The Blood Covenant
Throughout history, the act of confirming an agreement between parties with blood documents the agreement as binding on the parties as long as they live. Blood covenants are not to be taken lightly, because they are the most binding of all agreements.
To show the importance of following the apostles James' instructions on healing within the congregations of the elect, it is necessary to make a short review of the blood covenant the Creator God made with national Israel and the agreement God the Father makes with those he calls to salvation during the gospel age.
The Covenant with Israel
In Exodus, chapter 24, the Creator God met with Moses and gave him the terms and conditions of the agreement he was offering the Israelites:
"And he said to Moses, Come up to the Lord, you, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and you worship afar off. And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come near; neither shall the people go up with him. And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord has said we will do" (Ex.24:1-3 KJV Para.).
After hearing the terms and conditions of the agreement which the Creator God offered to make with them, the Israelites agreed to its terms and conditions. Moses then wrote the things God had said to him in a book, built an altar for sacrifice, set up 12 stone pillars, and offered sacrifices:
"And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord" (Ex.24:4-5 KJV Para.).
After the sacrifices had been offered, Moses took blood from the sacrifices and sprinkled it on the altar, the people, and the book which contained the agreement, thus establishing and sealing the agreement with blood:
"And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord has said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you concerning all these words" (Ex.24:6-8 KJV). See also Heb.9:19-20 for more details about this event.
The agreement made with the Israelites was irrevocable while all of its terms and conditions were honored. The Creator God and the Israelites were bound by this agreement in perpetuity. However, history reveals that the Israelites broke this agreement many times and eventually lost the benefits promised to them under its terms and conditions.
In the biblical text, the Hebrew word beriyth is used to describe all covenants mentioned before the advent of Christ. Beriyth can mean a treaty, an alliance of friendship between individuals, a pledge or an agreement containing an obligation of performance which is sealed by a sign or a sacrifice.
The original agreement the Creator God made with the tribes of Israel was sealed with the blood of a sacrificial animal. The promise of a new agreement after the advent of the Messiah was also to be a beriyth (Jer.31:31-34). This new agreement was made and sealed with the sacrificial blood of Christ. See Heb.9:1-28; 10:28-29.
The sprinkling of sacrificial animal blood on the Book of the Covenant and on the Israelites was prophetic and symbolic of Christ's sacrificial blood which is applied to a person who repents of their sins, asks for forgiveness of these sins, and promises to live in obedience to the Sovereign God.
The New Covenant
The writer to the Hebrews explained the problem with the Israelites and the first agreement which necessitated making a new agreement in order to fulfill the Sovereign God's plan for his human creation:
"But now has he [Christ] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he says, Behold, the days come, says the Lord, when 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 when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, says the Lord" (Heb.8: 6-9 KJV).
The two basic problems with the first agreement were that the people did not have the inherent ability to continually honor the agreement and the agreement lacked the means through which sin could be forgiven.
Therefore, a new agreement was promised which would solve these two problems:
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he says, A new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away" (Heb.8:10-13 KJV). See also Jer.31:31-34.
The first agreement made with national Israel is dead. Any provisions of this dead agreement which are not relevant to the new agreement to be established with national Israel after Christ returns will not be in the new agreement.
In order to eliminate any confusion as to the type of an agreement the Sovereign Father has made with those of his new creation, the writer to the Hebrews reviews the establishment of the first blood covenant with national Israel:
"For a testament [i.e., a will] is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives. Whereupon neither the first testament [i.e., agreement/covenant] was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God has enjoined to you" (Heb.9:17-20 KJV).
The first agreement with national Israel was acknowledged as binding with blood, water, scarlet wool, and hyssop. The writer further explains that the tabernacle and its furnishings were also sprinkled with sacrificial blood, which is a cleansing agent within God's worship system. Moreover, without a blood sacrifice, the violation of God's law cannot be expiated:
"Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb.9: 21-22 KJV).
In Hebrews, chapter 10, the writer explains that the sprinkling of the blood on the tabernacle and its furnishings not only cleansed them of impurity and sets them apart for a holy purpose but also causes a state of holiness to be bestowed on these objects:
"For by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified [i.e., made holy]. Whereof the holy spirit also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin" (Heb.10:14-18 KJV).
It is through the application of Christ's sacrificial blood being applied to a person that the Sovereign God forgives a person's sins, establishes a blood covenant with them, and sets them apart for a sacred purpose.
In Hebrews, chapter 12, the writer explains that Christ is the mediator of the new agreement and that it is the sprinkling of his sacrificial blood which establishes this agreement between a person and the Sovereign God:
"To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel. See that you refuse not him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven" (Heb.12:23-25 KJV). See also 1.Pet.1:1-4.
In Hebrews, chapter 13, the writer explains that the blood covenant made between the Sovereign Father and those of his new creation is a perpetual agreement:
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Heb.13:20-21 KJV).
A New Blood Covenant
During the last Passover Christ observed with his disciples, he stated the following about his sacrificial blood establishing the new agreement and being the atonement for sin:
"For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt.26:28 KJV). See also Mk.14:23-24; Lk.22:20.
The English word testament in verse 28 is translated from the Greek word diatheke, which means properly, a disposition, i.e., a contract (especially) a will.
The new agreement contains forgiveness of sin, which is only possible through the application of Christ's sacrificial blood. Once a person repents of their violation of God's law, asks for forgiveness of their sins, and has the sacrificial blood of Christ applied to them, that person has made an irrevocable blood covenant with the Sovereign Father:
"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied" (1.Pet.1: 1-2 KJV).
The English word obedience in verse 2 is translated from the Greek word hupakoe, which means by implication, compliance or submission.
Each person who has been sprinkled with Christ's blood, cleansed of their past sins, and sealed with the holy spirit (Eph.1:13; 4:30) has made a blood covenant with their heavenly Father and has promised to obey whatever he asks of them.
Under the terms and conditions of the blood covenant, the Sovereign Father's earthly children are allowed to communicate with him through the authority of Christ (Heb.4:12-16) and make requests for many things, including the healing of a disability or illness.
The apostle John wrote the following about Christ interceding to the Father for us and the conditions under which a request of him must be made before it will be granted:
"My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1.Jn.2:1-2 KJV). See also Rom.5:8-10; Eph.1:6-8.
Forgiveness of sin is one of the important stipulations in the agreement between the elect and their heavenly Father which is addressed in the apostle James' instructions about healing of disabilities and illnesses within congregations that have an active eldership.
If we expect our heavenly Father to hear us and grant a request we make to him, we must ask according to his will (1.Jn.5:14-15 KJV). His will in how to request healing of disabilities and illnesses for those who have access to elders within his earthly family of king-priests is to follow the instructions given by the apostle James. Therefore, it is important to understand and follow the letter and the spirit of these instructions.
By B.L. Cocherell b8w16-2