealth to partake. In my mind’s eye, I saw a large conference room there and a table with God at the end in a chair. Then Jesus came in, and He spoke lovingly, and He sat at God’s right, Intercessor to be. But then . . . Someone came in that I did not expect! “Father, where will He sit? There’s no chair at Your left.” He just spoke to the Others—very cordial, you see; then He walked ’round the table, and He came up to me. He pulled up a chair and put His arm around me, and said, “Don’t be afraid. I will speak now for thee— For I’ve been here before, and I know what to say; and I tell you right now—we will get those today.” Oh, the scriptures came fast of what the Spirit would be— how He’d take of the Word and reveal it to me, How He’d help me to pray, He’d help when I’m weak— so I gave Him the list, and I just let Him speak. Jesus said, “When you pray, that’s the time to believe!” and He said, “Whatsoever you ask, you’ll receive!” And I have everything that I asked for that day! What a privilege to use Jesus’ name . . . and to pray. His Mediation between Others . . . and Us Our Blood Covenant Attorney always comes to our defense no matter who is accusing us—fellow-Christians, other people, or the devil himself. They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge (Psalm 94:21–22). There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1–2).

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Blood Covenant Attorney What then shall we say to [all] this? If God be for us, who [can be] against us?— Who can be our foe, if God is on our side? He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies— Who puts us in right relation to Himself? (Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?) Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus, the Messiah, Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution, or hunger, or destitution, or peril, or sword? Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long, we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded beyond doubt—am sure—that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31–39 amplified).

It’s nothing new that those who are steeped in tradition and who are held captive by deceptions of all kinds vehemently resist anything to the contrary. Paul said, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16). The Holy Spirit knows what it’s like to buck the system; and He gives us God’s perspective on the situation, a mouth and wisdom, and the courage to do what we hear— even if that’s to shake the dust off our feet. After Jesus had set free and made every whit whole the raving maniac who lived in the cemetery near Gadara, the Gadarenes asked Jesus to leave . . . and He did. Have you ever seen the grackle birds out on the ground? Have you ever watched them chatterin’ and struttin’ around? They’re always pickin’ at each other, tryin’ to start a fight, insistin’ on their own way, like they “have a right.” They’re even meddlin’ in another’s bus’ness, keepin’ them uptight. They’re just jealous little busybodies, mornin’ ’til night. Now compare them with a harmless and a peaceful dove— aware of who he is and of his Maker’s love. We are to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves— aware of who we are in Christ, aware of His love; and we don’t have to get our way, retaliate, or push an’ shove. There’s a peace that passes understanding wrapped in His love. In the world where we are living, there are grackle birds, too. They’re the people who are backbiting and talkin’ ’gainst you. But if you know that you are doin’ what the Word says to do, and if you know that you are doin’ just what God told you to, it doesn’t matter what the people say about you in town. Just love ’em and forgive—don’t let the grackles get you down.

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[Jesus said] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44, emphasis added). Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues (Psalm 31:20).

Testament — The Witness Standing by as the Third Party When the accuser of the brethren replays in our mind a recording of wrong things we’ve said in the past or shows us a video on the big screen of our memory of some mistake we made, we don’t have to panic—but just listen to our Covenant Attorney. He’ll remind us that we overcome the accusing rumormonger’s whissssssperings by the Blood Covenant cut by the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. This is as real as any courtroom drama that’s ever unfolded, and we are to stay calm because our words will either condemn us or justify us. We are to say only what our Covenant Partners say, which is always the Blood Covenant Word of God. For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:10–11). [Jesus said] But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matthew 12:36–37, emphasis added).

When the accuser was trying to trip up Jesus in the wilderness courtroom, weapons were being formed against Him: but they didn’t prosper because He showed them to be wrong as He spoke the Word, the Blood Covenant, in rebuttal. He is always our example. Webster defines testament as covenant with God, holy scripture. It points out that the root word for testament comes from the Latin word testari, meaning a witness, call to witness, make a will. Testari comes from tres (three) plus stare (to stand), meaning the witness standing by as a third party in a litigation. As we believe and speak promises from our Blood Covenant with God, the Old and New Testaments, that Word becomes the Third Party in the legal contest we’re confronting when the whisssssspering accuser tries to accuse us. That Third Party is on our side! So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? (Romans 8:31, 33 THE MESSAGE). [God said] Any accuser who takes you to court will be dismissed as a liar. This is what God’s servants can expect. I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best (Isaiah 54:17 THE MESSAGE, emphasis added; also see Luke 4:1–13).

Our Covenant Attorney will always give us a way of escape. Our responsibility is to listen to Him and obey. No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it (1 Corinthians 10:13 THE MESSAGE).

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Blood Covenant Attorney His Credentials Our Covenant Attorney has a long list of degrees and credentials after His name (see Isaiah 11:2 in the Amplified Bible): • The Spirit of the Lord • The Spirit of Wisdom • The Spirit of Understanding • The Spirit of Counsel • The Spirit of Might • The Spirit of Knowledge • The Spirit of the Reverential and Obedient Fear of the Lord Fear in the Hebrew means reverence, and Webster defines reverence as honor or respect. God gave instructions to His people through His spokesmen, the prophets and prophetesses. Those who feared Him, heard and obeyed what His spokesmen said. Those who did not fear Him, heard and disobeyed. At first, Adam clearly heard God’s voice and wanted to; but later on, he didn’t want to hear it. As God’s people, we will not hearken to the voice of the Holy Spirit if we do not fear the Lord Who sent Him to us. Even as a child will not obey his parent unless he respects, reveres, and honors the parent, no more will we obey the Holy Spirit if we do not respect, revere, and honor God. Oh, how the fear of the Lord needs to be taught! It is knowing He is the Lord God Almighty and knowing that He does what He says that causes us to reverence Him. It is the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord Who lets us know when we are about to do something that is disrespectful, irreverent, and dishonoring to God. Holy fear gives God the place of glory, honor, reverence, thanksgiving, praise, and preeminence He deserves. God holds this preeminent position in our hearts and lives as we esteem His desires over and above our own— hating what He hates, loving what He loves, trembling in His presence and at His Word. 1 —John Bevere The reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it shall rest satisfied; he cannot be visited with [actual] evil (Proverbs 19:23 amplified). The Lord of hosts, regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety], and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him]. And He shall be for a sanctuary—a sacred and indestructible asylum [to those who reverently fear and trust in Him] (Isaiah 8:13–14 amplified).

First Person . . . Present Tense When a client listens to and obeys his attorney’s instructions in the courtroom, they win. When the client ignores those instructions, things get all messed up. Our Covenant God sent the Holy Spirit here just for us. We are to say what He says and nothing else. We are to do what He says to do and stop doing what He says to quit. The Holy Spirit is our Covenant Attorney because: • He knows our Blood Covenant is a perpetual, indissoluble, immutable, and unbreakable legal contract. • He understands all of the terms of our Blood Covenant, and

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Part III: Walking in a Blood Covenant Relationship

He has agreed to be responsible to remind us of our Blood Covenant inheritance, our rights and obligations.

He is in us to see to it that God’s New Blood Covenant comes to pass in us and through us.

Walking—each step of the way, List’ning—to ev’ry word You say, Knowing—You’ll never lead me astray, Knowing—this is the only way. Resting—in Your love for me, Trusting—You for what I cannot see, Doing—each thing You tell me to, Drawing—on the strength from You. Walking—each step of today, List’ning—to ev’ry word You say, Knowing—You’ll never lead me astray. Knowing—this is The Way.

Chapter Notes: 1 The Fear of the Lord, by John Bevere, © 1997 by John Bevere, published by Creation House.

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The New Blood Covenant of God BE IT KNOWN, that I, God, a resident of the Universe, being of sound mind, do make and declare this to be My Last Will and Testament. I. PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE:

I appoint the undersigned Joint-Heir as Personal Representative of this My Last Will and Testament. My Personal Representative shall be authorized to carry out all provisions of this Will. I further provide My Personal Representative shall not be required to post surety bond, as everything provided in this Will is fully guaranteed by My Blood Covenant oath, has been paid for in full by the New Covenant blood of the Testator, and is bequeathed to My Personal Representative by Blood Covenant inheritance.

II. PROVISIONS: 1. I will imprint My laws upon My Personal Representative’s mind, even upon My Personal Representative’s innermost thoughts and understanding, and I will engrave them upon My Personal Representative’s heart. 2. I will be My Personal Representative’s God, and My Personal Representative shall be My heir and joint-heir with My Son, the undersigned Testator. 3. My Personal Representative will know Me—that is, perceive, have knowledge of, and get acquainted with by experience. 4. I will be merciful and gracious toward My Personal Representative’s sins, and I will remember My Personal Representative’s deeds of unrighteousness no more.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF:

Father Holy Spirit Lord God Almighty

Witness

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Jesus Testator

Joint-Heir

Date

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And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to THE WORD of his grace, which IS ABLE to build you up, and TO GIVE YOU AN INHERITANCE among all them which are sanctified. Acts 20:32

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If ever I’ve loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now. Be it unto me according to Your Word.

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step missing? That’s what reading the Bible, hearing it preached, or trying to live the Christian life is like when you don’t understand

what a blood covenant is. The Blood Covenant is not some new doctrine. It is God’s name for the contractural agreements He made with His people. An understanding of the absoluteness of God’s Blood Covenant and all that it provides will meet all the needs that now cause people to go to counselors and seminars regarding marriage, family relationships, teenagers, healing and health, insurance (life, health, property, creditor, etc.), investments and prosperity, confidence-building, and all the other areas of our lives that need to be made whole. In other words, Blood Covenant principles apply to every facet of our redemption—not just the “ticket to heaven” and “fire escape” parts. This book has been written down for those who have never heard of a blood covenant . . . and for those who have and desire a deeper understanding of the promises. It is the result of years of study and of listening to the Holy Spirit of Truth. If someone has to unlock the door for you, then you’re dependent on them; but if they give you the key, you can unlock the door whenever you need to. The Blood Covenant is the key. Sought Out and Blood Bought is straight and narrow. It is not a book to be casually scanned, nor is it designed to be a speed-reading project for some rainy afternoon. It has been written line upon line and precept upon precept for the purpose of kicking out all tradition, contradiction, and limitation that we’ve heard about the Word of God, God’s Blood Covenant with us. The truths in this book call for decisions and actions. It’s a matter of life and death.

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Sought Out And Blood Bought The Blood Covenant • Vardell

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ave you ever tried to climb a step ladder which had the bottom

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Sought Out and Blood Bought