Biblical Covenants – Baptist Perspective

Covenant chart color 768x400

The diagram above is my attempt to show the relationship between the various covenants between God and man discussed below. The covenants with Adam and Noah were with mankind and all the created order. Adam fell and we all are dead in him, our federal head; so too all of creation was cursed because of Adam’s sin.

From the dust of men, YHWH called out a people for Himself, to be custodians of His Word, to shine forth His glories in the wicked world, and to preserve the promised seed as it was carried through the generations from Adam to Christ Jesus. National Israel inhabited what is shown as the Old Covenant. Gentiles are not in the Old Covenant.

If all men are not in Adam’s Covenant, then all men could not die in Adam. But since all men die in Adam, we must see those that God formed into the Hebrew nation were born dead in Adam. The covenant of circumcision and the Mosaic covenant applied to them as God’s temporal people, but in Adam they all died. Some of them were redeemed by faith in the promised Christ and were bought out of the Adamic covenant into the covenant of redemption, to be sealed in Christ in the fullness of time. While they lived in the flesh, they were in the Mosaic Covenant as God’s temporal people. So all national Israel was at all times members of two covenants – one determining their spiritual condition (in Adam or in Christ), the other identifying them as God’s temporal people.

The eternal covenant called out in Hebrews 13 was a prelapsarian agreement within the holy trinity. It was revealed progressively until it was fulfilled by Christ and the issuing of the New Covenant. What the eternal covenant does is provide redemption for sinners (Ephesians 1 and others). 2 Timothy 1 shows us that our redemption was effected before the foundation of the world. I consider this covenant to be the guardian for the elect through redemptive history, until the New Covenant was issued, as was the Old Covenant for national Israel. Hebrews tells us the Old Testament saints waited until Christ came to get their full reward – while saved looking forward to the promised seed, “they did not receive that which was promised (temporal rest), since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us.”

Both the Hebrew people and Gentiles have Adam as their spiritual father; only by being given new life in the last Adam do we become children of Abraham according to the promise. This gives us standing with Creator God as His children through the adoption of sons.

The covenant with Noah is outside the redemptive chain, as it is an unconditional promise of God to provide for man and beast seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night until the end of the age. It is included to remind us of God’s kind provision even to those whose best life is now. It mitigates the wrath of God for those in Adam while this age winds down. The shaded oval is labeled “Old Covenant” and represents God’s relationship to national Israel. It includes the three major covenants contained therein, although the Abrahamic Covenant has only one side in this arena. This line of covenants began as YHWH called people from Adam’s line to form His temporal people, and began to close with the Davidic Covenant, coming to a final close when the son of David who was his Lord fulfilled all the requirements of Moses and the prophets and cut the New Covenant (Galatians 3:24). The Covenant of Promise was revealed to man as God cursed the serpent, recorded in Genesis 3:15 and fulfilled in the New Covenant, being revealed with increasing clarity as redemptive history unfolded.

The Adamic Covenant runs parallel to the Old Covenant, and does not expire until the end of the age. All people in history are ruled by this covenant, with God’s universal law at work in the nations; the works of which are written on the hearts of these people (Romans 2:12-16). Those who are in the First Adam remain in this covenant unless, in time, God redeems them. From God’s covenant with Abraham come children of the flesh (being held captive by the Law of Moses – Galatians 4:21 – 25) and children of promise (being set free by faith in the promised seed – Galatians 3:29 & 4:26 – 31). This ever-increasing family gathers members from all races, creeds, and covenants. Sons of Adam who are redeemed have Abraham as their spiritual father (Galatians 3:29) Jesus is the promised son of David (Acts 2:22 – 39), being born under the law and its curse (Galatians 3:10 – 14), and giving Himself as a ransom to buy the elect (John 6:37 – 40). His work of redemption fulfilled the demands of the Old Covenant and all the types that pointed to His coming. This work made the Old Covenant obsolete and introduced the New Covenant which displays the glories of Christ in the lives of the redeemed (Hebrews 8).

With Noah as our federal head, we have so-called common grace from our Creator, both man and creation. The curse of Adam remains throughout this age, conquered but not eliminated, as we wait for the age to come; so the blessings through Noah remain throughout this age, to be made all the more glorious in the age to come.

The roots Mormonism shares with Rome (Part 3)

Finishing up our look at how Mormonism and Roman Catholicism are, basically, theological cousins. Maybe not first cousins, more like third cousins twice removed. But they both spring from the same tree, and they both have the same father (small-‘f’).

They both teach that the blood of Christ is not the only way to pay for our sins

–Catholicism teaches that the person must pay for some sins themselves in Purgatory.

Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), paragraphs 1030-10311030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. 1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent…we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.”

–Mormonism teaches forgiveness beyond the grave

Gospel Principles (GP), 1997 ed., chapter 45, p. 292-293“In the spirit prison are the spirits of those who have not yet received the gospel of Jesus Christ. These spirits have agency and may be enticed by both good and evil. If they accept the gospel and the ordinances performed for them in the temples, they may prepare themselves to leave the spirit prison and dwell in paradise. Also in the spirit prison are those who rejected the gospel after it was preached to them on earth or in the spirit prison…After suffering in full for their sins, they will be allowed to inherit the lowest degree of glory, which is the telestial kingdom.”

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The roots Mormonism shares with Rome (Part 1)

When Satan wants to lead people away from God, he doesn’t necessarily put up a new building–he simply changes the name of the business and hangs a new sign out front.

“She is termed, in other places, by the same prophet, “The whore of all the earth,” making the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Some three centuries ago there came out sortie excellent men, named Martin Luther, John Calvin and many others that might be mentioned, who protested against the wickedness and abominations of the Church wherein they had been educated, and of which they had been members. Because of their protestations against the mother Church they were called Protestants.”–Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses Vol. 14, p.346

Orson Pratt is, in the above quote, making an obvious reference to the Roman Catholic Church. And lest you think this is simply his opinion, this thought is recorded in Mormon “Scripture” in two places. Furthermore, you can find many other quotes from early Mormon leaders referring to the Vatican in like manner at this link.

Doctrines and Covenants (D&C) 88:94“And another angel shall sound his trump, saying: That great church, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood—she who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea—behold, she is the tares of the earth; she is bound in bundles; her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore, she is ready to be burned. And he shall sound his trump both long and loud, and all nations shall hear it.”

1 Nephi 14:10-1110 And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. 11 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.

Granted, Mormonism did not spring forth from the Roman church–but they are, shall we say, born from the same root system, and they both have the same father. And whether they want to admit it or not, the LDS church has more in common with the Roman church than they do with true Christianity. It is as if Satan led Joseph Smith to simply take the structure and hierarchy of Romanism, throw in some Hinduism with it, plagiarize the King James Bible, and sprinkle in just enough Christian terminology (not to mention repeating the phrase “And it came to pass” ad nauseum) to fool countless numbers of folks.

The purpose of this post is not to defend the Vatican. Nor is it to begin a debate about Romanism. What I endeavor to do, though, is to show that as much as the early Mormon church railed about the Romish church being “The Whore of Babylon” and so forth, there are many beliefs and structures in Mormonism that show that the Mormon church is not that different from their Papal cousins.

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They both teach that after you die, someone else can come along and perform rituals that will help improve the state you are in.

–Catholicism has indulgences.

  • 2nd Maccabees 12:43And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachmas of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection.

–Mormonism has baptism for the dead.

  • D&C 128:18It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also.

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