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The terms of the covenants are to be understood in their plain and natural sense, yet they have a second and higher meaning

Thus, before seeking to set forth the everlasting covenant itself in a specific way, we have first endeavored to make clear the relation borne to it of the principal covenants which God was pleased to make with different men during the Old Testament era. Our sketch of them has necessarily been brief, for we shall take them up separately and consider them in fuller detail in the succeeding chapters. Yet sufficient has been said, we trust, to demonstrate that, while the terms of the covenants which God made with Noah, with Abraham, with Israel at Sinai, and with David, are to be understood, first, in their plain and natural sense, yet it should be clear to any anointed eye that they have a second and higher meaning—a spiritual content. The things of earth have been employed to represent heavenly things. In other words, those subordinate covenants need to be contemplated in both their letter and spirit.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

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Thus we may see how fully the covenant of grace was revealed and confirmed unto Abraham

Thus we may see how fully the covenant of grace was revealed and confirmed unto Abraham the father of all them that believe, by which he and his descendants obtained a clearer sight and understanding of the great Redeemer and the things which were to be accomplished by Him. “And therefore did Christ take notice of this when He said, Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and was glad” (John 8:56). These last words clearly intimate that Abraham had a definite spiritual apprehension of those things. Under the Sinaitic covenant a yet fuller revelation was made by God to His people of the contents of the everlasting covenant: the tabernacle, and all its holy vessels; the high priest, his vestments, and service; and the whole system of sacrifices and ablutions, setting before them its blessed realities in typical forms, they being patterns of heavenly things.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

Unto Abraham God gave a remarkable pledge of the fulfillment of His covenant promises

Unto Abraham God gave a remarkable pledge of the fulfillment of His covenant promises in the striking victory which He granted him over the federated forces of Chedorlaomer. This was more than a hint of the victory of Christ and His seed over the world: carefully compare Isaiah 41:2,3,10,15. Genesis 14:19, 20 supplies proof of what we have just said, for upon returning from his memorable victory, Abraham was met by Melchizedek (type of Christ) and was blessed by him. A further revelation of the contents of the covenant of grace was granted unto Abraham in Genesis 15, where in the vision of the smoking furnace which passed through the midst of the sacrifice, an adumbration was made of the sufferings of Christ. In the miraculous birth of Isaac, intimation was given of the super-natural birth of Christ, the promised Seed. In the deliverance of Isaac from the altar, representation was made of the resurrection of Christ (Heb 11:19).

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

Those divine revelations and manifestations of the grace decreed in the everlasting covenant were given out at important epochs in the early history of the world

Those divine revelations and manifestations of the grace decreed in the everlasting covenant were given out at important epochs in the early history of the world. Just as Genesis 3:15 was given immediately after the Fall, so we find that immediately following the flood God solemnly renewed the covenant of grace with Noah. In like manner, at the beginning of the third period of human history, following the call of Abraham, God renewed it again, only then making a much fuller revelation of the same. It was now made known that the coming deliverer of God’s people was to be of the Abrahamic stock and that all the families of the earth should be blessed in Him—a plain intimation of the calling of the Gentiles and the bringing of the elect from all nations into the family of God. In Genesis 15:5,6, the great requirement of the covenant—namely, faith—was then more fully made known.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

It was a process of gradual development, issuing finally in the fullness of gospel grace

Above we have pointed out that the continual additions which God made to His original revelation of mercy in Genesis 3:15 were, for a while, given mainly through the covenants He made with the fathers. It was a process of gradual development, issuing finally in the fullness of gospel grace; the substance of those covenants indicated the outstanding stages in this process. They are the great landmarks of God’s dealings with men, points from which the disclosures of the divine mind expanded into increased and established truths. As revelations they exhibited in ever augmented degrees of fullness and clearness the plan of salvation through mediation and sacrifice of the Son of God; for each of those covenants consisted of gracious promises ratified by sacrifice (Gen. 8:20; 9:9; 15:9-11, 18). Thus, those covenants were so many intimations of that method of mercy which took its rise in the eternal counsels of the divine mind.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

No mention of any conditions, or work to be done by them: only a promise of unconditional blessings

God made covenants with Noah, Abraham, David; but were they, as fallen creatures, able to enter into covenant with their august and holy Maker? Were they able to stand for themselves, or be sureties for others? The very question answers itself. What, for instance, could Noah possibly do which would insure that the earth should never again be destroyed by a flood? Those subordinate covenants were less than the Lord’s making manifest, in an especial and public manner, the grand covenant: making known something of its glorious contents, confirming their own personal interest in it, and assuring them that Christ, the great covenant head, should be of themselves and spring from their seed.

This is what accounts for that singular expression which occurs so frequently in Scripture: “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your seed after you” (Gen. 9:9). Yet there follows no mention of any conditions, or work to be done by them: only a promise of unconditional blessings. And why? because the “conditions” were to be fulfilled and the “work” was to be done by Christ, and nothing remained but to bestow the blessings on His people. So when David says, “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant” (2 Sam. 23:5) he simply means, God had admitted him into an interest in the everlasting covenant and made him partaker of its privileges. Hence it is that when the apostle Paul refers to the various covenants which God had made with men in Old Testament times, he styles them not “covenants of stipulations” but covenants of promise” (Eph 2:12).

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

The first germinal publication of the everlasting covenant is found in Genesis 3:15

The first germinal publication of the everlasting covenant is found in Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Thus, immediately after the Fall, God announced to the serpent his ultimate doom through the work of the Mediator, and revealed unto sinners the channel through whom alone salvation could flow to them. The continual additions which God subsequently made to the revelation He gave in Genesis 3:15 were, for a considerable time, largely through covenants He made with the fathers, covenants which were both the fruit of His eternal plan of mercy and the gradual revealing of the same unto the faithful. Only as those two facts are and held fast by us are we in any position to appreciate and perceive the force of those subordinate covenants.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant