Animal Sacrifices
Animal Sacrifices

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A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada   Animal Sacrific Index  

The Old and New Covenants

A covenant is a formal agreement between two parties. In the old covenant Yahweh made a formal agreement with the nation of Israel that He would be their God and they would be His people. As a man would take a wife, Yahweh took Israel to be His very own. In the old covenant Yahweh's primary laws, (The Ten Commandments) were written on tablets of stone and the people of Israel agreed to obey them. Unfortunately Israel broke her part of the agreement. Israel committed spiritual adultery with pagan gods and grievously sinned. Having sinned, Yahweh's secondary laws, involving animal sacrifices, cleansing, pardon and reconciliation came into effect. If forgiveness was not sought via this prescribed route then other secondary laws (penal laws) would be applied. And so we have:
  1. Primary laws
    These include all Yahweh's moral commandments which will abide for all time. (For example Deut.6:5, Exodus 20:1-17)
  2. Secondary laws
    These laws only come into effect when Yahweh's moral commandments are violated. They include for example:
There are more laws (primary & secondary) mentioned in the Scriptures which are not considered here. Laws which concern:

In this lesson we will mostly concentrate on the secondary laws which involved animal sacrifices. To do this we will first look at what is referred to in Scripture as the old and new covenants. In the old covenant Yahweh's secondary laws, the ones which called for animal sacrifices and diverse purification rites, may be compared to an engineer's blueprint, an architect's model or a teacher's visual aid. They contained B>symbolic rituals which the Almighty designed to teach His people the real lessons He had in mind. The old covenant, however, had certain weaknesses. For example, the people promised to obey God, but their promises were soon broken and they repeatedly lapsed into sin. In the old covenant, God's law was written on tablets of stone: but few Israelites really wanted to obey it. In the new covenant the Almighty makes a formal agreement - again with the people of ISRAEL; but there is a difference:
Hebrews 8: 6: ... he (Christ) is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises...
10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts...

In other words in the new covenant Yahweh's law will not be obeyed reluctantly, but by choice, from a willing heart. For God promises to write His law on the willing believer's mind and soul, thereby ensuring spontaneous obedience and willing obedience. In the new covenant, Gentile believers (because of their faith in Christ) are also reckoned as descendants of Abraham. They are spiritual Israelites!
Galatians 3: 29: And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Romans 2: 29: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart...

For more information about this, see Who/What is a Jew?

The main difference between the two covenants as regards forgiveness and cleansing is concerned is this:

Remember that both covenants are made with Israel: and that Yahweh's moral laws remain unchanged in the new covenant. Few believers realize these facts.


A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada   Animal Sacrific Index  

Author: Elder: David B. Loughran - Stewarton Bible School - Stewarton Scotland
Elder: Max W. Mader
A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada
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First published 1979 / Placed on the Internet 1996/Updated: 1998/Updated: 2003/Reprinted 2009