OUR COVENANT, Part 5
November 1, 2019
The topic of kheseed is one rarely covered in the body of Christ. In my 77+ years, I’ve only heard the topic discussed one time. Because this is part and parcel of all that is real Covenant, it is critical that everyone really get a grasp on this. It is important for us to understand Covenant – especially within the framework of God’s economy, and what He is doing among His people.
Last week, we began talking about a word that takes place within covenant: ãñç kheseed. We noted that Gesenius, in his Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon explains the word like this in its primary applications: to love with intense desire; to show oneself gracious; zeal (towards anyone); ardor; kindness; benevolence; the grace, favor and mercy of God; tender mercies; lovingkindness.
History tells us that folks who entered into covenant enjoyed a place of oneness and unity that almost defied explanation. First of all, the two primary parties to that covenant were revered and held in high esteem by all of the family members on both sides of the covenant. One did not enter lightly into covenant, and the marks in each other's flesh denoting that covenant were held sacred.
The parties to covenant literally became One Family! One ancient tradition we've seen -- especially in Celtic and English history -- is where each family took the other's name. Thus, for example, when David Edwards married Marie Smithson as a product of two families' covenant, the Edwards family became Smithson-Edwards or Edwards-Smithson, depending on who initiated the covenant. Likewise, the Smithson family became Smithson-Edwards, or Edwards-Smithson. By this tradition, the families and their descendants became forever linked together as a single family.
In our own Capener family, a number of years ago when my father was still alive, he received a letter from a Ralph Capener-Hurst. Dad responded and asked Ralph about the hyphenated name, expressing curiosity as to whether Ralph might be a relative somewhere in our family lineage. Return correspondence from Ralph indicated that one of his Capener ancestors covenanted with a family whose last name was Hurst. Their covenant, and the subsequent marriage between members of each family resulted in the two families taking the combined name, Capener-Hurst.
Thus all members of that particular branch of the Capener family, and all members of that particular branch of the Hurst family became known thereafter as Capener-Hurst.
We often see hyphenated names in English royalty, but few people seem to realize that those hyphenated names represented covenants of blood that were cut between some of the royal families of England and Europe. It is an aspect of ãñç kheseed denoting grace, kindness, favor and benevolence between covenanted families.
In previous Coffee Breaks, I've talked about the significance of the Greek word, onoma, (translated "name" in the New Testament) and how it goes way beyond the concept of one's name in meaning. Paralleling the Hebrew, íLÙ shem, it denotes one's character and very makeup, their personality, their identity, their rank and power, their honor, integrity and authority. Thus, the taking of each other's name within the framework of covenant symbolized their taking of each other's character, rank and honor and backing it with each other's integrity.
Yesterday I said that ãñç kheseed is the core of covenant. Today, we add íLÙ shem. Now you begin to understand the very covenant nature of what Jesus said when He told His covenanted disciples, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, immersing them in the character, the nature, the makeup, the rank and authority of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you....." (Matthew 28:18-20 with my emphasis)
Jesus' blood flows in our veins as a result of His new covenant with us. That's the implication of our taking communion. Instead of halving in two the bodies of heifers, lambs and partaking of their roasted flesh in an earthly covenant, we partake of the broken body of the Lord Jesus Christ in the symbol of the bread. Instead of drinking blood mingled with wine, we simply drink wine -- because of Jesus' command to us -- (Yeah, I know. Some folks have a religious thing about drinking grape juice instead, but it's still all the same thing!) as representative of His shed blood.
In so doing, we regularly remember His covenant of blood, and the sacrifice He paid when His body was broken and put to death on the Cross that we might enter into an eternal covenant bound by His Word which NEVER fails and is inviolable, and implemented in our lives by a living faith.
Now you're beginning to understand my early comments about how the whole concept of covenant has been so diluted and watered down throughout the centuries that we've lost the true sense of it? Now maybe you can begin to get a grasp on the New Testament (Covenant) and the use of the word, agape, (in place of the Hebrew ãñç kheseed) as the descriptor by which the Lord commands relationship.
Put that within Jesus' statement, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have (love) agape-kheseed for one another."
Jesus wasn't talking about some kind of "sloppy agape," or some kind of mushy-gushy "Oh, I love you," kind of malarkey like we see so often in the body of Christ today. He was talking about covenant! He was talking about standing with each other to the death! He was talking about our putting our lives on the line for one another as fellow-Christians and members of that body He took to the Cross!
By THAT shall all men know we are His disciples. By agape-kheseed will the world know that we have a relationship that defies the understanding of today's world!
Remember what Paul wrote? "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39)
That's a statement made from the perspective of covenant. That is a perfect visual of ãñç kheseed.
OK. How about this from David's writings? "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (see Psalm 91)
THAT's covenant writing!
"I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked."
David KNEW the implications of His covenant relationship with God. He KNEW what ãñç kheseed meant as it related to the Lord. He KNEW the tender mercies and lovingkindness of the Lord. He KNEW what it meant to be protected and covered by a covenant-keeping God whose existence was wrapped up in his. He KNEW the love of the Lord in a dimension that -- sadly -- too many Christians today fail to see.
Watch how David describes the covering and protection, the zeal of the Lord on his behalf.
"Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
“Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."
Go back for a second to our review of Abraham and the Lord, and the covenant that God made with him. Remember the "smoking furnace" and the "burning lamp" that depicted the physical presence of the Lord as He passed between the broken pieces of the animals? Remember the analogy of the smoke and the cloud as the covering and protection of the Lord as a portion of His part of the covenant to Abraham?
Good. Now you understand where David was coming from when he wrote this Psalm.
Everything -- and I do mean EVERYTHING! -- written in both Old and New Testaments comes from the perspective of the blood covenant. Maybe next week we'll be able to finish up (I think) this look at the character and nature of covenant as it is spelled out in the New Testament before we begin to take up the singular nature of the American Covenant.
Meanwhile, let's have a look at some of the things that Jesus said, now that we have an understanding to help us properly frame the implications of agape and ãñç kheseed within the covenant He made with "whosoever will."
First of all, remember what Paul wrote in his letter to the Ekklesia in Ephesus?
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole patria - lineage (family) in heaven and earth is named; that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in agape-kheseed (love), may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and to know the agape-kheseed (love) of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."
Remember our earlier discussion on those hyphenated names, and the implications of taking on each other's onoma as a product of covenant?
Now do you see what Paul is writing? This is a perfect description of the covenant we enter into with the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing could be clearer.
"...of whom the whole patria - lineage (family) in heaven and earth is named..." Once we become covenant-partners of the Lord Jesus Christ, we take on His name and lineage. Thus we are of the seed of Abraham -- by faith! It is impossible for that faith to work without agape. We don't just take on "a name" as Christians: we take on the onoma, the íLÙ shem of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Perhaps I should state parenthetically, that we are SUPPOSED to take on His onoma. With that onoma comes His power over sickness, His power over death, His authority and power over Satan, his demons, and all his works. With that onoma comes being seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.)
This is why we see so many powerless, weak-kneed, namby-pamby, Caesar-Milquetoast (so-called) Christians in the world today. They have "a name" that they are Christians, but they both deny, AND LACK, the power to demonstrate and back up their claim to being a Christian. They say their lives have been changed, but for many of them, that change is a fraud. The reason why they lack the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ is because they've taken their "relationship" with Him only as far as "salvation."
Get it? There is no covenant! They haven't entered into the covenant with the Lord -- a covenant of blood that gives the Lord literally all that they are, all that they ever hope to be, and all that they have -- including their pocketbooks.
Ooooops!!!! Now I'm meddling. Hehehehehehe........
Guess I’ll leave it here for today. I’m concerned that if I finish this part of the discussion on Covenant today, we will run so long that people will not be able to focus properly. This is a critical part of Covenant and I want to make sure that everyone really gets it!
Complete and direct obedience to the Word of the Lord always produces tangible and life-giving results.
In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:30AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available on video using ZOOM. If you wish to participate by video on ZOOM, our login ID is 835-926-513. If you miss the live voice-only call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
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