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From the Editor -
Dr. Wayne Nelson
A Word In Season
Featured Article
Welcome to "A Word in Season" at FaithWritersí Magazine. This first editorís column will try to set the tone for what we hope to accomplish in this section. We will be featuring articles that delve into the Word of God in some depth, possibly explaining a verse or a passage in greater depth than you might normally come across. Consider this to be an extended Bible Study where you might see Scripture in a somewhat different light than before. We're not into creating new doctrine, just a deeper understanding of the Word of God. The primary emphasis will be the exposition of Scripture; however articles that will show how God works in the lives of ordinary Christians today will also be featured. We will be doing more than just studying the Bible; we will be showing the results of Scripture working in the life of the modern Christian.

One of the highlights of this department will be the opportunity for you to ask questions about
There's Meaning in a Name
By Annette Agnello

Words have great meaning and this is especially true in the Bible where nothing is by accident and every name or number is there for a reason. Let's examine some names of places and people in the book of Ruth to see how they enrich the story of Ruth, the Moabite, who became an ancestor to our Savior, Jesus.

The book of Judges ends with, "...in the days the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. In those days there was no king in Israel: everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25 NKJV).

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those things in the Bible or the Christian life that you don't quite understand. Answers will be sent back to you if you include your e-mail address with your question. You may send your questions to wnj40@earthlink.net and the best of the questions will appear in the next monthís Word in Season column.

The Blood Covenant
By Wayne Nelson

What do we mean by a Blood Covenant? This term has lost most of its significance in American society. What the Blood Covenant meant to the earliest of peoples, it still means today. But, because we in America (and other modern countries as well) do not understand the meaning behind the Blood Covenant, we have failed to understand its true meaning to us today. Christians, particularly, are not able to understand their rights and obligations under the Blood Covenant they enjoy. The basis of Christianity is rooted in a Blood Covenant. The Old Testament Blood Covenant between God and Abraham, the foundation for the relationship of God to His chosen people, appears in the New Testament as a New Covenant, this time between God and those who choose to serve Him in Christ.

So, what is the basic meaning behind this Blood Covenant? Simply put it means that two covenant individuals share such a close relationship with each other that all they have or possess in this life is available to each upon demand. For a Blood Covenant individual to refuse to meet the needs of his covenant partner means that he broke the blood covenant between them and this means that he will die a most horrible death. You can understand now the motive that causes these two blood covenant individuals to share all they possess with each other whenever called upon, for to refuse was a certain death sentence, usually at the hand of the one refused. Perhaps now the times in the Old Testament where God seemed to wipe out His chosen can be better understood. He always said, before the drastic action took place, that they had broken the Covenant with Him. But God always left a remnant behind so He could re-establish His Covenant again with them.

Just how ancient is the Blood Covenant? In Genesis 3:21, it says, "Unto Adam also and to His wife did the Lord God make coats of skin, and clothed them." Eve was the first woman to wear a fur coat as she left the Garden of Eden. In order to get the skin of the animal to clothe Adam and Eve, God had to kill the animal, and in the process, shed some blood. Adam and Eve had sinned and a righteous God could not look on their sin, hence He covered it with blood; symbolic of the blood sacrifices the Israelites would constantly offer up to Him. Now when God would look upon Adam and Eve, instead of seeing their sin, He would see the shed blood of an innocent animal.

In Chapter 4 of Genesis, we find Cain and his brother Abel offering a sacrifice to God. Abelís sacrifice was a blood sacrifice while Cainís was a grain sacrifice. God accepted Abelís blood sacrifice and rejected Cainís grain sacrifice. Where in the world did the two brothers learn about a blood sacrifice? How about from their parents who learned it in the Garden of Eden? And this became the basis of Godís eventual Blood Covenant with Abraham. Since God is a spirit and not flesh and blood, there has to be a substitutionary contributor to provide the blood necessary for this Blood Covenant between God and Abraham. God's contributors were a 3-year-old heifer, a 3-year-old female goat, a 3-year-old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon (Genesis 15:9). Abraham's blood contribution was to be his foreskin, which bleeds profusely when it is cut, especially in an adult male. This was to be an everlasting covenant between man, represented by Abraham, and God, a never-ending compact between two covenant partners for all time (Genesis 17:7).

If this were to be an everlasting covenant between God and Man, what role would Jesus play in the New Covenant of the New Testament? Why was it necessary for Him to shed His blood on the cross, since an everlasting covenant was established between God and Abraham? Well, man was the weak link in the Old Covenant because he continually broke the covenant between him and God. A man had to be found who would not repeatedly break the Covenant by disobedience to his Covenant partner, Almighty God. This is where Jesus fits in, as He was both Son of God and Son of Man. By His very nature, He would not disobey or dishonor His Covenant partner, God, the Father. Thus, the New Blood Covenant, based on the saving work of Jesus replaced a covenant that was based on Abraham and was continually violated by man. The New Covenant, based on Jesus, became a better Blood Covenant because it was based not on fallible man, but on the infallible Son of Man, Jesus, the only begotten Son of God.

God provided for an entrance into the Old Testament Blood Covenant through the rite of circumcision, the very vehicle Abraham used to provide his blood for the Blood Covenant with Almighty God. Later, in the New Testament, Paul writes about the Circumcision of the Heart, where the old nature is thrown away and the new nature from God is placed within the heart of the new believer in Jesus (Romans 2:28-29). The New Blood Covenant is now between God, the Father and His Son Jesus who represents man. Those who enter into this relationship with God the Father and Jesus His Son, do so by the rite of circumcision, the circumcision of the heart. Thus all who accept Jesus as their Savior, male and female, have equal access to the terms of Godís Blood Covenant.

In a blood covenant relationship everything you have or possess is freely available to your covenant partner. Likewise everything he has or possesses is now available to you, you only need to ask and it is yours. If we treated our relationship with our Heavenly Father as a relationship within a Blood Covenant that means anything we need that He has is ours for the asking and He must supply! Conversely anything He asks of us we are covenant bound to provide Him. If we only understood the obligations we have in our Blood Covenant relationship with our Heavenly Father, our lives would be so much richer! What He has promised you He will honor, so take Him at His word and start living a victorious life! And don't forget the requests of your Blood Covenant partner. You are bound, by the Blood Covenant, to provide Him with anything He asks of you, even if it means your life.