What is the plan of salvation? Has it changed? And why has it taken so long? What is the relation between God's promises and man's response?
What is the old covenant, and what is the new covenant? A proper understanding is crucial to understanding all the truths of the Bible; it undergirds the plan of salvation and allows us to see it as one grand interconnected system. When not understood, the plan of salvation will be seen as fragmented and inconsistent. Why circumcision before, but not now? Why a theocracy before, but not now? Humans have such different cultures, mindsets, technological development - how does God deal with all of this? All of this is bound up in the study of the covenants.
Fundamentally, God relates to man according to his faith. A lack of faith has the response of the old covenant, while faith is the new covenant. But easy as it is to explain that, we must understand how it has all played out in human history to fully understand our nature and God's character.
If man had kept the law of God, as given to Adam after his fall, preserved by Noah, and observed by Abraham, there would have been no necessity for the ordinance of circumcision. And if the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, of which circumcision was a sign, they would never have been seduced into idolatry, nor would it have been necessary for them to suffer a life of bondage in Egypt; they would have kept God's law in mind, and there would have been no necessity for it to be proclaimed from Sinai or engraved upon the tables of stone. And had the people practiced the principles of the Ten Commandments, there would have been no need of the additional directions given to Moses. (PP 364.2)
Daniel Bernhardt's book 'Removing the Veil' is the most in-depth study of this issue Maranatha Media has publsihed. For all students of 1888, we know that this is an issue of central importance. For all who have tried to share with Sunday Christians and Jews, we know that confusion on the covenants is the main reason for the gulf between us. To those who struggle at trying to explain what is happening in the Old Testament, the covenants are crucial.
Daniel has had great success in sharing the feasts and the character of God specifically because he first focused so much on getting the Father-Son believers in Argentina to understand the covenants. This is a lesson to us. We need to rightly understand this first, lay it down as a foundation, and then many other issues will naturally fall into place.
The book is named after this verse:
Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
The book aims to remove the veil over our eyes in the reading of the Old Testament, which is the reading of human history, the human heart, and the mind of God towards us. The issue is man does not treasure the words, ideas and promises of God, and instead trusts in his own words, ideas and promises. This is what this book aims to draw out. Lord Jesus, give us comprehension of this issue: of our hearts and of yours.
When a man is born, he is born into a carnal state. This is the natural condition of human beings. This is the first man, the man of the earth. However, the promise is made to every human being on this earth, that they might be made in the image of the second man, the heavenly one. This man made in the image of the second man, the heavenly man Jesus, treasures every word of His Father – like the Son of God does. (Removing the Veil, page 74)