The Abrahamic Covenant:
Part 1

John Plunkett
July 19, 2014

I'm sure that many or even most of you will be quite familiar with "the Abrahamic Covenant," which is the title of this new sermon series. 

A lot of what I am going to say today in this introductory sermon may not be brand new information to you. However, as I am going through it again after many years, I found myself becoming more and more excited at the miracle that God’s Word really is, the way that it all fits together like a huge, miraculous jigsaw puzzle.  It certainly is a true miracle!

What first sparked me into getting into this subject was an e-mail message that I received from a lady asking me this brief but very interesting question:

Does your church group believe that the Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant are essentially one and the same thing?

In the sermon today and in the next few sermons, I would like us to consider this lady's question, I would like to study the Abrahamic Covenant with you, and to examine these five questions:

  1. How does the Abrahamic Covenant relate to the Old (Sinai) Covenant?
  2. How does it relate to the New Covenant?
  3. How does it apply to the people of physical Israel?
  4. How does it apply to spiritual Israel?
  5. How does it apply to the physical Gentiles?  How do they fit into the big picture?

That is a lot of questions; but  we are going to get some answers on them all from God’s Word.

What is a Covenant?

First of all, let us ask the question, “Just what is a covenant?” 

In the next episode of our study, we will get into the meaning of the word "covenant" in the Hebrew and the Greek; but today, let us look into the English.  Here are a few simple dictionary definitions of the word "covenant":

  1. An agreement to do or not to do a particular thing
  2. A pact or binding agreement between two or more parties
  3. A promise incidental to a deed or contract, either express or implied

Although, according to this third dictionary definition, a covenant can sometimes refer to a one-sided promise, it usually refers to an agreement – more specifically a two-way agreement – in which one party promises to do his part on condition that the other party does his part; and vice-versa.

In any covenant with God, unlike most human-to-human agreements, our great God is the principal party who institutes the covenant.  He is the Supreme One who lays down the conditions and the ground-rules for both sides of the agreement.  Under normal circumstances, human beings do not have the authority to make deals with God.  Obviously He listens to our petitions; but He is the One who makes the deals.  He is the One who calls the shots!

The covenant that the scriptures sometimes refer to as the "Old" Covenant was instituted on Mount Sinai between God and Moses; but hundreds of years before the Sinai Covenant was the Abrahamic Covenant, which makes it even older.  But even the Abrahamic Covenant was not the first covenant in time order.  Put another way, God’s covenant with Abraham was not the first covenant that He made with human beings.  For example, His covenant with Noah, his family and the animals that came out of the ark with them.  We read about that covenant in Genesis chapters 6 and 9.  It preceded God’s covenant with Abraham. 

The very first specific mention of the Abrahamic Covenant is to be found in Genesis 15 (although it is alluded to as far back as chapter 12).  This is where God laid out the conditions that Abram was to fulfil and, if Abram did fulfil his part, then God promised to fulfil His part.  We all know that Abram, who was not perfect (and what human being is?), stumbled quite a few times; but he finally fulfilled all of the conditions that God laid down for him.  He did his part!  That is important for us to remember as we go along.  Yes, Abram – later Abraham – did his part.

Did God fulfil His part of the deal?  Well, yes… and No!  Yes, in all that He did for Abram/Abraham, his children, and all of their descendants after them.  No, in that the total fulfillment of God’s promises to Abram are still today not yet fully complete.

What was the Abrahamic Covenant?

Let us go to the book of Genesis and ask some more questions about the Abrahamic Covenant.  First of all, what was it?  Here is its very first specific mention:

Genesis 15:
18:  On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates––
19:  "the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites,
20:  "the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,
21:  "the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."

The implication here is that the territories then inhabited by these tribes would be part of the promises. 

Please notice the tense of the verb in verse 18.  The LORD said, “I have given.”  Right from the beginning, this part of the Abrahamic Covenant (what Herbert W. Armstrong used to refer to as the “race” part of the Abrahamic Covenant) was virtually what we today might call “a done deal”!  Why?  Because the LORD – the One who is not limited by time and who can see into the future – knew for certain that Abram would be faithful and successful in fulfilling his part of the covenant.

Let us go back to the beginning of chapter 15 and pick up some more details:

1:  After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, “Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward”…

Wow!  Can you imagine if God said that to us in a dream or a vision? 

Right there in that verse is the primary promise from the great “I AM” – the number one promise; the promise of grace; the promise that He, the LORD, was to be the shield and the exceedingly great reward of Abram and his descendants! And that includes us!  So let us keep that in mind as we proceed.  These promises are for us, as well!

2:  And Abram said, “Lord GOD {Adonai-Yehovih}, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?”
3: And Abram said, “Behold, to me you have given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house
{Eliezer} is my heir.”

He mentions "seed" here, which is very central to this whole study, right from beginning to end. So here we have Abram asking the Lord God how this is all going to work out.  Abram was not divine.  He was just as human as you and I are.  At first, in these very earliest stages of these covenant "negotiations," if I can call them that, Abram seemed to be looking for something just a little bit more physical – something that he could actually get his hands on.

4:  And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, “This shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir.”
5:  And He brought him
{Abram} forth abroad, and said, “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if you be able to number them”; and He said unto him, “So shall your seed be.”
6:   And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness.
7:  And He said unto him, “I am the LORD that brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it.”

Abram believed the LORD and what He said; but his faith was still somewhat immature, and imperfect – still developing.  And so he asked YHVH for more details and for more proof that His promises would, in fact, come to pass:

8: And he said, “Lord GOD {Adonai Yehovih}, whereby {by what?; how?} shall I know that I shall inherit it?”… 

It is interesting that Abram is asking God how he would know.  It is almost like he was testing God.  But we know that, as time went on, we see the converse of this – that God was testing him – so that He would know certain things about Abram (Genesis 22:12).

As part of His answer, or perhaps to prepare Abram to receive His answer, the Lord GOD commanded Abram to prepare a very special offering.  But, as we go through this account, please remember that, until verse 18, no covenant had yet actually, specifically been mentioned by that term – neither by the Lord GOD, nor by Abram:

9:  And He said unto him, “Take me a heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”

There are various, differing interpretations and ideas from both Jewish and professing Christian scholars of what these five creatures symbolize in this particular case.

It is interesting that the heifer, the she-goat and the ram were all to be three years old, especially considering that, under the Sinai Covenant, the Israeites' sacrificial animals were to be only one year old.  However, once again, some translators and commentators have different opinions on this point. 

The Hebrew word translated in the King James Version as “of three years old” is “shalash” (Strong's 8027) a root verb which perhaps originally was intended to mean “to treble” or “to intensify.”  The word is elsewhere in the KJV translated as three, the third time, threefold, three parts or three days.

Some scholars have the opinion that the Lord GOD was specifying here that Abram should take unto Him three of each of these larger animals.  Others feel that each of these animals should be butchered into three parts.  Yet others feel that it meant to somehow treble or intensify the offering.

Whichever of these is correct, the main thing is that Abram knew what the Lord GOD meant.  Next we see that Abram obeyed the Lord GOD and did what He commanded:

10a: And he took unto Him all these…

But then, Abram did something that the Lord GOD had evidently not commanded.  At least, we have no scriptural record of Him commanding any such thing:

10b: … and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

Why did Abram do this?  How did he know to do it?  Are we to assume that the Lord GOD had, in fact, commanded him to do it, but that that detail was omitted from the narrative?  Or, as some believe, was this a similar ritual to that commonly done in those ancient days whenever a covenant was being prepared?

There are all kinds of interesting ideas on this.  Here is just one, from John Gill’s Commentary:

And laid each piece one against another: 
One half against the other, the left side against the right, shoulder against shoulder, and leg against leg, so that they might seem to join, or might be easily joined together again…. 

It is generally thought that there was such a distance of the one from the other, as that there might be a passage between them; it being usual in making covenants for the covenanters to pass between the parts of a creature slain, signifying, that should they break the covenant made, they deserved to be cut asunder as that creature was…

Again, this is John Gill’s own opinion.  Maybe it is a far more educated opinion than mine; but we cannot find scriptural proof that, before Abram’s day, people used to do this.  So maybe they did and maybe they didn’t.

Gill then points us to Jeremiah 34:17-20 which refers to a similar ritual: 

Jeremiah 34:
18a:  And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant…

This was a special covenant with Zedekiah – one based on the first part of the Sinai covenant.  Continuing:

18b: ... which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in two, and passed between the parts thereof,
19:  The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf;
20:  I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.

However, is this scripture in Jeremiah really a solid proof that this was common practice in the Hebrew societies all the way back, 1500 years earlier, to Abram’s day?  Or was it merely an indication that Abram’s descendants, including those of Jeremiah’s day, had adopted this practice from Abram’s example? 

We need to be careful of accepting man’s human opinions if they are not backed up in the scriptures.  We will see some more of this kind of thing as we go along.  I do not want to tell you that I know what it all means when I don’t.  But when I read the opinions of other people, whether or not those people are scholars, commentators or whatever, asserting without biblical back-up that they know what it all means, I get more than a little dubious.

Going back to John Gill’s commentary on Genesis 15:10:

So a burning lamp, or lamp of fire, an emblem of the divine Being {here again, he is dogmatically stating what this lamp of fire symbolizes} is said in Genesis 15:17 {which we’ll come to shortly} to pass between those pieces.

All this was expressive of the afflictions of the posterity of Abram, of their being distressed in the land of Egypt, cut as it were in two there, and of their various dispersions in other countries; and yet, like the bones in Ezekiel’s vision, were gathered together, and united again: and it may be this may have respect to the division of the people of Israel into two kingdoms, in the times of Rehoboam, and their after reunion, and especially in the latter day (Ezekiel 37:7,16-22).

Again, Gill seems to be getting a lot of this out of his own mind rather than out of the holy scriptures.  Then he comments on the phrase “but the birds divided he not”

but the birds divided he not; 
but laid them one against another, as the pieces were laid; so the birds used in sacrifice under the law were not to be divided (Leviticus 1:17); which may signify, that when the people of the Jews, in the latter day, are converted, and brought together into their own land, when they will better answer the character of turtles and doves than they ever did, will be no more divided and separated from each other.

Gill writes, “which may signify.”  Is all this solid scriptural evidence?  Is it the Word of God?  No!  It is merely the opinions of a man! 

Are any of the other scholars’ opinions any more convincing than those of the highly respected John Gill?  There are so many that I admit that I haven’t had time to read them all.  Does John Plunkett know what all of this means any better than the esteemed John Gill or any other scholars?  No.  I don’t claim to.  But let’s continue, back in Genesis 15:

11:  And when the fowls {live ones, of course, such as vultures} came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.
12:  And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him.
13:  And He
{the Lord GOD} said unto Abram, “Know of a surety that your seed {specifically, as proved by history, the Israelite branch of his seed} shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs {Egypt, of course}, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14:  And also that nation whom they shall serve
{Egypt} will I judge: and afterward shall they {the Israelite seed} come out with great substance….

Right there is another great promise of physical blessings; and not way, way off in the far distant future; but just 440 or so years into Abram’s future!  But, of course, as the Lord GOD told him here well in advance, he wouldn’t live to see those blessings materialize:

15a:  And you shall go to your fathers in peace...

Not in heaven; but in the grave:

15b: ... You shall be buried in a good old age.
16:  But in the fourth generation they shall come hither
{here} again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.”

Once again, the Lord GOD is able to foresee the future and He knew in advance exactly when the time would be right – both for the Israelites (who didn’t even yet exist as a people!) and for the increasingly wicked Amorites in regard to what He had in store for them.

That is the end of that particular promise from the Lord GOD; but it was capped off with this event:

17: And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.

Again, there are a lot of different opinions that exist from many learned scholars and experts as to what this part of the story symbolizes.  Let us take a break from John Gill and let us go to Albert Barnes’ commentary.  By the way, Albert’s interpretation differs from John’s!

And the sun went down.  The light of day is gone.  The covenant is now formally concluded.  Abram had risen to the height of faith in the God of promise.  He is come into the position of the father of the faithful. {These two sentences are not really true. Not yet anyway!}.  He is therefore qualified for entering into this solemn compact…

Now, please listen how dogmatically Barnes makes these next statements:

The oven of smoke and lamp of flame symbolize the smoke of destruction and the light of salvation.  Their passing through the pieces of the victims and probably consuming them as an accepted sacrifice are the ratification of the covenant on the part of God, as the dividing and presenting of them were on the part of Abram. 

Where does Albert get the authority for these dogmatic statements?  Maybe he is right!  Or maybe John Gill’s take on it is more correct.  Or maybe Calvin’s, Clarke’s, Henry’s, Leupold’s, Meyer’s, Poole’s, or even Spurgeon’s is the correct one!  On and on we could go. 

Van you see what I’m getting at here?  I’m trying to point out that, if God’s Word doesn’t explain the symbolism, we should beware of trying to do so in its place!  If He wants us to understand it, He’ll clearly reveal it to us.  True, we may have to go verse upon verse, looking in different places for it; but He will reveal it (Isaiah 28:9-13).  There is a lot of symbolism as we go through the Abrahamic Covenant, and some of it, the way it comes together, is truly astonishing.

So let us continue.  We’ll skip over chapter 16, which goes into the first part of the account of Hagar and Ishmael.  But, having just mentioned that well-known "mistake" ever so briefly: please let me ask that, when God says He’s going to do something, why do we human beings so often attempt to short-circuit His miraculous actions by trying to bring it about by our own pitiful, physical means?

Jacob made a similar error later on in the story and, as we see in chapter 16 which we’ll skip over for today, even the faithful Abram and Sarai tried it.  But the Lord GOD was having none of it, as we’ll now see:

Genesis 17:
1:  When Abram was ninety–nine years old, the LORD
{YHVH} appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God {Shaddai El}; walk before me and be blameless.

That is just one part of what the LORD required of Abram as his human part of the covenant.

The word “blameless” is translated from the Hebrew adjective “tamiym” which is translated elsewhere in the King James Version as without spot or blemish, upright, whole, complete, full, and perhaps most significantly, perfect! 

Perfect?  This is a tall order that the LORD expected of poor human Abram – to be perfect.  But is it not exactly what Jesus Christ asks of you and me?  Well actually, no; not exactlyJesus asks even more of you and me!  Here are His very well known words in:

Matthew 5:48: 
Be you
{or “become you”} therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

But that’s the subject of a sermon all of its own!  So let us go back to Genesis 17.  Yes, one of the parts of Abram's responsibilities was to be become blameless – to become virtually perfect.  As we have already seen and as we will see some more, he was not blameless or perfect at that time.

2:  "And I will make my covenant between me and you {i.e. the Abrahamic covenant}, and will multiply you exceedingly."
3:  Then Abram fell on his face, and God
{Elohim} talked with him, saying:
4:  "As for me, behold, my covenant is with you
{the Abrahamic covenant}, and you shall be a father of many nations.
5:  "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
6:  "I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.

Here God repeats one of His promises: to give Abram – now Abraham – offspring so numerous that they would grow into nations – millions upon millions of descendants, which would include kings and queens.  All this, despite the glaring fact that he and Sarai had not yet had any children!  Here he was, 99 years old, and she just a few years younger.  Again, the fulfillment of this promise had to be a fantastic miracle!

7:  "And I will establish my covenant between me and you {the Abrahamic covenant} and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God {Elohim} to you and your descendants after you.
8:  "Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God

So He promises that He is going to be an Elohim to Abraham; also that He is going to be an Elohim to Abraham’s descendants. 

Here God repeated two of His covenant promises from chapter 15: first that He would be their God, and second, the promise of "real estate" –  all the land of Canaan. 

What about God’s use of the term “everlasting” here?  I do not believe that He meant that the terms of the physical "race" part of the Abrahamic Covenant would be everlasting.  In fact, I am sure that He did not mean that.  Those terms must come to an end at some point, even if that point is as late as the coming of the new heavens and earth (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).

But rather, as stated here in verse 8, the land of Canaan, in which Abraham at that time was considered to be a stranger there, was to be an everlasting possession of his progeny. Yes, even when it was temporarily taken away from them by the Babylonians, by the Romans, by the Turks and by others, it was still technically theirs – a land for them to return to and to retake their ownership of.

However, as we see in the next verse, their continued, everlasting ownership of that land throughout their generations was dependent on them continuing to keep their side of the Abrahamic Covenant:

9:  And God {Elohim} said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.

He promised them that He was going to be their God and that He was going to be their descendants' God, "But," He says, "You have to keep my covenant, and they have to keep my covenant, as well."  Not only did God command Abraham to keep his human side of the covenant conditions; He also required it of Abraham’s millions of descendants!  Did they obey? We will find out as we go along.

Although we continue now in Genesis 17, the narrative actually takes a bit of a detour.  One of the LORD’s conditions for the Abrahamic Covenant was that all of the males of Abraham’s progeny were to be circumcised as a sign that they were members of the covenant people:

10:  "This is my covenant which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;

So Abraham was given certain things to do.  He had to be blameless before God, and now God says that he and his progeny have to be circumcised.

11:  "and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.
12:  "He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.
13:  "He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14:  "And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."

This is where the Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant part company.

It is very true that Jesus Christ as a human being, John the Baptist and probably most of the disciples and apostles were circumcised.  But that was prior to the institution of the New Testament and Covenant which came into effect at the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Circumcision, then, was apparently one of the things that was nailed to Jesus’ cross. 

This is a somewhat tricky subject, and it needs another full sermon of its own to do it full justice; so I am not going to go into it too deeply right now.  However, let us take a quick whistle-stop tour through a few New Testament scriptures that prove that New Covenant males do not need to be circumcised:

Acts 15:
1:  And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, “Except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved”…

Interesting that these certain men did not rather say, "After the manner of Abraham"!

Verse 5:  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed {belief in the divinity of Jesus is the implication}, saying that it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

The law of Moses is related to the Sinai Covenant, not to the Abrahamic Covenant.

Verse 22:  Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
23:  And they wrote letters by them after this manner: “The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 
24:  Forasmuch as we have heard that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying you must be circumcised and keep the law
{of Moses coupled with the Sinai Covenant}: to whom we gave no such commandment”

I’m sure that, at that time – about 50 AD, only about 20 years after Jesus' death and resurrection, many of the Jewish Christians would already have been circumcised; but it appears that some pseudo-Jewish-leaning Christians seemed to be putting pressure on the new Gentile converts to be circumcised. 

More on this from Paul in some of his other epistles:

Romans 2:
28:  For he is not a Jew
{or more comprehensively, a descendant of Abraham} which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh:
29: But he is a Jew
{descendant of Abraham} which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

The circumcision of the heart was not a brand new idea.  In fact, it was at least 600 years old!  It is interesting that it was actually first mentioned by the same man who had first coined the term “New Covenant’ – as inspired by God, of course:

Jeremiah 4:4: 
Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

So there, way back in Jeremiah’s day, is the concept of the circumcision of the heart.

Let’s go back to the apostle Paul again, where he writes something similar in his letter to the Colossae church.  Many of the people in the Colossae congregation were likely Gentile converts:

Colossians 2:11: 
In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Jeremiah referred to the circumcision of the heart as “circumcision to the LORD.” Here, Paul calls it “the circumcision of Christ.”  Exactly the same thing! 

A couple of years ago, I went into my own personal Bible study on this topic of circumcision.  While going through it, I sometimes wondered whether or not these rulings against the necessity of circumcision for new Gentile male converts were only for them – Gentiles; but that perhaps male Jewish (and other Israelite) Christians should continue to be circumcised.  

Were the scriptures that we just read in Colossians and Romans just meant for the Gentile Christians?  Because they are not physical Israelites, they don’t need to be circumcised; but perhaps physical Israelite Christians do?  Such were my thoughts.  But the apostle Paul clarifies the issue with these solidly dogmatic statements:

I Corinthians 7:
18:  Is any man called being circumcised?  Let him not become uncircumcised
{Ouch!  That wouldn’t be too much fun!}.  Is any called in uncircumcision?  Let him not be circumcised. 
19:  Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

We have to be careful that we do not take such statements too far.  Some people will read that and incorrectly claim that all we have to do is to keep the commandments and that we do not need to do anything else.  We know that this is not true.

The apostle Paul repeated this in his letter to the Galatian brethren the majority of whom, I suspect, were Gentiles:

Galatians 5:
2a:  Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing…

For religious reasons, that is, because there are sometimes physical or health reasons why a man or boy would need to be circumcised...

Verse 6:  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.

Just in case the Galatian brethren didn’t get it the first time, he repeated it:

Galatians 6:15: 
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Please think about this.  In your own mind, bring it up into our day and age now.  If circumcision was still necessary for Israelitish Christians in today’s multicultural world, what man or boy today can be 100% sure whether he is 100% Israelite or Gentile?  Abrahamite or non-Abrahamite? 

If he is a mixture of any of these as many of us surely are, what percentage Abrahamite would be necessary for him to have to be circumcised?  Or should every new male Christian be circumcised just in case?  I believe that the foregoing scriptures have given us the answer to this question.  Our final scripture for today puts the absolute capstone on it:

Colossians 3:
9: Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds;
10: And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Here's the new man - that "new creature" Paul mentioned in Galatians 6:15.

11: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

What he is saying here is this: If you are a Christian, it doesn’t make any difference whether you are a pure-blood Israelite, pure-blood Abrahamite or a pure-blood Gentile.  In Christ, all is in all.  

We will go into that quite a bit later on in this series when we ask the question: “How do Gentiles come into spiritual Israel?”

Again, some or even a lot of what we have covered today might not be brand new information for many of our listeners; but I personally found it to be a good review of some of the things are – or certainly should be – very important core information for every Christian.  This is not just Old Testament stuff!  This goes from eternity in the past to eternity in the future!

As we continue in upcoming episodes, I think that you will see – if you don’t already see – that the Abrahamic Covenant, in its purest form, and especially the spiritual part –  the part that Herbert Armstrong used to the call "the grace part" is essentially the same as the New Covenant, as was suggested by the lady that I mentioned at the very beginning of today’s sermon. 
Also, it is essentially the same as the gospel – the wonderful good news that God wants His people to be preaching to the whole world.  It comes all of the way through history and it is timeless.